How to Choose Gluten Free Products

17 Aug

Now that I’m living in a new area, I’m having to familiarize myself with new products to replace some of my old standbys. There are a few things I look at carefully when choosing gluten-free products.

  1. Nutrition. If the main ingredients in a product are white rice flour and any kind of starch, I stay away from it. These products are usually nutritionally empty — not much better for you than cotton candy! It’s important to choose whole-grain flours when you’re eating gluten-free, because most GF flours aren’t fortified.
  2. Flavor. Different flours have different flavors. Personally, I really dislike the taste of garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour. A little is fine, but when it’s one of the main flours a product uses, I usually don’t like the product’s taste. Notice what flours you like/dislike by reading ingredient lists of products you try. Use your observations to help you choose new products that you’ll enjoy.
  3. Texture. There are a lot of gluten-free products out there these days that have excellent textures. Finding foods that have a texture you like, and also meet your nutritional and flavor requirements, can be tricky. Recipes that use some starch, in addition to whole grain flours, generally have a soft texture that’s more similar to wheat-based products. 100% whole grain products will be grainier and denser (which is nice, sometimes).

Finding new products and checking their ingredients is time-consuming, but once you have a list of go-to products, your life will be much easier.

I bet by now you’re getting pretty good at reading labels, aren’t you?

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