Dig into five tasty gluten-free trends in 2020 that put the zing in tantalizing. Start by making counter-space for a new generation of foodies—kids are cooking up a storm inside.
Kids Rule in the Kitchen
Hold on to your chef’s hat, there’s a new kid in town. Your kid, to be specific, and millions more like them. Eight-year-olds blog and YouTube about food. Tweens post pics of what they cook and eat. Teens enter cook-offs and star on TV shows. They like, they share, and they create. They cook from fresh and eat gluten-free. They pull on our heartstrings and our apron strings.
Kids are taking over kitchens!
Sharing the fresh food journey that’s been picking up speed in recent years, our budding chefs are helping make bright lifestyle choices the new norm. And, they’re using independent kitchen skills to prepare these meals and snacks. In our day, parents would handle anything more dangerous than a wooden spoon. Today, there is a growing selection of cookbooks targeted towards kids. These books teach junior chefs about kitchen safety and encourage basic knife skills.
For every kid slicing and dicing, there’s one hemming and hawing. If you have a picky eater in the house, help them develop a taste for food. Start by making sandwiches together. Create a buffet of vegetables, spreads, and gluten-free breads. Next, try pizza. Have your child plate all the different toppings. A colourful array of different foods will encourage taste tests. Learning to cook gives kids control of what goes in their food—they can add more of what they like, and trust that whatever they’ve cooked up is safe for them to eat. Cooking can be an empowering exercise for those navigating celiac disease or living with food allergies.
Be a trendsetter in 2020: Host an after-school play date for little chefs! Give the kids a few ingredients and see what they come up with!
Sprouted Gluten-Free Grains
Here we are at the end of January. Did you pledge to eat healthy in 2020? If you’re like most people you did a terrific job … for a week. Right about now you’re ready to renew your vows.
Adding sprouted gluten-free grains to your family’s daily menu is an easy way to make healthy eating a promise you can keep. How? Sprouted grains take nutritional values to the next level.
What is sprouting? Imagine a seed covered in soil. You water it and soon the beginning of a plant emerges. In the process of sprouting, that tiny plant-to-be breaks down starches, proteins, and protective compounds that kept the seed’s store of vitamins safe while it waited to make its grand entrance. When you eat sprouted gluten-free grains, you get more nutrition, that’s easier to digest, and better access to nutrients like zinc, B vitamins, and Vitamin E (among others),,.
Quinoa, for instance, is likely a staple in your pantry already. You know all about its goodness and use it to enhance salads and soups. Imagine an even more nutrient-rich quinoa. Sprouted quinoa is higher in protein, fibre and antioxidants.
Oats are a unique grain in that their bran and germ stay intact during processing. That means you’re getting complete whole grain goodness. Sprouted oats are higher in fibre and especially rich in iron, zinc, and protein. The sweet oat grain is a popular breakfast food, used in cereals and baking.
Renew your promise to eat right in 2020. Slather your favourite spread over Sprouted 7 Grain or Sprouted Honey Oat bread.
Be a trendsetter in 2020: Get to know gluten-free whole grains. The goodness in sprouted grains is an astonishingly easy way to improve your family’s health.
New No-Nut Butters
Fresh from the oven, gluten-free breads are lining up. They’re yearning to sample two of the latest nut-free butters. Trending in 2020: roasted chickpea butter and watermelon seed butter. Both are nutrient-rich, creamy, and nutty-tasting spreads.
Watermelon seed butter uses sprouted and shelled watermelon seeds. With an earthy hint of cashew, it’s a delightful spread on toasted cinnamon and raisin bread. Or, add a spoonful to a fruit smoothie for a creamy protein boost.
Butter made from chickpeas … isn’t that hummus? Not quite. Think of the chickpea as a bean. Once pureed it becomes hummus. Roasted, the chickpea transforms into a spreadable, nut-like butter. Its nutritional profile reads like peanut butter, but with less fat and sodium. Spread chickpea butter over an artisan pizza crust and top with roasted veggies. Garnish with balsamic glaze for delectable lunch.
Be a trendsetter in 2020: Butter up family and friends with your own unique spreads. Mix and match with your favourite gluten-free breads and serve up a platter.
This year, there is a bouquet of trendy new flours with a baker’s dozen of healthful attributes.
Instead of banana bread, think banana and plantain flour. High in nutrients, banana flour is abundant with potassium, while plantain flour can help aid digestion. Both have a slight banana smell when raw and a warm nutty flavour when cooked. Try using these flours for baking pastries, breads, pancakes, and waffles.
Making veggie burgers? Chickpea flour is a binder and an excellent source of fibre. This heart-healthy option works in a variety of dishes. With water, it can be a delicious breading on veggie pakoras. Or, mix the flour with olive oil, water, and oregano to make a garbanzo pizza crust.
The superfood grain quinoa is a fabulous alternative to other gluten-free flours. High in protein and fibre, this flour adds texture and structure in gluten-free baking. Some people find quinoa flour a bit bitter. Gently toasting it before you bake with it helps tame the bold flavour. Toast the quinoa flour called for in your recipe by itself in a dry skillet over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes and cool before adding it to your gluten-free creation.
Be a trendsetter in 2020: Update your famous gluten-free cookie recipe into a version that’s fit for 2020 by swapping in an exciting new gluten-free flour. Banana flour oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, anyone? (Remember: Flour substitutions are not always a simple 1:1 conversion, so be sure to research the right measurements before swapping in a hip new single-source gluten-free flour for an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend).
Comfort Food with a Kick
Fragrant, zesty, and healthful ingredients have West African cuisine trending in gluten-free kitchens. Sautéed garlic, onions and ginger blend with earthy spices like cumin and nutmeg, and a kick from chilies to give sweet potatoes, root veggies, and squash an exotic flair. Warm the soul with a delicious stew of yams and greens, pleasing to palates of all ages. Jollof Rice, the signature one-pot dish of West Africa, is a hearty accompaniment.
Gluten-free grains like millet have been a staple of African cuisine for thousands of years. Yet some—like fonio (a close cousin of millet that’s native to West Africa)—are new in North America and rising to superfood status around the world. Fonio is a versatile grain with a texture and flavour somewhere between quinoa and couscous. Steam fonio as you would rice, add it toasted (or raw) in a salad, or boil it to make a porridge. (Fun fact: Little Northern Bakehouse uses fonio in place of sesame seeds to add crunch and colour to the top of our Everything Bagels!)
Can’t find fonio? Check out a grain from the other side of Africa. Teff, another type of millet, is a protein-rich grain originating from Ethiopia (injera, the traditional East African gluten-free flatbread, is made from fermented teff flour). Teff looks like poppy seed and grows in three colours: red, brown and white. Its sweet molasses-like flavour makes it popular among gluten-free bakers as a flour or as a sweet take on hot breakfast cereal.
Be a trendsetter in 2020: Here’s a novel idea: Make Your Book Club a Cook Club. Every few months, host a potluck where members bring a gluten-free dish inspired by your latest read.
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 Benincasa, P, et al, Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients 2019, 11, 421, February 2019. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/2/421, Accessed October, 2019.