Gluten Free Alternatives for the Gluten Free Newbie

Our diets determine our energy levels as well as our quality of life. Food is nourishment.

Switching to a gluten free diet can be difficult if your unsure where to start and more importantly what to eat. Not all gluten free products are quality products. Some companies use corn, soy, or other grains. Not to say these things are bad for you but for most diets the main things to cut out are: soy, corn, dairy, and grains.

I have been doing gluten free for over three years now and have found quite a few awesome companies that have ingredients that are up to par with the standards I follow. ( in no particular order)

Cappello’s 

This company makes a variety of different gluten free, grain free, soy free, and non gmo Pastas. They also make cookie dough and pizzas that are incredibly delicious. They are one of my favorites because being a busy mommy and wife I don’t always have the time or energy to cook. My little boy and my husband love the pizzas and I love not doing dishes. They have lasagna sheets made out of almond flour and my goodness the lasagna recipe on the side of the box is exquisite, trust me ill post a recipe using them soon. We keep eating it all before we get a photo.

Mikey’s 

Certified Paleo, Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non gmo, and kosher. Mikey’s is one of my favorite breads to use for sandwiches. They carry a Toasted Onion English Muffin that I used in my egg salad sandwich recipe,  Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin, Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops, Hearty and Healthy bread ( which I haven’t tried yet) but the ingredients are good and they keep it simple.

Siete 

They have three different tortillas: Almond flour and Cassava, Coconut and Cassava flour, and Cassava and Chia. Great for gluten free and vegan diets. Their tortillas hold up pretty well or even just having it on the side of your breakfast bowl is very  satisfying. If you’re a snacker you should check out their Nacho chips!! Make sure to get two bags because you will not want to share. They also have a lime and a sea salt which are great for dipping in some salsa or some kite hill almond cheese spread. These chips, and tortillas are made out of cassava flour. Cassava, a starchy root vegetable, naturally gluten free and high in potassium. It is high in carbs but besides that its a great alternative to corn tortillas.

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Lydia’s Kind Foods 

If your tired of all the almond and coconut options, lydia’s uses a lot of veggies, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds for most of their products. Its a great way to get in veggies and extra nutrition. They carry crackers big enough to turn into a veggie sandwich or to put your favorite toppings on such as: Italian Herb Sprouted Crackers, Super Carrot Sprouted Chips, Sunflower Caraway Sprouted Bread, Green Garden Sprouted Crackers. They make five different sprouted cereals, Vegan butter spreads, Sprouted bars, and so much more. If you happen to live near a major festival, if your lucky they might be there. We went to the Oregon Eclipse festival in 2017 and they happened to have a booth there that nourished us for the duration of the festival. I still have dreams out the crepes!

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Julian Bakery

Definitely one of the top spots for best cereal. They carry a Vanilla Cinnamon Progranola, a huge variety of Paleo and Keto Bars, Coconut bread, Almond Bread, and Seed Medley. I have tried two out of three breads and so far the almond is my favorite. It works really well if you toast it ( as with most gluten free options).  I am excited to try their Seed medley some day soon. If you enjoy chewy bars my favorites are the Vanilla cookie, Espresso, and Devils food cake( by far the best of the chocolate options). Whats unique about their bars is they use probiotics, grass fed protein, and stevia. 

Simple Mills 

BEST CRACKERS! but I digress, they carry delicious crackers and sprouted seed crackers. If you have time to make something fresh you should try their baking mixes: Artisan bread, Pancakes, Vanilla Cupcakes, Pizza, and more! My little boy loves their pizza crust and you can even turn the pizza into biscuits which are a preferred addition when we do spaghetti for dinner. As for the crackers, the Sun Dried Tomato and the Sea Salt are delicious and my husband loves the Sprouted Jalapeno and Sprouted Garlic and Herb. They are pretty durable cracker and are good for dipping. Made out of almond flour and only about five ingredients. They just came out with Soft Baked Cookies!! Not to mention they have other cookies, the chocolate chip ones that, to me, are super satisfying to bite into because they are so crunchy. If chocolate chip doesn’t strike your fancy you can try their Toasted Pecan or Cinnamon cookies. They have a great variety as well as the other companies listed above.

*This post is in no way sponsored by any of the companies above. I share these things with you because I genuinely love these products and hope you will too.

Sugars that are good for you! Yes! they exist!

Before I begin to explain, I want to refresh your memory and give you some info on sugars you may have not even heard of:

Xylitol, Erythritol, Sorbitol.

These “sugars” listed above are known as sugar alcohols, there is a few not listed here. These sugar alcohols effect your body differently but still gives you the sweet taste you like.

So whats the true difference between refined sugars/ unrefined sugars and sugar alcohols?

Refined and Unrefined Sugars

  •  No nutritional value, no vitamins, no minerals, empty calories, feeds bad bacteria in your mouth which causes cavities.
  • Slows down brain function. DO NOT have sugar first thing in the morning!! Have it( sugar alcohol treats later in the day , remember the meal dessert, YES do that!)
  • When we eat these sugars our body converts them into glucose and fructose. Glucose is already in our bodies and if we need more of it our bodies will make it. Fructose, our bodies do not produce. To much fructose is hard on your liver and can lead to disease.
  • Artificial sweeteners are more harmful. ( Sucralose and aspartame ).
  • Having to much fake sugar/ unrefined sugar can make your body resistant to insulin, leading to more illnesses.
  • Can lead to cancer.
  • It can be VERY ADDICTIVE. Ever met someone who says they can’t live without their sweets. This is why.

 

Sugar Alcohols

  • An alternative for diabetics. Sugar alcohols do not spike insulin as your body processes them differently than other sugars.
  • Xylitol has been shown to strengthen your teeth!
  • They contain no alcohol and no sugar. Confusing I know, their name is misleading. They get the name because the cellular structure looks like a mix of sugar and alcohol.
  • They are present in foods already. Xylitol for example is commonly extracted from birch wood. Tip: depending on the brand your getting it can be from corn, plants, or trees do research to make sure the source they are taking from is a safe one.
  • Because they are not fully absorbed (not a bad thing) and pass through the body easily, they may act as a laxative especially if you eat to much. They are sweeter than regular sugars and you will need about half the amount you would normally use.
  • Start out small with this stuff, to much in one sitting can upset your stomach. Over time your body should adjust so don’t get discouraged. This is a way healthier alternative.
  • Your body processes them differently and will not give you a rush or a crash. They do not set off sensors in your brain that influence addiction. 

 

In conclusion, sugar alcohols are the best route to go especially if your trying to take control of your eating if you are hooked on sweets.

There is sodas with stevia, desserts, Gum, and a variety of other products and recipies you can use and substitute in sugar alcohols.

 

Here is brands I recommend. They can be a bit pricey but they are worth it. Not only are they better for your health but they do not damage your body like the other sugars you use. Your health is important! Also you don’t need to use much of it, trust me a little goes a long way.

Xyla and Erythritol xylitolusa.com

Xylitol  Natural Traders Co.

When choosing a good brand make sure the source is reliable. The ones I listed above are derived in North America, GMO free, and they have no other added ingredients. Make sure they are not derived from China. I also want to mention stevia as an option. Stevia is my second favorite, xylitol being the first. Stevia falls under a different category than refined sugars or sugar alcohols and is another healthy option and should be used in moderation like the sugar alcohols.