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The Best of Gluten-Free

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been eating (predominantly) gluten-free for over three years. In that time, the number of GF products on the market has exploded. And while the selection has improved, the taste of these products hasn't always kept pace.

I wish I could limit myself to naturally gluten-free foods (meats, fish, fruits and vegetables) but that’s just no fun.  So I’m always on the lookout for quality GF baked goods, pasta and pizza.   Through much munching, I’ve been able to narrow down the field.  Here are the products that are always in my pantry.

1872Bread – If you’re a lover of a buttery croissant or a crispy baguette, forget it.  I have yet to found comparables in the land of GF.  Bread has been relegated to a transport vehicle for other delicious things, like peanut butter, cheeses and salamis. (Not all at the same time.) For this still important purpose, my favourite is Udi’s Whole Grain bread.  It’s thin, light and doesn’t have much of a taste. When it comes to GF bread, that’s kind of a good thing.

1735Pizza – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the GF pizzas available in store and in restaurants.  From the freezer department, it’s a tie between Glutino (I loved the bbq chicken.  Glutino, please bring it back!) and Udi’s Uncured pepperoni.  For delivery or take home, try Rocky Mountain Flatbread‘s excellent GF pizzas. And if you happen to find yourself in Palm Springs, Birba restaurant is a must. Hands down the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had.

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Crackers – There are many delicious GF crackers on the market, many good enough to satisfy GFers and non-GFers alike.  I regularly pick up various sesame crackers, Mary’s Organic Crackers and Glutino’s Rosemary and Olive crackers. All of these are good enough to snack on alone, with dip (try them with hummus), or with cheese.

 

 

 

 

Pasta – There’s no competition: Go-Go Quinoa pasta is my favourite.  It doesn’t get gluey like so many other brown rice pastas.  Even non-gfers will happily eat it and marvel at the post-meal lightness in their belly. 

s16070_1The only downside to Go-Go is that it comes in fairly small packages, one is just barely enough for two people.  (Or maybe I just eat a lot.)  Rizopia Brown Rice Lasagna Noodle is also brilliant.  Not only does it taste great (I served it at a dinner party recently and the whole lasagna disappeared) it’s also easy to use.  No noodle pre-cooking required.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cookies – GF bakeries make many mouth-watering sweets but I’m still struggling to find even half way decent store-bought cookies.  Most seem to resemble cardboard or have a lingering aftertaste. Wendel’s TrueFoods baked goods are one shining exception. Try the soft ginger cookies.  Yum!  Another recent discovering is Molly B’s Gluten Free Kitchen. The Blondie Bites are a winner. 

 

 

 

 

 

Any GF baked goods, pasta or treats you think I should try? Be sure to let me know! 

 

 

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  • mike simpson

    Funny, That go go quinoa pasta is in fact awesome, was at a store when traveling and the only store available at the time only carried “hippie” stuff and seeing as i had already brought sauce from home, had no other choice. Well, what a surprise, loved it (that actual penne). Ate the hole thing myself in one sitting. (Yep big eater).
    Do yourself a favor, Find your favorite pasta salad recipe and use this penne. It has always turned out amazing. I will try (if i can find it near home) the lasagne as I have an amazing veg version that could be used.
    Thanks dude.

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Good plan Mike. I’ll definitely be making some pasta salad soon with the Go Go penne, which has always been my favourite noodle shape!

  • Chloe

    Kinnickinick makes tasty “boiled” GF bagels that have a nice chewy crust that most GF bagels seem to miss. You can get them in plain, cinnamon-raisin or blueberry (my favorite!).

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Thanks Chloe, I’ll give them a try. Can’t remember the last time I had a bagel. I crave them with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers!

  • twylaknull

    Bulk barn has quite a lot of corn flour based pastas,baking, etc…..I still eat very little “processed” foods out of habit, but a great tasting treat from there is always welcome.

  • auntie em

    I definitely agree with the UDI bread and their pizza crust is not bad. I
    have to add my own toppings since I have other food allergies but
    that’s OK too. Their white rolls are very good but expensive.
    I like the Breton GF crackers. Light, crisp and flavourful.
    I use Glutino GF table crackers, very much like a soda cracker.
    A lot of corn pastas, like Catelli, are pretty decent. You just have to
    not over cook them or let them set too long before eating.
    I realized long ago that some foods are just never going to taste like the
    breads or pastries I was use to but there are lots of foods to enjoy
    just for what they are and pretty soon you don’t mind going GF since
    there are so many other great things. And the added benefits, besides
    not having stomach issues, far outweigh a piece of pie. My migraine
    headaches went away.

    A good basic recipe which you can switch up is so helpful
    Basic muffin recipe:
    1 egg
    1/2 cup liquid (milk, fruit juice, buttermilk, etc)
    4 Tbsp sugar
    4Tbsp (oil, melted butter, melted shortening)
    1 cup good rice flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    Mix well. Add fruit, nuts, choc chips, berries…what ever you like!

    Bake in well greased 6 cup muffin tin at 425F for 14-17 min. Don’t overcook since they will dry out.

    If using sour fruit or juice add an extra Tbsp or two of sugar or sprinkle some coarse sugar on top.
    -Brown sugar and cinnamon work well together (excellent when warm)
    -Lemon/water and blueberries/lemon zest
    -Cranberries and orange juice
    -Choc chips and vanilla flavouring
    My favourite pan for making these is a muffin top pan. They look like big cookies :)
    GF baking needs some extra fats and extra moisture since the rice flour dries out so fast.

    There, I will stop writing my book on your blog now! :D

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Thanks great, thanks for sharing your recipe! I will definitely be trying it out!

  • Chef Mike Benninger

    Girls please, the percentage of the population that “needs” to live GF is very small, with true coeliac’s making up no more than 2-3% of the population, and we need to stop feeding the Wheat Belly, Wheat Brain hype!!
    I recognize that there is another part of the population (my wife included), who can’t have much gluten, maybe another 3-4%, especially the highly refined bad White Wonder Bread kind, but for the overwhelming %-age of the population, the responsible consumption of whole grains is not only perfectly safe, but is also part of a healthy diet.

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Hi Chef Mike,
      I do not have celiac disease but through visits to a naturopath I learned that I had a sensitivity to gluten. I had a number of health issues that have improved dramatically since I cut back on gluten in my diet. The above was not presented as an advertisement encouraging people to eat gluten-free or an exercise in gluten-bashing. (Trust me, I would LOVE to eat croissants, chocolate chip cookies and big bowls of noodles.) It is a list of recommendations for those who either must eat that way or choose to do so.

  • Nicole

    I would also have to agree that the advice of a naturopath probably shouldn’t replace the very limited empirical evidence that supports the benefits of a gluten-free diet for those who do not suffer from celiac disease. Still, to each his own…

  • gail

    I have celiac and am very happy there are now more products to chose from Udi’s baguettes are pretty good if you can find them. Please keep the gluten free info coming

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