New to gluten free eating? Here are some of the best GF blogs, books, and brands I love.
Psst! In case you missed it, my Going Gluten Free: The Basics post was published yesterday. Feel free to start there. Also, this post does contain a few Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
Welcome back, friends! Today, I’m covering the more fun side of going gluten free–inspiration! Gluten free eating isn’t about going without. It’s really about learning to love and think about the food we eat in a different way. There are definite sacrifices (I’m looking at you my favorite pizza crust), but there’s also just so much delicious, whole, beautiful food out there waiting for you! Without further ado, here are the blogs, books, and brands I recommend. I wish I could have included every blog, book, or brand I love, but here’s a good start to your journey. Have one you love that’s not here? Please leave me a note!
BLOGS I RECOMMEND
Disclaimer: We had to go dairy and gluten free at the same time and also drastically reduced our intake and use of refined sugars, dyes, preservatives, and additives. If that’s not what you need right now, no problem! My blog recommendations reflect our needs, but PLEASE chime in if you know a blog I’m missing!
Against All Grain – I love Danielle’s blog. I’m not Paleo, but she takes beautiful photos and has a huge range of recipes. This Roast Chicken & Roasted Vegetable Soup, for instance. Or, this Grain Free Sandwich Bread. See below for info on her book!
Deliciously Ella – Ella is an inspiration! Having healed her body from an autoimmune disorder over the last few years, she makes gorgeous, clean recipes that will have you craving veggies in no time. She’s plant-based, mostly gluten free, and doesn’t use refined sugars. She’s also gorgeous, sweet, and sincere as can be. You will love her. (Bonus points: she’s British!)
Elana’s Pantry – Elana eats grain and dairy free, following a Paleo diet. She and her son both have Celiac disease, and she’s spent years perfecting favorite recipes (everything from meaty mains to cookies and cupcakes). Elana has also written the book (literally) on baking with almond flour.
Gluten Free Girl – I love, love, love, love her. There’s just not much more to say. Shauna knows everything, she’s the sort of person who will always speak genuinely and warmly, and you just want to have her over for dinner. Truly, I think if I met her, I’d have to work really hard not to just give her a big hug and gush about how much I love her writing, her photography, and her recipes. Just read her about page, and you’ll want to be friends.
Gluten Free On a Shoestring – Just like the name sounds. Ideas for gluten free eating on a tight budget. Recipes range from whole foods to sweet treats. Lots of tutorials, explanations, and guides for reference.
In Sonnet’s Kitchen – I’m new to Sonnet’s blog, but it’s beautiful, simple, and straightforward. I like that she also peppers her posts with health information (she’s a certified holistic health coach).
Minimalist Baker – I couldn’t love this blog more. While not strictly any specific diet, nearly every recipe is whole food based and made for simplicity. Many recipes are gluten free or vegan friendly. Most recipes include 7-10 ingredients at most. Simple, clean food that anyone from beginner cook to gourmet would appreciate.
My New Roots – Sarah is a holistic nutritionist and certified nutritional practitioner (CNP). She loves whole foods and her recipes are based around lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. Her photography will knock your socks off.
Yammie’s Gluten Freedom – I read Yammie’s other blog before she went gluten free. She will help you if you’re just making the transition and still want old favorites. She’s got lots of baking recipes, sweet treats, and gluten free indulgences. Don’t miss her blog if you’re planning a birthday party!
BOOKS I RECOMMEND
Deliciously Ella. I’m cheating here because the book has only just been announced. Knowing what I know of Ella’s blog, I know it’s going to be FABULOUS.
It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow. Don’t scoff! I read this book right before we made our diet change. The book is full of elimination-diet friendly recipes. I love everything I’ve tried. (I adapted this recipe for chicken meatballs with lee’s hoisin sauce from her book)
Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo. I don’t follow a Paleo diet, but these are good, healthy recipes that don’t rely on grains or legumes. The book is full of practical nutrition and lifestyle advice for a wide range of chronic illnesses and ailments. It’s a great read and very interesting.
It Starts with Food, by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig. This is a really fascinating read. The authors are the minds behind the Whole30 reset you may have heard of. Whether or not you are into Whole30 (I’ve never done it), they share some incredible information about food and eating.
BRANDS I RECOMMEND (BY CATEGORY)
This is a huge list, and I’m sure there’s at least something I forgot. If you have questions about brands, please let me know! I’m happy to answer any question I can.
All-Purpose Flour: Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Mix is our very favorite store-bought blend. Trader Joe’s makes an all-purpose mix that’s also okay. It’s a bit starchier than I prefer, but does turn out very light baked goods when combined with a little xanthan gum. Arrowhead Mills makes an all-purpose baking mix that Emeril Lagasse’s Celiac daughters use for all their rouxs and thickening needs. I’ve been making my own mix using Shauna’s formula for your own gluten free flour mix. Using her method, you shouldn’t need to use xanthan gum or psyllium husks or any other binder, unless specifically directed.
Bacon: Hormel Naturals Uncured or Applegate Sunday Bacon. Both are gluten and dairy free and do not contain nitrates.
Breads: My very favorite is Canyon Bakehouse. They make bread and buns. It’s got the best texture I’ve tried so far. The downside is that it’s pricey (about $6 per loaf), so we don’t each much bread around here. Costco carries a few brands off-and-on, like Rudi’s for a much better price (2 loaves for $7). Rudi’s is fine, but dense and a bit crumbly. Kinnikinnik makes a very heavy, dense brown rice bread that contains very few ingredients and fillers. It’s not spectacular, but it’s also not full of fluff.
Broth & Bouillon: I use Better than Bouillon Organic soup base in place of bouillon. Note that ONLY the organic ones are gluten free. We’ve had good luck with chicken, vegetable, and beef. For broth, I like Pacific or Imagine brands.
Cereal: Every variety of Chex cereal other than Wheat Chex is safe to eat. That means Honey Nut, Cinnamon, Apple Cinnamon, Vanilla, Chocolate, Rice, and Corn varieties. We don’t eat much cold cereal these days, but when we do it’s Chex. We’ve tried a lot of other brands, and they’re just not awesome. One exception is Erewhon brand brown rice crisp rice cereal. It’s the best we’ve found for making crisp rice treats. Ironically, Rice Krispies brand is NOT safe to eat unless you buy the specifically labeled Gluten Free Rice Krispies. So, we just stick with Erewhon.
Chocolate & Chocolate Chips: Enjoy Life makes great chocolate chips. They’re pricey, but they are free of junk. No soy, dairy, gluten, nuts, eggs, etc. We also use Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. Guittard and Ghiradelli both say they’re gluten free, but they can have traces of dairy, so be aware if you’re sensitive. For chocolate bars, I love Endangered Species brand. They’re clearly labeled so you can see which bars are vegan and which aren’t if you’re avoiding dairy. Lindt 70% bars are also divine.
- BBQ Sauce: We like Bone Suckin’ sauce. There’s no corn syrup of any kind and it’s gluten and dairy free. Our back-up choice is Stubb’s brand.
- Ketchup: I like Annie’s Organic, Trader Joe’s Organic, or Hunt’s Natural (no corn syrup in any of them)
- Mayonnaise: Hellman’s or Kraft Olive Oil mayonnaise
- Mustard: My favorite is Organicville. Every variety I’ve tried is delicious and not too strong.
- Salad Dressing: We make most of our own dressings, but for store-bought, Brianna’s poppy seed dressing is a good one. Most Kraft dressings are safe, if you like those, and Newman’s Own (just about anything but their soy sauce-based dressing).
- Soy Sauce/Tamari: You’ll need to STOP using soy sauce and switch to gluten free Tamari. I’ve had great luck with San-J brand, available everywhere I shop. When we were just making the transition to gluten free, I taste tested Tamari next to soy sauce and couldn’t taste a difference. If anything, I prefer Tamari.
- Vegenaise: Vegenaise brand is safe.
Crackers: I’m not a great resource for crackers. The best gluten free crackers tend to have dairy in them. Glutino makes several varieties that are gluten free but have dairy. Since we have to avoid both, it’s harder to find a great texture and flavor. The gluten free/dairy free crackers we’ve tasted tend to fall on the white/shiny/bland end of the spectrum or the very seedy/sesame/flax end of the spectrum. Food Should Taste Good makes a decent sea salt brown rice cracker. Flax Snax makes a seed cracker in a few flavors that’s a bit strong, but gives you a bit of crunch.
Lunch Meat: Hormel Naturals is the most affordable. I like their peppered turkey a lot. Applegate also makes great turkey and ham, but they’re a bit more expensive. Neither brand uses nitrates.
Oats, Grains, and Flours: I can’t say enough good things about Bob’s Red Mill brand. They have impeccable processing procedures and we’ve had excellent success with everything we’ve tried from them–almond flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum, and every variety of gluten free oats they carry. We order in bulk from Amazon for the best prices. Trader Joe’s also recently started carrying GF old fashioned oats and carries a great, inexpensive almond meal. Update: Chex has a great new line of GF oats out that I can find at almost any grocery store or Target.
Pasta: I’ve tried brown rice pasta, rice pasta, and rice pasta blends. We like brown rice pasta best. As for brand, most of my GF friends prefer Tinkyada brand. I very much like Tinkyada, but I’ve found most brands are pretty much the same. Be sure to follow the cooking directions on each package, as different thicknesses, blends, and brands cook differently. (p.s. I know there are lots of quinoa pastas out there. I just haven’t tried them yet. Have a favorite? Leave me a note in the comments!)
Sausage: Applegate, Aidell’s, and Trader Joes’ are all transparent in their labeling. You’ll be able to tell clearly on the package what is safe and what isn’t. I like that most varieties of all three brands are also free of nitrates and other additives and fillers.
- Kinnikinnik animal crackers (chocolate, vanilla, and graham) as well as K-Toos (a gluten/dairy free Oreo).
- Kinnikinnik graham crackers. They’re a bit soft and taste like graham crackers should.
- Trader Joe’s gluten free Joe-Joe’s (another Oreo-type cookie).
- Glutino makes my favorite pretzels. Ener-G makes a good one too, if that’s all you can find.
- Lundberg makes several varieties of rice cakes that we like. Their lightly salted is my fave.
- Many brands of chips are naturally gluten free. Most Lay’s, most Boulder Canyon, and most Tostito’s are safe. Many kinds of kettle chips and tortilla chips are safe. Labeling tends to be pretty easy to navigate with chips.
Spices & Seasoning Blends: McCormick is transparent in their labeling. You can tell by reading their seasonings and seasoning packets whether something contains gluten. They don’t hide anything under “natural flavorings.” I really love Simply Organic spices too.
Tortillas: Mission makes GF corn tortillas. READ the labels, as only certain varieties of corn tortillas are gluten free. If you’re looking for a flour tortilla alternative, we haven’t found a pliable one yet. They all break and tear.