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    Ask the Chef: Gluten-Free Smoothies

    By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef | April 30, 2013

    I just found out from my doctor I can't have gluten any more. Can I still have smoothies? Are there any superfoods or ingredients that I need to avoid in order to stay gluten free?

    -Josephine P.

    Really good news here: superfood smoothies are an ideal food to include in a gluten-free lifestyle. Nutrient-dense and easy to whip up, most smoothies are inherently gluten-free.

    By definition, gluten is just a fancy name for a protein mixture which is naturally in all forms of wheat, and some grains like barley, oats, and rye. As an isolated ingredient, gluten is also used broadly in processed foods because it acts like a thickening agent and/or glue to help ingredients stick together (such as in bread dough). In the processed food world especially, gluten is practically ubiquitous: often found in cereals, soups, ice cream, candy, pasta, pastries… at one point McDonalds even admitted that their French fries had gluten in the flavoring.

    Gluten is of primary concern to people who've been diagnosed with Celiac disease. These individuals must permanently eliminate all traces of gluten from their diet to avoid triggering severe autoimmune reactions within the gut. Other people may find themselves diagnosed with food allergies or sensitivities to gluten and/or grains, and must therefore avoid the allergen. And, of course, there are people who just feel that their body functions better without gluten.

    Any which way, while not everyone needs to avoid gluten, there are a growing number of people are certainly looking to do so…. one of the reasons the vast majority of the recipes on our website are specially created to be gluten-free. The even better news is that ALL Navitas Naturals products are gluten-free - yes, even the wheatgrass powder! This means you can always add Navitas ingredients to smoothies (and recipes beyond) with the confidence that these foods have no traces of gluten.

    Regarding the remainder of smoothie ingredients, making a gluten-free smoothie is simple. Whole fruits and vegetables do not contain gluten, so they may be included as desired. If you are using any kind of packaged plant-based milk, just look for the “GF†symbol on the box to ensure the product has not been processed with other items that may contain gluten. Probably the most common gluten-containing item that smoothies occasionally contain is oats … and if you love oats in your smoothie, simply purchase a gluten-free variety (yes, they exist!).

    In this day and age, a gluten-free lifestyle doesn't have to be difficult, especially when you have the help of superfood smoothies to keep you feeling at your best!

    Have a superfood smoothie question of your own? Ask away! Just post it below and we may feature it in an upcoming segment of Ask The Chef.