3 Gluten Free Alternatives That Are Indistinguishable From The Regular Versions
Conversations on gluten free alternatives is a recent phenomenon. Decades ago, it was difficult to find gluten free products unless they were naturally gluten free, such as rice and oats. Even among them, there was still a concern over cross contamination since they were often processed in factories that manufactured gluten.
As nice as it is to have a ton of gluten free alternatives widely accessible in the markets today, not all of them are created equal and are actually beneficial to your health. A large number of gluten free cookies, crackers, breads, and flours contain ingredients that extend farther than the galaxy and are, for the most part, unrecognizable. Just because they’re gluten free, doesn’t mean their gmo free, organic, plant based, additive free, free of fillers, artificial ingredients, and so on.
Even if you don’t have gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, you can still benefit from a gluten free (or low gluten) diet. Though this article is not about the science behind gluten and your health, eating less gluten can reduce many health problems, such as inflammation and digestive issues.
Three Gluten Free Alternatives To Add To Your Diet
In discussing gluten free alternatives, rice cakes and granola are not what I’ll be referring to. Though naturally gluten free grains are perfect solutions to your favorite gluten free cereals and snacks, this article discusses alternatives that are a near match (or exact match) to common gluten foods that may have once been a favorite of yours. These alternatives are tried and tested so there is no speculation here, just an honest opinion.
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour is recommended. This company is known for producing a large variety of high quality foods that are natural and wholesome. A lot of their products are organic and gluten free, so if you’re looking for baking and cooking ingredients, this brand won’t disappoint.
This gluten free alternative comes in a 24 oz. plastic package. It’s 100% stone ground, meaning that it’s finely milled and has a light texture. This is great for thickening sauces or making pastries. Besides being organic and gluten free, it’s also vegan and perfect for plant based diets. This flour uses only the highest quality whole grain brown rice that has a mild, nutty flavor, but honestly, you won’t notice it in your cooked or baked recipes. It doesn’t alter the flavor that the food is intended to have.
The only ingredient is organic whole grain brown rice, so you don’t have to worry about consuming stuff you’ve never heard of. It costs $6.09 per bag and additionally, it’s also idea for breading and baking, such as making pancakes, muffins, and breads.
I used this flour to make cornbread muffins and the results were the same as using all purpose flour. They were soft, fluffy, basically what you would expect from bread. I couldn’t tell the difference.
This flour can last up to two years as long as it’s stored in an airtight container. On their website, it’s rated 5 out of 5 stars, so virtually everyone who’s tried this flour is convinced that it’s a great gluten free alternative.
Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers are another winner for a gluten free alternative. This brand is about creating food that’s simple, delicious, and helps the body, not harm it. Their products contain nothing artificial, and their ingredients are easily recognizable and nutrient dense. They focus more on filling their foods with proteins, vitamins, and minerals and less of sugars, grains, and gluten.
Their crackers are gluten free, soy free, grain free, gmo free, free of corn, dairy and gums/emulsifiers, and are paleo friendly. They suit most dietary restrictions. It’s important to note that some of their varieties do contain dairy and tree nuts.
A box of these crackers cost $4.99 and is 4.25 oz. There are four servings per box and the serving size is 17 crackers.
The ingredients are nut and seed flour blend (almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds), tapioca, cassava, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, organic onion, organic garlic, and rosemary extract. The sunflower used is high oleic, cold pressed organic sunflower oil. The varieties available are farmhouse cheddar, rosemary & sea salt, sun dried tomato & basil, cracked black pepper, and smoky bbq cheddar.
These crackers are light, airy and savory. They’re perfect for dipping in salsa, hummus, guacamole, or whatever your favorite dip is, and even great for adding your preferred toppings or eating as is. Online they’re rated 5 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is that they don’t last more than a day for me.
Finding quality gluten free alternatives that are simple and healthy doesn’t end here, but certainly reduces the struggle since these alternatives offer the variety that’s needed to enjoy what gluten based foods have to offer. If you wear a baker’s hat, you can make all your favorite breads, cakes, cookies, and such with flours that are free from complicated ingredients and are as natural as they can possibly be.
In the world of grab and go snacking and meals, these pasta and cracker varieties serve as great alternatives that don’t need any convincing. Among these brands are other gluten free snacks such as cookies and cereals.
I collectively rate these products 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’ve tried them all and found no difference in taste and texture. Their ingredients are few and simple, and I like how these brands focus on producing natural and organic foods that are also gluten free, something that’s not automatically the case with typical gluten free foods.
However, if you have specific allergies, such as nuts, dairy, and soy, you’ll want to look carefully into these brands’ product selections since some of them contain traces of these or the ingredient.
The search for foods that suit specific diets and health concerns will continue but at least there’s hope, and brands like these are paving the way for more healthy and great gluten free alternatives to come.