When tulips and all the spring flowers start blooming all around town, then you know Easter is quickly approaching. Celebrating rebirth and new beginnings, Easter is a beautiful time for reflection and for honoring our bodies as a temple. If you need to go gluten-free, there is no better time than Easter to start. If you suffer from gastrointestinal distress, autoimmune disease, unexplained joint and muscle pain, even depression, and many other ailments, then you may need to go gluten free. Basically if you suffer from any condition or chronic illness, there’s a good chance that it could be related to a gluten intolerance or sensitivity. As a Functional Medicine Practitioner, I can help determine if gluten is contributing to your health problems or not. And never fear, if gluten is a factor in your health, you can still enjoy lots of delicious foods and enjoy Easter celebrations. Whether you’re new to gluten-free or if you’ve already been enjoying the many health benefits of a gluten-free diet and lifestyle for a while, then know that you can savor all the special and traditional foods of Easter and still remain true to your gluten-free diet. Here are just a few meal ideas, recipes and links to resources to help you fully enjoy a beautiful and bountiful Easter:
- Deviled Eggs. Naturally gluten-free and a traditional snack or side dish for Easter. A favorite recipe combines hardboiled egg yolks, mayo, yellow mustard, salt & pepper for the filling. Be sure to start small on the mayo & mustard for you can always add more & a little goes a long way. Use more mayo than mustard so the filling is nice & creamy. Take the filling & put in half a hardboiled egg white. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Ham. Most hams these days are gf including Honey Baked Ham, but be sure to read labels especially on those glazes that come with hams. If you can, it’s even healthier to purchase a ham from a local farmer/rancher that’s been grass-fed or allowed to roam and root in a natural environment.
- Vegetables. Basically all vegetables that are not breaded or fried are naturally gluten free. Enjoy lots of raw veggies with nice homemade dips and sauteed or grilled vegetables with olive oil & a sprinkle of sea salt & pepper as yummy and healthy sides for your Easter feast.
- Udi’s Dinner Rolls. You can certainly make your own, or you can enjoy warm, delicious dinner rolls from Udi’s. Usually found in the frozen section of natural grocery stores or online, Udi’s just makes great bread. Yay!
- Grain-free recipes and meal ideas from one of our favorites, Elana’s Pantry: http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-easter-recipes/
- Easter Basket Cupcakes. Adorable! Kids will love these cupcakes from Jules Gluten Free: http://blog.julesglutenfree.com/2012/04/easter-basket-cupcakes/
- GF Hot Cross Buns. Another wonderful Easter recipe from Jules: http://blog.julesglutenfree.com/2012/03/hot-cross-buns/
- Grain-free, Casein-free, & Sugar-free Treats. That’s right, here’s a giant list of homemade treats that are not only gluten-free, but also grain-free:http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2011/04/our-spunky-holiday-round-up.html
- GF Easter Candy. My Gluten Facts offers this comprehensive and updated list of gf Easter candy: http://www.myglutenfacts.com/events/gluten-free-easter-candy-list/. Especially helpful when putting together Easter baskets for gluten free children.
It is possible to join in this season’s Easter celebrations and feasts and still remain gluten-free. We hope the above links and recipes will inspire you and help you enjoy this special holiday to the fullest. If you are unsure if you should be gluten free or not, please make an appointment to come visit with me. I’ll be happy to help you decide if going gluten free would be helpful to your health and if so, how you can easily transition to a gluten-free diet. Going gluten-free does not mean giving up favorite foods or traditional holiday treats, but rather it means being more intentional about ingredients. As you can see from the links above, gluten-free can be just as special and fulfilling.
Elite Care by Dr. Liesa Harte, M.D.
1524 South IH 35, Suite 140
Austin, TX 78704