Gluten is a protein most commonly found in wheat and other grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten isn’t harmful to everyone, for most, it is just an ingredient that makes lots of their favorite foods so delicious including cakes, donuts, pizza – I won’t list any more it’s too upsetting!
For those of us it can harm, such as those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, consuming gluten can result in nutritional deficiencies, vomiting, weight loss and more.
Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten-free foods for gluten-free eaters to enjoy. As awareness of the condition has grown, more and more stores and restaurants are catering to gluten sensitivities, and you can even find gluten-free cakes, pastas, pizzas and lots more.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most delicious gluten-free kitchen essentials you need to have in your home. Keep reading to find out.
1. Gluten-free pasta
Yes, pasta can be gluten-free! Having a bag or two of gluten-free pasta in your pantry is a lifesaver! Making a quick pasta dish is so simple and delicious! Plus, if your family is making a pasta dish, you don’t have to miss out! Simply boil a pan of your own and add the sauce (providing the sauce is gluten-free, of course).
My family do this all the time, it’s a great way to cater for everyone without forcing people to eat gluten-free alternatives when they don’t have to.
2. Gluten-free all-purpose flour
Love cakes and waffles and not ready to give them up? Luckily, you won’t have to because there are actually tons of glute-free flours available to buy. If you can’t find gluten-free all-purpose flour in your local grocery store, look out for other alternatives such as buckwheat flour, rice flour and corn flour.
3. Corn tortillas
Corn is gluten-free, so often we’ll find things like corn tortillas are gluten-free, which is always exciting.
Not all corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free, as some will include binding agents that may contain gluten.
But, lots of them are so just check the ingredients before you buy, and you’re all good. Having some wraps on hand will be super handy for a quick lunch at home or for a fun fajitas night with family and friends.
4. Rice cakes
An absolute essential even if you’re not gluten-free, in my opinion! Rice cakes are perfect for a light snack with toppings like peanut butter and fruit for extra protein and fiber.
Or you can even add savory toppings like cream cheese and salmon too, the snack combinations are endless with rice cakes, and they last ages in your pantry.
5. Gluten-free oats
Finding gluten-free cereals that don’t taste like cardboard is a real challenge so, stocking up on some gluten-free oats for oatmeal is a much tastier breakfast option.
Gluten-free oats taste exactly the same as regular oats; they have just been milled differently to avoid being contaminated by other gluten-containing grains so if you’re a fan of oatmeal, you certainly don’t have to give it up when going gluten-free.
To spice up your breakfast, try adding some fruits like banana and blueberries to your oatmeal with some peanut butter and honey – delicious and gluten-free!
In the kitchen of a gluten-free eater, rice is an absolute essential. It is naturally gluten-free and without it, us gluten-free eaters would find it a lot harder to eat out at restaurants and on the go.
Rice is pretty similar to pasta in terms of texture and what it adds to a dish. There are even different types of rice you can choose from to switch things up a bit if you’re getting bored with your typical white rice.
You can try basmati rice, arborio rice, brown rice, black rice, wild rice and more! Each deliver their own unique flavors and textures. Black rice for example not only looks cool on your plate, it’s also got a lot more nutritional benefits than white rice. So, next time you’re stocking up at the grocery store, give black rice a try!
Quinoa is similar to couscous in terms of appearance and texture, which makes it a great substitute in salads or as a side dish.
8. Gluten-free snack bars
Being gluten-free, you never know when you’re next going to find somewhere to eat that caters to your needs, so having some gluten-free healthy snacks on hand is a great way to prepare, so you won’t go hungry.
These can be fruit and nut bars, protein bars, whatever you like, keep a box or two in the pantry for you to grab when ready for when you’re on the go.
Beans and legumes are naturally gluten-free and super tasty. They can plump up any meal to give you some extra nutrients and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
You can purchase beans like pinto beans and black beans in a can that can last months, so they’re a great staple to stock up on and store in the pantry.
10. Xanthum gum
Xanthum gum is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking to replace the doughy/ sticky consistency provided by wheat.
Having some in your kitchen will come in super handy for improving the texture and consistency of your gluten-free baking.
It’s particularly useful in adding to cupcakes and other baked goods to make them rise better and taste fluffier.
Vegetables are a gluten-free eater’s best friend. All vegetables are naturally gluten-free and can be used as a replacement for gluten-containing foods, such as replacing burger buns with lettuce!
Other great veggies are bell peppers. These can be stuffed with quinoa or rice for a hearty meal free from gluten!
12. Separate utensils
This can be super annoying but if you live with other people who do eat gluten, and you have a severe gluten intolerance, you should use separate utensils and cooking materials such as toasters and oven trays.
You might think this is a little extreme, but it only takes one tiny crumb to upset your stomach!