Sunday, 8 July 2012

Why Follow a Wheat Free Diet?

Why follow a wheat free diet?

With the advent of agriculture, wheat has emerged as the most commonly eaten grain globally. Due to its unparalleled rise as a wholesome and nutritious food, wheat found a place as an ingredient in a vast majority of food products. However despite its exalted status wheat and wheat containing foods are a cause of allergies and irritation to many people across the globe. An increased prevalence of wheat allergy or wheat intolerance has created a sudden spurt in the demand of wheat free foods.

The difference between wheat free and gluten free

Gluten is an ingredient found in many grains including wheat. In fact the gluten found in wheat is called gliadin. Some individuals who are allergic to wheat, can eat foods which are wheat free but are made from gluten containing grains. Some such grains, which contain gluten and can be eaten as a part of wheat free diet are rye, barley, spelt and oats etc.

Why should you follow a wheat free diet?

Wheat allergy or wheat intolerance manifests itself in the form of various physical and emotional symptoms such as gastric disturbances similar to irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea, bloating etc), mood swings, depression, fatigue, skin rashes, acne, eczema etc. The best way to treat these symptoms is to eliminate the allergen from your diet, i.e. wheat, hence, the need to follow wheat free diet.

What foods should be avoided on a wheat free diet?

You should always look for the ingredients list on the label before eating anything. When on a wheat free diet, you should avoid the following foods:

·         Any food product which has the word “wheat” on its ingredients list such wheat germ, wheat bran wheat flour etc. This list excludes buckwheat which is not related to wheat.

·         Avoid all food products which contain food and vegetable starch, gelatinized starch, soy sauce and any natural flavourings.

·         Wheat is a common ingredient in all types of baked goods due to its sticking properties. Hence, items such as bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits, pies etc. all contain wheat.

·         All types of soups, gravies and sauces usually utilize wheat flour as the thickening agent, hence should be avoided by individuals needing to follow a wheat free diet.

·         Snacks, salad dressings, pastas, macaroni, noodles etc. all contain wheat ingredients, unless specified as wheat free or gluten free.

Easy Gluten Free Vanilla Biscuits

Easy Gluten Free Vanilla Biscuits 

2 cups Brighterlife Pikelet Flour Mixture  
1/2 cup sugar or sugar alternative  
80 g butter or butter alternative  
1/2 tspn baking powder  
1 tspn of vanilla  
1 egg or egg replacer  
30-50mls extra water 


Beat butter and sugar until it starts to turn pale. Add the egg, mix well.  Add flour, baking powder and extra water and mix well. 
Mixture consistency should be a moist but thick texture. If it is still like bread crumbs add the extra water until the mixture binds. You can then scoop the mixture out and make balls in you hands. Place even distance apart on a well greased tray. 
Bake in a moderately slow oven - 160oC for approx 10mins or until browned. 

Great biscuit, fool proof and makes a great base for cheescake and truffle recipes 

Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes

Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes 

1 Packet of Brighterlife Kylie's Cupcake Mix or 200g Brighterlife Muffin Mix Mixture  
2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Cocoa Powder

Method: Follow the mixing instructions on the packet to make the cupcakes, or get recipe here. Add the additional coco. Bake in a moderately slow oven for approximately 15-20mins or until firm to touch.
**Tip: I baked these in the silicone cupcake cases and sat them in a muffin tray in the oven. Just make sure you remind the kids not to throw the cases away.

To make these cup cakes you will need Brighterlife Muffin Mix or Kylie's Cup Cake mix in our online store.

Butterscotch Pancakes

Butterscotch Pancakes 

6 cups  Brighterlife Pancake Mix
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon butterscotch flavour.

Mix all dry ingredients together then beat the eggs with buttermilk, oil and butterscotch flavor in together and continue beating for 1 minute.

Pour batter
 using mixing spoon or ladle onto hot greased skillet or frying pan and cook until top is full of tiny bubbles and the underside is brown.

Turn and
 brown on other side.

These are a
 delicious twist to the ordinary pancake. Mmmmm!! 

If you don't need to make so much just halve the recipe or once you have mixed it keep the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for another batch tomorrow or within 5 days.

Order your Pancake mix from our online store 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Honeyed Ricotta

Buttermilk Pancakes with Honeyed Ricotta

250g Kylies Pancake Mix 
100ml buttermilk
100mls low-fat milk or
40g reduced-fat dairy spread
 melted, cooled, 
1 egg, lightly whisked
more sugar (optional)
olive oil cooking spray
300g summer fruits, such as
 raspberries and nectarines, to serve

Honeyed ricotta:
200g low-fat ricotta, 1/4 cup natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons honey

Method: Make honeyed ricotta:
Using an electric mixer, beat ricotta, yoghurt and honey until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Empty pancake mix contents into a bowl Stir in 2 teaspoons sugar. Whisk
 buttermilk, milk, dairy spread and egg in a bowl. Add to flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well combined. Cover and stand for 15 minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan
 over moderately slow heat. Spray with oil. Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 3 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn over. Cook for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Wrap pancake in a clean tea towel to keep warm.

Repeat with remaining batter,
 greasing pan in between pancakes. Divide pancakes between plates. Top with honeyed ricotta and fruit. 

Sprinkle each pancake stack with 1/2 teaspoon remaining sugar. Serve. Enjoy!