Giving up gluten doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite sweets

When patients eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye), their body attacks its own tissues. If left untreated, it can cause bowel damage and serious health complications such as osteoporosis. The only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. If you suspect you have this disease, go to and take an online self-assessment test to make sure you have the disease.

One of the dangerous areas when following a gluten-free diet is eating out. First, gluten is hidden in ready-made sauces. Sometimes malt extract can be added to malt vinegar, which can cause seizures. Often flour is added to thicken and bake soups and sauces. Allergen legislation stipulates that the retail and catering sector is required to provide information and enforce labeling laws. Cooking at home can often be the safest option – so you have complete control over what’s in the meal.

Ask any newly diagnosed celiac disease what they are most lacking, and pizza will often be there as an answer. You can buy really effective gluten free flour. The English company Dove’s Farms has a large range of high quality products, and the Italian company Caputo produces large flour for strong bread, which can be bought online or in certain grocery stores. The pizza recipe here involves a number of flours – rice, chickpeas and potato flours. You can buy them at health food stores or Asian stores. Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide and a common food supplement. Its effective thickener, emulsifier and prevents the separation of ingredients. In gluten-free baking this will help bring all the flour together and repeat the texture of the gluten. Alternatively, replace gluten-free bread flour with the three flours used here.

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There are now many bakeries in Northern Ireland that make amazing gluten-free pastries – so good that it’s hard to tell. If you want to make yourself a treat, I’ve added a few cake recipes here. Gluten-free cakes use wheat flour in the mix, and a few frozen raspberries are added for a little tenderness. Another recipe is a gluten-free orange pie, where oranges are boiled until soft and then mixed as a base. Almonds take the place of flour, and egg whites help everything rise. Giving up gluten doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite sweets

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