In the natural foods industry, the gluten-free trend is by far the hottest. There are a growing number of people who are gluten-sensitive. They experience relief from seasonal allergies, digestive problems and other immune issues when they follow a diet free from wheat, barley and rye — the sources of gluten. Thanks to this growing trend, there is a wide variety of delicious and healthy gluten-free products. Below are some of my personal favorites. For more information on gluten-free diets, check out this guide.
—Gina Disney, SNFC Grocery Merchandiser
Giving up wheat bread can be difficult, because gluten gives it that springy texture that is hard for other grains to imitate. When it comes to flavor and texture, Food For Life’s gluten-free breads stand above the rest. They are available in Brown Rice, Rice Pecan, Rice Almond and Raisin Pecan varieties.
If you’re looking for something good in your morning cereal bowl, you can’t miss with Erewhon’s Crispy Brown Rice with Berries, or Whole O’s from Nature’s Path. If you’re a granola fan, Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola from Bakery on Main is so yummy I usually skip the milk and bowl and eat it right out of the bag.
In the past, most gluten-free pastas were sad affairs; pasty in flavor with a tendency to disintegrate. Those days are gone! Bionaturae gluten-free pastas have the closest flavor and toothy texture to the real-gluten-thing that I’ve ever tried. The quinoa pastas from Ancient Harvest are also wonderful, with a flavor similar to egg pasta.
Every gluten-free pantry should have a bag of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. Whip up fluffy pancakes, crisp light waffles, or even the ultimate chocolate chip cookies–I’ve tried every recipe on the bag and they’re all delicious. Another must-try: Namaste Foods’ Spice Cake Mix, with a recipe variation for carrot cake so good that even my gluten-eating friends ask me to make it for them!
When the cookie craving hits, reach for Pamela’s Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies, lightly crisp with just-right chocolate chips, or Pamela’s Mini Ginger Snaps, with a satisfying crunch and gingery bite. If you prefer soft cookies, I highly recommend the soft-baked Snickerdoodles from Enjoy Life, and I dare you to eat just one!