Gluten Ingredient Cheat Sheet (printable)

When we were first transitioning to a gluten-free life, I had the hardest time trying to remember the 'banned' ingredient list. Grocery shopping was a bit stressful. Trying to read all of the ingredient lists while toting my toddler and baby through the store was a challenge in itself, but throw in new dietary restrictions, and I was a hot mess.

I didn't have an easy to reference cheat sheet, but I wished I did. I was in 'tired mommy' mode as I balanced life with my newborn and toddler (19 months apart), so I never made a list, I just suffered through those early gluten-free shopping days.  Sometimes, I made mistakes and brought something home that had an ingredient on it that I forgot was another form of gluten.

Well, I finally found some time and was able to make a cheat sheet (it only took me 2.5 years!). This will be useful for you even if you don't need to be on a gluten-free diet. Maybe you will have some gluten-free dinner guests one night and will wonder what you can feed them, or maybe someone you know just found out that they have celiac disease - give them a cheat sheet to help them in their journey!

Without further ado, I give you my 'ingredients to avoid' cheat sheet:
See all those numbers in the "Check with manufacture" list above? Download the PDF (click the link below) and you will see an extra page with more information on why those ingredients may or may not be gluten-free (courtesy of celiac.com).

There are other strange ingredients out there that are 'glutenous' but since they have names like, Hing, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, and Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, I left them off my list. If it has wheat in the name, don't trust it - pretty simple, right?

Going gluten-free promoted a great deal of processed food elimination in our home and it increased my 'whole food' mentality. My rule of thumb is, if something has really strange, hard to pronounce ingredients listed on the package, it's better for my health not to eat it.

Anyway, click the link below to download the PDF. Feel free to use the buttons at the bottom of this post to share this post with the world! :)

DOWNLOAD: Gluten Ingredients to Avoid - Printable

Post this list on your fridge, drop one in your wallet, give one to a friend! I hope you find this list as helpful as I would have back when I was just starting my GF journey. ;)

I am working on making the list in an easy-to-print wallet size (because wouldn't that be cool?). I will post an update with a download link when it's ready.

If you see anything missing from my list that you consider a 'normal' gluten ingredient, drop me a line!

Happy shopping!

(This post is linked up to a blog hop here: Laura's Gluten Free Pantry)

My Favorite: Gluten-Free Bread

When I started out on this whole gluten-free thing, I was really sad to give up normal bread.

I love bread.

In the beginning, I tried all sorts of gluten-free breads and they were all so disappointing. Seriously. They were either dense, dry and lacking flavor, or dense, moist, ultra crumbly and stinking of tapioca - it was all disgusting.

Until I discovered Udi's. 1558

Udi's Gluten-Free bread is THE best. There's no need to try anything else (unless you love tapioca and want it in your dense, crumbly bread).

Sign up on Udi's website and you will get a $1 off coupon.

I've tried their buns and muffins and they are perhaps my favorite freezer items (the blueberry muffins are such a wonderful treat!).

I like the whole grain bread the best. I use it most frequently for sandwiches and toast. And though the loaves are small, I've found that it's actually the perfect size. My family is now used to smaller sized sandwiches - in fact, it's a great way to have portion control. :)

The bread is on the expensive side at $5/loaf, but honestly? I think it's worth it. You can find it on sale occasionally (I found it at PCC for $4.39 a few weeks back and stocked up my freezer supply).

Speaking of freezers, Udi's bread does really well in the freezer. It thaws out nicely and never gets soggy.

If you are gluten-free - you've got to try Udi's!

Do you have a favorite GF bread? Do you have any advice for saving money on Udi's bread? Please share your experience in the comments!

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Note: I am not affiliated with Udi's - I am writing this review simply because I like and use the product. I hope that by posting my experiences, others will have an easier time transitioning to a Gluten-Free lifestyle.

Review: Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour

I finally used my Better Batter (gluten-free flour) in some chocolate chip cookies last night. 

They turned out fantastic and now I can say, this flour mixture is awesome!

I made the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips and where the recipe called for flour I simply used the same amount of Better Batter flour in place of traditional flour.

The cookies taste just like they did in my good old glutenized flour days. The batter looked totally normal and it even tasted normal - that's not something I can say of other GF flour mixtures I've used!

This is actually bad news for me....

Now that I've successfully used this flour as a 1:1 replacement, I'll be baking more treats. And that equals more calories and sugar in my diet. I'm actually a sugar-aholic...

My next project will be to make a Gluten-Free apple pie using Better Batter flour for the crust.

I. Can't. Wait.

Oh, and for the record...I've had 3 cookies already today and it's only 12:20pm.

I better go to the gym or something...this could be dangerous!


What GF flour mixtures have you tried? Please let me know if you have any GF secrets - I would love to hear from you!

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For the record: I am not affiliated with Better Batter. I like the product and hope my short review helps others who might be looking for gluten-free flour options.

Gluten-Free Menu Planning

I'm going to talk about fixing dinner. Why? Because most everyone likes eating! Food brings people together. Food is comfort. Food is good.


But I suck at it.

I've always been a bit timid in the kitchen. It comes naturally for my mom, why not me? Even after all those years of cooking and sewing 4-H - I get so nervous at the thought of people coming over for dinner - it seriously freaks me out. "What will I make? I don't know how to cook!" In general, I have creative moments, but in the kitchen? Forget about it! I'm too scared of screwing up. Fear of failure? Totally.

Maybe it's because I know so many others around me are so good in the kitchen (my sister-in-laws are both amazing in the kitchen), I just don't feel like I can compete. Not that it's a competition, but really...in my head, I look at what they do in the kitchen and feel totally overwhelmed because I don't even know where to begin.

I have cookbooks. So many cookbooks. My husband threatens to make a bonfire out of them because I don't use them. Okay, so he doesn't want to actually light them on fire (that would be a total waste of money, the better option - sell them!), but he does quite regularly ask me if I can get rid of all the cookbooks because after all, it's all on the internet anyway... My response is always the same, "No way, I'm going to use those cookbooks someday!"

So in an effort to fix my cooking insecurities, I found a website that does all the meal planning and grocery list generating for me! It's amazing. And gluten-free (there are even dairy-free and vegan options if you're into that)!

www.gfreecuisine.com

Every week there's a new set of recipes to add to your weekly menu plan and usually, every single recipe sounds delicious. They are quick (20-30 minute recipes), easy to make, fresh, in-season meals and so far, I've only made 1 or 2 that we didn't really care for (and I've used the menu plans for at least 3 months straight, so that's a pretty good ratio IMO). And the shopping list is great, I order most of my groceries from Amazon Fresh, so it's been  easy-peasy.

There's even a monthly freezer meal menu plan! We had a TLT (but it was on a Thursday) in August and I made my first freezer meal ever (in fact, we made 4 freezer meals that night!). It was really cool to have my man working in the kitchen with me (sexy even).

Menu planning with Gfree has been incredibly helpful. I've gained a ton of kitchen confidence, and am almost ready to start my meal planning by using my own cookbooks (and recipes from the interwebs)! The last few times I've cooked for guests, I've actually enjoyed the process and stopped stressing out about it so much (I still carry a little stress when cooking for others, but in general, it's way less than days of past).

FIXING food is getting easier!

Do you meal plan? Share your tricks with me! I need all the help I can get. ;) 

Note: I am not affiliated with Gfree - I just use and like the service and highly recommend it.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring (a book)

Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner?

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring is my favorite gluten-free book at the moment. My friend gave it to me for my birthday and I think was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've received in a while.

Not only does it have recipes that look amazing, the tricks and tips for saving money while being gluten-free are priceless!

If you know someone who's gluten-free and want to get a gift for them - BUY this book - it's sure to be a hit!