Wheat is a staple food around the world. So many common, easy to prepare, easy to obtain foods contain wheat. So, if you have a wheat allergy, you are more than likely desperate to find some wheat substitutes. From pasta to bread to snack foods, wheat is everywhere but so are alternatives (click here for a longer list of foods containing wheat).
Following are some substitutes for wheat and foods containing wheat:
Replacing wheat flour is a tricky thing because it contains gluten, a protein that is pretty much responsible for the structure and texture of foods baked with wheat flour. It is difficult to duplicate wheat baked goods (especially bread) without wheat flour. Some non-wheat flours do contain gluten including barley and rye. People with a wheat allergy can usually tolerate those flours while people with celiac disease cannot.
Following are some other wheat-free (and gluten-free) flours:
I combine it in an 8 cup plastic container and store it in the pantry for future use. It works well for baking and thickening sauces and gravies. I add xanthan gum when baking with it which can be found at specialty food stores or online. The amount you should add will depend on what you are baking. I use the guide on the package to help me determine how much to add (usually 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour).
Luckily, there are great alternatives to wheat pasta! Pasta comes in rice, corn and quinoa varieties. We have used rice pasta the most and like it the best. Take care to not overcook it as it can get mushy and fall apart easily.
The brand that we like the best is Tinkyada. It comes in many different varieties including elbow, shells, spaghetti, penne and lasagna (to name a few). It also seems to hold its shape better than other brands. Unfortunately, in my area, it can only be purchased in specialty food stores. If you can't find it in your area, it is available in the Food Allergy Store through Amazon in bulk. If you have kids, I highly recommend the "Little Dreams" pasta that comes in fun shapes!
If you are only dealing with a wheat allergy, check in your area for a bakery specializing in wheat-free bread. I have never tried this because we have other allergies to deal with and us cross-contamination is an issue (it would be hard to find a bakery with no eggs, dairy, nuts AND wheat!)
Also, check out Ener-G Foods breads in the Food Allergy Store. I have tried the Raisin Loaf which is free of all of our allergens. It's pretty good toasted and it even passes the kid test!
Baking wheat free bread yourself is another option. Some of the best cookbooks out on baking gluten free are written by Bette Hagman including one called The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. If you're adventurous and want to try baking some bread, check it out!
It has taken some time to discover our wheat free snacks. Wheat is not a serious allergen for us (we've never seen a reaction but have had a positive allergy test to wheat) so we aren't as concerned about cross-contamination with wheat. If you are more sensitive or have celiac disease, be sure to double check with the manufacturer about shared lines and cross-contamination. Read more about cross-contamination here.
Here are some ideas for wheat-free snacks (not necessarily gluten free):
Look for gluten-free broth at your grocery store. I use either Pacific or Kitchen Basics and keep a box of chicken and beef broth on hand. You can use it to make your own wheat free soup, sauces and gravies.
Look for Cherrybrook Kitchen cake mixes at the regular grocery store as they seem to be more widely available (at least in my area). They are very good and come in a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free variety. If you can't find them in your grocery store, stock up at the Food Allergy Store.
Another brand I've used is Miss Roben's from Allergy Grocer, an online store. It is also very good! Both of these brands have several different mixes available.
Wheat-free baking mixes aren't limited to cakes, either. You can find mixes for pie crusts, tortillas, graham crackers, animal crackers and goldfish crackers and pizza crust (to name a few).
Here are some other brands of wheat-free mixes:
You can find these baking mixes and many more wheat-free, gluten-free foods online at the Gluten Free Mall.
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