Freshly prepared food just tastes better.
Denver, CO (PRWEB) July 10, 2008
Move over, sugar-free and fat-free. Make room for gluten-free -- a new lifestyle that is revolutionizing the way Americans eat.
According to research group Mintel, eight percent of Americans buy gluten-free products. This is because they can't tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat and related grains that is toxic for some people, says Carol Fenster, author of Gluten-Free 101, a cookbook for gluten-free dining.
Gluten-sensitivity takes many forms, says Fenster. It can be an autoimmune condition called celiac disease where gluten inhibits nutrient absorption. Nearly three million Americans have this condition. Or it can be a non-autoimmune gluten intolerance characterized by congestion, headaches, stomachaches, rashes, and other discomforts. Or it can be a life-threatening food allergy that sends people to the emergency room. But regardless of the reason, the gluten-free diet is life-long because there are no pills, vaccines, or surgeries to cure any of these conditions.
"We're seeing an explosion in gluten-free food choices -- over 3000 products are in stores now with new products introduced every month," says Fenster, "plus many restaurants offer gluten-free menus and gluten-free bakeries are starting to appear."
But, the lifestyle change that's perhaps hardest to make for some people -- yet the most rewarding and often financially necessary given the high price of dining out or buying ready-made foods -- is learning to prepare one's food at home, says Fenster. Her own gluten intolerance was the catalyst for her eight cookbooks that help others prepare gluten-free foods in their own kitchens.
"The foods we miss the most on a gluten-free diet -- for example, pizza -- are still not widely available in stores, let alone restaurants," says Fenster. So she mastered a fail-proof, gluten-free version using safe ingredients and shares how to do it in her book -- along with lots of help and encouragement for the novice or kitchen-challenged cook.
"I'm a firm believer in the benefits of home cooking," says Fenster. "Food prepared at home gives you control over what's in it -- and it costs far less. Gluten-free cooking isn't any harder, we just use different ingredients. And, studies show that home-cooked food contains less fat, sugar, and calories." Plus, she adds, "Freshly prepared food just tastes better."
Fenster's fail-proof pizza crust recipe is on her web site at http://www.glutenfree101.com/pizza.aspx; click on Pizza 101 for photos showing how to prepare it.