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Food Ventures

Gluten Free and Delicious

By Ann Hattes
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Quinoa is classified a super-food by nutritionists and a “super-crop” by the United Nations. The National Academy of Sciences calls quinoa “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.”

Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook (Robert Rose publisher, www.RobertRose.ca) offers over 200 delicious and innovative whole-grain recipes. Whether because of celiac disease, an array of allergies, or a variety of other health reasons, more people than ever are seeking ways to cut back or eliminate gluten. For over 30 years, Bob’s Red Mill has been providing gluten-free (GF) flours, cereals, baking mixes and grains.

The majority of the grains featured in this collection have been consumed in different cultures around the world for thousands of years. The bounty of these nutrient-dense ancient grains is astounding, from amaranth to quinoa, millet, teff and more. The recipes created by author Camilla V. Saulsbury can be enjoyed throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner. Information is included about the best ways to prepare the grains and what you need to have in your everyday gluten-free pantry.

Amaranth was a staple food of the pre-Columbian Aztecs in Mexico and Peru. A growing body of evidence indicates that amaranth can help fend off a variety of cancers, and is helpful in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Chia seeds were once a power food of the ancient Aztec civilization. Superior in protein quality to wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, amaranth and soy, chia also offers a disease-fighting arsenal of antioxidants. When combined with liquid, chia seeds swell and form a gel that can be used as an egg substitute in baked goods.

Buckwheat, despite its name, has no relation to wheat whatsoever, with recent findings suggesting that buckwheat actually has a glucose-lowering effect.

Millet’s history as a cultivated crop dates back to 6000 BC in China, where it was once considered one of the five sacred crops and was, for thousands of years, the primary grain of northern China. High in fiber and protein, millet helps keep the digestive tract operating smoothly and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Oats are one of the most nutritious, powerful foods you can eat, lowering cholesterol, boosting immunity, accelerating wound healing and benefiting digestion.

Quinoa is classified a super-food by nutritionists and a “super-crop” by the United Nations. The National Academy of Sciences calls quinoa “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.”

Sorghum, an ancient cereal grain that’s a staple crop in India and throughout Africa, promotes a healthy metabolism, thanks to its high magnesium and copper levels.

Teff, native to Ethiopia and smaller than any other grain, has origins that can be traced back between 4000 and 1000 BC. Teff is high in resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber that benefits blood sugar management, weight control and colon health.

 


 

Try these recipes from Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook (www.RobertRose.ca) to experience how tasty gluten-free is.

Beets, Grains and Greens Hash

Makes 2 servings

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 &1/2 cups hot cooked certified GF whole grains  (Try amaranth, millet, quinoa, rice or sorghum.)

1 can (15 oz.) whole beets, drained and diced (Canned beets can be replaced with 1 & ½ cups freshly cooked (steamed, boiled or roasted) diced beets.)

½ cup ready-to-use GF vegetable or chicken broth

6 cups packed baby spinach leaves

2 large eggs, poached

 

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet.

Add onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened. Add grains, beets and broth; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring up bottom crust two to three times, for 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through and browned. Add spinach on top, cover and cook for 1 minute, until wilted. Stir spinach into hash. Divide hash between two plates. Top each with a poached egg and sprinkle with bacon.

 


Carrot Bread with Coconut and Cardamom

Makes 12 slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch metal loaf pan.

2/3 cup sorghum flour

2/3 cup millet flour

2/3 cup potato starch

2 tsp. GF baking powder

1 tsp. ground cardamom

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. fine sea salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup melted virgin coconut oil

2 cups shredded carrots

1 & ¼ cups unsweetened flaked coconut

 

In a large bowl, whisk together sorghum flour, millet flour, potato starch, baking powder, cardamom, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs and coconut oil until well blended. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in carrots and coconut.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and loosely tent pan with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 80 to 90 minutes or until top is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool completely.

 

Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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