31 Oct Food Glossary For Children’s Natural Health
Now we are not strangers to the building blocks of feeding our children a good meal throughout the day. Now familiarise yourself with the ingredients.
Also called ground almonds and is a healthy grain-free flour alternative to make cakes and biscuits or for crumbing meats and fish. Ideally grind whole almonds as required in a food processor to avoid the fat in the nuts from going rancid if it has been exposed to light and/or heat.
Almond butter (nut butter)
These are ground almond paste and a wonderful substitute for butter. Any nut can be round into a paste, they are a high in protein and essential fatty acids.
Almond milk is a nutritious milk and can be substituted for cow’s milk to make smoothies or any recipe that requires milk. You can easily made in the milk in a food processor or purchase from a food store.
Barley is a good source of protein, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9 plus the mineral iron. Barley binds to toxins in the gut and assists the body in their elimination. Use barley as a great addition to soups and casseroles.
A healthier choice to most white rice varieties because it’s unrefined and still has its outer covering intact which is high in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Brown rice balances out blood sugar levels and is high in fibre which keeps the gut healthy and is gluten free.
Brown rice syrup
(see rice malt syrup)
Unrelated to wheat making it gluten free and not technically a true grain, buckwheat is a seed and related to rhubarb family. It is low on the glycemic index so won’t cause a spike in blood sugars. Buckwheat is often classed as a superfood and a good source of plant protein.
Is a raw form of cocoa powder made from grinding cacao beans giving the powder an intense chocolate taste. The raw bean is one of nature’s superfoods due to its high mineral (especially magnesium), essential fatty acid and antioxidant content. These nutrients are mostly lost when processed to make cocoa.
These seeds are native to South America and very high in the omega-3 essential fatty acids, protein and calcium. They come to two varieties – black and white. They can be added to yoghurt and salads for a nutty flavour and are also used in cereals and superfood balls, in fact you can add them to just about everything. Soak them in water to get the full benefits of the nutrients, they can swell to nearly 20 times their original size.
These legumes need to be soaked overnight before cooking or you can use the canned variety. They are a good source of protein and fibre and can be added to most meals such as soups, casseroles and salads but they are most famous for its inclusion in hummus.
A beautiful sweet spice that can be added to desserts, yoghurt, smoothies or muesli, its medicinal use is to help regulate blood sugars.
This flour is made from dried ground coconut and powdered to make coconut flour. It is low in carbohydrates, high in fibre, gluten free and tastes good too. This flour cannot be substituted 1:1 with wheat flour because it needs a lot more liquid. Not readily available in supermarkets but can be purchased on-line.
Coconut milk and coconut cream
These products are produced in the same way. To make coconut milk, the coconut meat is simmered with equal parts of water, whereas coconut cream is made by simmering 4 parts of coconut meat with 1 part of water. To get a beautiful coconut taste, add to soups, casseroles, curries, smoothies, popsicles or instead of milk in breakfast cereals.
Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties and is also a powerful antioxidant. This oil remains stable at high temperatures making it perfect for cooking. The body cannot store coconut oil as fat which aids with weight loss and unlike the other unsaturated fats does not contain cholesterol. Also can be used as an all over skin moisturiser.
Flaxseed (linseed) oil
Is a great source of the medicinal anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These oils are quite unstable and should be refrigerated and consumed quickly as they go rancid quickly. They should never be heated and better suited as a pouring oil, drizzled over the top of salads, vegie dishes or added to smoothies.
Gluten (Glue) is the protein that makes bread stretchy and is commonly found in wheat, rye and spelt (among others) and gives the elasticity and rise to baked goods.
Gluten free grains
Introducing more gluten free wholegrains into your child’s diet will keep their gut strong and leak-proof, helping to avoid food intolerances and improve general immunity. Gluten free grains include: rice, quinoa, corn, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, sago and tapioca.
These tasty little dried berries are fructose free and an excellent source of antioxidants. They can be added to most meals including sweet or savory because they are not overly sweet.
Himalayan rock salt
A healthy version of salt, Himalayan salt is rich in minerals.
Just like peanut butter, other nuts can also be ground into butter. They are available in supermarkets and health foods stores.
Millet is a grain we don’t use as often as we should. It is great for the health of the gut lining and is a great food source for the friendly bacteria. Millet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and low allergenic.
Traditional oats are a great breakfast option full of fibre and a slow release of energy helping to keep blood sugar levels even throughout the morning. It is well worth the effort to make a pot of porridge for breakfast. Add a mashed banana and creamy yoghurt and they will love it. Make sure you use traditional oats rather that the quicker cooking options which tend to be highly processed.
Pronounced ‘keen-wa’, Quinao looks like a grain but it is actually a seed, it is gluten free, contains protein and has a delicious nutty flavour. Quick and easy to cook it can be used in the same way you use rice. Quinoa is also available as flour making it a healthy substitute to wheat flour. It is available in health food stores.
The variety of rice to choose is basmati and brown rice because they break down slowly and don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. Vermicelli noodles are also made from rice and available in supermarkets making them a good substitute for wheat based pasta. It is very rare for the immune system to react to rice.
Rice Malt Syrup
Also called Rice Bran Syrup it is a sweetener that doesn’t contain fructose making it a healthy option made from 100 percent organic brown rice. It is derived from culturing cooked rice with enzymes to break down the starches, draining off the liquid and reducing it until it reaches a honey consistency
A cheese that is creamy and easy to use.
Rye is high in magnesium, calcium and the B vitamins and is a much better choice than wheat because it is more difficult to separate the bran and germ from the grain in rye. This ensures the grain keeps its high nutrient value. The gut lining can also be more tolerant to the gluten in rye flour.
A flat Japanese noodle made from a combination of buckwheat and wheat that can be used in the same way you would use pasta.
An ancient grain and its gluten component is usually more tolerated than gluten in wheat. Spelt bread and flour are now widely available in supermarkets and an excellent replacement to wheat flour when cooking or choosing bread. When using the flour for baking, choose the wholemeal variety, as there is no difference in taste.
Is derived from a herb and has no carbohydrate or calories. It is 250 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is commonly found in sugar free chocolate, cordials, soft drinks, cereals and biscuits.
A thick and creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds and is available in most supermarkets and food stores. Tahini is used with chickpeas to make hummus.
A dark, rich Japanese soy sauce that is gluten free.
Wholegrain wheat hasn’t been over processed like the standard white flour. This means the whole grain is present
A natural sugar found in fibrous fruit and vegetables. It is commercially extracted from birch tree bark or corn cobs and has the same amount of sweetness as sugar. A great alternative to sugar for baking, it can be purchased from health food stores.