May is Celiac Awareness Month. According to the National Institutes of Health, three million Americans have celiac disease, an immune disorder in which gluten damages the lining of the small intestine. Whether you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance/sensitivity or have chosen to go gluten-free for other reasons, MARTIN’S Food Markets offers several ways to make gluten-free shopping and meal planning easier.
MARTIN’S features blue and green labels on the shelf immediately below a gluten-free product to help customers easily identify gluten-free items as they shop the aisles of the grocery store. Currently, thousands of Own Brand and national brand products are identified as gluten-free throughout the perishable and nonperishable departments.
The team of MARTIN’S nutritionists is also sharing several tips to help go gluten-free:
- Try gluten-free muesli for breakfast. Rich in whole grains, this cereal packs a punch to your morning routine.
- For a sweet treat, bake apple slices in the oven with a bit of cinnamon until soft and top with a light drizzle of agave and walnuts.
- When looking for gluten-free baked goods, look for high-fiber, watch out for sodium and keep portion control in check. Gluten-free doesn’t mean calorie-free.
- Make your own gluten-free trail mix by combing dry roasted edamame, almonds, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
- Quinoa is a nutrient-dense source when it comes to gluten-free grains. It’s rich in fiber and protein to keep you feeling full longer.
- Wheat-free products may still contain rye, barley or other gluten-containing grains. Read the ingredient list and when in doubt, go without.
- Perk up the flavor and texture of gluten-free breads, rolls and muffins by toasting them. Warming these products can result in a better flavor and texture.
- Crushed gluten-free corn flakes or raw quinoa make a great crunchy topping for fish, chicken or anywhere you’d use breadcrumbs. Spray the top with cooking spray to help it brown.
- Instead of bread or wraps, use romaine or kale leaves, add your favorite sandwich ingredients such as tuna or turkey, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and roll up.
- To replace pasta, experiment with zucchini or eggplant. Thin strips for spaghetti (cut with a knife) or wide ribbons for lasagna (made with a vegetable peeler).
- Xanthan gum can help improve your gluten-free baking. This thickening agent imitates gluten and provides elasticity that will help hold your baked items together.
- Let your pharmacy know you are following a gluten-free diet. Fillers in medications can have gluten-containing products.
In addition, MARTIN’S nutritionists are hosting an informational class on gluten-free. Cooking with Gluten-Free Grains is Tuesday, May 6 from 5 – 6 p.m. at the Eldersburg MARTIN’S located at 1320 Londontown Boulevard.
For more information or to register for this class, please visit martinsfoods.com/healthyideas or call your local MARTIN’S store.