THE PERFECT PORTION

Being on a diet, trying to losing weight, sometimes the problem is not what we are eating, if not how much. But, it’s often hard to know how much we should be eating of the foods we love. And when there is no easy way to know how many calories we are really eating, it’s so easy to unknowingly overeat.
So here you go some top tips for portion control which can be really useful.

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Additional portion size tips:

2 medium eggs
A heaped handful of pulses (beans, lentils or chick peas)
A mug of dried pasta (75g)
1 slice of toast
200ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml pot of yoghurt
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
Approximately 40g of breakfast cereal

 

hand-portions
One portion of fruit and veg (80g) equals: 

1 banana/apple/pear
A handful of grapes or berries
150ml fruit juice
A heaped tablespoon of raisins or dried apricots
Half an avocado
2 clementines
1 large sweet potato
3 tablespoons lentils

 

Coconut Oil Hair Care

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” But is not only healthy “inside” of our body, but also, “outside”, because coconut oil has many properties which can help us skin care and beauty, among others.
In this post, I’d like to speak about coconut oil and hair care.
Coconut oil is a creamy solid at room temperature, and turns to liquid when heated to 76°F, so is easy to apply. Sometimes, just touching it with our hands, if we need small amounts, or a water bath, we can make liquid the coconut oil, even, while we take a shower, with the same heat or with the hot water.

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HAIR MASK

After shampooing, apply a generous amount of the oil to wet strands and twist hair into a bun. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing to add moisture and shine back into limp locks.

LEAVE – IN OVERNIGHT CONDITIONER

Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at ends), comb through and put hair in a loose bun before bed, and wash out in the morning.

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HAIR FLYAWAY TAMER

Use very sparingly on ends or areas with flyaways.

DEFRIZZER OF SPLIT ENDS

Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas. Coconut oil prevents frizz because its natural oils repel water and oil and water do not mix.

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STATIC REDUCER

Rub your hands together with a little bit of coconut oil on them and run them through your static-y hair.

HAIR GROWTH

Coconut oil can actually help grow hair, longer and thicker. The essential nutrients including the lauric acid, penetrates the hair shaft improving the overall health of the hair.

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DRANDUFF

Coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids including lauric acid and capric acid, have strong antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties that target the fungus and help to kill it as well as viruses and bacteria that may be lurking on your scalp.

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TO PROTECT FROM THE SUN

Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen, with an SPF of 8. Use it as a leave-in conditioner for all day protection.images (2)

 

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SuperFood: Quinoa

I’d like to introduce one of my favourite and healthiest superfoods, Quinoa.

Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. It is loaded with protein, fiber and minerals, but doesn’t contain any gluten.

Quinoa  is actually not a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain, and has a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

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What Makes Quinoa Such a Superfood?

The carbs in quinoa consist mainly of starch, insoluble fibers and small amounts of sugars. Quinoa also contains some resistant starch, which escapes digestion and feeds the friendly gut bacteria.Quinoa is relatively high in protein compared to other grains, and provides all the essential amino acids. The protein is considered to be comparable to casein, a high-quality protein from dairy products. Also is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc.

 

What are the beneficts of Quinoa?

  • Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar levels and triglycerides. It has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels than other gluten-free foods. As a glutem-free foos is well accepted as an alternative to wheat, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.
  • Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including Quercetin and Kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits.
  • In many ways, quinoa has many qualities that make it a weight loss friendly food. It is high in protein and fiber, and has a relatively low glycemic index value.

But…

  • Quinoa is generally well tolerated, but it contains phytates and oxalates. They may reduce the absorption of minerals and contribute to kidney stone formation in some individuals. But these undesirable plant compounds can be eliminated with soaking, washing or roasting.

 

Main culinary uses of quinoa:

  • Quinoa grain – the grain cooks in around 15 minutes and when cooked, it reveals a small white tail (the germ of the kernel). It creates a light, fluffy side dish and it can also be added to soups, salads and baked goods.
  • Quinoa flour – with a tasty, nutty flavour, it may be used in gluten free baking.  This flour may also be used as a thickener in sauces, soups and other dishes, especially in cases where additional protein may be beneficial.
  • Quinoa flakes – are simply steam-rolled to create a quick cooking flake. Quinoa flakes can be used for a nutritious hot breakfast cereal, pancakes, waffles or smoothies. images (1)
  • Quinoa food products – quinoa is now appearing in a range of breads, breakfast cereal cereals, crackers, pasta and other grain-based foods.

 

What’s the Difference between White, Black, and Red Quinoa?

The seed colors vary due to a resinous coating of saponin on the outer shell. Pigmented quinoa grains are said to have a higher anti-oxidant capacity.  Darker seeds taste more like brown rice. While white seeds resemble white rice in taste.

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White quinoa

White quinoa has a very mild, subtle flavor. This pearly white grain is the most commonly available of all quinoa varieties.

Red Quinoa

Red quinoa color ranges from vivid orange to dark red. When it is cooked however, it turns brown and loses this bright coloring. Red quinoa has a marvelous earthy and fruity flavor.   There are higher levels of phenolic compounds found in red quinoa.

Black Quinoa

Black quinoa is a hybrid variety, and it has more of an earthy flavor than white quinoa and is ever so slightly sweeter.

All quinoa varieties.contain the same general benefits.

 

 

Superlunch For Healthy Hair

Many factors such as stressunderlying illnesses, genetic predisposition, and reactions from using hair care products can affect your hair. But the main factor is your diet.

Here’s a example of healthy lunch that help prevent hair loss and thinning hair. Enjoy!!

 

STARTER: Sauteed spinach with quinoa and nuts

Spinach

Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene and a great source of folate. It also contains iron which helps carry oxygen to the hair.

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Quinoa

This type of whole grain is extremely good for your hair. Loaded with protein, quinoa aids in strengthening hair strands. In fact, the protein extracted from this grain is used in high-quality hair products.

Plus, the vitamin E present in quinoa balances the production of natural oil so the scalp and hair stay properly moisturized and free of dandruff. Quinoa also has biotin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12 that are all vital for hair growth.

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Nuts

Almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts all contain zinc, which minimizes hair shedding. Walnuts also contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acid, which helps boost shine and fullness. Keep a small bag of nuts in your purse for a quick and easy snack… that leads to fab hair!

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More ideas…. Have a look at this blog, “COOKIE AND KATE“, I love it!! These are some examples of recipes with ingredients that help your hair:

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

 

MAIN COURSE: Pan-fried salmon with broccoli and sweet potato, and a hint of rosemary.

Salmon

Salmon is full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B-12. This means salmon will add shine, prevent dry scalp and improve hair growth.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins A and C, which help produce sebum. Sebum is the oily substance secreted by hair follicles and works like a natural hair conditioner. Plus, broccoli is rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids that are required for healthy hair growth.

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Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatos are rich in beta carotene. This antioxidant vitamin is converted to vitamin A once in the body. And vitamin A is necessary for cell growth, including your hair! A vitamin A deficiency often results in dull, dry skin… which then flakes off of your scalp as dandruff.

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Rosemary

Rosemary  is known to improve circulation, particularly to the scalp. When blood flows to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Rosemary also contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage.

 

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DESSERT: Yogurt with Fruit

Bright-colored fruit

Mango, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and peaches are all rich with vitamin C, an essential for making collagen that gives structure to hair.

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Lowfat Yogurt

Aside from the vitamins D and B-5 that dairy delivers, all that calcium plays a major role in hair growth. Low-fat yogurt contain casein and whey, both high in protein, which prevents dry scalp.

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Other foods your hair loves:

  • All green vegetables
  • Wild rice
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Hemp seeds
  • Tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame (young green soybeans)
  • Berries

SUPERSALAD TO FIGHT ANEMIA

Anemia is one of the most common disorders of blood. A person is said to have anemia when the number of red blood cells or the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood is low. Hemoglobin is a protein present inside the red blood cells and it helps in the transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. Women are more prone to anemia.

Superfoods To Fight Anemia:

A healthy diet is a prerequisite for any anemic patients. It is vital for you to include foods that are rich in Vitamin B12, folic acid and Vitamin C in your diet apart from most important ingredient iron.

The following is a salad recipe that will help you to get rid of anemia.

INGREDIENTS (2 Serves):

1/4 bag baby SPINACH leaves.

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Spinach is a very popular leafy vegetable that help in preventing anemia. It is a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A, B9, E and C, iron, fiber and beta carotene. It will help in improving the overall health of your body. It is found out that half a cup of boiled spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron and this accounts for about 20 percent of the iron requirement for a woman’s body.

 

1 raw BEETROOT (about 90g), peeled and julienned or grated.

Beet-root
Beetroot is known to be very effective in fighting anemia. It is a vegetable that is filled with iron content. It will help in repairing and reactivating your red blood cells. Once the red blood cells are activated, the supply of oxygen to all parts of the body increases.

2 small TOMATOES (1 medium)

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Vitamin C is the main ingredient in tomatoes along with lycopene. The Vitamin C in tomatoes helps in easy absorption of iron. Tomatoes are also rich in beta carotene and Vitamins E and hence help in natural conditioning of the hair and skin.

1 hard-cooked large EGG, peeled and sliced.

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Eggs are a rich source of proteins and contain a lot of antioxidants that will help in stocking up vitamins in the body when you are suffering from anemia. A large egg is said to contain 1 mg of iron.
1/4 cup shelled lightly salted PISTACHIOS.

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Pistachio nuts are the best source of iron as it contains 15 mg of iron in 100 grams of nuts.

1 Apple And 10 Dates.

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Apple and dates are also known to help in boosting iron levels in the body. The apple contain Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb non heme-iron. Apple contains too 0.12 mg of iron per 100 grams. Dates also contain high quantities of iron and are very useful to fight anemia.

1 Tablespoon HONEY.

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Honey contains a good amount of iron. You will get about 0.42 mg of iron in 100 grams of honey. Moreover, honey also contains copper and magnesium that will help in increasing the hemoglobin in your body.

1 tablespoon BALSAMIC VINEGAR and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin OLIVE OIL.
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SALT & PEPPER to taste.

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Method:

  • Scatter the spinach leaves onto a large platter. Slice the beetroot into wedges and arrange on top of the spinach. Scatter over the sliced egg, tomatoes and choped dates.
  • Chop the pistachios and toast briefly in a dry frying pan over medium heat.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Peel the apples and cut into matchsticks. Mix everything together and place in the fridge to meld the flavours.

 

 

SuperSnack for Fighting Menstrual Cramps

What you’ll need:

1 Plain and Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best source of Calcium, which is known to relieve muscle tension, which triggers menstrual cramps.

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1/2 Banana 

Bananas are a rich food source of anti-cramping nutrients such as vitamin B6, and are loaded with potassium which helps reduce water retention.

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3 Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and are loaded with vitamin B6, with is potent pain-relieving vitamin.

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2 Small Squares of Dark Chocolate (make sure it’s over 70 per cent cocoa)
This bittersweet treat will help you relax your muscles, and keep you happier! 😉

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Pour yogurt into a bol. Add the half banana in pieces and the walnuts. Top with the  chopped dark chocolate and… enjoy!!

Gluten – free : Linkipedia

Celiac, Gluten-Sensitive, wheat Allergies…? These are some links which could be useful for you, have a look!

 

Gluten-Free Globetrotter

Grain changer

No gluten, no problem

Raising Jack with celiac

Glten free follow me!

Elanas Pantry

Only Taste Matters

The aventures of anti-wheat girl

Gluten is my bitch

I’m a celiac

Girls Gone Gluten Free

The celiac diva

Chef Janet

What The Fork

Gluten-Free Palate

Gluten Away

Gluten Free Gal

Gluten Free Hungry Gal

King Gluten Free

Celiac in the City

Gluten Free G

Snixy Kitchen

Celiac and the Beast

Against all grain

If you know any other web, please let us know!:)

Kale, the king of all the super healthy greens

I’d like to introduce you one of the best vegetables in this world, Kale.

Kale is one of the healthiest plant foods in existence. Kale is also called borecole, is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either a smooth or curly shape.

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Kale is one of many nutritious cultivars of Bassica Oleracea, others include brocoli, cauliflower, collard, and Brussels sprouts.

What’s in a serving?? Cooked Kale (1 cup/ 130g)

  • Calories: 36 (152kJ)
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Total fat: 0.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.3g
  • Fiber: 2.6g

Kale contains more than twice the level of antioxidants contained in other leafy greens, which are themselves excellents sources. Kale includes beta-carotene, vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. But many substances that happen to be antioxidants also have other important functions. This includes the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large amounts in kale.

Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that has many important roles in the body, and Vitamin K, an important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting.

Kale contains substances that bind bile acids and lower cholesterol levels in the body, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Steamed kale is particularly effective.

But those are not the only beneficts of this vegetable, Kale is actually loaded with compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer. But also, is very high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A, and many important minerals, some of which are generally lacking in the modern diet. This includes calcium, potassium and magnesium. Kale is as well high in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that have been linked to a drastically reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Low in calories, full of nutrients and a exceptionally source of good benefits… Are you thinking in include Kale in your diet, aren’t you? 🙂

Gluten-Free Baking

Baking without Gluten

Baking without gluten (as found primarily in wheat flour) can be challenging because gluten contributes important properties to various types of baked products like cookies, cakes, pastries and breads. Gluten development is not as important for cookies as it is for cakes, so gluten-free flours can be substituted with similar results. Cakes and other types of batter-based products, like pancakes, need gluten for its gas-retaining ability that produces a light and airy interior structure and a tender crumb.

In addition to replacing the wheat flour with gluten-free flour, other additives can hold gas. These products include xanthan gum and guar gum that can be found in the baking or natural food section of the grocery store. Bread is perhaps the most challenging gluten-free baked product to make because gluten provides structure, creates a tender crumb, and retains gas. With experimentation and practice, a combination of gluten-free flours and gums can be used to create a loaf with good volume, softness and texture.

Although it is not a baked product, pasta is usually made from hard wheat flour. The gluten component not only gives structure to the noodles but also keeps the starch in the flour from leaching into the cooking water or becoming too sticky. These properties can be approximated with the use of gluten-free flours in combination with eggs and xanthan gum.

Replacement Products

A wide variety of gluten-free flours, starches and baking aids can be used in combination to produce high-quality baked goods and pasta. Recipes calling for 2 cups of flour or less are more easily adapted, especially those that use cake flour because they contain lower levels of gluten. Many of the alternative grains and pseudo-cereals commonly found in the marketplace are listed in Table 1. Pseudo-cereals are “false cereals” that are not derived from grasses (as are true cereals), but come from other plants that have seeds that can be used in the same manner as cereal-based grains. Table 1 summarizes the profile and qualities of these grains and pseudo-cereals.

White rice flour and starches usually can be stored in the pantry but because of higher fat and protein content, purchase whole grain flours and meals in smaller quantities and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Because of the relatively short shelf-life, you may want to take a small taste of the flour before blending to determine if a rancid taste has developed. Several of these flours, such as almond, can be made at home with a coffee grinder.

Flour Blends

Baking books and online resources frequently offer gluten-free flour blend formulations for use in making cookies, cakes, quick breads and yeast breads. The formula might include three or four different types of flours and starches and make 2 to 12 cups of blended flour. Flours with stronger flavors typically make up no more than 25 percent to 30 percent of the total blend and are balanced by neutral flours and starches. Stronger tasting flours (such as bean flours) generally are used in small quantities in recipes that feature delicate flavors. A higher percentage of these flours can be used in baked goods that include nuts, chocolate, or a high level of spice. Flour blends for quick breads often contain 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour while yeast breads contain 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour blend.

CLGF_Gluten-FreeKitchen

Gums and Binders

The most common binder in gluten-free baking are eggs. Eggs can replace many of the functions that gluten provides, such as binding, enhancing texture and helping set the structure of the final product. Besides eggs, which are protein-based, two starch-based products often used to bind and thicken glutenfree baked products are guar gum and xanthan gum. These products are largely interchangeable and are used in small amounts (1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup of flour) to add volume and texture to baked goods. Both are also commonly carried in large grocery chains, either in the baking aisle or natural foods section of the store.

Table 1: Profiles of Alternative Grains and Pseudo-cereals.

Gluten-free Flours & Starches
Type Characteristics
Amaranth Pseudo-cereal native to South America
Higher in protein, fiber and iron than most grains
Provides structure and binding capability
Pleasant, peppery flavor
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours
Arrowroot Used as thickener and in baking similarly to cornstarch
Bean/Legume Legume flours include fava beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans
Good source of protein and fiber
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours to balance taste and texture
Bean flours complement sorghum flour
Buckwheat Nutritious grain rich in B-vitamins, magnesium, dietary fiber and antioxidants
Strong, somewhat bitter flavor
Best used in pancakes or yeast breads in combination with neutral gluten-free flours
Chia (Salba) Like flax, ground chia seeds can add nutritional value to baked goods
Neutral in flavor
Corn flour Used in breads, waffles, and tortillas
Corn meal Used in spoon breads and baking powder-leavened breads
Corn startch Works well in combination with tapioca starch
Flax Ground flax seeds increase nutritional value
High in soluble fiber which allows gel formation; retains moisture and gives spongy texture to baked goods
Nutty, bold flavor
Adds color to baked goods
Millet Powdery consistency, color similar to cornmeal
Delicate, sweet flavor
Suitable for use in flatbreads and muffins
Montina (Indian rice grass) Milled from a grass native to Montana
High in fiber and protein
Nut Nut flours include almond, pecan, walnut, hazelnut, filbert, and chestnut
Contribute flavor and nutrition to baked products
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours to balance taste and texture
Quinoa Pseudocereal native to South America
Good source of protein, folate, copper and iron
Mild, slightly nutty flavor
Suitable for cookies, cakes and breads
Potato flour Neutral flavor
Blends well with stronger flavored flours
Potato starch Provides a light consistency to baked products
Helps retain moisture, combines well with eggs
Bland flavor, low in fiber and nutrients
Rice, Rice bran Comes in brown, white and sweet varieties
Best used when combined with other gluten-free flours and binders or gums
Neutral flavor
Sweet rice flour is used in pie crusts and as a thickener
Sorghum (milo) milo)
Tropical cereal grass native to Africa
Sweet, nutty flavor
Best when used with other neutral gluten-free flours and gums
Teff Small cereal grain native to Africa
Taste similar to hazelnuts
Very high in nutrients
Ability to gel makes it a good thickener
Tapioca Starchy, sweet flavor
Adds chewy texture to breads

Used in blends to improve color and crispiness of crusts

Baking Tips

Gluten-free baking can be a trial-and-error process. Here are some tips that can help achieve successful results.

To Increase Nutrition

  • Use a variety of gluten-free flours in combination to maximize nutrition (Table 1).
  • Use whole grain or enriched, gluten-free flours (vitamins and minerals have been added).
  • Substitute up to 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds plus 1/4 cup water for 1/4 cup flour in a recipe (flax will absorb more moisture).

To Increase Moisture

  • Add gelatin, extra egg or oil to the recipe.
  • Honey or rice malt syrup can help retain moisture.
  • Brown sugar often works better than white.
  • Dough enhancers improve tenderness and staling resistance.

To Enhance Flavor

  • Add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits.
  • Double the amount of spices.

To Enhance Structure

  • Use a combination of gluten-free flours and mix together thoroughly
    before adding to other ingredients.
  • Add dry milk solids or cottage cheese into recipe.
  • Use evaporated milk in place of regular milk.
  • To reduce grainy texture, mix rice flour or corn meal with liquid. Bring to a boil and cool before adding to recipe.
  • Add extra egg or egg white if product is too crumbly.
  • Do not over beat; kneading time is shorter since there is no gluten to
    develop.
  • When using a bread machine, use only one kneading cycle.

Leavening

  • Starch flours need more leavening than wheat flours.
  • Rule-of-thumb: start with 2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of gluten-free flour and adjust downward as need for altitude.
  • If baking soda and buttermilk are used to leaven, add 1 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar for each 1/2 teaspoon baking soda used to neutralize acid.
  • For better rise, dissolve leavening in liquid before adding to other ingredients or add a little extra baking powder.

Texture/Lightness

  • Sift flours and starches prior to measuring. Combine and sift again (together) after measuring to improve the texture of the product.
  • Hold gluten-free dough at least 1/2 hour (up to overnight) in the refrigerator to soften and improve the final texture of the product.
  • In products made with rice flour or corn meal, mix with the liquid called for in the recipe. Bring to a boil and cool before adding to recipe to help reduce grainy texture.

Baking Pans and Utensils

  • Bake in smaller-than-usual portions at a lower temperature for a longer time (small loaf pans instead of standard size; use mini-muffins or English muffin tins instead of large muffin tins).
  • Use dull or dark pans for better browning.
  • Keep a separate sifter to use with gluten-free flours to prevent crosscontact with gluten.

Freshness

  • Gluten-free baked goods can lose moisture and quality quickly. Wrap them tightly and store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container to prevent dryness and staling.
  • Refrigerate all flours for freshness and quality but bring to room temperature before measuring.

Additional Resource

For information on baking gluten-free products or following a gluten-free diet, see CSU Extension bulletin 530A, Wheat, Gluten, Egg and Milk-Free Recipes and Fact sheet 9.375, Gluten-free diet guide for People with Celiac Disease, J. Li.

References

Belton, P. and Taylor J. 2002. Pseudocereals and Less Common Cereals. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Case, S. 2006. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutritional Consulting. Regina, Canada.

Fenster, C. 2007. Gluten-Free Quick and Easy. Penguin, East Rutherford, NJ.

Hagman, B. 2000. The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. Holt & Co., New York.

US Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-Free Labeling, http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ gluttobi.html

Washburn, D. and Butt, H. 2003. 125 Best Gluten- Free Recipes. Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, Canada.

Wenniger, MA. 2005. The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book. Fair Winds Press, Beverly, MA.

1Former Colorado State University graduate student; professor; Colorado State University Extension food safety specialist and assistant professor; food science and human nutrition. 4/2009.

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.

SEEDS

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds of the chia plant (Salvia hispanica).Chia seeds are small, flat and oval-shaped, with a shiny and smooth texture. The color can range from white to brown or black. They can be soaked in liquid and added to porridge, made into pudding, used in baked goods, smoothies or simply sprinkled on top of salads or yogurt. Soaking chia seeds before eating is optimal, but not necessary.

Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

Several studies have shown that chia seeds provide benefits for metabolic health, and reduce several risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. It contains many powerful antioxidants that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of many essential minerals, but a poor source of vitamins. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

chia

FLAXSEEDS

Flaxseeds (also known as common flax or linseed) come in two basic varieties: 1. brown; and 2. yellow or golden (also known as golden linseeds).Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called solin (trade name Linola), which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3 FAs. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and lignans (beneficial plant compounds), recent studies show flaxseeds may help reduce belly fat and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

Ground flaxseed – but not flaxseed oil – may also help with menopausal symptoms.

Flaxseed is being studied for many other conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes to osteoporosis. At this point, there is not enough evidence to support flaxseed for these conditions.

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SESAME SEEDS

Sesame seed is one of the first recorded seasonings. It grows widely in India and Asia. These tiny seeds come in shades of brown, red and black, but the most common color is a pale grayish-ivory. Sesame seeds have a nutty, sweet aroma with a milk-like, buttery taste.

These powerhouse seeds provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. Due to their antioxidants, a recent animal study showed sesame oil may help lower inflammation and improve brain health.

In addition, sesame seeds contain many health benefiting compounds such as sesamol and sesaminol, they are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the human body.

Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin.

The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

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PUMPKIN SEEDS

The pumpkin plant, along with its seeds, has been used in the traditional medicine of many countries, including India and Mexico. Pumpkin seeds promote good prostate health and offer anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Subtly sweet and nutty with a somewhat chewy texture, pumpkin seeds are lower in fat than other seeds and offer essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. Pumpkin seeds also contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which likely contribute to their known prostate and heart health benefits

Cucurbitin is an amino acid that has shown anti-parasitic activity in vitro. Human studies conducted in China have shown pumpkin seeds to be helpful for people with acute schistosomiasis, a severe parasitic disease occurring primarily in Asia and Africa that is transmitted through snails. Preliminary human research conducted in China and Russia has shown pumpkin seeds can assist with resolving tapeworm infestations.

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SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten as a healthy snack than as part of a meal. They can also be used as garnishes or ingredients in various recipes. The seeds may be sold as in-shell seeds or dehulled kernels. The seeds can also be sprouted and eaten in salads.

When in-shell seeds are processed, they are first dried. Afterwards, they may also be roasted or dusted with salt or flour for preservation of flavor.

Excellent source of protein, iron, folate, zinc, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. In fact, sunflower seeds are one of the best whole-food source of vitamin E, a nutrient that may slow the effects of aging, boosts the immune system, and prevents cardiovascular disease. They are also packed with four times more antioxidants than blueberries, walnuts, and peanuts, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

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HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds are produced from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa L. While hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family, the two plants are quite different

Hempseed has an excellent content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and contain all nine essential amino acids. These compounds have beneficial effects on our cardiovascular health. Recent studies, mostly in animals, have examined the effects of these fatty acids and dietary hempseed itself on platelet aggregation, ischemic heart disease and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. The purpose of this article is to review the latest developments in this rapidly emerging research field with a focus on the cardiac and vascular effects of dietary hempseed.

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