If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you probably know that trying to maintain an imitation of a normal diet can get expensive fast. The fact is, gluten-free eating doesn’t have to be another non-negotiable, expensive addition to your list of expenses like rent, mortgage, or car insurance. Here are three big tips for eating gluten-free on a budget.
1) Forget commercial gluten-free baked products.
At first, all the gluten-free baked products available in stores may seem like manna from heaven. If you start buying these foods regularly, though, your grocery bills can easily grow out of control.
Instead, start making your baked foods from scratch. They’ll be healthier for you without all the preservatives, and they’ll taste better because they’re fresh and you can choose what goes into the recipe.
To save yourself time and effort, you can make dough and put it in the freezer for later. If you want to save larger amounts of baked gluten-free food such as bread or cookies, be sure to refrigerate them since they lack preservatives.
You can find recipes everywhere, and although many gluten-free recipes call for several types of flour, you can usually get by with just a single flour or your own unique mix. By trying out the different gluten-free flours available, you’ll quickly find new favorites.
2) Buy a slow cooker.
Avoiding gluten is much easier when you cook all your own food from scratch, but this takes a lot of time and energy. You can cut cooking time significantly by using a slow-cooker. All you have to do is throw your food in the slow cooker, turn it on, and forget about it until later, when the delicious aroma tells you it’s time to eat.
Here are a few examples of gluten-free meals you can make in your slow cooker:
- Breakfast Rice Porridge: Just throw some rice in the slow cooker with some extra water and let it cook overnight. You can use more or less water depending on your preferences, or you can add almond milk or coconut cream to make it extra rich and creamy.
- Tortilla Chip Stew: Empty a few cans of beans into your slow cooker with some peppers, sliced onions and spices, and add some tortilla chips for a cheap, hearty and balanced meal.
- Chicken Breasts with Salsa: When you want something ultra quick but still healthy and scrumptious, dump chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa and let it cook until it’s falling apart.
3) Eat more Asian food.
Asian foods are great for expanding your gluten-free menu. If you explore Asian cuisine, especially Southeast Asian such as Vietnamese food, you’ll find a world of new flavors that will make your old diet seem dull by comparison. If you can find an Asian food store, you’ll never have a shortage of gluten-free possibilities, but you can still find the ingredients necessary for many recipes in regular grocery stores.
As you can see, eating gluten-free doesn’t have to mean deprivation or a huge food budget. Being unable to eat many processed foods is actually a blessing that will make you feel healthier and help you live longer.
By getting a little creative in your diet you’ll open up a whole new world of cheap eats that make being gluten-free a pleasure.