Making the transition to a gluten-free diet can seem daunting at first. But there are so many great options out there now to make it easier. Use this list to learn the best gluten-free pantry staples (think bread, baking essentials, snacks, etc). These staples will help you create a gluten-free shopping list and get you started with variations of all your favorite meals!
I initially tried a gluten-free diet to deal with excessive bloating and some minor abdominal stabbing pain.
After two weeks of removing gluten, I noticed:
- Zero pain
- Less bloating
- A bit more energy
- Reduction in random red bumps
Given my best friend has celiac, I’ve done a lot of experimenting.
I can have some gluten (digestive enzymes help on how much) and have no issues with cross-contamination.
However, the bottom line comes down to the fact that I feel better when gluten isn’t in my diet. Significantly better.
Gluten Intolerant Versus Celiac
I feel like “gluten-free” has become a catch term that so many are using but don’t fully understand.
Gluten-intolerant means that you have some sort of reaction to gluten and should avoid it. If you have celiac disease, your symptoms are much more severe and can range from vomiting or blood in your stools to full allergic reactions that necessitate a hospital visit.
Celiacs need to not only avoid gluten but foods that have even come in contact with gluten (think of using the same cutting board for regular bread and gluten-free bread, or nuts processed in a facility that makes candied nuts with gluten).
For celiacs especially, you’ll learn that gluten is hidden in some weird freaking places (why is their wheat in soya sauce?!) so for any packages spice or sauce, you’ll need to learn to read ingredients.
Gluten-Free The “Right” Way
Whatever your reason for starting a gluten-free diet, welcome!
Though it’s challenging at first, once you get into the swing of things it’s really not so bad and you can still enjoy your favorite foods (with a gluten-free twist of course).
One thing to mention though is that if your goals are to improve your overall health, you need to remember that a gluten-free brownie is still a brownie.
Meaning, as much as possible opt for real, whole, unprocessed foods. Binging on gluten-free cookies just because they have a GF label is still a cookie binge 😉
Gluten-Free Pantry Essentials
Below are pantry staples for a gluten-free diet that I try to have on hand at all times. As mentioned above, there’s a lot of options out there now.
These pantry staples are geared more towards people who are gluten-intolerant though. So, if you have celiac disease, you may need to double-check some of them or look up a good source to confirm processing plants and whatnot.
You can use these pantry items to stock up and get back to enjoying all of your favorites with a few tweaks.
There are a few great ones out there but the two I use the most are Bobs Red Mills & Enjoy Life
Enjoy life specializes in sweet, yummy items as well as healthy snacks for kiddos. This brand actually focuses on being free from: dairy, soy, gluten, wheat, GMO, and nuts. So if you have multiple allergies, you’re covered! They’re worth stocking up on
Staples For Gluten-Free Baking
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- 1:1 baking powder
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruit
- Shredded coconut
- Chia seeds
- Hemp Hearts
- Nut butters
- Rice flour
- Quinoa Noodles
- Chickpea noodles
- Basmati Rice
- Rice puffs
- Almond crackers
- Marys thin crackers
Gluten-Free Bread & Wraps
Finding bread and wraps is one of the hardest parts of a gluten-free diet.
Though there is now some wonderful gluten-free bread on the market, wraps are another tory.
The best gluten-free bread I’ve found is from Costco (it’s one of our Costco shopping staples now). It’s one of the rare breeds that isn’t frozen and actually tastes like the bread you remember.
There are a few other brands like Little Northern Bakehouse but the Costco one is the best.
As for gluten-free wraps, I’m still struggling with this. Tortilla factory makes okay wraps but they tend to fall apart.
There is the option to use a coconut wrap but it does have a flavor.
My advice is to actually check out your local health food store as sometimes you find a gem.
Thankfully the gluten-free diet has exploded a bit and there’s a ton of snack options now! Before, many of us were stuck making our own gluten-free recipes. This is fine, but the option to have something store-bought is nice.
Below are just a few of my favorite packaged snacks including gluten-free protein bars, munchy snacks, and anything else I can mindlessly eat 😉
- RX bars
- Anything from Enjoy Life (especially for gluten-free kid’s school snacks)
- Glutino pretzels
- Simply 7 chips
Gluten-Free Essentials Shopping List
Stocking up your gluten-free pantry takes time (and a bit of playing around with what you like and don’t like!).
This essentials shopping list is based on the basics. The easy gluten-free baking ingredients to make most things as well as a few of the healthy snack items you’ll want on hand.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet you’ll be doing a bit more label reading. So, use this grocery list as a guideline to get you started and stocked up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gluten-Free Staples
Gluten-free staples will vary from household to household as you figure out which items you’ll want to make yourself and which you want to purchase. Some pantry staples include oats, chickpea noodles, gluten-free bread, beans, almond flour, coconut flour, and gluten-free snack bars.
Most regular oats are gluten-free. However, not all of them are made in a gluten-free processing plant. If you have celiac disease, you’ll need to make sure you purchase oats that are made in a separate facility from other wheat products
All rice is typically gluten-free. The exception is pre-packed and flavored rice. These packages, unless listed, can contain gluten ingredients or come in contact with them.
Many popular brands like Honey Nut Cheerios, rice Chex, and Rice Krispies are free from gluten. There are also a lot of specialty cereals on the market that have gluten-free lines as well like: Kind Granola, Nature's Path, and Holy Crap Cereal.
Some amazing gluten-free brands include Bob's Red Mill, Enjoy Life, Glutino, Holy Crap, Cloud 9, Mary's Crackers, and Simple Mills.