Are you going gluten free? And wondering how to start cooking gluten free? And what gluten free products are the best ones? Well, my cousin, one of my favorite people in the world, asked me to share some recommendations on my favorite gluten free products and where to find them.
Who am I and how would I know this? I have been cooking gluten free for years and even had a gluten free baking business before being gluten free was cool. It was long before you could find gluten free products at Target and when finding anything that tasted good was difficult. I used to mix my own flour and experiment with different flavors. Now, it’s easy to find great gluten free mixes, flours and breads and I’m happy to share my favorites here with you.
The best gluten free flour
My favorite gluten free all-purpose flour is from King Arthur Flour. I use King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free baking flour for cakes, cookies, and when a recipe calls for a thickener. It already has Xantham gum (a binder you need when you don’t have gluten. If you don’t have one, your baked goods will fall apart) and works just like regular flour, in my opinion. It’s amazing. You can get it on Amazon for a good price or Sprouts has the big bag.
Another good option for baking mix is Trader Joe’s gluten free flour. It works well and has some good recipes on the bag. I must also mention Bisquick™ Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix. I only use it when I’m making this recipe for baked fried chicken and it’s worth buying it just for that.
The best baking mixes
King Arthur baking mixes are also excellent and I’ve tried almost all of them (except the donuts, which are in my pantry right now). The pie crust is very good as is the brownie and cookie mixes. You can get the baking mixes and flour on Amazon and sometimes Target has baking mixes for a good price.
I also like Bob’s Red Mill pie crust mix, which is what I used for my Thanksgiving pies. (I made three even though we only had 5 people because pie is the best part of Thanksgiving.)
The best gluten free cake mixes
If I have one superpower it’s that I can whip up a birthday cake in the time it takes some people to make a sandwich. I love making cakes and for birthdays I like to switch it up depending on what the person likes. My favorite birthday cake mix is Pillsbury Funfetti Gluten Free Cake Mix. It tastes like regular cake – my biggest complement.
One of the best cakes I’ve made was with King Arthur Flour Yellow Cake Mix. I made four layers and filled with good quality raspberry jam and frosted with a fresh raspberry buttercream. The cake was the perfect base.
The cake that everyone goes crazy for and is the most requested when I get together with friends (in before times, of course), is an almond cake that I got the recipe for off of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill almond flour. It’s delicious and perfect for every occasion. You can serve it as a birthday cake with chocolate frosting or serve it with powdered sugar and berries for a lovely snack with coffee. In the picture below, I filled it with homemade lemon curd and frosted with a lemon meringue buttercream.
The best almond flour
Almond flour is expensive so if you have a Costco membership or know someone who does, then I would buy it there. Or buy a giant bag of Bob’s Red Mill online. Almond flour is tricky because it has a lot of fat so it can’t be used as a one to one substitution in gluten free baking. It’s just ground up almonds. It’s amazing, however, as a flour substitute in brownies or in meatballs. Trader Joe’s also carries a good almond flour with one of my favorite cookie recipes on the back.
The best gluten free bread
Bread is a hard one when it comes to gluten free. It’s just not the same, I’m not going to lie. I don’t make gluten free bread and haven’t tried any mixes lately, but I will update this if I do. As far as gluten free sandwich bread, I think Trader Joe’s bread in the pink bag is the best one. It tastes good, doesn’t fall apart and isn’t super dense. I also really like Udi’s (which may be who makes it for Trader Joe’s) for the same reason. Every once in a while, I’ll try a new sandwich bread and I keep coming back to these two.
The best gluten free pasta
I’ve tried quite a few pastas and my favorite dry past for texture and flavor is Trader Joe’s quinoa pasta, which is quinoa flour and brown rice flour. There are a lot of pasta’s made with corn, chickpea, or white rice flour, but I like the Trader Joe’s one because there’s fiber in it and it seems to hold up the best. Like all gluten free pasta, you have to make sure not to overcook it.
The best fresh pasta is Trader Joe’s Egg Fettucine pasta. It’s got a great texture and goes well with any sauce. The TJ’s ravioli is also excellent.
We just tried Udi’s gluten free ravioli that I’ve seen at Target (I ordered it from Amazon Fresh) and it was really good. It comes in a sauce and you can cook the whole thing in the microwave.
The best gluten free beer
Gluten free beer has come a long way in the last few years! There are some amazing and complex beers from microbreweries and a familiar tasting beer from Anheuser-Busch. I’m no authority on beer, but I know that I really love Green’s Dubbel Dark Ale. For a list of other gluten free beers, check out Thrillist’s list.
Try all the things
If you have Celiac and don’t have any allergies to other foods, I suggest trying everything until you find the foods you like best. Make sure to look at the ingredients for any food you buy, even if you think there’s no way it can have gluten in it. You can find gluten in soy sauce, packaged meat, candy and ice cream. I also recommend looking at the sugar and carbohydrate content. Sometimes manufacturers will add sugar and salt to make up for the gluten. And some items have more carbs than you’d think because they’re adding white rice or starches to mimic the gluten.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s a product you love that I haven’t mentioned.