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Gluten Free : Recipes and Products

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If you have been thinking that no gluten means no bread, no pasta, and no pizza. It is true,  most of these products in regular grocery stores contain gluten, but we are starting to see plenty of gluten-free options too.

So, what is gluten-free?  A glutenfree diet is a diet that excludes gluten, a protein composite found in wheat, barley, rye, and all their species and hybrids.

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There is also an abundance of grains that just happen to be gluten free including rice, corn, millet, sorghum, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth. All the gluten-free whole grains—they are delicious, nutritious and easy to cook.

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Gluten free diet is suitable for those who suffer from wheat allergy, celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is a lifelong, serious autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only treatment for the condition is a strict gluten free diet for life.

Here are some tips for everyday eating.

read food label

Read food labels when you shop: If a cereal containing gluten has been used as an ingredient in the product, it will be listed in the ingredients list.

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Some foods are naturally gluten-free: Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free.

Gluten-free meals can be delicious and healthy too: Finding the right gluten-free substitute can be a matter of personal taste too, experiment in the kitchen and you are sure to find a substitute to your taste.

Cut the gluten, keep the flavor. Here are some gluten free recipes including a gluten free dessert recipe:

gluten free chocolate cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Recipe by Ruchira Hoon

Ingredients

180 gm dark cooking chocolate
100 gm butter
3/4 cup sugar
Salt, a pinch
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp ground almond
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

For the chocolate ganache:

100 gms chopped chocolate
100 gms cream

Method:

  • Line the bottom of a 7-inch cake tin with parchment paper.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.
  • Add sugar, salt and almonds and reduce heat to low. Now add cocoa powder and stir.
  • Remove pan from heat. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Give the mixture a good whisk until it looks smooth and glossy and pour vanilla essence in the end.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. In a heated cooker pour sand to about 1/4 th the depth and cover with foil. Place the cake pan in the cooker and cover the lid for about 30 minutes.
  • In case you want to bake this cake in an oven. Bake it for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C.
  • The center of the cake should be just firm to the touch. Leave the cake to cool down completely (About 2 hours).
  • Glaze with chocolate ganache.

For the chocolate ganache:

Boil the cream. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and mix it till the chocolate melts completely. Your ganache is ready!

Bombay chicken

Bombay Chicken with Coconut Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Garnish:

  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Method: Cut the chicken breasts into 2-inch pieces and keep aside. Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan and put the chicken pieces in it, cook till they are slightly brown, remove from pan. Now, cook the onions for 3 minutes, add the garlic and fry for another 1 minute and return the chicken to the pan, add the broth, salt, chili powder, cayenne, ginger, curry powder, chopped tomatoes and wine and mix all the ingredients with a spatula. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low flame or till the chicken pieces are tender. Mix milk and cornstarch in a cup and add it to the chicken, mix well, bring it to boil and allow the sauce to thicken. Serve with rice and sprinkle chopped onion and shredded coconut on top.

Here are some foods and grains that are gluten-free:

quinoa2

 

Quinoa is considered to be the best in grains family as it has the highest nutrient content of all. It is the best source of proteins and vitamins. Quinoa is known for its high magnesium content which helps in bone formation.

puffed amaranth

 

Amaranth provides a high quality protein, with a nearly perfect balance of essential amino acids, including abundant lysine and methionine, which is not found in most grains.

kodo millet

 

Kodo millet has around 11% protein, and the nutritional value of the protein has been found to be slightly better than that of foxtail millet but comparable to that of other small millets.

Roasted-Garlic-Herb-Couscous-6

Couscous consists of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a popular alternative to rice and pasta.


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Peanut Butter: A Healthy Filling Snack

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Peanut Butter is a  is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts. A really good peanut butter should have just two ingredients: peanuts and a pinch of salt.

Today, you can get Peanut Butters with additives you simply don’t need. Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully before buying.

Natural Peanut Butter  generally contain at least 90% peanuts with no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives. Natural peanut butters can have a grittier texture.

All peanut butters contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which may reduce cholesterol levels.  One serving has 8 grams of monounsaturated fats and 4 grams of polyunsaturated fats. These “good” fats help lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease, and lower blood pressure. A serving of peanut butter also has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6.

Five Health Benefits For Peanut Butter:

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Aids in weight loss and muscle build

If you’re looking to aid your workout routine with a food that can both boost testosterone levels and help you lose weight, eating peanut butter daily can keep your energy levels high and assist you in completing difficult workouts.

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High in vitamins and minerals

Peanuts are also high in folate, which can prevent heart disease and thiamin, which helps the body convert carbs to energy, and riboflavin, which helps metabolize fat, carbs, and proteins.

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Rich in antioxidants

Peanut butter has higher antioxidant levels than apples, carrots, or beets, and is more on par with the levels found in blackberries and strawberries.

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Great For Memory and Brain Health

Peanut butter can boost your brain health and help to ward off diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The good news being if you don’t consume unhealthy, processed form of peanut butter, but make your own or buy  organic peanut butter, peanut butter can actually be good for you.

Here are some different types of Peanut Butter you can find:

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i2cook homemade peanut butter is a young friendly recipe made with organic peanuts, raw sugar, vegetable oil, salt and cinnamon.

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The best peanut butter is a 100% organic peanut butter which contains 100% peanuts like i2cook Peanut Butter. i2cook peanut butter tastes different due to a dash of connamon that enhances shelf life naturally!


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Handmade Soaps: Know Your Soaps

Handmade Soaps: Know Your Soaps

Hand made soaps are usually made in small batches using traditional methods and plant-based ingredients.  Hand made soaps are high in glycerin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process.

Why should you buy a natural handmade soap:

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Handcrafted soap is made with natural, wholesome ingredients that cleanse without stripping skin of its natural oils. Commercially-made bars are made with chemical additives, or synthetic detergents.

Commercially-made bars are made with synthetic detergents, they cannot even legally use the term “soap.” Instead, they may be called “beauty bars,” “cleaning bars,” “cream bars,” or something similar. Handcrafted soap is made with real and wholesome ingredients.

glycerine

Glycerin is a humectant; it attracts moisture and softens your skin. Glycerin is not merely added to handcrafted soap. Rather, it is naturally created in the process of mixing water, oils, and butters. In handcrafted soap, the glycerin is left in place.The absence of glycerin is another reason that commercial bars dry out the skin.

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To know more about natural handmade soaps, you would need to how the soaps are made. There are basically three ways to make a soap:

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One common way is called “melt and pour” soap. There are even melt and pour kits you can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps.

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The other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot process method utilizes heat after the saponification process has taken place, while the cold process method does not. Undoubtedly the best method for producing the highest quality soaps is the cold process method.

A combination of oils or fats and lye goes in the making of cold process soap bars. Lye is not as scary as it sounds as all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. How hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers depends on the type of oils and fats that are being used.

Botanical sounding name does not necessarily mean that the product came from a plant either. Cranberry, watermelon, peach, pear, apple, strawberry, fig, pomegranate, coconut are synthetic scents made in a laboratory. Many soaps supposedly containing vanilla, jasmine, rose, lemon verbena, and sandalwood are also made with synthetic scents because the real essential oils, absolutes, or concretes are very expensive or even endangered.

If an oil doesn’t have a latin botanical name, then it’s not a true essential oil and it has no aromatherapeutic benefits. If it dries your skin out or makes it feel tight or itchy, it may not be real, this is a real soap test.  Because a well made, glycerin rich, handcrafted natural soap will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and nourished.
Remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with.  Chronic use of chemical laden products will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain.

Here is how you can take care of natural handmade soap:

  • Don’t let your soap drown in water.
  • Make sure your soap gets plenty of fresh air between uses.
  • Store your soap on a well drained soap dish.
  • Store unused soap in a dark cool place like a lingerie drawer or linen close

Here are some natural handmade soaps you can find:

This soaps gives deep cleansing, conditioning, nourishment to your skin, remove dead skin cells and also gives. Revitalise and soften skin. For all skin types.

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A glycerin soap with the refreshing fragrance of jasmine and peach.

Aromatherapy-Massage

Spiced with versatile lavender oil, this bar is blended with shea butter and oils of coconut, olive, almond and patchouli making it intensely nourishing. Activated charcoal and green clay help detoxify the skin.