National Gluten-Free Day is celebrated on January 13 and seeks to raise awareness of celiac disease’s impact on a significant population of the world.
Although often considered an allergy, this clinical picture consists of an auto-immune condition that requires special care — particularly when it comes to Gluten, a protein that can be found in wheat, barley, and rye.
While many foods often do not contain gluten, we should always make sure to read the label carefully to rule out mixing it in small portions – as is the case with some broths and even soy sauce, for example.
Because celiac disease is a condition suffered by a specific group of patients, we can still find hidden gluten in some foods, making it difficult to avoid.
However, there are always alternatives to our favorite dishes, and Latino cuisine is no exception. Some foods, such as corn, yucca, or green plantains, are staples for delicious gluten-free dishes.
If you have a friend with celiac disease or suspect reducing your gluten consumption might work for you, you might enjoy these tasty Latino recipes from all over the continent.
Pozole is a rich, brothy soup made with meat, corn, and chiles. There are several variants of this dish. The most frequent ones are green pozole (with tomatillos), pork pozole, and chicken pozole. They all stick to the scheme of a rich broth, with protein and abundant toppings (tortilla chips, shredded cabbage, avocado, queso fresco, red onion, and cilantro). You can find here a fantastic pork pozole recipe.
Hallacas are part of the tamales family, which can be found all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Tamales are usually made with a corn dough filled with various ingredients wrapped in a plantain or corn leaf. The size and kind of foods inside the tamal determine the style you are preparing: a Colombian tamal would never have chiles inside, but some Guatemalan tamales might.
Hallacas are very labor-intensive, so they are usually prepared in large quantities for special days. Find here how to make one.
Pandeyucas are a kind of slightly sweet bread made with yuca or cassava flour (you might want to check the flour’s ingredients to make sure it doesn’t have any gluten-rich cereal). We usually eat them with hot chocolate for breakfast or at the end of the day with café con leche. Find here a recipe for this delicious snack.
Ecuadorian Bolón de Verde
Bolón de verde (literally, “big ball made of green”) is a ball of mashed green plantain stuffed with chicharron (deeply fried fatty pork meat) or cheese. Once the bolón is ready, you fry it once again. This may not be the best idea if you are trying to stick to a low-fat diet, but it is a tasty one for sure. Breakfast is a good moment of the day to have bolones. Here is how to make them.
This kind of ceviche is made with raw, fresh fish “cooked” in lime juice with red onions and habanero peppers and served with toppings like fresh corn or thin slices of fried green plantain. As it happens with other dishes, there are several ceviche variants, but here is an idea on how to prepare it.