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Help! My gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

 

Help! Gluten free diet is making me fat!

Hi! This post really has nothing to do with my kids, time to focus on us! Gaining weight on a gluten-free diet is common, but also manageable if you make the right choices. Some gluten-free substitutes can contain a higher calorie counts than gluten-containing foods. For instance, white rice is gluten-free but one cup of cooked rice contains 204 calories and a mere 0.6 grams of dietary fiber. Of course, many ready-made gluten free products are made with white rice flour.

Another reason for weight gain from a gluten-free diet is that gluten free products are many times higher in calories to make them taste better. As you know, gluten is a sticky, stretchy protein that gives structure to baked goods, breads and pasta. There may be added fats and sugar in GF products to help compensate for the different texture. I think generally, we all can agree that limiting processed foods is healthier, but sometimes the convenience is key. 

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Sigh, now what can be done?

This goes without saying, but I will emphasize it anyway : make sure your body gets 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. For reference, an individual weighing 150 lbs can burn about 90 calories by walking for 30 minutes. Regular exercise can add up benefits and keep you slimmer and fitter.

Satisfy your hunger with healthy foods

High-fiber foods make you feel fuller for longer on fewer calories. If you’re eating primarily low fiber gluten-free foods, you may be inclined to eat more to feel fuller, resulting in an increase in calories. You will also notice that you are hungry an hour after you ate! Try to eat fruits and veggie snacks to quell your hunger. Also consider adding high-fiber foods such as brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa into recipes. As many of you know, I like to add ground flax seed or psyllium powder to baked goods or potatoes to boost the fiber and nutrient density.

Cut down on ‘junk’ gluten-free food and go lean, nutrient dense

Have you been snacking a bit too much on gluten-free crackers, cookies and brownies? Seems every week when I go to the store, there is a new product that is made gluten-free. Sometimes it just so fun to try something new ….. and then maybe get carried away. (not that I have any first hand experience with that HA!) Keep a firm control over the added calories you’re consuming as a result of your snacking habits.

Nutrient dense, protein and fiber filled snacks will keep you motoring through your day:

Apple with nut butter (or sunbutter)

Sugar snap peas with hummus

Greek yogurt with blueberries ( I mix in a Tb of ground flax of chia seeds)

Hard boiled egg

Goat cheese stuffed mini peppers

DIY trail mix

Grilled veggies and pesto

Avocado with whole grain crackers (try Mary’s)

I think I’ll work on a few more recipes to fit this bill.

Stick to a balanced diet

Common wisdom dictates that a varied diet is a healthy diet. It is possible to go gluten-free and still enjoy a diverse diet, regardless of whether you prefer to eat naturally gluten-free foods or specially made non-gluten breads and pastas. There is an extensive range of fruits and veggies to put on your list as well as unprocessed meat products, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds, and an array of other whole grains. Including a salad with every meal helps you fill up with fiber rich, nutrient dense foods before possibly over-consuming higher calorie foods. Watching the portion sizes can also go a long way in preventing weight gain. Here are my tips in a nutshell:

Fiber! eat more

Eat more protein

Whole grains, foods a must

Reduce refined carbs (like crackers, cookies, pasta)

Plan snacks ahead – include protein and fiber

Move for 30 minutes a day

Read food labels – less processed, whole foods you can pronounce, lower sugar content

Compare labels on gluten free products

Compare labels on gluten free products

I think another blog post about snacks may be in order – but perhaps focusing on the kiddos. Let’s face it – they are not easily persuaded to eat more whole grains. Do you have any go to snacks or tips to share?


Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed, pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
Instructions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Low FODMAP
  3. Low sugar
beta
calories
92
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Gluten free, sugar-free summery blueberry, peach pie

Gluten free, sugar free summer blueberry peach pie

Gluten free, sugar free summer blueberry peach pie

Happy summer! We started our summer off with a fundraiser. The school’s band sold pies at one of the municipal band concerts. TQ has a serious sweet tooth, even with fructose malabsorption. I thought he would grow out of it because all things sweet cause him sickness, not so. Working the pie booth might have been torture for the little man. He loves pie! (of course he hasn’t had any in years) In my effort to stop him from drooling, I promised to make him a pie for himself. The gluten free, sugar free, summer blueberry peach pie was my effort.

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Baking the pie

I have to confess, I was not optimistic about making a gluten free, sugar free pie. But, I was willing to at least give it a shot and maybe I’d learn a few thing along the way. I made it easy on myself to start, I found a pre-made gluten free crust at the store – winning! Fruit and fructose malabsorption don’t obviously go hand in hand so the challenge was big to find an acceptable filling. I chose blueberries because I know TQ tolerates them well. Peaches are ok too, but they are new to his diet. Portion control was really going to be an issue and because of all of the fruit in the recipe, there was no way I could add more sugar to the pie party.

Sugar substitute

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a sample of a new sugar substitute called Sola. It is made from stevia, monk fruit among other natural sweeteners. The company boasts that it measures and can be used like sugar without any other calculations or additions like the pure stevia powder. So, this seemed like a good opportunity to try this sugar substitute since the fruit was already providing the limit of fructose TQ should have. Added bonus is  Sola is very low in calories and has a low glycemic index – good for all of us!

Sola a new brand of sugar alternative

Sola a new brand of sugar alternative 

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Back to the pie

I decided to precook the peach filling a bit prior to baking the pie. Because I don’t have too much experience with baking gluten free pie, I couldn’t be sure how the crust would bake up. In a sauce pan the peaches, lemon, sugar substitute, cornstarch and cinnamon were added. I put the flame on medium and cooked until the fruit broke down a little and juices were released and thickened slightly. I did add about a 1/4 cup of extra water as the sauce was a little too thick. Taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness if necessary.

Meanwhile, the bottom crust was unwrapped and pressed into the pie plate. I added the peaches into the waiting pie crust. Next, I topped the peaches with the blueberries. I didn’t want to precook the blueberries because they would have turned the entire pie purple. Brush a little egg wash over the edges of the bottom crust to seal the two crusts. Finally, the top crust was unwrapped and topped the fruit. So far, so good!

Blueberries sprinkled over peach pie

Blueberries sprinkled over peach pie

The edges of the pie needed to be crimped and sealed, nothing fancy here. I used my thumb and forefinger to make a fluted edge, but you can use a fork as well. Seriously, who is going to care when a fresh pie is being served. Lastly, paint an egg wash over the top of the pie to make it brown up nicely. I sprinkled the Sola sugar alternative over the top to make it extra pretty and sparkly. Vent the pie with 4 or 5 slits on top.

Egg wash and sugar sprinkle for finishing touches

Egg wash and sugar sprinkle for finishing touches

Almost finished!

I recommend baking the pie on a foil lined baking tray. Believe me, it will save you a lot of work later, should the pie bubble over. Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake at least another 30 minutes until you see the juices bubbling over the top and the crust is a gorgeous golden brown. Tip: halfway through the baking process my pie edges were getting a little extra brown so I covered it with thin strips of foil.

The finished gluten free blueberry, peach pie

The finished gluten free blueberry, peach pie

Allow the pie to cool before slicing and enjoying. One of the things I was most curious about was how the pie would hold up as leftovers. I am very happy to report that it lasted at least 4 days without turning into a pile of gelatinous mush. TQ was able to eat this in very small slivers with an otherwise strict diet day. That made me most excited! I froze two or three of the remaining pieces to see how it would thaw out. It would be nice to have a special ready made dessert in the freezer for special occasions. I will report back on whether that was a success or not.

Side note: The Sola sugar alternative worked out nicely. It provided a pretty browned pie crust along with the egg wash. In addition, it provided just the right amount of sweetness to the fruit. No fructose, low calorie, good taste, easy measuring – Winner! I will continue to experiment with this sweetener and report back.

Enjoy!

Gluten free, sugar free blueberry peach pie - Summer Yum!

Gluten free, sugar free blueberry peach pie – Summer Yum!

Gluten free, sugar-free summer blueberry, peach pie
Serves 12
Luscious guilt-free and easy summertime treat. Utilizing handy shortcut freezer pie crusts and the freshest summer fruit a gluten free and sugar-free blueberry, peach pie will be a welcomed dessert
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
159 calories
22 g
16 g
8 g
2 g
1 g
108 g
143 g
7 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
108g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 16mg
5%
Sodium 143mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups Peaches (about 5-6)
  2. 3/4 cup Blueberries
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  4. 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  5. 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 2 Frozen gluten-free pie crusts, thawed according to package directions
  7. 1 TB stevia (OR alternative equivalent, to equal 1/4-1/2 cup sugar)
  8. 1 Egg beaten with 1 TB of water for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Wash peaches, cut in half, remove pit and slice fruit
  2. Add the peaches, juice of half a lemon, sugar substitute, cornstarch and cinnamon to a sauce pan. *Don't add the blueberries yet.
  3. Toss the fruit to distribute the cornstarch evenly.
  4. Cook on medium heat until the fruit breaks down a little and juices were released and thickened slightly. *Add about a 1/4 cup of extra water if the sauce is a little too thick.
  5. Taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Allow to cool slightly as crust is prepared.
  6. Prepare the crust: Make sure frozen crusts are thawed according to package instructions. Unwrap crust and pat into pie plate. Don't worry if it tears, just use extra dough to fill in any holes. The dough is forgiving. Keep a little extra dough hanging over the edges. Brush the crust overhang with a little egg wash to help seal when the top crust is placed.
  7. Fill the crust with the peach mixture. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the peaches.
  8. Unwrap the top crust carefully and place over the fruit. Seal the two crusts together and fold over any extra.
  9. Crimp the edges using thumb and forefinger to make a fluted edge or use a fork to press together.
  10. Paint an egg wash over the top of the pie to make it brown up nicely.
  11. Sprinkle top with with Sola sugar alternative (or sugar)
  12. Vent the pie with 4 or 5 slits on top.
  13. Place pie on a foil lined baking sheet
  14. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes
  15. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake until golden brown and juices are bubbling over the top about 30-45 minutes (times vary depending on how much you precooked the fruit)
  16. If edges brown too much, place foil strips over edges to protect them from burning.
  17. Remove from over and allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. * Using granulated sugar total will increase sugar intake total
beta
calories
159
fat
8g
protein
2g
carbs
22g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/