View Full Version : Help from gluten free people

November 16th, 2014, 10:08 AM
my niece was just diagnosed as gluten sensitive and would like to find some good web sites and recipes to work with.
I thought anyone who is gluten free on here might share some things that I can pass on to her. Thanks. Even some advice on things to avoid or add would help.

November 16th, 2014, 12:04 PM
Oh goodness.
We are a gluten free family, but there is so much good info out there to google or find a post can't even begin to cover it.
Is you're neice old enough to be om her own...or does she still live with her parents?
The reason I ask is because if she's living at home, mom and dad are going to have to change the way meals are made.
Or she herself will need to modify her own cooking ways.

There are tons of excellent websites. Anything from simple substitutions to in-dept detailed info. Google search will pull up thousands....however I would recommend a good book that looks and explains all the ins and outs of this and how she will need to make changes. They are at the library.

When we started down this road in 2006, there were not good GF (gluten free) foods out there, but now there are. Until she/they get a handle on things...they should buy what they need and be prepared for sticker shock. GF is VERRYY expensive.
Once they get used to it and learn how to adjust cooking style and ingredients, it's not hard at all to use GF flours or even mix up your own flour mixes.

Often people are reeling from being overwhelmed by it all, but it does and will get easier.
My books are all older, but the new books put out in the last few years that I've gotten from the library are excellent.

Last thing to pass on.....pay attention to the small ingredients. Many things may not have Wheat, Rye, or Barley actually on the ingredient label, but contain hidden gluten. Like crunchy coats on things or barley malt extract and flavorings. Those are harder ones to ferret out.

November 16th, 2014, 12:45 PM
My niece is an adult with a family. She has been googling and getting overload I think. The family is on board with this change so that helps.
She has discovered things like soy sauce has gluten in it too. Who knew????
Was looking for beginner sites and ones that have good info. If you read too many, things start to cross each other, and you wonder which is correct.
There is a good health food store here, and she is trying to start with basic things, but what is better, rice flour or another kind.
Trial and error can get expensive.
Looking for recipies too. Is getting a bread machine a good thing or a waste of money.
Those are the kind of questions we are looking at.
Personal experience is always better than a book or website.

November 16th, 2014, 01:25 PM
We don't have to eat gluten free but have switched over to rice pasta and it's delicious and gluten free!

Tinkyada Rice Pasta (http://www.tinkyada.com/)

These are excellent products and no complaints from my family.

Edited to add that WalMart has a gluten free area and they sell the rice pasta.

November 16th, 2014, 01:30 PM
How is this diagnosed? Is it discovered through a blood test?

November 16th, 2014, 02:13 PM
Ok, now I know where to start..
Yes, a bread machine is a good investment. I already had one, but when it conked out I got another one that was programmable.
GF yeast breads do not need the same rise cycles, or bake times. So being able to customize these things makes a HUGE difference.
I spent the big bucks for the Zorjirushi, because this is life long, but other brands are programmable too I think.

In terms of reliable results with all the various flour mixes available, I've had the best success with the Brown Rice Flour blend for un-yeasted things (muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc...) and the Sorghum Millet blend for yeasted breads.
However, I would recommend she get on Amazon and order some pre-made mixes from Bob's Red Mill.
The Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix is an excellent starter to show her how good home baked GF bread can be.
It will be different, but soon they will come to appreciate the differences. It doesn't slice the best...so not terrific for plain sandwiches (I have yet to find a GF bread that is without paying $10 a loaf) but good for toast, garlic bread, cinnamon raisin bread, sticky bun...well, you get the point.

As far as which flour mix is better. That is completely personal preference.
White rice flour blends tend to be a little lighter in texture, like a fluffy cupcake.
Brown rice flour blends...a little more depth, body and homey-ness. (is that even a word??) and my go-to flour for nearly everything.
The millet, sorghum, and bean flour blends are good for yeast things as mentioned above, but not so good for plain muffins.
They lack the "toothsome-ness" on their own.

The one thing I do tell people, but it takes them a while to understand...is they need to think outside the box. Instead of trying to straight trade one ingredient for a GF ingredient, look at different food styles that don't rely on bready type of ingredients in the first place. Being GF has made me look towards cuisines that normally aren't high on people "favorites" list like Italian or Mexican foods always seem to be but are pretty much wheat based.

And yes, most "soy sauces" are not made of soy at all...lol! They are made from wheat.
As she has probably figured out, she needs to become an ingredient detective.
Give me a few more minutes and I'll see what I can dig up. I know I posted some stuff to another person here about a month ago who was asking similar questions. Maybe that thread will come up on a search.

November 16th, 2014, 02:15 PM
How is this diagnosed? Is it discovered through a blood test?
she told me her Dr did blood tests and it showed up there. She was having joint pain, tiredness, and sometimes would feel like she was going to pass out, among other symptoms. Dr tested for gluten allergy and said she is gluten SENSITIVE. not quite to the allergic stage yet. After the diagnosis, she googled the symptoms and they all fall into place. She has been only watching what she is eating since Wednesday and she told me last night she could already feel a difference.

November 16th, 2014, 02:20 PM
Some of the foundations can actually have pages and pages of ingredients or foods that have been checked and certified gluten free.
She may not be a true celiac (my son is, but I'm only gluten sensitive...so know all about that) but treating herself as a celiac is the way to go until she's had time to sort things out.
Celiac Disease Foundation |Celiac Disease Foundation (http://celiac.org/)
Celiac Disease & Gluten-free Diet Information at Celiac.com (http://www.celiac.com/)
Celiac Disease Resources | NFCA (http://www.celiaccentral.org/Resources/22/)

I'll look through my books and see which ones might be more targeted to newly diagnosed people.

November 16th, 2014, 02:23 PM
Thank you so much Sonic. Those are the answers we are looking for. So many choices and which flour is best for what process. Any and all answers are very much appreciated.

November 16th, 2014, 02:26 PM
Sundays are busy days, but I'll keep digging for info that type of info....

November 16th, 2014, 02:36 PM
Sundays are busy days, but I'll keep digging for info that type of info....

thanks, this is a good start for her. Sent her a link to this thread so she can follow. Lots to learn at first. Complete life style change. Best taken in small doses.

November 16th, 2014, 03:59 PM
(hope you are comfy..it's a long one)

These are my 3 go to books and my thoughts on each-

1. Complete Gluten Free Diet and Nutrition Guide

2. 150 Best Gluten Free Muffin Recipes
150 Best Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes: Camilla Saulsbury: 9780778802914: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/150-Best-Gluten-Free-Muffin-Recipes/dp/0778802914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416163410&sr=8-1&keywords=150+best+gluten+free+muffins)

3. Gluten free Baking Classics

Half the book is dedicated to switching to a GF lifestyle, how to find the right foods, and all the nutritional considerations, such as…with the removal of wheat based products…which supplies the body with far more good things than the bad gluten.... one needs to make sure to replace said items for balance. By removing wheat rye, and barley, you are removing some important whole grains that are good in other ways.
Many of the reliable baking flours are made of less nutritious stuff even thought they are “safe.”
Like plain white rice…it‘s not “bad” for you per se, but brown rice has the germ and overall is healthier.
The other half is dedicated to recipes. I would not consider (as a whole) the recipes to be very helpful in that some will say: (random example)
1 cup tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 can gluten free tomato sauce
1 cup gluten free pasta.
…um, yeah…ok. Not helpful.
Probably helpful for a newbie, but very quickly her mind will be able to read a regular recipe and automatically pick out what needs subbing.

As mentioned in a previous post, thinking outside the box is extremely useful.
Muffins are her friend. :D
You can bake anything (and I mean anything) into a muffin. I have a son whom I have to pack lunches for and have had to since he started school. Let me tell you ….that‘s a HUGE challenge. Probably the hardest of all…eating away from home. Work lunches…school lunches… yep. The hardest. Ergo the muffin.

Plus, many recipes are based on one easy flour mixture (brown rice mix) used through out the book. Enough to make it worth owning for that alone, but also other flour mixes for when she gets the courage to try more things.

And…they work! I’ve made many many many of these- to the point where I‘m now subbing all kinds of things other than the recipe calls for. They taste good! The longer you live the celiac lifestyle..the better they taste. :)

Annalise Roberts knows her stuff! Overall I tend to like her style the best.
This has both the Brown rice flour mix in it plus lots of recipes based on it. And it also has the millet sorghum yeast bread mix I mentioned.
It’s got a nice overview of the flours…the whys/why nots…then dives right into a nice variety of different types of baked goods. Breads, yummy muffins (I bake them as much as the ones from #2 above)pies, jelly rolls, treats, sweets, cookies, pizza crusts, etc…

I have a lot of other gluten free books and guides, but these are the ones I use the most.
My cooking style and busy life means I need just a few good reliable flour mixes that can multi-task. I also don’t need a book to tell me to just go buy gluten free pasta. Unfortunately there are books out there that all they do is take a regular recipe and where ever applicable say “1 cup gluten free_____ (whatever...tomato sauce, milk, ketchup, broth..etc..) :icon_rolleyes:
The library is her best source to see what kinds of books will help her and reading book reviews is also very helpful. Amazon is where I found mine, or decided to buy a copy after reading one from the library.

One last thing…about thinking outside the box-
I mean really outside traditional cooking ideas in this country.
Palo cooking for example. I don’t buy into the whole “caveman” way of eating, however it is a gluten free diet (usually) and a good place to look for meal ides.

Pancakes and flat waffles (made without added sugar) make wonderful flat bread/slice bread substitutes. Not to mention they taste better too. It’s like flat bread made in other countries.... Fill them with cream cheese, jam, ham and cheese, whatever…

Rice- excellent sub for pasta in soups, stew, and casserole type dishes. Home made chicken and rice soup is every bit as yummy as chicken noodle soup. Crushed white tortilla chips make excellent “crackers” for soups or cheese spreads…that type of thinking. :)

One more last thing….A second last thing….There are more gluten free books out there that incorporate a lot of dairy into the recipes, but my kiddo is allergic to milk, so that has a little bit to do with my cooking and book choices as well. I have to bake with almond, rice, and soy milks but in a way that kids can still appreciate. Family style stuff.

While grabbing the above titles, I saw this book but won‘t buy it because the reviews tell me I won‘t be able to use it as much as a just celiac could because of the reliance on dairy items. But, might be good for her.
(Amazon reviews are your friend…as are their used books.
The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes. - Kindle edition by The Editors at America's Test Kitchen. Cookbooks, Food & Wine Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Cookbook-Revolutionary-Groundbreaking-ebook/dp/B00IPPIETG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1416163147&sr=8-4&keywords=gluten+free+baking+classics)

November 16th, 2014, 04:17 PM
We're a gf household due to DDs celiac disease where she had extensive damage to her intestines. Five years later, we're still dealing with the fall out from the damage-anemia, night vision, hair, nails etc.

I totally agree with Sonic re: Annilise Roberts' Gluten Free Classic Cookbook. We always get requests for the brownies.

This is what we use for a soy sauce sub:
Amazon.com : Bragg Liquid Aminos, All Purpose Seasoning, 32 fl oz : Grocery & Gourmet Food (http://www.amazon.com/Bragg-Liquid-Aminos-Purpose-Seasoning/dp/B0006Z7NNQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416164916&sr=8-1&keywords=braggs+amino)
Also, this is one of our favorite rolls recipes: Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Buns: King Arthur Flour (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/PrintRecipe?RID=1454&radio=1)

November 16th, 2014, 04:19 PM
Wow Sonic, thanks for going the extra mile for us. I am going to text her and tell her to check out these books. I did tell her to keep checking back for updates on this thread.
Using the library is a great idea too. Then she can decide whether she wants to buy that book or another. I often do that with quilt books. if her library doesn't have it there is always inter-library loan.
Sounds to me like you can really incorporate these things into your everyday life and not really miss out on things you like. Just takes some practice.
Hardest time of the year to try a complete diet change with the holidays coming, but if family knows I'm sure they would be happy to make a few things to accommodate. I know I would.
Thanks again for taking the time to write this all out. I will let you know how it goes as she tries all these things.

November 16th, 2014, 04:21 PM
Thanks Susann for your input too. Good to know 2 different people like the same book. Sounds like a good one for her to pick up.

November 16th, 2014, 06:39 PM
My daughter and husband are both gluten sensitive, and I know from experience that cutting out gluten will change her life. However, she is going to have to be extremely careful about what she eats, b/c gluten is hidden in so much stuff. Licorice, for example. Who would think licorice would have gluten? Malt flavoring is in a great many products, and that is the source of gluten in those foods. My advice to her is to read the label of everything before she eats it, and to know where gluten is hiding. And they make a gluten free soy sauce. :)

I also second the recommendation about the Tinkyada pasta. That is my favorite gluten free pasta. As for flour, I like Better Batter. It's pricey, but they say you can use it 1:1 in recipes (in place of regular flour). It's a little hard to find in the stores (Hy-Vee's in out-state Minnesota have it, but I can't find it in the metro area). You can order it online, and in bulk amounts. Also, I believe you can give them your recipe and they will make suggestions if the the 1:1 proportion isn't working. As for bread, my kids like the Pamela's bread mix for the bread machine. Bisquick makes a gluten free version. We use Udi's pre-made bread. When it's toasted, it's not bad. I actually like it more than regular bread.

Restaurants are getting better about gluten free options. Lots of pasta places will substitute gluten free. Red Robin has a really good gluten free bun, and will make fries without the seasoning. Like others said, she will grow to appreciate Mexican fast food when she is out and about -- it seems to be one of the easiest places to get gluten free.

Also, there are apps she can download on her phone that will give her recommendations on where to get GF food (restaurants and specialty stores). I use "Find Me GF". My husband uses a different one. Both seem good. They are great when traveling!

We've been gluten free for 2 1/2 years, and its getting easier and easier to shop. Good luck to her. She is going to feel soooo much better.

November 16th, 2014, 08:11 PM
Beware of jars of spices!!!! They often use flour to make them pour/sprinkle better. A 1/4 teaspoon in a casserole made me as sick as a dog.

I am GI intolerant. I find that being totally GF for 3 - 4 weeks gets me back to normal. Then I eat gluten light. I can have that slice of non-GF cake or not worry about slipping up when eating out. I'm still experimenting, but now I avoid bread and pasta and the like and I can eat almost anything with low gluten ingredients (including that casserole with 1/4 teaspoon of spice).

November 16th, 2014, 08:21 PM
We have a store about two miles from our house and all they sell is gluten free! We don't need it, but the youngest daughter does. If Trader Joe's is by you, they also have a lot of gluten free stuff there as well.

Snip Snip
November 16th, 2014, 08:45 PM
I am so glad to see this thread. Great suggestions and information! I haven't been diagnosed as gluten intolerant but have been wondering if it could be an issue. I will look for these flours and mixes. I think if I were only cooking for myself, I could go gluten-free pretty easily, but DH is a bread fiend, so it has not been feasible so far.
I understand that "gluten-free" may be somewhat a fad now days, but if it makes you feel better, go for it.

November 17th, 2014, 03:47 AM
I was looking on pinterest for a savory pie and came across this...