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When you tell people you are gluten-free and/or vegan or vegetarian, a common question you might get is: “Well, what do you eat then?”. Foods based on gluten and animal products are extremely prevalent in the most common diets today, but there are so many other foods out there that you may or may not have heard of, and that are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, such as, for example, sorghum. 

What is sorghum?

  Have you ever heard of sorghum? If you are avoiding gluten, chances are you have heard of it, but otherwise probably not. However, sorghum is not just the latest fad for people avoiding gluten: it is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for over 8000 years.

Despite the fact that sorghum is not very well known, it is one of the top five grains in the world. Originally, it was primarily cultivated in Africa but today, the United States is the largest producer of this grain.

Sorghum is a very efficient crop in terms of solar energy conversion and water usage, which makes it a very environmentally friendly crop to cultivate. Environmental concerns are among the most pressing of our times, so although major systematic changes will probably need to take place in order for our species to survive, any crop that can help us move towards a more environmentally friendly direction should be prioritized today!

Why should I eat it?

There are many other reasons in addition to its friendliness for the environment to eat it: sorghum is indeed an incredibly healthy grain to eat, whether you are avoiding gluten or not.

            Sorghum is rich in phytochemicals, such as tannins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, phytosterols and policosanols1. Yes, this last sentence was a mouthful, but trust me, it’s worth hanging on and continuing to read. “Phytochemical” is just the term used to refer to the chemicals that occur naturally in plants. The word chemical is often seen as a negative word, and while indeed, some chemicals are terrible for your health, literally everything is made of chemicals, and many of them, including the ones I cited in the first sentence of this paragraph, have absolutely wonderful health benefits.

What kind of health benefits you ask? Well remember how it is recommended to eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day because they are so good for your health, in large part because they are rich in antioxidants? Eating sorghum has very similar health benefits to those you get from eating fruit because it has very high levels of antioxidants, especially compared to other grains.

If you are interested in health, or have read any of the other articles in this Healthy Ingredient Highlight series, you probably already know how important antioxidants are for your health. Indeed, sorghum has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in humans. Studies on animals show very promising results in terms of sorghum’s effect on cardiovascular health, which is incredibly relevant given that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in countries of the Global North.

Whether this is the first time you hear about sorghum or whether you are already familiar with it, I hope this article will have encouraged you to incorporate it more widely into your diet! Sorghum is commonly ground up into a flour, ideal for baking many goodies, including pancakes. Whole sorghum can also be the basis for all sorts of amazing salads. So hesitate no more, tasty, healthy and environmentally friendly, this ancient grain is definitely the future!

Lisa Darmet is a freelance writer, whose passions include not only eating but also food and cooking and their connections to health, culture and society. She is a graduate of Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA & a world traveler.

 

The post Healthy Ingredient Highlight: Sorghum appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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According to some modern accounts of Jack and the Magic Beanstalk, the beans in the myth are no other than fava beans. Were they really? There is no way of knowing, but there is little doubt that the fava bean is nothing short of magic. Full of incredible health benefits and high in protein, it is also a very sustainable crop to grow.

History

Humans have been eating fava beans for thousands of years: they are even mentioned multiple times in Homer’s Iliad (8th to 9th BC). However, fava beans have a somewhat tumultuous history. Indeed, certain civilizations such as the Greeks linked the bean to death, and priests were strictly forbidden to eat it or even mention the words ‘fava beans’. However, the Romans had held the fava beans in very high esteem. Fava beans sometimes get a bad reputation because they can be poisonous for people with favism. However, if you don’t have favism (usually detected during childhood), fava beans are an excellent choice.

Protein and the Environment

In many people’s diet, the main source of protein is meat. However, the amount of meat that humans consume is a big part of the environmental issues we face today, since producing so much meat requires enormous amounts of water and energy. So whether you do eat meat or not, getting at least some of your protein through the many possible plant-based sources available is a great idea. Fava beans are very high in protein, and some studies suggest that they could partially replace meat intake in human diets 2.

While there is no one solution for the environmental problems we are facing today, combined with some major systemic changes in our society, the fava bean might just help lead us towards a more sustainable way of relating to the planet. In addition, fava beans have may wonderful health benefits.

Levodopa and Parkinson Disease

Fava beans can help prevent and treat Parkinson Disease. If you or your loved one have Parkinson disease, of course, consult with your doctor on this matter, but fava beans might be a great option to explore. Indeed, fava beans are rich in levodopa3, the same chemical used in medical treatments for Parkinson disease. For now, there is very little research on this subject. However, with more research, fava beans are definitely a promising lead in helping with Parkinson’s.

Magnesium and Heart Disease

Fava beans help reduce chronic diseases, such as heart diseases. Fava beans are rich in magnesium, a very important chemical for the human body. Indeed, a lack of magnesium has been shown to increase the risk of hypertension, which is very often linked to cardiovascular diseases4.

Maybe at this point you are convinced that the flavorful fava bean should be favored in your diet, but how do you eat it? These beans make a wonderful addition to almost any type of salad, and can be delicious in a warm soup, or in a dip! But the fava bean can also be ground up into flour, and makes for a tasty alternative to wheat flour in bread. Fava beans are nutritious, delicious and could help us grow toward more sustainable agriculture… a magic bean indeed!

Lisa Darmet is a freelance writer, whose passions include not only eating but also food and cooking and their connections to health, culture and society. She is a graduate of Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA & a world traveler.

The post Healthy Ingredient Highlight: Fava Beans appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Donnalynn Riley - 2w ago

W

Lemon Doughnuts
These doughnuts have a subtle lemon flavor which is enhanced with the turmeric and spirulina glazes. If you want a very lemony doughnut, we've included a recipe for an alternative lemon glaze.
Servings12 doughnuts
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Passive Time1 hour
Ingredients
Doughnuts
Turmeric Glaze
Spirulina Glaze
Lemon Glaze
Chocolate Maple Stripes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your doughnut mold.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients for the doughnuts.
  3. Add the Lemon Almond Baking Mix and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared mold and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. While the doughnuts are baking prepare the glaze of your choice and the chocolate maple stripe glaze.
  6. For the Turmeric Glaze Combine the turmeric powder with water. In a separate bowl, beat the buttery spread with the powdered sugar. Slowly add the turmeric and water until you reach the desired color. The consistency should be thin enough to dip easily but not so thin that it slides off the doughnuts. Add more water for a thinner consistency and more sugar if you need to thicken it up.
  7. For the Spirulina Glaze Combine the spirulina powder with water. In a separate bowl, beat the buttery spread with the powdered sugar. Slowly add the spirulina and water until you reach the desired color. The consistency should be thin enough to dip easily but not so thin that it slides off the doughnuts. Add more water for a thinner consistency and more sugar if you need to thicken it up.
  8. For the Lemon Glaze In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar and add 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice. With a hand blender mix until completely combined. Slowly add the remaining lemon juice until you have a consistency that is thin enough to dip easily but not so thin that it will run off the doughnut.
  9. For Chocolate Maple Strip Beat cocoa powder and maple syrup until smooth and then pour into a piping bag to pipe stripes onto the doughnuts. If you don't have a piping bag you can also use a spoon to create a drizzle on top of the doughnuts.
  10. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let them cool completely before dipping the tops of the doughnuts in glaze. Place glazed doughnuts under a fan to help the glaze set up.

The post Lemon Doughnuts appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Donnalynn Riley - 2w ago
Mini Cherry Bundt Cakes
Servings20 mini bundt cakes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Passive Time1 hour
Ingredients
Cherry Glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your mini bundt pan
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
  3. Add the Cherry Vanilla Baking Mix to the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared mini bundt pan, but only fill each bundt half way.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool before glazing.
  6. While the bundt cakes are baking, make the cherry glaze. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar and buttery spread and beat until smooth. Add the cherry preserves and beat to incorporate. Add the coconut milk one teaspoon at a time until you have a glaze consistency, thin enough that the bundt cakes are easily dippable, but not so thin that the glaze runs off.
  7. When the mini bundt cakes are cool, dip the tops in the cherry glaze and set under a fan to help the glaze set up (unless you live in a very dry climate, but any humidity in the air will keep the glaze setting up)

The post Mini Cherry Bundt Cakes appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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What is healthy? Everyone has a different take on the question. But one thing is certain: what you put in your body matters. The foods you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe in… it all contributes to making your body more or less healthy. But food, of course, is not only about health: it is about pleasure, community, love, family. Often we tend to oppose what is tasty and what is healthy – but luckily you can have it all: food can be both delicious for your taste buds and make your body strong and healthy. Cardamom is a perfect example of this: its bright and spicy flavor is as delightful as its many health benefits.

History

           Indigenous to South India and Sri Lanka, Cardamom is often referred to as the “Queen of Spices”. Until the 1980s, India was the main producer of cardamom. Today Guatemala has taken its place, producing 90% of the spice consumed worldwide.

Cardamom is considered one of the eldest spices. It has been used for medicinal purposes for over 4000 years. It has most commonly been used to treat bad breath, and help with oral health and digestion. What do current day studies say about the medicinal properties of cardamom?

Oral Health 

It is not uncommon in India to chew on some cardamom after a meal. Cardamom is as efficient as a type of chewing gum to clear your mouth of bad breath, without any of the stickiness and potential unhealthiness.

Not only will cardamom make your breath as fresh as a spring breeze, it will also kill off bacteria that cause cavities1. The anti-microbial properties of cardamom can help prevent cavities but also help cure them if you already have some. While this is not an encouragement to avoid the dentist if you have teeth pain, it’s important to remember that there are many natural remedies that can prove incredibly effective. It’s definitely worth giving it a try!

Digestive System

The reason cardamom is commonly chewed on after a meal in certain places in the world does not only concern breath, but also digestion. Indeed, cardamom has traditionally been thought of as a digestive aid, and current day studies confirm this.

Today, studies even show that cardamom has gastroprotective effects. A study on rats showed that the combination of cardamom pods, sembung leaf and turmeric could help protect against aspirin-induced stomach ulcers2. The group of rats that had been given the mix of spices and hot water before the aspirin had considerably fewer ulcers and less damage of their stomach lining than the group of rats that was just given the aspirin.

Maybe you are already familiar with cardamom? Whether you are or not, there are many more health benefits that could be talked about, and looked up if you have a little bit of time. If it’s not already an integral part of your diet, I encourage you to explore and experiment with eating and cooking it. It is delicious in savory dishes such as stews and curries, it’s also a lovely addition to sweet ones such as spiced oats. Whatever your favorite way of eating it is, cardamom has a wonderful flavor and incredible health benefits.

Lisa Darmet is a freelance writer, whose passions include not only eating but also food and cooking and their connections to health, culture and society. She is a graduate of Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA & a world traveler.

The post Healthy Ingredient Highlight: Cardamom appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Katie Polebaum - 1M ago
Japanese Jelly Fruit Cake
These fun little gluten free, nut free, and vegan shortbread cakes are topped with a coconut jelly and studded with berries.
Servings18 1 1/2" squares
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Passive Time2 hours
Ingredients
Shortbread Base
Instructions
Shortbread
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9"x9" baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a medium bowl, mix buttery spread with the sugar for 3-5 minutes until light and smooth.
  3. Add the Yummy Pancakes Mix and stir to combine. Do not over mix. The mixture will be crumbly, but that's ok.
  4. On the kitchen counter lay out a piece of parchment paper and pour out the shortbread mixture. Using your hands, press the mixture into a disc. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper and gently roll out about 1/2" thick.
  5. Cut out a 9" square of shortbread and place in the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely before adding the jelly layer.
Jelly
  1. In a saucepan, heat agar agar and water to just boiling. Add coconut milk and sugar, return to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour jelly over the shortbread and place your berries. Let the jelly set up in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting and serving.

The post Japanese Jelly Fruit Cake appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Katie Polebaum - 1M ago
Cinnamon Orange Cakes
These little petit fours are small in size and big on taste! Spicy cinnamon cake sandwiches vegan orange buttercream, and it's all topped with a glossy vegan chocolate ganache.
Servings28 1 1/2" round petit fours
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Passive Time1 hour
Ingredients
Cinnamon Cake
Vegan Orange Buttercream
Vegan Chocolate Ganache
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 7"x11" baking pans with parchment paper
  2. In a mixing bowl add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, do not over mix.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two baking pans and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Allow cakes to cool completely before cutting and assembling.
  6. Once the cake is cool, cut with 1 1/2" round cookie cutter. Frost one cake round with the orange buttercream (directions below) and sandwich with the second cake round. Spoon the chocolate ganache (directions below) and garnish with orange zest.
Vegan Orange Buttercream
  1. In mixing bowl cream the buttery spread with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
  2. Add the powdered sugar slowly (no more than 1/3 cup at a time) and continue to mix until well combined.
  3. Add the orange extract and food coloring, blend until well-mixed. You should have peaks that hold their shape when you pull the beaters out of the icing. Adjust consistency if you want it more pliable, add a bit of buttery spread. For a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.
Chocolate Ganache
  1. Put the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. Open the chilled can of coconut milk, being careful not to shake it. Remove the coconut cream which has hardened and risen to the top.
  3. In a saucepan heat the coconut cream to about 180 degrees (can still touch but not too hot) and then pour over the chocolate chips.
  4. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 2 minutes and then stir occasionally until the ganache begins to cool enough that it begins to hold it's shape without fully solidifying.

The post Cinnamon Orange Cakes appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Katie Polebaum - 1M ago
Very Lemon Brownies
These brownies are deliciously dense and chewy with a mouth puckering punch of lemon.
Servings16 2 inch square pieces
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Passive Time1 hour
Ingredients
Lemon Brownies
Lemon Glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on two sides to help lift the finished brownies out of the pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and buttery spread until it is fluffy.
  3. Add the remaining wet ingredients and lemon zest, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the Lemon Almond Baking Mix and salt and stir until just combined, do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared 8"x8" baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  6. While the brownies are baking, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice. With a hand blender, mix until the juice is completely combined. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time, blending after each addition until the glaze has a thick but spreadable consistency.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the glaze.
  8. Once the brownies are completely cooled, pour glaze on top and spread with an offset spatula or knife. Sprinkle remaining lemon zest on top, or add a small dollop on each portion of brownie.
  9. Leave the brownies in the fridge overnight to let the glaze set up before slicing.

The post Very Lemon Brownies appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Katie Polebaum - 1M ago
Smokey Maple Pecan Muffins
These muffins pair smokey with sweet for some seriously tasty results!
Servings12 muffins
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put liners in your muffin pan.
  2. In a bowl combine pecan, brown sugar and maple syrup and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients for the muffins. Add the Cinnamon Dexscotti Baking mix and stir gently, but do not over mix.
  4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way with batter and top with maple pecan mixture.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, remove from oven and let cool before serving.

The post Smokey Maple Pecan Muffins appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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GluFREEgan by Katie Polebaum - 1M ago
Vegan Panchiladas
These vegan panchiladas are packed full of savory vegetables. The tortillas are replaced with thin, savory pancakes made with our Yummy Pancakes Mix. The pancakes can be made ahead of time, making this a great weeknight dinner that can be assembled quickly!
Servings1 9x13 pan
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Passive Time1 hour
Ingredients
Pancakes
Instructions
  1. Combine vegetable broth and oil.
  2. Combine wet ingredients with Yummy Pancakes Mix and let stand 8-10 minutes.
  3. Pour a small amount of oil into a nonstick skillet and then wipe it out with a paper towel, leaving only a thin sheen of oil in the skillet. Preheat the skillet over medium heat.
  4. Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot skillet and swirl the pan to create a thin pancake. Let the pancake cook for 3 minutes until bubbles begin to form and then flip with the thinnest spatula you have. Cook the pancake on the other side for 3 minutes and then lay flat on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour. You should be able to make 8 pancakes total.
  5. In a skillet, with a little olive oil, sauté the vegetables until the mushrooms have released their liquid, and the peppers and onions are softened.
  6. To assemble, spoon filling onto one side of the pancake and then roll up and place seam side down in a 9x13" baking dish.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Once all 8 pancakes are filled and rolled, cover with the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until the sauce is simmering.

The post Vegan Panchiladas appeared first on GluFREEgan™.

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