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NGF Digest 003: What You Need in Your Pantry, Curry Pineapple Relish, Science News and Book Review
January 16, 2022
Issue 003 – January 2022
Purging and Stocking Your Gluten-Free PantryThis month’s featured article is a two-fer, focused on the pantry. January is often the time we like to dig in and clear out.
After all, the weather’s not great, at least in the northern part of the world so what else have we got to do? Also, some of you have been asking for advice for those newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Clearing out and stocking your pantry is the one big task that you need to do early on, and it can be quite daunting. To help with that I’ve added two new articles to the website: Three Steps to Making Your Pantry Safe and 52 Items You Need in Your Gluten-Free Pantry Let’s roll up our sleeves and dig in together!
Curry Pineapple Relish
This sweet and savory condiment is bursting with divine flavor. Elevate your fish, pork, egg or cheese dishes or shamelessly spread on a bagel. I know you’ll love it, I’m not so sure you’ll want to share. Curry Pineapple Relish
News From the Scientific CommunityCeliac Disease and Your Microbiome
This month I pulled an old favorite off the bookshelf and gave it another read. It’s Michael Pollan’s Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation. More on the book the in the “What I’m reading” section below, but in addition to being a great read, it sparked my interest in fermented foods because of their positive affect on our gut microbiome.
The microbiome or microbiota is the colony of friendly microbes that live in our gut and help us to digest our food. Did you know that only 10% of the DNA inside each one of us is human? The other 90% comes from those little wiggly friends in our gut, on our skin and various other orifices of the human body 1. Research into the human microbiome is still quite young but holds great promise to effectively change medicine. All of this led me to wonder if there is any correlation between celiac disease and microbiome issues.
It turns out that several studies have found that celiac disease patients who continue to have symptoms after being well established on a gluten-free diet do have gut bacteria that is out of balance. This simply means different bacteria and / or less diversity in bacteria than those without symptoms 2.
What can we do about this? Well, our gut bacteria colony comes from a couple of places. We are initially “inoculated” in the womb and during birth and breastfeeding. Some studies have shown lower incidence of celiac among babies who are breastfed and have natural birth, but other studies have refuted this, so its inconclusive 3, 4, 5.
What I’m PonderingFermented food. All this talk of pro-biotics and bacteria has got me been thinking about getting into making my own home fermentations.
Sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, pickles. I’ve been following a German cooking website and her sauerkraut recipe along with her recommendation to make it in an “E-Jen” container have piqued my interest. Watch in the coming weeks and months as I share this journey.
What I’m readingI finished reading Food, Genes and Culture: Eating Right for Your Origins by Gar Paul Nabhan. The full review will be added to the Gluten-Free Books page of NGF shortly. I’ll let you know on my Facebook page once it’s up.
This month’s book is Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a big Pollan fan. He’s the guy who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma which led to the documentary “Food Inc.” which has been instrumental in changing our food system in the U.S. and Canada for the better. Cooked is less systemic and more, well, local, or even personal. It explores the four ancient elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth and how they are essential in transforming the raw animal and vegetable ingredients that our ancient predecessors would have foraged into the nutrient and calorie dense foods that likely literally transformed humans into the large brained (yes sometimes I wonder too) lean specimens that we are. Fire is a deep dive into the primal art of Southern Barbecue, what it is and what it isn’t. Air is all about bread, a bit of an obsession for a person with celiac. Water teaches us about cooking with water, those rich hearty soups, stew and braises that stick to our ribs in the winter months. And Earth is about fermentation. Cheese, vegetables and of course alcohol. It’s a fascinating and educational read. I’ve just a chapter or two left and I’ll get that review up on the site for you too.
A New E-Book from Naturally Gluten-FreeAs I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, some of you have been asking for advice for the newly diagnosed. A “Beginner’s Guide” so to speak. Well, I started working on it and soon realized that it is much more than just a web page. I’ve decided to create a hyperlinked e-book for you which will likely come out mid-2022. I’ll keep you posted here in the newsletter and on Facebook.
That’s all for this month.I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you’d like to see in the newsletter. Just drop me a line from my Contact Page .
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1. Pollan, M. (2014). Earth, Ferment 1, Vegetable. In Cooked: A natural history of transformation (pp. 293–300). Penguin Books.
2. The microbiome and celiac disease: The role of Gut Bacteria. Amy Burkhart, MD, RD. (2020, December 6). Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://theceliacmd.com/microbiome-celiac-disease-bacterial-connection/
3. Waffle, V. (2018, August 29). Does breastfeeding prevent celiac? - gluten-free living. Gluten. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free/celiac-disease/does-breastfeeding-prevent-celiac/
4. Radlović, N. P., Mladenović, M. M., Leković, Z. M., Stojšić, Z. M., & Radlović, V. N. (2010, October). Influence of Early Feeding Practices on Celiac Disease in Infants. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles
5. Krishnareddy, S. (2018). The microbiome in celiac disease. Celiac Disease Center Columbia. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2019-The-Microbiome-in-Celiac-Disease.pdf
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