Is there anything better than a hunk of hot, crusty French bread slathered with butter? Well, maybe a big bowl of fresh pasta with homemade sauce. Or just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. Are you with me on this? If so, then you can also imagine how I feel about the idea of eating gluten-free. It’s something I thought I’d never, ever attempt, not even for a day. (You know where this is going, right?)
Yes, I’ve been eating gluten-free for a few weeks now, trying to see if it has any affect on my overall health. Food is medicine, after all. I went into this venture saying that I wasn’t going to try to replace any of my favorite gluteny foods with their wheat-free alternatives. No way was I going to choke down crumbly rice-based bread or black bean brownies. I’d just do without. But then I got to talking to a friend of mine who is a gluten-free guru and she suggested I try Udi’s bread.
I picked up a loaf of Udi’s Whole Grain bread at Trader Joe’s. I brought it home and it sat on my counter for three days before I ventured to try it. I honestly was expecting something akin to wet cardboard or maybe a soft version of a rice cake. I toasted up a couple of slices and made a tuna sandwich and guess what? It was really good. Not just acceptable, not a reasonable substitute, but tasty all on its own. This gave me the courage to try some other gluten-free products, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites.
Like Trader Joe’s Cranberry Maple Nut Gluten-Free Granola. I often have a problem with traditional granola, because I don’t like the dryness of the oats. But this turned out to be the perfect granola for me. Instead of oats, the bulk of the mix is made with little cups that resemble corn chips. They’re crunchy and present a nice contrast to the chewy cranberries. On plain yogurt, it’s my new favorite breakfast.
Another winner are Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins. I got these at Stop & Shop, and they come in several different flavors. The crackers are rice-based, similar to the little crackers you find in Asian snack mixes. But because they’re also made with nuts, they have a wonderful subtle sweet component. These crackers are addictive.
We’ve certainly come a long way in the gluten-free department. I can’t say I don’t miss pasta, but at least chocolate is still on the safe list. What are some of your favorite gluten-free foods?