It feels good to be back home. Home has always been a safe place for us and a place that we know that we can eat right, with the right ingredients and not worry or question the chef’s knowledge of ingredients and gluten free awareness. Hence, I spend a lot of time shopping for food. People always think that when you take gluten out of your diet you are left with very little to eat. But I am here to tell you that the variety of foods we eat now is outstanding.
I wanted to address a common complaint I hear from people about the expense of gluten free products. I am going to focus the meat and potatoes of my discussion (both gluten free) on foods that are naturally gluten free. All fruits and vegetables and juices are gluten free. This includes fruit leathers and even some fruit snacks and dried fruits as well. In fact smoothies are a great snack for almost anytime of day. If you do not have a dairy allergy, all cheeses are gluten free except blue cheese. The Kraft website has a list of all of their gluten free cheese products. Most yogurt is gluten free, but again, I would check with the manufacturer unless it is labeled Certified Gluten Free (see my earlier post from 2/23/10). Eggs are gluten free! Plain, organic meats and fish are gluten free and an excellent source of protein as well. All potatoes, rice, and quinoa are gluten free. All beans are naturally gluten free, although you need to check labels on prepared or canned beans.
Other grains that you may not be familiar with are amaranth, arrowroot, flaxseeds, kasha, polenta (which is corn based), popcorn (my personal favorite) sorghum, teff, tapioca and believe it or not buckwheat! Of course nuts and seeds and dried fruit mixes are an excellent way to stock up on good energy sources. Even carob, which comes from a carob tree, is gluten free and a great substitute for those avoiding gluten, chocolate and caffeine. There are many spreads which may even be in your own pantry; any nut butters, butter, and cream cheese.
There are many different healthy oils to choose from as well, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and grape seed oil to name a few. Kids of course really live for snacks and if yours are like mine, they eat their way between every meal. I always have on hand fruit leathers, rice and corn cakes, tortilla chips, Pirate Booty, and GF dried cereals such as Rice Chex and Gorilla Munch. And in our house, when in doubt, we stick it all on a corn tortilla, warmed just right, they are delicious!
Here is a really fun recipe. It uses ingredients that you will find in your own pantry. This is a great snack to take in the car or on road trips because you can store it in a baggie. Gorilla Munch is a cereal made by Envirokids, who have a whole line of gluten free products. They run about $3 a box and taste great with milk, dry for a snack or in this yummy trail mix. Again, you may substitute the carob chips for other kinds of chips if you dare.
Gorilla Munch Trail Mix
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup organic white sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
4 cups Gorilla Munch Cereal
1 cup Carob chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together peanut butter, sugars, butter, baking powder, baking soda and egg.
Stir in the cereal and chips.
Shape dough into rounded table spoons and drop onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Alternatively, pat mixture into 9 X 13 glass baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
Cut and serve.