Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine, interferes with absorption of nutrients from food and over time can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers and other autoimmune diseases.
It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease. Since most people who have the condition are not aware for a number of years before diagnosis, it is important to talk with your doctor to discuss your family history and if necessary, get tested. Today, there are no known treatments for Celiac Disease except to follow a 100% gluten-free diet.
Since May is Celiac Awareness Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my favorite flour swap-outs to help make all of your recipes delicious, gluten-free and Celiac-friendly.
Ingredient swaps for white flour or whole wheat flour:
Almond Flour- This alternative boasts 75% fewer carbs and 50% more protein than white or whole wheat flour. Almond flour can be used to replace up to a quarter of the flour in a recipe. Because it has a higher moisture content, it can work for recipes like truffles or brownies. For breads, try experimenting with coconut flour, which is dryer, for the remaining flour.
Coconut Flour- With 25% fewer carbs and just over three times as much fiber as whole wheat flour, coconut flour has a rich texture and natural sweetness.
Ground Flaxseeds- Rich in soluble fiber and cancer-fighting properties, ground flaxseed is a good alternative to traditional flour.
Beans- Cup-for-cup, beans have half the calories and carbs of white flour, and four times the fiber. One cup of cooked, pureed beans can be used to replace one cup of flour plus two tablespoons of fat. For best results, match the bean color to the finished product (e.g. black beans for brownies, kidney beans for red velvet cake, and white beans for cookies).
Recipe to Try:
- ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup Confectioner's Swerve
- ½ cup vanilla whey protein powdered (unsweetened)
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup ground chia seed
- ½ cup salted peanuts chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Confectioner's Swerve
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment or waxed paper. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt coconut oil, peanut butter and Swerve together until smooth. Stir in protein powder, almond flour, chia seed and chopped peanuts. Spread mixture in prepared pan and refrigerate until set, at least one hour. When set, lift bars out by grasping edges of parchment or waxed paper.
Cut into 16 squares or bars. For the chocolate drizzle, combine coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate, Swerve and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth and then drizzle or spread over bars. Bars should be stored in refrigerator to stay firm.
For more information on Celiac Disease, please visit BeyondCeliac.org