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New To All Of This, What Staples Do We Need For Cooking?

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Hello all, I want to make a run to the health food store this weekend and I was hoping you guys could name some items used in a lot of gluten free recipes so I can pick them all up? What flours, etc should I buy?

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This depends on what you like to eat and what meals you cook the most. To begin, it's best not to go out and spend a lot of money on specialty items, because they are expensive and you might not like them, and because a lot of them seem less than impressive when you've just been eating "the real thing." Here are several ideas! It's better to start with whole foods that are naturally gluten-free and less processed.

-You can't go wrong with rice. Brown rice is healthier than white! I eat a lot of rice.

-If you like to make tacos and burritos, make sure you have some corn tortillas on hand.

-If you like to have pasta, there are rice pastas and corn pastas that make very good substitutes. My personal favorite is Ancient Harvest corn-quinoa blend.

-You can use buckwheat flour (it's a misnomer, there's no wheat and it's gluten-free) to make pancakes and waffles and that works well, and they're yummy.

-Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.

-Meat if you eat it, dairy and nuts if you can eat them.

-Chex cereals are gluten-free and come in lots of flavors if you're used to cold cereal breakfast.

-It's best not to try oats (gluten-free of course) until after you've been gluten-free for awhile, but Bob's Red Mill makes an excellent hot cereal. For hot cereal, I like to make rice into a creamy hot breakfast with milk and cinnamon and maple syrup. I also like polenta for a hot breakfast.

EDIT: I just reread your post and realized you were looking more for recipe items than meal staples. Sorry! In that case, I recommend you check out www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com. It's the best recipe resource I have. As for flours, she uses (and I like to use) flours like tapioca and sorghum and millet, usually blended together with other flours. Doing something like using rice flour exclusively in a recipe will leave it tasting distinctly "gluten-free," though I do have rice flour on hand and use it often in my blends.

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There are soooooooooo many different flours used in gluten-free cooking it is tough to make a general statement. It completely depends on your taste.

White rice flour, brown rice flour , tapioca starch and potato starch are in 90% of recipes, after that it gets into particular tastes.

Cornstarch is a must , it's used for thickening sauces and in many recipes. Xanthum gum or Guar gum is necessary for all gluten-free baking.

Makes sure if you are new to gluten-free baking you have new baking soda and baking powders, you most likely contaminated your old ones. This also applies to many opened food containers in your cabinet/frig.

Pamela's baking mix is good for pancakes and muffins. It is commonly used and like. Bisquick gluten-free also makes good biscuits etc...

Corn chex is a gluten-free cereal and makes a crunchy coating on meat.

cooking from scratch gluten-free is an undertaking, you have to measure EXACTLY especially the gums and just realize you will switch up recipes based on taste many times over. There is no cookie cutter flour mix

that everyone likes.

FYI, After a year of bread, muffin and cookie misses , I have mostly gone back to box mixes from King Arthur gluten-free, Pamela's and Namaste. I have found a great book from Ann Byrne that teaches how to

doctor up gluten-free box mixes into something special. I do some homemade baking from scratch but very little.

Good luck with it, don't get discouraged.

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1. Pure apple cider vinegar, for the acid needed to make the baking soda leavening work.

2. Extra virgin olive oil, I end up using in most recipes that need any fat. We buy it in the big metal cans, it's the cheapest that way and we have no trouble going through it.

For regular gluten free recipes,

gluten free rice flour

potato starch

tapioca starch


xanthan gum and/or guar gum.

these are pretty much the staples, along with a bag of something pre blended, like Pamela's.

Oh, and we go thru EGGS a lot more than regular people, if we aren't allergic.

yeast, if you are going to try yeast risen breads.

Yogurt is sometimes used by people in quick breads, if they can do dairy.


But, for how I actually use things, since I go for the higher protein, lower carb versions:

almonds to grind in the blender for almond meal



buckwheat kernels to grind (the toasted ones taste better and are easier to find)

garbanzo (chickpea) flour




sunflower seeds (you have to be really careful with cross contamination, this has been my biggest problem, finding them that are not messed up and haven't been run thru some line with wheat).

maybe some whole millet, to cook to soften, then to add to some breads

Most of the time, I mix sorghum and amaranth together in a big ziplock to store it, and then add some of that to whatever, to make it more whole grain content. Also do the same thing with quinoa/teff. Been playing a lot with buckwheat lately for pancakes and flatbreads, using chickpea and potato starch - it doesn't need any xanthan gum, nor egg. Neither does the almond/sorghum/amaranth mixture need xanthan gum, for a quick bread done in a small skillet, altho it does need egg. Some gluten free flours are stickier than others. Amaranth seems to retard mold, so if I'm refrigerating the results for storage, I try to use it.

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Are you looking for meal type recipes or recipes for baked goods? For cooking I don't really use many speacial gluten free flours. I use corn starch or rice flour to thicken gravies and things like that, but most of my meals are just things that are naturally gluten free anyway like tacos with corn tortillas, chili, stirfry over rice, steak, baked potatoes, grilled chicken. For gluten-free baking I reccomend you check your local library for cookbooks first to get an idea of some different flour mixes. Most gluten-free baked good recipes use more than one flour mix because if you just use one it tastes flat or doesn't have the right texture. Everyone has different tast buds when it comes to gluten-free flours too. Some people love bean flours and some people can't stand them. Some people say tapioca flour has a metallic taste, but I love it and can't tast that metal taste at all. Some people hate products made with brown rice flour or find that brown rice flour doesn't agree with their stomach. I swear by brown rice flour and other rice flours. Almost everything I have tried with brown rice flour has become a favorite of mine. Many people find they can't tolerate soy flour but some have no problems with it. I found Quinoa makes me terribly ill and it has nothign to do with gluten. So given that there is a range of tastes and responses to different flours you might want to hold off on buying a bunch of different flours and new grains for baking until you have tried some premade baked goods and have an idea of what you like. It's also a good idea to eat whole foods as much as possible at least for the first few months to give your body a chance to heal. It also helps to track down if you have an additional food intolerance if you eat simply and very few packaged foods at first. My main staple meals are simple grilled meat/chicken/fish, a steamed veggie and a starch--usually rice, corn or potatoes. If you are looking for gluten-free meal recipes, one of my favorite websites is: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

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