I was diagnosed with a boat load of food allergies about ten years ago. I mean a whole slew of them….wheat, oats, nuts, soy, barely, malt just to name a few. The one that changed my life the most, however, was probably my allergy to wheat. Being allergic to something like wheat wipes out a whole heck of a lot of food options that I had previously survived on. Now ten years ago the notion of a gluten-free diet wasn’t all that common and the product options out there for people who suffered from this food allergy were pretty slim. Fast forward a decade and with more people being diagnosed with allergies and some who just want to live a gluten-free lifestyle for the perceived health benefits the options have happily grown exponentially. Having been on the hunt for tasty gluten-free products for a while now, I wanted to share today some of favorites in case anyone out there has been newly diagnosed with the same limitations I have or may just be in need of some good go-to products. Let’s start with…
King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
My mom, who is the most amazing woman on the face of the earth and is constantly on the hunt for new products I can eat and cook with, found this flour just a few months ago at Wegmans (I have also since found it at Safeway). GAME CHANGER! For a long time I was using alternative flours like coconut, chickpea and cassava and while they are okay substitutes they are a tad bit hard to cook with because of consistency and aftertaste issues. This King Arthur flour, which is made primarily from rice, is fantastic. It behaves just like actual wheat flour so I am back to baking all my favorite recipes. Most recently I used it to make my mom’s Pumpkin bread recipe…so yummy and a great treat for this Fall season.
Modern Table Complete Protein Pasta
With 20 grams of protein per serving and great taste this pasta can’t be beat! With only three ingredients, lentil flour, rice flour and pea protein, this pasta is healthier than the traditional alternative without tasting it. As a complete protein source, this pasta not only tastes great but helps you body repair and rebuild muscle which is super helpful for me after I get done lifting those weights. I always have a couple boxes in my pantry to throw on the stove when I need a quick but healthy meal. I really like cooking it up and mixing it with veggies like broccoli or peas. A little bit of olive oil, garlic and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese makes a delicious and healthy dinner.
Udi’s makes a lot of great gluten-free products from sandwich bread, to dinner rolls to pizza crust and while they are all good, the bagels are by far my favorite! I was a HUGE bagel lover in my pre-food allergy life so when I learned bread was off the table for me bagels were a big loss. A few years ago I found these bagels in Safeway (I have also found them at Wegmans) and I almost wept tears of joy after buying a package, running home and immediately toasting one up. Now it has been a decade since I have tasted a real bagel but if memory serves these Udi’s bagels are pretty damn close! My favorite variety is the everything bagel and with a little bit of butter on them, oh man I am one happy girl in the morning!
Beyond Meat Sausages
So just like the Udi’s brand, the Beyond Meat brand is another favorite of mine. I stopped eating red meat over a year ago in an attempt to lower my borderline high-cholesterol without having to use medication so I turned to plant-based meats as a substitute. When I am craving a meat fix these sausages do the trick! They taste surprisingly similar to actual meat and of course they are also gluten-free, soy free and contain no GMO ingredients. I usually throw them in my air fryer (which I love btw) and prepare them in a variety of ways. Sometimes I serve them with homemade sauce over spaghetti squash, or cut up and mixed with rice and veggies or sauteed with some onions and a nice salad on the side.
RW Garcia Organic Lentil Turmeric Crackers
I am a self-professed snacker by nature, meaning I really like to graze on food throughout the day as opposed to eating a couple large meals. These crackers, which I have only been able to find either at Costco or on-line at Amazon are delicious and a regular go-to snack of mine. I eat them plain all the time but also really like dipping them in hummus or topping them with a little bit of cottage cheese for some extra protein. Made primarily out of lentils and corn, they are not only gluten-free but are also cholesterol-free which is super important to me as well as I mentioned earlier.
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust
There are a lot of options out there now for alternative pizza crusts but this one from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorites. I really like buying the plain pizza crust (which you can find in the refrigerated section) and then throwing on all my favorite toppings. I usually make it with some homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and a variety of veggies like peppers, broccoli and/or spinach. With only 80 calories per serving and made primarily of cauliflower and corn, it is a quick and relatively guilt and gluten-free way to enjoy pizza when the craving hits!
Living with food allergies requires a little extra diligence and sometimes some creativity but it doesn’t have to mean missing out on taste or our favorite foods. With the increased awareness of food allergies these days there are a lot of great products out there that can helps us sufferers lessen the impact of an allergy diagnosis. As opposed to ten years ago when I was first diagnosed, I hardly feel the impact of not being able to eat “normal” foods anymore as there are so many great gluten-free substitutes. Anyone out there who would like even more suggestions on good gluten-free products or would just like more info on how I navigate my own food limitations please feel free to reach out at any time!
P.S. I would super appreciate you taking a few seconds and clicking below on what you would most like to see on this blog…your opinion means everything to me! Any other suggestions welcome as well! THANK YOU!