Howdy everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Today I’m excited to share with you my favorite gluten-free products! Of all the emails I receive about Celiac Disease and gluten-free living, the most popular question is – WHAT DO YOU EAT?
Honestly, I’m just going to come out and say a lot of packaged gluten-free products are crap. Just like low-fat and sugar-free products are “low” and “free” of fat and sugar, they’re also usually “high” and “laden” with yuck ingredients. Same goes with gluten-free products. Just because they’re gluten-free doesn’t mean they’re healthy. If there’s any silver lining to getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease it’s that I’ve been forced to eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and fish than I ever have in my life.
That said, I’m not cooking 100% from scratch meals for myself every single day, so there are packaged gluten-free products I rely on for snacking and convenient eating. These aren’t the only foods I eat, of course, but they’re great to have on hand. I’m breaking them down into my favorite gluten-free snacks, pantry staples, and meat. That’s right, a whole category just for meat – whee!
At the time of this posting all these products are gluten-free. That said, always be sure to double check labels on the products you pick up. Manufacturers and ingredients change all the time, so be sure to do your due diligence before tearing open any package!
- Health-Ade: I tried kombucha for the first time in California for Eat, Sea, Retreat and let me tell you I am HOOKED. Slightly fizzy and filled with probiotics that help with digestion and mental clarity, it is a Celiac Disease sufferer’s dream come true. The brand I tried while in Cali was Health-Ade, which comes in all kinds of delicious flavors like Carrot, Pomegranate, and Beet. I’ve been loving kombucha for an afternoon pick me up instead of something with caffeine.
- Skinny Pop: I started picking up the individual-sized bags of Skinny Pop at Costco a couple months ago and can barely keep them stocked at home. Ben, Lincoln, and I all adore this popcorn which is gluten and preservative free.
- Boom Chicka Pop: BCP is another GF popcorn we love that comes in really delicious flavors like Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn and Sweet & Spicy. It’s a fun treat!
- Trader Joe’s Apple + Fruit Bars: Oh Apple + Fruit Bars, how do I love thee, let me count the ways?! Well first of all, and most importantly, they taste like fruit rollups. I’d say ‘nuf said, but they also get you a couple servings of fruit, plus Lincoln loves them too. They’ve bought me more than a few minutes while out running errands, that’s for sure!
- Justin’s Almond Butter Packs: For when you need a snack with staying power! Justin’s nut butters come in several yummy flavors and are really great for traveling. Just tear off a corner and squeeze right into your pie hole. That’s what I do anyway.
- Jilz Crackerz: Another Eat, Sea, Retreat find! I loved these grain-free crackers so much that I ordered 4 boxes when I got home then went to my local Whole Foods and begged them to start stocking them. These are the best grain-free crackers I’ve ever had.
- The Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges: These cheese wedges are perfect for when you want an indulgent-tasting snack that’s actually really light. I love pairing the creamy wedges with carrot sticks and apple slices best.
- Nick’s Sticks: Beef jerky, baby! Nick is an Iowa farmer who produces some of the best meat around, including these beef jerky sticks which are certified gluten-free. I love them not only because they’re delicious and satisfying, but because I’m supporting a local farmer when I eat them.
- Q’ia Bars: Say it with me – another Eat, Sea Retreat treat! Nature’s Path Organic gave us a whole bunch of these bars to try out and I really loved them. Sometimes large nuts in bars upset my stomach but these seed-based bars work perfect for me.
GLUTEN-FREE PANTRY STAPLES
- Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta: Barilla GF pasta is one of the first I tried after getting my Celiac Disease diagnosis and I almost wept with relief because it has the exact taste and texture as regular pasta.
- DeLallo Gluten-Free Pasta: DeLallo sent me some of their GF pastas to try awhile ago and they too are AWESOME! I can’t find it locally but if you can I’d definitely pick up a bag.
- Costco Chicken Stock: If you’ve got a Costco membership, be sure to keep their Kirkland brand GF chicken stock on hand which is not only gluten-free but really rich tasting too.
- Progresso Chicken Broth: If you don’t have a Costco membership, I recommend Progresso gluten-free chicken and beef broth. GF beef broth can actually be difficult to find!
- Domata Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend: I don’t bake a whole lot but the few times I have in the past year and a half I’ve used Domata brand GF flour and it’s worked out great. This is the flour I used to make homemade gluten-free egg noodles with.
- Lundberg Gluten-Free Rices: I’ve mentioned that I’m not eating a ton of rice these days but when I was it was always Lundberg brand rice. BONUS: you can use it to make your own gluten-free rice flour! All you do is add the rice to a high-powered blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix then blend. I stopped buying packaged rice flours because it’s just so easy to make them at home.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats: Oats are kind of messing with me these days too but if you’re ok with them then I recommend GF rolled oats by Bob’s Red Mill. I use them to make my Lemon Blackberry Breakfast Cookies and Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies with great success.
- Quinoa: Quinoa’s always great to have on hand to serve in place of pasta or rice. Bonus that it’s high in protein, too.
- San-J Gluten-Free Tamari: Ben and I eat a ton of Asian-inspired meals so I don’t know where I’d be without my gluten-free Tamari, which is a type of soy sauce made without wheat. I use it weekly.
- Gluten-Free Bisquick Mix: Sometimes a girl just needs a pancake, knowwhatImean? It’s not often but when I need some serious comfort food, I’ll whip up a batch of pancakes using this mix.
- Jone’s Dairy Farm All Natural Sausage Links: These links are buttery. So good! I actually have a recipe featuring them coming up on Wednesday, so stay tuned! I like to have a couple links with eggs in the morning for a filling breakfast.
- Applegate The Great Organic Beef Hot Dog: We started buying these hot dogs for Lincoln but I’ve been known to sneak one or two on occasion. They’re just really good and convenient.
- La Quercia Prosciutto: I’ve never eaten more meat in my life than I have over the past year and a half. Good or bad it gives me an excuse to indulge in my favorite La Quercia prosciutto whenever I want. LOVE this stuff, which is also made locally.
- Applegate Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets: I started buying these chicken nuggets when we thought Lincoln might be having issues with gluten (he ended up not – HALLELUJAH!) but I keep buying them because they’re so dang good! I always add 2 or 3 extra onto the baking sheet when making them for him so I can have some too. :)
- Applegate Sunday Bacon: A good quality, consistent bacon with lots of meat. I always have a pack in the fridge.
- Applegate Roasted Turkey Breast: Ordering meat from the deli counter is risky because it’s sliced on a shared slicer – I have no idea what else has been on it, so I stick with the packaged stuff. Many packaged deli meat is slimy and ick, but I really like Applegate’s roasted turkey rolled around sliced avocado and a pickle. Hello, 60 second lunch!
What are your favorite gluten-free products?