Monthly Archives: December 2010

Your Best Bet for Gluten Free Crackers

Crackers are an essential snack food. Just because you’re looking to avoid gluten foods doesn’t mean that you have to give up crackers. There are lots of amazing tasting gluten free crackers on the market – or you can make your own. Here is a quick guide to help you find the best gluten free crackers for you and your family.

Brands of Gluten Free Crackers
While it’s a good idea to be aware of the different brands available, there’s no reason to stick with just one brand. It’s a good idea to try several brands and varieties to determine which suits your palette best. You may decide that you like Crunchmaster crackers with cheese and Glutino crackers with salmon spread. It’s all a matter of taste!

Crunchmaster gluten free crackers – Crunchmaster only makes crackers! Whether for that reason or just because of the  combination of ingredients they use, their gluten free crackers are amazing. Their varieties include multi-seed, baked rice, multi-grain crisps and multi-grain crackers. All are available at local supermarkets and club stores like Sams Club or Costco.

Glutino gluten free crackers – Glutino is a wonderful supplier of a huge variety of gluten free foods. In their line of crackers they offer plain, cheddar, multi grain, vegetable and table crackers. They also create other snacks like pretzels and breadsticks. All of Glutino’s products are made with the highest quality and are worth trying.

Homemade Gluten Free Crackers
In addition to finding great gluten free crackers at your local grocery store, why not make your own? If you have some extra time, gluten free crackers are a great thing to make and they allow for unlimited experimentation. Once you’ve mastered a basic recipe, you can add your own blend of spices, seeds and herbs. Homemade gluten free crackers are also significantly less expensive than store bought crackers and are often more tasty.

Gluten free cracker recipes are available from a variety of sources. Most flour manufacturers, like Bob’s Red Mill will provide cracker recipes for their flours. Here is one for Saltine gluten free crackers. Remember to have ingredients on hand if you plan on doing a fair bit of gluten free baking.

Gluten free crackers are a must in your pantry. They’re perfect for grab-and-go snacks or for entertaining guests. If you have kids in the house you’ll likely have a hard time keeping the crackers stocked! Try a few brands from the store or experiment with making your own gluten free crackers. Why not make up a few batches this holiday season and bundle them with a selection of cheeses and give them as gifts?

How to Avoid Gluten Foods

When you’re first trying to eliminate gluten foods from your diet, it can seem overwhelming. There are so many processed foods with ingredients that are difficult to decipher that it can be hard to even know which foods contain gluten. In this article we’ll give you some tips on how to avoid gluten foods so you can be free of symptoms and have a happier, healthier life.

Get Organized
The first step is to create a list of gluten foods so you know what to watch out for.This gluten foods list will serve as a reference for you and you should add to it as you discover more foods or ingredients that contain gluten. In addition to your gluten foods list, yo should create a non gluten foods list that can function as your shopping list. As you find gluten free products that you enjoy, add to your list. Over time this list will become your primary shopping guide.

Plan Ahead
If you want to make sure that you know which gluten foods to avoid in tough situations like restaurants and social events, do your homework ahead of time. Think about what you’ll order from a restaurant while staying gluten free. If you’re invited to dinner be sure to let the host or hostess know about your dietary requirements (why not share your non gluten food list with them?) and ask if you can bring a gluten free dish. Most people run into trouble following a gluten free lifestyle when they don’t plan ahead and find themselves in a situation where there are no gluten free options.

Keep a Positive Attitude
Changing your eating habits can be difficult. It takes perseverance and dedication over a long period of time before eating strictly gluten free will feel natural. The key is to keep a positive attitude. Remember that most food is naturally gluten free. There are only a few gluten containing grains – and now there are substitutes for most products that would normally not be allowed. Any time you feel discouraged, think about how you feel when you eat gluten and how much better your health is when you don’t. Also think about all the amazing gluten free options available in the supermarkets today. From gluten free cakes and cookies to breads and pancakes there really isn’t anything that can’t be made as a non gluten food. You can even make your own bread with a gluten free bread machine.

The key to avoiding gluten foods is to stay organized, keep a positive outlook and do a bit of planning before you’re in a situation you’re not certain of. The health benefits are well worth the investment of time and effort.

Finding Great Gluten Free Snacks

Food on the go is a necessary part of life and having healthy gluten free snacks on hand is a good way to ensure you avoid gluten foods. Gluten free snacks can be simple or elaborate gluten free appetizers depending on the level of preparation that you’re interested in. The key to finding gluten free snacks is to remember that most food IS gluten free. Fruits and vegetables make wonderful healthy snacks and there are lots of gluten free products to choose from as well. Our guide will help you think of lots of gluten free snack options for your family.

Gluten Free Snacks for Kids
Since most food is gluten free, finding gluten free snacks for kids doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few ideas of snacks that are naturally gluten free:

  • Sliced apple with cheese or peanut butter
  • Vegetable sticks
  • Fruit salad with coconut
  • Gluten free oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar
  • Popcorn
  • Corn chips and salsa

Easy Gluten Free Snacks
Some of the easiest snacks are simply whole foods like a banana or a bunch of grapes. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. There are other wonderful snack options that require just a touch more work. Here is a list of gluten free snacks that will be easy to prepare:

  • Gluten free muffins, made from a gluten free mix
  • Cinnamon toast, made from gluten free bread
  • Chocolate pieces and fresh strawberries
  • Tortilla chips with bean dip
  • Hard boiled egg with salt and pepper
  • Trail mix: cashews, chocolate pieces, raisins, sunflower seeds, pecans and almonds

The best way to have gluten free snacks on hand is to do a bit of preparation in advance. Put together some snacks in big batches. Snacks like trail mix and hard boiled eggs are simple to prepare in weekly batches. When you purchase a bag of corn chips, divide up the bag into smaller ziplock bags in portion sizes so they’re easy to grab and go. For special treats, consider having a small stock of gluten free candy.

If you find that you’re frequently in the car when hunger strikes, keep a car snack pack with  snacks that don’t require refrigeration like gluten free crackers and dried fruit. Just remember to replenish your supply if you deplete it when you’re out and about.

Expand your Horizons
When you do your regular grocery shopping, keep your eye out for gluten free products you can incorporate into your regular snack routine. Variety can make life interesting so why not try a few new snacks each month (or more often)?

Organizing Your Gluten Free Products List

The key to approaching any lifestyle change is organization. If you can create a plan and keep from getting overwhelmed you’ll be a step ahead of the pack. One of the ways to be successful with a gluten free diet is to develop and then organize your gluten free products list.

Gluten Free Products
The first step is to create a list of gluten free foods. You’ll find that you’ll refer to this list again and again. You can use it as a shopping list, send it to friends and family to help them learn about your dietary requirements or take it with you when you go to restaurants. Here are a few types of gluten free products:

  • Breads
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Pastas
  • Baking Mixes
  • Condiments
  • Beer and Alcohol
  • Baking Supplies – Flour, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, etc.
  • Gluten free oats

Organizing Your List
There are a few methods you can use to organize your list. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize by grocery aisle. This is a great way to speed up your shopping. If there is a particular store you prefer to shop at, organize your list in the same order as the aisles. You’ll find that this method of organization will greatly speed up your shopping trip. You can allso add your regular grocery items to the same list and you will cut your shopping time down. The only drawback to this method is that you’ll probably just want to list your favorites on this list so it won’t be a comprehensive list.
  • Organize by food type. Some folks like to know all the gluten free products that are available in each category. For example, all the gluten free crackers and bread brands might be listed together. This is a good way to organize if you want to create a complete list of gluten free products. Categories might include breads and bread products, cookies, cakes, condiments, gluten free snacks and pastas.
  • Organize by brand. Some find that they do most of their shopping online and having all products organized by brand speeds up the ordering process.

No matter how you organize your list, you’ll have an easier time of it if you do it on the computer. By starting an electronic list you can update it on a regular basis and change the sorting method anytime.

Once you’ve created and organized your gluten free products list you’ll come to depend on it. Be sure to update it as you discover new products. The investment in time will be well worth it as you create your own extremely valuable resource to gluten free products.

Finding Delicious Wheat Free Bread

If you’re looking for wheat free bread, you’re looking at the right time. Never before has there been so much selection when it comes to wheat and gluten free breads. With the increase in the number of people who are sensitive to wheat or are gluten intolerant, more and more bakeries are offering delicious alternatives to wheat bread. In this article we’ll share with you a few pointers on what to look for in a wheat free bread and a list of brands to try.

Wheat Free or Gluten Free?
If you buy a wheat free bread, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gluten free. On the other hand, if you buy gluten free bread, it will certainly be wheat free. Labeling makes all the difference, so if you’re following a gluten free diet, you’ll need to choose a bread that is gluten free not just free of wheat. If you’re OK with gluten and are following a wheat free diet, then you may have little bit wider selection.

Wheat Free Bread Brands
As you look for wheat free bread, you’ll start to discover that certain brands are better than others. You may also notice that a company that makes wheat free bread also offers wheat free or gluten free varieties of other products as well. The best way to determine which brand you prefer is to try as many as you can. Note that some breads make great sandwiches while others you may prefer as toast. Here are a few brands to get you started:

  • Food for Life – Offers a selection of wheat free and gluten free breads. From gluten free english muffins to several varieties of wheat and gluten free breads you’re sure to find something you’ll like. They’ve even got gluten free tortillas!
  • Enjoy Life Foods – Enjoy life makes gluten free (and therefore wheat free) foods including two varieties of bagels. Their products are noteworthy because not only do they not include gluten ingredients, they also are free of the other 7 ingredients that tend to cause allergic reactions – dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish.
  • Udi’s – Breads, bagels, pizza crust, muffins and more. Udi’s is available in many grocery stores across the nation.

Shopping for Wheat Free Bread
There are three main places to find wheat and gluten free bread. Many grocery stores are now stocking a selection, sometimes in their natural foods sections. A dedicated natural foods or health food store may also be a good choice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, then online shopping to the rescue. You can find nearly any brand (and at good prices) online. You may also want to try making your own with a gluten free bread machine.