I have wanted to focus on a particular type of diet for a few weeks now and I am finally going to do a mini-series about it this week. All week I will be blogging about a Gluten – Free diet. Many people who suffer from Celiac Disease are not able to eat any foods that contain gluten. For those of you who do not know what gluten is: it is a protein that is contained in wheat, rye and barley that people who have Celiac disease and gluten intolerance cannot break down - to be very simplistic. If you want to know more, please visit the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website, which is a subset of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.
I do not suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance; however, Nick’s sister is dating an amazing guy who does suffer from gluten intolerance. When I first learned of it, I was intrigued and asked a few questions but in the last couple of years it seems like people all over the media are now talking about Gluten – Free Diets.
I got to thinking about the difficulty in being gluten – free; many people write and talk about how easy it is once you become aware of the ingredients in food. I was slightly worried that I would not be able to successfully put together a gluten-free menu. Not because I thought it was too difficult, but because I live in the middle-of-nowhere surrounded by thirty-thousand military personnel. The PX is not going to cut it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that our local grocery store had an entire section of foods dedicated to gluten – free diets. My life became instantly easier.
To begin my gluten-free mini-series I started off very easy with the almighty Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Most fresh and frozen fruits are gluten free – as long as the fruit has not been processed in something weird, you should be okay. I tend to stick with fresh fruit or freshly frozen fruit. If you do not, make sure to check the labels.
So let’s get down to business – here are the SIMPLE ingredients:
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled
- 1 cup milk [plus a little extra if you want the smoothie thinner]
- 2 tablespoons sugar *
- Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend away for about a minute
- You want the drink to sound smooth – so when you no longer hear pieces of frozen strawberry, stop and serve it up!
*If you are in the midst of winter or heading into spring when it is impossible to find GOOD fresh fruit and you have to use frozen strawberries you may want to add an additional 2 teaspoons to the mix. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little more. However, if you have access to great fresh strawberries use them and stick with the recipe above. Fresh fruit typically is sweeter than frozen fruit!
This smoothie had great flavor. Nick kept insisting it could be a great meal replacement because of how hearty it was. At first I thought he was crazy, but he actually was on to something. I was stuffed after I drank this. If you wanted to add a little Whey Protein to the mix, it would probably serve as pretty good meal replacement. Because whey is milk based [in its pure form] adding it to the mix will maintain the gluten-free recipe! Do what you will, but just make sure to try this!
Until Next Time,
Happy Smoothie Making!