While few decades ago was thought that coeliac disease was a rare and uncommon disease that primarily affected children, it recently became one of the most commonly occurring genetic diseases in the world. It is an astounded reality that one in 100 people have this condition and it has been estimated that 76 percent of people affected by coeliac disease have not been diagnosed yet because of the rare manifestation of symptoms. Moreover genetics play their part. In fact if a first-degree family member, such as mother, father, brother or sister carries predisposing genes, the chances of having it increase to one in 10.
Coeliac disease isn’t an allergy or intolerance to gluten, but an autoimmune condition that leads to an adverse reaction to gluten proteins being the intestine hypersensitive to it and consequently leading to difficulty in digesting food. Therefore the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue causing symptoms that spans from bloating, chronic fatigue, depression to weight loss and the inability to absorb important food nutrients.
It is well known that to treat this condition it is simply imperative to eliminate gluten from one’s diet for life, leading to a reversal of the symptoms. Even a small amount of gluten can be damaging and it is necessary to keep utensils separate during cooking, use separate toaster and breadboards.
Free-from ingredients are now available in every supermarket and gluten free recipes are more accessible to everyone. A large group of people consume free-from products daily. It is claimed that the increase of this condition is related to the increment of consumption of wheat and gluten in processed foods. Certainly decreasing grains in our diet and consuming more fruits and vegetables can help to intensify the amount of energy in your body, although there is a little proof that going gluten-free is the only condition for a good health. By understanding the body needs and what to do to increase the energy level and health is a good starting point to get on a healthy diet schedule.
To get started to gluten-free backing we recommend The Best Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Baking Recipes, written by gluten-free expert Greace Cheetham and recently published by Nourish Books.
Cheese & Porcini Souffles
Ingredients: 30g/1oz/heaped 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms; 50g/1.oz dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing; 1 garlic clove, crushed; tbsp brown rice flour; 25g/1oz/scant . cup cornflour; 500ml/17fl oz/2 cups dairy-free cream; 5 eggs, separated; 100g/3.oz dairy-free cheese, grated; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the porcini in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
Drain and discard the liquid. Grease six 275ml/9.fl oz/generous 1 cup souffl. dishes with margarine.
Melt the margarine in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the rice flour and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons water in a bowl and pour into the pan, then add the cream and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200ÅãC/400ÅãF/gas 6. Beat the egg yolks and add to the cream mixture. Add the drained mushrooms and grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
In a clean bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the cream mixture until well blended. Then, using a metal spoon, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites and mix well, being careful not to overmix and knock the air out of the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared souffl. dishes and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and well risen. Serve immediately.
As part of the Coeliac Awareness Week, we’re putting up an extract of Grace’s book on our website and an exclusive interview with the author: