March 1, 2010

My Favorite GF/WF Things

Some of you have decided to make the switch to eat gluten-free (GF) and wheat-free (WF) and perhaps you are feeling a wee bit overhwhelmed with the choices you have and wonder which are the best-tasting ones. Well let those who have gone before you be your guinea pigs!

I am by no means an expert of all things GF/WF (I've only been eating this way for 10 months), but here are a few of my favorite things:

For Breakfast
Here are some old favorites done up in a new GF/WF way!: Bob's Red Mill GF/WF oats make great oatmeal and homemade granola (and oatmeal cookies!).
While I am not a big fan of frozen waffles, I would recommend Nature's Path brand. I disliked Trader Joe's frozen waffles- they had an awful after taste.

I also recommend Nature's Path fruit juice sweetened corn flakes and Trader Joe's brand of corn flakes are very economical.

Trader Joe's sells a GF pancake mix but I can't remember if it is WF, too.

I still haven't found a GF/WF english muffin, so if you find one please let me know!

For Cooking
There are so many great GF/WF products out there to use for cooking and to be honest, I have not even scratched the surface of what is avaialble, but here are a few basic things I have found to be GF/WF friendly:
  • Trader Joe's brown rice pasta is not only good, but affordable ($1.99 for one pound)

  • Quinoa is your GF/WF answer to cous-cous and you can buy it almost anywhere. I highly recommend using chicken broth when cooking it- using water gives it a rather bland taste.

  • Brown rice is great as a side or in soups
For Snacking
When you can't eat wheat or gluten, it's important to be prepared when hunger comes before meal time. I typically defer to eating things like veggie and hummus; raw nuts; fruit; and rice cakes with almond butter, but sometimes these are not convenient to take on the road or carry in your purse, so here is what I like to have on hand:

Blue Diamond's Nut Thin crackers are equally good and I highly recommend the Hint of Sea Salt and the Pecan varieties.

Mary's Gone Crackers crackers are tasty and sophisticated enough to serve at a party. I love to eat them plain, but they are good with hummus and almond butter, too.

Carman's Muesli Bar are your answer to granola bar prayers! They are better than those candy bars, uhm, I mean Nature Valley granola bars and Kashi's awful attempt to make a good granola bar. My favorite is the apricot and almond bars. I have only found these at Whole Foods and since they are pricey ($5 for a box of 6), I wait until they are on sale and load up!

For Baking and Ready-to-Eat Sweets
In my opinion, Pamela's Products can do no wrong. Everything they make is amazing and oh so yummy. Here are a few things that I promise you will love, Love, LOVE!

You can use this mix to make cookies, breads, muffins, and more! The flavor is nutty and satisfying and the texture is quite similar to what you would get if you used flour. I especially like to use this mix to make pancakes on the weekend. At our home, we are big fans of blueberry and walnut pancakes- super yummy!

Technically, I am not supposed to eat these cookies because they have peanut butter and processed sugar in them, but when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate, I do cheat!

Oh good golly, these are pure bliss. I love to have one of these with hot tea or a rice milk latte. I mean seriously, these shortbread cookies are better than what my grandma ever made!

Want to trick people into eating GF/WF and show them how good it can be? Bake a cake using this mix and you will succeed! This mix is better than my best homemade chocolate cake recipe and I am extremely fussy and critical of baking mixes, especially cake mixes. I added a cup of chocolate chips (Trader Joe's sells GF chocolate chips for $1..99) to the batter and it makes what is already a perfect cake even more perfect....if that's possible!

Trader Joe's sells a GF brownie mix (I use applesauce instead of oil) and it is pretty good if you are looking for a chocolate fix. Again, I can't recall if it is WF, too.

I also have found Whole Foods GF pie crust to be very good ansd while I have not used them for baking a pie, I do use them for making quiche.

I have primarily only seen Pamela's Prodcuts at Whole Foods, but I know that other grocer's carry their products. You can purchase most of their products from but the cost savings is only pennies and you run the risk of getting expired or nearly expired products (I have heard this can be an issue when ordering food from Amazon).