How to avoid stomach problems due to gluten sensitivity!
Recently, I’ve been profiling ancient grains. For many years, most Americans have been familiar with a handful of common grains, such as wheat, barley, oats, and brown rice. All of these are healthful grains that deserve a place in your diet—provided you do not suffer from gluten intolerance. Whole grains are an important component of the healthful Mediterranean diet, for example.
Barley and wheat contain proteins called gluten and gliadin, and some individuals with a condition called celiac disease must avoid them to avoid becoming ill. But for most of us, gluten is unlikely to be a problem. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in finding alternatives, and expanding your culinary horizons at the same time, you may wish to try something old that’s new to you.
Quinoa is riding a wave of international popularity at the moment, and deservedly so. This ancient South American staple is chewy, crunchy and slightly nutty tasting, and has an excellent nutritional profile, supplying admirable amounts of protein. But quinoa is not the only exotic grain out there for you to discover. Let’s talk about getting your freekeh on.
Freekeh is an Arabic word that means “to rub.” It refers to the way this food is made from immature grains, such as wheat or other cereal crops. The immature grains are bursting with nutrients. They are first parched, then roasted, then rubbed to produce the final product known as freekeh. It’s reportedly high in fiber and minerals, low in available carbohydrates, and has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not significantly raise blood sugar levels. It’s also reportedly rich in flavor and pleasant texture. It is not, however, necessarily gluten free, given that it most likely will have been made from immature wheat.
It’s been compared to coarse bulgar, another rice-like grain made from wheat. But it may well have a better, more complex flavor profile. One New York Times writer spoke of “smokiness;” a result of its production process, which may involve roasting of the green grains over open fires. Available whole or cracked, the cracked version that’s most commonly available in U.S. groceries and Middle Eastern markets is arguably easier to work with and has the best flavor. Try using it in any existing recipe you may have that calls for bulgar or brown rice.
Top 3 reasons why you should replace brown rice with quinoa:
1) Quinoa is non-GMO, Gluten Free and usually grown organically. Even though not technically a grain, it still counts as a “whole grain” food.
2) Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains, with one source finding 17-27 grams of fiber per cup of uncooked Quinoa
3) Quinoa is high in fiber, protein and has a low glycemic index. These properties have all been linked to weight loss and improved health.
One pot mexican dinner! Click on the link below for the recipe by Damndelicious.net!
The New York Times. Accessed July 30, 2015 at: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017122-freekeh-chickpea-and-herb-salad