3 Easy GF Recipes To Try Next Weekend.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - I am ALL about making good nutrition easy, especially for those with food allergies, intolerances, and restrictions. Why? Because I have Celiac disease myself, so I know how hard it can be to totally eliminate something from your diet. And because restrictive diets are usually lacking in one nutrient or another (for my gluten-free-ers, it’s usually B-vitamins and fiber), making sure my patients and clients are adequately nourished is #1 on my agenda.
If you caught me on News 3 in Madison this morning, I shared some of my tips from my last blog post about bringing joy back in the kitchen and into cooking for those who are gluten-free. I talked about incorporating more variety with your gluten-free flours and starches (hello almond meal, coconut flour, millet, and buckwheat!), and finding pantry staples like gluten-free oats, garbanzo bean pasta, and brown rice to always have ready so making a nutritious GF meal isn’t hard. I also answered the question that always make me shudder: Is going gluten-free healthy for you, and will it help me lose weight? I always go with a big no on that one, but more on that to come in another (and much longer) blog post. But the short answer: Going gluten-free isn’t associated with weight loss, and the GF versions of their gluten-containing counterparts are often lower in fiber and lacking B-vitamins (aka not as healthy). Of course, if someone is replacing pizza, cookies, and white bread with things that are both healthy and naturally GF (like whole-grain brown rice and quinoa, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein), then a drop in weight may be noticed. But it doesn’t mean that getting rid of the gluten itself was the leading factor. I reserve recommending GF diets for those with a medical or health reason, such as Celiac disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (among others), and I always recommend to consult an expert prior to removing gluten from the diet.
Phew, anyway! I also shared a few easy GF recipes that you can make with those wonderful pantry staples I mentioned above. These three recipes are great for meal prep, so go ahead and give them a try next weekend and let me know what you think!
Turmeric Chive Savory Pancakes
I’m usually for sweet over savory when it comes to breakfast, but starting your day with these pancakes makes sure that you’re getting a few veggies in before your day even gets going. The magic ingredient is garbanzo bean flour (or chickpea flour), which is higher in both fiber and protein than traditional gluten-containing flours, so it will definitely help get you through a hectic Monday morning at work (or as post-workout fuel). Their yellow color comes from the spice turmeric, which has been well-studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Yes, please! Here’s how to make them:
Ingredients (makes 6 pancakes)
1 +1/3 cup Garbanzo bean flour
1 cup water
3 chives, diced
1-2 tsp turmeric (depending on your taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste
Toppings: Avocado, tomatoes, spinach, and red cabbage.
Mix all dry ingredients together, then add in water and chives and whisk until smooth. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a frying plan to medium-high, spray with avocado oil or drizzle a high-heat oil of your choice, add 1/4 cup of batter and smooth into a thin layer n the pan.
When you see bubbles in about 1-2 minutes, flip. It will then be ready in 30 seconds to 1 minute after that.
Re-oil the pan and repeat.
Top with desired toppings and enjoy!
(Adapted from Namaste Foods)
PB Energy Balls
Because these are really energy-dense, they’re perfect for grab n’ go fuel before a workout, between meetings, or on a long road trip. They’re made with fiber-rich flax meal, coconut flakes, chia seeds, and whole-grain GF oats, which together with the protein in the peanut butter will give you sustained energy in a bite. I love to freeze these in pre-portioned containers, and I’ll pop one in my bag as emergency energy I can take with me all day. These are fully customizable, so add in any toppings you like, try a different nut butter, or swap in almond for vanilla extract. Either way, these are fiber bombs so make sure you are drinking plenty of water!
Ingredients (makes ~40 balls)
3 cups GF oats
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1.5 cups ground flax seed/meal
1.5 cups natural creamy peanut butter (or almond, cashew, etc.)
1 cup honey or maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
3 T chia seeds
1.5 cups desired toppings: chopped nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, GF chocolate or carob chips, dried fruit, ginger… anything!
Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. The mix should be quite sticky.
Roll into balls that are a little smaller than a golf ball. I recommend wearing food-safe gloves to make it easier!
Freeze 1-2 balls in individual portions, and grab one whenever you need a little energy!
Ginger Pear Breakfast Bars
Another great option using a few pantry staples of mine: GF oats and GF 1:1 All Purpose Flour. These are so nice to make on a Sunday and have for quick breakfasts or mid-morning snacks all week. I love the ginger and pear bites that pop up throughout the bars, but these flavors can be swapped out for anything you like better. I also have chopped walnuts in there for a little extra protein (or, if you’re like me, you’ll love dipping these in nut butter). I’m always asked for my GF granola bar recommendations, and I haven’t been able to find one out there that I’m totally in love with in terms of it’s fiber, sugar, and protein content. When in doubt, and if able, I always suggest making your own at home to be sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Here’s a good one to start with:
2 cups GF oats
2/3 cups All-Purpose GF Flour (I recommend finding one made with whole-grain ingredients, as well as one that can be used with a 1:1 conversion from a gluten-containing flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other sugar of your choice)
1 large egg
1 large ripe banana (if not ripe, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or other oil of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup pear, diced
3 T candied ginger, chopped
1+ T fresh ginger, grated (optional, and amount is depending on your taste)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mash the banana (melt if needed) and beat in the egg, oil, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix.
Press the dough into an oiled baking pan (I like avocado oil, and I use an 8x8 pan but it’s up to you depending on the size you prefer the bars to be).
Bake for 25 minutes.
Once done, cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool. Cut into desired shape and size (squares, long rectangles, circles… up to you!)
(Adapted from Taste Love and Nourish)
I hope these ideas make being gluten-free AND finding good nutrition a little easier (and more enjoyable!). As always, let me know what you think!