Essentials for Going Gluten-free
Why go gluten-free?
Gluten is in wheat, barley, and rye. I removed gluten from my son's diet because he had autism, and like so many desperate parents, I would try anything to help him. Some doctors, chiropractors, and other health professionals recommend removing gluten to help with food cravings, ADHD, autism, fatigue, obesity, migraines or various other problems. Additionally, people having Celiacs disease must refrain from eating gluten.
If you are just beginning a gluten-free diet, I highly recommend finding these items. I can get all of these products at my local Kroger grocery store in the organic foods section. If you don't have a Kroger in your town or they don't carry these products, you can try a specialty food store like Trader Joe's or Wild Oats or look online for mail order products.
1) Van's Gluten-Free Waffles - These are not only great for breakfast, but I use them instead of crust for mini-quiches, pot pies, and fruit pies. For breakfast, add some pure maple syrup and they are delicious.
2) EnerG tapioca bread - My son likes this the best of all gluten-free bread that we've tried.
3) Corn tortilla chips - If you are very sensitive to gluten, you may want to stick with organic chips or contact the company to guarantee there is no gluten even if it is not in the ingredient list. We use these instead of crackers with soups and chili.
4) Boar's head lunchmeat - Boar's head carries gluten-free ham, salami and pepperoni. Be careful of other lunch meats, as they frequently contain wheat as a filler.
5) Corn tortillas - Again, it is best to contact the company to be sure there is no gluten if you are sensitive. We use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for tacos, quesadillas, wraps, and burritos.
6) Cornbread bread crumbs - Substitute these for regular bread crumbs in recipes. I've also used crushed corn flakes or crushed potato chips.
7) Gluten-free pizza crusts - We like the 4 pack one-person crusts made by Kinnikinnick that you can by in the organic freezer section of your supermarket. When the rest of the family orders a regular pizza, my son and I make our own in the toaster oven. We just add pizza sauce, pepperoni (Boar's head is Gluten free), and shredded cheese.
8) Gluten-free pasta - It takes a while to get used to since the texture is different. It's important not to overcook this pasta or it will get slimy. Also, invest in a good spaghetti or pesto sauce and you won't notice the difference as much.
9) Gluten-free chicken nuggets/fish sticks - We use Ian's brand. These are great on days when I can't find a substitute for my son. We just pop some in the toaster oven to replace the main course. Also, I use the gluten-free chicken nuggets when making chicken parmesan.
10) Pamela's gluten-free chocolate cake mix - All I can say is WOW! This is one of the best cake mixes I've ever had and it's gluten free! It is perfect for a birthday cake or make them into cupcakes and freeze them individually. Pamela's cookies are excellent as well!
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