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May 23, 2017

Gluten-Free, More Than a Fad?

A few years ago, the word gluten was heard as often as the word platypus. With a full aisle meant for gluten-free groceries and even allegations towards cosmetics, one would think that gluten is now well known to all ... but is this really the case?

What is Gluten, Exactly?

Gluten is a protein found naturally in several cereals: wheat (including its various varieties such as spelt and kamut), barley, rye, and triticale. While they do not contain it naturally, oats are often contaminated, so we must be vigilant if we want to be certain we have a cereal that is completely gluten free.

Not surprisingly, gluten is found in products made from these cereals: bread, bakery products, pastries, pasta, beer... but that's not all! Given its properties, gluten is also used as a texturing agent in various processed products such as sauces, soups, sausages and pollock. As you can see, it's a lot of food to be removed from your diet... but is it really necessary?

All Against 1 and 1 Against All!

In recent years, many people have decided to shun gluten, but in reality, only a tiny part of the population actually benefits.

Only 1% of the population is affected by celiac disease. For these individuals, gluten consumption, even in trace amounts, induces an abnormal immune system reaction which causes inflammation of the small intestine. In the long term, it becomes too damaged to perform its functions well and absorption of several nutrients is reduced, resulting in many deficiencies. Gluten intolerance is therefore not a rumor, it is very real and damaging to those who have it.

On the other hand, if you don’t have celiac disease, no need to put gluten aside. You can still benefit from the expanse of gluten-free products to discover new grains, because as is often said, with food, variety is key. Amaranth, kaniwa, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, teff... so many grains that deserve to find a spot on your plate!

For this recipe, we have chosen to introduce you to kaniwa, commonly called baby quinoa. It has a red color, is very crunchy, and is particularly rich in iron. Love it!

Portions : 4

Ingredients

For the dressing

  •     2 tablespoons (30 ml) sesame butter (tahini)
  •     2 tablespoons (30 ml) hummus
  •     Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  •     1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
  •     3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
  •     1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated ginger
  •     Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad

  •     2 cups (500 ml) cooked kaniwa
  •     4 cups (1 L) baby kale
  •     2 cups (500 ml) chickpeas
  •     1 avocado, sliced
  •     2 oranges, supremed
  •     ½ cup (125 ml) pomegranate arils
  •     ¼ cup (60 ml) Elan pumpkin seeds

Preparation

1.    Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended.
2.    Divide kaniwa, kale, chickpeas, avocado and oranges into portions. Garnish with sauce, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Value

560 kcal, 84 g of carbohydrates (including 18 g of fiber), 24 g of protein, and 22 g of fat.

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