About three million Americans have been estimated to have celiac disease―an autoimmune digestive disease that calls for a 100% gluten-free diet. Moreover, another 40 million have been estimated to have gluten intolerance/gluten insensitivity, and the numbers are just on the rise. People with celiac disease and gluten insensitivity cannot consume gluten―a protein, found in most baked products, like breads, cakes, cookies, etc. It's also found in pastas, cereals, crackers, etc.
Myth Busted!Often, people without gluten intolerance or celiac disease opt for a gluten-free diet, with the hope of losing weight. Such a diet, unlike common belief, is not a weight loss diet option.
While a gluten-free diet is the way out, cutting out gluten completely brings about various disappointments. No more delicious cakes, pizzas, cookies, or even plain old bread. Understanding this need of the population, food manufacturers across the globe are coming up with gluten-free varieties of food products. However, not all of them taste quite good. Many gluten-free products taste like cardboard and sawdust, which is, indeed, very disappointing.
There are some food manufacturers that have managed to come up with some really good gluten-free recipes for their breads, pancake mixes, pizza crusts, etc. Let's take a look at some of them.
While nothing beats homemade gluten-free bread, the Canyon Bakehouse has come up with some pretty good breads. Gluten-free bread has always been infamous for its lack of bread-like flavor and texture; however, Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free 7-Grain Bread is something that has come really close to the flavor of wheat bread. It's not only soft and pleasing to the palate, but is also very nutritious, with grains like brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, millet, etc., added to it. Besides being gluten-free and 100% whole grain, their bread is also free from dairy, soy, nuts, and casein, which makes it suitable for people with these allergies. Canyon Bakehouse makes different types of gluten-free breads with flavorings, like cinnamon, herbs, etc. Try them out!
Most gluten-free pasta brands have a cardboard-like aftertaste and a chewy texture; however, the ever-growing pasta market seems to be coming up with better versions of the same. Master pasta maker Gianluigi Peduzzi prepares his corn-based pasta by hand-selecting organically grown rice flowers, which are then steamed to form the pasta dough. Since this pasta is prepared from corn flour, it's yellow in color, has the sweetness of corn in it, and its texture bears semblance to wheat-based pastas. Specific instructions have been mentioned on the packet, so make sure you follow them to a tee, while preparing it.
At last, somebody's come up with a gluten-free pancake mix that doesn't taste like cardboard. Gluten-Free Pancake Mix by King Arthur Flour is a 15 oz. packet that yields sixteen 4-inch, fluffy and delicious pancakes. Made from a blend of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and rice flour, these luscious pancakes are also free from nuts and soy. What's even better is that with this mix, you can also prepare wonderful waffles. All you need to do is add some extra milk to the mix, as per the instructions on the packet. King Arthur Flour has several other gluten-free mixes under its umbrella, including muffin mix, cake mix, brownie mix, etc.
You needn't miss out on soft tortillas, just because they contain wheat. Rudi's Gluten-Free Tortillas are made from whole grains like brown rice, corn, sorghum, quinoa, millet, and various other ingredients. It's amazing how these wheat-free tortillas are so soft that they bend and hold shape, just like the wheat ones. Besides being soy, dairy, and nut-free, these tortillas come in three interesting varieties: plain, fiesta, and spinach. What's even better is that unlike other brands, these tortillas contain five grams of fiber each, thus, raising their brownie points. Stock up on some of these packets, and your gluten-free Mexican dinner can be served anytime!
While most gluten-free cookies are dry, crumbly, and greasy, Udi's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft, extremely moist, and chewy. Made with dried cane syrup, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, molasses, chocolate chips, egg, baking soda, etc., these cookies are perfect for cookie lovers! Having said this, these chocolate chip cookies are tad on the expensive side, but they're great to satiate one's sweet tooth, every once in a while. Moreover, they are also high in calories, so purchasing them too often wouldn't do your waistline any good.
Don't worry, buckwheat isn't wheat, but is a gluten-free grain that is used instead, to replace wheat flakes. Made with organic, whole grain, buckwheat grits and flour, brown rice flour, maple syrup, honey, evaporated cane juice, etc., this cold cereal is not only free from gluten, but is also very nutritious. It's definitely a great way to start the day! Besides buckwheat flakes, Arrowhead Mills also offers sweetened rice flakes and sprouted cornflakes, which are also excellent gluten-free cold cereal options.
Lightly dusted with rice flour, Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crusts are prepared from a combination of tapioca starch, brown rice flour, egg whites, canola oil, tapioca syrup, evaporated cane sugar, and some other ingredients. There are two pizza crusts in each pack. Besides being gluten-free, these crusts are also free from soy, dairy, and nuts. They're the key to pizza nights for those with gluten allergies. Top them with anything you like, and your delicious gluten-free pizza is ready to enjoy!
These gluten-free food brands have been titled as some of the best, based on their texture, taste, and overall satisfaction. However, choices may vary depending on personal preference. Moreover, price constraints also have to be considered. Some brands may be better gluten-free options, but too expensive to afford. So, choose according to your taste preference and price range.