Welcome to my Cooking with Friends series! This spring, as I work on cookbook projects that keep me very busy, I’ve invited some of my favorite blogger friends to share recipes with you. I hope you’ll have just as much fun cooking and baking with them as I do.
Today, I’m welcoming Gabrielle from Eyecandypopper.com. As a holisitic nutritionist, Gabrielle believes that good health can be achieved through food and healthy living. Today, she shares knowledge about adopting a gluten-free diet and she shares her delicious Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Tart. Enjoy!
As a holistic nutritionist, I like to encourage people to step outside the box and try new foods. I believe a healthy dose of variety is good for us, whether in our diet or in our life.
I wasn’t always that way. As a teenager, I loved junk food, especially burgers and fries, but some early digestive troubles quickly made me understand that what I ate directly affected how I felt, so I made some changes. I’m lucky I made those changes many years ago instead of waiting until I had full-blown health issues and was forced to change the way I lived all at once.
Which brings me to gluten. Ah yes, the G word! Gluten has been given a bad reputation in the recent years after the various low-carb or no grain diets appeared. But is it really the evil it’s made to be? In my opinion, no. But I do think we should eat a wide variety of foods, including whole grains, so that our bodies don’t risk developing sensitivities from always eating the same thing. I like to compare it to bananas. I like bananas and bananas are good and healthy, but is it the only fruit I ever eat? No! So why would I eat wheat and only wheat all the time when we have access to such a wide variety of delicious flours made from grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes?
It will not only be healthier for us, but it will also enrich our lives with wonderful new flavours and options. I think it expands our diets into a whole new world of delicious possibilities! Which is why I eat gluten-free or low-gluten baked goods even though I do not have any allergies. I do it for the taste and the variety.
Baking with gluten-free flours can be a bit more challenging since there is no gluten to bind everything together the way wheat does (especially white). It doesn’t have that elastic property that gluten creates when mixed with wet ingredients, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a wide array of delicious baked goods anyway.
While it might be tempting to buy pre-made gluten-free baked goods or all-purpose flour mixes, be careful because most of them contain highly processed ingredients and additives that are not very healthy for us. Always read the ingredient list, or even better, make your own flour mix! There are many flours available on the market nowadays that are naturally gluten-free, such as buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, millet, chickpea, almond, amaranth, lentil, and many more. My personal favourites to bake with are brown rice, buckwheat, almond, and millet.
Some of the simplest “secrets” to baking with flours that are naturally gluten-free is to use a mix of 2-3 flours together and always make sure to include a tapioca flour (starch) or even a bit of corn starch (look for GMO-free varieties if possible). Then you’ll want to include a bit of baking soda in your dry mix, and a bit of apple cider vinegar in your wet mix. When you combine it all together, it will create a chemical reaction that will help the mixture bind a bit more easily. This is especially important in cakes, cupcakes, and muffins.
Time to put your gluten-free baking skills to the test! Get the recipe for my naturally gluten-free and dairy-free Lemon Curd Tart, or check out these favourites from the blog to round out your meals:
Breakfast: Dairy-Free Healthy Low-Gluten Mini Pancakes
Brunch: Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Savory Cauliflower Cake – Cake for dinner? Absolutely! How about for brunch?
For more healthy meal ideas, check out my Real. Good. Food. eCookbook. It features tons of tips about nutrition and filling a healthy pantry plus over 40 recipes and mouthwatering photos. My eCookbook is an instant download so you can access it right away!
If you’d like to start your journey toward a healthier lifestyle but want some support and direction, be sure to look at my 7-Day Gentle Reset Cleanse Program which includes a complete menu plan with full recipes, grocery list, simple to implement lifestyle changes and much more to gently start you toward living a healthier lifestyle.
Gabrielle is a holistic nutritionist, food stylist, photographer, and author. She is the founder of Eyecandypopper.com, a bilingual food blog that promotes organic and plant-based recipes that are full of flavours. She inspires those interested in healthy eating to cook with whole foods and make conscious choices that will help them be healthier and happier.
Make sure to follow Gabrielle through her blog or on social media:
All photos above this point: © Gabrielle Gott.