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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Adventures in Gluten Free Eating Part One....Flour and Pasta

Ah, the adventures of gluten freeness!!! It was last July that hubby was diagnosed Celiac and I have learned much since then! I have wasted countless dollars throwing out failed gluten free cooking and so I thought I would share what works and what didn't! To start if you are just beginning your journey be kind to yourself! If you were a scratch baker give yourself time! So, to begin ....flour. Not only will you need this if you intend to bake things, you will also need it as a thickener and coater in recipes.
 I can't say how much I dislike the Cloud 9 nasty baking mix! Not only does it not act like flour, it's grey! That means not only are my creations the consistency of rocks they have the lovely color of rocks too! Maybe you have had success with it, but I have not! It cost $8.99 for 1.25 Kg or $7.19/kg!
Our favorite is Bob's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour(thanks Rachel and Jackie!) You can buy it at Target, as well as most groceries stores. Today I was searching for it on-line and found you can buy it at as well as 623 g is the standard store size. The lowest price I have paid for it is $3.99 at Target. To give you an idea of how that compares to regular flour....Costco has the 10 kg of flour for $5.99. The gluten free flour costs $6.40/kg whereas the regular flour we used to buy is .59/kg!!! Sorry, didn't mean to depress but you know how I like to figure out how much things cost! (In Canada you can claim the extra cost of gluten free foods if you are diagnosed Celiac....let's not get me started on how much work that is as I just finished our taxes).
The gluten free pasta has been mostly good(yes there have been some major fails, but I am trying to look on the positive side!) The ones pictured are awesome! The Catelli and Barilla are our favorites! They run about $2-$2.50 a 340 g box and I have bought them at Walmart, Safeway and most major grocery stores. The Giovanni Spaghetti is sold as a three pack and I buy it at Costco. It normally costs $7.99. (That makes it $1.91 for a 340 g box.) Most gluten free pastas need to be stirred quite a bit more than regular pasta does. This was a major fail for me in the beginning. I treated it like regular pasta, stir every so often. The result was one huge inedible clump of spaghetti noodles that had to go right into the garbage! :(
The lasagne noodles pictured are the only ones we have tried(I haven't seen any other brands). They are $2.99 for the 340 g box. They are a great substitute for regular oven ready lasagne noodles. They don't require any extra work at all. Finally, we sometimes substitute the rice sticks for pasta. As you can see they come in 400 g packages and typically cost .99!!! By far the best deal.
So, to sum up.
1) I recommend Bob's All Purpose Flour.
2) The pastas pictured all work well....just remember to keep stirring!
 (There are some brands I have tried that take 16 minutes to cook! That seems like to much stirring and babysitting my opinion....). How about you? Have you had any successes or failures you'd like to share? If you have recommendations for flours....please comment or email me.

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