Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake Cups

Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake Cups

Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake Cups

THE CRUST:

Choose whichever option you prefer.

●      8 small gluten free biscuits/cookies  (We like Gluten Free Freelicious Tea Biscuits)

●      ~1/2 cup Almond Meal plus 1/2 tbsp Honey

If using the biscuits, simply crush them and pour into the bottom of your glasses

If using almond meal, mix the almond meal and honey and pour into your glasses.

 

THE FILLING:

  • 2 cups reduced fat ricotta (2x 250g tubs)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen.

Mix together your ricotta and honey and divide amongst your glasses.

Microwave your blueberries for about 30 seconds or until they can be squished.

Spoon on your blueberries over the top of your ricotta mix.

Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

SERVES 4

 

Gluten Free Cooking

Gluten Free Cooking

Nowadays people are becoming increasingly aware of how the foods we eat affect our bodies. If you're having problems digesting food and absorbing nutrients due to mal absorption issues or autoimmune conditions then adopting gluten free diet is highly recommended by many industry professionals.

Gluten is the protein part of grains such as wheat, rye, barley and others and for some people, when gluten comes in contact with the small intestine their bodies cannot tolerate it therefore causing them digestive upset, pain, weakness, rashes, muscle aches and weight loss or weight gain. Going gluten free is a great way to allow your body a break from foods that are harmful and difficult to digest and the best way to give your body the chance to recover from illness at cellular level. The simplest and healthiest way to live gluten-free is to focus on fresh, organic whole foods and give processed foods the flick for good.

Eating gluten free does not limit itself to just avoiding grains it also includes avoiding many other products like soy sauce, meat substitutes, pasta, crackers and cereals containing malt to name a few, these products can contain gluten and sneaky gluten derivatives.

It's frustrating when you first decide to eat gluten free, as there are so many mixed messages when it comes to food shopping. It's important to read food labels carefully if you do decide to eat packaged food. Foods such as soups, seasoned rice mixes, gravies, sauces and some nuts also contain gluten in varying amounts. And labellers don't always tell the truth when it comes to what's in their products. If a food contains less than 5% of a certain ingredient they legally don't have to report that ingredient.

Knowing what types of grains and products contain gluten is a good way to ensure you’re not going to be misled by advertising and labelling laws. The best grains to avoid if you're on a gluten free diet are wheat, rye, barley, oats, kamut, semolina, wheat germ, couscous, durum, spelt, bulgar, farina, einkorn and farro. Just because you're eating gluten free doesn't mean you have to miss out on a great variety of nutrient rich foods. You can have your gluten free cake pasta and bread and eat it too!

If you're intending on baking gluten-free then it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with gluten friendly flour alternatives. When using alternate flours its beneficial to bear in mind that gluten free flours do not display the same characteristics and provide the same results as gluten flours. Breads will have a crumblier texture in some cases and will not rise as high as traditional breads, that's why it's good to use a loaf pan when cooking, in order for breads to retain their shape. You can experiment with using arrowroot and tapioca flour to improve the texture of your baked goods too.

Some interesting and delicious gluten free flours to use when baking are buckwheat, almond meal, arrowroot, tapioca, coconut, chestnut, chickpea, quinoa and brown rice flour. They are all gluten free substitutes to wheat flour and can be mixed and matched to get your desired result. Gluten-free baking powder can also be used in baking, it's widely available in the baking sections of supermarkets and bicarbonate of soda is naturally gluten free too.

If you’re looking for pre-packaged gluten free baking flours, although a fast, convenient way to ascertain first-hand, how working with gluten-free flours is different than working with gluten flours, it's important to check labels as some products contain cheap white rice flour and additives that are only going to defeat the purpose of eating naturally and building up your immune system. Just because it's gluten free doesn't mean that it’s particularly healthy!

It just takes a bit of time to get used to working with gluten free flours and I have found that it's beneficial to use gluten free flours in combination with each other, that's when the best results will emerge. It's a bit like a high school science experiment when you first begin but why not start by finding some of your favourite recipes and then creating your very own gluten free version.

Be adventurous and you will be surprised with the results, your palette will change and you'll find eating gluten filled, sugar laden processed cakes and pastries will no longer taste as good as their healthy alternatives. Plus you will feel so much better, more invigorated and revitalized with energy to spare.

For main meals if you’re looking at using gluten free flours as a coating then any number of gluten free flours would work well. I like to use brown rice flour as it gives great results when creating dishes that are sautéed in olive oil. Pasta and noodles can be substituted with buckwheat soba noodles or brown rice pasta. You can also invest in a vegetable spiraliser and create your own angel hair pasta with zucchini, daikon or squash. It’s delicious teamed with a fresh tomato based basil sauce.

Quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat can be used in place of couscous, bulgur wheat and semolina in recipes. You can create delicious salads, hearty casseroles and side dishes that are all gluten friendly.

There's absolutely no need to feel like you are missing out when eating gluten-free. A world of scrumptious, wholesome, fresh and nutrient-rich meals awaits you and in return you will be rewarded with abundant health

Some people like to add guar gum or xantham gum in small amounts to create the sticky effect, which is generated when using gluten flours. These gums are traditionally used as a thickening, stabilizing, suspending and binding agent. You'll find these ingredients in many commercially made gluten-free flour mixes. I tend to avoid using guar gum in my cooking as research undertaken by the FDA advises that bulking agents such as guar gum can be harmful and can cause obstructions in the intestines, stomach, or oesophagus when it swells by coming into contact with water. Guar gum has also been reported as preventing nutrient absorption in the body.

I find using gluten free baking powder and bi carb of soda works very well in delicious cakes, breads and muffins. If you’re using eggs in baked goods this also helps to add some of the protein that is lost when not using gluten.

Article contributed by Lee Holmes of Supercharged Foods

 

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10 Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

10 Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

Did You Know???

  • More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten; the protein found in wheat, rye and barley10 signs you are gluten intolerant titled
  • 99% of the people who either gluten intolerance or Coeliac Disease are never diagnosed
  • 15% of the US population is gluten intolerance

The following symptoms may be an indication that you have gluten intolerance:

  1. Digestive issues such as: gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation
  2. Keratosis Pilaris, also known as chicken skin on the back of your arms.  This tends to be a result of fatty acid deficiency and Vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut
  3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's, Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Sclyeroderma or Multiple Sclerosis
  5. Neurological symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance
  6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility
  7. Migraine headaches
  8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or Fibromyalgia.  These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain
  9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips
  10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depressions, mood swings or ADD

Our Hair Test 500 System and Restorative Program could be the first step to finding out if gluten is an inflammatory food to you.

Is it a modern epidemic or are Gluten Intolerance and Allergies a Fad?

Is it a modern epidemic or are Gluten Intolerance and Allergies a Fad?

It seems that scientists are sounding the alarm on the rapid rise in gluten intolerance and allergies on the over use of the weed killer, glyphosate, as the potential cause of this modern epidemic.  Over the last several decades both consumers and industry have relied on glyphosate or round up as the number 1 chemical for weed control.  This correlation between the significant increase used particularly on our wheat crops and the enormous increase of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance

Recent analysis shows a significant correlation between the steep rise in glyphosate applications to US wheat crops and the occurrence of celiac disease over the last two decades.

In addition, new research is helping to solve the mystery as to why some people eat products containing gluten and develop an adverse reaction, while other times they don’t. Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT and an associate, Dr. Anthony Samsel, believe that glyphosate, not gluten is the cause of the problems. 

The chemical compound glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, a powerful commercial pesticide. The weed killer is not only overused in agricultural practices, but conventional farmers are now misusing it to remove moisture from their wheat crop just days before harvest.  This practice leaves toxic residue on wheat seed, which ends up in the products we consume and consequently, in our body.

To understand how glyphosate causes wheat allergies according to Dr. Seneff’s study, it’s important to understand how the body reacts to this toxic chemical.  The digestive system acts as the body’s gatekeeper, allowing beneficial compounds to enter, while keeping harmful ones out.  Normal gut bacteria play a critical role in the process. However, glyphosate disrupts the normal digestive process in a couple of ways:

1) Glyphosate prevents the absorption of essential amino acids.

2) Glyphosate destroys normal gut bacteria.

Under the influence of glyphosate our normal gut bacteria create toxic alternatives to amino acids. In addition, the new toxins destroy healthy gut bacteria while promoting the growth of harmful bacteria. This has devastating effects on the intestines by making them porous and enabling harmful substances and molecules of undigested food to enter the blood stream. Inflammation and liver and kidney damage can also occur.

Glyphosate also increases aluminum toxicity. Due to natural defense mechanisms, aluminum is not typically absorbed into the body. However, the pesticide binds to aluminum and when combined with a leaky gut, it by passes the defense system and enters the body.  

All in all, the increasing use and misuse of the herbicide explains the dramatic rise in gluten intolerance and allergies over the past several years.  To prevent the toxic effects of glyphosate contaminated wheat from taking a toll on your body consider switching to organic wheat or avoid wheat all together.

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References

Pre-harvest Glyphosate Aplication to Wheat  www.HGCA.com

Is it Gluten or Glyphosate ?  www.Examiner/Gluten or Glyphosate

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance – Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013; Vol. 6 (4): 159–184. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, 12 November 2013

Dr. Don Huber: GMOs and Glyphosate and Their Threat to Humanity – Food Integrity Now – Carol Grieve, April 8, 2014

Glyphosate Herbicide Sales Boom Powers Global Biotech Industry – Sustainable Pulse –  Aug 21 

Gluten Free Flour Types

Gluten Free Flour Types

Gluten Free Flour Guide

Flour Type

Made From

Best For

Fast Fact

Arrowroot

Ground from the root of the arrowroot plant. Tasteless and the fine powder becomes clear when cooked.

Thickening sauces, mixes well with other flours to make lighter muffins, cakes or breads.

Expensive ingredient, so beware not to buy labels that have the less expensive tapioca flour labelled as arrowroot.

Besan Flour

Milled from chickpeas (garbanzo)

Used for breads, muffins, cakes. Widely used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.

High in protein and iron, when added to other flours increases the protein value of the food.

Brown Rice Flour

Milled from unpolished brown rice containing the bran, giving a high fibre content.

Works well for making potato gnocchi.

Particularly high in B-Group vitamins.

Buckwheat Flour

Not a form of wheat, but related to rhubarb. Has a strong nutty taste and is not generally used on its own recipes.

Perfect for savoury pastry and muffins or banana bread.

Blend with rice flour or corn flour to reduce the nuttiness.

Corn Flour/ Maize Flour

Cultivated from corn.

Used in muffins and breads. The fine corn flour can be used as a thickener in sauces, custards etc.

Fine yellow flour approx. 8% protein but supplies minimal amounts of essential minerals. Do not use white corn flour as this is usually made from wheat.

Lentil Flour

Milled from Lentils

Used widely in Middle Eastern cooking. Can be used in combination with other flours to replace wheat flour.

High in protein and other minerals.

Millet Flour

Made from the grain millet. Has an extensive history as an important whole grain in cooking, particularly in Asia.

May be added to breads to reduce gluten content, or to produce lower carbohydrate bread.

Great source of B-Group vitamins, iron, magnesium, silicone and amino acids. High in vitamin B17 which has been identified as a deficiency in western diets.

Polenta Flour

Polenta commonly comes from ground maize (corn).

Can be served as a corn bread, porridge, fried as polenta sticks or balls, as a mashed side or as polenta cakes. Great with earthy, rustic foods like pork chops and osso bucco.

Known as one of the national foods of Italy. Fat free, high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Try mixing polenta with your favorite meats and vegetables to really bring out flavor.

Potato Starch

Fine white flour made from potatoes. Has a light flavour, undetectable in the finished dish.

Ideal in sponges and Shortbread or added to casseroles, soups or stews for thickening.

Aka Potato flour. When combined with other flours lightens muffins, cakes and breads.

Quinoa Flour

Related to the spinach family, has been used for more than 5000 years. Quinoa is one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable world.

Good for cakes, pastries, and puffed quinoa is a great alternative to puffed cous cous or oats.

Pronounced “keen wah”. High in lysine, B-Group vitamins, vitamin E, minerals, and a great source of fibre.

Rice Flour from Asian Supermarkets

Chinese white rice flour is made from long grain rice, whereas Japanese rice flour is milled from Japonica of Calrose short grain rice.

Great for noodles, pastries, sponge cakes and bread.

Finer than white rice flour and has a more delicate cooked texture.

Soya Flour

Milled from Soya Beans. Can be genetically modified, beware of this.

Good for egg free pastries and cakes.

High protein with nutty taste. Not generally used on its own in recipes, but when combined with other flours is very successful.

Tapioca Flour

Made from the root of the Cassava Plant.

Perfect for casseroles and to bind patties/ rissoles.

Adds chewiness to baking, and is a good thickener.

White Rice Flour

Milled from polished white rice. Has a high glycemic index (GI) and tends to boost blood sugar levels instead of keeping them steady.

Used in baking due to light texture. Pastries, shortbreads, and cakes. Combine with other flours to lower the GI of food.

The flavour is quite bland but when baked correctly produces a melt in the mouth short crust.

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Feeling Fantastic now I’m Gluten Free

Feeling Fantastic now I’m Gluten Free

About 7 years ago I was told by a homeopath that I should cut wheat out of my diet.

To be honest I thought she was being a bit over the top, and I was pretty slapdash in my approach to going gluten-free. But eventually I gave it a serious go, and discovered I was feeling better. “Clearer” if you will. I wasn’t feeling so sluggish, bloated, headachey anymore, and not so many upset stomachs either! There’s an ad out there for something which says “You’ll find there’s a better kind of normal” which I definitely found to be the case.

It was a bit difficult to do in the beginning – there wasn’t as varied a range of gluten-free products available as there is now, that’s for sure. With trial and error, I found things that worked, and I learnt to read the ingredients labels of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! Wheat is in so many things that you don’t expect it to be in! Eg cornflour – what? It’s not always made from corn ? How crazy is that? And some icecreams have it in them?

So many discoveries. I discovered that oats and rye don’t really work that well for me either, so I work more on a gluten-free diet rather then a wheat-free diet these days. It’s still sometimes a bit of a hindrance – if everyone wants to go out for pizza then it’s a bit difficult unless I can convince them to go to a restaurant that caters for me, or if we are invited over to someone’s place for breakfast, a meal that includes wheat most of the time – but for the most part its completely manageable nowadays. I love to bake, and have really enjoyed learning to cook variations that work for me and am compiling a fantastic collection of recipes!

I’m really happy I went gluten-free. Life’s so much better without it.

Submitted by Airdrie Makim on behalf of What Can I Eat

To find more information go to the Gluten free diet support pages of What Can I Eat

 

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