Gluten free products are important to anyone with sensitivity to wheat or with the worst form of this disorder, celiac disease. These products are also becoming important for many others who are concerned about potential, less obvious negative effects of wheat consumption.
The best gluten free products come from many sources. Some are major brand names; others are small companies that specialize in gluten free products. In many cases, these products can only be found online, at your local organic grocer or at natural food stores. Here is a range of items like cookbooks, foods and baking ingredients for you to sample.
The biggest name in gluten free products is Betty Crocker. The company makes several baking mixes. Who could resist the ever-popular brownie? Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix is not thick like many other gluten-free brownie mixes. The batter tastes just like regular brownies. The brownies come out cake-like, spongy and very soft. They even look like regular brownies, although they do not have the same fudgy texture when eaten. While not the super-chocolaty delight you might be craving, this sweet treat is sure to please. Eat them the same day you prepare them, since they go stale easily.
This cookbook also provides a tutorial on the basics of gluten-free baking such as tips on kitchen organization and the best utensils to have on hand. It will also provide guidance on using yeast and other newbie information. The author also offers spiritual guidance by including quotes from scripture throughout the book.
Making a proper pizza crust takes a lot of time and effort, even without the special preparation needed for gluten sensitivity. The solution is the Bella Monica Flatbread Company’s pizza. The company offers flavors like Spinach & Tomato, Mushroom & Herbs, and Margherita. These frozen pizzas come semi-cooked so you only need to reheat them.
Bella Monica does not skimp on the toppings and one frozen pizza should serve two adults. You can either grill or oven-heat the pizza. If you have never tried grilled pizza before, now is your chance. Grilling makes the crust crunchy on the bottom and gooey in the middle. Oven results are a little less satisfying, but overall these are great pizzas, whether you are sensitive to gluten or not.
Joan’s GF Great Bakes makes gluten free baking products. Their English muffins can be found in the frozen foods section. These products are not dry like other off-the-shelf English muffins. Instead, they are pre-cooked and taken from the oven just before baking is entirely complete.
To eat these muffins, thaw them out and then slice. Brown them in the toaster like any other English muffin. It is hard to tell the difference between these muffins and their gluten-containing counterparts. There is only a mild taste from the rice flour. They hold up well, even in a breakfast sandwich.
Another frozen product for the gluten-free family comes from Amy’s Kids Meals. Amy’s makes several gluten-free products, but some are not gluten-free, so it is important to read the label. The Baked Ziti meal for kids is gluten free, dairy free, organic and vegan; but if you do not tell your kids, they will never know.
The Baked Ziti meal is a microwave dish that only takes three minutes to prepare. The baked ziti comes sprinkled with cheese. It also includes some broccoli with tomato sauce and foccacia bread. It includes apple crisp for desert. If your kids have an issue with foods touching, this may not be the best bet because the foods are not all compartmentalized.
Cereal is another big issue with kids. They eat it every day, so it has to be tasty. The challenge is finding a gluten-free cereal that remains crispy in milk and still tastes good. The solution is EnviroKids by Nature’s Path. This company makes organic, gluten-free cereals like Gorilla Munch, the gluten-free version of Kix. While the individual puffs are a bit larger than Kix, the flavor is great and the texture pleasing. You kids should love it.
Other Gluten-Free Products
Other gluten-free manufacturers like Glutino, KinniKinnick and Ener-G offer a range of products you might enjoy. Glutino offers baked goods like cookies, bagels, breads, snacks and frozen dinners, with one of the best frozen pizzas available. KinniKinnick offers a wide range of baked goods and mixes. They have many baked treats that cannot be distinguished from their gluten-containing partners.
Ener-G is one of the best known kosher, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut and tree-nut free manufacturers. The selection is huge, consisting of baked goods, milk and egg substitutes, baking ingredients and soups. Of special note is the Gluten-free Gourmet Blend flour, made of white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, a common recipe for the flour used in gluten-free baking. Instead of buying four different flours and mixing yourself, you can get this handy mixture.