The secret to a perfectly smooth hummus is peeling the skins of the chickpeas off. It is definitely time consuming, but makes a HUGE difference. If you hold each chickpea between two fingers and pinch it a little, the skins will sort of just pop off. it adds about an extra 8-10 minutes to the prep time, but I think it’s worth it. You can make the hummus with the skins on, but it will not have the same smooth texture.
Gluten-Free Recipes Index
Below is an index of all the gluten-free recipes on My Natural Family.
I try hard to create recipes that are easy with simplified instructions. And the best part – they taste good. You won’t miss the gluten at all (well, at least I hope you won’t. . .)
These recipes have been shared on social media the most times and this list updates as you share my recipes. So make sure to share your favorites so others will know about the best recipes.
What is gluten?
That elastic texture in uncooked dough comes from gluten. It helps the dough to rise and keep shape when baked. Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye, and. It is a mix of two proteins called glutenin and gliadin. Glutenin is 47% of the protein found in cereal grains. Gluten is what causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with an illness called celiac disease. Many people can also have a sensitivity or intolerance to it.
Why be on the gluten-free diet?
If you are struggling with digestive problems, it's possible you may have a sensitivity to gluten or even a disease called Celiac. Celiac disease is the main reason for going gluten-free. There are about 3 million Americans with the disease and many don't even know they have it! When gluten is consumed, by a person with the disease, an autoimmune reaction happens in the body. This reaction inflames the small intestine and destroys the villi that absorb nutrients for the body. People with celiac disease experience symptoms such as constipation, weight gain or loss, diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, eczema and more. Celiac disease can even cause more serious or long term effects such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, cancer, infertility and other reproductive health problems or other autoimmune disorders.
Although Celiac disease is the foremost reason for going gluten-free intolerance or sensitivity to gluten can be another reason. People suffering from gluten intolerance may experience abdominal cramping, diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. Just like Celiac disease, symptoms appear after consuming foods and are similar to, yet not as severe as found in persons with the disease. An intolerance has not yet been proven to have long-lasting effects. Gluten sensitivity has many of the same symptoms as Celiac disease and affects around 18 million Americans. Sensitivity to gluten, however, does not cause long-lasting effects, such as osteoporosis, damage to the intestines, cancer, infertility and other effects seen in Celiac disease.
Gluten intolerance, Celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity are not the only reasons to go gluten-free. Many people omit gluten from their diets to improve their health. Eating gluten-free may help to better focus the mind and think clearer as well as improve one's mood. People with sensitivities to gluten have noted that consuming it causes depression, headaches, clouded thinking and even ADHD like symptoms. Abstaining from gluten may reduce these conditions. Vitamins and minerals may not be fully absorbed by those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. The lack of vitamins and minerals may lead to malnutrition which causes fatigue in the body. Cutting out gluten from your diet can alleviate the feelings of weariness or weakness.
What foods should be avoided?
- White flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Durum wheat
- Graham flour
- Wheat Germ
- Wheat Bran
- Cake flour
- Pregelatinized wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Wheat starch
- Modified wheat starch
Many foods such as pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, crackers, soy sauce, fried foods and more contain gluten and should be avoided. What about oats? Oats are generally processed on the same equipment used for wheat. Oats can be eaten in moderation and not affect most people, but it is best to look for labels that say gluten-free.
What are some healthy alternatives?
Here are some replacements for those grains that contain gluten.
- Nut flours
If unsure, read the labels on all boxes and cans, some labels may say wheat-free but may still contain gluten. There are breads, pastas, and other products that are specially made gluten-free, so those favorite foods won't be missed. Gluten-free products are best found in health food stores but are becoming more available in the common grocery stores.
The quick white sauce only takes a few minutes and tastes so much better than a can of soup. I love the veggies on top too. My favorite Hawaiian Haystacks recipe.