If you’re on a special diet due to food allergy or an autoimmune condition like celiac disease or Type 1 diabetes, you’re vulnerable to the impact of dietary restrictions on mood and cognition. Many of my patients complain about “brain fog,” a frustrating combination of lack of focus, forgetfulness and difficulty retaining new information. Sound familiar? Symptoms of brain fog differ from those of early dementia. It’s normal to forget where you put your keys; it’s a red flag if you can’t remember what your keys do. For many people with brain fog, B vitamins can make a world of difference in mental and emotional wellbeing.
Rice, an ancient food staple for billions, is unquestionably the planet’s most important plant. Cheap, plentiful and satiating, Oryza sativa appears in a staggering assortment of shapes, sizes and eye-popping colors and continues to inspire some of the finest culinary creations around the world. In many cultures, this humble, gracefully curved grain symbolizes prosperity, beauty and fertility (hence the custom of tossing rice at newly wedded couples). The verb “to eat” is “to eat rice” in some Asian cultures. Save for Antarctica, rice grows on every continent in more than 100 countries. Today, the United States produces more rice than ever before, about 19 billion pounds to be precise, with California and Arkansas leading the way. Though other gluten-free grains, like in-vogue quinoa and amaranth, are getting to be the rage these days, rice remains a nutritious powerhouse for a number of reasons. Easy to digest, rice (especially whole-grain brown rice) has the highest content of B vitamins of any grain and provides a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin E, potassium, zinc, iron, complex carbohydrates and amino acids. Pair it with beans and you have a complete protein. In the United States where rice is not an everyday food for most, allergic reactions are less common.
My husband, a man who dearly loves dairy, recently developed a milk intolerance. His sensitive stomach reacts to lactose, forcing him to cut back on his favorite foods—milk, cream, cheese, and most difficult for him, yogurt at breakfast. He didn’t give them up without a fight. Attempting to satisfy his dairy craving one day, he guzzled down some lactose-free milk and happily discovered he could drink it without the usual ill effects. Good news for him, which got me to wondering: Could I make a tasty yogurt from lactose-free milk? What about coconut milk, goat's milk or soy milk? With my husband’s encouragement, I decided to give it a try. The results were delicious. The fresh yogurt I produced was on par with flavorful Greek and Turkish varieties. My better half was delighted.
There are many wonderful gluten-free flours available. I often use sorghum flour in place of rice flour, as it contains more fiber and nutrients and has a very subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower recipes. I like millet flour and Montina flour for the same reasons. I’m not aware of any commercial flour blends that meet your needs but you can make your own. Try this recipe for a good all-purpose blend: Mix 1¼ cups sorghum flour, millet flour or Montina with ¼ cup arrowroot starch and ½ cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca starch flour). Add ½ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons guar or xanthan gum. Combine ingredients and store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container until used.
Navitas Naturals offer premium organic ingredients, all gluten free. It can enhance the taste of smoothies, trail mixes, soups, salads, cereals and baked goods.
Introducing Superfruit Spreads, a new line of jams made with high-nutrient, antioxidant-packed fruit.
I find your magazine useful. I’m allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs and cane sugar. Your recipes are gluten free and dairy free and provide egg alternatives but I’d love to see some without sugar. Any chance that will happen? Carol Lord Openhym Towson, Maryland…