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Trying to run a gluten-free household for patients of celiac disease can be daunting- not to mention, costly. Many food manufacturers make outstanding snacks, mixes, and breads for people who are either allergic to gluten or suffer from gluten intolerance. However good these packaged products are, they are still hard on your food budget. Cooking your own meals at home is not only cost-effective, but it also puts the restrictive diet control back where it belongs- in your capable hands.
Gluten is a common ingredient in all products containing wheat, barley, corn, rye, spelt, Kamut and triticale. By stocking up on whole, gluten-free certified flours, like bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and brown rice flour, you can make any of these tasty gluten-free copycat versions of your favorite meals and snacks.
Prepackaged gluten-free mixes are convenient, but let’s face it- they’re expensive. Why pay extra for the paper packaging, when you can make your own version at home? Save money and a tree at the same time. In Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, blogger Heidi shares her instructions for “boxed” gluten free mac and cheese that even your kids can make, using powdered cheddar cheese and your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Instead of heading for the supermarket freezer aisle, make these crunchy, juicy copycat gluten-freechicken nuggets at home. You’ll love the fresh taste, the healthy allergy-free ingredients, and the convenience of being able to adapt the recipe to your own liking or dietary needs. Use the money you saved to splurge on dessert, like gluten-free ice cream.
All-purpose gluten-free baking mix should be a staple in your gluten-free kitchen. Use it to make breads, cakes, cookies, and other recipes that typically contain white flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes an excellent mix containing a blend of bean flours, tapioca, and potato starch. In a pinch, you can make your own version at home, using these copycat instructions from the Gluten Free Cooking School.
The Jiffy brand cornbreadmix contains white flour- not an option if you’re on a gluten-free diet. This allergy-free, non-glutinous fluffy cornbread muffin recipe incorporates brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. See blogger Lisa Whitaker’s page, Extraordinary Life, for many more gluten-free copycat recipes that you’ll love.
These healthy gluten-free bagels are a delicious knock-off of a popular gluten-free bakery line of breads and treats. These bagels take some time to make, but you’ll agree that it was worth the effort when you try them. Set aside enough time to make a large batch of flavorful sorghum-buckwheat bagels, and toss a bunch in the freezer for later- if they even last that long.
See Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, for an interview with Babycakes owner, Erin McKenna. In it, Erin gives away a few of her celeb-faved Babycakes recipes, including instructions for gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon Poppy Teacake, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Vanilla Frosting. Try these at home!
In the Learning How to Cook…Gluten Free! Site, celiac disease-patient blogger gives shows you how she took a copycat recipe for the famous chewy Girl Scout cookie treat and made it her own by substituting gluten-free flour for all-purpose white flour. Enjoy the all-American favorite cookie, topped with coconut, caramel, and a chocolate ribbon, without the gluten!
Larabars are deliciously sweet, all-natural energy bars that will satisfy your celiac-sweet tooth. Flavors range from Pecan Pie, Key Lime, and Carrot Cake to Chocolate Peanut Butter and Ginger Snap. This Livestrong article tells you how to make your own Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars, using fresh almonds, dates, and organicchocolate chips.
Nervous about what to serve guests who are diabetic? Hosting a dinner party for guests with diabetes is no sweat if you follow these four simple rules…
Planning a dinner party can be overwhelming, even for the most confident of hosts…
Deciding which kinds of appetizers to serve, how much food to buy, and what to present as the main course can be daunting, even without taking into consideration one’s dietary preferences.
If you know that a guest is diabetic, you will need to make a few adjustments to your usual dinner routine, but not a lot.
Diabetics can eat the same kinds of foods as non-diabetics, only in smaller amounts and with limitations.
Mainly, try to limit foods that affect blood sugar levels, such as carbohydrates like sweet beverages and starchy white bread rolls. Encourage guests to help themselves to crispy vegetable sticks with dressing and sparkling water with fruit juice.
With careful planning, you can treat your guests to a delicious and diabetically healthy dinner party they’ll be talking about for years.
Here are 4 simple rules for planning a party for diabetic guests:
Step 1: Make it a six-course meal, or longer
Doctors warn diabetics not to eat a heavy meal in one sitting, but rather to eat small bites throughout the day, with at least an hour in between servings.
Greet your guests with a small, heart-healthy appetizer, preferably something that is low in carbs, like marinated artichokes and mushrooms. Later, introduce a soup course, followed by a light salad. For the main meal, serve your guests a selection of smothered chicken breasts, lean roast beef, or vegetarian stuffed squash.
Limit starchy pastas and rice to side dishes, and incorporate veggies like broccoli, carrots, and zucchini.
Step 2: Support their drinking habit
Diabetics need to drink plenty of water- it keeps their blood sugar down. Refrain from buying cases of colas and the like- they’re just candy in disguise. Instead, stock up on mineral water, plain seltzer, and sugarless iced tea.
In addition, in case their sugar level should plummet, station a few pitchers of fresh, pure orange juice around the room.
Even if you’re not diabetic, a good rule of thumb for limiting portion sizes is to use small plates. Seeing a lot of empty space on our dish makes us feel like we’re depriving ourselves. Likewise, filling up our plate, however small, tricks our brain into thinking we’re getting more, and we’re more likely to feel satisfied later.
Step 4: Don’t skimp on dessert
Diabetics’ worst enemies are often the stuff of dessert tables- chocolate layer cake with fudgy ganache, tiramisu; even seemingly, innocent fruit pies promise to give you a sugar high in record speed.
Make a lovely presentation of grapes, melon, and berries. Serve sugarless yogurt and light whipped topping on the side. Follow up with some skinny wedges of assorted cheeses and coffee or tea.
Healthy and delicious fruity milk shakes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants- these smoothies will keep your energy up all summer long…without the caffeine!
Nothing beats an ice-cold drink on a hot, lazy summer day. Colas and “energy drinks” might temporarily give you that extra power boost you need in the middle of the afternoon, but that’s only because they get their fuel from caffeine.
One 16-ounce can of SoBe’s No Fear contains 141mg of caffeine; that’s about as much as an 8-ounce cup of coffee, which can have anywhere between 100-150mg of caffeine.
So, what’s wrong with a caffeine buzz?
Nothing, if it’s an occasional cup of coffee. But if you’re banking on a can of Diet Coke or a tall Frappuccino to get you through your morning workload or afternoon gym class on a regular basis, then you should consider the healthrisks involved.
Caffeine and your health
Besides guaranteeing a “caffeine crash” a few hours later, which defeats the whole purpose of drinking an energy drink, excess caffeine intake causes the following side effects:
High blood pressure
Nutritious, energy drinks just make more sense
Why risk all the ill effects of caffeine addiction, when you can get a vitamin-packed power boost from heart-healthy ingredients that your body loves?
Whip up a high-energy smoothie for a quick, refreshing breakfast, snack, or frozen dessert.
Dairy ingredients such as yogurt and low-fat milk provide protein and vitamin B12, for long-lasting energy and metabolic performance throughout your day.
Individuals on special diets can substitute soy milk or soy ice cream for a vegetarian milk shake.
Fresh fruits of the season deliver maximum vitamins and antioxidants.
Try some of these healthy, summertime smoothie recipes for yourself; listed below is one for each day of the week!
You don’t have to wait until October to enjoy antioxidant-rich pumpkin pie! Just crack open a can of pumpkin puree, and add banana and almond milk. This recipe also contains two cups of baby spinach, but you can substitute your favorite leafy greens.
If you think Arugula is a Mediterranean village off the coast of Italy, then you should really give dark leafy greens another chance.
Dark green salads, such as romaine, spinach, and kale are wonderfully versatile and tasty, in addition to containing tons of beneficial vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, B6, and K, and folate, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Green veggies are also high in fiber, which is great for your digestive system.
What’s in it for me?
Overall good health
The virtues of green salad vegetables are too numerous to mention, but here are just a few:
Including a variety of dark green salads in your daily diet is a recommended course of action for optimum overall health, as they are high in antioxidants and carotenoids.
In addition, because salads are high in fiber, they help to quickly and efficiently remove toxins from your body before they have a chance to do you any harm.
Avoid getting Type 2 diabetes
According to a publication in the British Medical Journal, eating spinach regularly improves your insulin response; this is due to its high magnesium content.
Always pair leafy greens with some form of healthy oil. The vitamins in salad greens are oil-soluble, meaning if you don’t sprinkle some olive oil on them, then you’re missing out on a powerhouse of nutrients. So say bye-bye to that fat-free salad dressing. You didn’t really like it, anyways.
The most popular way of preparing salad greens is…
in a salad, of course, but there are many other great greens recipes.
Make yourself a healthy low-carb gyro- just substitute a few large leaves of romaine or Swiss chard for the pita, choose your fillings, and that’s a wrap!
Kale holds up well in Chinese stir-fry.
Spinach makes a tasty addition to soups and casseroles.
Some people still enjoy eating their greens “old school.” That is, the way their grandma’s grandma ate them- stewed or steamed, mustard, collard, or turnip greens.
The top ten
Here is a list of the ten greenest of the greens. Try one today!