If you have just been diagnosed with celiac, or have made the decision to go gluten free, you might be having a panic attack. Thinking, “how am I going to survive without my tasty wheat?!” If this is you, you are not alone.
Another thing is that many who go gluten free because they think it is healthier, without knowing the healthy swaps, end up not reaching their health goals. Giving up wheat doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be healthy, especially when you are swapping it out for processed foods.
To help you on your gluten free journey, here are some tips, swaps and recipes to help you get started.
The Pasta Swap
Going gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pasta anymore. If you are going to a restaurant, ask them if they have a gluten free pasta option. They often do, but they don’t list it on the menu. At home, all of your favorite sauces can be paired up with these tasty pasta swaps:
Brown Rice Pasta
Zoodles (zucchini spiraled into pasta strands)
Carrot and beet spaghetti (spiraled into pasta strands)
Spaghetti Squash (baked and flaked into spaghetti strands)
For vegetables spiraled into spaghetti-like strands, I recommend going to a kitchen gadget store and buying a vegetable spiralizer. They are inexpensive, mine cost $12.99, and let’s be honest, it is fun to make things into spaghetti.
I buy all of my gluten free pastas at The Bulk Barn, which is less expensive than the grocery store. You can also buy them at Costco and your local health food stores.
Throw on your fancy apron and try out these recipes:
But I Love of Bread, Crackers and Flour So Much!
I know, I hear ya, I love all of those things too. However, there are really amazing swaps available. With a little taste testing and a bit of searching, you will find the ones you like best. Again, restaurants have gluten free options available, but you may have to ask them.
For bread, you can find gluten free bread at most grocery stores. You will have to taste a few to see what you like best. Local bakeries will also carry fresh gluten free bread. A local Saskatoon where you can find some good loaves is called Dad’s Organic.
For breadcrumbs, you can use ground up nuts (almonds work best) or grind up gluten free crackers. This is actually a great way to use all of those bits and pieces at the bottom of the cracker box.
For crackers, my favorite brand is Mary’s Organic.
Love making wraps for your lunches? Use lettuce leaves or collard leaves. These are great for wrapping up your goodies. Here are two recipes from Healthy Living that you can try.
Some taco seasonings have gluten in them, so this recipe is great.
For flour, if you are a baker or need flour in recipes, here are a list of swaps:
Unrefined all-purpose gluten free flour
Just like the pasta, I buy my flour at The Bulk Barn. Lots of selection and much cheaper than the grocery store.
Other swaps include soy sauce, which often contains gluten. Here are my two favorites:
Bragg’s Liquid Soy Sauce (Bulk Barn is the cheapest)
Coconut Amino’s (Bulk Barn is the cheapest)
I know this is going to be a challenging journey for you, but it is possible to find healthy swap options. Experiment and have some fun in the kitchen.
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl