Eating Gluten Free

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Jennifer Ferguson

Did you know that May is celiac awareness month? Let’s test your knowledge on celiac disease. Question: True or false, a person with celiac disease needs to avoid only wheat and wheat products? Answer: False, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance you need to avoid a protein called gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as; wheat (including kamut and spelt), rye, barley, triticale and oats.


Gluten Free Grains

Many grains are naturally gluten free. These grains can be used on their own or as ingredients in other foods like breads, cereals or pastas. Common gluten free grains are; quinoa, millet, rice, wild rice, corn and potato. Even though these grains are gluten free, they could be cross contaminated with gluten. Check with the company if in doubt.


Baking Gluten Free

Going gluten free will take some adjustments in your techniques (cooking and baking) and expectations (taste and texture). Some recipes it will be hard to tell the difference and others will not have the same taste as the original version BUT can still be delicious. Options for gluten free flours are; sorghum, brown/white rice, quinoa, almond, chickpea, coconut and assorted bean flours to name a few. Starches need to be used when baking gluten free and can include: potato, corn, arrowroot and tapioca.


Gluten free baking tips to keep in mind:

  • Start the easy way - Use gluten free all-purpose baking flour. These are already formulated with a good ratio of flours : starches and tend to work well in muffins, quick breaks and simple cakes.
  • Put in a little leg work – Once you have your own gluten free flour mix developed make a large batch and store in an airtight container for easy access.
  • Try baking products at a slightly lower oven temperature.
  • Be exact – Measure ingredients by using level measures, not heaping or even use a scale.
  • Mix dry ingredients together before adding to liquid ingredients.
  • Wrap products tightly while still warm. Store in sealed containers in the freezer.
  • Maintain your sense of humour - failures happen. Put any “failed” attempts in the food processor and use as crumbs!


Questions? Need more information? Want to register for our Healthy bites & bites newsletter? Email or call 1-902-895-7382.

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Sobeys Dietitians Recipe Corner          


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Check the ingredient lists and package labels for sources of gluten. Contact the

company if you are unsure about an ingredient.


Serves 16


2 cups            500 ml           Chickpeas, canned, drained and rinsed

⅓ cup             75 ml              Orange juice

4 large                                   Eggs, at room temperature

1 cup              250 ml           Brown sugar

⅔ cup             150 ml           Cocoa

2 tsp               10 ml              Baking powder

1 tsp               5 ml                Baking soda



1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Blend chickpeas and orange juice in a blender or food processor.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend.

4. Add brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Blend together

until mixed well.

5. Pour into a 9" round cake pan and bake in oven for about 50 minutes.


Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories 124

Fat 2 grams

Carbohydrate 25 grams

Fibre 3 grams

Protein 4 grams

Sodium 197 milligrams


Tip: Garnish with fruit and a dollop of whipped topping.



Organizations: Sobeys

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