When my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease several years ago, it really threw me (a crazy carb-loving person) and my daughter for a serious loop. After the challenging task of eliminating gluten from our home (not an easy thing to do when you come to discover that even simple things like vanilla extract can contain gluten), we started off on a quest to find suitable replacements for all of our favorite (now banned) foods. To be honest, it has been an often discouraging and expensive task. Many gluten-free foods are frankly just about as appetizing as gnawing on sawdust and cardboard, and are priced as if they should have pearls hidden inside. But I’m happy to note that things are getting better. More and more companies are making life easier by clearly labeling their products as gluten-free, and we’ve even found some real tasty winners amidst all the not so good we’ve tried.
So today I thought I’d share a few of the gluten-free favorites in our pantry. We are always trying and sampling new things, so I’ll be back with more sometime soon if that’s something that you’re interested in.
Our Gluten-Free Favorites (some items linked below are not illustrated above):
- As far as flour replacements go, Carol’s All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour continues to be our favorite. It has a texture and taste that most closely resembles traditional flour, and is a real standout in desserts where a finely ground flour is paramount.
- I recently discovered Van’s Gluten Free Crackers at our local Target, and love them. They actually have a hearty whole-grain flavor that most gf crackers lack, and are delicious for dipping, snacking…and I’ve even been thinking about using them for a crumble on top of mac & cheese. The Multigrain and Say Cheese varieties are my favorites.
- For a sweet Fall/Winter treat, my daughter and I love to mix up a cuppa using Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate. All their chai mixes are gluten-free except for the vanilla varieties. We purchase ours at Trader Joe’s, but it can also be found in traditional grocery stores.
- I have to admit that we are more than a little bit obsessed with Udi’s Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls. We frequently top their chocolate variety with a dollop of Nutella, and devour their double vanilla muffins with a scoop of whipped cream and fresh berries. Their cinnamon rolls rock my world when warmed with a pat of melted butter and topped with a drizzle of the included cinnamon icing. TIP: We’ve found that all of Udi’s muffins and cinnamon rolls taste best when served warm. We wrap ours in aluminum foil and heat in the toaster oven for 10-15 minutes before serving. Microwaving would probably work as well.
- Udi’s is also responsible for creating our favorite White Bread, Plain Bagels, Hamburger Buns, and Pizza Crust (we use it to create garlic toast sticks for dipping). Ohhh….and they make exceptional French Baguettes and French Dinner Rolls. They are as close to tasting like the real deal as I think any gf brand will ever come. Just delicious!
- For a less sweet breakfast, we like to toast up the Premium English Muffins from Glutino.
- And last but not least, my love affair with Popcorners is still going strong. We recently discovered them at our local Von’s grocery store as well as at World Market…so chances are they are or will be in stores near you soon. Your taste buds are so lucky!
And now I’d love to hear recommendations of your favorites! Any real standouts that you think everyone just has to know about…please do share! xo Ez