Solutions for Celiac Disease

STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA IS ONE OF KATHY SMART’S FAVOURITE GLUTEN-FREE SUMMER RECIPES

My Favourite Gluten-free Recipes for Summer

At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. That marked the beginning of my journey towards recovery and healing, a journey that taught me, first hand, how changing what you eat can truly change your life. After experiencing the power of nutrition to eliminate my bloating, diarrhea, and weight gain, I made it my life’s mission to help educate others to discover that same truth. I now enjoy travelling the world to educate others on how to eat healthy and change their lives.

If you’ve been diagnosed as celiac and have chosen to go gluten-free, it is imperative that you eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This will help to rebuild both your immune system and the villi in your small intestine that were damaged by gluten. Special focus and attention should be given to proteins and foods high in iron. Many celiacs are low in iron, so incorporating dark leafy greens such as kale, baby spinach, and blackstrap molasses is very helpful in replenishing the blood’s supply of iron.

Here are four of my recommended food strategies for eating gluten-free, which include some of the foods that helped me recover from celiac disease:

1) Stick to nature as much as possible. Incorporate fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, organic meats, beans, and legumes into your diet on a regular basis. In their natural state, these foods are all gluten-free and nourishing.

2) I eat vegetables like its my full time job. Vegetables are full of antioxidants, fibre, and protein. When you fill yourself up with nature’s vegetable bounty, you won’t be tempted by all the gluten-rich choices available today. As an easy way to add more vegetables to my meals, I love to incorporate new and fresh salad ideas (like the ones in the recipes included here).

3) When shopping, I avoid all the middle aisles of the grocery store. The majority of the foods found there are processed and contain long ingredient lists – often with gluten lurking. I like to stick to foods that don’t have an extensive ingredient list.

4) I like to experiment with gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, teff, Cavena Nud*, and brown rice by adding them to soups, salads, and stir fries.

*Cavena Nud is the trademark name for Canada’s hottest new grain. A Manitoba farmer developed this nutritious hull-less oat that looks, cooks, and tastes like rice. These ‘naked oats’ also go by the catchy nickname ‘Rice of the Prairies’.

AVOID GLUTEN-FREE JUNK FOOD

White flour, white rice flour,  enriched wheat flour (white flour with synthetic vitamins sprayed on top), or enriched white rice flour – all of these kinds of flour will do one thing: they will cause you to crave more sugar. These products are devoid of nutrition, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Not only will eating them create a craving for more sugar, it will also cause the body to store belly fat.

Many gluten-free processed foods are made with high amounts of white rice flour and sugar. Avoid them! Choose instead whole grains like quinoa, teff, oats, and sorghum, to name a few.

Here are some favourite gluten-free recipes made with whole foods. I recommend using organic and/or raw ingredients, whenever possible.

Editor’s note: To read a feature on ‘Adapting to Life after Wheat’ by Victoria Yeh, visit: http://tinyurl.com/pdgc8g4

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I absolutely love avocado! Not only is it a heart-healthy food due to its healthy fat content; it also nourishes the skin. Did you know that avocados are actually a fruit? They are fibre-rich, providing 10 grams of fibre in just one avocado. I make this salad at least once a week. It’s a perfect option for any vegan guests coming to your barbecue. (Serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • SALAD
  • 1 large bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 small square container of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can sweet organic corn
  • 2 ripe avocados (peeled, pitted, and diced)
  • DRESSING
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp honey (or agave nectar for vegan option)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

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Here, the combination of lime zest, sea salt, and creamy avocado, pureed with chickpeas, will make this your ‘Go To’ recipe for a healthy lunch or snack.

Ingredients:

  • One (15 oz.) can chickpeas, well drained
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled
  • 3 Tbsp each of olive oil, fresh lime juice, and tahini
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest (grate lime peel on a cheese grater)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and freshly ground black pepper

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I just love fresh strawberries! Besides being delicious, they’re high in vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps the body handle stress. A half cup serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C, about half of our daily requirement. The combination of sweet, spicy, and salty in this recipe will keep your guests double dipping!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 large mango, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 cup of red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • Juice of 3 fresh limes
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper

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Eating protein first thing in the morning helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and increase metabolism. These pancakes are a great meal for starting your day, and they make a perfect pre- or post- workout snack. They also freeze well and can be toasted just before serving for a quick breakfast. My mom has been making me these pancakes ever since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. (Makes 2 medium size pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking wheat-free oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
 (2% or lactose-free)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon*
  • 2 free range, organic eggs
  • (Optional fibre boost: add 1 Tbsp almond or coconut flour

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“Eat vegetables like it’s your job!” is what I like to say. Here’s a fun way to use zucchini this summer. These delicious zucchini oat brownies are made without flour, and they’re so tasty that your guests will never know they’re eating a vegetable. (Makes 24 brownies)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free oats (or regular oats if you’re not gluten-intolerant)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

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