Recipe of the Week: Gluten Free Muesli by guest blogger Michaela Gold
Have you ever had to cook a gluten free meal for someone and been unsure of what grains to use? You’re not alone. According to Coeliac Australia approximately 1 in 100 adults suffer from coeliac disease, with 75% of people unaware they have the condition. A person with Coeliac disease (also known as gluten intolerance) cannot eat foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye, barley and oats. If foods containing gluten are eaten, the small bowel is damaged, making it difficult for nutrients from food to be absorbed resulting in a range of health problems. The only treatment is life-long avoidance of gluten; however it’s important to get a diagnosis before removing grains from your diet unnecessarily as symptoms may be due to other causes.
Grain foods (particularly whole grains) are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Evidence suggests that regularly eating whole grain foods may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Eating grain foods can also help in reducing weight gain. Consequently this group should make up a significant part of our diet.
The recent review of The Australian Dietary Guidelines, places more emphasis on the quality of grains rather than quantity. It is recommended that we choose mostly whole grain or high fibre varieties when eating foods from this group. This is particularly important for people who must follow gluten free diets as they can be low in fibre. The term ‘whole grain’ refers to a grain that includes the outer layer (bran), inner layer (germ), and the middle layer (endosperm). Whole grains can be eaten as the entire grain e.g. brown rice, or in the cracked or milled form e.g. wholemeal.
How much is a serve of gluten free grain food?
- 1 slice gluten free bread/flat bread (about 40g)
- ½ medium gluten free roll (about 40g)
- ½ cup cooked rice, gluten free pasta, gluten free noodles (e.g. rice noodles), buckwheat, or quinoa (75-120g)
- ½ cup cooked polenta (120g)
- ⅔ cup gluten free breakfast cereal flakes (30g)
- ¼ cup gluten free muesli (30g)
- ¼ cup flour (e.g. buckwheat, rice, chickpea)
- 3 gluten free crispbreads (35g)
Adults need between 4-6 serves of grain foods a day (mostly whole grain). You can think of this as including grain foods 3-4 times a day.
Below are some gluten-free tips to boost the fibre content of your diet:
- Add grains like millet, or quinoa to salads
- Include a small handful of raw nuts with skins as a snack (e.g. almonds, walnuts)
- Add beans and legumes (e.g. chickpeas and lentils) to meals such as salads, soups and pasta sauces
- Try making your own gluten free muesli using the recipe below!
1 cup puffed quinoa
1½ cups puffed millet
2 cups gluten free corn flakes
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup chopped nuts of your choice (e.g. almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)
1 Tbsp dried apricots, chopped
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- Store in an air-tight container and use as required
- Serve with reduced-fat milk or yoghurt
For further information
- Check out the Coeliac Australia website for more information about gluten free eating
- To learn more about grains visit the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council website