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Health & Fitness

Your Guide To Going Gluten-Free

Whether you have Celiac disease, have noticed gluten sensitivities, or have just decided that you’d instead eliminate gluten from your diet, it can seem daunting initially. Many people that go gluten-free by choice, not out of necessity, find it hard to find bread and cereals that they actually enjoy eating. The key in many ways is to stop relying on the grocery store aisles for your sweet treats and bread but to make your own. Fortunately, there are many alternatives you can pick up to do all of your gluten-free baking and cooking without sacrificing taste. Keep reading to make your transition or journey to being gluten-free as seamless as possible.

Xanthan Gum Is A Game Changer 

One of the main things people miss when they switch to a gluten-free lifestyle is sweet desserts and warm, fresh bread. Enter Xanthan gum as your fix to get your gluten-free baking game on point. Xanthan gum is a pantry essential because it creates the binding necessary in baking which you don’t get from recipes without gluten. Use Xanthan gum for baking brownies, cookies, cakes, and more. 

Additionally, Xanthan gum has a lot of other uses in your gluten-free kitchen. It’s commonly used in salad dressings, gravies, and dips because of its thickening qualities. So, if you’re going to buy nothing else for your new style of cooking, this is it. 

All Rice Everything 

Thankfully, you likely already love rice. Rice in its grain form is a staple of many diets and definitely a gluten-free one. But, in addition to making delicious meals where rice is the star or the side, you’re going to want to stock up on brown or white rice flours. The same way you’re going to use the Xanthan mentioned above gum in your baking, you’re going to need gluten-free flour alternatives. Most people prefer to bake with rice flours over nut flours as they have a less distinct flavor. When using rice flours in your baking and cooking, the other ingredients will be the flavors you taste, not the nuttiness of almond flour, for example. So, if you’re used to using traditional white or whole wheat flour, rice alternatives are a great substitute. 

Spicy Staples 

Many people already incorporate spices into their cooking – they are pantry staples worldwide. Not only are spices flavorful, but they also pack profound health benefits. Whether it’s the anti-inflammatory effects of Turmeric or the blood sugar-regulating benefits of cinnamon, spices can make all the difference in your cooking. Transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle can leave some people nostalgic for a little more flavor in their food – but it doesn’t need to be that way at all! Gluten-free food is just as delicious as its gluten-containing counterparts, and it’s just a new style of cooking with a learning curve. So, embrace the spices you already have and learn how to use them with your new recipes. Additionally, it’s worth it to go to a local spice shop and learn more about other spices you’d like to try!

Gluten-Free Cookware 

Now this one might come as a surprise if you’re new to dietary restrictions, but if you live in a household where people have severe reactions to gluten, but others do not – it’s a necessity. You want to have separate cookware for the two camps of people. That’s right, and gluten can be left behind in trace amounts on bakeware, cutting boards, measuring spoons, and more. So, if someone in your house is Celiac or otherwise critically affected by gluten, it’s imperative you use separate cookware for them. It may seem tedious at first, but protecting the health and comfort of our loved ones is worth it one hundred percent. 

Don’t Sacrifice Convenience 

Thankfully, with more and more people going gluten-free over the last several years, there are more options than ever to live a healthy and safe gluten-free lifestyle. Most grocery stores have dedicated aisles to eating this way, and with the tips mentioned earlier, you can make easy work of cooking quick meals at home for yourself. But, you don’t have to make too many sacrifices in the convenience and snack section of your life. Just get used to shopping in the gluten-free aisles or your local health food store. 

There are many benefits to eating a gluten-free diet, even if it’s not out of necessity. Suppose someone in your household was recently diagnosed with sensitivities or Celiac. In that case, it’s a very kind thing to do if you commit to eating gluten-free at home – for the person with the diagnosis and also for your health. Good luck on your gluten-free journey – it’s going to be delicious!

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