How To Shop Gluten-Free On A Budget

If you have found out that you’ve joined the ranks of millions who have a sensitivity to gluten or have Celiac disease, you entire culinary world may be turned upside down. Too many find themselves at a complete loss when it comes to cooking gluten free food and too many fail on this diet, wreaking terrible health consequences, because they believe they can’t afford to eat this way. Here’s some ways that can help.

1) Eat Your Veggies!

By eating lots of vegetables and other foods that are naturally gluten free, you’ll be saving yourself the time it takes to check labels and make sure there’s no gluten in what you’re eating. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, dairy, nuts and seeds are much better for you than any processed gluten free products.

2) Gluten Free Flour

Breads, muffins, bagels, pasta and cookies are often sorely missed by those who are gluten free. If you’re among those with a passionate love for baked goods, here are a few simple substitutions for you that won’t break the bank.

  • Rice flour can be used in certain recipes. Different types of rice will produce different textures. Sweet white rice makes a very glutenous flour. Rice flour is used in many gluten free pastas.
  • Almond flour, or almond meal, is made from ground, skinless almonds. It high in fiber, has a great flavor and is suitable for baking breads, cookies and muffins.
  • Millet flour resembles corn meal and gives a light, sweet flavor to baked goods. Millet flour goes well in conjunction with rice flour when baking.

There are also some flour-like substances that help baked goods stay together. When mixed in with the other ingredients in a recipe, these substances take on properties similar to gluten, which is the protein in wheat, barley and spelt that holds the baked goods together.

  • Guar gum is made from the seeds of a certain type of bean. It’s high in fiber, inexpensive and is very useful when baking gluten free goods.
  • Xantham gum is made from fermented corn. It is a very common ingredient in gluten free recipes, but those with sensitivity to corn may want to use guar gum instead.
  • Tapioca, arrowroot, corn and potato starch: Tapioca starch is made from the cassava plant. Arrowroot is ground from the root of a tropical herb called Maranta. All of these starches are great for making foods thicker. You should use caution when using starch, they can make your recipe too heavy if you use too much.

3) Buy Grains in Bulk

Of course, you could buy the above grains and use them in your baking recipes, but buying them in bulk and grinding them at home will save lots of money. Check out our healthy recipes on Mummy Deals. Small, inexpensive coffee grinders do a fantastic job grinding grains, nuts and seeds into flour.

Gluten free food is catching on. The longer you stay on a gluten free diet, the more you’ll realize how easy and inexpensive it is. it may take some getting used to at the outset, by just avoid prepacked gluten free foods and you’ll save a ton of money easily.

See the rest of the Gluten Free Series.

Author Bio: Jillian D. is a freelance writer and advocate for organic eating for good health. She helps people live well within their means, stay healthy, and find affordable health insurance providers.

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