Why Gluten Free?

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes gluten, a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye.

It causes health problems in sufferers of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and some cases of wheat allergy.

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Gluten free diets have become popular not just for health reasons with celebrities like Miley Cyrus eating a gluten free diet, it’s now wonder such publications like The book Wheat Belly which refers to wheat as a “chronic poison” became a New York Times bestseller within a month of publication in 2011. Gluten free foods have also become a favorite with food manufacturers now offering a variety in super markets all around the world.

People buy gluten-free food “because they think it will help them lose weight, because they seem to feel better or because they mistakenly believe they are sensitive to gluten.

However, the gluten-free diet is not recommended as a means to eat healthier, lose weight, or diagnose one’s own symptom, I strongly advise you seek your GP advise before following this diet if not required or educating yourself more on the subject, unless great care is taken, a gluten-free diet can lack the vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, and other gluten-containing whole grains.

Although this can be mitigated through the consumption of brown rice and quinoa, many practitioners of the diet do not consume the recommended number of grain servings per day, many gluten-free products are not fortified or enriched by such nutrients as folate, iron, and fiber as traditional breads and cereals have been during the last century.

Adding pumpkin seeds into your gluten free foods is a rich source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the nutrient that gives pumpkin its deep orange color.

It is also a good source of heart-healthy potassium and folate. And don’t forget about the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are high in healthy minerals including manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and bone-healthy Vitamin K. Other nutritional attributes of pumpkin seeds include the amino acid tryptophan, monounsaturated fatty acids and healthy plant phytosterols- good for your heart and lipid health, nutrients the body requires to function as its best.

5 Gluten-Free recipes with pumpkin seeds 

Gluten-Free pancakes

3 varieties (Plain, apples or pecan):

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups canned light coconut milk OR milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pre-seasoned / sweetened pumpkin pie filling)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons light olive oil OR canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (preferably without added xanthan or guar gum)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon guar gum OR xanthan gum (OMIT if you are using a GF all-purpose flour mix that contains xanthan or guar gum)
Extra oil for cooking pancakes
For Apple Pumpkin Gluten-Free Pancakes – 1 medium, cored, finely chopped apple
For Pecan Pumpkin Gluten-Free Pancakes – 1 cup chopped pecans

gluten free pumpkin recipes2

Image by Justin Rasmussen

PREPARATION

Plain Pumpkin Pancakes- Combine milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy, in a separate medium mixing bowl combine gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and xanthan OR guar gum and whisk until thoroughly combined, then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined, then pour about 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil in a heavy skillet and heat over medium high heat and pour 1/4 cup pancake batter into preheated skillet and smooth into a circle with a spoon, cook each side of pancake until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side, add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon oil to preheated skillet before pouring batter into skillet for each pancake: Note- Serve warm, yield- About 12 4-inch pancakes

Gluten-Free Apple Pumpkin Pancakes

Core and finely chop one medium apple (no need to peel.) Spoon pancake batter into preheated, oiled skillet. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon chopped apple on top of pancake- one side only. Flip and cook as for plain pancakes.

Gluten-Free Pecan Pumpkin Pancakes

Chop 1 cup of pecans. Spoon pancake batter into preheated, oiled skillet. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon chopped pecans on top of pancake- one side only. Flip and cook as for plain pancakes.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (not sweetened canned pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon amaranth flour OR sweet rice flour
2 lightly beaten large eggs
1 cup evaporated canned milk
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heavy, whipping cream for garnish (optional)

 PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F

1- Combine all ingredients for pie filling in a large mixing bowl. Beat until mixture is smooth and blended, about 1 minute.
2- Set the unbaked gluten free pie crust on a large baking sheet. Pour filling mixture into the pie crust.
3- Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean. Over baking can cause the top of the pie to crack.
4- Garnish with fresh whipped cream, dusted with cinnamon sugar (optional).

Gluten-Free Spiced Pumpkin Pudding

INGREDIENTS

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups half-and-half or light cream

PREPARATION

Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Heat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk or beat on low speed until blended. Pour into the prepared casserole and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream and cinnamon sugar for sprinkling serves 6 to 8.

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