Learning to live without gluten or wheat in my diet hasn’t been fun.
It’s been a process of trial and error, finding out what works and what doesn’t. Especially in recipes that were once “tried and true” for my family. The hardest part was going without breads or bread products, especially for my youngest son. He missed them. So, learning to make substitutions, reading labels, and making all new recipes have become a way of life. It can be daunting because it seems like everything from bread to ice cream has gluten in it. If you do away with everything, what’s left to eat? The good news is there are plenty of ingredients you can substitute for gluten and wheat. Here’s a list of 50 gluten-free living substitution ideas you can use.
Flour That Can Be Substituted for Wheat Flour
2. Chickpea or gram flour and other bean flours
3. Corn or maize
4. Potato flour/starch
5. Sorghum flour
6. Millet, which should be combined with finer flours like almond flour
7. Rice flour is easy to find and can be substituted equally to wheat flour
9. Almond flour
10. For an all-purpose flour mixture to use in most baking and making sauces or gravies: Combine 4 1/2 c. white rice flour, 1 1/2 c. potato starch, 3/4 c. tapioca flour
11. Wheat or gluten-free baking mixes are available online and in stores. Look for mixes for cakes, pie crusts, pizza crusts, tortillas, and crackers.
Breads, Cakes, Biscuits
12. Make your own with gluten free mix
13. 100% oat (certified gluten free)
14. 100% pumpernickel
15. Wheat or gluten-free cakes and biscuits can be made with alternative flours
16. Corn tortillas can be used instead of sandwich bread when you just have a desire for a sandwich
17. Gluten-free oats for breadcrumbs. Process a few seconds in the food processor for quick breadcrumbs. Add herbs and Parmesan cheese for a great Italian flavor.
18. Oatcakes and oat crackers are easy to find in stores.
19. Brown rice tortillas are a good substitute for crackers. Cut them into squares and toast.
Sauces and Gravies
20. Corn flour, potato flour or arrowroot work well as thickeners for gravy and sauces.
21. Look for gluten-free broths in your local store.
22. Or make your own chicken, beef and vegetable stocks. That way, you know exactly what’s in it.
Pasta and Couscous
23. Rice pasta, corn pasta and quinoa pasta are available online and in stores.
24. Use buckwheat pasta.
25. Certain vegetables like spaghetti squash, eggplant and zucchini work well as a pasta substitute.
26. Use polenta instead of pasta.
27. Grated cooked cauliflower can stand in for couscous.
28. Quinoa has almost the exact same texture as couscous and it’s packed with nutrients and protein.
29. Choose Shirotaki or Konjac noodles instead of wheat pasta.
30. Sliver carrots to replace spaghetti noodles.
31. Gluten-free beer, lager and stout are becoming more readily available.
32. Go for the vino. Wine is grain free and lower in carbs than beer. Remember moderation in all things!
Other Great Substitutions
33. Chorizo for regular sausage. Many sausages are made with a good amount of wheat-based rusk. Our local Mexican grocery store even carries beef chorizo!
34. Mashed potatoes for pizza crust. Just mix one serving with 1/4 cup alternative flour. Smooth out onto a cookie sheet and bake until crisp.
35. Ground cooked cauliflower is great for pizza crust as well.
36. Use lettuce leaves in place of tortilla wraps.
37. Corn tortillas can be used instead of flour tortillas in almost all cases.
38. Replace your morning oatmeal with grits.
39. Cornmeal pancakes work well in place of wheat flour pancakes.
40. Meringue can substitute for pre-made frosting that sometimes has wheat-based thickeners.
41. Use chopped nuts instead of granola.
42. Soy sauce can be replaced with Tamari. It’s still a type of soy sauce but it’s wheat free.
43. Rice cakes can stand in for just about anything including pizza crust, crackers or even bread.
44. Use large Portabella mushrooms as hamburger buns. Just grill or roast them first.
45. Replace sugary snacks with popcorn, corn puffs, rice crackers or Rice Krispies cereal. Or raw fruits and vegetables.
46. Switch to more salads or soups instead of having a sandwich for lunch.
47. Indulge your sweet tooth with chocolate if cakes and pastries must go.
48. Use chunks of starchy potatoes to thicken soups and stews instead of flour.
49. Have eggs for breakfast. Mix up an omelet with fresh vegetables for a satisfying start to your day.
50. Grated raw cauliflower can stand in for steamed rice. No need to cook it. Goes wonderfully with stir fries and curries.