Gluten Free Flour
Being gluten free is not just a new diet fad contrary to popular belief. People who are adamant about buying gluten free food are usually the people who have Celiac disease. Gluten free foods have been showing up on the mainstream market now more and more and it can be difficult to navigate what is good and what it terrible-tasting. It reminds me of what most people go through when trying to become a vegetarian. I was fortunate to start off my vegetarian journey with some great insider knowledge on what to buy so it was never a struggle to find good tasting food that would satisfy me. My “going gluten free” experience was a little trickier believe it or not. I think going gluten free is much more difficult for a vegetarian because most of the vegetarian foods in grocery stores have gluten in them and the ones that don’t are usually much pricier. A meat and veggie diet is much easier to navigate for a semi-lazy cook. Now I usually make burger patties etc. from scratch which takes the entire guess-work and high price out of trying to find something at the store that’s gluten free. Now I just buy gluten free flour!
So you might be asking yourself if all of this gluten free food isn’t made from all-purpose wheat flour, what the heck is it made out of? Keep reading to find out what IMO is the best and worst options are once you cut out gluten. Find out which flour alternative taste like your normal all-purpose flour that you are used to and which flour alternative options change your meal into a giant disappointment.
And the best gluten free flour award goes to…
I will start with the best gluten free flour option out there… white rice flour. When you are doing your gluten free shopping, keep your eye out for packaged flour or boxed meals made with rice flour and you will be all set because rice flour offers the most similar taste to gluten flour I’ve tried yet. Rice flour also cooks similar to what you are used to. Rice flour pasta has a good consistency and boils nicely as opposed to some that create a pot full of sticky, thick, yellow water and tastes like mush. When replacing normal flour with rice flour, make sure to weigh it instead of using measuring cups as you may be off as rice flour is not as heavy as all-purpose flour is (that tip took me awhile to figure out). Most people can’t tell that my food is gluten free when I cook with rice flour which is nice especially for my daughter who has Celiac disease.
And the worst gluten free flour award goes to…
Yuck, yuck, yuck. The flour I am about to discuss it my worst nightmare as far as cooking it goes. It can taste okay but you can usually tell that its gluten free and I hate that! 100% corn flour. Barf. It’s disgusting and is turns in to mush really easily but even when cooked perfectly, it’s not impressive. It is always the cheapest at the store too. However, the corn & rice flour or pasta is edible and pretty good. I still prefer rice flour though. Another bad flour alternative that is almost tied with corn flour is quinoa flour. Sorry quinoa, you are healthy and I love you as a side dish but not in the form of pasta! It is difficult to cook with and it has that notorious “gluten-free” taste. Lastly, I want to mention brown rice pasta. Brown rice past is just okay. It’s also different to cook with and has a noticeable gluten-free taste to it but it’s a better taste than the quinoa.
So those are my thoughts on the matter. There several other flour options to try out and I have on occasion but the ones I mentioned about are what most grocery stores carry and so I tend to grab them the most. My advice is to try to have fun with it. It can be very stressful in the beginning but really, you really only have to worry about gluten in processed foods so this could even be a good opportunity (like it was for me) to cut out processed crap from your diet. Just because it’s vegetarian, it doesn’t necessarily make it healthier.
When I found out that we had to go gluten free my daughter already had diabetes and my other daughter developed an egg allergy and with some of my family vegan and some vegetarian and some, who occasionally eat meat…well, let’s just say it was quite the transition! Making one meal 6 different ways in the same amount of time is now a skill I have and appreciate. Make the best of it!
Check out some of my gluten free recipes here!