If you’ve consumed any sort of news in the past 2 years you will have undoubtedly come across the term “gluten-free.” – there’s no doubting it’s the new fad (which coincidentally we wrote a whooole other article about here). Here we simply want to tell you what gluten is and what kind of swaps you can make if you need or want to cut it from your daily munchables.
In a nutshell – gluten is a combination of two proteins that is found in wheat and wheat-based products, such as bread and pasta. It’s particularly responsible for giving your dough that elastic texture.
Why do you need to know that? Because one day, Jimmy Kimmel might ask you!
With popularity comes options, but just because something is gluten free, doesn’t automatically make it healthy!
For example, even the gluten-free versions of pasta and breads are often heavily processed and contain unhealthy additives. In addition, they a significant amount of simple carbs that spike up their glycemic index and give you unnecessary calories. Gluten free ‘cakes’ are often loaded with crappy oils to hold them together. And don’t even get us started on the sugar content!
How do I know what gluten-free product is good for me?
The answer is simple – it’s the same way you know how anything you eat is good for you! Choose whole, unprocessed foods, that came from nature. Fruits and veggies, grass-fed and free-range meats, eggs, and nuts and seeds have plenty of antioxidants, minerals, slow-digesting carbs and proteins.
In this article, we will cover a wide range of gluten-free whole food swaps that you can make in your kitchen and the grocery store.
Psst. We’ve also thrown in a gluten-free swap for a popular dessert, cause like is all about balance!
- Zucchini noodles
Zucchini noodles make a pretty Instagram picture and they make a delicious swap for regular noodles.
In less than 10 minutes, you can create a gorgeous bowl of zucchini noodles with the help of a spiralizer. The noodles can be consumed raw as a light pasta salad or can be smothered with marinara or avocado puree. You can also sauté them or have them with ground beef.
Conveniently you can also order a banging good Zucchini Noodle Carbonara roughly every 4 weeks over here 😉
- Homemade broth
The stuff that you get in cans reek of MSG, sodium and gluten for flavor. Canned broths and soups are often nutritionally poor and are heavily processed, giving you very little benefit for a large amount of calories.
Here’s what we recommend. Make stocks and broths yourself. It’s a great way to make use of bones that you’ll otherwise throw away and it is a lot cheaper. Homemade broths are packed with collagen, amino acids and many other beneficial nutrients. They also help fill you up faster and are great for weight loss!
Store your broth in batches in your freezer to use whenever needed.
No time? No worries! Bone broths are really gaining in popularity, and can usually be picked up from your local health food store or farmers markets.
- Portobello mushroom buns
Burgers. How effing good are they! Unless gluten is not your thing, and then you’re totally screwed by the bun.
Gluten-free buns found in stores don’t make the cut because they’re full of the crap that we talked about earlier.
Portobello mushrooms on the other hand, make a great replacement for a bun! Not only do they look amazing, but the texture and flavor are super satisfying.
To top it all off, Portobello mushrooms are rich in B vitamins and a bunch of minerals. They’re also high in fiber and water and low in carbs, making them a great food to aid in weight loss!
- Homemade ice cream
Did somebody say ice cream? While ice cream may not seem like it has gluten, certain versions of it, such as cookie dough, brownie, candy and some chunky flavors will have gluten in them. And the sugar guys, let’s not forget about the sugar.
The solution: make ice cream at home! And guess what, this recipe does not call for an ice cream machine.
Simply freeze a couple of sliced bananas overnight and throw them in the blender. Bump up the flavour and the fats by adding half a tin of coconut cream and re-freezing for a few hours. Serve plain, or you can add shaved coconut, nut butter or dark chocolate for added deliciousness!
Have your own favourite gluten-free swap? Let us know in the comments below!