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A gluten-free diet is a dietary approach that excludes gluten - a protein found in cereals such as wheat, barley, rye and oats (although oats are gluten-free themselves, they can be contaminated with gluten during the processing process). This diet is essential for people with coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy.
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET
The trend towards gluten-free diets started in the last few decades, especially in Western countries. Gluten-free diets were first recognised as an effective treatment for coeliac disease in the 1930s, when doctors found a link between gluten intake and health problems in people with this autoimmune disease.
In the past, celiac disease and its only effective treatment approach was a gluten-free diet. However, it was not until the second half of the 20th century that awareness of this dietary need spread. Lack of awareness and proper understanding of celiac disease has led to many people with the disease being misdiagnosed or even never diagnosed.
In recent decades, increased awareness of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy has led to the growing popularity of gluten-free diets. This has been influenced both by health professionals promoting the recognition of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and by the media and social networks, which have contributed to the dissemination of information about the gluten-free diet and its benefits.
Many celebrities, athletes and other public figures have also contributed, reporting improvements in their well-being after switching to a gluten-free diet, even though they had no reported gluten-related health problems. This has led to a widespread public interest in gluten-free eating as a healthy way of eating, which has also led to an increase in the range of gluten-free products on the market.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the consumption of gluten causes damage to the small intestine, hindering the absorption of nutrients. Individuals with celiac disease must avoid gluten in their diet completely to avoid unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, anaemia, weight loss and other digestive problems.
This condition is less serious than celiac disease but can cause similar symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, fatigue, headaches and other digestive problems. Gluten sensitivity does not cause an autoimmune reaction or damage to the gut, but still requires avoidance of gluten.
Some people are allergic to gluten, which can cause allergic reactions such as rashes, itching, swelling and shortness of breath.
Those who do not have these health problems sometimes try a gluten-free diet in the hope of improving their health or losing weight. Eating gluten does not affect all people in the same way, so it is important to listen to your body. It is important to find the right balance in the way we eat and to find an individualistic approach that is tailored to each person.
Benefits of a gluten-free diet for those suffering from coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy:
Choosing a gluten-free diet can help improve digestion and reduce unpleasant symptoms associated with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Avoiding gluten can restore the normal function of the small intestine, allowing better absorption of nutrients.
For people with coeliac disease, a gluten-free diet can reduce the risk of serious complications such as osteoporosis or small bowel cancer.
If you do not have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy, it is not necessary to completely exclude gluten from your diet. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs, follow a balanced diet and consult a nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about your diet.
It is a common misconception that certain desserts or savoury dishes cannot be prepared without gluten. Below we reveal some delicious dishes that can be easily prepared even completely gluten-free.
Making gluten-free pancakes is simple and requires only a few basic gluten-free ingredients. Here is a simple recipe for gluten-free pancakes:
- 120 g gluten-free flour (e.g. rice flour, corn flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, etc.).
- 1 tablespoon sugar (can also be coconut sugar or other sugar substitute)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 240 ml milk (can be cow''s milk, almond milk, rice milk or other vegetable milk)
- 1 large egg (or 1 teaspoon of linseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water as a substitute for the egg)
- 1 tablespoon BAM Bourbon vanilla paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower, coconut or olive oil)
- BAM chopped roasted hazelnuts (for topping)
1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. In another bowl, whisk the egg (or make a substitute with linseed and water) and add the milk and vegetable oil. Mix well.
3. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to make a smooth dough without lumps. If the dough is too thick, add a little more milk to reach the desired consistency. Stir in 1 tablespoon of BAM vanilla paste.
4. Melt a little butter or oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Then pour a small amount of batter onto the pan and spread it out to make a pancake of the desired size.
5. Bake the pancake for a few minutes until bubbles appear on the top, then flip it over and bake for a few minutes on the other side until golden brown.6. Repeat the process until all the batter is used.
7. Serve the gluten-free pancakes warm and they will be even more delicious if spread with the delicious BAM gluten-free hazelnut spread with cocoa. The BAM The Pancake Bundle contains two creamy hazelnut spreads and 70 g of BAM Bourbon vanilla paste made from real bourbon vanilla. The pack is the perfect choice for even more delicious pancakes that can be made gluten-free, as none of the products in the pack are gluten-free. Sprinkle the pancakes with BAM chopped roasted hazelnuts for extra crunch.
When making gluten-free pancakes, it is essential to use gluten-free flour, as this does not have the gluten that allows the batter to bind together as with conventional flour. With this simple recipe, you can enjoy delicious gluten-free pancakes that are suitable for people with coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity or those who want to exclude gluten from their diet. In the same way, we prepare the Tsar''s roast or "schmorn".
If you prefer, you can replace the gluten-free hazelnut spread with BAM pistachio spread, BAM white coconut spread, BAM PREMIUM cocoa spread or BAM hazelnut coffee spread. Or you can just go for the BAMbastic Pack of Spreads and have all these delicious gluten-free flavours in stock!
Here''s an easy recipe for gluten-free cheesecake:
For the base:
- 200 g gluten-free biscuits (e.g. rice flour biscuits or almond biscuits).
- 80 g melted butter
For the cream filling:
- 200 g BAM Cheesecake Mix (contents of whole bag)
- 500 ml cold water
- 500 ml whipping cream
For the top:
- BAM gluten-free topping to your taste
For the base:
1. Prepare a cake tin (approx. 22 cm in diameter) and line it with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
2. Prepare the cheesecake base. Grind the gluten-free biscuits into crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix well to moisten the biscuits evenly. Spread the base mixture evenly over the base of the baking tray and pat it down lightly to make a flat surface. Place the base in the fridge to chill.
For the cream filling:
1. Mix the entire contents of the BAM Cheesecake Mix (200 g) with 500 ml of cold water.
2. In another bowl, whip 500 ml whipping cream, then fold it into the cheesecake mix in two steps with a spatula. Stir until all the ingredients are combined into a smooth, even mixture.
3. Pour the smooth cream filling over the biscuit base and spread evenly to form a nice cake.
4. Allow the cheesecake to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or in the freezer for 40 minutes before serving.
5. When the cheesecake is well chilled, pour the gluten-free topping over the cheesecake: you can use BAM Strawberry Topping, BAM Toffee Caramel Topping, BAM Passion Fruit Topping, BAM Mango Topping, BAM Sour Cherry Topping or BAM Blueberry Topping.
For extra freshness and crunch, you can also sprinkle BAM freeze-dried strawberries, on top.
If you prefer chocolate flavours instead of fruit flavours, you can make a gluten-free chocolate topping. You can use all BAM Chocolate Drops except dark thermostable and milk chocolate for the fountain and make any gluten-free chocolate topping you like!