Receiving my coeliac disease diagnosis nearly two and a half years ago, left me heart broken. I looked in my bare cupboards after disposing of everything that contained gluten. Gone was the bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes etc. But also the stock, the soya sauce, the mustard and the cupboard was nearly bare. For a about a week, I just sulked and seeing anything I couldn’t eat was just torture. Once I was out of my mourning period, I decided I had to learn more about what I could eat and my fantastic food discovery has gone from strength to strength. My cupboard is packed with all my gluten free store cupboard essentials. Now I eat a wider range of food than ever before. I eat much more cultural foods and regularly eat things I had never heard of before.
So if you are starting a journey of gluten free eating for whatever reason, these would be my recommendations for what to stock in your cupboard. You will then never go hungry or be bored of cooking again.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Rice.
Before being gluten free I only stocked one or two different rice varieties in my cupboard. Plain white rice and possibly sometimes risotto rice. Now, rice has become a main staple in my diet as I eat a lot more Asian and Indian inspired food. There is so much more to rice than long grain. Higher fibre rice’s and rice’s with much more flavour. Our favourite rices are; basmati, long gain brown rice, red rice (great for salads). I also bake a lot with rice flour, which has a great short quality, making it perfect for biscuits and pastry. Finally I love, rice noodle and rice wrappers. Great for speedy lunches and spring rolls.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Grains.
When you think of grains or cereals I bet ones containing gluten are some of the first to come into your mind. It’s a shame really as there are many more, interesting and diverse grains that are safe for a gluten free diet and it’s worth exploring these options. In my cupboard at the moment I have two varieties of quinoa, which I use in salads as a great couscous replacement. Also in soups, stews and baking. I also love using polenta and normally have coarse and fine in my cupboard. Finally I have maize couscous, which if perfectly safe for a Coeliac and is great if you were a couscous addict such as myself.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Sources of protein.
Not only am I a coeliac, but I’m lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. So finding great sources of protein is important. The quinoa is a great source of protein as well as fibre. I also keep on hand, a selections of lentils, currently I have red and green. Puy lentils for great hearty salads and in stews. We eat a lot of nuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds are great for adding into salads and throwing in a stir fry. Chia seeds I add to my muesli and use in baking. I have tried the chia puddings, but hugely disliked the texture, which was like frog spawn.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Flour.
Baking is not all about wheat flour. Many wheat recipes can be replicated with the right flour combinations. It does take a bit of practice and experimentation, as you normally have to use combinations of flours to produce the right results. I normally use a combination of rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour in my baking. Varying the proportions dependant on what you want to produce. Higher ratio of rice flour, for example in biscuits and pastry for extra shortness. However, some flours are great used on their own. If you want to try grain free flour baking, I would recommend chestnut flour or coconut flour. These are great for denser cakes and make great brownies, which are full of flavour.
The food world is so much more than wheat. Explore the gluten free options and have fun stocking your gluten free cupboard and cooking great nutritious food.