Welcome to the gluten-free corner of Live Eat Learn! I hope to make this an ultra-informative place for you to come for all things gluten-free (with a vegetarian vibe). Let’s jump to the good stuff first:
On this page, you’ll also find:
- How to stock a gluten-free pantry
- “Hidden Gluten” Foods
- Gluten-free ingredient substitutions
- Gluten-free resources around the intewebs
How to stock a gluten-free pantry
While my pantry is not completely gluten-free, the following are some of my gluten-free-specific pantry and refrigerator staples for a well-balanced diet. Note that this isn’t absolutely everything you need in your pantry, just a few very gluten-free specific staples to help you keep good nutritional balance and make really tasty gluten-free food!
- Canned and Dried Beans
- Canned chickpeas: These make a hearty substitute for meat, like in Roasted Chickpea Gyros!
- Canned black beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans: Packed with protein and fiber, beans are an easy way to add a nutritious boost to just about any meal. Plus, you can use them to make gluten-free Black Bean Fudge Brownies!
- Frozen edamame: I love snacking on these. Just cook ‘em (either microwave or boil, depending on packaging), sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and snack away.
- Grains and Flours
- A good gluten-free flour blend: Make yours at home with this recipe.
- Cornstarch: Use it to thicken soups or as a dusting before frying (like in this Almond Tofu Nuggets)
- Almond flour: This is simply finely ground almonds, but makes a great substitute or addition to baked goods.
- Buckwheat flour: Despite the name, this powerful ingredient is wheat free! With a hearty taste, this is great in pancakes or breads.
- Rice (wild grain, brown, arborio): I use brown rice as a replacement to white rice almost always. Wild grain rice tends to be more fibrous and nutty, which is fun on salads. And arborio is important for tasty risotto!
- Quinoa: Technically a seed but treated as a grain, this contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
- Polenta: A.k.a “corn grits”, these are great mushed with cheese, panfried into patties, or as a substitute for flour in gluten-free baking.
- Oats: Rolled, instant, or steel-cut doesn’t make a difference apart from the texture you’re going for! Just be sure to look for certified gluten-free brands, as they can sometimes be contaminated by wheat when they are grown or processed.
- Nuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruits
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews (especially for vegan dairy alternatives), macadamia, pine): Stock up on nuts for snacking, adding crunch to meals, or for grinding into flours.
- Seeds (pepitas, hemp, chia, flax, sunflower): Like nuts, these tend to be nutrition powerhouses that can easily be worked into a lot of dishes.
- Dried cranberries, cherries, raisins: Add sweetness to baked goods, porridge, and salads!
- Olive oil: My go to for almost all stovetop cooking.
- Extra virgin olive oil: An important member of the oil team for cold dishes, like salad dressings. This one has a lower smoke point, meaning you can’t heat it quite as high.
- Safflower oil: With almost no flavor, polyunsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and a high smoke point, this is your oil for healthier frying.
- Sesame oil: This also has a high smoke point, but brings a really sesame, nutty taste. Super tasty in Asian stirfries!
- Coconut oil: This has a high smoke point and a distinct coconut aroma and taste. It’s high in saturated fat, so use it in moderation.
- Maple syrup: Use a touch of maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar for a more rounded taste and more phyotchemicals and antioxidants than table sugar.
- Honey: Because maple syrup can be pricey, I tend to use honey a lot more in place of sugar. Also brings a more rounded flavor to things like baked goods, smoothies, and soups without the refined sugar.
- Medjool dates: Soak these to get them nice and soft then remove the pits and blend into a date paste. This paste works wonders for sweetening things like baked goods!
- Stevia: The leaves of the stevia plant are dried, ground up, and sometimes removed of their color to create a substance that can be substituted for sugar.
- Odds and Ends
- Cocoa powder: Low in calories and full of flavor, I always keep cocoa powder on hand.
- Raw cacao nibs or powder: While cocoa has been roasted at a high temperature, cacao is raw, so a lot of the nutrients are still well and intact. You can use cacao and cocoa interchangeably in most recipes.
- Unsweetened applesauce: You can replace butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce (ration 1:1) in many recipes, so I like to keep this on hand!
- Coconut milk (full-fat and light): Skim the cream off full-fat cans to make dairy-free whipped cream, or use light coconut milk to add a lot of creaminess to soups or smoothies.
- Low-sodium vegetable broth or bouillon: Instant flavor for so many dishes! Just be sure to buy a brand that is gluten-free (wheat flour sometimes sneaks onto the ingredients lists of these)
- Tomato paste: adds a lot of flavor without a lot of fancy spices or sauces
- Gluten-free pasta: I personally love the ones that are also packed with vegetables!
- Condiments and Sauces
- Tamari: This is a sauce made from soy beans that is a lot like soy sauce, but a bit thicker and smokier. It’s free from gluten and has a lot less sodium.
- Dijon mustard: Adds a bit of spicy intensity to dishes. Even if you don’t like mustard (like me), this is an important one to have for general cooking. Ensure the brand you’re buying is gluten-free.
- Tahini: Made from sesame seeds, this is a potent little sauce that I incorporate into Asian dishes and baked goods alike.
- Sriracha or chili garlic sauce: Does this one need an explanation? Spice is a necessity in my kitchen.
- Hummus: Made from chickpeas and tahini, this is a protein-packed spread that’s great in sandwiches or as a veggies/pita bread dip.
- Salsa: Because sometimes chips and salsa for dinner is just what’s gonna to happen. And corn tortilla chips are a gluten-free necessity.
Foods that may contain “Hidden Gluten”
- Bouillon and stock
- Seitan (a vegan meat substitute)
- Some vegan cheeses
- Some varieties of licorice
- Processed meats, like sausages and deli meats
- Condiments that may use wheat as a thickener
Gluten-Free Ingredient Substitutes
- Bread crumbs: Coarsely chopped almonds, crushed flax, or whatever nuts/seeds suit your fancy. Mix in herbs for added yum.
- Flour tortilla wraps: Large lettuce leaves make a fun and healthy swap, or you can use corn tortillas.
- Pasta: Spiralized zucchini, spiralized carrots, and spaghetti squash all make tasty substitutions. If veggies aren’t your thing, rice noodles make a good runner up.
- Soy sauce: Tamari or coconut aminos both bring that same delicious umami flavor.
- Gluten Free Goddess
- Gluten Free Girl
- Celiac Central
- Minimalist Baker
- Fruit & Veggie Nutrition Calculator
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P.S. Have an awesome gluten-free tip that’s not listed here? Send me a message and I’ll include it so we can all learn from each other!
P.S.S. This post contains affiliate links for products I love, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.