You just found out that you have to start a gluten free diet because you are gluten intolerant or have been diagnosed with celiac disease. The only treatment for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to avoid gluten altogether. Now you are faced with an important question, where do you start?
In today’s marketplace you will find many gluten-free products and ingredients, but if you are new to the gluten-free diet, the information you are faced with may be overwhelming.
Stocking your pantry with essential gluten-free ingredients will give you a base for making many tasty gluten-free recipes, such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, sides, mains, bread and desserts.
Here is a list of gluten-free ingredients that are essential in preparing delicious gluten-free meals
• Quinoa or buckwheat flakes and chia seeds – These are ideal for making hot breakfast cereal, breakfast bars, muffins, and pancakes.
• Gluten-Free Bread – Is perfect for making sandwiches for lunch. There are many gluten-free types of bread available now, but I would try different brands until you find your favourite one.
• Organic gluten-free chicken, beef or vegetable stock – You will use stock in soups, gravies, casseroles, curry’s and stews. Adding a good stock always adds flavour to your favourite recipe. I use mostly chicken stock unless I am making a vegetarian recipe, then I use vegetable stock
• Gluten-Free Pasta – Yes you can eat pasta, providing that it is gluten-free. My choice of gluten-free pasta is quinoa/brown rice combination or just brown rice or white rice. I am not a fan of corn pasta, firstly conventional corn is usually genetically modified and has a strong taste of corn, which takes away from the pasta sauce.
• Rice or quinoa – Perfect sides for most recipes. I prefer brown rice because it has more fiber, flavour and texture. Quinoa is excellent for making salads or stir-fries. Some people do not like the taste of just plain quinoa. Try adding herbs, spices and some sweet peas or grapes to infuse the quinoa with delicious flavours.
• Gluten Free Tamari Sauce – If you like Asian food you will be using it a lot in recipes. It also adds a lot of flavour in salad dressings and marinades.
• Organic gluten-free apple cider – Perfect addition to salad dressings, marinates, soups and stews
• Organic NON-GMO Popcorn and organic corn chips – I mention organic because most conventional corn is genetically modified. Popcorn is a nice light snack and corn chips are excellent with salsa, dips or just crunched on top of salads instead of croutons.
• Gluten-free baking powder – Many desserts ask for baking powder, so this is a must in your kitchen, the only other thing I would add is to buy aluminum-free baking powder. Aluminum has been known to cause cancer when used in cooking
• Organic Gluten-Free Spices – Some spices are manufactured in the same factories as wheat is and cross-contamination can happen. To be on the safe side and if your budget allows it, get certified organic, gluten-free spices, they are healthier and have a more intense flavour.
• Gluten-free all purpose flour – This will be your go-to flour for baking and also using as a thickener in your cooking. You can buy already pre-mixed gluten-free flour, or you can make your own as per recipe below.
All-purpose gluten-free flour recipe
Combine of 1 ½ cups white rice flour, 1 ½ cups brown rice flour, 3 tbsp. potato starch flour, 3 cups arrowroot starch flour and 3 cups tapioca starch flour. This will make 9 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
Once you have stocked your pantry with these essential gluten-free ingredients all you have to add is your main ingredients, such as vegetables, fish, meat, fruit, cheeses and healthy oils.
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