Just found out you or a family member has coeliac disease? It’s easier than you think to give your favourite dishes a gluten-free makeover! Our experts share their top tips.
In your baking recipes, use xanthan gum to boost elasticity. use 1 teaspoon per cup of gluten-free flour for sweets, or 2 teaspoons per cup for savoury items.
As a tasty alternative to pita bread, use a single-egg omelette as a wrap for your favourite filling.
Replace wheat breadcrumbs with polenta as a crunchy crumb coating for delicious fish patties. Enjoy!
For an easy, clever replacement for pastry, fold one beaten egg into three cups of cooked white rice, season with salt and pepper and press into a flan dish.
You don’t have to miss out on tasty stuffing just because you now have to go gluten free. You can still use a ‘regular’ recipe, but replace the wheat breadcrumbs with cooked quinoa.
Make your own gluten-free plain flour using a blend of the following: 2 parts fine rice flour, 1 part maize cornflour and 1 part soy flour. To make it self-raising, add 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder.
Use cooked brown rice or quinoa, instead of cracked wheat (burghul),in your next tabouli salad.
Prepare gluten-free sandwiches before the household’s wheat-based sandwiches, to helpreduce crumbs.
Maize cornflour used in place of plain wheat flour helps thicken sauces and gravies.
Try rice paper sheets instead of wheat pasta sheets for lasagne. Soak dried sheets in hot water until softened. Blot rice sheets dry with a tea towel, and use three sheets per layer.
Make gluten-free chicken stock for your soups and sauces. Just sauté chopped carrot and celery in a large pot until golden, cover with water, add chicken bones and simmer for an hour. Strain the liquid and hey presto —your tasty stock!
Whip up a batch of homemade gluten-free muesli using quinoa flakes instead of oats. Mix it up with coconut, dried fruits, spices, nuts and seeds for a different flavour every time.
Make your own breadcrumbs by blitzing stale gluten-free bread, dried mixed herbs and parmesan in a food processor. Perfect for chicken schnitzels!
Clearly label peanut butter, jam and other condiments as ‘gluten free’ and keep them separate to use with gluten-free bread only. This will minimise the risk of contaminating them with regular breadcrumbs.
Croutons are off the menu, but mixed seeds are the perfect substitute to keep the ‘crunch factor’.
Soy sauce is a staple in Asian cooking, but standard varieties are made with wheat flour. Make the switch to reduced-salt tamari sauce to give your dinner a gluten-free flavour punch.
You can easily make Mexican fiestas gluten free when you use corn-based tortillas instead of wheat-based ones. Olé!
To prevent contamination from the residue on a dirty barbecue grill, place gluten-free foods on top of a Barbecue liner. This innovative flame-safe, melt-proof mat looks like a place mat, and can be bought at homeware stores.
Build a collection of dried herbs and spices so you don’t have to rely on store-bought seasonings, which are usually filled with flour (and salt!).
Risoni may look like rice, but it’s actually wheat-based pasta, so don’t be fooled into thinking its gluten free. Replace it with long-grain brown rice instead.
Plain air-popped popcorn is a great staple for easy on-the-go snacking instead of oat-based bars and flavoured snack mixes.
Udon, ramen and egg noodles are off the menu, but rice noodles or 100 per cent buckwheat soba noodles will do the trick nicely.
Plain dairy milk is gluten free, but alternatives like soy milk may surprisingly contain gluten — so always make sure you check the labels!
If you share a toaster, use ‘toast bags’ (available at homeware stores and some state coeliac organisations) for gluten-free bread to prevent cross contamination of crumbs. They look like little pillowslips for your bread!
Gluten-free wraps are just perfect for a thin and crispy pizza base. You can hardly tell the difference!
Love a lazy weekend grazing platter? Then simply replace your wheat-based crackers with some wholegrain rice crackers.
Instead of a bread roll, why not try rice paper rolls? Soak the rice paper in hot water, fill with veg and chicken, prawns or tofu, then fold together — ta-da!
Pulse pasta made from peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils rather than wheat flour, is a great pantry staple for hearty gluten-free meals. Plus, pulse pasta is higher in protein and fibre than regular wheat pasta!
Sunday morning pancakes aren’t off the menu: a mixture of almond meal, eggs, chia seeds and banana makes fora light and fluffy breakfast.
Throw away bottled salad dressings and stock your pantry with extra-virgin olive oil, honey and mustards and vinegars. Then mix ‘n’ match!
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where the body reacts abnormally to gluten.
It affects 1 in 70 Aussies, but around 80 per cent remain undiagnosed.
Around 50 per cent of people in Australia are born with a genetic predisposition to develop coeliac disease.
Currently the only recognised medical treatment is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet.