there are a lot of gluten free options out there
A gluten free diet is one that does not allow the consumption of grains like wheat, barley, rye, or hybrids of these grains.
When it comes to following a gluten free diet many British Asians gasp at the idea.
Being very traditional in terms of their daily dishes, some Desis deem it impossible to follow due to the many flour based foods that Indian cuisine include, such as samosas, chapatis and more.
However managing a gluten free diet is easier than most of us think. All you have to do is get creative with your cooking.
Gluten intolerance is something that is not talked about much in Asian society, hence when someone is diagnosed with it they feel alone as they have no knowledge on the subject.
It is important to educate British Asian society on food intolerances and diseases like coeliac.
DESIblitz presents some examples of how easy it is to manage a gluten free meal plan below.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, therefore when choosing what to eat you need to pick an option that will give you the nutrients and energy to go about your daily routine.
People assume that there is nothing to eat for breakfast as most breakfast options contain gluten, such as cereal and toast.
However that is not true as there are a lot of options out there ready for you to try. Some gluten free breakfasts include:
1. Plain yoghurt with fruit ~ Cut up your favourite fruits and mix in plain yoghurt to create a healthy infusion of different fruity flavours.
2. Omelette ~ A filling and tasty option with which you can try different ingredients like mushrooms, chillies etc.
3. Toast ~ There are a range of different brands of gluten free breads available in supermarkets.
4. Gluten free pancakes ~ A quick and easy recipe which can fit into your morning routine before you go off to school or work.
- 125g gluten-free plain flour
- 1 egg
- 250ml milk
- Butter for frying
- Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk.
- Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture. Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Stir again before using.
- Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter. When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer.
- Cook for a few minutes until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the other side.
- Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more butter for frying as necessary.
- Serve with syrup and a squeeze of orange juice or your pancake filling of choice.
Let’s face it we all love a little mid-day snack to keep us going on a busy day. There are a lot of healthy gluten free snacks out there.
Some of these snacks are from popular brands that you would not have thought would be gluten free. This is why it’s important to read food labels when grocery shopping.
However be careful when picking items as while some products do not contain any gluten free ingredients, they are however made in a factory that handles gluten hence there is a chance of contamination.
If this is the case, then the label will mention ‘made in a factory that handles gluten’ as companies are aware that many people have food intolerances hence they state precautions on the labels.
Stated below are a few gluten free options:
2. Fruit/Dried fruit
3. Gluten free bars ~ If you’re looking for a sweet treat, try making these Choc Chunk Nut Bars from Candida Diet Recipes.
- 200g gluten free oats
- 25g shredded coconut
- 100g coconut butter
- 8 tbsp. agave syrup
- 100g Brazil nuts
- 50g almonds
- 35g good quality dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Line a 9in square tin and preheat it in the oven.
- Mix together the gluten free oats and coconut.
- Chop the almonds and nuts into chunks and break the chocolate into pieces
- Heat up the Coconut butter and syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat until fully dissolved. Stir in the coconut oats mixture. If too sticky add a little water to form a pliable dough. Add the nuts and stick bits of chocolate into the mixture.
- Spread over the lined pre-heated tin to form a square, about 2 cms high.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and lightly crisp.
- Use the back of a knife to mark into bars. Cool completely though before cutting, because it can get a bit crumbly. They keep in an airtight container or cake tin for a few days.
When it comes to lunch, again there are a lot of options out there:
1. Jacket potato
2. Salad ~ Both a healthy and a safe option. A fresh salad with chicken or turkey is a great midday meal.
3. Gluten free pasta ~ Available in most supermarkets, remember to check packaging before you purchase. Once bought, you can indulge in your favourite tomato-based sauces.
For something a little more adventurous, try making the goat’s cheese and watercress quiche from BBC Good Food here.
British Asians love their chapattis and curry, and who says you cannot enjoy that traditional meal as part of a gluten free diet.
Try this amazing Sri Lankan fried chicken and hoppers recipe here.
There are a lot of gluten free chapatti and naan recipes out there (read our article on 5 Gluten Free Desi Recipes here).
Try them out and see which one works for you.
Gluten-Free Naan Bread
- 200g Gluten Free Flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast or ¼ oz fresh yeast
- 1½ tsp sugar
- 100ml hot milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp gluten free baking powder
- ½ egg beaten
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 2 tbsp. yoghurt
- Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the milk and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes until frothy.
- Sieve together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture, oil and yoghurt and mix into a soft dough. Place in a greased plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.
- Dust a surface with gluten free flour and knead the dough for 1 minute.
- Divide into 4 pieces, shape in to ovals and cook under a preheated grill for 2-3 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Coeliac UK.
As you can see there are a lot of gluten free options out there. Just because the Asian community does not discuss this subject, it does not mean that it does not exist.
Through educating yourself as well as your families, it will soon become evident that leading a gluten free lifestyle is not only easy but exciting to do.
There are a lot of gluten free recipes out there; all you need is the drive to use them.