Eating a gluten-free diet can be a difficult transition, especially for those who are newly diagnosed with Celiac disease or simply want to avoid wheat-based foods.
Gluten-Free Cooking Tips: Never Sacrifice Taste
There aren’t many restaurants that serve gluten-free food, and products in grocery stores labeled gluten-free often cost more than traditional products.
However, with some experience and practice, eating gluten-free becomes much easier, and it does not mean that you have to avoid your favorite baked goods for the rest of your life.
There are many gluten-free flours that will give you the texture and flavor you crave from your baked goods and before you know it, you will forget wheat flour ever existed.
Check out our simple tips and tricks below and see just how much more satisfying your food can be!
Add Spices and Herbs
The simplest way to add flavor to your gluten-free food is to spice it up a bit! There are hundreds of herbs and spices out there on the market that you can experiment with. If you’re looking for a kick, try coriander or incorporate hot peppers into your dishes.
Herbs such as basil, thyme, mint, oregano, and several others are commonly used in a variety of dishes due to their ability to add immense amounts of flavor with just a small pinch. Try these spices in your gluten-free breads.
Nuts are naturally gluten-free, you can grind them into a flour for delicious cookies, peanuts, and almonds are especially useful. You can also buy ready-made almond flour.
Adding natural fruit juices or slices of fresh fruit to cookies, sweet breads, and muffins can give it that flavor you’re looking for.
If you want something that’s a bit more citrusy, add in some hits of lemon spice or actual lemon juice. You could also use lime or orange for a completely different direction.
A common misconception with gluten-free food is that you are no longer allowed the simple pleasures of pasta, bread, baked goods, rice, and basically all the common grains we consume in our daily diets. However, that isn’t exactly the case.
Many cultures outside of the U.S. such as the Japanese, Chinese, and Indian make the bulk of their foods without gluten.
Scour your local grocery store for products such as peanut noodles, Quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, and egg noodles. If you really want to be creative, try eating spaghetti squash or zucchini pasta for a whole new flavor.
All of the varieties above contain immense amounts of flavor, just not in the way we are used to with traditional grains. Try a few of the options above and see if any fit your taste buds needs, you may even like them more than what you were used to!
The Pantry Necessities
Regardless of whether or not you will be cooking/baking all of your gluten-free meals, there are some staples you will need to have in your pantry at all times.
• Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum. Both products are all-natural and act as a binder for baked goods. Use one of them in your bread, muffins, even breadcrumbs. They will keep your food from falling into crumbles and give the touch of elasticity that it needs.
• Oat flour, corn flour, nut flour, chickpea flour, brown rice flour, and/or lentil flour. Now, you obviously don’t need all of those in your pantry, but you should experiment with a few of them and see which one works best in your foods as well as with your taste buds. Use the same technique when searching for gluten-free breads or pastas.
• Cornstarch and/or potato starch. Both products are used as thickeners for foods such as tomato sauce. If you come from an Italian family, you know how important homemade sauce is to the family meal! Add cornstarch or potato starch to your sauce in place of traditional flour to make the sauce thicker. There is no difference is taste!
Living gluten-free is not as hard as you may think. It’s a change, and it’s going to take time to get used to, but with the above options and the large variety of spices available, you can eat food that is gluten free and satisfying to the taste buds.