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Sushi restaurants have an abundance of items on the menu that is naturally gluten-free: predominantly composing of seafood and fish, rice and vegetables.

With that said, there are also many items on the menu that can be a source of cross-contamination during the preparation of these naturally gluten-free items – things like flour and panko used for breading of pork and chicken cutlets, and soysauce, among other things.

And so to make sure your sushi dining experience remain unspoiled by gluten, here are some tips you may want to follow:

  1. Avoid fake crab meat. Surimi or fake crab meat are made by grinding white fish and binding it with starch that are usually made of wheat. This can be found in abundance in different sushi rolls, salads and other menu items, as flavoring.
  2. Ask for Tamari  instead of the regular soy sauce. Soy sauce brands unless labeled gluten-free are risky for those avoiding gluten since the soy that is used in these has a high chance of being also processed in a facility that also process wheat, barley or rye, or it may have wheat in its primary ingredients. Thankfully there is a type of soy sauce traditionally made without wheat called Tamari. To help with communicating, you can inform the chef that you are extremely allergic to soy sauce so that it will be easier for them to take away an item that is common knowledge, rather than launching into explaining in detail what gluten is.
  3. Avoid tempura, breaded meat cuts, and other menu items that have breading. The batter used in making tempura will almost always  be made of wheat flour, except for gluten-free restaurants that guarantee using gluten-free breading. Thankfully these items are easily recognizable on the menu, being coated and fried .
  4. Avoid sushi ingredients that have been treated with marinades. Almost for certain, these items will have used either wheat, soy sauce , teriyaki sauce or other wheat containing sauces as flavoring.
  5. Bring your own wasabi. Most restaurants do not use real wasabi, but instead use a mixture of mustard, horseradish,  green coloring and other flavorings that may contain gluten. To be safe from contaminants, it is best to bring your own.
  6. If you have the option, spring for a restaurant where the sushi chef makes the meal right in front of you. You may speak to the chef or call in advance to make sure the utensils that will be used for your meal are fresh and have not touched other items that contain gluten.
  7. Japanese restaurants like other restaurants can be busy, to be on the safe side, you may also call the restaurant in advance to make sure that the restaurant will be fully staffed, and can take time to accommodate special food requests.

Let us know how your next sushi dining turns out! If you have more tips to share with our community, feel free to leave some in the comments. Happy gluten-free dining!

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People who have gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or Celiac disease have different reactions, compared to the next person, when they ingest gluten. Symptoms range from diarrhea, bloating, headaches, nausea other symptoms. Which is why it is necessary for these people to switch to a gluten-free diet.  People who don’t have these problems, on the other hand, do not have to worry about gluten in their diet.

But as of late,  we increasingly read about and hear concerns about gluten. We see restaurants giving gluten-free options, food labels in groceries announce they are gluten-free, and gluten-free versions of food seem to be lining the grocery aisles. Increasing number of people try it with different benefits in mind: to lose weight, treat autism, eat more healthily, have more energy. Going gluten-free has rapidly become the next “IT” diet.

But what is the gluten-free diet really, and what is it for? Gluten is  a general name for proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye, and triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye. As these proteins cannot be fully ingested by the body, it can cause inflammation and other negative symptoms in some people. In people with Celiac disease, these proteins trigger an immune response which damage the lining of the small intestines, eventually preventing efficient nutrient absorption from food, and can cause a number of other problems like osteoporosis, nerve damage, and seizures. A gluten-free diet  is one where you remove gluten so if you do have these reactions to gluten, you avoid these negative symptoms altogether. [1]

“People who are sensitive to gluten may feel better, but a larger portion will derive no significant benefit from the practice. They’ll simply waste their money, because these products are expensive,” says Dr. Daniel A Leffler, director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in an article published in Harvard.edu.[1]  And he is not wrong. So, before you try this diet, consider these things:

Premium Price

Gluten-free products, aare typically produced in smaller batches, and need different ingredients than their conventional counterparts. Ingredients may cost more, and making them need special knowledge on gluten-free food, and so they tend to be priced higher than their non-gluten-free versions.

Eat Healthier with More options

Most people may experience a number of health benefits with going gluten-free. But these could be incidental benefits since avoiding certain elements in your diet may also lead you to eliminate other foods. You may find yourself eating more wholefoods, fruits and vegetables, as opposed to the usual processed food, pastries, pastas and cakes that generally all contain gluten. You may also find yourself being more careful about additives in your food which can lead to eating  a lot cleaner. But if you think about it, these are things you can actually do even without worrying about gluten in your diet, and you get to have a lot more food options, too.

Find More Effective Sustainable Options for Losing Weight

Those who claim gluten-free diet helped them lose weight or have more energy benefit from it by incidentally removing processed food from their diet, regardless of gluten content. Gluten-free food and weight loss are not synonymous, unless it helps you to “get rid of the junk” and eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are naturally gluten-free, as mentioned by Shelley Case, one of North America’s premier experts on the gluten-free diet. [2] With that said, there  are other diets out there that are targeted for weight loss, which you may consider and prove more effective for you.

Have a  question about going gluten-free? Feel free to leave it for us in the comments, or browse this blog for more tips!

1 – Strawbridge, H. (2018, January 08). Going gluten-free just because? Here’s what you need to know. Retrieved April 12, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/going-gluten-free-just-because-heres-what-you-need-to-know-201302205916

2 – Helms, J., MS, RD. (2012, September 6). Will Going Gluten Free Help You Lose Weight? [Web log post]. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2012/09/will-going-gluten-free-help-you-lose-weight.html

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Christmas and the accompanying food festivities are fast approaching. It is tough enough that we have to look for gluten-free options for the holidays. But to shop for a great gift for someone who is gluten-intolerant? It can be another challenge altogether. Why  not give them this perfect gift? This is a Gluten-free gift set made especially with yours and their needs in mind:

Gluten-Free Holiday Gift Set

Each bag contains:

Gluten-Free Seasoning

Gluten Free Spaghetti

Gluten-Free Zero-Calorie Noodles

Fruit Crisps (2 variants)

Organic Coconut Spread Seasalt

Lentil Chips Creamy Dill

These are  great as giveaways: they can be kept at room temperature and so can be opened at anytime, perfect for storing in advance to be ready for your family events.

Have them delivered to you. If you want to create an element of surprise, the company that makes this can also deliver to your lucky recipient’s door.

Visit their site to order: GERALD.ph

Happy Holidays!

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Here is an excellent gluten-free version of our favorite cauliflower rice recipe! If you are also worried about calories, aside from gluten, this is a great meal substitute for your usual gluten-free pasta or rice.  Excellent to pair with meat or seafood. It is a staple for those on a keto diet, but just as excellent if you also can’t have gluten. You can also try it without the egg or meat for a vegan healthy dish! Ready? Let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

2 packs of Cauliflower

1 medium-sized carrot, shredded

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

2 chicken breasts (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1 egg (optional)

2 to 3 tbsp gluten-free seasoning

6 to 10 pieces of broccoli florets

3/4 cup frozen peas

DIRECTIONS

Chop cauliflower finely using knife or use a food processor to achieve rice-size pieces.

Season the chicken and fry until cooked through (15 to 20 minutes cooking time.) Let cool, and shred it using a fork or cut into small cubes.

In the same pan, sauté  garlic, and then add the cauliflower. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat, making sure to mix to avoid burning. Scramble egg in by directly breaking egg into the pan and mixing.

Mix in the carrots, broccoli, chicken, peas, and spring onions mixing continuously. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until the veggies are soft enough to your liking. Add the gluten free seasoning and sesame oil. Add slices of chili if you want your rice with a bit of a kick. Plate and serve with your favorite side of gluten-free seasoned meat or seafood.

Enjoy!

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We’ve got another quick and delicious gluten-free pasta recipe for you. This is great for when time is not your friend, since it only takes minutes to prepare! Using gluten-free canned ready meals like some of the gluten-free items of Amy’s brand of organic food, cuts your meal prep time in half. Try this for your lunch this weekend! Definitely, yummy!

INGREDIENTS

1 can of Amy’s Gluten-Free Tomato Bisque

1 pound dried  Gluten-free Pasta (Fusilli, or Penne should work nicely)

4 tbsp salted butter

3 tbsp gluten-free flour

2 cups whole milk

1 cup shredded cheddar

½ pound sliced button mushrooms

3 medium sliced shallots,

A few stems of fresh thyme, washed and dried

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

Prepare gluten-free pasta as instructed in the pack. While boiling, move on to prepare the sauce.

In a sauce pan, melt butter in low heat and slowly whisk in the flour, and then the milk a little at a time, until fully combined. Adjust heat to medium to simmer, making sure to keep an eye on the mixture to avoid burning, whisking continuously.

Empty the can of gluten-free tomato bisque soup in the sauce pan, and let simmer. Add the cheddar, salt and pepper, and set aside after 1 minute. Cheddar is a gluten-free cheese, lucky us! Only, be careful to use real cheddar and not processed cheddar to avoid any additives that can contain gluten.

In another pan, sauté  shallots until translucent, and then add the mushrooms. You can do a few pieces of mushroom at a time so they have enough space in the pan to get sufficiently browned. You’ll get much more flavor in the dish, this way. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

When the pasta is al dente. Mix in theother ingredients: tomato sauce mixture, shallots and mushrooms. On medium heat, allow to simmer to let the water evaporate, leaving you just enough liquid so that your pasta is creamy but no longer runny.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe from Amy’s, adapted and made gluten-free. 

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