By Dietitian Jill Place
OK … here’s some down-and-dirty info for eating Gluten Free. With some down-and-dirty actual products you can order TODAY from Amazon. As I pulled them ALL off Amazon.
My apologies to those who live outside the US … I have limited resources listed for you. I DO have a link for an Australian shopping guide and some UK brands at the end of this article.
But … suffice to say … most of my clients are here in the US with me. And … more and more … even old established brands like Buitoni (we ate the spaghetti when I was a kid and I’m almost 77) and Barilla ( 140 years old and here since 1996) have Gluten Free products.
So getting some should be as easy as Gluten Free pie when we start my 5-Day Good Gut Challenge. Or if you just want to try Gluten Free out right now!
Still don’t know why you should? Well … if you haven’t already … please read Rethinking Gluten Free … the article I published last week.
In it, I went from the idea that SOME should go Gluten Free to now knowing … because of current research … that EVERYONE should. Especially if you’re interested in healing your gut. Which is what I’m all about!
So … here are some ideas for stuff you can get right now. If you’re doing my challenge and in the US … a no-brainer … just order from Amazon … even if you’re in Podunk, Iowa.
I’ve divided them into bread, pasta, and prepared categories. But … be advised … this is just a small segment of what’s available.
Changing to a new way of eating is a kind of treasure hunt. If you’ve been on one before, you know that … once you start … one find even greater treasures along the way.
So … let’s get started …
Gluten Free Bread
Gluten Free bread is sooo much better than 20 years ago when the only things really available were breads made with rice flour that’d crumble if you didn’t toast them. Even then … they tasted like you cut them off a stump!
Now you have a huge variety of types and texture ALMOST like regular bread to choose from. Here are some of my own faves …
This brand is hands-down my fave and the Everything Bagels pictured here always grace my freezer. I think it’s because of their superior taste and toast-ability.
Canyon Bakehouse makes many types of bread … and both hamburger and hot dog buns (most of the brands below also do too). But there are others …
Udi’s makes a large variety of Gluten Free breads, including several types of loaves, bagels, and even delectable muffins. Not only that, the best Gluten Free pizza you can get (I just had a restaurant one which pales in comparison).
Udi’s also makes many frozen products (see below).
Schar is originally a German company that makes a wide variety of Gluten Free breads and snacks. They even add seeds to make low FODMAP breads (foods that are recommended for those with SIBO and other candida overgrowths).
They also have a rye-style (the low FODMAP one is pictured) … a happy thing for a lapsed New-York Jew. Most of my local markets carry this brand, which has more of a white-bread texture than the others.
Whole Foods also makes their own Gluten Free brand. But I must admit I haven’t tried it. Many health-oriented stores also have their own brands, including Trader Joe’s and Sprouts.
Against the Grain
Excellent-textured breads. I love the baguette, which has a texture akin to regular French baguettes. They even have a rosemary variety … I been craving rosemary aroma-ed herb-flecked breads since a sojourn through France over 40 years ago. Now I have some …
Against the Grain makes many other bread varieties but this is their most popular item. Many of these companies also make other products like tortillas, rolls, goodies, and prepared stuff like pizza … some of which I show below.
My advice … try as many as you can to find the ones you like. Gluten Free breads ARE a little more pricey than regular breads (store brands are cheaper … a 20-ounce 365 whole grain loaf is only $4.99 in my highly-priced California area), but the health benefits are HUGE!
Gluten Free Pasta
Along with bread, this is the biggest lifestyle change you’ll make … if you cook that is. If not, you can try some of the prepared foods listed below.
Many of those are listed in the Heal Your Gut (Almost No Cook) Menu you can get in the Rethinking Gluten Free article. But … right now … grab one of these, boil up some water, sauce it up (many recipes on this website including Naturally Paleo Pasta Sauce (LOL), Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs, Gluten Free Dairy Free (Almost) Alfredo Sauce … or just open a jar.
And you’ve got a GREAT meal with a green salad and an Against the Grain baguette. Want some protein … there are several brands of Gluten Free meatballs and sausage … or just brown up some ground meat or cook some shrimp and throw that in too.
Here are my faves for pasta … I prefer the lower-carb varieties as I’m pretty Paleo. And I’m not a big fan of spiralized or riced veggies so these are my go-to’s if you want some pasta.
LOVE this brand. Not only because of the variety of shapes, including my fave bowties that were a comfort food (with cottage cheese and lots of butter and pepper) growing up.
It’s also made with chickpeas so it’s grain-free. And holds up GREAT in dishes (many Gluten Free pastas can disintegrate upon being reheated)
A fairly new brand that I’m experimenting with. It seems to hold up well in sauce but … like most Gluten Free pastas … don’t overcook. It’s made with yellow peas which … like the chickpea pasta above … aren’t recommended on a Paleo diet.
But both these pastas are half the carbs and high in fiber … which makes them low in net carbs (carbs – fiber = net carbs) … a good thing. And I’m enamored of their new product … Pasta Agile.
You can add this directly to a dish without having to boil it separately. So you can add it to a sauce with meat and … bang … it’s done in 3 minutes … great when the kids are driving you crazy and you have to feed them! FYI … their 3-pack sampler is only $9.95 … cheaper than most good pastas.
Appears to be the only FRESH Gluten Free pasta you can get these days … and really great … but made mostly with brown rice. So there’s little or no fiber.
I LOVE the lasagna sheets … I use them in my Just-Like-Mom’s Lasagna, which is also Dairy Free and FABULOUS (if I don’t say so myself!). And you don’t have to pre-cook in this dish.
Since these are fresh, you need to be careful that you don’t overcook as these can get mushy easily. I cook them barely al dente (slightly undercooked) as they will … like all these pastas … stew a bit in the sauce.
There are many other brands like Jovial … and even traditional brands like Barilla and Buitoni have Gluten Free versions. Which … I guess … is a testimonial to the growing popularity of Gluten Free foods!
But … like any good diet … especially a gut-healing one … it’s important to include lots of organic fruit and veggies and protein foods. In other words … don’t just substitute Gluten Free for regular products.
Because a diet of Gluten Free sweets, pasta, and bread does not a good balanced diet make. It’s just one element of it!
Gluten Free Prepared Foods
OMG there’s tons now! This is a really a growing business whether you’re looking for Gluten Free sweets and snacks (many of the brands above also have these) or frozen foods (some of my faves below).
Amy’s has a HUGE variety of frozen and packaged foods … including my favorite mac and cheese (pictured). They also have a Dairy Free version … but if I want mac and cheese … I get this one.
Besides packaged meals, Amy’s has things like soups, pizza, and EVEN CANDY!
Definitely worth a try if you don’t cook and often eat packaged meals. And Amy’s has been family-owned, organic and healthy since 1987 … before organic was a thing.
Almost every prepared food company, including Amy’s, Banza, Udi’s, and Against the Grain, makes really good Gluten Free frozen pizza. And what a quick meal that is with a green salad and a Gluten Free kid-friendly dessert for your family.
Maybe you’ll need two for those ravenous kids!
Many ethnic foods, including Indian if you exclude the naan and Mexican (I eat it at least twice a week out) are Gluten Free. Thai Kitchen has naturally Gluten Free packaged meals and bowls as most Thai cooking uses rice instead of wheat noodles
I even noticed this product by Suntori Foods (a brand that I know nothing about … but will know more) that is Keto and Paleo friendly with ZERO carbs. As I said … new products coming out every day.
Just go on the internet … they’re there for the taking …
I must admit that I’m NOT much of a cereal lover … but when I do eat cereal … I LOVE my own Paleo Granola … a blend of nuts, seeds, and coconut held together with an egg white and studded with whatever dried fruit (I used snipped Medjool dates and dried figs … but any dried fruit will do) I’ve got in my cupboard.
A generous glomp of coconut or other plant-based yogurt (I made my own with pistachio milk) and FRESH fruit makes this a hearty breakfast or lunch.
But … if cooking ain’t your proclivity … here are some options. You want to make sure that they’re Gluten Free and low- or no-added-sugar. One of the biggest manufacturers of gut-friendly cereals is …
Bob’s Red Mill
If you do any Gluten Free or Paleo prep or baking … you know this brand well. As they make just about any alternative flour or baking need you can want.
And the company … eco-friendly founded by a man with a lot of ethics and a vision … and now 100% employee-owned. Which may be the reason why it’s so amazingly successful.
Above are just two of the cereals they make …
Yet another eco-friendly company which states “Nature’s Path has grown to be North America’s largest certified organic breakfast and snack food company with a product line of over 150 cold cereals, granolas, hot oatmeal, waffles, bars, and cookies”. Tons of products … here’s one …
Another committed-organic company … this time doing what they do for 50 years. Many cereals are Gluten Free … all are organic …
Yes … even commercial cereal companies make Gluten Free products. And … if you can’t find anything else … these are available in any supermarket. Which is a testimonial to those like General Mills who have been making cereals for a long time.
Remember that the health movement in the U.S. was begun with Sylvester Graham (yes … of graham cracker fame) and W.K. Kellogg (a Grahamite [those aligned with Graham’s philosophy] who pioneered the corn flake).
General Mills followed suit with … at one time … what was considered a healthy breakfast. And Rice Chex was the first Gluten Free cereal.
This was the ONLY Paleo granola I saw at Whole Foods a couple of years ago. Bob’s also now makes one, as do several other companies.
But I found these really pricey for a small amount. I was looking at the bottom of the bag after just a few servings (I love my own DIY granola as it makes a lot more for a smaller amount of money, is great as a take-along snack and am always giving gift-baggies of it to traveling friends).
But … again … if you don’t want to make it … a great breakfast (AND snack … AND ice-cream topper) if you’re Paleo-leaning. Eat it UP!
Sweets and Snacks
Well … there’s tons now. Katz even makes Gluten Free TWINKIES (pictured). And Nabisco makes Gluten Free Oreos .
Barbara’s, Glutino, and Enjoy Life are also popular Gluten Free sweets and snacks brands.
Want Paleo? Paleo Treats makes great ones. They’re a little pricey but … if you don’t cook and gotta have a sweet … these are a great solution.
Beyond US Gluten Free
I found two places for Gluten Free products outside the US … here are the links … Coeliac UK (looking at celiac sites all over the world will help you find products as celiacs CAN’T eat gluten) and an Australia Gluten Free product fact sheet (great products in there).
I don’t speak other languages but … if you do … I’m sure there’s a celiac site … and lots of resources … in your country. So get on it and GO FOR IT!
Intolerance to gluten has been understood for thousands of years and one can only wonder why the average time from first symptoms to diagnosis takes a decade in modern corporate medicine ~ Steven Magee