Gluten Free Eating

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Gluten Free Eating

by Alakananda Ma

Photograph of 4 gluten sources. Top: High-glut...

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Your Ayurvedic Practitioner has determined that, according to Ayurveda, you may be benefitted by a gluten free diet. Typically you will do a three-month trial of this diet, to see if the effects are beneficial for your overall health goals. The trial will work ONLY if you are totally gluten free for the three-month period. Tell your Doctor that you are on a gluten free diet. For certain tests, it may be necessary to eat gluten in order for the test to work.

Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. Some people cannot tolerate gluten when it comes in contact with the small intestine. This condition is known as celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. There is also evidence that a skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis is associated with gluten intolerance.

In patients with celiac disease, gluten injures the lining of the small intestine. This injury results in weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There may be many other manifestations including neurological or cognitive effects, malaise, fatigue or inflammation. Not all people with gluten sensitivity notice intestinal symptoms. When patients totally eliminate gluten from the diet, the lining of the intestine has a chance to heal and other symptoms may abate or disappear.

Removing gluten from the diet is not easy. Grains are used in the preparation of many foods. It is often hard to tell by an ingredient's name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten without even knowing it. However, staying on a strict gluten-free diet may dramatically improve your condition.

Oats is a grain the merits special attention. Oats are believed safe in patients with celiac disease although this was not always the case. The problem with oat products is not the grain but rather the manufacturing process. When oats are processed in the same facilities as wheat, contamination can occur even with the best cleaning protocol. Oat products can now be found that are not cross contaminated. These can be tried after an initial period of 6 months to see if they can be tolerated. Most, but not all patients can tolerate pure oat products. Many other products are contaminated with gluten in the milling process so it is safest always to purchase food labeled gluten free. Most natural foods markets now have a gluten free aisle for your convenience.

  • Do not eat anything that contains the following grains: wheat, rye, and barley.
  • The following can be eaten in any amount: corn, potato, rice, soybeans, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa. (But if they are milled, look for the gluten free label!)
  • Distilled white vinegar does not contain gluten.
  • Malt vinegar does contain gluten.

Grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it will be necessary to seek out hidden gluten. The following terms found in food labels may mean that there is gluten in the product.

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn
  • Flour or Cereal products, unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, or soy flour
  • Vegetable Protein unless made from soy or corn
  • Malt or Malt Flavoring unless derived from corn
  • Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used
  • Vegetable Gum unless vegetable gums are carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, xanthan gum, or vegetable starch
  • Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids unless you know they do not contain wheat, as in wheat-free tamari.

Any of the following words on food labels usually means that a grain containing gluten has been used

  • stabilizer
  • starch
  • flavoring
  • emulsifier
  • hydrolyzed plant protein

There are now several companies that produce gluten-free products, and several support groups to provide delicious recipes and help patients adapt to the gluten-free diet.

Organized Groups

The Food Allergy Network

11781 Lee Jackson Hwy, Suite 160

Fairfax, VA 22033-3309

(800) 929-4040


American Celiac Society

P.O. Box 23455
New Orleans, LA 70183-0455


Celiac Sprue

Association/USA, Inc.

P.O. Box 31700

Omaha, NE 68131-0700

(402) 558-0600
(877) CSA-4-CSA


Celiac Disease Foundation

13251 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1

Studio City, CA 91604-1838

(818) 990-2354


Gluten Intolerance Group

15110 10th Avenue SW, Suite A

Seattle, WA 98166-1820

(206) 246-6652

Companies That Sell Gluten-Free Products

Dietary Specialists, Inc.

P.O. Box 227

Rochester, NY 14601

(716) 263-2787

To place an order: 1-800-544-0099


Ener-G Foods, Inc.

5960 1st Avenue. S.

P.O. Box 84487

Seattle, WA 98124-5787

(206) 767-6660

Toll free: 1-800-331-5222

Gluten Free Pantry
P.O. Box 840
Glastonbury, CT 06033



3750 Francis Hughes

Laval, Quebec

Canada H7L5A9

1-(450) 629-7689

Toll free: 1-800-363-DIET (3438)

Fax: 1-(450)-629-4781




The Really Great Food Company

P.O. Box 2239

St. James, NY 11780

Toll free: 1-800-593-5377




The Gluten-free Gourmet
More from the Gluten-free Gourmet
Bette Hagma

Gluten Freeda Online Cooking Magazine




Food Group

Do Not Contain Gluten

May Contain Gluten

Contain Gluten

Milk & milk products

whole, low fat, skim, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; buttermilk; cream; whipping cream; American cheese; all aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss, Edam, and Parmesan

sour cream commercial chocolate milk and drinks, non-dairy creamers, all other cheese products, yogurt

(Buy natural live yoghurt without thickeners or make your own)

malted drinks

Meat or meat substitutes

100% meat (no grain additives); seafood; poultry (breaded with pure cornmeal, potato flour, or rice flour); peanut butter; eggs; dried beans or peas; p

meat patties; canned meat; sausages; cold cuts; bologna; hot dogs; stew; hamburger; chili; commercial omelets, soufflés, fondue; soy protein meat substitutes

croquettes, breaded fish, chicken loaves made with bread or bread crumbs, breaded or floured meats, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, ravioli, any meat or meat substitute, rye, barley, oats, gluten stabilizers

Breads & grains

cream of rice; cornmeal; hominy; basmati rice; brown rice; red rice; wild rice; gluten-free noodles; rice wafers; pure corn tortillas; specially prepared breads made with corn, rice, potato, soybean, tapioca arrowroot ,carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa flour; puffed rice.(Note: many vatas do not tolerate GF flour with tapioca flour, so just use plain rice flour or rice bread)

packaged rice mixes, cornbread, ready-to-eat cereals containing malt flavoring

breads, buns, rolls, biscuits, muffins, crackers, and cereals containing wheat, wheat germ, oats, barley, rye, bran, graham flour, malt; kasha; bulgur; Melba toast; matzo; bread crumbs; pastry; pizza dough; regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, and other pasta; rusks; dumplings; zwieback; pretzels; prepared mixes for waffles and pancakes; bread stuffing or filling (Note: you can special order gluten free kosher Passover matzoh online)

Fats & oils

Butter, ghee, sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil, mustard oil.

salad dressings, non-dairy creamers, mayonnaise

gravy and cream sauces thickened with flour


plain, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit; all fruit juices

pie fillings, thickened or prepared fruit, fruit fillings



fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; white and sweet potatoes; yams

vegetables with sauces, commercially prepared vegetables and salads, canned baked beans, pickles, marinated vegetables, commercially seasoned vegetables

creamed or breaded vegetables; those prepared with wheat, rye, oats, barley, or gluten stabilizers

Snacks & desserts

Turbinado sugar, raw cane sugar, jam, honey, molasses, pure cocoa,  popcorn, carob

custards, puddings, ice cream, ices, sherbet, pie fillings, candies, chocolate, chewing gum, cocoa, potato chips

cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, dumplings, ice cream cones, pies, prepared cake and cookie mixes, pretzels, bread pudding


tea, carbonated beverages (except root beer), fruit juices, mineral and carbonated waters, wines, instant or ground coffee

cocoa mixes, root beer, chocolate drinks, nutritional supplements, beverage mixes

Postum™, Ovaltine™, malt-containing drinks, cocomalt, beer, ale, gin, whiskey, rye


those made with allowed ingredients

commercially prepared soups, broths, soup mixes, bouillon cubes

soups thickened with wheat flour or gluten-containing grains; soup containing barley, pasta, or noodles

Thickening agents

 arrowroot starch; corn flour, germ, or bran; potato flour; potato starch flour; rice bran and flour; rice polish; soy flour; tapioca, sago


wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, oats, rye, malt, barley, or graham flour; all-purpose flour; white flour; wheat flour; bran; cracker meal; durham flour; wheat germ


glutent-free soy sauce (tamari), distilled white vinegar, olives, pickles, relish, ketchup

flavoring syrups (for pancakes or ice cream), mayonnaise, horseradish, salad dressings, tomato sauces, meat sauce, mustard, taco sauce, soy sauce, chip dips



salt, pepper, herbs, flavored extracts, food coloring, cloves, kitchen spices such as turmeric cumin, coriander and fennel, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar.

curry powder (safer to make your own) seasoning mixes, meat extracts

synthetic pepper, brewer's yeast (unless prepared with a sugar molasses base), yeast extract (contains barley)

Prescription products


all medicines: check with pharmacist or pharmaceutical company





Alakananda Ma's Gluten Free Recipes

Cleansing Kitcheri

1/2 cup split mung beans
1 cup basmati rice
Wash them both thoroughly, melt ghee and add spices: fresh ginger, tumeric (fresh or powdered), powdered fennel, cumin and coriander. Add rice, beans and 6 cups water, then bring to boil. Turn down to simmer for 45 minutes or until mung beans are very soft in pot on stove (or make in crock pot cooking overnight--be sure there's plenty of water or you're making a much larger batch to activate the heating elements in the crock pot).

After cooking, add salt to taste. If you live at altitude, cook the mung beans for 45 minutes while soaking the rice, then add the rice and cook for 45 minutes more.



Tridoshic Yam Kitcheri


Pacifies vata, pitta and Kapha


1cup split hulled mung beans

1 cup basmati rice

3 tbsp ghee

1 and half inches minced fresh ginger

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp turmeric

1 handful cilantro leaves

8 green cardamom pods

8 whole cloves

11 black peppercorns

3 inch piece cinnamon stick

3 bay leaves

Salt to taste

1 large yam, cubed


Rinse mung beans well with cold water and soak for a few hours

Rinse rice well and soak while beans are cooking

Put ginger, coconut, turmeric, cilantro and some water in a blender or food processor and blend. Use enough water to blend well.


In a large pot, melt ghee over medium heat and sauté cardamom pods (split open first), cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and bay leaves for a few minutes. Then add the blended spices and sauté for a few more minutes until lightly cooked.


Next add beans and yams; cook for a couple more minutes. Add enough water to cover the beans with at least 3 inches  of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer .Cook for about 45 minutes or until the beans are completely broken down. Then add the rice and cook until the rice is broken apart. Add more water as needed  Salt to taste and enjoy!



Golden Harvest Rice


This warming fall recipe makes use of the seasonal vegetables of harvest time. Soothing for vata and easily digestible, it can be balanced for pitta with the addition of cilantro and for kapha with cayenne or black pepper. Omitting the cashews, it is a great recipe for small children! Serves 6.


1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water

1 pinch saffron

1 medium sized pumpkin or winter squash

1 yellow or orange bell pepper

1 cup sweet corn

½ cup cashews

8 cloves

3 cardamoms, split open

2 black cardamoms, split open

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 bay leaf

1 stick cinnamon

1 pinch hing

1" piece of ginger, finely chopped

3 Tbsp ghee or sunflower oil

1 tsp salt


Wash the basmati rice; soak for an hour and drain.  Allow to air-dry. Boil the water; add the saffron and leave to steep. Peel and cut the squash or pumpkin into 1" cubes and stir-fry or sauté in 1 Tbsp of the ghee or oil until fork-tender (about 30 min). Meanwhile, chop the pepper. Heat half the remaining ghee or oil in a heavy flat bottomed pan and gently fry the cashews until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining ghee, if needed. When the ghee is hot but not smoking, lower the heat and add the spices and ginger, frying until the ginger browns and the mustard seeds pop. Add the hing and within a few seconds the pepper and corn. Stir fry for a few minutes, and then add the rice and cook for a minute or two until the grains are translucent.  Add the saffron water, cashews and squash. Bring to the boil, cover and cook at low heat for 25 minutes. Stir with a fork and serve with wedges of lime.                         







Cold Cure Dal



Serves 4-6

1 cup red lentils

4-6 cups water

One bottle gourd (louki) peeled and  cubed

1" piece peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp ghee

2 royal black cardamoms, lightly crushed open

1" piece cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1 tsp garam masala

1-2 tsp cumin seeds

Half teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 pinch hing

1 tsp jaggery or muscovado sugar

1-2 whole dried red chillies

1 handful chopped cilantro

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

6 curry leaves


This is a recipe for a chilly day, when you feel shivery, spaced out, as if you might be getting a chill or a head cold.

Wash the lentils carefully. In a large pan, boil together the lentils, tomatoes, ginger root, turmeric, half the ghee, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. When the lentils begin to break up, add the louki. Alternatively, for a quick recipe, pressure-cook the dal with the above ingredients and meanwhile, steam the louki.

In a wok or frying pan, heat the rest of the ghee. Turn the burner to warm and add the cumin seeds, then the fenugreek seeds.  When they have browned, add the sweetener and chillies, and then the hing and curry leaves. Immediately add to the cooked lentil-louki mix. It will sizzle as you add it. Cook for ten minutes more to let the flavours mingle. At the last minute, drop in the cilantro and add salt to taste.  Serve over basmati rice.


Louki is a smooth green gourd that is demulcent and rejuvenative. Its astringent and slightly bitter taste benefits pitta and kapha. The spices in this recipe have been specifically chosen to

Kindle agni, burn toxins, promote sweating, strengthen the lungs and sinuses and drive out cold and damp. Enjoy!





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This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on March 4, 2012 2:27 PM.

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