WHAT'S WHAT? A SIMPLE INTRO TO GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN DIETS 

Borough 22 was established to provide amazing treats to those who follow free-from diets. We supply hundreds of people who don't have to miss out on their doughnut dreams because we work hard to use alternative ingredients and never compromise on flavour. 

However, if you are new to the free-from world, you might be a bit flummoxed about what it all means. Have you found yourself throwing a dinner party these days and asking, "does anyone have any allergies/ intolerances?" and being barraged with replies? What happened to the days when everyone ate the same stuff? Don't hang your head in despair...let's have a quick look at two of the main alternative diets: gluten-free and vegan. 

'I'm gluten free" 

Borough 22 exists because we want the world to be the kind of place where, if Chief Wiggum says he is gluten-free, he can still enjoy his doughnuts. 

Mmmm doughnuts...Chief Wiggum by Arthur Coulet, a French artist who removes glutenous products from famous artworks. Check it out.

Mmmm doughnuts...Chief Wiggum by Arthur Coulet, a French artist who removes glutenous products from famous artworks. Check it out.

Gluten means 'glue' in Latin, fittingly named as it's the storage protein that gives dough its elasticity and chewy texture. Adverse reactions to gluten can range from auto-immune responses such as coeliac disease to minor intolerances that go away within days. There are many theories as to why people are increasingly reacting to gluten; the prevalence of gluten in a typical Western diet means it can be hard to avoid. A gluten-free diet must be nutrient-dense and full of whole foods. 

A 'safe' list of foods for a gluten-free diet includes: 

  • Corn (flour, cornmeal, grits)
  • Plain rice (white, brown, wild, basmati)
  • Amaranth grain, arrowroot, buckwheat, cassava, flax, millet, quinoa, soy, tapioca and polenta
  • Flours made from gluten-free grains, nuts, beans and coconut (buckwheat, millet, almond, chickpea, coconut and brown rice flours are all widely available but you might need to experiment when using them to bake as the glutenous properties that make cakes spongy and bread springy aren't there!)
  • Milk, butter, margarine, plain yoghurt and kefir 
  • Plain fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs, nuts, nut butters, beans and legumes
  • Herbs and spices in their purest forms  

"I'm a vegan" 

I ate lunch recently with friends Joy and John who are vegan and I was truly jealous of the colourful array of different textures and flavours in their delicious homemade salad. They are part of a growing number of people who prefer a whole-food, plant-based diet and let me tell you dear readers, they look sensational. It was inspiring, and Joy has promised to help me find delicious vegan recipes to include in my weekly menu plan. According to The Vegan Society, a definition of veganism is: 

"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." 

Borough 22 dougnuts are vegan because they are egg free but look carefully at food labels to ensure you really are avoiding animal products. 

Can't eat a burger as a vegan? Think again! Cashew Kitchen recipes are out of this vegan world...

Can't eat a burger as a vegan? Think again! Cashew Kitchen recipes are out of this vegan world...

There are many alternative products available for vegans including milk made from hemp, soy, rice, cashews and oats, 'faux meats' (which many vegans avoid it seems!) and wonderful nut butters. For a brilliant guide to what you could include on your shopping list, have a look at the suggestions on Ordinary Vegan

If you need some help in finding recipes for your guests, have a look at the eye-candy that oozes from Cashew Kitchen. The recipes are sensational although they are written in Swedish so you might have to wing it a little.

We'd love to know which recipes you enjoy making for your gluten-free and vegan friends. Have you embarked on a restricted diet lately with good results? Let us know on our Facebook page!

JOANNE MCCARTHYComment