Products We Love (+ those we don’t)

My Gluten Free Pantry

Ever wish you didn’t have to play the expensive gluten free gambling game when you go grocery shopping? Now you don’t!

We understand how frustrating (and spendy!) gluten free shopping can be. I will always remember the first gluten free shopping trip, and how confused I felt. There are so many more options now than there were then, which is a great thing but also makes it a little more overwhelming. Here’s a running list of the products we’ve tried and whether or not we enjoyed them and will be purchasing again. Opinions and tastes differ from person to person, so please add your two cents in the comments section!

My Gluten Free Pantry

We’ve compiled a list of the products we’ve tried and ranked them into the following categories: Favorites, Runner-Ups, and Wouldn’t Recommend.

This should give you a great starting point when you hit the grocery store!

Please comment below with your favorites or questions! I will be updating this periodically, so keep checking back. Happy (gluten free) eating!!!

*If you are a company wanting me to review your product, please see the Work with Me page for contact info. Keep in mind that my reviews are always 100% honest.

Flour Mixes

Favorites:
  1.  Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Flour is one of my go-to’s. It’s a lighter, gum-free blend great for cookies, cakes, biscuits, breads, and anything else you bake up. I have yet to find a recipe this flour doesn’t work with. Check out the “Gluten Free Mama’s” tag on the right side of my home page for recipes using this flour. No gritty texture or funky aftertaste.
  2. GF Jules I always keep this on hand for sauces/gravies/soups (click here for the best mac & cheese recipe) It gives things such a smooth and creamy texture and also doesn’t have a funny aftertaste. It’s also a lighter blend that already contains xanthan gum and works in a variety of recipes. It’s top 8 free (free from eggs, dairy, wheat, nuts, peanuts, soy, fish, and shellfish) and certified gluten free.
  3. Cup4Cup is also a high quality flour that will turn out some great baked goods.
Runner ups:
  1. Better Batter works great in a lot of recipes.Similar to GF Jules but I prefer the latter.
  2. Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 with the blue packaging. Does NOT contain bean flour.
Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Bob’s Red Mill (the variety containing bean flour). It yields a more dense, gritty product and leaves a funny aftertaste.
  2. Sun Flour Mills often turns out a little gritty and doesn’t hold together as well.

Pastas

Favorites:
  1. Ronzoni and Barilla are the closest match in texture and taste to wheat pastas. The price tag is also pretty reasonable.
Runner ups:
  1. Ancient Harvest Quinoa is a great, healthy, alternative and there are lots of fun shapes.
Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Any brown rice pasta. The texture only slightly resembles regular pasta and there are just so many other great products out there now.
  2. Glutino-again, it’s a texture issue. I’ve had 2 extra boxes on my shelves for months now because I feel guilty throwing them away, but they just don’t taste good.

Bread

Favorites:
  1. Canyon Bakehouse is the closest thing to wheat bread that we have found. It has a great taste and texture un-toasted, which makes it great for sandwiches. We love that it’s made with whole grains and you can also store it on the shelf. You can find it online or in the bakery section of some grocery stores (we buy at Target).
  2. Franz bread is also a new fav. We buy it in 2 packs at Sam’s Club, or single loaves at Walmart. Each loaf is sealed and it’s good for a few weeks on the shelf if it’s left unopened (no freezer for gluten free bread-say what?!). Once opened, just twist tie it closed or put in an airtight container and, again, store on the shelf for up to a week. It doesn’t crumble at all and you can just pull out a slice and make a sandwich without toasting. Great for lunches.
Runner ups:
  1. Rudis or New Grains are the next closest we’ve found to regular bread. Rudi’s bread toasted tastes just like regular toast, I swear. It also makes great French toast! We make our own quite often to save a little cash (do you ever feel you’re being robbed when you buy a loaf of gf bread???) but it’s nice to have something in the freezer for those all-too-frequent days when you just don’t have the time to whip some up.
  2. Udis is a next up. It was actually our favorite for quite a while until we discovered the others just mentioned. They have several different varieties. We have kept them in the freezer and just pull out a slice at a time and always toast it.
Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Any brown rice or tapioca loaves. Seriously, there are some gross gf bread products out there!

Tortillas

Favorites:
  1. Udi’s is by far the closest thing to an authentic flour tortilla. In fact, if you serve it up right, it is unlikely your guests will notice it is gluten free. These tear fairly easily, but this can be avoided by heating a small amount of oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a frying pan over medium heat, and frying one tortilla at a time, flipping just after it starts to bubble up. Remove to a plate lined with a  paper towel and pat dry. separate each tortilla with additional paper towels. I do this any time I use these tortillas-tacos, wraps, enchiladas, etc.
Runner ups:
  1. Rudi’s is another great option. They’re a little stiffer but have a few fun flavors and hold together fairly well.
  2. Your traditional corn tortilla can be great for a lot of things, too, so don’t completely discount it. They are a lot cheaper than other varieties, and I always keep some in the freezer/fridge to pull out when we need something quick. La Banderita is our favorite brand.
Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Food For Life Tortillas are pretty stiff (wrap? not so much) and the taste is sub-par when compared to the other varieties available.

Cold Cereals

Favorites:
  1. Nature’s Path (Maple or Vanilla Sunrise) Be sure to watch the labels, the same brand makes some varieties very similar to the gluten free but they aren’t.
  2. Kellogg’s Special K  It’s good, folks. ‘Nuff said.
  3. Bakery On Main Granolas is oat free (yes, oat free!) and seriously addicting.
  4. Back to Nature Sprout and Shine Cereal tastes just like Rice Krispies, it’s the only cereal we use in Rice Krispie Treats (try these Nutella Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats!)
Runner ups:
  1. Chex Cereal The Cinnamon and Honey Nut are our favorites, and the Corn or Rice are great for making treats or snack mixes.
Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Freedom Foods. I really want to like their cereals, but they just don’t taste great and the texture is a little lacking for me (and the family agrees so there you have it).

Pop Tarts

Favorites:
  1. Glutino Strawberry flavored are our favorite. I will sometimes make an icing using a little melted butter, powdered sugar, and water or milk to drizzle over the top :) Glutino also just released a new frosted variety.

Hot Cereals

Favorites:
  1. Love Grown Foods has some tasty and healthy oatmeal, just be sure to watch the labeling because not all their products are gluten free.
  2. Bakery On Main Instant Oatmeal is my kids’ favorite. I love that they’re low in sodium and have healthy ingredients, my kids love the fun flavors like Strawberry Shortcake and Apple Pie.
  3. Arrowhead Mills Rice & Shine is a hot cereal that’s made of brown rice groats and quinoa flakes. It has a fairly strong flavor so it may not be for everyone, but it’s pretty healthy and we enjoy it.
  4. Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal is my favorite! Their 8 Grain Cerealis also tasty.
Runner ups:
  1. Nabisco Cream Of Rice

Nut Butters

Favorites:
  1. Jif Natural is our favorite peanut butter (kids like the creamy, I like the chunky). It’s a great low cost option that is healthier and gluten free.
  2. Barney Butter takes the cake for the almond variety, and it’s peanut free for those who are allergic. We like how creamy Barney Butter is, and they have some fun flavors I’m in love with (Cocoa + Coconut is my personal fav!)
  3. Have you TRIED Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut spread? Seriously, it’s good stuff (and it’s a great dairy free alternative to Nutellaand yes, we love Nutella too). Justin’s Almond Vanilla almond butter is tasty too, I love to spread it on toast and sprinkle with chia seeds.
  4. PB2 is a powdered peanut butter which has had most of the oils removed. We love adding it to smoothies or muffins for extra protein. It also comes in a Chocolate variety.
Runner ups:

Apparently we either love ’em or hate ’em at the moment :)

Wouldn’t recommend:
  1. Target’s brand of almond butter.

Binding Agents

Favorite:
  1. Xanthan Gum. I’ve tried guar gum and psyllium husk powder and nothing quite measures up for me. If you use the correct amount of xanthan gum and a good recipe, you will get gluten free products with textures very similar to gluten products. As xanthan gum can be sourced from a variety of allergens including corn, dairy, and even wheat, be sure you are purchasing a product clearly labelled as gluten free and check with the manufacturer if you have other allergies or sensitivities. As a side note, I prefer flour mixes that don’t already have xanthan gum because of the sliding scale you will use when baking with xanthan gum. Example: when making cookies you will add 1/4-1/2 tsp per cup of flour, for yeast breads, 1-1 1/2 tsp per cup of flour. That means you might end up with crumbly bread or a gummy cookie. (see my flour recommendations above-this is one reason Gluten Free Mama is my favorite)
Runner ups:
  1. Guar Gum. If you can’t tolerate xanthan gum, guar gum can be another option. I have found the texture to be a little off and it doesn’t hold baked goods together quite as well (they are still likely to crumble, especially over time) but it will work. A common misconception is that guar gum is a less expensive alternative to xanthan gum, but you have to use up to 50% more in your recipes so it’s not necessarily going to save you any money.
  2. If you don’t want to use any gums, other thickening agents such as chia, flax, or psyllium husk powder can help you achieve the results you want from baked goods. These can be a great alternative especially for things like jam, fruit syrup, or pancakes/waffles. Gluten Free Girl is a great resource if you’re looking to use these products.

Kitchen Tools

This KitchenAid mixer is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Incidentally, gfHubs gave this to me for a Christmas present just weeks before he was diagnosed with food allergies that led us to the gluten free lifestyle. It has been a lifesaver and I couldn’t recommend it more! Make the initial investment and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

  Buying a Belgian Waffle Maker that you flip over is another purchase I’ll never regret. We LOVE waffles at our house and have tried our fair share of waffle irons. This one is perfect because it gives you the crispy-on-the-outside-but-soft-in-the-middle texture Belgian waffles are famous for, but without dishing out $100. You oil it the first time and then rarely have to grease it afterward. I also love that it has a stand so it is easily stored where space is limited (read: my kitchen).

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that any items you purchase through the link will provide me with a small compensation at no extra cost to you. As always, I promise to only recommend products my family loves and that we think you’ll love too!

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Christy Hansen
    October 12, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Have you tried the mission brand tortillas? I want to try them, but haven’t yet. I also dislike things made with brown rice. ?

    • Reply
      LifeAfterWheat
      October 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Christy! We haven’t because they are made with soy flour, Udi’s are for sure our favorite!

  • Reply
    The Best of the Best from the Gluten Free Expo | Life After Wheat
    December 14, 2015 at 7:42 am

    […] Products We Love (+ those we don’t) […]

  • Reply
    Amalia
    July 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I love 3 Bakers Rye or Raisin Bread, and Against the Grain brand Rolls, bagels or pizza.

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      July 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Haven’t tried 3 Bakers, I’ll have to look them up!

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