2015-05-03 23.28.42

No Longer a N00b: Gluten-Free Resources

I’m realizing that I have quite a collection of resources at my fingertips for living a strictly gluten-free lifestyle. I think it’s about time that I share them with whoever else might need a little guidance– or maybe you’re more of an expert than me, but are looking to expand your knowledge base. ūüôā This list is by no means complete. It’s just my favorites.

Updates, research, findings, and current trends:

  • About.com’s page on Living Gluten-Free
    Sign up for their newsletter right now. Seriously, go do it and then come back. Jane Anderson does a thorough job of researching issues for each season and holiday. Do you want to know which holiday treats¬†are safe? Jane knows. She researches the companies’ web sites and calls if the information isn’t listed, because it turns out that food companies change their recipes and ingredient sources all the time. ALL THE TIME. She does the leg work for you and updates her articles regularly to make sure you have the most current¬†information at your fingertips. Want to know how to deal with your symptoms once you’ve been whammied by gluten? Jane and her readers have great tips. Want to know… about living without gluten? Jane is your girl. (You’ve already signed up for her newsletter, right?)
  • Celiac Disease Foundation
    Another useful site and newsletter. The CDF is one of the organizations on the forefront, fighting for your rights to know what’s in your food and medicine, and for these things to be labeled for your safety. This page will keep you in touch with the greater gluten free community and up-to-date on the latest research, education, and products.

Finding Food:

  • Find Me Gluten Free (I use personally)
    OMG. I love, love, LOVE this web site. Not only can you find restaurants in your immediate area that offer gluten-free, but there are other people who have been there and can tell you whether a) they pay attention to things like cross-contamination and b) whether they have anything to offer other than salad (no croutons, no dressing). And of course, there’s an app for that, too. (iTunes,¬†Google Play)
  • Sprouts Farmers Market¬†(I use personally)
    I like this grocery store even better than Whole Foods for finding my gluten-free foods. They carry the major brands (Udi’s, Schar, Kninnikinnick, Pamela’s, etc.) and they clearly label their shelves to let you know at a glance which items are gluten-free.)
  • Celiac Marketplace (Recommended by others I trust)
    You’re not lucky enough to have a Sprouts or a Whole Paycheck nearby? That’s okay. You can still find a lot of products at the online marketplace. They include links to products you can also get from Amazon. Check it out!

Recipes, recipes, recipes (web):

  • Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
    When I was first starting my GF adventure, I somehow stumbled upon the Gluten Free Girl. The link above is to her opening comments when you first make the switch. She’s been there, she gets it, and she put it in words so much better than I can. Read it. And then dig around in the recipes, although they have recently been altered to include their new flour blend for sale, rather than the original flours they made things with. (Meh.) I do¬†appreciate that a few years ago¬†they switch over to recipes without Xanthan or Guar gums, which can rip up some people’s tummies.

    • They also offer a Thanksgiving app on iTunes which is simple and lovely. I love her dinner rolls recipe. Yummy!
    • In addition, if you want to learn a little bit about how to make¬†your own gluten-free flour blend using what you have on hand in the kitchen, check out this article and video. It will help you in your baking!
  • Chocolate Covered Katie
    This girl loves her desserts almost as much as I do! (That’s a lot.) Many of her recipes DO include wheat flour, but often there is a gluten-free alternate listed either in the recipe or in the notes. There are great things here for single serve desserts, and there is a LOT of chocolate (in case you couldn’t tell from the blog title.) I recommend her¬†frosting shots.
  • Elana’s Pantry
    Elana makes Paleo recipes, which is awesome for people on the GF diet, because Paleo is, by definition, entirely gluten free. She has a bunch of recipes using almond and coconut flours and healthier alternatives to sugar. She also uses a food processor to mix her ingredients, which is so awesome. <3
  • Pinterest
    I have been tooling around, grabbing recipes as far and wide as I can find. I don’t try all of the recipes, but I certainly read them through to make sure they fit my requirements (easy enough, not too-too many ingredients, something that sounds actually tasty.) Feel free to poke around at my collections. ūüôā

Cookbooks:

So, when I realized I could no longer be a “baker” in the traditional sense, I went into a Depression; baking had been a big part of my identity. In order to help me get a grip on my new life¬†and to redefine my identity as a baker (only this time, gluten free), I bought a LOT of gluten-free style cookbooks. A LOT. These are my go-tos.

  • Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
    by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe François
    This. Book. BREAD. BREEEAAAAD.
    When I first meet someone with gluten issues, this is the book I talk about first.¬†Not only is this¬†the easiest yeast bread to bake ever,¬†but it is delicious. My husband, who can eat¬†wheat, has given every recipe I’ve tried in this book a hearty thumbs-up, not only because it tastes good, but because it tastes so good that it has given me back my confidence in baking. I bought this book for the ease of baking bread, and have loved everything I’ve made, including white bread, brioche, challah, and cinnamon rolls(!!!!!!). Using their technique, I’m even developing a pepperoni roll recipe, which I will release as soon as I’ve nailed it.
  • The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook
    by Carrie S. Forbes

    I have found that every GF cookbook has their own recipe for the perfect flour blend. This book also has a recipe for home made Bisquick mix, plus plenty of things to make with it! The blueberry muffins are quick and delicious. There are also dinner rolls, impossible pies, fruity crisps and pies, and a gazillion cookies.
  • The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free
    by Anne Byrn
    While Ms. Byrn does not have gluten issues (an unusual attribute in this particular arena), she’s been making cookbooks for so long that she has been approached by plenty of people who do. This is her first foray into GF baking, but she makes it easy by using GF baking mixes that are already on the market. I have had firm success with every single recipe from this book. Rum cake, lemon cake, moist chocolate cake– even the cheesecake brownies were exquisite and quickly gobbled up by my coworkers.
  • Unbelievably Gluten-Free!
    by Anne Byrn

    This book is Byrn’s¬†for-everything book for GF, published after the success of her GF Cake Mix Doctor book. Recipes are for appetizers, meals, and soups, as well as breads and desserts. I bought it originally for her Ham and Cheese Impossible Pie and honestly because I loved the cake mix book that much. ūüėČ

Also Ran Cookbooks

These are a couple of other cookbooks that I love, even though I don’t tap them as often.

  • Flavor Flours
    by Alice Medrich
    While Ms. Medrich is also someone who does not have gluten issues, she does have a pedigree in pastry baking, and discovered something that regular gluten-free bakers could already tell you: non-wheat flours taste very different from wheat and from each other. Rather than trying to make everything taste like it was made with wheat, Medrich explores these new flavors to find recipes that accent them.  Each chapter is dedicated to a different flour, including ones for teff, sorghum, buckwheat (which does not actually contain gluten), rice, and more. The recipes are a little more involved than I generally prefer, but the results are always worth it. I bought this book specifically for the oat-flour chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it was worth it just for that. I plan at some point to work my way through every recipe from cover to cover to better understand how to work with my arsenal of flours.
  • Gluten-Free Classic Snacks
    by Nicole Hunn
    I¬†bought this one for the concept alone. I¬†do miss Hostess cupcakes and Keebler crackers. Yum! Ms. Hunn has gone out of her way to create¬†gluten-free copycat recipes for all of our childhood favorites. I’ll be honest, as of this writing, I haven’t made anything from this book; having it on my shelf, knowing I can reach for it and¬†make anything in it at a moment’s notice, has been incredibly comforting. At some point, I’m sure I’ll break down and whip up some Hostess cupcakes and indulge ridiculously.
  • Nosh on This
    by Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel

    The other foods from my childhood that I miss desperately are the foods from my Jewish heritage. This is another one that brings me comfort from just sitting on my shelf, but I’ll be breaking it out when I just have to have some rugelach or black and white cookies. I’ll probably skip the macaroons, though. (I didn’t really care for them when I¬†could eat them.)

Did I leave something out??? Let me know in the comments below!