According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, one in 133 people has the disease that causes a toxic reaction in the digestive system when sufferers eat gluten. 97% of those people with Celiac Disease don’t know they have it.
While Celiac Disease may be the number one reason to eliminate gluten from your diet, it’s not the only motivating factor. Research suggests going gluten free may ease the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, and FMH Dietician Heather Boyd says making the choice can lead to a healthier diet overall.
“A person can often end up actually being healthier in the end because maybe they’re choosing less processed foods and they’re eating more whole foods that’s going to help them in other ways,” Boyd told WHAG News’ Allyson Schmutter in an interview.
Boyd is seeing more and more people coming in to the FMH Wellness Center to talk to her about going gluten free.
“I think what’s happening is they’re being diagnosed better or quicker, that people aren’t living for years with this condition but noticing a problem,” she says.
The good news for people looking to cut gluten from their diets — for whatever reason — is that the number and variety of gluten free products available is booming. The gluten-free marketplace was expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2010 thanks to new vendors manufacturing better tasting and more affordable products.
Looking for great gluten-free recipes? I suggest stopping by Gluten-Free-Girl and the Chef.
I can also personally recommend these two recipes — I’ve tried them for the gluten-sensitive people in my life and found even people who don’t react poorly to gluten love them!
Flourless Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Nancy Armstrong (my cousin)
Makes 34 cookies.
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
¾ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl, combine all ingredients except chips. Beat mixture one minute. Beat in chips until just blended – do not over blend. Drop dough with tablespoon two inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake 11 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cookies will be very soft. Let baking sheets stand on stovetop for five minutes. Remove cookies from sheets when completely cool.
Gluten Free Frosted Pumpkin Bars
From Mary Burgdorff via celiac.com
Gluten-Free Bar Ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
½ cup pumpkin
½ cup oil
1/6 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour (I used ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill mix + ¼ cup tapioca flour)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon each: ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
Gluten-Free Bar Directions:
Beat egg and add other wet ingredients and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Bake in a glass 9” x 13” pan about 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean [Recipe does not give a temperature for baking, I went with 375° and it seemed to work well]. Bars will be a slightly browned. Bars will be very thin and moist. Let cool.
Gluten-Free Frosting Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon milk
½ pound powdered sugar
Gluten-Free Frosting Directions:
Melt butter, add brown sugar and milk. Heat to boiling and cook 1 minute. Remove from burner and add powdered sugar, stirring until good frosting consistency. Spread onto bars.
Note: The frosting hardens quickly, so mix it up and spread onto bars immediately while still warm. I actually added the powdered sugar a little at a time so I wouldnt add too much and dry out the frosting. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy fall!