My Gluten Free Girlfriend

Gluten Free Recipes & Reviews

20 Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking Essentials

Embracing a gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or variety in your cooking and baking. With the right supplies in your kitchen, you can create delicious gluten-free dishes that satisfy your taste buds. In this guide, we’ll explore must-have gluten-free cooking and baking essentials, highlighting why each ingredient is essential and providing examples of what you can make with them, including popular brand recommendations.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

A high-quality gluten-free flour blend is the backbone of gluten-free baking. It mimics the structure and texture that gluten provides in traditional flours.

Use it for baking anything from cookies and cakes to bread and pizza crust. A popular brand is Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a crucial binding agent in gluten-free baking. It helps improve the texture and elasticity of your baked goods.

Add xanthan gum to your flour blend when making bread, muffins, or pancakes. Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum is a commonly used and reliable brand.

Almond Flour

Almond flour adds a rich, nutty flavor and moisture to gluten-free recipes. It’s a popular choice for those looking to reduce carbohydrate intake.

Bake almond flour into cookies, cakes, or use it as a coating for chicken or fish. Try Anthony’s Almond Flour for a finely ground option.

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a high-fiber alternative, contributing a subtle coconut flavor to your dishes. It absorbs a lot of moisture, so use it sparingly.

Incorporate coconut flour into pancakes, muffins, or use it to coat vegetables before baking. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour is a widely available choice.

Gluten-Free Oats

Certified gluten-free oats are perfect for those who miss the hearty texture of oats without the gluten.

Create gluten-free oatmeal, granola, or use oats in your baking recipes. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats is a popular brand.

Gluten-Free Baking Powder

Gluten-free baking powder is necessary for leavening, ensuring your baked goods rise properly without gluten.

Use it in cakes, biscuits, or any recipe that requires a rise. Clabber Girl Gluten-Free Baking Powder is a reliable option.

Gluten-Free Pasta

Enjoying a comforting bowl of pasta is still possible with gluten-free options, which are typically made from rice, corn, or quinoa flour.

Create your favorite pasta dishes using gluten-free pasta varieties. Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta offers a range of shapes.

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce or Tamari

Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, so opting for gluten-free soy sauce or tamari ensures you can enjoy savory dishes without gluten.

Use it in stir-fries, marinades, and dipping sauces. San-J Gluten-Free Tamari is a widely available option.

Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs

Gluten-free breadcrumbs are a versatile ingredient for coating and binding, providing a crispy texture without gluten.

Use them to coat chicken, fish, or create gluten-free meatballs. Ian’s Gluten-Free Panko Breadcrumbs are a popular choice.

Gluten-Free Baking Soda

Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps your baked goods rise, especially when paired with an acid.

Include it in recipes like quick bread, cookies, or pancakes. Arm & Hammer Gluten-Free Baking Soda is a reliable option.

Arrowroot Starch or Tapioca Flour

These starches serve as excellent thickening agents, making them ideal for soups, sauces, and gravies.

Use arrowroot starch or tapioca flour to thicken your favorite sauces or make gluten-free gravy. Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch is a common brand.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Extract

Some vanilla extracts may contain gluten-based additives, so choosing a certified gluten-free option is crucial for flavoring your baked goods.

Enhance the flavor of cakes, cookies, and desserts with gluten-free vanilla extract. McCormick Gluten-Free Pure Vanilla Extract is widely available.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a versatile and protein-rich grain that can serve as a base for various dishes.

Cook quinoa as a side dish, use it in salads, or incorporate it into gluten-free baking recipes. Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa is a popular choice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chips

Enjoying chocolate treats is still on the table with gluten-free chocolate chips, perfect for adding sweetness to your baking.

Bake gluten-free cookies, brownies, or melt them for drizzling over desserts. Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips are a common gluten-free option.

Gluten-Free Yeast

Gluten-free yeast allows you to make bread that rises properly without traditional wheat-based gluten.

Bake gluten-free bread, rolls, or pizza crust with gluten-free yeast. Red Star Gluten-Free Active Dry Yeast is a popular choice.

Gluten-Free Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a great thickening agent and can be used in gluten-free baking for added lightness.

Use it to thicken sauces, soups, or make gluten-free cakes and cookies. Clabber Girl Cornstarch is a widely available option.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix

A pre-made gluten-free baking mix is convenient for creating a variety of baked goods without having to mix individual flours.

Bake pancakes, waffles, or use it as a base for various recipes. King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix is a recommended choice.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Butter Substitute

A dairy-free butter substitute ensures your recipes are both gluten-free and dairy-free, catering to various dietary needs.

Use it in baking or cooking where butter is required. Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks are a popular gluten-free and dairy-free option.

Gluten-Free Pancake and Waffle Mix

A ready-made gluten-free pancake and waffle mix makes breakfast preparation quick and easy.

Whip up delicious gluten-free pancakes or waffles for a delightful morning treat. Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix is a well-reviewed choice.

Gluten-Free Cereal

Many cereals contain gluten, so having a gluten-free option on hand ensures a quick and convenient breakfast.

Enjoy it with milk or yogurt or use it as a crunchy topping for desserts. Nature’s Path Organic Gluten-Free Cereal offers various options.

Armed with these additional gluten-free cooking and baking essentials, your kitchen is well-equipped to tackle a diverse range of recipes. From savory meals to sweet treats, these ingredients will make your gluten-free culinary adventures a flavorful success.

Experiment with different brands to find the ones that suit your taste and dietary preferences best. Happy gluten-free cooking and baking!

What are the gluten free essential ingredients you keep in your pantry? Let us know in the comments!

Best Grocery Apps For Saving Money On Gluten Free Food

This post is for the busy people. People like me who love to save money but do not have time to clip coupons. This post is also for the avid coupon clipper who just wants to save even more money on groceries. This post is for celiacs. This post is for everyone who has a food allergy or intolerance and loves to save money. This post is for, well… everyone.

Lately I have been traveling fulltime in my rv. That makes trying to keep up with which stores have the best deals tricky and makes finding and matching coupons impossible. Thankfully some amazing coupon apps have come along. I have tried many over the last three months.  A few were great and some were downright time wasters. I have compiled a list of the best ones and am happy to share them with you.

I challenge you to try a few of these apps and let me know how much you saved over the course of a month!

Ibotta

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This is my favorite grocery rebate app. It is simple to use, has great rebates on items I actually use, and has saved/made me a ton of money (95.00 so far in a little over 2 months). My favorite things about this app are the “Any Brand” rebate offers. I am able to save cash on things like veggies, fruits, meats, cereal, and bread, sauces, etc. Since I can use them on any brand I like, I save money on gluten free items that usually do not have coupons available. Ibotta has rebates on alcohol as well. The wine and liquor rebates are on popular brands and are often 3 to 6 dollars off per bottle. Ibotta has many beer rebates as well which helps me save cash on Alan’s non gluten free beers. The amount of rebates and variety of stores available is expansive. Right now at Walmart alone there are over 250 available rebates. Ibotta has a social aspect where your Facebook friends that use the app are on a “team” with you. This helps you complete extra bonuses for even more cash faster.
This app is incredibly simple to use! Just scan the barcode on the item, snap a photo of your receipt, and that’s it! Once you build up 10 dollars in savings Ibotta will transfer your cash to Paypal or you can turn that money into gift cards at tons of stores.

You automatically receive 2 dollars for signing up and redeeming your first rebate within 10 days of signing up for Ibotta.

You can download the Ibotta app here.

OR

Download it straight from the Google Play Store or App Store and use referral code 6ef7zq

Shrink

shrink-147x150

Shrink combines the best of both Ibotta and Berry Cart. This app is definitely one to have in your grocery arsenal. Shrink does exactly what the title says, it helps shrink your grocery bill. There is a section titled “Shrink Exclusives” that contains “Any Brand” rebates on milk, eggs, fruit, and veggies. The best part about using Shrink along with the other apps covered here is the ability to overlap the savings. If Ibotta has 20 cents off tomatoes and Shrink has 25 cents off tomatoes you can use both apps on the same purchases. That means you have saved 45 cents on your purchase. All of these grocery apps can be overlapped and I often get free products this way.
Besides “Shrink Exclusives”, Shrink also has rebates for brands like Smart Flour, Purely Elizabeth, Dr. Praeger’s, and more.

You can download shrink here. Don’t forget to use referral code OOCHPR in the Shrink Exclusive section of the app for exclusive deals!

Savingstar

SavingStar-Shopping-Cart-Icon-e6ed626bc67e80319bf26095e2556abf

SavingStar gives rebates on a few “Healthy Offers” a week and offers a “One or Many” style rebate that is easy and fun to use. With the “Healthy Offers” you can save even more money on fruits and veggies by stacking the offers with other apps.
The “One or Many” offers are unique. These offers are cumulative. Example: You can save 5 dollars when you purchase 30 dollars’ worth of SC Johnson Home Care Products. Most of us don’t plunk down 30 dollars on cleaning supplies at once. But with this app you don’t have to. You have a time limit, usually 30 days, to reach that goal. Anytime you purchase an SC Johnson product, you just scan your receipt. Once you have hit the 30 dollar mark the 5 dollars will be added to your account. You can cash out to Paypal when you have redeemed 5 dollars in rebates.
SavingStar also has many rebates on single items that most of us use every day.

You can download Savingstar here.

Shopmium

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Shopmium is a newer grocery rebate app. Although they do not currently have a large variety of rebates, I still save money and even get free products using this app. Shopmium often has completely free products available. I got a free Chocolate Bar just for signing up. I have also gotten free dish soap and a free bag of salad mix. Often times the Shopmium rebates are the same as ones in the other grocery apps. That means you can double your savings by using both apps on the same product!

You can sign up for Shopmiumfor Android here don’t forget to use the FREE candy bar code kcuchfmm!

Receipt Pal

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This app is very different and one I use every single day! With Receipt Pal all you need to do is snap a photo of your receipt after you buy something and you earn points towards gift cards. You only need to snap photos of 16 receipts a week to get your points. Anything after the first 16 receipts gains you entries into a weekly drawing of $250. This app is great because you can use it to make cash from your everyday shopping trips.

I have saved so much money and had a ton of fun in the process of writing this post. I hope you will try all of or at least a few of these apps to cut the cost of your gluten free grocery bill.

Are you up to the challenge? Try a few of these apps and drop a comment with how much you saved in the first month!

If you have any favorite money saving apps that are not listed here, please post them in the comments below. I would love to try them!

Top 10 Gluten Free Bread Brands

Top 10 Gluten Free Bread Brands

Now that you need to eat a gluten free diet where do you go? What are the gluten free bread alternatives available to you? Here are ten of the best options in no particular order. Each link has multiple reviews to help you make your decision.

Enjoy baking? Don’t like the price of store bought breads? Here are some excellent sandwich bread recipes from a few of my favorite bloggers.

The Best Gluten Free Sandwich Bread ~ Don’t Mess With Mama
Another Wonderful Gluten Free Sandwich Bread ~ The Baking Beauties
Tender High Rising Gluten Free Sandwich Bread ~ Barefeet In The Kitchen
The Best Grain Free Gluten Free Sandwich Bread ~ Just A Pinch

Have a favorite gluten free bread or bread recipe? Please share it with us it in the comments section below.

Is Drew’s All-Natural Organic Salad Dressing and Salsa Gluten Free

Drew's All Natural

I recently purchased a bottle of Drew’s All natural Smoked Tomato Dressing and Marinade at my local Ollie’s. The bottle was labeled gluten free. hen I went to use it I noticed that it had a disclaimer stating that the dressing is made on shared equipment with many known allergens including wheat. I am super careful with what I eat and avoid anything processed in a facility or manufactured on equipment shared with wheat. This dressing looked exceptionally tasty so I decided to email Drew’s and ask about there processes and the possibility of cross contamination. Here is my email to Drew’s and the response that followed.

“Hi,

I was about to use your Drew’s Smoked Tomato Dressing and Quick Marinade. I see that it is labeled gluten free, but it states that it is made on shared equipment with wheat. Is there a possibility of cross contamination from the wheat? If so how is it labeled gluten free? I would like to use it on my chicken tonight, but am celiac and do not want to get sick.

Thank you,

Laurie”

Drew responded within the hour which was quite impressive.

“Dear Laurie,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our Smoked Tomato Salad Dressing.

At Drew’s, we take our responsibility of eliminating the risk of allergen cross-contamination and ensuring the safety of consumers very seriously.  Drew’s has implemented a number of comprehensive standard operating procedures for the handling of known allergens, including but not limited to:  employee training, separate storage areas for allergen products, and an allergen cleaning/sanitation cycle of all equipment between production batches.  Following the allergen clean, we test for the presence of allergens (soy, gluten, milk, coconut or egg) prior to the next production run.  This ensures the cleanliness of our production equipment and the absence of known allergens.  As an added precaution, we schedule our allergen items for production on separate days or at the end of the day whenever possible.

In addition, our facility is SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certified and items which are labeled as Gluten Free have been certified to be in compliance by the GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization – http://www.gfco.org/).  Both of these certifications require very strict adherence to our aforementioned allergen control procedures.  Audits and inspections are performed by the certifying agencies to verify our system’s effectiveness.

We appreciate your taking the time to write us – please rest assured that we share your concerns and have taken the appropriate steps to keep our consumers safe as they enjoy our delicious Drew’s All-Natural and Organic Salad Dressings and Salsas.

Should you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate in contacting our office.”

I was glad for the quick response but decided to give the product to Alan’s mom and go with something that I knew was without a doubt safe.

I know many people have different severities of gluten intolerance and different levels of comfort with gluten free products in general. I tend to be on the strict side but am really interested in how the rest of the gluten free community feels on the subject.

My question to you all is whether you eat products with statements of processed in a facility that contains wheat, or made on equipment shared with wheat, ect.  Please let me know how you feel on the subject in the comments section below.

Pinterest Shut Us Down, For No Apparent Reason

Pinterest Broke Up WIth Us

Update 1/20/2014
Yay! We have hear back from Pinterest, it seems a couple of our pins were shared around a little too much. Oops, over enthusiastic or an issue with WordPress, not sure which. Either way, we’re back up and running on our normal Pinterest page!

Until we can sort things out, we are pinning as My Gluten Free Girlfriend under one of our personal accounts and you can follow us there.

Yes, Pinterest shut us down. We attempted to log in to our account on 1/14/14, and received the following message:

Your account has been suspended for violating our Acceptable Use Policy.

What?! Ok, we log in, we pin, we share, we do what Pinterest is intended to do. Then, without any notice, we are “suspended”? No email, no “Hey, we think there is something going on”, no warning. Just gone. Pinterest’s only method to request account reactivation is a form on their website. Unfortunately, it seems they sometimes take their time responding to requests and shut down accounts on a regular basis. Bummer. We even posted to them on Facebook, and have yet to receive a response.

Pinterest suspension inquiry on facebook

Pinterest suspension inquiry on facebook

We’ll keep you posted if and when Pinterest gets back to us and how it all works out. Meawhile, if you already miss us, love our great recipes, and would still like to support us on Pinterest – make sure to follow our personal page.

Coconut Flour Giveaway Plus 18 Dollars In Gluten Free Coupons From Top Gluten Free Brands

Coconut Flour Giveaway

I have finally decided to do my first rafflecopter giveaway! one lucky person will win 1 pound of gluten free grain free coconut flour and over 18 dollars in gluten free coupons from companies like Namaste, Udi’s, Crunchmaster, and Enjoy Life. I was given this coconut flour by Bob’s Red Mill when I asked for it to write my comparison of 7 top coconut flours. The coupons are from the Washington DC Gluten Free Expo. I do not buy many gluten free prepackaged items due to my corn intolerance so I figured I would pass on these awesome coupons to you guys.

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The Ultimate Coconut Flour Guide: Which Coconut Flour Is Best For Baking? 7 Coconut Flours Compared

Coconut Flour Mug Cake Showdown Comparison

I love coconut flour. I bake with it as often as I can and eat it at least once every day. Some people would call me obsessed. Low calorie, high protein, low carb, high fiber, this flour has amazing benefits! What’s not to love? I have tried my fair share of coconut flour recipes from other food bloggers. Most worked out fantastically, but some flopped. After reading a bajillion comments on those recipes the common consensus was that the brand of flour may be the reason for the recipe failure. Coconut flour absorbs a ton of water. Coconut flours differ in how finely they are ground and how much fat they contain as well. I really wanted to figure out which flours worked best and why.

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Tosh.0 Makes Fun of Celiacs, Users Wish Death on People With Allergies

Alan reads Tosh daily. I can’t stand the guy and think he is unfunny and mostly meanspirited. Alan showed me a Tosh today about glutenfreesingles.com. It pokes fun at gluten free eaters. The comments, which Tosh’s blogs are famous for, are horribly mean. Chris Kieth’s comments made me extremely angry. Anyone who thinks that opening up a gluten free restaurant and feeding gluten filled foods to celiacs is funny is a very sick minded individual. Gluten free is not a fad diet. Bloggers like Tosh are further putting the idea that gluten free is a fad into the mainstream school of thought. I am livid and can not string my words together properly at this point so today I am handing over this post to Alan the gluten free boyfriend. Here is what he has to say on the subject.

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Athena Greek Yogurt Bars Removing Gluten Free Label

Athena Greek Yogurt Bar

Four days ago I wrote a post titled Celiac Alert: Sprouted Wheat in Athena Gluten Free Greek Yogurt Bars. Since then it has gotten many hits and shown up on reddit. This post got many people talking about these bars and their ingredients. Many said they were going to or had emailed the company for more information on the gluten free labeling.

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Celiac Alert: Sprouted Wheat in Athena Gluten Free Greek Yogurt Bars

Athena Bar Label

 Update: Athena will be removing the words gluten free from their packaging.

Who would have thought a bar labeled gluten free would contain wheat sprout?

I often check out the gluten free options available at gas stations and rest areas when I travel. I have found some amazing products that way. While at a Sheetz in West Virginia I came across Athena Yogurt Bars.

I spotted the words gluten free on the front of the wrapper and thought about buying one. I would have walked out with a bar in hand and quickly devoured it based on the gluten free claim on the wrapper. Thankfully my corn intolerance saved me from this fate. I read every ingredient on every wrapper to check for corn as it is not a top eight allergen and is not disclosed.

When I turned over the Athena bar many ingredients alarmed me. (I am listing these in the order they show on the wrapper not in order of level of alarm or severity. If I listed them due to highest concern I would have started with the wheat sprouts.) I first saw grain dextrins and wondered what grain they were derived from. Then I saw barley grass and wheat grass which I know the fda approves for gluten free foods as long as the items test less than 20 ppm gluten or less. I will not eat anything with barley or wheat grass as it has a high rate of cross contamination. The grass itself is gluten free if it has not been allowed to sprout or begin producing grains, but who is to say that some of the blades of wheat grass don’t sprout sooner than others? It is just too much of a grey area for me to trust.

The third ingredient I saw was the one that made my jaw drop: WHEAT SPROUT! I immediately dropped the bar and had to retrieve it from the floor. I then took a photo of the ingredients and emailed Bella makers of Athena Bars. I knew that sprouting grains can begin the process of breaking down gluten proteins to make them easier to digest in general. In no way does sprouting wheat make it anywhere even close to gluten free. I did a bunch of research before writing this post and all of it pointed out that sprouted gluten grains are not gluten free. They are not even low gluten (I hate that trendy fad diet term). So I asked in my email to bella why their Athena Yogurt Bars are labelled as gluten free but show wheat clearly on the label. I have not gotten a response and I emailed them over a day ago. I also left a comment on the Bella facebook page asking the same question today and have yet to get a response. I am slightly impatient and wanted to get this information out to you all as soon as possible in hopes to save someone from a possible glutening. I will update this post as soon as I hear any word from the manufacturers. Until then I would cautiously advise you to steer clear of Athena Yogurt Bars. I could be wrong. There could be new research that escapes me and wheat sprouts could magically be gluten free now, but in case I’m not it wouldn’t hurt to eat something else until I get a clear response.

Athena Bar label

Athena Bar label