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Guest Post: The ABCs of Gluten-Free

Apple Chips courtesy of www.snack-girl.com

Mariel & Mary Anne here: For awhile now, we’ve wanted to turn our attention to the gluten-free contingent, but since neither of us abide, we didn’t really know where to start. As luck would have it, we recently met the incredibly knowledgeable Lisa Cain, PhD from Snack-Girl.com: an arbiter of all things healthful, an evolutionary biologist, a mother of two and a published author to boot. In her “spare time,” she was kind enough to put together a little ABC’s of gluten-free for us along with several healthy snacks…84 to be exact. We’ll let her take it from here:

From Lisa: Many people have started following a gluten-free diet. But what does that mean? It means they don’t eat gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, and spelt. Gluten is also a food additive and can be hidden under the names “maltodextrine” and “dextrine.”

These people may be allergic to it, or just feel better not eating it, or have celiac disease. If you have celiac disease, a small amount of gluten can cause your immune system to damage your small intestine. But, celiac disease is pretty rare. For example in 2003, just 40,000 Americans were diagnosed with it (although that number is growing).

Why are so many people choosing a gluten-free diet? Well, I think that people feel better when they don’t eat the many processed foods that use gluten. Think about it: Start your day **without** toast or a donut, then **don’t** eat a sandwich for lunch, and then **skip** the pizza for dinner. So, what did you eat?

You probably made much better choices by going gluten-free. Maybe you had yogurt, maple syrup, and nuts for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a lovely stew with carrots, potatoes, and peas for dinner. But hey, what about your snacks?

Well, I spent most of yesterday going through every single snack on Snack Girl and came up with 84 GLUTEN-FREE HEALTHY SNACKS! Click here for the full list. In that same spirit, here is my favorite gluten-free snack recipe for Apple Chips.

Gluten-Free Apple Chips
Recipe courtesy of Snack-Girl.com
Yields 2 cups

2 large apples – $2.00
2 Tablespoons of sugar – stock
1 teaspoon cinnamon – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $2.00

1. Preheat oven to 200 F.

2. Thinly slice apples crosswise about 1/8-inch (2 mm) thick with a mandoline or sharp knife.

3. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Put mixture into a sieve and sprinkle evenly over apple slices.

4. Bake in the top and bottom third of the oven until apples are dry and crisp, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and let ‘chips’ cool completely before transferring to a sealed container for up to 3 days.