If either yourself or a loved one is affected by coeliac disease, then you’ll know that it can sometimes be tricky to navigate a gluten-free diet. While there are many great gluten-free products and substitutes on the market nowadays, you may find yourself confused when it comes to home cooking. Luckily, there are plenty of simple gluten-free ingredient swaps which allow you to still enjoy your favourite cakes, meals and more, symptom free. From alternatives to flour to other ways to make breadcrumbs, see below for five ingredient swaps you can make today.
What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is a digestive condition caused by an adverse reaction to gluten; the small intestine becomes inflamed and is unable to absorb nutrients, accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and indigestion. Gluten is found in many common foods, including pasta, bread, cakes, breakfast cereals and sauces.
Flour is of course one of the staple ingredients in bread, cakes and pastry, but being coeliac doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious homemade treats. Swap wheat flour for millet, buckwheat or chickpea flour; these alternatives are particularly effective for making soft pastries or cakes such as pancakes.
A crispy breadcrumb topping or coating can really elevate a dish, but there are non-bread alternatives out there. Coeliacs can swap breadcrumbs for quinoa flakes, crushed gluten-free cereal or polenta – all great crunchy substitutes for a cauliflower cheese topping or breaded schnitzel.
There are plenty of gluten-free pastas available in supermarkets, but if you fancy something a bit different, swap wheat pasta for rice noodles. These noodles are delicious and cheap to buy, and are perfect in Asian dishes such as Pad Thai, pho, stir fries and much more.
This grain is extremely versatile, and can be used instead of couscous or bulgur wheat as a side dish, salad ingredient, a porridge base, and many other uses. Quinoa is also a great source of protein and fibre, and it contains many of the essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet. Quinoa is especially good for any vegan or vegetarian coeliacs, and adding it to your diet will ensure you’re getting the protein you need.
Soy sauce swaps
Soy sauce is a fantastic accompaniment to sushi, and it can be added to many other dishes to enhance the depth of flavour. Many shop bought soy sauces contain gluten, but you can use alternatives such as Tamari, the Japanese equivalent to soy sauce. Another alternative is the fermented seasoning liquid aminos; this is a little harder to track down but is naturally gluten free, and it’s a great way to add more amino acids to your diet.
If you think you might have coeliac disease or a gluten allergy and want a test to put your mind at ease, get in touch with Duality Health. Our private clinic offers a full range of allergy tests, including gluten allergies, nuts, shellfish, dairy, and many more. To book an appointment or find out more about any of our allergy testing services, give us a call today or visit our website.