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12 essentials for the gluten-free pantry

12 essentials for the gluten-free pantry


Imagine needing to make the switch to the gluten-free lifestyle because you’ve been diagnosed with coeliac disease, or, like me, because you have other health issues for which a gluten-free diet would be helpful.

Believe me, panic sets in. A long list of foods you love is suddenly out: pizza, pasta, French toast, sandwiches – what will you do? Don’t panic! Instead of seeing the limitations on your diet as a problem, see it as a challenge to your creativity. The door has opened to a world of gastronomic discovery.

When cravings for familiar comfort foods come a-knocking, with the right, safe ingredients in your cupboard, you can answer without risking the consequences of indulging the gluten-y foods that make you sick.

Here are 12 must-have ingredients to keep stocked in your gluten-free kitchen, and a recipe for a quick flour that you can also use for anything from loaves to waffles.

Breakfast

Oats are a great way to get some grain in you, but make sure it’s certified gluten-free to avoid cross contamination. Buckwheat and amaranth are all great as part of breakfast too – and polenta is heavenly topped with a poached egg. Swoon!

Lunch

If sandwiches are your jam, try different gluten-free breads on the market until you find one you like. Where I’m from in the US, the best one available is from Canyon Bakehouse (identical taste and texture to packaged sandwich bread).

Dinner

Most Asian food is gluten-free friendly, so I have lots of ingredients for that part of the world, just be sure to buy gluten-free soy sauce.

Mexican food is easily adaptable, too – corn flour (sometimes sold as masa flour) requires only water to have fresh tortillas in minutes, and brown rice flour tortillas are a great substitute if you want a wrap or quesadilla, instead of tacos.

Almond meal (ground almonds with skin) and/or almond flour (without skin) can be used in place of breadcrumbs for meatloaf and meatballs, scalloped potatoes, chicken cutlets and more. They add a slight nutty flavor without being too overpowering, especially if you season them before using.

For pasta that isn’t homemade, experiment with brands on the market until you find the one you like best. Here’s a pro tip though: cook the pasta al dente (which means for less time than the package directions say, and so that it still has a “bite”) to avoid the too-mushy snag that so often happens with gluten-free pasta brands. I’ve tried every brand on the market, and Jovial Foods makes the best by a long shot. They’re available online, and ship only to the U.S. (but do email them to inquire about international shipping).

Side dishes

Rice (white, brown, red, wild, & arborio), polenta, grits, and quinoa are all gluten free and great for sides, but more obvious examples include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams and every vegetable imaginable.

Snacks

Whole popcorn kernels, gluten-free crackers, corn tortilla chips and potato chips (crisps to the Brits) are all gluten-free snacks. The former is best because it’s a wholegrain and isn’t fried.

Last but not least, sleuth around your area to see if there are speciality stores that carry gluten-free artisanal goodies (croutons, flatbreads or crostini toasts). Finding a local company that makes your gluten-free life that much more dee-yummy-licious is worth the extra effort.

For baking

You need to keep an arsenal of gluten-free flours in your freezer. My freezer always has: brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet white rice flour, potato flour, potato starch, tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch), arrowroot flour (or arrowroot starch), coconut flour and almond flour.

Making your own blend will save money and give you precise textures. I’ve provided a recipe for an “all-purpose quick bread” flour blend that’s great for waffles, muffins, and pancakes to help get you started, but experiment to see what you like.

Many recipes will call for xanthan or guar gum, a product that adds bouncy texture to baked goods (in an attempt) to mimic gluten. Experiment with and without them to decide for yourself.

Quick all-purpose gluten-free flour blend recipe

In case you don’t have a kitchen scale to measure your flour by weight (an essential tool for baking in general, but even more important in gluten-free baking), I put the best approximation in cups below.

Ingredients:

221 grams (approx. 1.5 cups) brown rice flour

210 grams (approx 1.5 cups) white rice flour

292 grams (approx 3 cups) tapioca starch flour

315 grams (approx 3 cups) arrowroot starch flour

3 tbsp potato flour

Directions: Add flours to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and store in an airtight container. It will keep up to 6 months or more if stored in the fridge or freezer.

For our top five gluten-free recipes, including amazing pizza dough, click here.


12 essentials for the gluten-free pantry - Recipes

November 2012 Issue

Gluten-Free Kitchen Essentials
By Juliann Schaeffer
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 14 No. 11 P. 40

These strategies will help even the most culinary-challenged, gluten intolerant clients make delicious meals at home.

For many clients newly diagnosed with celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders, the kitchen instantaneously becomes an intimidating place. They wonder, “What can I eat without getting sick?” and “How can I cook for my family and myself while avoiding cross-contamination?”

“Their concerns focus on two things: how to use new/strange ingredients that cost more and are hard to find and how to continue eating their favorite foods,” says Carol Fenster, PhD, author of 10 gluten-free cookbooks, including 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes. “The people who are most baffled by the new diet are those who don’t know how to cook in the first place they don’t have the same comfort level in the kitchen as those who at least know the basics of cooking.”

Rachel Begun, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who blogs at The Gluten Free RD, says these concerns and more can lead new celiac patients to the packaged or frozen foods aisle. “There’s a big learning curve for newly diagnosed celiacs to understand which foods are and are not safe for them to eat,” she says. “I often see clients shy away from cooking with fresh foods because they don’t know what they can and cannot eat and instead concentrate their diet on eating packaged foods that are certified gluten free.

“The concern here is that concentrating the diet on highly processed packaged foods can result in not getting enough of some key nutrients,” Begun adds. “It’s OK for the client to rely more on packaged foods in the short term so long as they gradually increase their reliance and confidence in cooking with fresh, nutrient-dense foods.”

That’s no small task for the culinary challenged. But if you provide clients guidance on what staples they can stock their kitchen with as well as cross-contamination and easy meal makeover tips, they’ll have the confidence to become the master of their new gluten-free kitchen. The following strategies will help you get clients off to a great start.

Kitchen Basics
Nail down the essentials early. At what point after a patient’s celiac disease diagnosis should you suggest they get their hands dirty and learn the nitty-gritty of what it means to cook gluten free? According to the experts, the sooner, the better.

“As soon as possible,” says Fenster, who says learning gluten-free cooking basics can be empowering for new celiac patients. “Processed foods such as breakfast cereals and bars can help tide them over, but I advise them to take control of their lives as soon as possible so they don’t feel like a victim. That sense of empowerment is an important step to accepting the gluten-free lifestyle as a normal, healthful way of living, and it can be lived well without gluten.”

“Since so many foods are naturally gluten free, there’s no reason for celiac patients not to start cooking safe foods right away—once their kitchen is clean and safe, that is,” adds Kim Lutz, author of the gluten-free blog Welcoming Kitchen.

Getting patients on the road to recovery is priority No. 1, says Begun, and not everyone will feel comfortable tackling gluten-free dinners five nights a week—especially those who didn’t cook before their diagnosis. So for less experienced cooks or those who don’t have the time, “it may be more useful to focus first on how to eat gluten free in restaurants and slowly build up their knowledge and skills for cooking—or at least pulling together—their own meals,” she says. But for those more adept with their kitchen’s ins and outs, she says, “We can focus on cooking gluten free right away.”

The benefits of learning such gluten-free cooking basics early on are twofold: Not only can clients control what ingredients they’re ingesting in the short term and their health in the long term, but they’re also opening up a new world of nutrient-rich foods. Begun explains, “This adds spice and variety to the diet. It’s often the case that those with celiac disease who get into the kitchen for the first time in their lives now eat a wider variety of foods than before they went gluten free.”

Stock up on gluten-free staples. Once clients agree to take on the gluten-free cooking challenge, the first question is apparent: What can I eat? Stocking up on a range of gluten-free cooking staples can ensure clients start off on the right track.

First, Fenster recommends clients buy certain prepared items that will assist in assembling a range of dishes. Gluten-free bread can be used for sandwiches, tortillas for wraps or tacos, piecrusts for pies and quiches, and pizza crusts for a variety of pizzas. “With these in your refrigerator/freezer, you can prepare many dishes, and cooking at home won’t seem so daunting,” she says. “These are the foods that are most time consuming to make at home—though easily mastered with practice.”

She’s found that starting out with a store-bought base not only saves time but encourages people to cook at home. Fenster recommends the breads by Canyon Bakehouse, Rudi’s, or Udi’s flour tortillas by Rudi’s, La Tortilla Factory, and Food For Life pizza crusts by Udi’s or Gluten Free Bistro and pie crusts by Whole Foods Market or Gillian’s Foods.

Next, Fenster recommends buying a selection of whole grains, “starting with quinoa since it cooks quickly [like rice] and is very nutritious,” she says. “Also, Bob’s Red Mill [will soon] offer whole grain sorghum, which is closest to wheat in flavor and texture of all the gluten-free grains.”

“When starting out, I recommend stocking up on gluten-free whole grains that are easy to cook with and incorporate into meals,” says Begun, who notes that wild and brown rice varieties as well as millet and quinoa are her top choices. “There are also many good gluten-free whole grain pastas on the market.”

Any of these grains can be used for breakfast as hot cereal or for lunch and dinner fare, including grain salads (eg, tabbouleh) or soups (eg, vegetable soup with quinoa). Once clients have mastered a few easier grains, suggest they explore others, such as amaranth, buckwheat, and teff. “They’re hearty and very nutritious,” Fenster says.

For details on how to cook with these lesser-known grains and gluten-free meals in general, a gluten-free cookbook is essential. “Investing in a few good gluten-free cookbooks is a really smart idea,” Begun says. “To start, I recommend cookbooks that aren’t too specific to one food category but those that provide recipes for all types of meals.”

Moreover, Fenster recommends clients load their cabinets with beans, which can be used in almost an infinite number of dishes. “They’re a very inexpensive yet extremely nutritious source of protein, fiber, and the B vitamins that we no longer get in highly processed, store-bought gluten-free food because most gluten-free food isn’t enriched, as wheat products are,” she notes.

“For those who have never baked before, it’s a good idea to purchase a packaged gluten-free flour blend, preferably one made with whole grains,” Begun adds. However, realize that clients interested in becoming gluten-free baking aficionados will need more instruction than a few tips and tricks, as gluten-free baking is more involved than cooking. Refer clients to a good gluten-free cookbook for details on whatever they’d like to learn to bake.

“I definitely suggest clients buy a gluten-free cookbook that suits their style and tastes and bake from that rather than try to convert their own recipes,” Fenster says. “It decreases their frustration in those initial stages because cookbook authors have figured out a lot of things that new cooks can stumble on, so follow a gluten-free cookbook at first.”

And don’t forget about condiments. For items such as soy sauce, dressings, marinades, sauces, and even seasoning blends, which clients may not immediately think contain gluten, Begun says restocking a gluten-free option is essential.

In general, Begun recommends that newly diagnosed clients purchase certified gluten-free products when possible, “as they’re new to shopping gluten free and may not have a sense of what is and is not safe.” Experts also advise clients to experiment with different brands of gluten-free products, since many can differ in texture, taste, and mouthfeel.

Avoid cross-contamination. While the easiest way to avoid gluten is to make an entire house gluten free, this isn’t always (or usually) practical, Begun says, “particularly if there are young kids in the household or if others have different dietary requirements. I see many clients where different members of the family have different dietary needs and all have to be managed simultaneously.”

Begun has a handout that offers tips for creating a gluten-free kitchen, which explains how best to avoid such cross-contamination concerns. Clients would likely benefit greatly from such a resource you can either develop your own or refer to others found on the Internet.

For example, when storing items, Begun advises clients to dedicate space in their pantry and refrigerator for only gluten-free goods and place them on shelves above gluten-containing foods. “Use stickers or an indelible ink pen to label gluten-free products.” If possible, she recommends having dedicated gluten-free utensils and equipment as well, including colanders, cutting boards, baking bowls, rolling pins, mixing spoons, and spatulas.

Appliances also can introduce unwanted gluten into meals and snacks. “Any appliance or utensil that has cracks, crevices, or holes can harbor gluten, so it’s wise to use separate toasters, waffle irons, bread machines, etc unless you can thoroughly clean them between uses,” Fenster says.

“It’s also important to keep sponges and cloths separate, as a contaminated sponge can wipe gluten onto an otherwise gluten-free surface,” Lutz warns.

Offer easy meal makeover tips. A handout explaining simple ways to make over common gluten-containing meals (or even naturally gluten-free meals) can help get clients off and running once their kitchen is well stocked and equipped.

Fenster likes to recommend clients begin by cooking foods that are naturally gluten free but that everyone loves and recognizes, such as roast chicken with baked potatoes, roast beef with mashed potatoes, grilled salmon with rice, lentil or other types of bean soups, and mixed green salads. “None of these meals require wheat to taste delicious,” she says.

Egg dishes, such as omelets, frittatas, or scrambles, also can be easily made gluten free, Begun says, as well as tacos made with 100% corn tortillas or shells and grilled/roasted meats, poultry, and fish with simply prepared vegetables and potatoes or rice.

“When breading meat, poultry, or fish, you can replace wheat flour with an equal amount of rice or corn flour,” she says. “And for soups or stews that call for roux, you can thicken with cornstarch or rice flour instead. Just be sure there aren’t any other gluten-containing ingredients, such as barley or flavoring ingredients that contain gluten.”

— Juliann Schaeffer is an associate editor at Great Valley Publishing Company and a frequent contributor to Today’s Dietitian.

Gluten Free for the Holidays
No more pumpkin pie, turkey stuffing, or holiday cookies? Not necessarily, according to experts interviewed by Today’s Dietitian. With just a handful of holiday-specific tips and tricks, you can prevent a joyous holiday season from losing its luster for clients with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Indeed, according to Kim Lutz, author of the gluten-free blog Welcoming Kitchen, many of the season’s ingredient stars are naturally free of gluten.

“Focus on the bounty that’s still available and craft your menu from that abundance,” she says. “Basic holiday flavors are still readily available on a gluten-free diet: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, candied carrots, winter squash, corn, apples, and roasted vegetables. You also can make a good stuffing from gluten-free bread that’s toasted and cut into cubes.”

Making two options for everything at holiday parties can be time consuming, so Begun advises making as much of the meal gluten free as possible. “Stuffed mushrooms are a holiday appetizer treat that can easily be made with gluten-free bread crumbs,” she says. And clients should thicken gravy with cornstarch or rice flour. “No one will know the difference,” she says.

For the turkey, Fenster suggests buying one that’s fresh, unprocessed, and untreated. “Use the same recipe for stuffing but substitute gluten-free bread or cornbread instead. And use the same spices, aromatics, etc, but be sure to use gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth.”

While traditional holiday desserts can be loaded with gluten, Fenster says all clients have to do is make their own holiday pies “with either store-bought gluten-free pie crusts or with a recipe from a gluten-free cookbook.”

And when it comes down to it, Fenster says don’t be afraid to start anew with whatever holiday dinner you’re preparing. “Don’t be afraid to establish new traditions in terms of what’s served during the holidays. Long ago, I made a rice-based fruit salad for Christmas and everyone liked it so much that it’s become a tradition for the past 20 years. It’s naturally gluten free, with no need for substitutes.”

Rice Pilaf With Cranberries and Pecans

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 cup wild rice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sherry wine vinegar
2 T fresh thyme, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped

Directions
Cook the brown and wild rice according to their package instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, wine vinegar, thyme, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, mix the vinaigrette with the warm brown and wild rice and toss to coat. Mix in the cranberries and pecans and evenly distribute.

Nutrient Analysis per serving
Calories: 240 Fat: 10 g Sat fat: 1.5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 50 mg Carbohydrate: 33 g Dietary fiber: 2 g Sugar: 4 g Protein: 4 g

— Recipe courtesy of Rachel Begun, MS, RD

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

Rich and hearty, this biscuitlike topping is perfect for our chicken version or your own favorite pot pie filling.

Crust
1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup butter or margarine (room temp)
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Filling
1 lb skinless cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup green peas
1/4 cup corn
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small chopped onion
2 chopped celery stalks
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T cooking oil
2 1/2 cups low-sodium gluten-free chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
2 T tapioca flour
3 T water
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 cup dry white wine

Filling
1. Combine cubed chicken, peas, and corn and set aside. Place carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in skillet and cook in cooking oil until onion is transparent. Add cubed chicken, green peas, corn, and chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced one-third, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, sliced mushrooms, celery salt, and white wine.

2. Mix tapioca flour with 3 T water until paste forms, then stir into skillet slowly. Simmer until thickened. Place in greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Crust
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Combine dry ingredients (flour to thyme) in large bowl. Add butter, milk, egg, and vinegar and mix together thoroughly.

2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared filling.

3. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until filling is bubbling and topping is nicely browned. Serve immediately.

Nutrient Analysis per serving
Calories: 220 Fat: 8 g Sat fat: 3 g Cholesterol: 60 mg Sodium: 440 mg Carbohydrate: 21 g Dietary fiber: 2 g Sugar: 4 g Protein: 16 g

— Recipe courtesy of Carol Fenster, PhD, on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill


12 Essential (& Easy) Bread Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

I am a firm believer that anyone can make bread — and really good bread at that.

If you’re new to bread baking, you may want to start here: Bread Baking 101. Otherwise, dive in with the recipes below.

As always, for the best results, use a digital scale (under $10) to measure the flour. And if you’ve yet to try instant yeast, which can be stirred into the dry ingredients without being bloomed first, there’s no time like the present. SAF is my favorite.

ALL the bread recipes in the archives can be found here → Bread

My Mother’s Peasant Bread

Light Brioche Buns, Even Better

Overnight, Refrigerator Focaccia

No-Knead Thyme Dinner Rolls

Holly’s Challah

Holly’s Babka

Quinoa Flax Toasting Bread

Overnight Bialys

Very Good Bagels, Easy-ish Too

Seedy, Sprouted Wheat Sandwich Bread

The Best Gluten-Free Bread

Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Rolls


Gluten Free Pantry Staples

I recently started a shop on my website where I&rsquove compiled many of my favorite gluten free pantry staples. It&rsquos a great place to look and see exactly what I&rsquom using in my kitchen. In addition to ingredients, I&rsquove also included some of my favorite cookbooks and kitchen equipment.

While it&rsquos great for shopping or browsing, it doesn&rsquot leave me much room for why I love those ingredients or what I use them for which is why I decided to put it all into a blog post. Here I could share with you the ingredients that I consider staples, why I use them, and which brands I prefer. It&rsquos also a much more extensive list of products.

This is a massive list of all the items I consider pantry staples for gluten free eating, baking, and cooking. While some of the products (like snacks) might be up to your own taste preferences, these are favorites for my family and me. And to be clear &ndash I was not paid to include any brands in this list of gluten free pantry staples. I have worked with some of these brands in the past but these gluten free pantry staples are all products I truly USE, LOVE, and RECOMMEND.

DISCLAIMER &ndash Always be sure to read your labels before purchasing or consuming as ingredients are subject to change at any time.

Gluten Free Flour

Bob&rsquos Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour &ndash I love this flour for baking and it&rsquos my go-to flour for my sugar cookies and chocolate sugar cookies. I also use it for my gingerbread house this year and it worked perfectly.

gfJules &ndash Jules has a really wonderful gluten free flour blend that was voted #1 by 90000+ consumers. I have used it a few times and I really liked it for biscuits.

Brown Rice Flour &ndash Brown rice flour is one of the main flours in my own gluten free flour blend. I mostly use Bob&rsquos Red Mill but Anthony&rsquos is also good and Thrive Market has a good Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Flour.

White Rice Flour &ndash I use Bob&rsquos Red Mill White Rice Flour when I make my own flour blend. I find that it&rsquos ground fine enough and does not leave my baked goods with an off-putting gritty texture. I use this combined with brown rice flour and starches. I&rsquove also made my own white rice flour by grinding white rice in my Mock Mill KitchenAid attachment. I ran the rice through the grinder 3 times on the finest setting and it worked great in my fudgy gluten free brownies.

Tapioca Flour &ndash Tapioca is one of the flours I use for my own gluten free flour blends. I also like to use it as a thickener for gravy, custard, and as a coating for meat before the egg wash and breadcrumbs. I use Bob&rsquos Red Mill Tapioca Flour but Anthony&rsquos Tapioca Flour is great too.

Potato Starch &ndash I used potato starch in my white rice flour blend and my gluten free flour blend. Since discovering that having too many potato products makes me feel pretty sick, I&rsquove since stopped using those blends regularly. I now use my nightshade free flour blend unless I use one of the all purpose flours listed above.

Arrowroot Starch/Flour &ndash I have replaced potato starch with Arrowroot in my nightshade free gluten free flour blend, which is my go-to flour blend. I use Bob&rsquos Red Mill mostly but when I can find the Badia brand at Walmart, I stock up on that. I have not noticed a difference in the quality of baked goods

Xanthan Gum &ndash My nightshade free flour blend does not have any xanthan gum in it, unlike Bob&rsquos 1:1 flour. Xanthan gum acts like gluten would in baked goods and is a necessary ingredient in many gluten free baking recipes. If the recipe calls for it, do not omit it unless you&rsquore using a blend that already contains it.

Coconut Flour &ndash I don&rsquot use coconut flour regularly, but I always have some in my cabinet for when I do some grain free baking. I&rsquove used Bob&rsquos Red Mill and Better Body and they were both good.

Almond Flour &ndash I like and use two brands of almond flour. I used Bob&rsquos Red Mill Almond Flour in my Peppermint Macarons with great success and I&rsquove used Anthony&rsquos Culinary Grade Almond Flour in baked goods like my Grain Free Blueberry Muffins and Grain Free Cranberry Orange Muffins. Anthony&rsquos also made a great grain free &ldquobreading&rdquo in my Grain Free Pork Milanese. I think that Bob&rsquos Red Mill Almond Flour is good for baking IF you run it through a food processor to make it a bit finer. I find that I don&rsquot have to do that with Anthony&rsquos unless I&rsquom making macarons.

Raw Nuts

I always have a several kinds of raw, unsalted nuts on hand. I keep them in the freezer for longer keeping. Ones I always have are almonds, Cashews, pecans, and walnuts. Occasionally, I will stock up on raw, unsalted macadamia nuts when I find them for a good price.

I included nuts in my pantry staples because I use them to make my own nut butters and they&rsquore key ingredients in recipes like my no-bake chocolate walnut cookies. You can also use raw nuts to make your own nut flours.

Baking Ingredients

Cocoa Powder &ndash I use 3 kinds of cocoa powder: Hershey&rsquos Cocoa Powder, Hershey&rsquos Special Dark Cocoa Powder, and Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa (Dutch Process). I prefer the taste of Rodelle&rsquos baking cocoa &ndash it gives such a deep, rich chocolatey flavor. It gives such an amazing flavor to my mini chocolate layer cake and my gluten free cookies and cream cake.

Chocolate Chips &ndash I use Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips (mini, regular, and chunks) for most of my recipes since they&rsquore dairy free and paleo friendly. When I don&rsquot need dairy free, I use Guittard, Hershey&rsquos, or Nestle. I also use Baker&rsquos baking chocolate bars and Green & Black&rsquos Organic Chocolate Bars (70% cocao). My top choices would be Enjoy Life Foods and Green & Black&rsquos for their taste, quality, they&rsquore dairy free, and they melt really well.

Baking Powder &ndash I use Rumford Aluminum Free baking powder in all of my recipes that call for baking powder.

Baking Soda &ndash I use Arm & Hammer brand for all my recipes. Be sure to check the dates on your baking soda.

Salt &ndash I use fine sea salt in almost all of my baking and cooking. Occasionally, I will use kosher salt. I usually use Diamond Crystal brand.

Vanilla &ndash I mainly use Rodelle Vanilla Extract but I also make my own. You can see how to make your own vanilla extract here.

Cornstarch &ndash while I don&rsquot use it all the time, I have this on hand for homemade stir fry, homemade Chinese food, and puddings/custards like the custard in my coconut cream pie.

Muffin Mix &ndash I haven&rsquot tried too many muffin mix brands as I prefer to make muffins from scratch. However, I have tried Bob&rsquos Red Mill mix and it was excellent. I&rsquove also tried Enjoy Life Foods muffin mix and used it in my Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. The mixes are very different &ndash Bob&rsquos is very light and similar to my own homemade muffins. Enjoy Life Foods is a bit &ldquodenser&rdquo and has more of a &ldquowhole wheat&rdquo feel to it.

Pancake Mix &ndash the only pancake mix brand that I have tried is Pamela&rsquos Baking and Pancake Mix and Pamela&rsquos Sprouted Buttermilk Pancake Mix and those are honestly the only ones I need to try. The original mix is great and produces super light and fluffy pancakes. I used the buttermilk pancake mix for my almond joy pancakes and it&rsquos definitely a mix I want to have on hand.

These days, I make my own Gluten Free Pancake Mix and store it in a mason jar so it&rsquos always ready to use. It&rsquos basically the dry ingredients for my fluffy gluten free pancakes, which are our absolute favorite pancakes to have. We make them every week!

Sweeteners

Sugar and natural sweeteners are naturally gluten free but I wanted to include them because they play a major role in my gluten free baking. I use regular granulated sugar, light brown sugar, powdered sugar, and organic cane sugar in many of my recipes. I use cheap store brand granulated sugar and brown sugar (including Walmart, Aldi, and Target brands) as well as name brands like Domino. Basically, I get what&rsquos on sale. In addition to &ldquoregular&rdquo sugar, I occasionally call for natural sweeteners. These are a few of my go-to natural sweeteners:

Honey &ndash I prefer filtered raw honey, which I can find at my local grocery stores and even Walmart. I like using honey to sweeten my overnight oats and smoothies. I would recommend getting local honey &ndash if you can get honey close to where you live the better. While it&rsquos not local, Manuka Honey is a trending product these days.

Coconut Palm Sugar &ndash I use coconut palm sugar in a couple of my recipes. It&rsquos a low-glycemic paleo-friendly sweetener. Better Body, Wholesome, Madhava, and Nutiva are good brands but there are more brands available as coconut sugar is becoming more popular. I use coconut palm sugar as the main sweetener in my Paleo Hot Fudge Sauce and even in my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.

Pure Maple Syrup &ndash This is the good stuff, not &ldquopancake syrup&rdquo. I usually find my 32 oz. Organic Pure Maple Syrup for around $15 or less at BJ&rsquos Wholesale.

Maple Sugar &ndash made from pure maple syrup, this is a great granulated natural sweetener. I haven&rsquot used this in any of my posted recipes but I have been using it to experiment with some paleo caramel sauce. Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, one of my favorite cookbooks, also calls for it in several recipes which is why I always have it on hand.

Dairy Free Products

Some of my recipes call for regular dairy products but many of my recipes call for dairy-free alternatives. I use dairy free alternatives for my lactose intolerant daughter most of the time but I will use regular dairy when it really is the best option for the recipe.

Coconut Milk, canned &ndash I usually use canned coconut milk that contains guar gum. I don&rsquot have an issue with it so I don&rsquot purposely avoid it. Based on taste and texture, I prefer the canned coconut milk that contains gums which is purely my opinion and you may disagree. Brands I use most often are Native Forest and Field Day. However, I am not above using Goya, A Taste of Thai, or Thai Kitchen. Sometimes those are the only brands I can get at my local stores if I run out and need it in a pinch.

For coconut milk that doesn&rsquot contain gums, I have used Native Forest Organic Simple Coconut Milk. The only downside is that the milk is a bit &ldquogrittier&rdquo and isn&rsquot as smooth. There are other brands available that don&rsquot contain guar gum (like Trader Joe&rsquos and Aroy-D Coconut Milk) but I haven&rsquot tried them.

Coconut Cream, canned &ndash I call for an entire can of coconut cream in my vegan avocado ice cream. Trader Joe&rsquos sells their own large can of coconut cream (14 oz) but since I don&rsquot have a Trader Joe&rsquos near me, I buy mine from Amazon. For 13.5 oz. cans, I buy Natural Value Coconut Cream. Native Forest makes 5.4 oz. cans which I use when I don&rsquot need a whole can. I often use coconut cream in place of heavy cream in place of heavy cream in savory recipes (think cream sauces). I also always keep a large can of coconut cream in the back of my fridge so I can make coconut whipped cream any time I need it. I replace it as I use it so I always have a chilled can.

** Coconut Cream is not the same as Cream of Coconut. Cream of coconut is sweetened and used for cocktails like pina coladas. I also use cream of coconut in my coconut cheesecake as a sweetener.

Culinary Coconut Milk &ndash I always have this on hand for recipes that call for full-fat canned coconut milk but I don&rsquot want to open a can. I often use culinary coconut milk when making chocolate ganache (in place of heavy cream) like in the frozen mint chip pie, pictured above.

Coconut Milk Beverage &ndash I use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage for all of my recipes that call for unsweetened coconut milk as an ingredient. You can find it shelf stable (but needs to be refrigerated after opening) or you can find it in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. It works in place of regular milk in recipes and only has a very slight coconut taste when drinking. When baked, it does not give a coconut flavor to your baked goods which is why I prefer it over nut milks. If you need to replace buttermilk, I use the coconut milk PLUS 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for every cup of buttermilk the recipe calls for.

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk &ndash I was so happy to find this product. I use it in my dairy free coffee creamer and my vegan avocado ice cream. I plan on making some dairy free fudge recipes with it soon!

Coconut Milk Powder &ndash I keep this on hand to make dairy free cocoa mix for my daughter.

Fats + Oils

While I don&rsquot use real butter all the time, it&rsquos obviously still a staple for those recipes that just really need real butter. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also another staple that I use in my marinades, for roasting veggies, and for sautéing.

Nutiva Shortening &ndash I use Nutiva as a butter replacement in many of my baked goods. I like the taste and texture better than Crisco. It&rsquos also good in frosting but I only use it in chocolate frosting (and sometimes cream cheese frosting) as it is darker in color from the red palm oil.

Spectrum Shortening &ndash I mostly use Spectrum in my vanilla based frostings since it&rsquos white like Crisco.

Ghee &ndash Ghee is technically not dairy free since it&rsquos made from butter. However, it is lactose free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant. I use it in my Paleo Hot Fudge and I cook with it often. I usually use Organic Valley brand because I can get it at my grocery store. You can also easily make your own.

Avocado Oil &ndash I&rsquove switched to using Avocado Oil in my baked goods. It doesn&rsquot affect the taste at all. I buy mine at BJ&rsquos Wholesale. Walmart also carries it at a &ldquodecent&rdquo price. I use Chosen Foods brand. If you don&rsquot want to use avocado oil, you can replace it with canola or vegetable oil in my recipes for quick breads, muffins, and cakes.

Coconut Oil &ndash I don&rsquot use coconut oil all the time, but I do use it occasionally. It&rsquos great for making paleo chocolates, paleo Lemon Curd, and my Coconut Cake. I&rsquove used several brands &ndash Nutiva, Thrive Market Coconut Oil, and Tropical Traditions are my preferred coconut oil. Typically, I buy whatever I can get at the best price depending on sales which is usually from Thrive Market. PS &ndash The only coconut oil I use is Virgin Coconut Oil.

Coconut Oil Spray &ndash I&rsquove recently replaced regular non-stick spray with Coconut Oil Spray. I don&rsquot think I&rsquoll ever switch back.

Pasta + Rice

Rice and beans are naturally gluten free and they&rsquore definitely a pantry staple in almost any household. As far as rice goes, we usually buy Basmati or Jasmine.

Barilla Gluten Free Pasta &ndash Barilla is our favorite gluten free pasta that&rsquos available in all my local grocery stores. Their elbows, spaghetti, and penne are regulars on our dinner table. I use the elbows and penne in one skillet dishes all the time where you cook the pasta in the pan with everything else.
They also have fettucini, which is relatively new to their line. I received a box of it in my Love With Food Gluten-Free Box and I can&rsquot wait for my store to start stocking it.

Jovial Foods &ndash Jovial makes some really great pasta &ndash it would be my first choice if I were able to purchase it locally. Just be sure to get their gluten free pasta and not their pasta made with Einkorn, which is an ancient wheat and not gluten free.

Rice Noodles &ndash Rice noodles are great for stir fry. I always have one or two boxes of these in my pantry. They cook incredibly fast!

Snacks / Packaged Foods + Breads

General: We buy packaged gluten free snacks (think snack packs) at our local grocery store. Some of our favorites are Enjoy Life Foods bars, Enjoy Life Foods mini cookies, Kind bars, Bixby Co. bars + bites, and Larabars for quick snacks and bars. Glutino and Sharr are also great brands for snacks and we can find them at Walmart and our local grocery stores. Walmart (Great Value brand), Aldi (liveGfree), and grocery stores also carry packaged gluten free snacks like cookies, graham crackers, pretzels, and crackers. In addition to the brands already mentioned, look for Sharr, Lucy&rsquos, Enjoy Life Foods, Pamela&rsquos, Goodbites, Kinnikinnick, Mary&rsquos Gone Crackers, Udi&rsquos, Milton&rsquos, Crunchmaster, and Breton gluten free.

Some of our favorite crackers are Glutino Original Crackers, Glutino Bagel Chips, Milton&rsquos Crackers (sea salt, everything, cheddar cheese, and multi-grain are all good), and Lance Gluten Free Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers.

Cereal: we prefer Chex, Puffins (Barbara&rsquos brand), and Envirokidz. Envirokidz also has good snack bars. One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Cereal is also good for gluten free rice crispies.

Cookies &ndash I frequently use gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (aka Oreos) in my recipes and I use and recommend the Great Value brand (Walmart), Nature&rsquos Promise (Stop & Shop), Kinnikinnick, and Glutino. Other gluten free cookie brands we really like are Tate&rsquos Bakeshop Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free line), Sharr shortbread cookies, Enjoy Life Foods Soft Baked Cookies (chocolate chip and double chocolate brownie), Lucy&rsquos brownie crisps, liveGfree (Aldi) cookies, and Pamela&rsquos Chunky Chocolate Chip cookies. Our absolute favorite packaged cookie is probably Tate&rsquos Bake Shop Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies &ndash they&rsquore thin, crispy and insanely delicious.

Oatmeal &ndash Be sure to buy gluten free oatmeal. You can also use your food processor to grind it into flour. Certified and purity protocol are best if you have celiac disease. My non-celiac gluten sensitive husband does fine with gluten free Bob&rsquos Red Mill oats and gluten free Quaker Oats. When purchasing gluten free oatmeal, please read labels and make decisions that work for you and your family. Jules from gfJules has a great post about gluten free oats if you have questions about it.

Bread: we buy a variety of brands. Aldi makes a great sandwich bread (LiveGfree) that doesn&rsquot have to be kept frozen &ndash this is our favorite for BLT&rsquos and tuna/chicken salad sandwiches. Sharr makes great ciabatta rolls that I often use to make gluten free garlic bread. Canyon Bake House has really great bread, hamburger rolls, hot dog rolls, and bagels. Their Mountain White bread is great for sandwiches, gluten free stuffing, and making homemade breadcrumbs and croutons. Their cinnamon raisin is great for French Toast and French Toast Casseroles. Canyon Bake House is definitely our go-to brand from gluten free bread. If you like sourdough, Bread Srsly makes some great sourdough loaves and rolls.

Other Ingredients:

Since I cover mostly baking recipes on my blog, I&rsquom only going to briefly mention some gluten free staples for cooking. Many of the things I&rsquove already listed will carry over to cooking but there are a few more you should be aware of. Check your labels on foods like Soy Sauce (I use San-J), Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lea & Perrins), Steak Sauce, and Salad Dressings. Glutino and Ian&rsquos make good bread crumbs but I usually use 4C brand (for chicken cutlets, my gluten free fried ravioli, gluten free spinach and artichoke risotto balls, homemade tater tots, and sausage stuffed fried olives). The 4C brand gives fried foods a really crispy exterior. I like to double-bread too for that extra crispy yum factor.

Where I Buy My Ingredients

Thrive Market &ndash I am a paying member of Thrive Market and to me, it&rsquos worth it. They have SO many ingredients that I need for all of my gluten free baking, cooking, and recipe development PLUS their prices are usually much better than what I&rsquod pay at the grocery store. I like to cross-check their prices with Amazon before making an order just to be sure I&rsquom getting the best price I can. I usually order in bulk so I always meet the minimum for free shipping. PRO TIP: Thrive Market usually offers a free gift about once a week in their emails so I like to wait for something good like coconut oil, almond butter, nuts, or Primal Kitchen products (like mayo or snack bars) before placing my order.

Amazon &ndash Amazon has pretty much everything I need and their prices are often very good. If I can&rsquot find an ingredient in store, I know I can usually find it here.

Local Co-Op &ndash I can find many ingredients I use at my local co-op, though I still have to drive a half an hour to get there which isn&rsquot something I always like to do. If you have a co-op near you, I suggest checking it out and seeing if their prices and membership are worth it to you.

Local Stores &ndash Many grocery stores in my area are increasing their gluten free products. Stop and Shop is in the northeast and is one of my local stores that carries SO many great gluten free products. I have found that they have become my go-go store because they have almost everything I need. If they started carrying Arrowroot, I&rsquod be set . Whole Foods and Trader Joe&rsquos are also great stores for gluten free products. Since they are both 45 min to an hour away, I do not shop at either of them.

Walmart &ndash Walmart has a decent line of their own gluten free products. The Walmart closest to me has a small gluten free section but there are also gluten free items and products integrated into the rest of the grocery aisles. For example, there are several kinds of gluten free flours and cake mixes in the baking aisle in addition to the ones in the gluten free section. The same goes for bread crumbs, pretzels, and even pasta.

Aldi &ndash Aldi has their own line of ready-made gluten free products and baking mixes, liveGfree. We really like their sandwich bread, pizza crust mix, pre-made pizza crust, wraps, and the cookies and snacks that we&rsquove tried.

Target &ndash Target has a number of gluten free products that my family enjoys. They&rsquove got a great selection of Larabars, which we always have on hand. They also have some gluten free Annie&rsquos products and gluten free baking mixes.

DISCLAIMER &ndash Always be sure to read your labels before purchasing or consuming as ingredients are subject to change at any time.

This is not a sponsored post. All brands listed are ones that we truly love and recommend. This post contains affiliate links for some of the products mentioned. That means, I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for helping to support What The Fork Food Blog &hearts


Your Favorite Nut Butter:

Nut butters are amazing at creating rich and creamy textures in pies, plus they are my #1 ingredient in fat bombs, bark and healthy bites! Keep a jar or two of whatever you like on hand.

  • Almond Butter
  • Peanut Butter – I buy Aldi’s Simply Nature Organic PB which is super affordable and tastes GREAT. Just peanuts & salt!
  • Cashew Butter

Tip: Always check the labels. Read the ingredients! It seems like so many companies are sneaking in sugar these days. Try to find ones with just ONE or two ingredients (nuts and salt).

If you have a food processor, it’s easy to make your own! See how to make almond butter here.


Allergy Free Wednesday #143

Hello and welcome to Allergy-Free Wednesdays (AFW)!

AFW is a weekly blog hop where folks can share their allergy-free cuisine, gain knowledge about allergy related topics/issues and connect with others living or caring for someone with food allergies. This is a weekly blog hop hosted by myself and 5 other fabulous allergy-free bloggers. Your weekly submissions are shared on all 6 blogs! Each week, we feature our 3 favorite recipes from the week before as well as the most popular recipe clicked on by our readers. We also pin all of the favorites on Pinterest to bring more love to your sites.

Your AFW hostesses are:

Amber @ The Tasty Alternative

Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry

Nancy @ Real Food Allergy Free

What can I link-up on AFW? ◾We welcome allergy-free cuisine in any shape or form ◾Tips & allergy related articles/information are welcome ◾Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities all welcome ◾Rules & Guidelines

*Please provide a link directly to your post (not your homepage). ◾Please provide a link back to our weekly blog hop somewhere in your post. ◾Past and current recipes welcome. ◾Please provide a description of your recipe, such as DF (dairy free), GF (gluten free), SF (sugar free), V (vegan), etc. ◾Recipes do not have to be free of all common allergens, just allergy-free in some way. ◾Two weekly submissions max please. ◾Grab yourself a badge and help support Allergy-Free Wednesdays and the allergy-free community. ◾Entries that don’t comply with stated rules and guidelines will be respectfully removed. Please leave a comment after you link-up and tell us about your weekly submission(s). We love to hear from you!

By linking up, you agree that I may make use of any applicable pictures in my Allergy-Free Wednesday posts, and that, by your entering, you are giving permission to use them and/or re-pin them via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter & Google +. You also, by entering, guarantee that the picture is not someone else’s work , or else has a broad usage license (for example with stock photography put in public domain).

Here is a key for labeling your recipes: ◾GF= Gluten Free ◾DF= Dairy Free ◾SF= Refined Sugar Free ◾V= Vegan

Reader Favorite: Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Muffins @ What The Fork Food Blog

My TopPicks This Week:

Thank you for visiting Allergy-Free Wednesdays. We are so glad to have you here!


Simplify Your Gluten-Free Pantry! The Ingredients to Better Baking

ONCE upon a time, gluten-free baking meant rice flour everything. While that didn’t remedy the dry, crumbly consequences, it certainly was simple: just substitute rice flour for wheat flour 1-to-1 – and hope for the best.

But as the demand for better gluten-free goods grew, new flours were milled, mixes and powdered replacers flaunted solutions, and grocers created aisles devoted to the cause. Things have become complicated – when all we really want are tasty baked goods – without complication.

I know some people with 20-plus flours and extras in their pantry, but the truth is, this isn’t required. A few new ingredients along with traditional staples can get you far with the right ratios. Here’s what you need for great gluten-free baking without searching for an elusive ancient grain or specialized, internet-only ingredient.

The Essentials

Flour combinations are the pantry backbone to avoid dense cakes and dry cookies. Successful gluten-free baking – especially if allergens like eggs are omitted – requires a balance of flours. These flours vary in taste and texture, and their differing proteins, fiber, fat, and starchiness congregate to make up for missing gluten. For best results, your pantry needs a trio. Flours used solo may lack structure, produce undesirable textures, have a decreased shelf-life or leave an aftertaste.

Foundation flour: This key ingredient needs neutrality in both taste and composition. It’s this framework that offers structure and smooth texture. I recommend sorghum flour. It has a similar macronutrient composition to wheat, plus it’s versatile, consistent and inexpensive.

Second flour: Adding a second flour with a moderate/high protein content adds further structure and balances flavor. Teff flour or millet flour are my top picks. They differ in taste, and work well in nearly all applications. For each 1/4 cup of millet flour, use 3 tablespoons of teff flour.

Last addition: A starchy flour rounds out the threesome. Starches assist in binding, provide lightness in cakes and a desirable “chew” in breads and pizza dough. Tapioca flour, also called tapioca starch, is my go-to, complementing nutrient-rich sorghum, and millet or teff.

Xanthan gum bonds baked goods, doing the job of the gluten protein, but without the gluten. It’s readily available, and consistent in its results, making it a top pantry pick. While pricey, only a little added to the flour mixture produces big results.

The Standbys

Special sugars aren’t needed for the everyday pantry. Different sugars can enhance flavor or texture, but granulated white sugar, dark brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar can tackle everything.

Good taste, texture and shelf-life of baked goods depend on fat. A mild olive oil works with any baked good and, when a butter replacement is needed – e.g. for pastries, shortbread, buttercream – use dairy-free “buttery” margarine, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread, which has a water percentage similar to butter.

Vinegar is an essential liquid for gluten-free baking – especially when other allergens are omitted. It’s like taking gluten (for structure), egg (for lift) and buttermilk (for tenderness), in a spoonful of magic.

If you need a swap for milk, water can do, but a dairy-free “milk” with fat (such as coconut beverage) provides tenderness and adds shelf life.

Baking powder and baking soda produce lift and volume, working solo or alongside each other for nearly all baked goods.

From spices to extracts to syrups, flavor options are limitless. Unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and a few mix-ins (dried fruit, chocolate and seeds) add an appealing variety to any pantry.

The Extras

For additional options without straying too far from the staples, I keep these in my pantry.

Ground flaxseed adds moisture, shelf life and structure. For some recipes, it can be used for eggs (3 tablespoons liquid plus 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds equals 1 egg), and add fiber and healthy fats.

Psyllium powder also brings those benefits, along with soluble fiber. For some recipes, it can be used instead of xanthan gum (1 teaspoon psyllium powder equals 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum).

Coconut oil can be substituted for butter or oil, and the virgin variety adds a hint of sweetness. 1 cup butter = 3/4 cup coconut oil (solid or liquid) for best success.

Club Soda (or sparkling water) gives additional lift, and works well for breads, muffins, and cakes. Use it in place of water or other liquids.

Putting It Into Practice

These recipes follow a basic protocol: 1. Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. 2. Mix them together. 3. Pour the combination into the pan … just as your oven is preheated.

Flour measuring: Since measuring flours requires accuracy, the recipes linked below include the weights of the flours, and using a scale is recommended. If you don’t have a scale, measure by volume using the spoon-and-level method.

The mix-mix-pour recipes below get you started with some must-have basics: a chewy-on-the-edges and soft-in-the-middle cookie, a chocolate cake frosted with ganache, and a moist, tender muffin. With these, you’ll master a trio of foolproof recipes that require little technique and time, and soon be able to venture into your own variations.


Keto Baking INGREDIENTS List: Is Baking Powder Keto?

If you thought going keto meant you’d completely have to give up baked goods or desserts, then think again! There are plenty of ways to make your favorite baked goods keto-friendly with a few simple ingredient swaps. You may have to restock your pantry, but you can still enjoy whipping up low-carb desserts even when following the keto diet.

There are different options for flour substitutes, sugar substitutes, and baking oils when following keto, and some work better in certain recipes than others. Which option you choose may also just depend on personal preference. Either way, you’ll want to keep some staples on hand to keep your kitchen equipped for keto-friendly baking. Keep reading for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about keto baking, from the types of flour and sugar substitutes to use, to alternatives for other baking ingredients, and for low-carb dessert and keto baking recipes!


Gluten-Free Times Three Shopping List

Shopping List:
2 pounds large shrimp, deveined and tails removed
2 avocados
3 ears corn on the cob or 1 1/2 cups frozen organic corn kernels
1 firm eggplant
2 heads Bibb lettuce or 1 iceberg lettuce
3 poblano peppers
1 bunch radishes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 small to medium firm zucchini
1 lemon
3 limes
1 bunch basil
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch mint
2 bunches scallions
1 finger fresh ginger
1 red onion
2 heads garlic
1 hunk Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 hunk ricotta salata cheese
3 to 4 ounces pine nuts or shelled pistachio nuts
One 28- to 31- ounce can hominy
2 quarts vegetable stock in a box
1 bottle light agave
1 bottle Sriracha

Pantry List:
Canola or vegetable oil
Olive oil
Rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar
Natural cooking spray
Chile flakes/crushed red pepper
Ground coriander
Ground cumin
Seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
Salt and Pepper


Gluten-Free Pantry Essentials

There has been a burst of gluten-free products appearing on grocery store shelves over recent years, but it can still be difficult to know where to start in building up your first gluten-free pantry. Having a good selection of gluten-free items on hand will help make meal preparation easier, and remove some of the uncertainty in making food choices. Here are some suggestions to get you started. There is plenty of room to grow and vary your pantry as you become more comfortable with your gluten-free diet.

Preparing the pantry and preventing cross-contact
Take some time to consider your kitchen and pantry layout. Will the entire kitchen be gluten-free, or will it be a shared space? If it is a shared kitchen, purchasing sealed containers and storing gluten-free foods above those which contain gluten can help prevent cross-contact. Whether or not it will be an entirely gluten-free kitchen, it is important to give your pantry a thorough cleaning to remove crumbs or traces of any gluten containing items.

Take stock of your unique approach to cooking and eating
What sorts of things do you regularly like to eat? Of those foods that contained gluten, which do you want to find gluten-free alternatives for? Are you willing to try new foods or products? What is your budget and how much time do you have to prepare meals? Do you want to cook from scratch or would you prefer more convenience foods? Giving some thought to these things in advance will help guide your gluten-free shopping so that your pantry and kitchen are truly suited to you.


Hatch Chili

Oddly enough, not all foods that are naturally gluten-free are still gluten-free by the time they get packaged and put on the shelf. Things like canned goods, broth, and even meat might have gluten ingredients added to them during processing. This is why it’s important to always read labels and opt for brands that you trust. Hatch Chile Company is a brand we trust. They make canned chilies, enchilada sauce, salsa, and more – all of which are gluten-free. Get a meal on the table quickly and deliciously with Hatch products!