[May is Celiac Awareness Month, and I’m giving away copies of my ecookbooklet: So What CAN You Eat? Gluten-free Paleo Vegan (mostly) Recipes for Health and Weight Loss, to all who join the mailing list. Visit the homepage here. 19 fast, easy recipes!]
When I first went gluten-free, I had a little help from a friend about what to buy, but mostly I looked at the shelves and freezer cases of the gluten-free replacement products and didn’t know where to begin. Corn pasta or quinoa? Tapioca bread or some mixed grain thing? More often than not, I let a major deciding factor be that of price. I figured if I started with the least expensive and kept moving up the scale until I found something palatable, then I would eventually identify my go-to purchases. With the exception of Udi’s bagels, I had very few Eureka! moments (well, other than if you add enough milk, eggs and cinnamon to make bread pudding a girl can actually choke down a loaf of tapioca bread…). If I had to do it over again, I’d have sought out the advice from a real gluten-free foodie, bought what they buy, and just stuck with those except when feeling adventurous or wanting to try something new.
Not long ago I asked the celiac listserv for their recommendations for stuffed pastas and egg noodles and got some great suggestions. One woman who replied gave me this feedback on the new bread from Kinnikkinnick. She and her daughter, both gluten-free for more than 10 years, are passionate about food. They have done lots of product reviews and, in fact, her daughter was once gluten-free food editor for Foodista. I asked if she would share their go-to gf recommendations and she gladly put together this list, asking for no credit or attribution, but just wanting to help people navigate the world of gluten-free products for maximum enjoyment and satisfaction. Here are her suggestions (and note her full disclosure for being a sales rep for Glutenfeeda) and also my full disclosure that I haven't tried most of these suggestions, (but I plan to!):
Here is my very short list of the gf essentials in our house. We are foodies and do like to cook. We are not huge bakers but do bake! And in the interest of full disclosure, while I have been a Celiac for over a decade I do work for a manufacturer as a sales rep... Glutenfreeda.
Our favorites in the pantry: pretty slim but we are foodies and this is all we truly need
* Jules Gluten Free Flour (for anything and everything using standard recipes)
* Kinnikinnick Panko Crumbs
* Pamela's Cornbread ( I use the traditional recipe but bake it in a iron skillet)
* Pamela's Pancake Mix (but generally we make crepes with corn starch or I use almond flour)
* Better Batter Brownie Mix (in a pinch but I prefer my old Ghiradelli brownie recipe using Jules Flour)
* Gluten Free Mama's Pie Crust Mix (truly fabulous)
* Better Batter Flour nice to have on hand if you make homemade egg rolls, or Fry Bread..the rice blend lends itself very well for frying
* Dakota Lakes Gourmet Coating .. just nice to have on hand . I often mix it with the Panko Crumbs for a spiced coating on chicken tenders or baked fish..
* Feel Good Foods Egg rolls and dumplings
* Garlic Jim's pizza when I am too lazy or in a hurry to make Pizza Dough with Jules Flour
Bread and Pasta:
* Kinnickinick Buns and Bread (frozen)
* La Veneziane pastas (pantry)
* Orgran Spirals (pantry)
We're Jewish so...
* Eena Kadeena Mock-zah Ball Mix
* Eena Kadeena Mandel Cookies
Not marketed as gf but essential for our lifestyle (aka to busy to make from scratch):
* Cream of Buckwheat (Wolffs')
* Wolff's Kasha
* Sweet Rice Flour
* Rice flour wrappers for sushi and spring rolls
* Corn Starch for crepes (sweet and savory)
* Almond flour (mainly because I prefer almond flour pancakes)
* Lundberg's Risottos and Rice blends
If I had kids at home still: I would probably also stock the K-Toons, or the plethora of cookies out there but now I just make up batches of my favorite recipes , roll them into balls and freeze for bake on demand.
And I do eat our oatmeal often, as well as the burritos and pizza wraps Glutenfreeda Oatmeal, Burritos, Pizza Wraps and Granola :-)
That's it...I cannot think of one thing that I cannot make with the above on hand. I use any recipe I come across from Liebowitz's "to die for" German Chocolate Cake to Curtis Stone's Cheese Biscuits.
So Thank you, anonymous gluten-free food aficianado for sharing your list and hopefully making life easier for others!
5/7/2012 03:18:40 pm
It's all a matter of taste, and I think some of this "foodie's" favorites are just plain nasty. Why should I eat something just because someone else likes it? Actually, thinking it over, this whole post is kind of insulting - "Here's what you're supposed to like because some stranger who calls herself a "foodie" say it's good."
5/8/2012 12:26:43 pm
Sammy, thanks for taking the time to reply. I took the information as advice from someone who's eaten a lot of gluten-replacement food, and I would have loved a list like this when I first got diagnosed with celiac, at least to have a jumping off point. I'm glad you've collected your own list of favorites and I hope you share your learnings with others when you have the opportunity.
5/8/2012 03:04:44 pm
Good reply Claire! Even though I'm not new to the world of gluten free food, I still appreciate all the suggestions I can get. At least they point someone in the right direction. Sammy apparently likes to try everything that's on the market before he decides what he wants to eat on a regular basis. To me, that's a waste of time and money.
5/8/2012 04:14:00 pm
@Mary: since when did being open-minded about food become "a waste of time and money?" Because I have made the effort to taste new things for myself, I've found a lot of new foods that I really like even though I didn't expect to like them. It's made my diet more diverse and healthier.
5/8/2012 10:31:26 pm
Sammy, I can see how my blog post may be off-putting to people who have been living happily gluten free whose favorites AREN'T on the list. If I came here and saw the favorites of an "expert" whose tastes and choices didn't reflect mine, what does that say about me? Like Mary, I like to follow up on many leads and recommendations (thanks for the tip on Better Batter and Namaste brownies, by the way!), and I offer the list in the spirit of helping others sort through the growing universe of gf food products. I'd be happy to share more of your suggestions as well.
5/9/2012 04:07:02 am
We have 7 years of negative blood tests (both celiacs here) saying the flours from the Indian markets are just fine. Use common sense, read labels, and learn the words for the names of the various flours. Some brands are even starting to label their products GF.
6/2/2012 03:31:10 am
If you have celiac or gluten intolerance, yes! The damage done to your system from exposure to gluten is far-reaching, even if you don't have symptoms or an immediate reaction to eating it. If you just want to eat healthier, then a gluten-free diet heavy in gluten-free baked and processed foods is not the route. Gluten-free foods are typically higher in fats, sugar and calories than their gluten counterparts. I think the healthiest diet is one that is loaded with unprocessed foods, green non-starchy veggies, fruits, and lean proteins all of which tend to be naturally gluten-free.
5/11/2014 11:32:44 pm
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