Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Top Ten

In honor of Mama Kat and everyone else who finds this blog while searching out help going gluten and/or dairy-free themselves or for their kids: I present my top ten tips for 2008 that have made my food-intolerant life more pleasant and yummy this year. I've been working at Manna Mills grocery/health food store for over a month now as a cashier and customer service rep specializing in gluten and dairy-free and I must meet at least one customer every shift who is newly diagnosed as celiac or food intolerant or who has an autistic kid whom the doctor recommends to go gluten- and casein-free! There is a HUGE demand for knowledge and help out there!
1. Tinkyada brand pasta: The best noodles I've found in my five years on this diet! They make all shapes of pasta, including lasagna noodles and spinach-brown rice spaghetti, that is great hot or cold, freshly cooked or even as leftovers without getting all grainy and sticky-gross. Available in many mainstream and specialty stores.
2. Nutritional yeast: Not the kind that makes bread rise, this is a yellow flake that you can use as a condiment and tastes cheesy without being cheese. Great on popcorn and makes a great "cheese sauce" for pasta or au gratin potato casserole. Healthy too!
3. Xanthan gum: A fine white powder that adds viscosity to many products, like salad dressings. In cooking, xanthan gum gives the cling that the gluten in wheat has - it keeps your breads and muffins moist and whole, not dry and crumbly. Quite pricey, it is used in very small amounts, and is available by the jar or bag, or in bulk bins at specialty grocers.
4. Hemp milk: Made from hemp seeds, this is is a creamy white milk that is a nice alternative to soy or rice milk.

5. Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts: the best gluten-free cookbook ever! Everything in it is a five-star success that even the non-g.f.ers of the family will love. This recipe book includes dairy, but it's easy to substitute milks and margarine for butter. Check out all the raving positive reviews on Amazon.

6. EnviroKidz' Panda Puffs: My favorite cold cereal, it's kind of like peanut butter Capt'n Crunch.

7. Gluten-Free Goddess a.k.a. Karina's Kitchen: a great website with new recipes every week. I got her Tastebook cookbook for a Christmas gift this year from my hubby!
8. Tofutti Sour Supreme and Better than Cream Cheese: Awesome products that can substitute for sour cream or plain yogurt in recipes, and a good alternative in cream cheese frosting or in quiches.
9. PCC's Brown Rice Sushi: I love my Manna Mills for my g.f. groceries, but I'll wander down the street to our competition to enjoy their fresh sushi bar. And when it's brown rice sushi, I feel even healthier about it!
10.GF/DF Friends: Networking with fellow gluten-free folks is key. You are NOT alone! Just last week I made some awesome easy multigrain bread from a recipe a customer at work emailed me. Most people I meet love to share their experiences, favorite recipes and good restaurants. And there are tons of blogs to check out. Try googling for gluten-free recipes too.

Merry Christmas and a happier, healthier New Year!


Jay @halftime lessons said...

Sorry, I need my gluten.


I loved your blog, though...back soon to read you some more!

Happy New Year!!

blueviolet said...

I honestly had no idea how widespread this was. I'm happy it's received so much attention. My family tolerates gluten just fine but I know there a ton who don't. Happy New Year!

Jen said...

I am going to forward this onto my aunt. She can't have gluten either. Thanks for the advice.

Mama Kat said...

I'm bookmarking this page! Thank you thank you thank you!!!