I come across quite a few people who want to try going gluten free to see if it helps them. The biggest complaint I hear is they don’t even know where to start!
Frankly that is the hardest part, once you know what gluten is and where where it hides your good.
Before I went gluten free I researched for 3 months straight (about 20 hours a week) trying to navigate the gluten free world. What gluten is and why it might be an issue. Seeing what contained gluten (boy was that one a surprise) and what didn’t. Also, looking at costs, and how to keep them low because some of the foods are so much more expensive!
Good thing I love to research!
Before I went gluten free I considered myself a foodie. I would try anything once. I LOVED to cook! I still love to cook, just have to be more careful with my adventurous taste.
A few tips. I have learned.
Read the label. EVERY TIME. I can not stress this enough. Many companies change their recipes and never, ever, ever, indicate it on the package; except in the ingredients list.
When in doubt LOOK IT UP, or skip it. If you do not know what the 15 letter word is or if it has gluten in it just look it up! Or skip it. (When I was younger there was an ice cream commercial where they had young kids reading the ingredients list it had things like milk, sugar, chocolate ect. I guess it is true that they don’t make things like they used to.)
Gluten free does not mean good for you. Often gluten free foods add many preservatives, fillers and well crap. (see above) Gluten is Wheat, malt, barely, rye, bread flour, spelt. This said some companies often label as a number of things like natural flavor, msg, bread flour, ect.
Also gluten is a sneaky little jerk. It hides! In fact I am pretty damn sure that it could win hide and seek champion every single year.
Gluten loves to hide. Each of these things had a pretty high chance of containing gluten that said, there is an exception to every rule and everything below has a gluten free version!
- Soy sauce – San-j makes an awesome gluten free soy or there is tamari which is a gluten free soy sauce.
- Beer – There are many choices for a gluten free beer, Greens is my favorite but hard to find, I normally just stick with angry orchard hard cider.
- Nut mixes – Most of these are gluten free just check the ingredients.
- Some msg products (but not all of them) – This one is just best to avoid all together I am not sure which ones are safe and the source is never listed anyway.
- Potato chips (in the flavorings also chips like Pringles) – read the labels, look them up online Frito-lay has a pretty good list and makes sure to list wheat on the label.
- Pre-made rice items (rice is gluten free but read the labels!) – these often contain flavorings like soy sauce so no more Chinese takeout.
- Hot dogs – My choices are Hebrew national , Oscar Mayer (hehe I am old I just sang that in my head)
- Sausages – This is breakfast as well as link sausages, I use Owen’s breakfast sausage but it does contain msg but does not cause a reaction for me.
- Flavored bacon (they usually contain malt) – Most bacon is gluten free just avoid ones that have flavor added
- Salad dressings (which are much easier to make than you might think)
- Candies – Most candy is gluten free just read the label
- Vinegar (this one is less common but malt is often the reason)
- Oatmeal (oats are gluten free the problem is cross contamination.) – For these I use Bob’s Red mill gluten free rolled oats.
- Chocolates – Most of these are gluten free but read the labels and look it up!
- Ice cream – Most often gluten free but cookies dough, birthday cake, and several others (with cracker, cookie and pie crust as common additives)
- Flavored coffee – Most coffee safe, just read the label
- Flavored teas – Most teas are gluten free but there are a few exceptions
- Toothpaste – Here is a list I found of safe toothpaste
- Soap – A list of what to look for and safe soaps.
- Shampoo and Conditioner – A list of safe shampoo and conditioner as well as some things to avoid
- Creams, lotions and ointments – Just look up the product your worried about I was not able to find a list for this.
- Pills – I am going with the look it up thing here too
- Vitamins – I take Welleasse vitamins, they are gluten free liquid vitamins and they do not upset my stomach like most vitamins.
There are really too many things to list. I will just say again. Look it up.
Eating out is a challenge, I know of exactly one restaurant who goes to lengths to make sure that they keep your gluten free food gluten free (separate prep and cooking area basically they have a small kitchen inside their kitchen) that is BJ’s. Their pizza is good too, and I love their balsamic chicken. Just plan in advance or call and talk to the manager and ask them what can be done to make your meal safe. Most places will let you bring your own bread. Just remember the only way to be sure that your meal is gluten free is to make it yourself.
There are a lot of things that are naturally gluten free.
- All unseasoned, un-breaded meats.
- Bacon is almost all gluten free though sometimes they use malt for seasoning so avoid those.
- All fruits
- All veggies
- Black Coffee and most creamers
- Almost ever soft drink is gluten free (except a couple brands just look up your favorites).
- All unflavored Milk
- Cheese (with the exception of some blue cheeses and some flavored cheeses)
- Tea (with the exclusion of SOME flavored teas)
- Too many things to name really!
I am want to share a couple of things I love.
http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/ she is wonderful and most of her recipes are just amazing and paleo/keto friendly.
http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ her recipes are wonderful, and as good as anything you had filled with gluten, BUT she often uses exotic or expensive ingredients. Also check out her article on Stocking your gluten free pantry.
The following flours are what I most often use as pre-made or flour mixes. I don’t only use pre-made flours but I am the mom of 5.
http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-all-purpose-baking-flour.html Bobs has dedicated facilities for its gluten free products.
Other things I use often.
Chex cereals not only are they tasty and gluten free, the rice chex broken up makes a great substitute for bread crumbs and they are CHEAP.
Bob’s red mill gluten free oatmeal, http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-rolled-oats.html
There are 2 decent pre-made pie crusts the 1st is from Katz gluten free
the other is Pillsbury
Both are as good as any pre-made pie crust I had before going gluten free.
Pillsbury also makes a gluten free pizza crust (it is all the bad things you have ever been told about gluten free food and more) and a scoop and bake cookie (which is good).
I also use Gluten free Bisquick, to make waffles. They are wonderful, light and tasty, they freeze well and reheat well in the toaster (which I have a dedicated gluten free toaster) and since they are a not sweet waffle they make a great base for sandwiches, burgers or any way you would use toast.
Okay I am going to leave you with one list thing. Gluten free is not taste free. It can be YUMMY. Feel free to share your thoughts, questions or ideas in the comments.