Cross-Contamination

People who need to eat gluten free need to check both the ingredients in food and any cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients that might happen when the food is manufactured, packaged and prepared for eating.

When you think about avoiding cross-contamination, you need to realize that crumbs matter. Look around your kitchen to see where there are crumbs – on the counter top, in the microwave, on the cutting board or in the corners of your metal baking dishes? Anywhere you see crumbs is a potential place for cross-contamination.

At home the following practices will go a long way toward avoiding cross contamination:

  • A celiac should have their own butter dish and a cutting board that is used for gluten free foods only.
  • A celiac should have their own toaster. A toaster oven, where the rack can be removed and washed if others have used it may be a good alternative. If you do not have access to a separate toaster, try a toaster bag, a silicon bag that holds the bread while it is toasted. The bread toasts right through the bag.
  • If it is not practical to have a section of the counter top set aside for preparing gluten free food only, always make sure that the counter space you are using to prepare gluten free food is freshly washed to ensure it is free from crumbs or flour dust.
  • Do gluten free baking first, and have it well wrapped and stored before doing anything with regular flours. Flour dust (in the air) from regular flours could settle on the gluten free products, thus contaminating them.
  • Note: Although this doesn’t fall into the cross contamination area, it is worth noting that a Celiac should take precautions against breathing in flour dust when using other than gluten free flours. Flour dust that settles on the nasal passages may eventually get swallowed and end up being digested.
  • When making sandwiches, do the gluten free ones first – otherwise be sure to wash your hands after touching regular bread and before touching gluten free supplies.
  • Use clean utensils and avoid “double dipping” – knives or spoons are OK the first time, but once they have touched food with gluten, they can contaminate the food in the container if used again. If it is too difficult to train other family members in this regard, it would be wise for the celiac to have their own jar of jam, peanut butter, mustard, etc.
  • Be especially alert and cautious when you have guests helping in the kitchen – they will not have your gluten awareness. Also, it is when you are otherwise distracted that you are more likely to make a gluten error.
  • Make sure any pots, utensils, etc. that are used for other foods are thoroughly scrubbed before using for gluten free foods. In the case of something like muffin tins, paper liners may be a worthwhile consideration.
  • It is best to have a separate set of utensils with porous surfaces, such as wooden spoons, for your gluten free baking. These utensils might retain some gluten particles after cleaning.
  • If using lentils, be sure to meticulously pick them over before putting in the pot to cook. Even if you buy them packaged, it is not uncommon to find kernels of wheat or oats (or pebbles) in with the lentils.

Away from home, be aware of sources of cross contamination:

  • Products in bulk bins can become contaminated by using the scoops in more than one bin. There is no assurance that the other customers will be as cautious as you. Also, flour dust in the air around these bins can cause a problem.
  • At the deli counter, where gluten free meats are being cut using the same utensils without cleaning in between or where cut meats often overlap on the counter.
  • Buffet lunches, where the chef tests the temperatures in all the dishes using one thermometer, or spoons are used for more than one dish.
  • French fries cooked in oil where battered foods have been fried.
  • Meat cooked on a grill which hasn’t been cleaned after cooking regular food with gluten.
  • Gluten-free pasta may be cooked in water used for regular pasta and rice may be cooked in broth containing gluten.
  • Milling of gluten free grains on equipment that has been used for regular grains.
  • In product production where a gluten free product is not produced on a dedicated line. Cereals and candy bars that have gluten free ingredients may be produced after a non GF item without having the equipment cleaned thoroughly in between.

Adapted from an article prepared by the CCA Calgary Chapter.

Four Great Websites for Gluten Free Recipes

Ever wonder the best place to access information on eating gluten free?  Below are four websites that provide delicious ideas time and time again!

Gluten Free Goddess

Provides recipes and cooking/baking advice for all levels of gluten free kitchen goers. From gluten-free pumpkin spice donuts, to gluten-free cheesy lasagna, the Gluten Free Goddess has you covered.

Silvana’s Kitchen

Offers gluten free recipes, as well as options to cook without dairy and/or eggs. She includes a great section for “fast” options that are gluten free, which as we all know, can be difficult when so much preparation goes into making meals.

Gluten Free Girl

This website includes entertaining commentary in a blog format about eating gluten free. It also contains lots of “make it from scratch” recipes If you prefer learning to cook from videos, the gluten free girl makes youtube videos detailing how to cook and bake the recipes she posts on her blog!

Gluten Free on a Shoestring

This is a great website for the beginner just learning how to bake and eat Gluten free to even the most advanced chef. Nicole makes beautiful food on a “Shoestring budget” and makes it taste awesome too. She also has out 3 fabulous books that make Gluten free cooking and baking exciting.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac Disease: Understanding the Difference

With the continued rise of gluten allergies in society, it’s often hard to tell the difference between what is considered celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.  The two conditions do in fact have many similar symptoms like gas and bloating, but internally affect the body in different ways.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, where the absorptive surface of the small intestine become damaged, as the body attempts to digest gluten molecules.  Gluten sensitivity not caused by celiac disease should be referred to non-celiac gluten sensitivity. More research is being completed to discover exactly what causes non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  What is known, is that consuming gluten when someone has a non-celiac gluten sensitivity aggravates the digestive system.

Gluten sensitivity as defined by the Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, as a non-allergic and non-autoimmune condition in which the consumption of gluten can lead to symptoms similar to those seen in celiac disease

It is estimated that about one percent of the population has celiac disease (about 1 in 133) and six to ten percent are affected by non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Sometimes diagnosis of gluten related sensitivities can be difficult based solely on visible physical symptoms. Symptoms are not always an indicator of exactly what is going on.

“Although the outward symptoms may look the same, the intestinal damage that is occurring to someone with Celiac Disease has the potential to do a lot more damage in the long run than sensitivity,” says Rich Ralph, Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Vancouver.  “85% of people with Celiac Disease present atypical symptoms.  This means that most people with Celiac Disease don’t actually have the stereotypical signs.”

Stereotypical signs of celiac disease include gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme weight loss, fatigue, headaches etc.

Before considering non-celiac gluten sensitivity as a cause of gastrointestinal upset, it is important to first be tested for celiac disease.  There is no approved diagnostic test non-celiac gluten sensitivity, although naturopaths possess the means to diagnose food allergies and sensitivities, gluten sensitivity being one of them.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness suggests that people gauge their sensitivity by exclusion; if a person feels better when gluten is eliminated from their diet, there is a good chance that the cause could be non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Some people suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity can consume up to 5g of gluten/day and remain symptom free, and do not suffer intestinal damage according to a 2011 study completed by the Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases.

If you are interested in speaking to Rich Ralph regarding gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, visit http://www.vancouvernutritionist.com/ or email Rich at info @ vancouvernutritionist.com

So You’re Planning a Gluten Free Birthday Party?

Sometimes the hardest part of planning a party can be thinking of inventive meal ideas that will leave your guests full and content.  Listed below are five party food ideas and five party desert ideas that are tried and tested to be absolutely delicious.

Main Meal Ideas

1.    Gluten Free Personal Pan Pizza

If you’re like me, you may have purchased frozen ready-made pizzas from the grocery store; these pizzas are never quite as good as homemade pizza.  If you have ever ordered a GF pizza from Boston Pizza, you know that the crust is fluffy and delicious.  The good news is that you can grab a 4 pack of these same pizza crusts at nature’s fare for $8.95.  Load the crusts up with any toppings that you like, and pop the whole thing in the oven for fresh, cheap, GF pizza.

2.    Gluten Free Pigs in a Blanket

A favorite childhood birthday food made with puffed dough and cut up hot dogs, baked in the oven and served with ketchup.  Pigs in a blanket are a tasty finger food that can be served along side cut up vegetables (to keep things healthy of course!)

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/gluten-free-pigs-in-a-blanket.html

Pigs in a Blankey

3.    Lettuce Wraps

Why not cut out the gluten all together and use iceberg lettuce to wrap up your goods?

http://gardenofglutenfree.com/2012/02/29/gluten-free-asian-lettuce-wraps

4.    Tacos

Tacos are always a hit, plus they are super easy to make.  Use crunchy corn taco shells that are GF, or the soft brown-rice shells (although they don’t seem to hold together very well while wrapping up).  Make sure you purchase taco seasoning for the ground beef that is certified gluten-free OR you can make your own here: http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/glutenfreemixes/r/gftacoseasoning.htm

5.    Nachos

Although nachos aren’t the healthiest meal, they make a great party hit.  Purchase gluten free corn chips, then top the pile high with cheese, peppers and green onions.  Make your own guacamole using the recipe here: http://glutenfreemom.typepad.com/gluten_free_mom/2008/04/naturally-glute.html

Dessert options

1.    Chocolate fondue

Why not skip baking all together and make a delicious, partially healthy treat.  Cut up cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes, apples, honeydew and strawberries.  Pick up some chocolate chips and a container of whipping cream or heavy cream.  Melt together the chocolate chips and whipping cream for a creamy, delicious dipping sauce that everyone can enjoy around the table.  If lactose bothers your stomach, coconut creamer found in the same section as coffee cream, mixes in perfectly. If you find the chocolate mixture isn’t thickening, make a paste of corn starch and water in a separate container, then whisk it into the chocolate mixture.

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_fondue/

2.    Gluten Free Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes have been a long time favorite at fairs and carnivals, but these treats can be a household hit especially at parties.  After frying the gluten free batter in oil, sprinkle the crispy treat with icing sugar, add on some sliced up strawberries and dollop on some whipping cream.  Yum.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/08/gluten-free-funnel-cakes-recipe.html

3.    Gluten Free Cakes and Cupcakes

Sweet Spot Cupcakes (located at #8 – 1415 Hillside Drive, near Canadian Tire) has a delicious variety of gluten free cupcakes and cakes.

Mini cupcakes are $1.65 each, and regular size are $3.25 each.  A dozen of the mini cupcakes is $19.50 and for a dozen regular size it is $39.00.

To order gluten free cakes, call 250-574-6251.

http://www.sweet-spot-cupcakes.com/index.html

 

4.    Caramel Apples

A great treat for birthday parties that will have kids excited to eat a sweet treat.  Make sure when you are rolling the caramel apples in toppings that you are certain these toppings are gluten free.

http://wheatfreemom.com/blog/recipe-gluten-free-caramel-apples/

5.    Gluten Free Ice Cream Cake

If you have ever eyed up those gluten-free oreos on the grocery store shelf, now is the time to purchase them and make the best ice cream cake ever.  Ice cream cake is a great alternative to baking, and as long as gluten-free toppings and ice cream are used, you should be good to go!

http://www.amongstlovelythings.com/2012/04/making-it-count-gluten-free-ice-cream.html

Gluten Free Treats in Kamloops

Looking for a quick treat in the Kamloops area?  Why not stop in at Tutti Frutti, a new self-serve frozen yogurt bar located beside Save-on foods at 210 – 1210 Summit Drive (Phone number: (778) 471-6111 for any inquiries).

Choose one of the “Soybean” yogurt options (usually one or two options daily) to ensure that your yogurt is gluten free.  These options can be identified by a green label card above the dispenser, with the words “soybean yogurt” on the top.  I’ll promise you that you can’t go wrong with this delicious treat.

The frozen yogurt is paid for by the weight of your frozen yogurt plus any toppings that are added, at $0.56 per oz. Many options are available that do not include gluten, however all toppings are kept in close proximity to each other, meaning this may not be a good choice for those who are affected by even a minute quantity of gluten.

Tutti Frutti GF Frozen Yogurt

So You’ve Got Celiac Disease: What Now?

Getting a positive diagnosis of Celiac Disease can be both a blessing and a curse.  After months or even years of gastrointestinal upset, a diagnosis can put an end to unnecessary suffering.  A diagnosis also means following a strict gluten-free diet which can be quite difficult after years of eating without worry. For most celiacs, the immediate improvement that comes from eating gluten-free, makes sticking to a strict diet more than worth it.

As it is imperative to completely cut out gluten from your diet when you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I would recommend seeing a Registered Dietitian to find out which foods have gluten in them and how to maintain adequate nutrition,” said Lindsay Jang, a Registered Dietitian working in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Celiac Suffers need to be smart when they cut gluten from their diets, ensuring that food substitutions are made wisely.  Jang notes that nutrient deficiencies can come from improperly following a gluten free diet, making it very important to eat a balanced diet using available substitutes for products that contain gluten.

For many people, the hardest part of substituting can be trying to find an alternative source of food.  Jang says that cutting out pasta can be very hard for some celiac sufferers, however alternatives such as rice and quinoa pasta can be substituted.  Failing to follow a completely gluten free diet, can lead to permanent intestinal damage for people diagnosed with Celiac disease, but for individuals with a gluten sensitivity, they may not have the same the same symptoms or intestinal damage.

First being diagnosed with celiac disease can be daunting, but eating out at restaurants doesn’t always have to cause a tummy ache.  It is possible to avoid becoming ill while eating out by ensuring that you:

–       Ask for no sauce unless you can be guaranteed that it is gluten free

–       Choose rice or potatoes instead of pasta

–       Check the menu before you go to see if they have gluten sensitive options

“If there is not option listed, ask your server or ask to speak with someone in the kitchen to see if modifications can be made,” says Jang. “Make sure that the person you are asking understands what gluten is, and is careful to check sauces as well as the actual foods in the dish.”

Each person affected negatively by gluten experiences a different level of sensitivity.

“Some people would show reactions to [gluten in] their cosmetics (shampoo, etc),”  said Rich Ralph, Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Vancouver.  “Others would react to air-borne wheat, such as at a pizza place.  For this reason, I caution anyone who is very sensitive from eating at pizza places where the possibility of cross contamination is high.”

Many servers are becoming more accustomed to accommodating gluten allergies and are becoming more knowledgeable on which dishes on the menu do not contain gluten.

A few options for restaurants offering gluten-sensitive options in Kamloops include Chopped Leaf, Earls, Milestones and Original Joes.

Please contact Diane Bloomfield – dibloomfield@hotmail.com to become a member of the Kamloops Celiac Association.  The cost of yearly membership helps to fund celiac research and all new members are provided with a copy of a New Members kit which includes a copy of “Canadian Celiac Association – Acceptability of Food & Food Ingredients for the Gluten Free Diet handbook”.  The cost of annual membership is $65.00 and a membership renewal is $50.00 annually.

Dr. Assmus on Managing Celiac Disease

Dr. Alison Assmus is a Kamloops based Naturopathic Physician who is knowledgeable in diagnosing, treating and managing celiac disease. Dr. Assmus works to develop a treatment plan that is individually tailored to each patient. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss treating and managing celiac disease, please call 250 377-3077. The Kamloops Naturopathic Clinic is now located at 754 Seymour Street, Kamloops BC.

Q: First, what is a naturopathic doctor and how do they differ from the traditional medical doctor?

A: Basically as naturopathic doctors we do similar education; we do eight years of post secondary education (four years a bachelor of science and four years of medical school). The medical schools that we do go to are naturopathic medical schools, not the conventional [medical schools] but we actually do the same sciences and use the same textbooks. We specialize in more natural therapies and the biggest difference with us is that we are so lucky we get to spend a lot of time with out patients trying to figure out the cause of what’s going on. So the main difference is that if we have time to figure out the cause versus treating people symptomatically.

Q: What can a naturopathic doctor offer to someone who has celiac disease?

A: It depends on how far along they are in their diagnosis. As naturopathic doctors we have full access to labs so we can actually see a patient in office and then diagnose them with celiac disease, so we do have access to all the different labs.

With a patient who has celiac disease, there are tons of different treatments. The first thing is to remove gluten from the diet, but not just go gluten-free; here are tons of hidden sources [of gluten]. When you eat something that you are allergic to it causes irritation or inflammation of the gut, you know if you banged your wrist it swells up and gets puffy? That is basically what is going on internally so that can predispose to other conditions like other food allergies, hormonal imbalance like hypothyroidism so instead of just seeing a patient and saying “you have celiac disease, this is the typical treatment.” You have to individualize the treatment plan; figure out any preexisting conditions and then there are certain things in specific like nutritional therapies like glutamine and probiotics, vitamin C which are known to actually rebuild the intestinal tract and can help to desensitize to the rest of the allergies. There are different herbs you can use to help protect the insides [of the gastrointestinal tract] and it depends on every patient. Some people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms and some have a ton, so you’d have to manage the symptoms with other medications and natural therapies.

Q: Do naturopathic doctors have the means to diagnose celiac disease?

A: Yes! We do it with a blood test. The gold standard is to do it with a biopsy, but we don’t have access here to do a biopsy so we’d get the patient to go back to their MD. If a patient has celiac disease you are going to see it most likely in the serum, the blood draw, and we also do another set of blood draws for other allergies, and gluten is in that as well, so it’s another serological test.

Q: What sort of diet would you advise for someone recently diagnosed with celiac disease?

A: Definitely gluten free, there’s no getting over that. When a patient comes in and you tell them they can never eat wheat again, it’s really overwhelming, so our job is to go through and tell patients what gluten is in, and also give them other things that they can eat as an alternative. We really try to make the process as easy as possible. The good news is that there are tons of different places that cater to people with food allergies at the same time. Lots of times, people have coexisting food allergy conditions so we have to be able to diagnose that also and take those out of the system.

Q: What sorts of supplements to a gluten-free diet do you suggest a celiac take?

A: Supplement wise to help heal that gut inflammation, glutamine, probiotics and essential fatty acids are absolutely key. Those are the three top ones. The other supplements depend on a patient’s symptoms. Say someone has diarrhea, we have a herbal mix called Robert’s formula with demulcent herbs in it so we could give them that. It’s really tailored to the individual. Also, it’s not a supplement but we have another treatment plan that we are really excited about; it’s called low dose antigen therapy, basically it is a series of injections that a patient would do so you would do it once then take a two moth break, and what it does, is it helps to desensitize your system to food allergies by actually injecting a tiny bit under the skin surface, and it is so low-dose that it isn’t going to cause a huge flare-up of the immune system. They get your immune system able to tolerate it, and it has a specific enzyme in it called beta-glucuronidase so it is something that is really new to the clinic. It’s not going to take away celiac disease but it is going to reduce the symptoms, it’s going to decrease the severity of the inflammatory response and help to desensitize towards the other allergies that celiac patients can develop as well.

Q: Why do people that have celiac disease also commonly develop lactose intolerance?

A: Again it has to do with that gut again, so if you’re eating something on a regular basis you’re actually going to be causing that irritation of the gut, and so your system is really finicky. Not only have I seen lactose intolerance, I have seen a full-blown allergy to dairy, so that’s the biggest one. When we’re looking at the top three allergies in our society it would be gluten, dairy and eggs. Those are known to be hard for the body to be able to digest. If you think about it, we’re the only mammals that eat or drink another mammals milk products, so we’re don’t have the enzymes to break it down, so when you deal with the inflammation of the gut, it’s just not a good combination.

Q: Could a child affected by celiac disease be at risk for delayed growth if a diagnosis is made too late?

A: Not only in children, but also in adults we see a lot of malnourishment because again when you’re gut is inflamed you’re not going to be absorbing and assimilating a lot of your nutrients. So in adults for instance, vitamin B12 and Iron are ­­ones that might be deficient, and with children, they are definitely at risk of delayed growth if they’re not getting enough of the nutrients into the system because your body can’t absorb it as well as if you didn’t have that inflammation.

Q: How can you tell if a child has celiac disease?

A: It’s hard because with celiac disease, some are kind of asymptomatic and some are really symptomatic. It can be anything from digestive symptoms like constipation, gas, bloating, weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, things like unexplained anemia if someone has an iron deficiency and they’re not bleeding anywhere. So it can be a diversity of symptoms. Basically as naturopaths we sit down and we look at the whole symptom picture and we can figure it out from there. In children, behavior problems, fatigue, kids that look emaciated or who are not growing to the standard growth charts, those can be some red flags.

Q: In your opinion, does celiac disease often get misdiagnosed as other diseases such as IBS or Crones?

A: It’s interesting because with celiac disease, the prevalence of it is increasing, and it has to do with when you look at wheat in our society. There’s a really good book about it called the wheat belly, the actual form of the gluten that is in our diet is different than what it used to be and a lot of people can’t tolerate it. Also, gluten in terms of the prevalence, if you look at the label, the amount of things that contain gluten is astronomical. Before that might not have necessarily have been that big of an issue. With the increase of gluten as a thickening agent, it makes everything look nice and appealing. Loaves of bread look really appealing to eat so its increasing prevalence in terms of our society and it’s a matter of shifting that perspective and noticing that there is increase in gluten so we have to do some further screening for that.

Q: What are some ways other than gastrointestinal upset that celiac disease may manifest?

A: Some patients don’t have any symptoms and some have really extreme symptoms. The digestive stuff, a lot of times it can cause an inability to cope with stress because you body is stressed on a daily basis just fighting the celiac disease, so mood is huge predictor, and it can be something like infertility, missed menstrual periods, delayed growth. There are quite an abundance of conditions that it can predispose to. Or skin stuff as well; when your body is not functioning well, your body can actually dump the toxins through the skin. This can result in things like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. There’s a huge symptom profile that it can be.

Q: What treatments are available at the Kamloops Naturopathic Clinic?

A: If you think about it when you’re not absorbing through your gastro intestinal tract, you want to make sure you’re getting the nutrients into someone really quickly. We do lots of intravenous therapies that have things like all of your B vitamins, vitamin C, all your multi-trace minerals so that you’re not taking it through your mouth and it can bypass digestion and go directly into the system. So there’s tons of different treatments and as naturopaths we don’t treat the condition in specific, we treat the individual so we have to look at everything that is manifesting and treat accordingly.

Q: How long could it theoretically take for a celiac’s intestines to heal?

A: It can take a while. It’s hard to give an exact parameter, it can take years but I would say usually in terms of symptom management we can get symptom relief quite quickly.

There are three stages of gluten allergy. There’s celiac disease when your system is going crazy and attacking itself, there’s the sensitivity which a lot of people have and there is actually different antibodies present. We do a screening, that other blood draw I was talking about, it screens for IgE and IgG so that’s an actual allergy but it’s not as full blown as celiac disease. It’s really crazy in terms of people in our society who aren’t even allergic to it, even taking it out, the biggest thing cleared up is the brain fog. Looking at the increased prevalence of ADHD, you can get really great success screening for food allergies, like I said gluten, dairy and eggs are the three components that affect behavior in kids.

Q: How do naturopathic physicians work in conjunction with medical doctors?

A: It seems to be that the perspectives with the medical doctors are shifting, and a lot of doctors in town are referring patients to us for food allergy tests. If you screen for celiac disease and it comes back negative, there are other food allergies that we can see and it’s just not full blown celiac, but still an actual allergy to gluten. There are lots of Medical Doctors in town now that are sending us patients because we get really good results for food allergies. It’s really good to be able to have a team effort when we’re looking at things like this.

Almond Flour: A Great GF Flour Alternative

Try almond flour in your baking

Perhaps the most common frustration among GF bakers and confectionary artists has to be the inability to recreate the properties of plain old flour.  Muffins made with coconut and rice flour seem to lack the ability to rise, and often have a somewhat sandy consistency to them.  If you haven’t mastered the ability to make typical GF flours work for you, almond flour may be your saving grace.

The cheapest and most reliable place to purchase almond flour from (that I have found) is www.jkgourmet.ca. A five-pound bag costs $45 and lasts for about a month if you are frequently baking.  The larger the quantity you purchase, the more of a discount you will receive.  Buying the 25-pound bag will cost you $187.50, as compared to buying five, five-pound bags which will cost you $225.  It’s worth it to purchase this flour in larger quantities, especially when you start to use it in every aspect of baking.

People on a gluten-free diet might be used to eating purchased gluten-free baking that tastes like sawdust and is as hard as rocks; almond flour provides a reason to bake at home instead.  The first difference with using almond flour is its even, fluffy consistency, paired with a moist end product.  The flour also has a slight nutty taste to it and works well with pancakes, to muffins to cookies.

An almond flour muffin basically contains a small handful of ground almonds.  You can take pride in eating muffins that will act as protein fillers instead of empty carbs.  Other substitutes that are helpful when baking with almond flour include using coconut oil (as a fat substitute) and substituting sugar for agave syrup or honey.

Be forewarned that you cannot substitute almond flour into recipes like you would regular flour due to its density.  I have tried this and the muffins end up falling, they are still very delicious, however they do not look overly appealing especially if you are planning to serve them to guests.

A great recipe to begin with:

Lemon Poppyseed Almond Flour Muffins

3 eggs
1/2 cup honey (or agave syrup)
1/4 cup melted butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp poppyseeds
3 cups almond flour

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center to add in wet ingredients and stir just enough to mix.  Line a muffin tin with muffin papers, and fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy!

By Lauren Gagatek