About a year ago, I discovered my youngest son was allergic to wheat, and I have been on a journey ever since to learn how to cook and bake gluten-free. At first, I was at a complete loss, especially when it came to baking as I was completely unfamiliar with gluten-free flours and gluten-free products. After a lot of experimentation, with some incredibly successful results as well as my share of failures, I feel as if I finally have enough gluten-free recipes under my belt that I can turn to if I want to make cakes, muffins or cookies. I don’t do a lot of baking, but at least I feel confident enough to make one of these treats if my son asks.
There are times, however, when I don’t have the time to bake. Also, when we travel, I pack a whole suitcase full of gluten-free bread, bagels, cereal and snacks since I never know what will be available nearby, and it’s nice to know there are some good gluten-free products that make my life easier. After our first disastrous trip with my son after we found out about his food allergies, I learned my lesson – always be prepared with a gluten-free hamburger bun in your purse. Whether you’re on a road trip or on a plane, this hamburger bun will save you a lot of stress, trust me.
Today, I’d like to share some of my son’s favorite gluten-free products, including some prepared goods (all minimally processed, without preservatives and mostly healthy) that have bailed me out in a pinch. My son has eaten all of these gluten-free products over this past year with good success. When I bake, I like to use a variety of gluten-free flours, but in a pinch, I have used the gluten-free flour blends and baking mixes listed below. And although I would love to bake and make all my son’s snacks for school, I do appreciate the fact that there are some healthier gluten-free snacks on the market. It makes school snacks, playdates and birthday parties so much less stressful.
Compared to ten years ago, there are so many more gluten-free products on the market, some healthier than others. Gluten-free products can be expensive, and we’ve had our share of buying some products that ended up in the trash (you all know I hate throwing away food), so I’m hoping this list provides a starting point for anyone new to the gluten-free diet. Don’t be afraid to ask your local health food store to order any products you’d like to try – they’re more than likely to be willing to accomodate your request.
I would love to hear what your favorite gluten-free products are. The more we share, the easier we’ll make it for all those new to the gluten-free world and others like me who are continuing to learn more about gluten-free products.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free grains (rolled oats, amaranth, quinoa, millet, medium cornmeal) – for hot breakfast cereal, meatballs, cornbread, and cookies
- Trader Joe’s Quinoa – a good value; nice as a pilaf or hot breakfast cereal
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free flours (amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff, corn flour, garbanzo/fava bean, brown rice) – great for making your own gluten-free flour mix, and terrific in chocolate chip cookies
- Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes – perfect for granola bars and cookies
- Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flour – great in muffins
- Honeyville Almond Flour – wonderful for donuts and coffee cake
- Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour – perfect for hot pretzels
- King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour Blend – makes nice fluffy pancakes
- King Arthur Ancient Grains Flour Blend and King Arthur Gluten-Free Whole Grain Flour Blend – perfect way to up the fiber in muffins
Gluten-Free Baking Mixes
- Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix – great for pancakes, muffins and quick breads
- Pamela’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix – an easy cheat for Cornbread Stuffing Muffins
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix – perfect with a bowl of Turkey Black Bean Chili
- King Arthur Gluten-Free Pancake Mix – nice in a pinch
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix – contains sorghum flour which is high in fiber, iron and phosphorus
- King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookie Mix – good for birthday parties; add chocolate chips or other mix-ins
Gluten-Free Breads/Baked Goods
- Canyon Bakehouse San Juan 7-Grain Bread – great for sandwiches, French toast, grilled cheese, croutons, or as a binder in meatballs
- Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger Buns – a must for traveling
- Udi’s Whole Grain Bagels – a must for traveling
- Udi’s Pizza Crust – prebaked; the best crust we’ve found that comes closest to regular pizza crust
- Udi’s Bread – good for Thanksgiving stuffing (it’s firmer and dryer than the Canyon Bakehouse bread)
- Ancient Harvest Pasta (quinoa and corn flour) – multi-colored Garden Pagodas and mini shells are fun for kids
- Schar Anellini (corn and rice flour) – perfect for chicken noodle soup and tomato pasta soup
- Le Veneziane Pasta (corn flour) – my kids like their fettuccini pasta and butterfly shaped pasta
- Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta – very similar to Tinkyada, but less expensive, perhaps a private label brand
- Trader Joe’s Corn Pasta – much more inexpensive than other brands
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free grains (rolled oats, steel cut oats, amaranth, quinoa, Mighty Tasty Hot Breakfast Cereal)
- Erewhon Brown Rice Cereal – I crush this cereal and use it as a coating for chicken strips for baked crunchy chicken tenders, or in no-bake “Clif” granola bars
- Barbara’s Gluten-Free Puffins Multigrain Cereal
- HomeFree gluten-free mini cookies- the chocolate chocolate chip (yes, double chocolate) and chocolate chip were my son’s favorites
- Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers, for snacking or s’mores
- Mary’s Gone Crackers Onion Crackers and Chipotle Tomato Pretzel Sticks
- Trader Joe’s Savory Thins (rice crackers), perfect as base for Soy Sesame Salmon Tartare
- Crunchmaster Rosemary & Olive Oil Multi-Seed Crackers, terrific with Kalamata Olive and Caper Hummus
- Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookies
- Food Should Taste Good The Works! Tortilla Chips, great with Roasted Corn, Avocado and Black Bean Salsa
- Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists and Sticks
Special Gluten-Free Items
- Mary’s Gone Crackers Just The Crumbs – the Savory bread crumbs are a nice crunchy topping for Roasted Cauliflower and coating for Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
- Kinnikinnick Panko Style Bread Crumbs – great for coating chicken tenders and onion rings (for green bean casserole)
- Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Cracker Crumbs – perfect for Pumpkin Pie
- Orgran Gravy Mix – good in a pinch, especially during the holidays
- Bell & Evans Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders and Applegate Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets – great for vacations or lazy days
- Annie’s Rice Pasta and Cheddar
I would love to hear what your gluten-free products are. There are so many on the market that we have not tried. Please feel free to leave links to your favorites in the comments section. This post is intended as a resource for anyone new to a gluten-free diet and others like me who are still learning their way around the gluten-free world.
Note: This list is based on my son’s personal taste and preferences and was compiled solely as a resource for others. I am not affiliated with any brands. No compensation was received for writing this post.
And now for the giveaway! (This Giveaway is now closed)
HomeFree is offering an assortment of their gluten-free mini-cookies, the ones that are my little guy’s favorite. Although I try to make as many of my son’s snacks and treats as possible, it’s nice to know there are healthy gluten-free treats (these cookies are made with whole grain oats) that I can throw in his snack bag for school or when we’re going on vacation and I need to pack a snack for the airplane ride. It’s also nice to have an allergy-free snack that my son can bring along to a friend’s house or to a birthday party. As a mom, and a clinical psychologist, Jill Robbins, founder of HomeFree, understands how important it is for kids with food allergies and sensitivities to feel included at social occasions, where a sweet treat is often part of the fun.
One winner will receive HomeFree’s Gluten-Free Mini Cookies Sampler which contains 2 boxes each of their gluten free chocolate chip mini cookies, gluten free chocolate chocolate chip mini cookies, and gluten free vanilla mini cookies. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. US Residents only. Must be over 18. Giveaway will end on February 14, 2012 at 11:59PM EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
How To Enter:
Required Entry: For a chance to win, leave a comment below along with your email address so I can contact you if you win.
You can earn up to six additional entries by doing any of the following. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry so I know you did it:
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Disclosure: I was provided with samples of HomeFree products for the purpose of doing a review and giveaway. However the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Gluten-Free Blogs that are Inspirational and provide a Great Resource:
Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom
Cook It Allergy Free
The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
The Spunky Coconut
Diet, Dessert and Dogs
With Style & Grace