A Gluten free diet that tastes great

Adopting a gluten-free diet to treat celiac disease may mean to some people accepting sheer eating boredom. Nothing could be less accurate.

It's true the variety of foods become more limited on a gluten-free diet. But there are still plenty left that are both perfectly safe and delicious. If that sounds like a commercial, read on and judge for yourself...

All manner of fresh foods are allowed on a gluten-free diet. Among them are most meats, beef, chicken, pork, and others. The only thing to keep an eye out for are any wheat-based additives, common in packaged lunchmeats, or 'cross contamination' used in preparation.

Similarly, fresh fruit of all varieties are perfectly safe for celiac sufferers. That encompasses not only the ordinary ones, apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, but also ones rich in phytonutrients. That includes blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and many more.

Nearly every vegetable, too, is ok on a diet that has to restrict gluten intake. Whether you like the traditional sort – peas, carrots, corn, tomatoes, and the like – or prefer more exotic types (okra, amaranth, jicama, and others), you can find something you'll enjoy.

Ever since your child was diagnosed as celiac breakfast probably became restricted to fresh fruit and maybe oats or rice. Those aren't bad but we long for variety. So, how about some gluten-free pancakes to liven things up?

"Ah," you say, "but those are just the blah categories. How about some of that yummy junk food or restaurant delights children usually enjoy?" No problem. Plenty of non-gluten alternatives there, too. Oh, how the family used to enjoy those Chicken McNuggets for lunch. Hey, no everyone likes them, but to each his own. Fear not. You can get some tasty chicken nuggets from gluten free food suppliers to satisfy your cravings. Fry or bake, as you prefer, and pig out. If pizza is your thing you can find several gluten-free doughs that will do the trick. There are commercial vendors that will sell you anything from the dough to cook at home to fully prepared frozen pizza.

Restaurants are beginning to get into the act, too; it is worth asking. For some, yours truly included, the slightly different taste of flaxseed flour is actually an advantage. Just exercise a little caution with the cheese or any other ingredient that might have been exposed to gluten.

Dessert. How could your kids miss dessert, right? Ok, it's time to put in a word for a sugary snack once in a while. Sugar is the body's prime energy source and carbohydrates, in moderation, are essential. How lucky we are, then, that marshmallows, chocolate, and even ice cream can be back on the dessert menu! As gluten free versions, of course.

No diet is complete without some beverage selections. So, adults can be happy that coffee and tea are still options. Just being careful about any of those flavor additives from your local brew hut. What about kids? Kids can be happy that milk and fresh fruit juices are okay, too.

So, whether you consider generic categories or specific foods and drinks, there are plenty of options for a tasty gluten-free diet.

Bon appetit!

Quinoa salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
Quinoa is gluten free.