Should I go gluten free? (+ microwave coconut risotto)

Hello!  Time for my last coconut water recipe for the Recipe Redux contest this week.  It’s been fun, and I have to say, has definitely helped me to see how versatile an ingredient it is!  I’m finishing out the week with the easiest recipe yet (although the Silky Green Gazpacho probably comes close).

P1010927Microwave coconut risotto with a grilled plum

I also wanted to talk to you about the science of gluten and Celiac Disease.  It’s science-y, but brief, and you will learn!

So the gluten-free “trend” seems to be more than a “trend,” doesn’t it?  If you’ve somehow missed this craze, here’s the short story: gluten is the protein-rich portion of wheat that contains several different types of protein.  Since only proteins can trigger an autoimmune response or an allergic reaction (which is why a sugar “allergy” isn’t a real thing!), these can cause an inflammatory response.  This, if prolonged, eventually leads to death of the cells lining your intestine, making it hard to absorb nutrients from lots of sources.  That is called Celiac’s disease.

Current tests screen for most, but not all, of the antibodies someone with gluten intolerance produces that start the chain reaction of inflammation and cell death.  That’s why some people can go undiagnosed, or even be tested and diagnosed negative, but still clearly have physical problems digesting gluten.  There’s definitely a genetic component, but we’re still learning about what exactly is happening down there and how it’s triggered – some people can go years without symptoms, and become reactive in adulthood!  Symptoms may be digestion related, but can also include skin flare ups and drowsiness.

In general, I don’t recommend a gluten-free diet for people who have no problems with its digestion. Many people have followed the trend of going gluten-free to lose weight, but in those who aren’t actually sensitive to the wheat proteins, losing weight is most likely due to cutting out the many wheat-laden junk foods (cakes, muffins, pies, cookies, white bread, etc) and significantly reducing overall carb intake.  There is, of course, a growing market of gluten-free junk food products, so don’t be fooled – a gluten-free cookie is still a cookie.

This recipe is delicious for anyone – and since it’s made with rice, which is high in carbs, portion size is still important.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c white rice
  • 1 c coconut water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c milk (cow or alternative)
  • Ginger for sprinkling
  • Fruit for garnishing

Directions:
Put the rice, coconut water, milk, vanilla and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stir to mix.  Place in the microwave, uncovered, on high (100%) for 6 minutes.  Stir.  Place a cover on (but don’t snap it down if it’s a lid), then cook at 70% for 6 minutes.  Stir.  With the lid on again, cook at 50% power for 6 minutes.  Stir.  Serves 2, plate with ginger and fruit.  DONE.  (If your micro is more powerful than mine – which is weak – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overflow!)

P1010928

Done this way, it’s a no-sugar-added dessert (dessertto?  Thanks to my friend Ben for the recipe inspiration, and awesome name, also, check him out – he’s hysterical.  And gives a great Yelp review.)  It would be wonderful after a nice salad with some grilled chicken and nuts. You could also eat this without the ginger and fruit under a piece of nice white fish, or as a side to some spicy jambalyaya and I think it would be fantastic. It walks that sweet/savory line.

Too easy not to try!  Tell me if you do!  Here are the nutrition facts – !

desserttofacts

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Vita Coco and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time or the product.

One thought on “Should I go gluten free? (+ microwave coconut risotto)

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