Peanut Butter Paleta Dairy-Free Ice Cream (GF, DF)

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Making your own ice cream is one of those things that seems like it would be time-consuming, complicated, and require expensive equipment. But it’s not! It is actually super easy and just requires a freezer and an ice cream maker (which on average costs $40). Given that its summer, I decided to give it a go and see how my homemade ice cream compared to the various dairy-free alternatives out there (we like Purely Decadent). I have to say that I was very pleased from a flavor and cost perspective. The texture of my homemade ice cream was also really good, but not quite as hard as store-bought dairy-free ice cream, but I guess that’s because I didn’t use any of the gums and other not-so-natural ingredients that they use. Continue reading

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How To Naturally Relieve Your Symptoms After You’ve Been Glutened

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Gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches are all common side effects of having a gluten intolerance. Even if you do not have a diagnosed gluten allergy or celiac disease, the symptoms that arise from accidentally ingesting gluten for those who are gluten intolerant can be uncomfortable, debilitating, and painful. Some people have a sensitivity to gluten and may not even know it, as symptoms can disguise themselves as other ailments aside from GI issues. If you feel any of the symptoms above after eating wheat, barley, spelt or rye, chances are your body is not digesting gluten properly and reacting in various ways. Continue reading

Dear Lea

Dear Lea: I am reasonably health conscious but when I get hungry, I crave sugary snacks that leave me dissatisfied about half an hour after consumption (low energy, tired, irritable). What types of snacks should I be looking to consume between meals so I don’t have this craving? Also, do you have an opinion on which sweeteners are better than others (e.g., Spelnda vs. Stevia, etc.)?  –JH.

Dear JH,

Sugary, processed snacks cause spikes and drops in your blood sugar so no wonder these do not work for you. The best types of snacks are made from whole grains, beans, vegetables, and those that contain protein and healthy fat. Protein, fats, beans and whole grains even out your blood sugar response so you don’t feel tired half an hour after you eat them. Continue reading

Kelp Noodle Spaghetti (GF, DF)

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If you’re on a gluten-free or low carb diet and you’ve never had kelp noodles, get yourself to a Whole Foods or natural foods store and buy some NOW. These noodles can be eaten raw (for a crunchier texture) or you can cook them with your favorite sauce for a smoother, softer texture. They have zero fat and zero net carbs (1g total carbs – 1g dietary fiber), plus they have a ton of minerals including iodine, salt, iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Kelp (i.e. seaweed) is known to help with thyroid gland regulation and therefore metabolism and energy levels. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory and cancer prevention qualities.

Kelp has been a mainstay on Asian plates for a while, but is now becoming more and more popular in the west given its nutritional qualities. They type that I used for these noodles has no flavor on its own so it assumes the flavor of whatever sauce you pair with it. Not bad for a naturally gluten-free pasta replacement! Continue reading

7 Benefits of Coconut Oil You Weren’t Aware Of

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Coconut oil is all the rage these days. People are finding different uses for it each day from hair masks to skin moisturizers, but cooking remains the most popular and is on the rise. However, most people do not know just how many amazing benefits they are receiving from cooking with coconut oil rather than using other oils.

If you’re new to coconut oil, you’re probably a bit weirded out by its solid state. Yes, at room temperature coconut oil is a solid, and once it’s heated it melts into a liquid. It has a high smoke point and is better for cooking than alternative oils. This is due to its medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which do not break apart when heated to high temperatures. With an oil that has long chain triglycerides, like olive oil, these chains break apart and oxidize, which causes free radicals to form which can cause cancer.

Other than its enticing tropical smell and sweet taste, coconut oil is actually a superfood and can help prevent many illnesses and diseases. Take a look below to see how coconut oil can help your body. Continue reading

Eating Gluten-Free in Italy

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Here at the Tasteful Pantry, we had heard rumors about Italy being an extraordinarily gluten-free-friendly country, but regarded those rumors with skepticism given the plethora of pasta, pizza and bread dominant in the Italian diet. But this article from the New York times confirms those rumors. Eating “senza glutine” is looked upon with sympathy and understanding in Italy, and the government even provides a monthly allowance of 100 Euros to those living with celiac disease to buy gluten-free foods. Combine that with the abundance of natural gluten-free alternatives in the diet like risotto, polenta, and their simple but delicious preparations of main course meat and fish dishes, Italy ranks pretty high on our list of vacation spots!

Read more in this NY Times article below by Andrew Curry: Continue reading