How To Enjoy A Gluten-Free Diet On A Budget

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Unfortunately specialist gluten-free foods tend to be three to four times more expensive than standard gluten containing varieties. The Blue Tree Clinic’s Nutritionist, Charlotte Turner, gives us some suggestions to follow a healthy gluten-free diet on a budget.

Who Should Follow A Gluten Free Diet?

Gluten free diets are medical diets to treat coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease whereby the body mistakes gluten as being dangerous so the body attacks itself and damages the intestine cell walls in the process.

It’s important to note that gluten is not harmful or bad for the general healthy population. Gluten affects those who are diagnosed with the medical condition coeliac disease and strict avoidance is necessary.

Here Are Charlotte’s Top Tips On How To Eat Healthier With Coeliac Disease

  • Frozen or tinned vegetables are just as good as fresh options. Frozen vegetables can actually have higher levels of nutrients if they were immediately frozen after picking.
  • When choosing canned vegetables, opt for those that are in water without added salt. Choose fruit in juice rather than syrup.
  • Shop bought, processed foods may save time but can be expensive. Processed foods also are not the healthiest options as they have higher sugar, fat and salt levels often to preserve the foods for longer.
  • Plan ahead to save money. Plan your meals for the week to cut down on food waste. Foods like rice, potatoes and lentils are naturally gluten-free and often cheaper to buy in bulk. Pulses such as peas, beans and lentils can be added to meals based on meat to make meals go further and make them healthier options.
  • Gluten Free staples can be bought on prescription
  • Sign up and trial some gluten free suppliers they often send welcome packs for you to try for free!
  • Make a shopping list of what you’ll need and take this with you when you go shopping.
  • Try to avoid shopping on an empty stomach as if you’re hungry you might come away with a trolley full of high fat/sugar foods and undo all your good intentions.
  • Fish is a great source of lean protein and oily fish is excellent source of omega 3 the essential good fats. Aim to have two portions of fish each week, one white and one oily. Tinned oily fish such as mackerel and salmon are often cheaper alternatives to fresh. It’s worth noting though that tinned tuna does not count as the oils are removed during processing.
  • Make use of your leftovers, they can be taken to work the next day for an easy lunch or can be frozen so you have meals on hand for when you need them. Leftover cooked vegetables can often be added to soups or pizza dishes Here are some gluten free recipes to make the most of your leftovers:

Gluten Free Pizza

Gluten Free Pizza

Ingredients

  • 200g gluten free flour
  • 2 ½ table spoons olive oil
  • 7g dried yeast sachet
  • 200g jar of tinned tomatoes or blended overripe tomatoes
  • Handful of rosemary/thyme
  • 150ml warm water

Toppings of your choice! Choose from:

  • Mozzarella or low fat cheddar
  • Cherry tomato’s
  • Olive Oil/balsamic vinegar
  • Herbs of your choice
  • Tinned sweet corn
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Chillies
  • Left over chicken cut into small chunks

Method/Instructions:

1) Turn the oven onto gas mark 7.
2) Put flour, olive oil, yeast, rosemary and thyme into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the water slowly, a bit at a time until the mixture is soft but not sticky (this may mean not using all the water).
3) Place the mixture onto a surface and knead until the mixture stays together however ensure the mixture does not become sticky (add small amounts of flour if sticky)
4) Depending on the quantity required (this recipe serves 2) use as much dough required.
5) Cut baking paper to fit your baking tray and lightly oil
6) Roll the dough flat onto the baking paper.
7) Spread the tomato topping evenly across the dough.
8) Place the pizza into the oven for 15 minutes
9) Take the pizza out the oven and cover with toppings of your choice
10) Place the pizza back in the oven to melt toppings for a couple of minutes.

Gluten Free Vegetable Soup

Gluten Free Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Apple (chopped)
  • 1/3 orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil or regular vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chicken stock – great to make yourself after chicken roast. If buying chicken stock always check the label for hidden gluten containing ingredients.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk

Method/Instructions:

1) Place a large saucepan onto the hob on a low heat
2) Place the coconut oil or vegetable oil in the pan and place in the onion, carrot and apple
3) Grind the ginger and add to the pan as well as orange juice, coconut milk and stock/water.
4) Place all the mixture into a blender or food processor.
5) Once blended return the mixture to the pan and reheat.
6) If you wish add any herbs and spices.
7) Your soup is ready to be served! Enjoy.

Enjoyed reading Charlotte’s tips? In need of nutrition advice? For a limited period visit Charlotte at The Blue Tree Clinic and use voucher July10 for 10% of nutrition consultations when booked in July 2016.