Essentials for the gluten-free pantry
Celiac Disease (CD), a genetic condition affecting 1% of the population, is somewhat unique among autoimmune conditions in that it has an effective treatment in the gluten-free diet
Instead of seeing the limitations on your diet as a problem, see it as a challenge to your creativity. The door has opened to a world of gastronomic discovery.
When cravings for familiar comfort foods come a-knocking, here is are 12 ingredients to keep stocked in your gluten-free kitchen, and a recipe for a quick flour that you can also use for anything from bread to tortillas.
Oats are a great way to get some grain in you, but make sure it’s certified gluten-free to avoid cross contamination.Also oats contain a protein called avenin (a protein similar in function to gluten) in oats activating gluten-reactive T cells. So this may not be a good option for all. Buckwheat despite what the name suggests is gluten free and amaranth and millet are all great as part of breakfast too – polenta is awesome topped with a poached egg.
If sandwiches are your jam, try different gluten-free breads on the market until you find one you like. Where I’m from in NZ, the best one available is from Gluten Freedom (identical taste and texture to packaged sandwich bread). For toast its not too important to have soft bread so any gluten free bread usually makes a good slice of toast.
Most Asian food is gluten-free friendly, so I have lots of ingredients for that part of the world, just be sure to buy gluten-free soy and tamari sauce.
Mexican food is easily adaptable, too – corn flour (or masa flour) requires only water to have fresh tortillas in minutes, and brown rice flour tortillas are a great substitute if you want a wrap or quesadilla, instead of tacos in saying that a lot of tacos are gluten free in NZ.
Almond meal (ground almonds with skin) and/or almond flour (without skin) can be used in place of breadcrumbs for meatloaf and meatballs, scalloped potatoes, chicken cutlets and more. They add a slight nutty flavor without being too overpowering, especially if you season them before using.
For pasta that isn’t homemade, experiment with brands on the market until you find the one you like best. Cook the pasta al dente to avoid the too-mushy. I’ve tried every brand on the market, and Buontempo makes the best in my opinion. They’re available at most supermarkets and online in NZ
Rice (white, brown, red, wild, & arborio), polenta, grits, and quinoa are all gluten free and great for sides. More examples include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams and every vegetable imaginable.
Whole popcorn kernels, gluten-free crackers, corn tortilla chips and potato chips are all gluten-free snacks. Don't forget fruit and veges, try hummus and carrot sticks for a crunchy protien hit.
You can freeze gluten-free flours in your freezer. Things like - brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet white rice flour, potato flour, potato starch, tapioca flour (tapioca starch), arrowroot flour (arrowroot starch), coconut flour and almond flour.
Making your own blend will save money and give you precise textures. Below is a recipe for an “all-purpose quick bread” flour blend that’s great for muffins, and pancakes to help get you started, but experiment to see what you like.
Many recipes will call for xanthan or guar gum, a product that adds bouncy texture to baked goods (in an attempt) to mimic gluten.
Gluten free baking powder is available at most supermarkets.
Some recipes require Experimentation don't panic have fun with it.
Quick all-purpose gluten-free flour blend recipe
In case you don’t have a kitchen scale to measure your flour by weight (an essential tool for baking in general, but even more important in gluten-free baking), I put the best approximation in cups below.
221 grams (approx. 1.5 cups) brown rice flour
210 grams (approx 1.5 cups) white rice flour
292 grams (approx 3 cups) tapioca starch flour
315 grams (approx 3 cups) arrowroot starch flour
3 tbsp potato flour
Directions: Add flours to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and store in an airtight container. It will keep up to 6 months or more if stored in the fridge or freezer.
Gluten Freee - Products and Places recommendations 2018
These places are all Christchurch based.
Asian: Le xom
Salad bar: Dubba Delux
Burgers: Burger Fuel
Sushi: St Peires