I have been gluten free for the past 5 years and in the last year, my children and fiance have joined me. So now, our entire household is gluten free and it’s wonderful and so much easier to prepare foods and grocery shop. This is a collection of gluten free pantry staples that we use on a regular basis. This list is great for people who are interested in going gluten free, or who need to watch their gluten intake, but may be overwhelmed with where to start.
First, I must say that the readily available gluten-free foods in stores has grown to easily accommodate a gluten free (or GF) diets. In the past 5 years of eating GF, I have seen the market swell with an abundance of GF products. Thankfully, I am not forced to make as many baked goods and pasta from scratch. The key is knowing where to look, and then simply replacing what you usually buy with GF versions.
Where to buy:
Even low-priced supermarkets, such as Aldi’s, carry many GF foods. Thanks to new laws recently passed, manufacturers have new gluten-free labeling guidelines that will help. Another tip is that you don’t need to be confined to shopping in the specialty foods aisle. For example, rice pasta and rice crackers can be found in the Asian foods section of the store. Likewise, corn tortillas and taco shells from the Mexican section can be used.
My list mainly focuses on switching over the obvious places to find gluten. Switching out these items that are commonly made with wheat will go a long way to get you started. However, there are many “hidden” sources of gluten in things like pre-spiced foods, or sauces, gravies, soups, soy sauce, etc. Depending on your level of wanting or needing to steer clear of gluten, you will need to read labels carefully and learn where gluten is hiding.
MY TOP 10 GLUTEN FREE PANTRY STAPLES
#1 | BREAKFAST
Breakfast is our favorite meal to make on the weekends. We always keep it well-rounded by making a great breakfast with bacon or sausage, fresh fruit, almond milk and our favorite pancakes or breads. It’s not something we indulge in daily, but when we do, these are our top choices.
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#2 | LUNCH
We LOVE lunch – and between the available Gluten Free progresso soups and homemade grilled cheese, to chicken nuggets and tater tots, to almond butter and jelly sandwiches, the kids never run out of ideas. We have learned to modify everything so the kids can still enjoy some of their favorites but gluten free.
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#3 | DINNER
I LOVE to cook and spend several hours a week prepping meals, cooking, baking and enjoying delicious foods. These are some staples I keep on hand at all times to ensure I can throw dinner together without much thought.
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#4 | SIDE DISHES
We mostly stick to clean and organic vegetables for our side dishes. Steaming or sauteeing is really the best way to enjoy them with a little fresh sea salt or ground pepper.
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#5 | SALAD TOPPINGS
We definitely get creative with our gluten free salad toppings. You’ll see our salads topped with fresh corn, black beans rinsed & drained, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, all sorts of olives, freshly cooked bacon pieces and plenty of vegetables. Have fun with it.
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# 6 | SNACKS
These are the four biggest grains used in replacing wheat. Potatoes: bagged, canned, instant flakes, french fries, hash browns, chips, etc. Just not the boxed seasoned potatoes. Rice: white, brown, black, jasmine, abarrio, or any kind except boxed seasoned rice. Also, rice cakes. Corn: chips, tortillas, taco shells, grits, polenta, and corn meal. These are great snacks, or to grind up to use as flours in recipes, or in homemade trail mix and granola bars.
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#7 | OILS
These are places hidden gluten can exist. Therefore, a good start is to check labels to see if the allergy warning at the bottom of the ingredient list says: Contains Wheat. If so, don’t use it. But because gluten is also found in barley and rye, and things that are derived from those grains (like sometimes caramel color or malt is), you will need to read the ingredients carefully. Some manufacturers have it clearly labeled gluten-free. Another tip here is to avoid these items that have MSG.
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#8 | FOR BAKING
If you don’t do much GF baking, then you can grab a box or bag of all-purpose GF flour off the shelf. They usually even have some in the regular baking aisle. But if you want to get more involved and make great breads, cookies, and treats, you will need to invest in different varieties of flours and using a mix of these. Also, you may want a box of GF Bisquick on hand to whip up quick pancakes or biscuits. This is in the regular baking aisle.
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#9 | SUPPLEMENTS
Everyday I drink a smoothie to ensure I am getting all of my vital nutrients – the kids enjoy a good smoothie a few times a week too. These are some of my favorite organic supplements to add to the mix.
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#10 | KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
With all of the cooking and baking I do, this is my top list of favorites to have on hand in the kitchen. Enjoy!
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