My good friend is allergic to gluten. It is quite common actually and I am sure many of you who are reading this can relate or at least know someone with an allergy or intolerance to gluten. I wonder if it would be even more common if everyone was tested.
What exactly is gluten and gluten intolerance?
Gluten is primarily a protein-carbohydrate combination found in some grain products. People who are gluten intolerant lack the enzymes responsible for breaking down the protein. This triggers an immune response that damages the surrounding tissues in the small intestine. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, bloating and constipation.
Which grain products contain gluten?
The following grains contain gluten:
wheat, rye, barley, spelt, semolina, kamut, oats (questionable as some cannot handle)
The following grains do not contain gluten:
millet, kasha (roasted buckwheat), amaranth, quinoa, brown rice.
We love entertaining at our place and when we do, we like to serve things like dips, cheese, olives etc. Usually these items are accompanied by bread, crackers or crisps that mostly contain gluten. There are lots of products on the shelves these days that are gluten free, but as I was reading an issue of Edible Toronto, I came across a company that makes polenta chips (the company is called Dendy and Co. Fine Foods in case anyone is wondering). I had never heard of that before so I went on an Internet search to find a recipe and i have included it below. This recipe is made with cornmeal which is also gluten-free.
I am going to continue experimenting with different flavors combinations. The options are endless! I can’t wait to make this the next time we have a get-together with friends. My gluten intolerant gal-pal is going to love it!
Did you know The Living Kitchen has a Going Gluten Free Class- filled with recipes, menu plans, and inspiration to love being gluten free!!!?!!
Baked Polenta Crisps
BIG Thanks for this recipe to blogger Alice Leonard in New Zealand at Vegan Zest for Life
3 cups water 1 tablespoon Vegetable stock powder (choose yeast free version) 1 tablespoon dried basil 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast 1 large clove of minced garlic 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
- In a large pot, bring the water and seasonings (i.e. everything except the polenta) to the boil.
- With the heat still on high, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, pour the polenta into the boiling water. I used a whisk.
- Turn the heat down so it's simmering but not splattering too much.
- Simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- It's done when it's thick enough that the path cleared along the bottom of the pot by the wooden spoon doesn't immediately fill in with polenta.
- When it's done, divide between two baking sheets and spread it out as thinly and as evenly as possible. Allow to cool.
- Cut into squares and bake, on baking paper, at 180C for about 30 minutes. How long it takes and how crispy they get is determined by how hot your oven is and how evenly you managed to spread.