It’s all about mushrooms this week

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

I was racking my brains for something easy and delicious for dinner last night. I usually try to cook something special for dinner on Saturday nights because it’s my one night I usually have time to cook something different.

As I’m a vegetarian, mushrooms are an important part of my diet, and I realised I hadn’t made a mushroom tart for a long time. So that was last night’s dinner.

Mushrooms are a really good addition to anyone’s diet, not just vegetarians. I have to confess, when I was a kid, I really didn’t like them. I’m not sure when I did start liking them, but now I rely on them to boost my nutritional intake.

As a celiac, as well as being vegetarian, it can sometimes be a struggle to make sure I’m getting all the nutrition I should be. Mushrooms are ideal: they’re cholesterol free, fat free, low calorie and very low in sodium (salt to you and me!). Along with that they’re high in B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.

  • Pantothenic acid helps with the production of hormones and also plays an important role in the nervous system.
  • Riboflavin helps maintain healthy red blood cells.
  • Niacin promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly.

They also contain selenium, copper and potassium, as well as being high in beta-glucans. Selenium and beta-glucans are great for boosting your immunity, and protect your cells from the damage that chronic diseases and conditions like celiac can do to your body.

Gluten Free Mushroom Tart

With all that in mind, I regularly include mushrooms in my diet. Either grilled with eggs and tomato for breakfast, or in something like my delicious mushroom tart. It’s actually quite quick to make, and contains garlic and onions as well as mushrooms, so you’ll get all the benefits of those two prebiotics as well as the mushroom goodies.

Image of Gluten Free Mushroom Tart

Gluten Free Mushroom Tart

Give it a go for dinner some time this week.

Gluten Free Custard Tarts

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to make too much pastry when I make a tart. This time I used the leftover dough to bake some little pastry blinds for future use. I was going to freeze them, but then got inspired to make some custard tarts instead.

My partner loves custard tarts and buys them from the local supermarket regularly. I often look at them longingly and wish I could have some. So I decided – how hard can they be? I pretty much remembered how to make baked custard so I used the little pastry shells I baked last night and filled them with custard mix and bunged them in the oven. They worked a treat so I had one with lunch today. I don’t think they’ll freeze so I guess I’ll have to eat the others over the next few days. What a shame! You have no idea how much I suffer for the sake of this blog!

Go on – give them a go. You too can have custard tarts for a snack, or for desert.

Until next week, take care and eat well.

Image of Gluten Free Custard Tart

Gluten Free Custard Tart

I’m late this week, Honey

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

I’m running late with my blog this week. It’s been a super busy week, but here I am. And it’s a honey themed blog. If you remember, last week I said I was fixing my dad’s PC. The hard drive had died and I spent a week doing my best to resurrect it. In the end I admitted defeat and did a clean install to a new disk.

Anyway – I finally got it all done and made the trek up to his place to return it to him. While we were up in that neck of the woods we went to a honey shop to buy some honey wholesale. My partner and I run a holiday cottage, and we provide little jars of jam, marmalade and jarrah honey. Normally the honey is quite expensive so I was hoping to be able to buy it wholesale and save us a bit of money.

Interestingly, I was listening to a podcast a couple of weeks ago where Sydney University here in Australia had done some research and shown that all honey is prebiotic. Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut, and a lot of veggies are prebiotic. But now they’ve discovered that honey is prebiotic, and jarrah honey, produced here in Western Australia, is especially high in prebiotics.

New Zealand and Australia have a variety of honey called Manuka which is very high in anti-microbial activity. Tests with these honeys successfully killed all bad bacteria, including the so-called antibiotic resistant “super-bugs”. Now, jarrah honey has been shown to be even more potent anti-microbial properties than manuka honey. It’s considered to be one of the most “active” honey’s in the world.

My partner and I have a drink of apple cider vinegar and honey every morning. After my research, I’ve decided I’ll be making it with jarrah honey in future.

In celebration of all things honey this week, both my recipes for you show you the versatility of honey.

Honey Prawns

When looking for savoury recipes that use honey, I came across lots using chicken, and lots of honey roasted vegetables. But I remember having honey prawns years ago and loved them. I had pretty much forgotten about them until I was searching for inspiration. I thought you might also like to have a go at making these for dinner one night. As well as being delicious, this is super quick to make.

Image of Honey Prawns

Honey Prawns

Jump over here to find my recipe for Honey Prawns and give them a go for dinner tomorrow night.

Gluten Free Bee Sting Cake

This cake is a gluten free variation on the traditional Bienenstich Cake, so named because of the honey glaze on, and in, the cake. Before raising agents were discovered, yeast was commonly used to raise cakes. As you know, gluten free flours work differently with yeast so I had to play with this recipe a bit to make it work properly. One trick I’ve found is to bake gluten free cakes and breads a a lower temperature, and for longer than those made with wheat flour.

While this recipe looks a bit complicated, it’s actually not. It takes a while because you need to make sure each step cools down completely before moving on to the next stage, but the time is worth it.

Make the time to make my gluten free bee sting cake next weekend and you’ll be glad you did.

Image of Gluten Free Bee Sting Cake

Gluten Free Bee Sting Cake

Until next week, take care and eat well.

Migraines, Disk Drives and Cinnamon Scrolls

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

It’s been a mixture of good and frustrating this week. I’ve helped someone make a start on the gluten free path to see if it helps her migraines, I’ve spent the week trying to fix the hard disk drive in my father’s PC and I made some delicious cinnamon scrolls. As you can see, a mixed bag!

Celiac Disease and Migraines

A friend of a friend has been plagued by migraines that are getting steadily worse. Having suffered from them for many years, I know how bad they can get. Based on some research I had already done, I suggested she tried giving up gluten for a while to see if it helped.

I know I have said in the past that people shouldn’t just give up gluten without being tested for sensitivity first, but (given how bad her headaches are getting) it might just be worthwhile her giving it a go to see if if helps.

There has been some research showing a strong link between celiac disease and migraines. Some research was done in 2012 to test the prevalence of migraines in people with celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome. For those of you with insomnia, or with a penchant for reading scholarly articles, the article I read is here.  For the rest of you, the article described how 502 people: 188 with celiac disease, 111 with IBS, 25 with gluten sensitivity, and 178 controls were surveyed for the incidence of migraines.

Those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and IBS all had a significantly higher prevalence of migraine headaches compared with controls. Seventy-two percent of people with celiac disease graded their migraine as severe, compared with 30% of IBS sufferers, 60% of  people with gluten sensitivity, and 50% of the control subjects.

A number of other websites suggest that avoiding gluten can minimise the occurrence and severity of migraines. So, for people who suffer from really bad, recurring migraines deciding to give the gluten free diet a go might just help.

Damned Disk Drives!

My other life (when I’m not cooking up gluten free goodies) is in IT. I’ve worked in computing for years, but the last few years has been mainly in management rather than hands on. But that hasn’t stopped me offering to help where I can when family and friends find themselves in difficulties. The drama for this week has been my father’s PC which is starting to get hard disk errors.

Rashly, I thought it would be an easy fix to just clone the drive onto a new one, whack the new drive in the PC and boom! Off you go.

Silly me! Several days later and I’m still arguing with the blasted thing. Windows just refuses to boot from the cloned drive. Foolishly, today I decided to re-clone and start again. And, wouldn’t you believe it, now the damned thing won’t clone. So, I turned the whole thing off and went and made some cinnamon scrolls instead. At least I can get them to work!

Cinnamon Scrolls

I’ve always wondered how to get scrolls out of gluten free yeast dough. If you’ve baked gluten free bread or rolls you will know the dough is very sticky.Not quite a batter, but close to it. So I wondered how on earth you would shape scrolls and cut the dough.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the answer is cling film and dental floss. It turns out, if you put your dough between two sheets of cling film, you can push or roll it out beautifully. Then you use the cling film to get the dough to roll up, and use the dental floss to cut the resulting sausage of dough into portions.

It works a treat! If you would like to check out my recipe and follow the instructions to get your own crunchy topped, soft cinnamon scrolls click here.

Image of Cinnamon Scrolls

Cinnamon Scrolls

Gluten Free Cannelloni

Your savoury dish for this week is gluten free cannelloni. I use commercial cannelloni tubes for this, but you could make gluten free crepes and use those instead if you prefer.

This recipe is for my friend Sue. She used to regularly ask me for a decent vegetarian lasagna recipe. I know this one is cannelloni, but you can use the spinach and cheese filling in layers between gluten free lasagne as well.

So, Sue, this recipe is for you – finally!

Until next week, take care and eat well.

 

 

 

Unexplained Rise in the Incidence of Celiac Disease

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

When I was growing up, Celiac Disease seemed to be almost unknown. I know it was a battle for my mother to convince our doctor that I had anything wrong. It took a real battle for her to get me diagnosed. Over the years the medical community seems to have dramatically increased their understanding of celiac disease. This has led to a lot more people being diagnosed with this complaint.

However, there seems to have been an unexplained rise in celiac disease since the 1950’s. Usually, the prevalence of celiac disease in the community is rated at about 1% of the population. However, an analysis of 20 years worth of data tracking the development of the disease in at risk children found that the actual prevalence was more like 3%.

It has also been shown that there has been a significant increase in antibodies associated with celiac disease in the general US population since the 1950’s. Sweden, also, experienced what is now referred to as a celiac epidemic in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. One study estimated that as many as 3 percent of children born at the height of the epidemic had developed celiac disease by the age of 12, though rates dropped back down to just over 2 percent for children born in 1997.

One of the concerns for the medical community is that the increase of celiac disease to 3% of the population means it is now a relatively common disease. But they cannot explain why the increase has occurred. One theory is that there has been a significant increase in the amount of gluten being consumed. People now eat much more wheat products such as breads, cakes etc. as compared to previous communities who relied more on meat and vegetables.

Authorities are now looking to examine both the cause of the increase, and what is triggering celiac disease in people general in more detail. In the meantime, if you’d like to read the article I did, you can find it here.

Your Sunday Lunch

Image of Gluten Free Pastie

Gluten Free Pastie

Last Sunday I was hunting around for something reasonably easy and healthy for lunch. I had an urge for something hot and tasty, but didn’t want to go to the effort of creating puff pastry. So I dragged out one of my old cookbooks, and had a stab at adapting flaky pastry. I have to say I was very pleased with the result, and it inspired me to make some pasties.

When I was at school I used to love pasties. Hot, spicy and tasty. But I haven’t had them in years. Now I’ve made them once, I reckon I’ll definitely be making them again though!

If you’d like to give them a go, then the recipe is here.

And your Sweet  Treat for the Week

I love lemons. I love the flavours and how they can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. We have a lemon tree here and I regularly raid it for some fruit to use in some of my dishes.

This slice is one I put together sometimes when I have friends coming over for lunch or afternoon tea. It takes a while to make so it’s not one you can throw together in a hurry. But, trust me, the time spent is worth it.

While this recipe is reasonably sweet, you can pump up the lemon in the lemon butter if you like it more tangy like I do.

So, without further ado, I give you my recipe for Lemon Coconut Slice.

Gluten Free Lemon Coconut Slice

Gluten Free Lemon Coconut Slice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next week, take care and eat well

 

 

 

Celiac Disease – Differences in symptoms in adults and children

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

A lot of people are not aware that celiac disease presents differently in children and adults.

The most common signs of celiac disease in adults are diarrhea, tiredness and weight loss. They may also have bloating, pain in the abdomen, constipation and vomiting. But more than half of people suffering from celiac disease may actually have a range of different symptoms including:

  • Anemia
  • Loss of bone density or softening of the bone
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash
  • damaged tooth enamel
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
  • Problems with balance
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Joint pain
  • Acid reflux and heartburn.

Before I went on a gluten free diet, I got really bad mouth ulcers. I never realised they were due to the gluten in my diet. It was only after I stopped the wheat and my ulcers went away that I made the connection

Celiac Symptoms in Children

Children under 2 have a quite different set of symptoms. They may show any, or all of these:

  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen belly
  • Failure to thrive
  • Poor appetite
  • Muscle wasting.

Children Older than 2 may have the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Short stature
  • Delayed puberty
  • ADHD
  • Learning difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Seizures

If your children or if you know someone whose child is showing any of the symptoms above, I suggest you get them to have the child tested for celiac disease. If their GP dismisses this request, then their parents should either insist, or ask to see another doctor who would be more open to testing their child. Don’t let them go off wheat until the testing is done, or the result will come back as negative.

Nidos de Arroz con Huevo

Image of Huevos Con Arroz

Huevos Con Arroz

Sunday nights are a lazy night for us. We like to make a nice, simple dinner and put our feet up watching TV, and mentally preparing for the week ahead. We generally have some sort of egg dish because they’re just so versatile and easy to do. One of my favourites at the moment are these Nidos de Arroz con Huevo.

They’re quick and easy to make and surprisingly filling. I knock up a couple of them and we settle down for the evening.

Bundt Cake

The headline image on my website has a picture of a feast of cakes I made once for an afternoon tea. The centrepiece of the image is a Bundt cake. This cake derives from a traditional European cake called a Gugelhupf. But the Bundt cake name was actually registered by an American company in the 1950’s when they started producing Bundt cake pans.

There is no set recipe for Bundt cakes, the main characteristic is the central “chimney” that leaves a central hole in the middle of the cake. Generally they have a baked in filling, but are left un-iced. They are usually sprinkled with icing sugar or drizzle glazed.

My version here has a struesel swirl in the middle of it. You can also use chocolate, strawberry or any other filling.

Image of Gluten Free Bundt Cake

Gluten Free Bundt Cake

Until next week, take care and eat well

 

 

No Soup, Salad Instead

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

I know it’s Winter here in Australia, but I love a good salad any time of the year. And you lucky folk in the Northern Hemisphere are just starting your summer. So the salad I’ve got this week will be ideal for you. Read on for more.

A Diet for PCOS and Insulin Resistance

One of my subscribers (Sheenah P. – this is for you) asked me to research a diet for women who suffer for polycystic ovary syndrome. Now, before you blokes all go “Erk! An article about women’s stuff!”, this condition affects an awful number of women. So the chances are, if you don’t know someone with it now, you probably will in the future.

Now, this website is devoted to all things wheat and gluten free, and I don’t want to muddy the waters, but I will provide some guidance for those who suffer from PCOS because this article also affects people with insulin resistance and/or wheat intolerance.

This cause of PCOS is not well known, and is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms include irregular periods, acne, and obesity. Women with PCOS can also find it very difficult to become pregnant.

While most of the treatments for PCOS are medical such as hormone treatment, it is important to address the tendency to obesity. One common issue is insulin resistance. Read on those of you with weight issues who have been warned by your doctor that you are in danger of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

The best way to deal with insulin resistance is to adopt a diet that is relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates. For those of you who have heard of it, a modified version of the Keto Diet is recommended. But don’t use the Keto Diet as it’s very high in fats and that is a problem for insulin resistance too.

Avoid wheat and gluten as much as possible. If you must eat rice, make it brown rice, not white. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables,  and good healthy proteins such as oily fish (salmon or tuna), eggs, cheese and nuts. The quinoa salad on this blog post is an ideal recipe for someone with PCOS or insulin resistance. Quinoa and amaranth are great as they are high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

If you know someone with PCOS or insulin resistance keep an eye on this blog. I will be shortly announcing a new site where I will provide information and recipes ideally suited for those of you with either (or both) of these conditions.

Quinoa Salad

In the meantime, let’s move on to this weeks recipes. As I mentioned I regularly make quinoa salad for lunch. It’s so quick and easy to do, and my partner likes it as much as I do. Quinoa really is a super food. As well as being very high in protein, it also contains a complete range of amino acids, and is low carbohydrate and (of course!) gluten free.

Feel free to chop and change the salad veggies depending on what’s in season, and what takes your fancy.

Flourless Orange Marmalade Cake

My sweet treat this week is a variation on the classic Orange Almond cake. Instead of flour, this uses almond meal instead. And, to step it up a notch, dress it up with delicious cream flavoured with orange marmalade. Check out the recipe here.

Image of Flourless Orange Marmalade Cake

Flourless Orange Marmalade Cake

 

Until next week, take care and eat well.

 

 

Autistic Children and the Gluten Free Diet

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

A few years ago, I read somewhere that some parents of autistic children reported that a gluten and/or casein free diet helped with some of the symptoms of autism. Specifically, they reported improvements in communication, cognitive, motor, verbal and social skills.

Based on the early studies, some autism support websites suggested that parents remove gluten and casein (milk products) from their autistic children’s diets.

However, A new study in Pediatrics assessed the current research on these types of nutritional interventions and determined that the actual outcomes are inconclusive. Many of the trials had a significant risk of bias in them. The trials included a total of 732 children and investigated the benefits of supplements, variations of the gluten-free and/or casein-free diet and other dietary treatments. The interventions lasted from a week to two years.

The trials did not yield enough evidence to draw any conclusions about the benefits of eliminating gluten or casein from children’s diets. No changes occurred in autistic children’s behavior or in their gastrointestinal symptoms when they consumed a food containing gluten or casein after being on one of these diets.

The conclusion of the peer reviews was that there was little evidence to support the effectiveness of nutritional supplements or the gluten-free, casein-free diet for improving Autism Spectrum Disorder  symptoms. They suggest parents should discuss any major changes to children’s diets with their health-care provider or Autism Support providers before implementing.

Potato and Leek Soup

In keeping with my soupy theme of the last few weeks, I’ve provided my recipe here for Potato and Leek Soup. I love this soup – thick, creamy and very tasty. I dug some potatoes from my garden today but ran out of time to make this yummy dish today, so it’s definitely on the menu for tomorrow’s lunch.

Lamingtons

Lamingtons are an Australian Classic.  Apparently, they are believed to have been created by accident by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland. The maid-servant accidentally dropped some sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Lord Lamington did not believe in waste so he suggested that the cake should be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate and avoid messy fingers.

Now, lamingtons are made for fund-raisers and special occasions all over Australia. Many years ago, I ran a business that overlooked a religious charitable organisation. Once a month, they would have a major lamington making frenzy. If it was fine, they would line up trestle tables outside, and everyone would line up to create a production line, with some cutting, some dunking, and some rolling the cake in coconut. In a couple of hours, they would create several hundred lamingtons to sell to raise funds.

I baked these lamingtons last Australia Day (January 26) to acknowledge a great Australian classic on the day we celebrate all things Australian. Just to make them even more irresistible I filled them with butter cream and home-made strawberry jam.

Try them some time when you want to indulge in a sweet treat.

Image of Gluten Free Lamingtons

Gluten Free Lamingtons

 

 

 

Until next week, take care and eat well.

How long is it since you had scones?

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

When I was cooking with wheat I was proud of my scone making ability. I could make light, fluffy, tall scones. By tall, I mean they weren’t little nuggets of scones like some you see around. Mine were big pillowy things that just lent themselves to jam and cream.

But then, I had to learn to bake gluten free and for years scones have eluded me. No matter what I did, I just could not get the to rise. If anything, they went out, not up. And they were heavy! They would have worked really well as weights on a fishing line.

I tried everything – lemonade scones; add the dry ingredients to the wet rather than the other way around; use soda water; use heaps of baking powder. You name it, I tried it. And nothing worked.

Then, a few weeks ago I thought I’d give buttermilk a go. And, blow me down, proper scones! Like many gluten free foods, they are a bit more moist than traditional scones, but they’re light, tasty, and actually went up instead of out.

So this week, I share with you my recipe for gluten free scones. I’ve given you a couple of variations to try as well. Today I made cheese scones for lunch which my non-celiac partner ate happily.

Image of Gluten Free Scones

Gluten Free Scones

Minestrone Soup

Then, for dinner tonight I made my version of minestrone soup. You might have noticed I’ve been on a bit of a soup binge. It’s one reason I love winter, my chance to bring out my repertoire of soup recipes.

I love minestrone soup, it’s a great way to get your allocation of fresh veggies, as well as pulses and tomatoes. A real Mediterranean feast. Served with gluten free bread, makes for the perfect dinner on a cold winter’s night.

Image of Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Chili Sauce Update

If you remember, last week I told you I had harvested a bonanza of chilies from my chili bush. I was planning to make Sweet Chili Sauce, and finally got around to it on Wednesday. The tedious part was splitting the chilies and scraping out the seeds. One thing I’ll tell you for free – if someone tells you to wear gloves when you’re doing this part of the job, believe them!

I didn’t bother, just ploughed into it. Chopping and scraping chilies with no protection on my hands. And boy did I pay for that! I spent the next couple of days clutching a couple of ice packs to settle the burning in my hands.

But, thanks to my burning hands and a large pile of chilies, I made up 3 and a half litres (7.4 pints) of sweet chili sauce. Major hot I have to say. Apparently, you can make it with 50/50 capsicums (red bell peppers) to make a milder sauce, but I went all in using just chilies.

The bottles of sauce are now lined up on my kitchen bench waiting to be shared with the kids. They will get a bottle each, and the rest will be squirreled away to use for my satay chicken recipe that I’ll share with you another day

Until then, take care and eat well.

 

 

Chilies and Pumpkin Soup

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life. It’s all about chilis and soup this week.

I’ve just reaped the last rewards of my summer harvest, and I now have chilies coming out my ears. I planted a new bush at the beginning of summer because my last bush had run it’s course. But I have to say I didn’t expect the output to be quite as good as it has been.

I have been passing out chilies to anyone who looks vaguely interested. Even the parrots have been getting a feast. Every time I walk out the door into the garden, there is a flurry of feathers as they take off from feasting. The funny thing is they eat the outside of the fruit and leave the seeds dangling from the stem. It looks quite weird! Interestingly, apparently parrots are immune to the capsaicin that is the magic ingredient that give chilies and and peppers their heat. And, it’s not the seeds that are the hot part, it’s the white fleshy bits inside the chilies that is the hot bit.

Anyway, I now have almost half a washing basket of chilies. So the next few days will be spent in a frenzy of making chili jam, sweet chili sauce, and anything else chili I can think of making. Any ideas – all suggestions gratefully received!

Pumpkin Soup

It’s almost winter and we’re having a real winter blast this weekend. It’s raining and cold which means neither us nor the dogs want to go outside too much. A quick walk around the lake, and a scamper around the garden to collect goodies for vegetable stock is about all I managed today (apart from picking all those chilies!).

I had picked up a nice big lump of pumpkin the other day at the supermarkets, so I decided it was ideal soup weather. I love pumpkin soup, so I knocked up a nice big batch so we can have some for lunch today and tomorrow. I have taken the traditional recipe and given it a bit of a twist. The recipe is here for you to check out.

Lovely with a couple of pieces of bread while watching the rain fall outside.

Image of Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

For your sweet treat this week, I’m sharing my recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies (or biscuits as we Aussies call them). Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were created by accident? Apparently the accidental genius who made the first batch was making traditional chocolate cookies but was in a hurry. So, instead of melting the chocolate and mixing into the rest of the ingredients as she should have done, she dumped the packet of chocolate chips into the cookie dough and baked them, expecting them to melt into the dough. Presumably, if they had worked, no one would have been any the wiser. But, luckily for all of us, the chocolate chips held their shapes and the chocolate chip cookie was born.

Just because you’re celiac, or going wheat free, doesn’t mean you need to miss out on these tasty little treasures. So here’s my recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies so you can knock up a batch for afternoon tea.

Until next week, take care and eat well.

Image of Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Hi there! Is it Mother’s Day where you are? It is here in Australia, so a big hello to all the mums out there. I’ve got a couple of real treats for you here you can try for yourself, or for your mother.

But first, I’ve got some interesting news to share with you about how the bacteria in your gut changes your brain structures, and how your brain can change you gut bacteria.

Gut Bacteria Affects Brain Structure in People with IBS

There has been some really interesting research done in the last couple of years on gut bacteria. Researchers have found that gut bacteria can have an effect on mental health as well as on general health and weight.

In fact, they have found that some people with mental health issues can be significantly improved by changing the environment in their gut. Really interesting for me was hearing that some people with schizophrenia who have adopted a gluten free diet have experienced improvements in their conditions.

The latest research I read the other day has shown that, for people with irritable bowel syndrome, the bacteria in the gut seems to a direct effect on structures in the brain that have to do with response to stimuli. And changes to that area of the brain, also affect the gut.

Even more amazing was that childhood trauma seems to have a direct effect on both areas – the gut and the brain.

I’ve put the full article here so you can read all the details, and I’ve included the link to the original article I read in case you want to read more.

Mother’s Day Treats

So, for this week, given it’s Mother’s Day I thought I’d share with you a couple of recipes you can make for her special day.

Suppli

I don’t know about you, but I find risotto is a real go-to dish for me when I want to knock up something easy and tasty. I always have home-made stock in the freezer I can bring out to use when I need to which makes things a bit easier. But I always tend to make too much so I was pleased one day to find Suppli which is a traditional Italian dish which uses left over risotto to make rice balls with a knob of cheese melted in the middle.

So here is my recipe for gluten free Suppli. Make your risotto the day before if you can. If not, they tend to “explode” in the oven. But if you don’t mind a little melted cheese on your plate, then you can knock up the risotto and just wait for it to cool enough to handle.

Image of Suppli (rice balls)Serve with a nice fresh salad and a glass of chilled white wine. Then follow with my rhubarb tart tatin for a meal made in heaven!

 

 

 

  Rhubarb Tart Tatin

My next recipe builds on the gluten free puff pastry recipe I shared with you last week. I’ve had rhubarb growing in my garden for a while and I decided it was time to pick some and make something special. For some reason, it’s green, not red, at the moment. Although I notice the new growth is coming through red, so I suspect it may be because rhubarb needs it to be a bit cold to develop that traditional red colour. But it tastes just fine so I thought I’d have a go at making a version of the traditional French Tart Tatin. Instead of using apples, I used my rhubarb, and the rest of my batch of puff pastry.

It was mighty fine I have to say – with a generous dollop of cream on the side, it was a great way to finish of our meal. So here is my recipe for Gluten Free Rhubarb Tart Tatin.

Image of Rhubarb Tart Tatine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next week, take care and eat well.