gluten-free

Avoid GMOs in gluten-free baked goods this holiday season with these tips

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: gluten-free foods, GMO, baked goods

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(NaturalNews) With the holiday baking season just around the corner, ingredients that are free of harmful substances and GMOs are an important consideration. After all, poisoning friends and family is not exactly the model of holiday cheer. For those avoiding gluten, attention is turned to an array of gluten-free flour blends and mixes. The average consumer believes they are doing a good thing for health by avoiding gluten, but a more insidious toxin is often lurking beneath the surface in the form of GMOs. Safe and nutritious alternatives are available -- four exceptional flours share the spotlight for worry-free baking this holiday season and beyond.

Agreeable alternatives

For a large segment of the American population, gone are the days of comfortably consuming gluten containing foods like wheat, rye and barley. One does not have to suffer from celiac disease to adopt a gluten-free diet -- even the average person can benefit from restricting this troublesome protein. When gluten is banished from the diet, often times weight normalizes, digestive issues calm and reactions like rashes, headaches and fatigue begin to lift. As an added incentive, several gluten-free flours offer unsurpassed nutritional benefit.

Coconut - Loaded with healthy fat, protein and fiber -- you cannot beat coconut flour. It is also a good source of lauric acid which helps to support the immune system along with radiant skin. An exceptional source of manganese, coconut helps the body utilize choline, biotin, vitamin C and thiamin. Additionally, manganese keeps blood sugar levels balanced and promotes bone health. Coconut flour contains very little phytate so it does not need to be soaked before use.

Almond - Another high protein and nutrient dense food. Almond flour is brimming with fiber yet low in carbohydrates -- encouraging steady blood sugar levels. Almonds also supply copious amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium and iron. Healthy fats found in almonds keep the cardiovascular system in top shape and help with weight loss. Rich in manganese, copper and riboflavin -- almonds boost energy. Gallstones are prevented by consuming a mere ounce per week. To make almond flour, simply pulse whole nuts in a food processor until a fine granular consistency. Use non-pasteurized almonds for ultimate flavor and nutrition.

Teff - An ancient and nutritious grain. Brown and ivory varieties are available. Although both types are slightly sweet in flavor, ivory teff has a milder taste. Teeming with calcium and vitamin C, teff flour is a smart choice. Approximately 20-40 percent of the carbohydrates found in teff are resistant starches -- a type of dietary fiber that helps with weight and blood sugar management. Teff is a great source of protein.

Millet - Digests easily and is considered alkaline -- rare in the world of grain-like seeds. Millet supplies serotonin and tryptophan -- two compounds that work synergistically to uplift mood. Millet is also safe for individuals suffering from candida as it does not feed yeast. It is an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus and fiber. These important nutrients reduce the risk of Type II diabetes and migraines. Millet flour imparts a fine cake-like texture to baked goods.

Always choose organic, gluten-free flours to avoid genetically modified organisms. Xanthan gum is a good binder for gluten-free baking -- just make sure it is a non-GMO variety. Source baking powder that is made from GMO-free ingredients as well. With these suggestions in hand, gluten-free baking can be healthy, nutritious and delicious.

Sources for this article include:

"Gluten-free diet: What's allowed, what's not" Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/my01140

"Will a gluten-free diet improve your health?" CNN Health, April 12, 2011. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.cnn.com

"Should You Go Gluten-Free?" Katie Moisse, ABC News, April 10, 2012. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://abcnews.go.com

"Gluten-free: food fad or alternative remedy?" Mike Stobbe, MSNBC News, July 31, 2012. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com

"How to bake with coconut flour: tips & tricks for using this gluten free flour" Nourished Kitchen. December 15, 2011. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://nourishedkitchen.com/baking-with-coconut-flour/

"Paleo Diet Baking, Part 1: Almond Flour" Paleo Solution, June 10, 2011. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://paleosolution.net/tag/health-benefits-of-almond-flour/

"Almonds" George Mateljan Foundation. Retrieved on October 10, 2012 from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20

"The Many Uses of Almond Meal" Mark's Daily Apple, December 22. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.marksdailyapple.com

"Teff and Millet - November Grains of the Month" Whole Grain Council. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org

"Millet Nutrition, Benefits & Uses: Your Guide to this No-Gluten, High Vitamin B & High Calciu Grain-like Seed" Body Ecology, April 29, 2007

"Millet" George Mateljan Foundation. Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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