Gluten-Free 101

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From pantry must-haves to ingredients to watch out for, here are the basics of going without gluten.

Gluten-Free Pancakes

So you’re gluten-free, now what? Think the days of pizza and cupcakes are in your past? Think again. This is a promise: You’re not going to go hungry eating gluten-free. These days, the choice is yours — even national supermarkets have dedicated gluten-free aisles and freezer sections. It can be at once exciting and overwhelming, but if you stock your pantry with the right ingredients, your next meal — including dessert — is only minutes away.

5 Must-Have Gluten-Free Pantry Items

  1. An All-Purpose Flour Substitute: If you do any baking or pancake-making, you’ll need a cup-for-cup flour replacement. You can buy a ready-to-use gluten-free all-purpose flour blend or make your own. A basic blend usually consists of gluten-free flours and starches, including white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch, plus an emulsifier like xanthan gum or guar gum.
  2. Pasta: There are many gluten-free boxed pasta options at the market and even a few refrigerated ones (these are good to stock up on and freeze for later). Choose one with ingredients that appeal to your tastes. Some prefer neutral-flavored ones with rice or corn flours, but you can also find pastas made with quinoa flour and Asian noodles made with buckwheat flour.
  3. Cereal: Everyone needs a boost in the morning with a fast breakfast fix. Look for gluten-free hot oatmeal or cold cereal classics like corn flakes, rice cereal and multigrain puffs.
  4. Bread: Here's some good news in the bread department. Since demand for gluten-free products has increased in the past few years, overall quality of goods has improved over time. This means you can make sandwiches (and French toast and bread pudding) and actually feel good about it!
  5. Frozen Foods: Between convenience breakfast foods (think muffins and waffles) to comfort food favorites (like pizza and mac and cheese), you’ll typically find a huge variety in the freezer section.

10 Convenience Foods That Often Contain Gluten

  1. Protein bars
  2. Soups
  3. Tomato sauces
  4. Beer and some alcohol
  5. Deli meats and hot dogs
  6. Processed seafood like crabstick
  7. Salad dressings
  8. Seasonings and spice mixes
  9. Frozen vegetables in sauces
  10. Condiments like soy sauce and teriyaki sauce

6 Ingredients on Food Labels That Spell Gluten

  1. Malt
  2. Brewer’s yeast
  3. Modified food starch
  4. Natural flavor
  5. Dextrin
  6. Triticale