Gluten-Free Pantry Foods


Gluten-Free 101 – by Wildtree

Wildtree’s Gluten-Free Products ~
•    Contain Ancient Grains- Wildtree’s new gluten-free products use millet, teff, sorghum, amaranth, and quinoa. These ancient grains are WHOLE grains and provide protein, B Vitamins, Iron, Fiber, and Folate.
Introducing the Ancient Grains

•    Amaranth- A tiny cream-colored seed indigenous to South America, Central America, and Mexico. Amaranth contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is also rich in fiber and iron. Amaranth has a corn-like taste and a slightly glutinous texture. Using a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part grain, amaranth cooks up into delicious breakfast porridge or savory, polenta-like side dish. Cooks in 25-30 minutes. Available forms: whole seeds, flakes, flour.

•    Millet- A small, beadlike beige grain that tastes similar to cornmeal. It is the highly nutritious staple food in many parts of Africa and Asia. Millet is a rich source of fiber, thiamine, niacin, and folate. Use a ratio of 1 cup grain to 2 1/4 cups water for fluffy millet. For porridge, increase the liquid to 3 cups. Cooks in about 25 minutes. Available forms: whole, grits, puffed, flour.

•    Sorghum- Also known as milo, a tannish-white grain that resembles a small berry and is a rich source of fiber and iron. Sorghum is one of the world’s leading food staples including Asia and Africa. It works well as a hot cereal or a side dish and can also be popped like corn. Sorghum cooks in about 25 minutes at a ratio of 1 cup grain to 4 cups of liquid. The grain should be soaked overnight before cooking. Available forms: whole, flour.

•    Teff- The color of the Teff grains can be ivory, light tan to deep brown or dark reddish brown, depending on the variety. Teff has a mild, nutty, and a slight molasses like sweetness. The white teff has a chestnut-like flavor and the darker varieties are earthier and taste more like hazelnuts. Cooks in 15-20 minutes at a ratio of 1 part teff to 3 parts liquid. Works well in baked products and is a rich source of fiber, iron, and thiamine. Available forms: whole, flour.

•    Quinoa- A tiny high protein seed that was the staple of the Inca empire. The seeds are coated with a natural insect repellent called saponin which is bitter and must be removed. Nowadays, most quinoa is thoroughly cleaned before it is packaged. Taste a raw grain: if it seems soapy, swish the quinoa in a bowlful of water before cooking. Beige quinoa is more flavorful than red quinoa. Available forms: whole, flakes, flour.

What is Celiac Disease?
A chronic condition that damages the small intestines and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

•    Villi (tiny finger shaped tissues) line the small intestines. They create a larger surface area that absorbs vitamins and other nutrients as they pass through the small intestines. When a person with CD eats gluten, the villi flatten out and the intestines become inflamed. This decreases the surface area in the small intestines that can absorb nutrients.

•    In some cases the inability to absorb nutrients may be severe enough to stunt growth and weaken bones. Malabsorption of vitamins and minerals can lead to illnesses such as anemia and osteoporosis.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity
•    Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is currently thought to be an immune system response to gluten rather than an autoimmune disease like celiac disease.

•    Nonetheless, eating gluten may result in some of the same symptoms that are experienced by a person with CD and can therefore be treated with a gluten-free diet as well.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a generic term for the storage proteins that are found in grains. The gluten in wheat, barley, rye, and oats contain particular amino acid sequences that are harmful to people with CD.
Living Gluten Free-
Once diagnosed with CD, treatment can begin immediately. There is no known cure for CD besides a lifelong elimination of gluten.

•   Since the term “gluten” is rarely used on products label, it is very important that a person on a gluten-free diet learn the typical foods that contain gluten (i.e.: pasta, breads, baked goods containing flour). You can also look for the statement “Contains Wheat.”

•   Cross contamination: Care must be taken when handling gluten-free foods around gluten containing foods. To ensure cross contamination does not occur, be sure to use separate cooking vessels and utensils. Also, do not place open containers of each near each other.

•   Gluten-free living brings a number of important changes to life. The disease can be “controlled” simply by changing one’s diet; there’s no risky surgery or expensive medicine. And a gluten-free diet is a risk free diet, meaning that gluten, as a protein, is not essential to the diet and replaced many times over by other foods.

The ‘Other’ Gluten-Free Products…
•    Many gluten-free products on the market can be high in calories, fat and sugar. To improve the taste and texture of gluten-free products, many companies add fat.

•    They are usually low in fiber as well since they are made from refined grains and starches.

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