Tasty recipes and tips for a gluten and lactose free diet!
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
I have recently been experimenting with going completely gluten and lactose free for 2 days. My normal diet is relatively low on lactose as I am slightly lactose intolerant. However I do usually indulge on Kwark (its a fresh dairy product comparable to cottage cheese) at least every other day and tend to eat a fair amount of cheese and bread so it was a little bit of a challenge to stay away from those products.
I would normally use wholegrain spelt flour to make pancakes for breakfast, but I opted for buckwheat flour instead since it is gluten free. Buckwheat seems to be a little dryer and lighter than spelt. I normally don't add milk to my porridge or pancakes. They taste just as great with water! It was a challenge getting my hands on gluten-free steel cut oats. I would normally make my porridge with a mixture of spelt and oats.
I love incorporating different types of lentils into my soups. Since I am about 80% vegetarian, they are a great source of protein and fibre. I experimented with mixing two different types of lentils into one meal during dinner on day 1. I would usually also not add coconut milk to my lentil soup, but it was pleasantly tasty making it creamier than usual. I would also normally have my lentil soup with spelt or rye bread, but I substituted with rice wafels instead. I found rice wafels to be too dry and light and not as filling and satisfying as bread.
On an average day, I would snack on fruit and chocolates, but for this experiment I opted to bake traditional dutch eierkoeken (egg cakes). The standard recipe includes, butter and milk, which I left out, and they came out surprisingly fluffy and tasty.
For the last two years I eat chicken or fish on average once a month, but because I had to cut out cheese and bread, I decided to have my favourite spicy chicken wings during these two days. Marinated in olive oil, curry powder and 5 spices, baked for 25 minutes in the oven at 180 degress and finally grilled for 5 minutes at 250 degrees they came out deliciously juicy yet crispy!
Buckwheat pancakes with banana, flaxseeds, cinnamon and maple syrup.
Mid morning snack
Raw dark chocolate, Love choc (brandname) with cranberries and buckwheat
Wholegrain basmati rice soup with vegetables.
Mid afternoon snack
Spicy grilled chicken wings with soya sauce stir-fry vegetables and shiitake mushrooms.
Gluten-free steel cut oats with almonds, raisins, banana, flaxseeds and cinnamon
Mid morning snack
Raw dark chocolate, Love choc (brandname) with almonds and figs.
Curried lentil soup with tomato, sweet potato, carrots, rucola and rice wafels.
Mid afternoon snack
Homemade funky shaped eierekoeken (egg cakes) with buckwheat flour, eggs, olive oil, raisins, walnuts stevia and cinnamon.
Green and red lentils soup with coconut milk, paksoi, carrots and leeks.
Appel and Medjoul Dates
3 practical tips for adults embarking on a gluten free diet
Read all labels! Some products you never expect to contain gluten, even some cosmetics products contain gluten!
Cook as much as possbile at home. It is difficult to control the ingridients when you eat out.
Gluten is particularly difficult to avoid in grain products, so opt for making your own bread using rice flour, teff flour or buckwheat flour.
3 practical tips for children on a gluten free diet
Always carry gluten free food with you which has been prepared by your parents.
Use rice products instead of wheat when eating outside of your home.
Use nuts and dried fruit as snacks instead of cookies.
3 practical tips for adults on a lactose free diet
Use soya products instead of cheese.
Try lactose free cheese options available in the supermarket.
Use online resources to find restaurants that offer lactose free meals. There are quite a few restaurants out there that cater for allergies!
3 practical tips for parents with babies ( >8 months) that have to be on a lactose free diet
1. Use almond, soya or rice milk instead of cow milk.
2. Use Teff flour for porridge since it is high in calcium.
3. Incorporate lots of leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, brocolli, blended into a porridge or smoothie to make sure the child is getting sufficient amounts of calcium.
Nutritional intake versus my recommended daily intake during the 2 days
According to the Health Council of the Netherlands, women between the ages of 31 to 50 with an active lifestyle should consume an average of 2300 kcal a day.
The recommended daily amounts for specific nutrients are as follows:
Protein: 50 grams or maximum 25 % of total kcal consumed
Carbohydrates : 40 to 70% of total kcal consumed
Fat: 20 to 35 % of total kcal consumed, of which maximum 10% is from saturated fat
Iron: 15 milligrams
Calcium: 1000 milligrams
Vitamin B12: 2.8 milligrams
Iodine: 150 micrograms
Intake Day 1:
Protein: 63.5 grams or about 21% of total kcal consumed
Carbohydrates : 44% of total kcal consumed
Fat: 41% of total kcal consumed, 10% saturated fats
Iron: 14.8 milligrams
Calcium: 553 milligrams
Vitamin B12: 1.25 milligrams
Iodine: 80 micrograms
Intake Day 2:
Protein: 55,7 grams about 20% of total kcal consumed
Carbohydrates : 40% of total kcal consumed
Fat: 46 % of total kcal consumed, 10% saturated fats
Iron: 16,4 milligrams
Calcium: 765 milligrams
Vitamin B12: 1.38 milligrams
Iodine: 77 micrograms
There are significant differences between the daily recommended amounts and the actual intake for calcium, vitamin B12 and iodine. I am relatively aware of my low intake of vitamin B12 since I am primarily vegetarian, therefore I take daily supplements. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt are also high in vitamin B12, therefore excluding them during these two days further reduces vitamin B12 intake. When following a gluten and lactose free diet, I would include more meat, fish and eggs to compensate.
I am surprised to see that my intake of iodine is about half of the daily recommended amount. Since there a history of thyroid problems in my family, I will start paying more attention to increasing my iodine intake by for example adding seaweed to my soups on a daily basis. Yogurt and cheese are high in iodine and eliminating these dairy products may account for the low iodine intake during these days. However, I hardly eat yoghurt so my main source of iodine would normally be from cheese, potatoes and beans. I would add more beans and potatoes next time I embark on such a diet.
It is of no surprise that following a lactose free diet is somewhat deficient in calcium since my main source of calcium is usually from dairy products which have been eliminated in these 2 days. Normally I do eat cheese and kwark (fresh cottage cheese) so the low intake of calcium during these days is not something to be concerned about. However for those on that have to follow a strict lactose free diet, i would recommend including more calcium rich leafy greens like spinach, kale or broccoli as well as soya milk, almond milk or a nutritional supplement.
New products i experimented with include:
Gluten free steel cut oats (purchased online): the taste is a little rougher than the oats i usually eat, but I found out that they have a lower glycemic index than oatmeal so that is a great plus point!
Buckwheat flour (purchased at supermarket eko plaza): this has a bit of a nuttier and dry taste than spelt. Its a good substitute to use once in a while. Also found out that a small number of people are allergic to buckwheat.
Stevia powder (purchased at supermarket Eko plaza): has a somewhat strong unusual after taste which was not too pleasant. Next time I should maybe use a little less.