Friday, July 16, 2010

Gluten Free Grains and Lemon Garlic Prawns

I think I've mentioned a few times that I've been getting bloated a lot lately. There are only so many occasions were I can blame the boyfriend (who is not gluten free) before I start to wonder what is going on with me. I know I'm super sensitive to gluten as I made a complaint on a 'gluten free' product and it came back at 26ppm ... the legally acceptable limit is 20ppm (although it really should be 0ppm). So obviously my body can detect very minimal amounts of gluten. I also noticed that when I was cooking a lot with almond flour and staying away from most grains that I started to feel better and have less contamination issues. Then this article came out about a study on traditionally gluten free grains, and it may have explained everything. It's actually been out for a few weeks, but it's now on here: "Gluten Free" foods may be contaminated.

Basically the study showed that grains normally considered gluten free, may in fact be loaded with gluten. It's similar to oats. Oats are still not tolerated by all Celiacs but many can tolerate them IF they are pure uncontaminated. They get contaminated simply by growing next to a wheat field or buy being separated using the same grain separator that separated wheat. Oats flakes and wheat flakes are very similar in size and are easily mixed up. With them being so similar it's easy to see why they might get contaminated. But who would have guessed soy, millet, buckwheat and sorghum flours would also become contaminated. The study specifically tested products that had no gluten free claims and are traditionally assumed to be safe. The test on soy flour resulted in nearly 3000 ppm of gluten. The study was a small one which only sampled 22 grains, but out of all of those grains 7 showed up contaminated. That means 32% of the products tested were contaminated and that is a HUGE number for Celiacs. No wonder I've been having so many problems lately.

The study also suggested that sticking to products (even rice) that say gluten free would be a safer option. We are still taking risks, but at least there is a better chance the product has actually been tested for gluten if it says gluten free, although not neccesarily. This news plus my constant state of feeling fat (because I'm bloated so often) has made me think I might have to try going grain free, unless I have a history of being okay with that grain/product. 

Speaking of grains that I'm traditionally okay with, rice is one of them. I have a very quick easy meal to make in the summer heat when you might be feeling a little less inspired to cook in the kitchen. It's Lemon Garlic Prawns on rice. If you wanted to be truly fancy and tasty you'd buy/make everything fresh, but this is supposed to be quick, so frozen prawns and instant rice it is.

Lemon Garlic Prawns
(serves 2)

16 frozen pre-cooked Prawns (or jumbo shrimp)
1-2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1-2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Pepper to taste

Line a cookie sheet or pizza pan with aluminum foil. Place frozen prawns on top. Top with chunks of butter, garlic and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Place on raised rack and broil until butter is melted and prawns are warm and golden. Watch carefully as they can dry out quickly. Remove from oven and serve with rice immediately. The melted butter, lemon juice and water (from the frozen prawns) will make a sauce. You can pour this over the prawns to add some flavor to both the prawns and the rice. Quick and tasty!

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