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When my rheumatologist suggested I try going gluten and dairy free a few years ago I literally cried. I love cheese. And pizza. And pasta. And pizza and pasta with lots of cheese. Oh, and bagels. And basically everything cheesy and gluten. I immediately decided dairy free was not going to happen, but for the sake of my joints, skeptically hopped on the GF train.
The first thing I noticed when I went GF was that it's expensive. It's expensive and the majority of products taste like cardboard. Then I thought it would be worth it to try making things from scratch. At this point I ran into a laundry list of obscure (and still expensive) ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, and more types of flours than I knew existed: brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet white rice flour, potato flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour and almond flour. Um, no thanks. If you have the time to experiment with these flours and make your own GF all-purpose flour mixture, more power to you, I'm sure it will save you lots of money in the long run. I don't have the time or patience to do that though, and time is money.
"I've tried the good, the bad, the cheap and the uber expensive and have put together a list of items for you that are honestly even better than their gluten-filled counterparts"
It would be great if stores would offer more samples of gluten free items so you can try them before you buy them. There are so many out there now and some are great but many are not. It's never fun to spend the extra money to buy a gluten free product and then find out it's terrible. The good news is, I've tried the good, the bad, the cheap and the uber expensive and have put together a list of items for you that are honestly even better than their gluten-filled counterparts! Bonus? All of these items can be found at Target so no more running all over to find good food! With that being said, here are 12 of my favorite gluten free products worth loving.
There are certainly many more gluten free goodies that I love and the list is always growing. Message me or reach out on twitter/facebook/instagram (click on the icons below to follow) for more recommendations or to share some of your own!
1. Simply Balanced No Boil Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
These are AMAZING! The days of gritty and disintegrating gluten free pastas are no more. No boil lasagna noodles make cooking your favorite dish a breeze. I challenge you to substitute these in for your regular gluten-free noodles and don't tell your diners until afterwards. They'll never notice the difference (unless perhaps they think it tastes better) and will be shocked to learn it was gluten free. The best gluten free lasagna recipe can be found here.
2. Barilla Gluten Free Pastas
Again, a pasta substitute where you would never know it's gluten free. Follow the directions on the box for cooking time and you'll get perfect pasta every time.
3. EVOL Gluten Free Products
Their macaroni and cheese, burritos, quesadillas and snack cups are delicious. Bring them to work or keep in your freezer at home for when you need a quick and yummy lunch.
4. Snyder's Gluten Free Pretzels
I don't necessarily get these 100 Calorie Packs, but Snyder's GF Pretzels are awesome! My husband likes them better than regular pretzels claiming they have a better crunch. A great snack to put out that people GF or not will enjoy.
5. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
Substitute this stuff cup for cup in all of your favorite baking recipes. Use it for thickening sauces, breading chicken, whatever. I make a killer carrot cake with this that turns out better than when I use normal flour.
6. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Just because you're GF doesn't mean you need to give up good pizza. Follow the directions on the package for an easy and tasty pizza crust. Press it out thin and bake longer for a slightly more crispy crust, or keep it thicker for a more doughy pizza. Check out on of our favorites here: Caramelized onion, beet, goat cheese and bacon pizza.
7. Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix
To be honest, I've only used this to make waffles, but boy do they turn out great. I would bet that anything else you make with it will turn out just as delicious. For quick and easy waffles, follow the directions on the package but add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
8. Annie's Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese
The Rice Shells & Creamy White Cheddar are our favorite but the regular cheddar isn't bad either. Perfect for GF kids or the adult who misses her days of the little blue box (Kraft Mac and Cheese).
9. Luna Protein Bars
These are so great for a breakfast on the run, mid-day snack or dessert. Although chalk full of things that benefit women, my husband loves the chocolate chip cookie dough ones possibly even more than I do. They have a fabulous fruit and yogurt option as well.
10. Canyon Bakehouse Breads
Oh the dreaded gluten free bread... Gritty, card-board tasting, falls apart when you touch it... you know the stuff. This is not that stuff. This is good gluten free carbs without having to go to a specialty store. The mountain white bread and bagels are my favorite. Great for toast, grilled cheese or a grown-up toad-in-the-hole breakfast.
11. Milton's Gluten Free Crispy Sea Salt Baked Crackers
Rice crackers are pretty blah to me. I hit the GF goldmine when a friend brought these gems over. Light, fluffy, salty and delicious. I could eat the entire bag in a day.
12. Archer Farms Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake
The crème de la crème. This is delicious. In fact, we bought a couple of the strawberry white chocolate ones to serve the gluten free guests at our wedding. I'm not usually a cake person but these ones are the best. Compare it to your favorite gluten-filled cake and you'll pick this every time.