Greetings again! In this installment I’m going to give you my two cents (but in the gluten free cost conversion it’s practically a $1) on GF products that are worth their exorbitant prices. Finding GF food that doesn’t taste like cardboard or birdseed takes some trial and error; however, I hope this brief list gives GF persons a place to start.
It should be said that a con to all of the products below are their prices. They are really high, which is a total bummer. However, it is but a small price to pay when you feel like you are eating real food! Now, please note, if you are newly GF or a non-GF person, a lot of these foods don’t taste exactly like their counterparts; however, they are completely legitimate and delicious in their own way. I have found that it is often better to not go into eating GF food with previously held expectations. Go forth with an open mind, you will probably be pleased.
The GF food items that can always found in my kitchen/purse/life:
I randomly found a loaf of the white Udi’s sandwich bread one year after my diagnosis in the special GF section of a Whole Foods in Boston. While waiting for the train home from the store with two friends I stood on the platform and happily ate slices of bread right out of the bag. There may have been some jumping up and down when I realized it tasted like actual bread instead of the small dense mealy rice flour loaves I had been eating previously. It was an exceedingly good day.
- Pros: Light and fluffy. Tastes like real bread. Whole grain and white sandwich bread options.
- Cons: Doesn’t freeze well, it is hard when it thaws. Molds quickly (at least in CA) so I keep in the fridge to prevent this. Not a normal size piece of bread; on the small side, but still adequate.
- Pros: Bigger than other kinds of GF bagels. Whole grain and white flour options. Can handle being frozen.
- Cons: Aren’t always sliced all the way through and are moderately fragile so you have to be careful when you rip them apart (a small price to pay).
- Pros: Have a slightly sweet and salty flavor. Come in a number of varieties, sticks, twists, salted, not salted, and chocolate covered! Great snack; I’m partial to the sticks as well as the milk chocolate.
- Cons: None that I can think of.
I actually didn’t discover this wonderful and life sustaining product on my own. My friends LMP and DP had me over for dinner when I was newly diagnosed and happened to pick up this product. You will come to find that the people in your life become your eyes and ears and alert you to more GF products and places than you can ever find on your own. I buy this product online in bulk off of Amazon as it is not readily available at stores near me even though I live in a humongous city. Go figure. Buying it offline is also slightly cheaper then what is charged in stores and it allows me to maintain a cache of this very handy staple.
- Pros: Comes in several different varieties. Doesn’t need to be rinsed after boiling (like brown rice pasta). Tastes like normal pasta.
- Cons: Not carried in all places. The company has an equally extensive non-GF line so you have to pay attention when purchasing
I have found that if you can find GF food geared toward children it tends to be very tasty. This product is but one example of this phenomenon. This company has several different kinds of rice bars and a whole line of cereal. I’m very partial to the Peanut Choco Drizzle bars, not just because of the lemur on the packaging, but it definitely helps.
- Pros: Comes in individually wrapped boxes of six which can be easily be toted around as back up/emergency food, or say, breakfast. As far as snack foods go they aren’t terrible for you nutritionally or calorically. Organic.
- Cons: None that I can think of. Maybe when the box runs out.
- Pros: Natural ingredients. Lack other allergens. Delicious substitute for Oreos.
- Cons: Because there aren’t gross ingredients they tend to get stale and soggy pretty quickly once they are opened so make sure to wrap up leftovers tight (as if there would be any).
I like most, if not all of their products, which range from frozen food to deli meats to sliced cheese. Fun fact, they are based in my hometown. I found this out long after I had left home, but I think it is a nice coincidence, brings things full circle.
- Pros: Obvious GF labeling. Raise their animals in an appropriate manner. Organic. Tasty products.
- Cons: Have non-GF varieties of frozen food, so pay attention when purchasing.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just the products I wish I knew about starting out in the GF wilderness. If there is a food that you’d like a GF recommendation on, feel free to leave a comment and I will let you know.
In the next installment we’ll embark on the prospect of restaurant eating and about ordering food out in the world.