Gluten Free Foods

A Self-Guided Tour Through the Grocery Store

Your first trip to the grocery store may feel like a bit of a dream.  You walk through the same doors, things look familiar, you’re pretty sure you’ve been here before, but you’re not quite sure where to go or what to do.  But you screw up your courage, substitution list in hand and step through the portal.

Over time I'll be easing you away from the grocery store.  There are better ways to shop.  But let's take this one step at a time, we're comfortable here so lets go with it.

Take your time, relax, explore.  This will be fun.

Produce

Now focus.  Straight ahead is the produce section.  This is friendly territory; a veritable cornucopia of wholesome, fresh fruits and vegetables.  You know what to do, pick up a few familiar items and put them in the cart.  You have your meal plan, but plans were meant to be deviated from.  So pick up something unfamiliar.  Let your curiosity guide you.  The internet is a wonderful place.  You can figure out what to do with it when you get home.  And remember, choose organic if you can.

Bakery

Now the bread section is straight ahead.  This is a little frightening.  Everything looks, well, threatening.  After all, this is the source of all the trouble right?  You know you need grains in your diet and grains means bread...doesn't it.  Relax, there are lots of gluten free grains, and some of them are made into bread.

The gluten free bread may be here or it may be in the freezer section.  There are new varieties coming out every day.  If something looks interesting pick it up, give it a try.  Udi’s is a popular brand and it’s good. I recently tried Silver Hills and liked it. There are new choices coming out every day, so experiment.  Until you get good at making your own, you’ll want to keep a loaf of store bought bread in the freezer for that occasional peanut butter and toast craving.

Meat

Bypass the deli counter, there is nothing to see over there.  Focus on the whole meats just around the corner.  Starting to relax? This is okay right?  Mostly everything here is gluten free.  I’m going to encourage you away from grocery store meat, but one step at a time.  Let’s stick with the gluten free food expedition for now.  Whole fresh cuts are fine.  Sausages and hamburger patties likely have bread crumbs but there may be some gluten free options.  Be wary of anything that’s marinated or seasoned.  If it has a label, read it to be sure.

Dairy

Okay, you’ve got your stride.  On to dairy!  Most of this will be fine.  As always, read labels.  If you’re sensitive to dairy there are still some choices here.  You may find the eggs in this section too.  Awesome!  Eggs are great for you and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Like meat, I’ll be encouraging you away from the grocery store for these, but first things first.

Frozen Foods

The frozen foods section has oodles of gluten free food choices.  Of course the days of keeping a few frozen pizzas in the freezer for emergencies are over.  There may be gluten free ones, but they’re expensive and frankly quite gross. But if you steer away from the processed prepared meals and focus on whole, frozen vegetables and fruit you’ll find lots to choose from.  Frozen is much healthier than canned, it’s convenient, you don’t have to worry about buying more than you can eat, and I love the frozen berries with yogurt. Don’t forget to check the packages.  And remember, choose organic if you can.

Centre Aisles

Now to the centre aisles.  This is where things get a little murky.  There are many gluten free food needles in this haystack.  Manufacturers are making more gluten free products but you need to be discriminating.  Much of it is processed junk food and mostly made of wheat and corn.  For now, you just need a few staples if they’re not already in your pantry at home.  Oil for cooking and salad dressing, some spices, maybe some gluten free pasta and sauce.  Look for Tamari, it’s the gluten free soya sauce.  How about some honey, peanut butter, popcorn for snacks, dried beans or lentils, brown rice, rice paper for wraps and some gluten free flour.  Just an all purpose or rice flour for now.  You'll get more sophisticated with this later.

There, you did it.  You had a strategy and you executed! You survived. 


Now puff up your chest and take your bags of gluten free food home to the kitchen and we'll do some Gluten Free Cooking :)

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