Going gluten free can be a bit pressuring at first because of the abrupt changes you’ll have to accommodate in your daily diet routines and habits. But a correctly stocked kitchen should help you ease into that regimen more effortlessly. You don’t really need to get everything on the gluten free diet guide I’ve featured to make a difference. You could simply start with these 10 pantry staples and then experiment with flavours and preparations.
10 Must have’s for a Gluten Free Pantry
1. Coconut/Rice Flour & Almond Meal. To make gluten free bread, pastries and fresh pasta, see to it that you buy these types of flours instead of the usual wheat variety. You’ll probably have to make adjustments in the recipes you may currently follow. But I will be more than willing to provide you with wheat free baking advice so you don’t have to withhold yourself from this food group during your transition into your gluten free diet.
Tip: For Mexican food, make use of masa harina.
2. Unsweetened Coconut Milk. This can be utilized as replacement for heavy creams, custards and some whole milks, which often aren’t gluten free. With the use of coconut milk you can make all sorts of scrumptious meals, including soups, risottos, stir-fry’s, baking and more.
3. Coconut/Olive/Flax Seed/Macadamia Oil. If you’re a baker or any kind of home chef you’ll know that cooking and baking without this particular ingredient is near impossible. I can’t even complete a salad without a good oil to make a dressing. Be wary when purchasing your oils particularly stock standard oils such as canola or sunflower oil and just be sure that they don’t contain any hidden gluten’s as fillers or preservatives. My favourites are Coconut and Macadamia – can’t live without them.
4. Puffed rice, Quinoa and Buckwheat. Since giving up processed cereals is generally a hurdle when going gluten free having these on hand to make your own is super handy. Mix them together with seeds or nuts to make yummy muesli or cook with them to make porridge or pancakes for a scrumptious gluten free breakfast.
5. Nori sheets. If you love sushi you’re in luck! Being Asian based on rice, seaweed and raw fish sushi is totally gluten free. When going out to eat with friends at the start I had no idea what I could eat or where I could go… sushi was my safe place. Nori sheets are a fantastic way to get iodine in your body to alkalize but also great for when coming up with gluten free meals. Simply add rice, slices of raw fish or vegetables/fruits and you’ll get to enjoy complete Japanese cuisine. Thinking about it already makes my mouth water!
6. Fruit & Vegetables. This should come as no surprise! A wheat free diet should always include at least either vegetables or fruits as they provide the bulk of the micronutrients you need to have a balanced nutrition. This rule should generally apply to everyone, gluten free diet or not.
7. Rice/Nut crackers. At the start of my gluten free transformation I lived off these. They’re inexpensive, versatile and so easy to come by. They are also the least demanding gluten free diet food you can buy, almost every grocery store stocks them so they are fantastic for on the go. In the beginning I used these as bread replacements so flat top sandwiches, but they are great with tuna, salmon, dips and spreads.
8. Fresh spices. No pantry should be without these, forget the processed options which are pre packaged as you need to be wary they don’t contain any gluten fillers. Easily add depth and complexity to your gluten free diet with stalks of basil, oregano and rosemary from the farmers market. I grow my own basil, parsley and chives – give it a go it’s fantastic to have them on hand whenever I need them.
9. Walnuts/Sunflower Seeds/Flax Seeds. It doesn’t matter whether you use them as snacks, in baking or your cooking creations I believe these gluten free diet options are must-haves for any beginner. They add texture and flavour and not to mention are fantastic for your digestion. I use these in all of my salads, making homemade seed crackers – everything nearly, these are a top essential!
10. Corn/Potato/Tapioca Starch. Of course, you’ll need starch for baking and making thick sauces. So you might want to stock up on these options instead of the wheat-derived alternative.
What did you think of this list? Is there anything that you can’t live without in your Gluten Free Pantry? Share your essentials with us below in the comments