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This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sloppy Joe Skillet. This is the gluten-free, casein-free answer to Hamburger Helper; one-dish cooking that’s healthy! I used grass-fed ground beef and organic potatoes, an organic onion and even organic tomato paste to make this tasty dish. Nicholas enjoyed it very much and said it was easily 100 Thumbs Up! It was also excellent for leftovers for lunch the following day.
Croutons…definitely one of those little “treats” that I miss from my days of eating gluten! However, here’s a super easy way to make your own at home. I guarantee these are even better than the ones in the store and you won’t have to worry about eating any gluten. My son has stopped eating the crusts on his gluten-free bread sandwiches, so when I cut them off (prior to putting anything on the bread), I’ve been saving them and putting them in Ziploc bags in the fridge. Then, I repurpose them to be gluten-free croutons; a much better solution than wasting all that expensive gluten-free bread! And, ironically, Nicholas thinks these croutons are fantastic! He gave them 100 Thumbs Up.
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Croutons (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up)
4 slices gluten-free bread, cut into 1/2-inch size cubes (or the equivalent of leftover crusts)
1/4 cup melted ghee
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning blend
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, then add onion powder and Italian Seasoning and stir well.
Add bread cubes, stirring until all cubes are well-coated with butter mixture. Spread cubes on shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes about 2 cups of croutons.
This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Asian Chicken. Don’t let the photo fool you…this is not a bland recipe! I know it looks pretty plain in the photo, but this chicken is full of warm, sweet, tangy orange flavors guaranteed to dance across your tongue. And, for having a lengthy list of ingredients, this recipe is actually quite easy to make. My husband volunteered to give the thumbs up rating on this one: 100 Thumbs Up! (He also took ALL the leftovers to work the next day; this is a compliment to me, for sure.)
This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Tuna Pasta Salad. If you’re looking for an interesting, healthy way to pack some tuna into your child’s lunch (or maybe even your husband’s?)…this is it. Not only is it better than a plain tuna sandwich – it’s easy to make too! This recipe will make a lot of servings, so you could even serve it for a quick weeknight dinner or take it to a potluck. It’s versatile in that you can serve it either hot or cold and it still tastes great. You can also play around with the different forms of pasta or even some of the condiments to adjust the flavors if you like.
Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.
How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?
The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.
However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.
The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:
- Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Curry, onion and garlic powders
- Freshly brewed coffee
- Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
- Instant coffee
- Juices made for commercial sale
- Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
- Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
- Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
- Sugar sweetened beverages
Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.
So How Does it Compare to GFCF?
As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.
If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.
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This week’s recipe, GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions, is a recipe that I adapted from Nigella Lawson. The original recipe is titled Goujons of Sole and I found it on the Food Network website. These seem almost too easy to make and it’s hard to believe they have so much amazing flavor, considering the simplicity of the recipe. My son would not touch them as he has stated, “I don’t eat fish, Mom!” But, my husband who is a very tentative fish eater himself, was amazed at how incredibly yummy these were! Therefore, I must rely on the Husband Rating this week.
GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions (Husband Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up!)
2 fillets of sole, skinned
1/2 cup of gluten-free cornstarch
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Dr. Schar Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, then slice each fillet into about 4 long strips on the diagonal. (You should have 8 fish portions per fillet.)
2. Put cornstarch in small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put bread crumbs into another shallow bowl.
3. Beat eggs together in their own bowl.
4. Dip each fish portion first into the cornstarch, coating it well. Then, dip the portion into the egg mixture. Finally, dredge the fish portion in the breadcrumbs.
5. Set the fish portions aside while you heat up the oil (medium-high heat) in your skillet.
6. Fry the fish portions until they are crisp and golden, about 3-5 minutes each. Remove the fish portions as you go and set them on a plate with paper towel so you can blot any excess oil.
7. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, or even quinoa (pictured above).
I have been eating Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal for breakfast for the past few days. As many people on the GFCF Diet already know, finding a good breakfast cereal can be tricky business. However, Glutino seems to have made a real effort at making their cereal taste like something other than flavored sawdust!
Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal is described as being, “corn cereal rings flavored with honey and nut.” It is definitely not a gluten-free copy of Honey Nut Cheerios, though. The strongest flavor I could taste was definitely the honey flavor, but it’s different from other cereals flavored with honey because it actually tastes like real honey, not an imitation flavor. The cereal has a satisfying crunch to it, even when in milk. The other plus about the cereal is that it is very low in sugar, only 4g per serving; an important factor in choosing a cereal to feed your child.
One main negative about the cereal is that it is not rated as “non-GMO” and I am really trying to eliminate GMO’s (aka, “non-genetically-modified organisms”) from our diet here at home (more on that soon in an upcoming post). So, I probably won’t purchase this cereal again unless they can certify it as “non-GMO”. (For information on what is certified non-GMO, click here.)
This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chicken Enchiladas. I had a definite love/hate relationship with the original version of this dish. I loved it because it was so tasty going in my mouth…but, I hated how it destroyed my intestinal tract on the way out! Since I recently discovered Coconut Cream at Trader Joe’s, I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted that for the heavy cream that is normally used in this recipe. It worked! I admit that the first bite, I tasted a hint of coconut, but then the salsa verde and green chile flavors began to overpower it and it was just simply yummy. Nicholas said it deserved at least 10 Thumbs Up, but I think it needs more like 100 Thumbs Up!
Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet
To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet. Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.
What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?
The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease. It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.
There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet. The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.
The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables. Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day. Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.
Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months. By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included. Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.
The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet. It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted. The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.
How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?
The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t. The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually. Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.
GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it. GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow: Don’t eat casein or gluten.
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Welcome to Part 1 in my Diet Comparison series. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing three different diets (Paleo, GAPS, and SCD) to the GFCF Diet. Many people wonder what the differences are between the diets and/or if they can follow one of the other diets and still avoid gluten and casein. I hope this series will help to dispel the rumors and provide you with more extensive information.
Comparing Paleo to the GFCF Diet
The GFCF Diet, also called the Autism Diet, certainly seems to help alleviate a number of the symptoms associated with the autism spectrum. It effectively deals with gluten and casein intolerances and the digestive issues associated with both. There are a few other diets out there that are also gluten-free and casein-free. Today, we’ll take a look at ancestral diets, which go by several names such as the Caveman Diet and Ancestral Eating.
What is Ancestral Eating?
The principle behind paleo eating plans is the idea that humans began eating grains and animal milks in abundance far too quickly. Because of this, our bodies didn’t have a chance to properly learn how to digest either. Some cultures started incorporating both earlier than others. It is possible that this could explain why some people have fewer intolerances to grains and dairy than others.
The following food groups permissible on the paleo diet:
- Coconut milk and oil
- Lean meats
- Vegetable and nut oils
While that may not look like a lot of choices, they include any food from any of the categories. There are a few foods to avoid in addition to dairy and grains. These include starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. Meats high in saturated fat should also be avoided. However, free-range cattle is often less fatty, and you can trim traditionally raised beef.
Legumes, which includes soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts and black beans, are not allowed, and obviously, refined sugars and overly processed foods are not permitted. Some versions of the Caveman Diet also advise that any food that cannot be eaten raw should not be eaten at all. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cook the food though! Our ancestors had fire and cooked food, however, that wasn’t always an option.
How does GFCF Compare to an Ancestral Diet?
Like the GFCF Diet, the ancestral eating plans also see gluten and casein as major contributors to certain health and behavior issues. It is far easier to eat gluten-free and casein-free while following a caveman diet than it is the GFCF Diet or the similar Autism Diet. The reason lies in the fact that all the permitted foods come from the produce, meat and seafood sections of the supermarket. There is no guesswork or scrutiny of food choices involved.
However, just because it’s easier to avoid gluten and casein, that doesn’t mean the diet is easier to follow. The Autism Diet allows flour substitutes and small quantities of sugar to make things like breads, pastas, and desserts. Paleo diets allow neither, and while no sugar is healthier, it is difficult to get kids on board with giving up “normal” food and the occasional sweet treat.
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