Gluten-Free (and Nut-Free) Trail Mix

reipe image trailmix bar

Who says you can’t have trail mix without nuts? This s a great snack option for you if you’re watching your gluten intake. A smart way is to find gluten-free oats for this recipe, but if you can’t find one, simply ditch it and stick with the dried fruits and seeds. This one is packed with energy, with natural sugars from the fruits to rev up when you need it. Takes seconds to make! Are you ready? Let’s start mixing it up!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 dried probiotic prunes, chopped
1/2 cup premium raisins
1/4 to 1/2 cup raw cocoa nibs
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl… and enjoy!

If you want a snack pack version, after mixing, put the contents of the bowl in a baking sheet. Cover with wax paper and flatten with a rolling pin. Take a sharp knife and cut them into bars. Store in the refrigerator to keep for several weeks.

Gluten Free Go-to Foods in the Philippines

We’re back with some more useful gluten-free diet tips for you! These are great to know if you have sensitivity, intolerance to gluten or have Coeliac disease, and are living in Manila or anywhere in the Philippines.  Be a smart gluten-free shopper and build your vocabulary for basic Filipino gluten-free meals, so that you can wing it and be safe even without the proper gluten-free label, or too heavy planning. You’ll be an expert in no time.  So, let’s get started!

Suman, Biko and other rice cakes

Rice is gluten-free. And this leaves us with a plethora of options.  Tasty rice cake can be a go to meal or snack at any time of the day. With traditional bread made from wheat flour out of the picture, this can be a very good substitute especially if you’re looking for carbohydrate sources that are still yummy and filling.

A good tip here is to stick to rice cakes that traditionally made purely from rice without thee need for extenders, wherein stealth gluten from wheat may sneak its way in.

Rice noodles

Pure rice noodles is a safe bet when looking for meals that are gluten-free. As always, be mindful of possible additives and extenders which contain gluten. 

The sahog for your pancit recipe would also be a tricky part. To be safe, stay away from fish balls or squid balls, as these typically have wheat flour in the ingredients, and opt for gluten-free seasonings.  Try other meats instead like chicken or real seafood: shrimp and squid.

Veggie and Fruit Snacks

 

Wheat, barley and rye are things to stay away from if you need to be on a gluten-free diet. And so… vegetables and fruit snacks or chips are actually free territory. Horaay! 

What you would need to be mindful about are any additives that may have gluten in them.  Remember to stay away from flavorings, breading mixes that would commonly have wheat flour. Try making some at home, to make sure what really goes into them. Filipino snack dessert banana cue, or ube halaya are classic and a definite treat. 

If you are one of those who suffer from Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, it is important for your nutrition (and general convenience), to have a number of Pinoy food items on your gluten free food list.

What else are your go-to Filipino gluten-free food? Feel free to leave us tips and comments!

How to Make Gluten-Free Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a decadent luscious treat that you may indulge in that is perfect for satisfying your craving for something caffeinated, creamy and delicious.

The only concern you will have for making Tiramisu are the cookies you will use. Luckily you can now buy gluten-free lady fingers that will make it even easier for you to make this dessert, as you won’t need to make them from scratch. This recipe also incorporate a gourmet touch, by using  strong coffee made from coffee capsules. Yum! Let’s get started!

INGREDIENTS

4 Coffee Capsules, full-bodied and strong
1/2 cup marsala (or another liquor of your choice)
1 jar of Gluten-Free Broas or lady fingers
250g mascarpone
300ml whipping cream, lightly whipped
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Cocoa powder, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

Pour coffee and marsala into a shallow dish and set aside. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Add the mascarpone and whipped cream, mixing gently to combine. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with electric beater until soft peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Dip enough lady fingers into the coffee mixture to cover the base of your ceramic dish of choice, ideally 9 square inch in size. You can choose to line the sides of the dish with the coffee dipped lady fingers for added accent. Cover the biscuits with one-third of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers 2 times, ending with the cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dust generously with cocoa and serve.

TIP: Only dust with cocoa powder right before serving the dessert!

Classic Baked Salmon

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The thought of preparing a whole salmon, head, bones and all, may seem intimidating at first. But this is actually one of the easiest dishes, that can feed a large number of guests. It is an excellent choice for a family staying on a gluten-free diet. This recipe is a no-brainer when I need to prepare gluten-free dishes that can be consumed for several meals, or feed a larger crowd. What else are your go-to gluten-free recipes for parties or big gatherings? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

INGREDIENTS

1 whole salmon, gutted and cleaned
4 sprigs fresh parsley
½ lemon, sliced
2 bay leaves
150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 375°F. Place the two large sheets of foil on top of each other on a roasting pan, and coat it with olive oil. Place the salmon on top, with parsley, bay leaves and lemon, salt and pepper, in the body cavity. Tip: Defrost the salmon overnight in the fridge before preparation. Cover with another sheet of foil, and fold the edges together but leave an opening to pour in the wine. Fold edges of the foil completely to seal. Put pan in the oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes. You can choose to serve dish hot or cold. Serve over a nice serving tray with lemon slices and sprigs of parsley.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Flour Substitutes

What do we miss most in a gluten-free diet? I would argue it is bread: because sadly, we cannot have wheat 😦 And this sucks, am I right? Thankfully, there is an abundance of other starches out there that we can use in place of wheat.

Sure, the texture of non-wheat breads may need a little getting used to. But if you are willing to be industrious enough to make your own bread (or well, buy from a grocery store), you would not need to miss out on this convenient and filling diet staple!

Try making your all purpose Gluten Free flour from a mixture of these ingredients:

Brown Rice Flour – provides sweet and nutty flavor
Sorghum Flour – close to regular wheat
White Rice Flour – lends a light texture

The ratio between these ingredients would need a bit of experimentation based on the bread but study the consistency and taste each ingredient lends to a recipe, so you can achieve the perfect texture.

Have some tips to share that you use for your own recipes? Feel free to share it with us in the comments.

Classic Gluten-Free Pinoy Dish: Tinola!

tinola

 

Cooking Gluten-Free for the family is sometimes not so easy, especially when you have a ton of things to do but still want to cook your family a complete delicious and healthy meal. In my case, to make preparation easy, I cook gluten-free for the entire household, kids included–even if only my husband needs to eat gluten-free.

If you’re a fan of the local Filipino dishes just like I am,  you’ll know a very good, easy to prepare, and fully comforting meal that’s enough for the entire family. This dish only requires very little ingredients, and all of them, yes,  you guessed it: gluten-free! Try this local dish everyone loves: chicken soup with sweetness of papaya, for the soul, heart and tummy. 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1 Whole Free Range Chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 tsp Organic Patis (Fish sauce)
1 medium sized Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 thumb-sized fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
1 small green Papaya, cut into 2 inch wedges
1 tbsp. Cooking oil (canola or coconut oil)
5 cups water
1 small bunch of Chili leaves

DIRECTIONS

On a pot or a wok, saute the garlic, onion and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook in oil with the other ingredients, sauteing for a few minutes until the chicken changes color and the fat renders. You want to achieve some color change in the chicken, but it should not be fried all the way. Cooking it using this sangkucha technique, instead of direct boiling, allows caramelization in the ingredients and combines it nicely with the flavor of the chicken.

Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the papaya and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the color turns vibrant green and flesh is tender. Use your fork to test for doneness. Turn off the heat, add the chili leaves and let cook for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are properly blanched. Season with patis or fish sauce to taste.

Serve on the side of cooked white rice, or brown rice. Enjoy!

 

If you know more lutong Pinoy, Filipino dishes , Filipino desserts, and Pinoy recipe that is fit for the gluten free diet, Do share it with us in the comments!

All the Best,

Chicka

Spread this: We’ve just had great a discovery!

A lot of items can be a cause for concern to those who are looking for gluten-free options.

Spreads like peanut butter may have extenders in them or flavorings that may have gluten containing ingredients. Thankfully, options are available out there which are totally 100% made of  natural ingredients, with no gluten content.

One we have discovered which fits the bill is Fix and Fogg Peanut Butter from New Zealand. Not only is it gluten-free it is also crafted with high quality ingredients.  It is made with Hi-oleic peanuts . These are a special type of peanut known for their great flavor and high levels (39%) of monounsaturated fats – the good stuff, fats like what is found in olive oil – linked to reducing cardiovascular disease and lowering cholesterol. It is also non-GMO, and ketogenic diet compatible to those looking for food fit for these diets.

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The flavors are also interesting. We’ve tried dark chocolate peanut butter and it is really super rich, chocolaty, with nice spreadable texture. Other interesting flavors are also available like their spicy Smoke and Fire.

GERALD.ph offers them for home delivery.  Click here if you want to try them.

If you have any fantastic gluten-free discoveries of your own, feel free to share them with us in the comments!  🙂

 

Shopping Gluten-Free? Helpful Tips to Decode Food Labels

A lot of food items are thankfully gluten-free. However, the way they are processed may sometimes  introduce gluten sources: wheat, barley or rye or Triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye) or their other sub forms, to get the preferred consistency or taste. You can be sure of unprocessed products but for processed food, being able to decode food labels is a definite must!

So! What to do? Food labels can be a bit daunting to look at, and in the end it may just leave you playing the guessing game. All that unfamiliar terminologies, in the back label?(– is it just me? Or do they make it complicated on purpose?) 🙂 Before you give up, here are a few more handy tips we’ve gathered, for the next time you need to decipher the food label.

  • Remember that “wheat-free” is not necessarily gluten-free.
  • Wheat (and also barley and rye for that matter) take other forms. Hydrolized wheat protein” for example contains wheat and has gluten.
  • Malt – malt extract, syrup and the like is the term that appears for Barley, and so has gluten
  • Maltodextrin that is an additive used as thickener or filler, is not to be confused for malt: this is made from potato, rice or corn (even the wheat variant, is not to worry about as processing renders it gluten-free) and so this is one less thing you don’t need to watch out for.
  • It is a good idea to have a preference for the “all-natural” if you’re looking for gluten-free options. Of course, it is a claim that can be abused and misused, and so as a smart shopper, it is always a good idea to look at the back label for the ingredients of the product we are buying. But it is best for you to look for products without any additives.

Studying gluten sources is a worthwhile effort. Keep educating yourself and in no time, you will be reading those food labels like you are your own nutritionist. 😉

Feel free to share your own tips in the comments! 🙂

Easy Gluten-Free Spinach Dip

Dipping is not usually a thing to worry about a gluten-free diet, yet one does have to careful about stealth gluten in certain recipes. Case in point is sour cream based dips. This, in concept, is gluten-free —but if not guaranteed on the label, make sure to check the back label for wheat, barley, and rye, since thickening agents used in some products may contain these ingredients. Ready to start?

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole leaf spinach (chopped)
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup onions (thinly chopped)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
¼ cup bacon (diced)

DIRECTIONS

Defrost spinach  and chop. Fresh spinach is great for this recipe but if you do need to stock them for a few days before cooking, frozen whole leaf spinach or  chopped spinach are excellent options, as well. Combine the spinach with sour cream and onions. Stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Fry diced bacon, in most cases you would not need to put additional oil, and just render the bacon.

Top the spinach dip mixture with bacon. Serve.

Salmon Roast For Two

Very few can top a home-cooked heart healthy meal to set a romantic mood. The effort you put into it plus the warm feeling of privacy dining at home just sets the right tone. Try this Salmon Recipe that is easy to do, delicious, Gluten-Free, with generous omega-3 that’s good for heart health.

INGREDIENTS

Salmon Filllet Portions (2 portions)
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450°F. While preheating, prepare the sauce: Combine the maple syrup, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Prepare the baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, and applying a coat of olive oil or cooking spray. Put the fillets on the baking sheet and brush with the mustard mixture, making sure it is coated evenly on all sides. Put in the oven to roast for 8 to 12 minutes.

Depending on the thickness of the salmon, this process can increment by 1 to 2 minutes. If less than an inch thick, start checking for doneness after 6 minutes. Cooked fish flakes easily apart with a fork, uncooked fish has a translucent color and spongy texture. If still uncooked, keep checking every 1 minute.

Serve in a nice serving dish with some green beans and herbed rice for a nice complete meal.