by Emily Mathios
Who knew gluten free could taste soooo good! On November 1st, Gluten Free at UD paired up with the Nutrition and Dietetics club to host a gluten free holiday cooking night in the Food and Nutrition Education Lab.
Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. To the average person, eating gluten has no effect on health. However, for a small portion of the population with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, eating gluten-containing foods can cause intense stomach pain, vomiting, and many other symptoms.
When a person with Celiac Disease eats gluten, the body mounts an immune response and attacks the villi in the small intestine, the structures responsible for nutrient absorption. The only “cure” for Celiac Disease and the symptoms of gluten intolerance is to go on a strict gluten free diet.
Gluten-free foods tend to have a bad reputation. Many even think that gluten is bad for everyone and will completely cut gluten out of their diets without needing to. There is definitely a need for education about gluten! Through this event, the Gluten Free at UD RSO aimed to show students that gluten-free foods don’t taste as bad as people tend to think. In fact, all but one of the recipes were already gluten free!
Once students arrived, the students paired off and we got right to cooking! The recipes had very Fall themed colors and flavors:
- gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies
- apple dump cake
- Sweet potato fries with a cilantro dipping sauce
- Quinoa salad with butternut squash and cranberries
- Parmesan roasted cauliflower
Students all dined together once each dish was finished cooking. The NTDT club students shared that they were surprised by how easy it was to make regular recipes gluten free. Sometimes all it takes is a simple ingredient swap. Overall, the recipes were a hit!