I gave up Gluten for lent
By, Gina Meyers
I love food. I love baking. To me, food is love. I am a cookbook author, so I enjoy the pursuits of the kitchen. I enjoy eating flaky almond croissants, Madeleine cookies, and coconut macaroons. As much as I enjoy these yummy treats, they all contain wheat flour, aka, gluten. I chose to be gluten free for lent, because in all honesty, I wanted to see if I could give up some of my favorite treats, besides putting my will-power to the test, I also wanted to experiment with the new and improved gluten-free products on the market.
While having a lot more energy, being gluten free did not change my personality, my moods, or my weight that much. —I am slender to begin with, though my clothes are fitting much looser since giving up gluten.
Here are some tips to help you give up gluten.
This is a commitment to you. There always is a purpose behind the plan. Define for yourself why you are giving up gluten, what are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish?
Give yourself a deadline. I knew I was giving up gluten for lent. Lent is forty days. I knew that I had a deadline, a finish line in essence. I knew that there was going to be a day when I could add gluten back in my diet should I chose to do so.
Make it a habit. Just like taking a shower and brushing your teeth, remember that giving up gluten is part of your new routine.
If you eliminate gluten, replace it with something nourishing to your spirit.
Enlist a support team. Enlist the help and support of others. Tell people you are giving up gluten. You must speak up in order to build awareness of the fact that you are giving up gluten.
Have a plan. If you are going out with friends to a restaurant, have a plan. Speak to the host or hostess and request a gluten-free menu. Say, “hi”, I’m giving up gluten. Do you have a gluten-free menu?
Pack your own gluten-free snacks. If going to a birthday party or another event where there will be dessert, it doesn’t hurt to bring a dessert that you know you can eat.
With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can be gluten free and loving it. Remember this is a personal decision and there will be people who don’t understand or sympathize, realize there are plenty of people that will support your decision, you just have to be clear and appreciative of your efforts and those around you.
Celebrate each day your success.
I see now that giving up anything isn’t that hard, what I’ve found more difficult is reminding myself that I can have gluten now if I want it.
Tomato Caprese Salad
4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced1/4 inch thick (such as Heirloom Tomatoes)
1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of Fresh Mozzarella, sliced ¼ inch thick
6 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
Directions: On a large platter, alternate and overlap tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices and basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. May place in the fridge to chill for ½ an hour and may eliminate vinegar and add more olive oil if desired. Can also cook the basil in extra virgin olive oil in a skillet.
Gluten-Free Lemon Cake Bites
3 cups of Nu Life Market All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Coconut Milk
1/2 cup of Sunflower Oil
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons f Lemon Extract
Directions: In a large bowl, gently whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Add in the coconut milk, lemon extract, vanilla extract, and the sunflower oil. Mix until well blended, combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in. Like pancake batter, do not over mix. Batter needs to be lumpy and thick. Using a Tablespoon or an ice cream scooper, fill the preheated cake pop maker with batter, close the lid and flip to begin cooking. Bake for three minutes, or according to cake pop maker directions. Flip cake pop maker back over and cook for two more minutes. Remove from cake pop maker. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.