A foodie’s world comes down crumbling when a cherished food needs to be avoided. It becomes all the more difficult if he / she is diagnosed with celiac disease (Read more about celiac disease). But there is no need to lose heart as life without wheat and other gluten containing foods can also be a treat.
Few cautious substitutions can fulfill the vacuum made by this integral cereal called wheat. Why integral? It is present in our breads, cakes, biscuits, lots of snacks, delicacies and many more foods. I have compiled few recipes substitutions which can be followed and wheat recipes (minus wheat) can safely be included in the diet. Even non-celiacs should try… These will break the monotony for them!!!!
Cutlets: Bread crumbs are generally added to cutlets for binding. These can be replaced by soaked sago (sabudana), boiled soybean chunks, corn flour, arrowroot. For that matter in any recipe that calls for binding; these foods can be added depending on the desired end result.
Bajra Besan Mathri: originally made using maida or refined flour. Maida can be replaced with bajra flour and besan in the ratio 4:3. Spinach or fenugreek (methi) can also be added to the flour to improve the nutritive value and taste of mathris.
Potato Arrowroot Chappati: Fill the void of chapaties by making dough of boiled mashed potato and arrowroot flour in equal quantities.
Sweet BajraRoti: Seive bajra flour and pressure cook bengal gram dal (channa dal). Mix them. Melt jaggery (gud) in hot water, add to flour and prepare dough.
Potato singhara (water chestnut) Chappati: Mix boiled mashed potatoes, singhara atta and soya atta in the ratio 3:4:2 to make dough.
Rice flakes halwa:Atta or sooji halwa, the most favourite sweet dish made at your homes can not be consumed by you just because of gluten intolerance, not to worry. Have rice flakes (poha) halwa instead. Fry rice flakes, grind them coarsely using 100 ml water. Melt sugar in a pan, add rice flakes and cook.
Food without wheat can also be a treat; but there is a need for judicious planning to make the diet balanced and to keep the taste buds happy.
Being a North Indian I cannot imagine my life without wheat. Alas!!! Wheat and few other cereals need to be avoided by those suffering with celiac disease (Read more on celiac disease). But there is more to the diet to be followed by a gluten sensitive person rather than just avoiding wheat, oats, barley, etc.
A gluten sensitive person needs to be well informed about his condition, symptoms as well as foods containing gluten. In today’s era of packaged and processed foods it is not very difficult to know the ingredients because these foods carry excellent educational labels which mention the ingredients as well as allergy information. But sometimes gluten containing foods are present in hidden form and might not be mentioned on the labels. So care needs to be taken while consuming any processed or preserved food. Following is a non-exhaustive list of foods which are allowed, not allowed and to be included with caution by people who are sensitive to this protein.
You may consume following foods without any side effects
Beer and malted beverages; beverages made with barley or oats
Soy sauce, Malt vinegar, Worcestershire sauce
It is extremely important for you, if you are sensitive to gluten, to read labels before buying and consuming processed foods. As a celiac patient you should never indulge in even occasional intake of gluten containing foods. Proper knowledge and care can keep you away from frequent symptoms and improve the quality of your life.
Will be updating few recipe options for gluten sensitive people soon.