What is gluten intolerance and are there ways to enjoy bread/wheat that has no gluten? Here is a simple wheat & gluten-free pizza recipe for those whom cannot eat wheat/bread/pasta products for health reasons, such as gluten intolerance and sufferers of Celiac Disease...
Celiac Disease and Wheat-Gluten: Discomfort & Long-term Health Risks
Suffers of Celiac Disease know the pain of consuming wheat and wheat products because of gluten. The bloating, pain, gas and indigestion as if they weren't bad enough, Celiac sufferers have genuine medical issues with the consumption of products that contain wheat gluten.
Celiac Disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine which causes nutrients to not be properly absorbed. Undiagnosed sufferers of Celiac Disease only know that a a few slices of bread or a muffin can cause them intense pain and suffering. Because gluten (a protein) is in so many other unsuspected products, sufferers may not understand why they feel ill even if they have not consumed bread or pasta recently.
Unabated consumption of wheat products continually damages their small intestine making their symptoms worse. Eventually, the immune response causes permanent damage to their small intestine and the Celiac sufferer can become severely malnourished due to the inability to absorb nutrients from any food that they eat, regardless of the type or amounts consumed.
There are many people whom are not genuine Celiac Disease sufferers that share similar problems with wheat and pasta products. They are either sensitive to or allergic to gluten and can benefit from a gluten-free diet. Recent studies also suggest that children with autism seem to improve when gluten is restricted or removed entirely from their diet. Gluten-free flour products are available; flour made from the meat of coconut, white and brown rice flour, almond flour, and even chick pea/garbanzo bean flour are available.
Gluten is a Protein
Gluten is found in many everyday foods but also in products that most are unaware as a manufacturing aid for firmness, texture and product performance (the foamy head in beer, thickening agent in sauces, etc.) Items that contain gluten protein you may not be aware of include medicines, vitamins and health & beauty aids among many others.
Immediate and common symptoms of Celiac Disease include abdominal pain and cramps, constipation, bloating, vomiting, unexplained weight-loss, foul-smelling and/or 'greasy' stool.
There are long-term health risks for undiagnosed Celiac Disease which include liver disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and others. The symptoms of Celiac Disease are wide and varied; it often takes a naturopath to first uncover the actual cause of the patient's symptoms, usually by selectively removing various items from the diet and reintroducing them again to monitor the result; namely wheat products to start.
Blood tests and a small biopsy of the cilia in their small intestine by their family doctor can definitively confirm the Celiac condition. New lifestyle changes must be rigidly adhered to.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease
Once diagnosed, their dietary options become a daily factor in their lives. Food options are rather limited with what is commonly available and they must be very selective and conscientious about their food choices. The Celiac Disease sufferer must refrain from any foods that include wheat, far more than just the obvious bread and pasta products. Just a slice or two of common bread can be enough for hours of discomfort and pain. Also, the Celiac sufferer must know what other products contain gluten besides medicines, vitamins and some HBA products. These other items include malt vinegar and malted cereals, most beers and some wines, prepared (canned or packets) gravies and sauce mixes, some low-cost cold-cut meats and many salad dressings, some sausages* also contain gluten ingredients, -the list of items that contain gluten is extensive.
The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a gluten-free diet. While far from a total solution to a wheat-free/gluten restricted diet, here is one item that we occasionally serve for the gluten-sensitive sufferer in our home:
Gluten Free / Wheat-free Egg Pizza Recipe
Even for those not affected by Celiac disease that loves pizza here is a quickie recipe that replaces the wheat crust of the quintessential Italian pie with whipped whole eggs. Versatile and wholesome eggs can be used in a variety of different ways, including as a substitute for pizza crust. Topped with tomato sauce and the usual pizza toppings, this wheat-free alternative is every bit as satisfying as the genuine pizza pie.
- 4 or 5 medium-to-large eggs
- Tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
- Sliced pepperoni or sausage chunks (optional * -product may contain gluten)
- Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella, etc.)
- Parmesan, Romano or other ‘shaker’ grated cheese
- Oregano flakes
In a bowl, break the eggs and whisk well. Pour contents into a medium-to-large shallow greased or non-stick fry pan and over medium heat, cook the eggs until solid.
Slide the ‘egg pancake’ onto a pizza pan and place on top rack of oven, and gently finish the top of the crust to a lightly toasted appearance, at 3500 F. The egg crust should be very 'pita-like' and solid, with no 'jelliness' to it otherwise the pizza may come out slightly soggy.
Remove the crust from the oven and top with spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce, grated/shredded cheeses, and pepperoni or sausage meats ( * may contain gluten fillers; read the ingredients,) and oregano flakes. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheeses.
Return to oven for several minutes until the topping begins to bubble and cheeses are melted. Ready to eat!
Doesn't This Pizza Look Great! Wheat-free & Gluten-free Egg Crust Pizza!
You have just made a high-protein wheat/gluten-free alternative to pizza, satisfying enough to feed that craving without the tummy ache and potential health risks that gluten and wheat products cause to the Celiac sufferer.
(images by author)