In the last few years, the “gluten free” or “no glue” lifestyle has become more and more popular in the media, restaurants and supermarkets. If some people associate this craze with a trend, for others it is a real matter of comfort, well-being and even health. So how did this phenomenon appear and what are the stakes of a gluten-free diet? Why adopting a gluten-free lifestyle? And how? We tell you everything in this article 😉
What is gluten?
Gluten is actually a protein that can be found in certain cereals such as oats, wheat, barley, spelt or rye. Once processed, these cereals make up an important part of our breads, pastas, pizzas, cakes and other dishes, and even certain drinks such as beer.
Why do people eat gluten-free?
“Gluten makes you fat”, “Gluten makes you sick”, “Gluten makes your stomach swell” … Gluten is often not spared from criticism! But beware of preconceptions.
Gluten is indeed a taboo protein for people suffering from intolerance (also called coeliac disease) or even gluten allergy (which remains a rarer case). People with gluten intolerance must then avoid every kind of food containing gluten to prevent all unpleasant symptoms: digestive disorders, abdominal pain, migraines, joint pain, fatigue …
Some people have also chosen to stop eating gluten-based foods after noticing an easier digestion, a less swollen stomach or a better skin after a few days of gluten-free diet. We can then talk about non-celiac gluten hypersensitivity.
These observations led to a real craze for gluten-free. Labels have appeared on products in grocery stores, some bakeries have started to offer gluten-free alternatives, and new gluten-free restaurants have opened.
However, it has not yet been proven that gluten is “bad” for the health of people who do not suffer from intolerance, hypersensitivity or allergy. Sometimes even a strict gluten-free diet adopted without the advice of a nutritionist can lead to deficiencies.
Whether it is a matter of health, daily well-being or pure curiosity and desire to try something new, the fact is there: it is the gluten-free mania! So, of course, as curious food lovers at monbento®, we decided to test some recipes, which we are now happy to share with you!
What 9 foods are gluten-free?
To get you started, here are a few naturally gluten free foods that you can add to your recipes with your eyes closed (although labels should always be checked – the farming processes may vary from one country to another as regulations differ)!
- Fresh fruit and vegetables (including corn)
- Some starchy foods: potatoes and sweet potatoes, yams
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans
- Certain cereals, such as rice or oats
- Proteins: (unprocessed) meat, poultry and fish, as well as eggs
- Vegetable oils: olive, sesame, sunflower, walnut…
- In the dairy section, most yogurts are gluten-free, as well as certain cheeses such as Parmesan or Gouda
- For the sweet tooths, jam, honey and sugar are also gluten free
- For cooking (homemade pizza, pancakes, etc.), corn and potato starch are gluten-free
Can celiacs eat legumes?
As we said, legumes can be easily integrated into “no glu” diets. Legumes have many advantages: they are rich in proteins, fibers, minerals and vitamins. Also, they can be reduced to flour (chickpea flour, lentil flour, etc.), which is a valuable alternative for people who are gluten intolerant. They can be found in pasta (made with coral lentils, for example), falafels or even some gluten-free breads.
Legumes are also easy to cook on a daily basis. We recommend this delicious recipe: a dahl of coral lentils, quinoa and coconut milk, a real treat!
Gluten free lunch box ideas
Gluten-free diets and habits are welcome in lunch boxes!
As summer and the picnic season are getting closer, salads are back in our bento boxes! We recommend a Super Green Salad that will delight your taste buds, a Poke Bowl full of vitamins kept cool in the MB Element insulated lunch box or a pretty and colorful Buddha Bowl.
If you like culinary adventures and want to take your taste buds on a delicious journey, we have collected some recipes from around the world that are easy to take along in your lunch box! Pack some Vegetarian Yakitori in the large MB Square lunch box or Vegetarian Massaman Curry in the MB Original lunch box. For colder days, try Fried glutinous Rice with Smoked Bacon, or tasty Curry Vegetables. Take your lunch break to Mexico with Beef Wraps and Tex-Mex sauce or Chili sin carne! Or head to Asia with Temari Sushi and Matcha Cheesecake, or Mini Onigiri! We also can’t resist some Vegetable noodles with Peanut sauce, and for sweet & sour lovers, we recommend Chicken skewers marinated with Garam Masala and Pineapple, a real treat!
Vegetable recipes easy
For people who pay attention to their weight and avoid gluten, we have also tested recipes where vegetables are in the spotlight! For example, we recommend a gluten free Pizza with a cauliflower-based dough (super easy to digest!) with a beet hummus and raw vegetables to dip in. We tried Stir-fried green vegetables in our MB Element insulated lunch box, tastes as good as it looks! We also loved Caramelized Mushrooms and Sautéed Leaves, a super quick meal, or Veggie Spring Rolls with a balsamic/raspberry sauce, some delicious gluten free snacks!
Is rice gluten free?
People who are gluten intolerant know that rice is a naturally gluten-free cereal. So we had fun putting together some rice-based, gluten-free recipes, such as a Mushroom Risotto, especially with girolle mushrooms in fall. You can also try Risotto with Asparagus and Lemon, a little twist that will boost your taste buds! For kids, you can serve the rice with Salmon with Soy and Sesame Sauce, and for dessert, nothing better than a homemade Rice Pudding, all packed in the MB Tresor kids’ lunch box!
If all these lunch box ideas make your mouth water, don’t hesitate to check out all our recipes on our blog: gluten-free or not, every taste will be satisfied! Bon appétit 😊