Celiac disease is a serious condition but learning to follow a celiac diet plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little planning, an adventuresome spirit and some time in the kitchen you’ll be a pro at preparing celiac diet foods in no time. Read on for an overview of the recommended celiac diet.
Celiac Diet Foods
The first thing to become familiar with are the foods that are allowed. The good news is that the vast majority of foods are on the gluten free foods list. The foods that are not OK are: wheat, barley, rye and oats and any product containing those grains. On the surface that sounds easy enough, but it becomes more complicated when you realize how many processed foods contain a gluten containing grain. The easiest way to avoid this, especially when you’re first learning to live a gluten free lifestyle is to do as much cooking from scratch as you can.
If you feel discouraged and that you have a lack of options, just remember all the foods that are naturally gluten free. All fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, meats and dairy products do not contain gluten. You can even enjoy gluten free alcohol made with hops or other gluten free grains. While most of us enjoy bread, cereals and baked goods there is no reason these things can’t be made with gluten free ingredients. There are also other gluten free grains. Cooking quinoa and buckwheat can be satisfying as well.
Celiac Diet Recipes
The wonderful thing about the internet is the vast amount of information that is available – and generally the information is free. If you need to find a gluten free recipe for baked goods, chances are all you’ll need to do is type in ‘gluten free cupcakes’ and you’ll find at least a couple different celiac recipes to try. If you make yourself a goal to try one new recipe a week, in a short period of time you’ll have a recipe box full of new favorites.
Another great source of recipes are cookbooks. The benefit of a published cookbook is that the recipes are generally better tested than the free recipes you can find. Good gluten free cookbooks also include a variety of cooking tips and hints that can save you time and frustration as you learn to substitute white or brown rice flour, tapioca flour and other ingredients for the traditional white flour. Even if you find the bulk of your recipes online consider purchasing at least one gluten free baking cookbook.
Celiac support groups or organizations are another great resource for quality recipes. Check out the Celiac Society and all the great benefits they offer to members.
The key to any new lifestyle change is attitude. If you approach the celiac diet with an upbeat outlook you’ll find that it isn’t that much different than traditional cooking – and in fact, you may find some recipes that you prefer over wheat containing recipes. The benefit of adopting a gluten free diet is a drastic improvement in health – and what could be better than that?