Does Gluten-Free Mean Gross?

by Kenlie Tiggeman on January 3, 2012

I eat gluten, but I know that I feel better when I eat unprocessed foods like raw cabbage (my latest obsession) with cucumbers, tomatoes and raw pecans – none of which contains gluten so it would be interesting to see how my body responds to eating less gluten.  I don’t plan to eliminate it at this point, but I’d like to have a few awesome, go-to gluten-free recipes to make for company or when I feel like mixing it up.

Last Summer, I tried gluten-free cupcakes at a conference in Los Angeles and found one that tasted great, but I tried a couple that tasted like dirt first.  And last week, my dad shared a recipe for gluten-free cobbler with me, and while it’s not particularly healthy, it is delicious!  And I shared it with Cal’s mom who has been completely gluten-free for years.

If you’re interested in the recipe, here it is:

Dad’s Super Easy Cobbler

1 stick butter
1 cup brown rice flour (or other)
1 cup raw sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 c rice milk
1 quart of sweetened frozen blackberries or other fruit (allow berries to sit overnight in 1/2 cup sugar)

Pre-heat oven to 325.  Place stick of butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish and allow it to melt as the oven heats.  

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and sugar.  Add milk and pour into dish after mixing well.  

Pour fruit on top as evenly as possible and bake for one hour – or until golden brown.

 

Here’s my question for those of you reading this…Is it possible to make healthy, gluten-free food that tastes good?  And if so, will you share one of your favorite gluten-free recipes with me?

 

 

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Becki January 3, 2012 at 1:33 am

I have been gluten free for 2 years. I don’t sub much other bread type items I just stay away from most of it all together. I feel so much better this way.

Reply

Deborah (Schmiet) January 3, 2012 at 2:00 am

I’m coeliac (celiac in US-spelling!) so have to eat gluten-free. I was diagnosed quite late in life (only about 6 years ago) but even in the last 6 years the amount of food that’s now availabe is AMAZING. Cafes and restaurants (here in Oz anyway) are so much better at labelling menus and having GF options.

And the supermarkets have heaps of shelves of options (almost overwhelmingly so – okay… so not THAT much!). It’s quite exciting. However… I still get excited when I taste some amazing GF bread or a GF cake, or come across something that’s not often available GF.

Deb

Reply

Becca January 3, 2012 at 4:10 am

I too love raw cabbage but I do find that the excessive wind I get is not so good. I often have a cabbage in the fridge and it’s great to just take a guilt free leaf and chomp away as often as I like.

Also, I do not have a gluten problem (not one thats been diagnosed I should say) but I am so careful on anything wheat as I find I do get bloated so easily and uncomfortable for a good while afterwards. I’ve REALLY limited it in my daily diet but cannot give it up for good as I need foods that make me feel a little fuller or I would really really suck at weight loss as I would constantly snack to fill the gap.

Reply

MizFit January 3, 2012 at 5:24 am

Im the same as Becki.
almost 18 years GF and I just skip the breads.
It was hard at first but now it really is habit and given what it does to me :) a kinda easy habit.

Reply

Joan January 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

Kenlie, I’ve been toying with the gluten free thing for a while and so far as recipes, it has it’s ups and downs. One place I’ve found for some really good gluten free recipes is Heather’s blog over at 365 Days as a Gluten Free Vegan
( http://365daysglutenfreevegan.blogspot.com/2012/01/potato-kale-enchiladas.html )

She’s been gluten free for years and has perfected some wonderful recipes.

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Wow..that’s excellent Joan! Thanks for the tip!

Reply

Ashley January 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

I think you can totally make delicious gluten free foods…I still haven’t perfected GF baking but I will let you know when I find something great!

A delicious treat I have made recently was Dark Chocolate Macadamia Sea Salt Bark. Super simple. Melt Dark Chocolate. Mix in chopped Macadamia nuts. Pour in 8×8 greased pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let it harden. Break into pieces with a butter knife and enjoy!!

Happy 2012!

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Sounds decadent..maybe I’ll revisit this recipe over the holidays. Is it too early to plan what I’ll eat at Christmas? ;)

Reply

sandra mc combs January 3, 2012 at 8:57 am

What I am finding out that is working for me, my husband just got put on a low sodium,low fat,low or no sugar,low cholestrel,fluid restricted diabetic diet. The weight started coming off both of us immediately. He’s a little hungry sometimes, only because he has been a big eater. It sounds impossible, but we have been having really good meals by counting carbs first. He gets 4 carb servings per meal For example breakfast today 1 cup oatmeal,1 slice toast 1/2 cup oj. 1 cup 1% milk. I added a boiled egg for him because it has no carbs.Just sayin!!!

Reply

sandra mc combs January 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

Sodium in our food is reallllly bad!!!!

Reply

Jodi January 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

I have DH. Its the awful skin disease associated with a gluten intolerance. I am not living gluten free. I should be. When I went GF I actually gained weight. I think it was because I loaded up on GF convenience foods which are also loaded with calories. I would really be interested in healthy GF recipes!

Reply

Tracy January 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

My niece is celiac, so I’m always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes etc. And I love cooking in my slow cooker. There is a website: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
It’s ‘a year of slow cooking’ and this woman challenged herself to use her slow cooker everyday for a year. She also eats gluten free, so always says how she makes recipes gluten free. And while the recipes may not be low fat, I pick and choose, and figure out the WW points and see if it’s a good choice for me. I’ve found some great recipes here (peanut butter chicken is one of my favourites), and made them doable by ensuring my portion sizes are appropriate. I love watching the ’2008 flashback’ on the upper left side of the site (the year she used her slow cooker every day) for recipes that I might want to try. Hope you find something you like there!

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Wow! What a big commitment and also great idea! Good for her, and thanks for sharing her site!

Reply

Kara January 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

When I’ve eaten gluten-free in the past, I ate just lean proteins, whole grains and fruits/vegs. I stayed away from GF substitutes for breads, cakes, etc. because they increased my cravings for the ‘real thing’.

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Interesting point.

Reply

Mary July 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I also find that all the other ingredients in those GF foods aren’t exactly healthy. Lots of sugar, for example.

Reply

Princess Dieter January 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Hubby and I went gluten-free this year. It takes a period of adjustment, then you don’t think about it much on a daily basis. Pretty much, we base meals around veggies and protein with fruits for dessert. Our snack bars are Larabars Kind bars and Quest bars (none have gluten, and Quest bars are protein bars, the other fruit/nut bars). We both feel better without it. I think maybe we both fall in the gluten sensitive (not Celiac or intolerant, just sensitive) categories. I did it due to having an autoimmune condition, and it being suggested folks who do get off the gluten. Then the more I read, the more I realized this was likely a big problem for folks with big appetites (bingers like me).

People don’t tend to binge on broccoli, peppers, pears. But I know (and am) one who binges on gluteny foods (bread with butter, pizza, crackers and cheese, lasagna, burritos, etc).

The Paleo and Primal folks eliminate this. Clearly, we don’t NEED gluten. :) It’s somethign we CHOOSE to eat.

And if a person’s trigger food is a gluteny food–like me, with the macaroni and pizza and such–then it’s a good idea to just try eliminating it and see if the bingey feelings subside.

I don’t always think it’s good to find substitutes for trigger foods, so I have avoided gluten free pizza crusts and gluten free breads, though I am ocnsidering having a a special order gluten free cake or set of cupcakes made for my birthday. For a special occasion, yeah, maybe. But for weekly or regular use…I figure that’s asking for the binges to come back from the “flavor and look” of a gluteny trigger.

Reply

Dana January 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I’m Celiac as well and a WW member. There are tons of good gf foods, the problem is a lot of them are high in fat. The Snyders gf pretzels are all kinds of yummy. There is a great website http://www.skinnytaste.com/ that has a gf section and she posts ww points. I have yet to make anything on that site that isn’t really good.

I also substitute a lot. If we’re having burgers, I wrap my burger in a large lettuce leaf instead of a bun. Stuff like that helps a lot. Good luck!

Reply

Lorie January 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

http://stephanieodea.com/

Hey Kenlie, check out this site, maybe something you might like there…good luck!!!!

Reply

SC January 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

not to send insenstive but this whole anti-gluten thing is ridiculous and i have no clue why its becoming so trendy. i understand people who legitimately have issues digesting gluten (intolerance or celiacs) but the vast majority of people somehow thing no gluten= healthy. Raw, unprocessed food makes you feel good because its healthy wholesome food not because it lacks gluten!! and no gluten does not equal healthy the same way for instance cutting out oil or dairy may give you health benefits

here are a couple good articles:

http://hypervocal.com/kristenboye/2010/going-gluten-free-healthy-or-trendy/

http://thesavvyceliac.com/2009/11/30/gluten-free-trendy-again-for-2010-but-for-how-long/

basically, eating “gluten free bread” v. regular bread does NOT mean the latter is any better for you UNLESS you have serious sensitivity to it.

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I didn’t write the post to be trendy, thanks…I wrote it in the hopes of finding GF recipes that I plan to pass on to those I know who DO eat GF. And it’s an interesting conversation…

There are people in my life with celiac who aren’t trying to lose weight, etc. And it’s fun to share those recipes too.

Reply

SC January 4, 2012 at 11:13 am

i am no trying to criticize i am just point out that its become a craze and I’m not sure why, that’s all.

Reply

Kenlie January 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

I’m not sure why either…I eat gluten, and I don’t have plans to give it up…but you’re right, it has become trendy…just not in my personal kitchen. ;)

Reply

Mary July 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

It may be a trend for some, but there are some interesting articles about how the wheat that our parents and grandparents ate, is not the same that we have available today. And there is correlation of the rise in Celiac disease and the timeline of hybridizing of wheat into the hundreds (or more) that they’ve got now. So I can’t see why you couldn’t be sensitive and not have full blown celiac. And it doesn’t explain why some people (myself included) know that their arthritic symptoms go away when they avoid gluten in all forms.

Abigail January 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hey! I am gluten free for Cfs. I dont have celiac but Im sensitive to it and it makes tired and makes me want to binge. I try to eat fresh fruits and veggies, and lots of protein to fill me up. Im also gradually turning to eating clean. I dont buy the gluten free breads, because I cant afford them any way. Now if I could only kick my chocolate habit!

Reply

Half Chinked January 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I have never been GF. I love bread and rice way too much.

Reply

Kenlie January 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I can’t say I love bread and rice. I don’t eat it often, but I do like it..

Reply

Eric Van De Ven March 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Rice is gluten-free. Udis makes gluten-free bread as well as others.

Reply

Mary May 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I’ve been trying out the Paleo diet the last two weeks and it is totally wheat-free, rice free, oat free . The rationale is that it is just not good for us. I’m also doing without sugar too, and I have to tell you, I feel so much better! I’ve also lost 8.5 pounds in those two weeks, which is a bonus. But I was feeling so achy and tired and when I woke up I thought that someone had been using my body really hard while I slept and then threw me on the bed. That’s how stiff I was. But already in the two weeks of giving up all grains, I really feel so much better. And I’m not really missing the bread or other grains. They say that you still get a lot of stuff with gluten free that just isn’t great for our bodies either.

A snack for a treat that i am enjoying (not too often) is called Fudge balls. Recipe below. Really nice.

Ingredients:
6 medjool dates
1/2 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamias all work well)
2 TB almond butter (optional, if you have it available)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1-2 TB cacao powder or carob (more or less to taste)

Directions:
Soak the dates in water for about 20 minutes to soften. Shake dry and remove pits.
Pulse the nuts in a food processor to break them down and add the dates. Process until combined.
Add remaining ingredients–the coconut can either be included in the brownie batter or used later for the outside of the balls.
Once all ingredients are thoroughly combines, shape into balls (slightly smaller than golf ball size is good).
Roll the balls in cacao or carob powder, ground nuts, shredded coconut, or leave as is. Brownies can be eaten immediately or frozen for a firmer consistency.

Reply

Pam May 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hi Kenlie,
I wanted to share with about living gluten free due to Celiac Disease. I was misdiagnosed for 8 long years. I ended up in the hospital all the time with projectile vomitting and diarreah and the same time I was overweight but malnourished. I have been gluten free for 10 years and have never felt better. For me this is a medically based lifestyle change and it is not for the faint of heart! I must say there are so many products out there now which makes cooking and eatting easier. Beware you will be surprised when you learn that salad dressings may have wheat in them, same with cream and many others. Be careful of portion control with Gluten Breads, cookies etc they tend to be higher in fat content and sugar content to make up for the lack of gluten. Scharrs and Udi’s lines of products are wonderful. Puffins makes a wonderful honey rice cereal however I find my best breakfast to be low fat cottage cheese with a fresh fruit assortment. It provides the protein to stay in your system and the carbs to reve up your engine. If you would like for me to email you one on one I would be happy to do so. It is very important to make sure you are getting all your minerals, vitamins etc on a GF diet! Good luck!

Reply

Bob July 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Unfortunately, Puffins Honey Rice is just about the most disgusting cereal ever. Has a very stale flavor, almost like rancid almond milk. But I suppose if you like stale almond milk, you’ll love them. :)

Reply

Renée (@pinkypie) May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I’ve seriously reduced my gluten over the last 3 months. I feel better. I had pasta tonight for example (for the first time in 2 months) and I notice it immediately! I feel headachy, and my insides are going nuts. I have found a lot of alternatives to meals so it’s not so bad. I even started baking. ME. I don’t bake Kenlie, but I’m telling you even my family likes this stuff!

Reply

StarvingBitch March 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

Baking GF is tough. Adding yogurt to cupcakes with GF flour mix tends to make them nice and moist.

I eat gluten free for the most part but every once in a while i have to have some really delicious bread.

Reply

Marc March 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I have tried going gluten free just for curiosity’s sake and really did not notice much of a difference. On the other hand I can tell the difference being on whole wheat bread versus white and processed bread. I think the gluten thing happens to be somewhat genetic as to how people feel. In South America they actually have an alternative flour that is commonly used that does not have gluten in it that is commonly available (mesquite flour). If you ever find any of that, might want to try that for gluten alternative.

Reply

I don't diet April 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I avoided bread and pasta pretty much my entire childhood because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. Recently I’ve learned I’m gluten intolerant so that explains that.
My favorite sweet treat is banana bread where the flour is substituted for almond meal and the butter is replaced with whipped egg whites. The oil from the almonds makes it so moist and delicious!

Reply

Maggie June 11, 2013 at 3:56 am

Thanks for what looks like a tasty recipe. (I haven’t tried it yet.) I am not on a gluten-free diet, but I am considering it. I have a friend and fellow runner who swears by it. She has dropped weight and is running great!

Reply

Karen October 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I have been wheat free for 19 months. I have RA and asthma, and wheat seems to be a trigger for both. I’ve found that NOT substituting gf foods works better for me – I just do without. Many of the gf products are not that healthy. Since I am eliminating wheat only, I am able to eat Mestermacher bread from Germany – whole rye bread without sugar or other preservatives. Most often however I just use lettuce leafs instead of bread on sandwiches and do without. I feel better eliminating the extra carbs.

I don’t think that gf is necessarily more trendy now… I think it is that more people with Celiac and Gluten or wheat intolerance are now aware of their issues. This has helped increase the popularity and availability of gf foods.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: