I have been getting quite a few requests by email lately asking for tips on what to stock a pantry with for those new to the gluten-free lifestyle. It made me realize that this sort of information would be handy to refer to so here it is.
I don’t use any of the store-bought premixed flour blends often. But for someone new to gluten-free baking it might be a good way to ease into it. I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour.
Brown Rice Flour
I use a fine-grind organic brown rice flour in the majority of my baking. I prefer brown rice flour to white rice flour because I feel the nutritional value is higher and I prefer the slightly nuttier taste. Also, I find white rice flour to be just that much more gummy. Once my giant sack of brown rice flour is used up I intend on grinding my own using my Vitamix.
I use tapioca starch with brown rice flour a lot in baking. It’s light and just slightly less starchy than corn starch. It’s also very inexpensive when purchased at the Asian market (or in the Asian aisle of your supermarket). Tapioca starch comes from the cassava root.
Because we don’t have corn sensitivities we use corn starch in baking too. If I’m thickening sauces I’ll occasionally use corn starch as well.
I’ve begun adding sorghum flour to my baking more often recently. Sorghum flour has a slight rich molasses-y flavor to it. Using sorghum flour also adds a richer/darker color to the baked goods.
I use coconut flour a bit in sweet baking from time to time. Coconut flour has a distinct sweetness and coconut flavor.
Using gums like xanthan and guar gums are necessary in gluten-free baking. It helps give elasticity to baked goods that is lacking because of not having gluten.
I use xanthan gum primarily in my baking. I think I mostly stick to xanthan gum because I’m familiar with it and have always used it. I know how it behaves in baking. An important thing to keep in mind is that xanthan gum can have a laxative effect on some in large enough quantities. We’ve never had this problem, but that may be because we don’t use tons of it. Xanthan gum is a synthetic product.
I’ll be honest and say I’m really not an expert in using guar gum. I’ve used it maybe three times in my life. It thickens like xanthan gum. It’s a naturally derived thickener from guar beans. It’s also high in soluble fiber which can cause a laxative effect even more so than xanthan gum.
The Faux Eggs
I have a quick list for faux eggs here.
I use applesauce egg replacer in my sweet baking mostly. If it’s a cookie recipe, I’ll use Ener-G Egg Replacer.
I use a flax egg replacer or chia egg replacer for other types of baking or binding.
Bragg’s Liquid Soy Seasoning or Liquid Aminos
We use this instead of soy sauce. It tastes much less salty than regular wheat-laden soy sauces and I even prefer it more than tamari.
We use this brand of vegan mayonnaise and it’s also gluten-free. It tastes pretty awesome for a fake mayo.
I am not always a fan of Earth Balance in all applications. Sometimes it tastes just plain oily. But there is a soy-free version and an olive-oil version which I appreciate.
We primarily drink and use almond milk. For our cereal and baking we use plain unsweetened almond milk. For drinking (and a treat) we have chocolate almond milk. I prefer almond milk over any other kind of non-dairy milk, hands down.
I have tried coconut milk in the tetra paks and cartons and still prefer just regular old canned coconut milk. I don’t quite like the added sweetener and thickening agents to the carton/tetra coconut milks. I use coconut milk in baking and in cooking things like curries. Mmmm. Curries.
Foods And Stuffs
I stock up on canned beans like they’re going out of style. I have black beans, lentils, canellini beans, pinto beans, romano beans, black-eyed peas, and more. You get the idea. We like beans. I also buy dried lentils and dried beans too. Recently I’ve tried sprouted beans and they were quite good too. I bought a bag of mixed beans that were sprouted which took no time at all to cook.
Obviously, we eat a lot of veggies. Squash, eggplant, cauliflower, kale, and spinach top the list for sure lately.
Rice, Pasta, and Quinoa
We use sprouted brown rice a lot. Levi likes his sticky white rice too so when I’m doing something Asian-inspired I cook up Jasmine rice. I am in love with quinoa and we eat it quite often. We’ll do the odd mashed potato/baked potato side dish once in a while but really quite rarely. We keep a wide variety of gluten-free brown rice pasta in our pantry as well. I buy Rizopia brand as it is readily available and inexpensive at my local supermarket. I also like Tinkyada brown rice pastas.
I know this doesn’t give a perfect picture of what to stock in your gluten-free and vegan pantry but hopefully it gets you started on the right track. Happy shopping and healthy eating!
If you have any questions at all about filling your gluten-free pantry, living a gluten-free and/or vegan lifestyle, or any other questions or comments, just let me know in the comments below or use this handy dandy contact form.