So, I had an interesting patient last week, and it got me thinking – are we consuming too much wheat? When I say ‘we’, I mean YOU. I asked this patient to keep a food diary for 5 days. Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that out of the 4 main meals consumed in a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack); three of those had wheat as the main constituent.
Have you thought about how much wheat you consume? Most people have toast or cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and sometimes pasta for dinner or a nice piece of bread. Let’s see what an alternative day would look like:
Breakfast – oats or pancakes made with non wheat flour (I have an awesome recipe that I will share in my recipe section);
Lunch – miso soup, omelette with wilted greens;
Dinner – poached chicken on brown rice or buckwheat noodles with a small piece of eye fillet and sautéed cabbage drizzled with tamari. Okay, I’m starting to salivate and it’s 10pm.
You get the idea. There are so many other non wheat alternatives. I thought I should give a run down on some other things you could try.
Kamut flour/bread (also referred to as Khorasan) – Kamut is my all time favourite bread. It has a lovely sweet nutty flavour. It is an ancient grain and is similar to wheat but it hasn’t been genetically modified or tampered with in anyway. The amino acid profile, protein and minerals are far greater than standard wheat products. However it still contains gluten. Not recommended for coeliac’s but okay for those who have mild sensitivities.
Spelt – another ancient grain. It does contain gluten, but has more nutrition than standard wheat. Not recommended for coeliac sufferers. I use the wholemeal version for my ricotta and spelt hotcakes every Saturday morning. My kids (and husband) are crazy for them.
Buckwheat – despite its name, this is not a wheat and completely gluten free. Extremely nutritious and a very low glycemic index. It has a nutty taste that takes some getting used to. High in magnesium, fibre and selenium I struggle to find any other type of grain that is so nutritious with a low allergy profile. Available as a flour, perfect for pancakes, cakes, biscuits; and also available as a pasta or noodles.
Oats – So these are not gluten free but they are wheat free. I absolutely adore oats. Not just in porridge, but I love oat flour (which I make in my thermomix) which I use in my cakes, breads, bagels, pancakes, and the list goes on. Incredibly high in minerals, they are also high in fibre, have omega 3 and great for people with high cholesterol.
If you’re game, take couple of tablespoons and whizz it up in your smoothie machine along with your fruit. It will keep you full longer.
Chia Bran/Flour – My obsession with Chia seeds started years ago. Way before they were commercialised and found in supermarkets. Well, these little gems have come a long way from the standard seed – now they’re available as an oil, flour and bran. Amazing. High in fibre and omega 3 they are perfect for people wanting to shed a few kilos. However, I am way too stubborn to avoid food and for me, I enjoy this seed soaked in coconut cream overnight. The next day, this sludgy and slimy pudding like delight is gorgeous drizzled with coconut nectar or sliced mango for sweetness.
Mung Bean – incredibly high in protein mung bean flour is also really tasty. I found a great mung bean pasta at Terra Madre which tastes great and very filling.
Quinoa – Another great seed. Dense in nutrients including iron, magnesium and protein, quinoa is gluten free and perfect for vegetarians. I really enjoy adding lashings of quinoa to roasted vegetables lathered in tamari and lime. OH-MY-GOSH!
Quinoa flakes are great for adding to porridge; quinoa flour is quite bitter so I tend to make a 20% mix of quinoa to 80% other flour when baking.
Amaranth – Ama-what? Amaranth. This guy is similar to quinoa in that it’s great for vegetarians but not as bitter in taste. If your kids love rice bubbles, get them some puffed amaranth. Drizzle some maple syrup or honey over a bowl of amaranth and milk and it makes for a great breakfast. Caution – this stuff is lighter than air! Do not sneeze or breathe heavily around it unless you want your kitchen to be coated with puffed amaranth.
Well, that should be enough to keep you going. There are so many products out there that are much healthier than wheat but may take your taste buds some getting used to, but well worth the challenge. Imagine how many more nutrients you would be able to get if you consumed something other than wheat everyday. Imagine how much happier your gut would be not having to deal with wheat everyday. That in itself is worth changing for.
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.