Wheat/gluten free diet

First you need to know if you need to avoid all gluten grains – wheat, rye, oats, barley – or just wheat. Some people who are intolerant to wheat can tolerate the ancient wheats kamut and spelt; although if you have too much of these it is likely that you will become intolerant to these too.

So – what to eat:

Non gluten grains include quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat, corn/maize – all of these are available as flakes for breakfast cereals and as flour for baking. As they don't contain gluten they won't be sticky and elastic and rise as gluten grain flours do. You can add xantham gum to help with this if necessary.

Buckwheat pancakes or blinis work really well for breakfast with eggs; or with honey or maple syrup.

There are plenty of gluten/wheat free breakfast cereals available such as Mesa sunrise flakes by Natures Path which are made from corn, flax, quinoa and amaranth and are like a nicer version of standard cornflakes. Wheat free or gluten free mueslis are available – or make your own.....
Rice cakes – go for the brown rice though – the white ones are like eating polystyrene and won't be much better for you nutritionally.

Beware the standard gluten free flours and processed foods – many, if not most will contain soya flour, and if you eat soya too often it is very allergenic; it also will suppress your thyroid gland. They are also expensive and with a little research you can easily find cheaper and better alternatives.


Wheat free citrus cake

Approx 400g citrus fruit (organic or unwaxed) - clementines or similar are good, but you can include a lemon if you want (if so increase sugar to 250g)

6 eggs

225g sugar

250g ground almonds

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Simmer fruit in water to cover for 2 hours - drain and cool. Pulp the whole fruit (take out pips if you prefer) by hand or in food processor.

Heat oven to gas 5/190’c. Butter and line a 21cm tin

Beat eggs, add sugar, almonds and baking powder, mix into fruit pulp

Pour into tin and cook for about an hour - adding a greaseproof paper cover if starting to over colour after 40mins or so. Test to see if done with a skewer - should come out clean if ready

Cool in tin before removing paper. Freezes well


Fruit cake

8oz rice flour

4oz butter

4oz sugar

4oz mixed fruit

1-2 eggs plus a little milk

Sift flour, rub in butter - add sugar and fruit – mix. Add eggs and milk - mix to soft dropping consistency

Put into buttered and/or lined 6 inch round cake tin or 1lb loaf tin.

Bake for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours at gas mark 4 or 180’


Squash bread

One small butternut squash - baked whole at 200’ for 45 minutes or until soft

300g buckwheat flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp mixed herbs / seasoning

2 tbsps olive oil

65mls cold water

When the squash is cool enough to handle, peel it and scoop out seeds. Put 375g of squash flesh into a bowl. Add flour, baking powder and seasoning.

Stir in water and oil and knead until soft - add more flour or water as needed to get a good dough. Form into a round loaf about 12cm diameter, place on oiled tray and bake at 200’ for 30-35 minutes. Check it sounds hollow after baking - bake longer if necessary.


Gluten free flatbread.
125 mls gram flour (chickpea flour)
125 mls fizzy water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon good oilve oil
Mix everything together and allow to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to Gas 4
In a large flat pan, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Pour in the batter and run it into the edges. Allow to cook until the bottom is golden brown (flip up the edge to check) - about 10 minutes
Now put the whole pan into the top of the oven (so your pan has to have heat-proof handles...)
Cook for another 10 minutes.
Cut in the pan into pizza slices and serve hot. It also keeps well and is good cold. Can be used as a kind of pizza base too.

luten free granola.

it's a really good slow-release breakfast with added quick-hit sugars for the morning too.
In a large pan over a low heat:
1 cup of olive or hemp seed oil
1 cup of sweet syrup (date, maple, honey, molasses etc. )
1 teaspoon each of a selection of spices (turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, nutmeg... vary this according to season and mood)
Bring the oil and sweetener to a low simmer for a moment and turn off the heat immediately.
Preheat the oven to Gas 2
Now add the grains.
Quinoa flakes
Brown rice flakes
Buckwheat flakes
Millet flakes
You can sometimes find pops made with these grains, and they're good to use too.
Add a mixture of the grains, one at a time, to the oil and syrup mix. I can't give exact measurements here, because it depends on what grains I'm using. Add and mix together until you get a mixture that's about the same consistency as stuffing: it will hold together if you squish it, but falls apart easily.
Put the mixture into a baking pan and cook at the top of a slow even for 20 minutes. Turn the mixture and cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and again mix it about, then allow it to cool. Mixing it up stops it from clumping and sticking. Add seeds, nuts and chopped dried fruits after it's cooked.
Store in an airtight box and use with almond milk or rice milk, or eat dry as a snack.
This mix can also be used to make flapjacks. Instead of keeping the mixture loose in the pan, you press it down for the cooking . Then, when it's ready (look at the colour), while still warm, cut into squares, allow to cool in the pan, and then turn out.


GAPS Almond Bread

Almond flour (2 1/2 cups)
Eggs (3)
Softened butter or coconut oil, goose fat, chicken fat, duck fat, or homemade yogurt or creme fraiche, plus a little extra to grease the pan (1/4 cup )

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Grease a loaf pan or cookie sheet. Mix the almond flour, eggs, and fat in a bowl. Press the mixture into the greased loaf pan — or mold into a loaf shape on a cookie sheet.
3. Bake for about an hour. Test for doneness by inserting a clean butter knife — it will come out clean when it’s ready.
4. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before using a butter knife to remove it from the pan.

You can also make different kinds of loaves by adding various ingredients. You could add a cheese or olives and rosemary or you could add some dates, banana or honey to make it sweet. You can use it for pizza dough as well, and for muffins.

You can also make multiple loaves and freeze them.


Apricot and Almond Protein Bars
Makes about 16 bars
3 large oranges pips removed
225g (8oz)dried apricots chopped
170g (6oz)nut butter or tahini
225g (8oz)  buckwheat or millet flakes
125g (4½oz) any non wheat flour
25g (1oz) mixed seeds – sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, sesame
½tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ - 1 tsp cinnamon powder

1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5.
2. Place the oranges, apricots, nut butter in a blender and puree to form a thick paste.
3. Place the flakes, flour, seeds, soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the apricot puree and combine thoroughly. Press the mixture into a greased shallow rectangular tin, approximately 20cm by 35cm. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
4. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
5. This can be frozen in batches if wished for up to 1 month.


Christine Herbert - Herbalist and Allergy Therapist - christineherbert.co.uk