In the world of healthy eating, gluten free cooking and gluten free diets is all anyone is talking about these days.
You may be thinking to yourself that this is just another diet fad but the evidence suggests that going gluten free can really make a difference to your health.
So, what exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in many cereal grains including wheat, barley and rye. This means it is present in foods such as bread, pasta and many cakes, pies and cookies.
It has been known for a long time that sufferers of coeliac disease cannot eat gluten.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine and symptoms include severe digestive problems, iron deficiency and muscle and joint pains.₁ Gluten can aggravate these symptoms so sufferers of the disease opt for a gluten-free diet.
For a long time it was thought that only Coeliacs needed a gluten free diet but now it has been found to offer many health benefits for the rest of us.
Gluten has an inflammatory effect on your system (one reason you feel bloated after too much bread or pasta!) and this effect can cause digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
It also includes peptides which are known to have addictive qualities causing unnatural cravings.₂
If you are thinking about going gluten free but don’t know where to start help is at hand.
For all the guidance you need check out any of these 5 gluten free cookbooks
The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
This book is great for cooking enthusiasts looking to broaden their inventory of recipes.
From savoury fried chicken and spaghetti and meatballs to sweet pancakes and apple pies there is something to suit everyone.
The reason the recipes work so well is that the people at America’s Test Kitchen tried and tested many recipes over and over until they knew what worked and why.
The book is extremely informative when it comes to how and where to obtain a gluten free flour mix and the best brands to purchase from.
Each recipe begins with an explanation as to why it works and many readers find this, along with the suggested variations to each recipe, very useful.
It has something to teach even the most seasoned of cooks!
Gluten Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn
One of the main disadvantages about going gluten free is that ingredients are not always cheap meaning large grocery bills.
As the title suggests, this book guides the reader on how to stick to a gluten free diet without breaking the bank.
Along with inexpensive recipes such as focaccia, chicken pot pie and cinnamon rolls it also offers great money saving advice.
This includes meal planning, careful pantry stocking and where to find the best value ingredients.
This is a book written for real people who cannot always afford (or even find) some of the more specialist ingredients other books like to include.
Using simple, affordable ingredients also means the recipes are a lot easier to follow making it the perfect gluten-free cookbook for anyone less confident in their cooking abilities.
This is one of the best cookbooks out there for anyone new to a gluten free diet.
The Healthy Gluten Free Life by Tammy Credicott
For anyone with multiple food intolerances trying new recipes can seem like a minefield.
This book features 200 recipes that are not only gluten free but also egg free, dairy free, bean flour free, white rice flour free and soy free!
Recipes include Chinese chicken salad, pizza and chocolate chip cookies.
The detailed guidance on the different types of flour available and how to use it gives readers the ability to modify recipes as they wish.
The resource guide at the back informs readers where they can get hold of all the ingredients.
The time and effort put into create well-thought out, tasty dishes means that never again will food allergies get in the way of eating delicious food.
Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts
Nearly all regular cakes, pastries and cookies contain gluten meaning anyone on a gluten free diet who enjoys baking (and eating the results!) can often miss out.
Annalise has created baking recipes that are not just gluten free inferior substitutes but are so delicious many cannot tell the difference!
Whilst it is great for all levels of cooking expertise it is especially useful for beginners as the recipes instructions and detailed and easy to follow.
Some of the tasty recipes include oatmeal raisin cookies, carrot cake, bagels and crepes.
A great cookbook for anyone who has a child with gluten intolerance as being able to have cakes, cookies and sweets will ensure they never have to miss out on a treat again.
1000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster
Who knew there were so many delicious gluten free dishes out there?
This all purpose recipe book contains a veritable encyclopaedia of recipes.
It includes everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to breads, sandwiches and desserts.
It also features an extensive baking section for those who miss baked goods.
It features tips on the most reliable brands to buy from, how to substitute dairy products and how to transition into a gluten free lifestyle.
The recipes range from traditional family favourites to elegant dinner party dishes.
You can try any one of these recipes safe in the knowledge they have been created by someone considered a pioneer of gluten free cooking.
With this one book you can eat gluten free morning, noon and night, 365 days a year.
Whatever you are looking for whether it is advice for beginners, tips on saving money or simply more recipes to broaden your gluten free inventory, these gluten free cookbooks have it covered and can all be purchased online.
Going gluten free can seem daunting at first but with the right guidance and availability of tasty recipes you can still enjoy all the foods you love whilst reaping the rewards of cutting gluten from your life.