Today I ran into a lady who had just been diagnosed gluten-intolerant. She was in the gluten-free aisle at the store trying to figure out what would taste good without making her sick. I realized on the way home that I gave them the wrong website address. So even though this is my writing blog, I’m posting this here too. (So sorry about the wrong address…the correct one is www.satisfactionandbeyond.com. That’s where all the gluten-free information is.)
After a few years off of gluten, things seem pretty easy, and I’ve gone through the trial and error aspect of buying things that look good but taste awful, look awful but taste good, are horrible without being toasted but almost taste the same as you remember if you toast it, and all the combinations in between. I’ve played with baking and cooking and it’s all okay. But for someone on that first day of diagnosis, none of it seems easy.
So here’s a list of things for those newly diagnosed. You’ll see plenty of sugary and higher carbohydrate foods on this list, because sometimes people want those foods. I’ll always encourage meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts…but there are birthday parties, family gatherings, and well, just days when a sandwich or a cookie or a cake are going to be eaten. If it’s going to be eaten, then it needs to be gluten-free.
ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS CAN CHANGE INGREDIENTS WITHOUT ME KNOWING OR UPDATING THIS SITE, SO PLEASE ALWAYS READ LABLES.
BAKING (including cookies, cakes, pancakes, etc):
www.betterbatter.org This flour and the pancake and biscuit mix are some of the best I’ve tried. They’re also corn, soy, egg and dairy-free (there was an issue with dairy contamination via one of their suppliers that is being resolved, but no problems with gluten) The hamburger bun recipe on their site is great.
www.NamasteFoods.com This company is perhaps may favorite across the board. They are gluten, dairy, corn, egg, soy, potato, tree nuts, peanuts, and casein-free. I use their bread mix, their pizza crust mix, and use the pasta mixes when making something to take to a party. You can find some of their products at Whole Foods and Hy-Vee locally in Kansas City, and you can order in bulk at Amazon. I’ve not yet tried their cookie or cake mixes.
www.enjoylifefoods.com These guys are very allergen-friendly as well as gluten-free. Their chocolate chips are some of the only ones that are both gluten and dairy-free. We’ve had their premade bars and think they are better than average. Their granola didn’t suit us well. We’ve not tried the newer crunchy cookies. Hy-Vee and Whole Foods carry some of their stuff here in KC.
http://www.nutsonline.com Who would have thought…but it is really hard to find some types of nuts that are processed in places that don’t also process wheat. One day while getting ready to buy some nuts from the bulk section, a store employee was refilling the barley flour and it was flying everywhere. Suddenly I realized why I sometimes got sick with the nuts I was eating. NutsOnline has fantastic customer service, and they also have a gluten-free section.
Tropical Source These are regular-sized chocolate chips that are gluten and dairy-free…but they are hard to find. When Amazon.com sells them, you can get 3 bags for about 12.00. But when Amazon is out and it’s someone else selling on Amazon, the price is a crazy 40.00+ for 3 bags. I’ve never seen them locally.
www.ener-g.com If you want something close to a white hamburger bun, the tapioca hamburger buns from these guys (once toasted!) will remind you of the buns you get at a restaurant…same is true of the hotdog buns. I’ve also used their egg-replacer and it works really well if you have egg allergies. Hy-Vee carries these and sometimes Whole Foods does too.
www.kinnikinnick.com Their S’moreables really do taste like graham crackers, and their graham-style crumbs work great to make graham cracker crusts. If corn is an issue for you, these will be off limits, but otherwise, they’re a great replacement. My hubby loves their K-Toos chocolate sandwich cookies, and I’ve used them to make a cookie crust for deserts for him. Hy-Vee and Whole Foods sometimes carry these.
http://www.pamelasproducts.com Their bread mix works pretty well, but I don’t use it because there is a chance of dairy contamination that my hubby can’t have. Pamela’s also has cookie mixes, cake mixes, and pancake mixes as well as pre-made cookies, cheesecakes, and biscotti’s. They use almond meal that provides a bit more protein and nutrition which is nice. HyVee and Whole Foods carry lots of Pamela’s
Domata Flour This is a great 1:1 flour. I use Better Batter instead of this because Domata has corn in it, and I can’t have corn. But it worked great when I tried it, and my niece uses it. It’s available in Kansas City at Hy-Vee and Whole Foods.
Bob’s Red Mill They have almond flour/meal (and other nut versions) as well as a line of gluten-free mixes and gluten-free oats. I’ve used some of their products, but mostly when I was mixing things together myself before finding Better Batter and Namaste. These are more “see if you like it” things in my opinion.
Betty Crocker Gluten-Free mixes The chocolate cake was made, frosted, and shared with friends without anyone knowing it was gluten-free…and everyone loved it. The cookies taste good (although made-from-scratch with Better Batter flour taste more like homemade), and the yellow cake mix is the best I’ve found albeit not as good as the chocolate. ** UPDATE The chocolate mix has had soy added to it since the last time I used it, and the yellow cake says it “may” contain soy. As a result, we’ll no longer be using or recommending them.
BREADS and CEREALS
Rudi’s This is a pre-made bread. It’s okay, but I never found it to be really tasty the way the Namaste bread is when I made it. I’ve not tried some of the newer versions. This is available locally at Whole Foods and possibly other stores. **UPDATE I’ve since tried the newer Rudi’s Original Gluten-Free Bread and really love it. It’s the only non-homemade gf bread I’ve ever had that could be pulled out and eaten without toasting it. They make a multi-grain version that we’ve not tried because it has corn. Whole Foods carries it locally.
Udi’s This is also pre-made, and again, I think it’s okay but nothing fantastic. However, their granola is amazing! I think my hubby had the chocolate muffins and liked them too. These are available at Whole Foods and Hy-Vee.
Perky’s/Enjoy Life Perky’s was bought out by Enjoy life, but the crunchy rice and crunchy flax cereals are good…not quite rice crispies, but safe and still tasty. The granola was just not that good. It was okay, but the texture is off. Hy-Vee and Whole Foods carry these sometimes.
French Meadows Their rice breads were okay’ish. I would buy them if nothing else I liked was available, but otherwise, they just weren’t that great. My hubby loved the chocolate chip cookie dough when it was raw, but didn’t like the cookies when they were cookied. Whole Foods carries them and HyVee does too, I think.
Food For Life Their brown rice tortilla wraps worked great and tasted really good too. Hy-Vee carried them for a while, but now they seem to be gone. www.glutenfreemall.com still seems to have them. The brown rice English Muffins taste great too when toasted. Hy-Vee carries them and I think the Whole Foods on Metcalf started carrying them too.
Dad’s Gluten Free Pizza http://www.glutenfreepizza.com These are highly allergy friendly, and they taste great for a pre-made crust. If you have corn issues, let them know and they’ll make some for you that don’t have corn. For a pre-made crust, these are my favorites.
Tinkyada is probably the best brand I’ve tried (Namaste is equally good, if not better, but they only sell pasta in “kits”). I’ve seen it at Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, Hen House, and Price Chopper in KC.
Namaste (see above for links) has great pasta kits. The “cheese” version doesn’t taste like mac’n’cheese, but it does taste like a pasta salad.
Amy’s Kitchen They make some gluten-free as well as gluten and dairy-free frozen foods. My hubby loves the mac’n’cheese. I love the mild salsa and the family marinara. I hear they’re coming out with gf burritos, but not until June of this year.
Prego You can find it just about in any store (although not Whole Foods), and it is gluten-free.
Amy’s Kitchen Their marinara is not certified gf, but I’ve never had a reaction to it (and I’ve eaten it a lot). Whole Foods has the best price locally, but Hy-Vee carries it too.
KettleBrand chips are gluten-free. They have one of the only BBQ flavored chips I’ve seen that are gluten, dairy, egg, corn, and soy-free. I’ve seen them at lots of stores….for sure, HyVee, Whole Foods, and Hen House locally.
Garden of Eatin and Bearittos both make blue corn chips that are gluten-free as long as you don’t have problems with corn.
I’m sure there are other brands out there, but we don’t eat much of this sort of thing and avoid the more commercial brands because of the trans-fats and added ingredients.
This is a difficult one for me because Matt and I have so many food allergies and such significant reactions when something we can’t have accidentally gets eaten. In general, we don’t eat out. However, we found two places that have remained safe.
Local Burger http://www.localburger.com This restaurant is in Lawrence, KS, so it isn’t super close, but we’ve eaten there 3 times without any problems at all. They understand food allergies and the owner has celiac. It’s a bit pricey, but it is also very high quality.
Wendy’s They list their chili and baked potato as gluten-free and dairy free. I’ve not eaten there, but Matt sometimes goes with his work crowd or when he is out and about…and so far he hasn’t had a problem.
There are other places around town listed as gluten-free, but needing them to also be dairy, corn, soy, and egg-free pretty much limits us to the above two choices. If other people have had great experiences somewhere here locally, please feel free to post.
I’m sure I missed foods that people like to eat on a regular basis. Our household is a lot more meat and veggies than anything else, but I’ve tried lots of other foods. So if something is missing you want to know about, please leave a comment and I’ll get it added.