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Eating Healthy and Gluten Free on a Budget.
Welcome to the first post in a series to come of beginning to eat gluten free, whole healthy foods and on a budget. Say what?! Did you read that right? Healthy and Gluten Free ON A BUDGET! You got it! This is my get-you-started-round-up post of some of my favorite gluten free products that make transitioning to gluten free, painless and tasty. I will start with breaking it into sections so it will be super easy to browse!
I highly reccommend an account with Thrive Market. Use this link and you will get a discount on your first 3 orders. If you don’t have a grocery store locally that carries specialty items, then Thrive is your place. It’s an online health food store that offers discounted items because they have no overhead. You can find so many items much cheaper here than at a brick and mortar store. If you bundle it with Ibotta then you will get even better deals as you will earn cash back on your purchases.
Let’s start with things that you usually think will taste awful as gluten free.
For FAST and easy Gluten-free baking:
I usually use Pamela’s gluten free pancake and baking mix for my flour of choice.
If you want really good pancakes that are paleo and grain free then I use Birch Benders paleo pancake mix and Simple Mills pancake and waffle mix. Both are delicious and if you want to add a kick to them then add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened organic apple sauce and some pumpkin spice, or 1/4 cup of pumpkin and some cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. You may need to add a bit more dry mix or reduce the amount of water it calls for. I actually use Ripple (you will read about this further down in this post) in mine because it makes them really fluffy and adds more protein and I add an egg even though it doesn’t call for it. It’s great for you and adds some vitamin A and protein.
Do you need good chocolate chips? Well, I use Lily’s dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia. You would never know they don’t have sugar in them. Go bake some delicious chocolate chip cookies. Or you can always use the baking bar as well. Recipe coming soon!
About Ripple: You may be thinking, “What in the name of strangeness is Ripple!??” Well, it’s my personal favorite dairy free milk. It is soy free, has twice as much calcium as cows milk and 8 grams of protein per 8 oz and is lower in sugar. It’s quite delicious.
If you want my honest opinion, then get rid of cows milk immediately. It’s really not that good for you and has very little nutritional content after it’s been pasteurized, and even if it says on the carton no hormones added, or hormone free, it’s not. Cow’s are lactating mother’s. They are releasing hormones as they produce the milk. Also the hormones that they are mostly releasing are potentially harmful hormones for us. This is because most lactating cows on factory farms are grieving mothers because their babies have been taken from them. I will not sugar coat this. Factory farming is harsh and so cruel. It is certainly not the way God intended.
So, Ripple on people, and drink something healthy if you need a milk product! However, if you refuse to give up cows milk, and can get local, grass fed/pastured, raw milk then go for it. . . if your brave enough to drink raw milk! There does tend to be a calming affect that raw pastured dairy can have on a person. It’s just that in my opinion as a holistic nutritional health coach, you can easily live without it and not suffer any consequences, AND even benefit from giving it up. Therefore, Ripple is our go-to milk.
Okay, so I went down a rabbit hole with my love for Ripple, and now back to gluten free eats!
Gluten free crackers and chips:
Yes, these are considered processed foods, but there are some that are minimally processed and have nothing harmful in them. In reality, you can’t avoid processed foods 100%, let’s be real here. Most of us are crazy busy moms, with multiple children and some of us are homeschool moms, some work outside the home, and some have really small children that make you so tired that it feels like your life juice has been sucked right out of your brain leaving you barley able to think much less speak in full sentences. But, don’t let anyone take away your super mom label just because you feed your child the occasional processed food (just make sure it’s only occasional and doesn’t have any of the “STAY AWAY FROM” ingredients).
On to snacks- we eat Simple Mills crackers that are made from almond flour. They taste delicious and not like cardboard. They do however, get stale very fast and you will need to put then in a resealable bag immediately after opening. Add a dab of almond butter in the middle and they are delicious or eat them with chicken salad(recipe coming soon). I even eat them in soup because the plain ones taste like a saltine crackers or those little oyster crackers I used to eat when I was little. I used to love to bite them a certain way and they would split open just like an oyster. Anyone remember those?
I vowed to you that I would never suggest a food that tastes bad, and I won’t. Ever.
I eat ONLY great tasting food, so trust me on my suggestions. Do you love doritos? Well Paqui chips are a much better for you version of doritos. They are great in chili as well! They come in several flavors and all are delicious if you love chips or are a dorito fan.
If you are not only gluten free, but grain free as well, then these delicious chips are THE chips. SO SO GOOD! I love them! They are called Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips, and they come in several flavors!
Glutino makes fabulous pretzels! They are very high in carbs so watch that, but if you NEED a pretzel, that is my go to pretzel. They are great dipped in lily’s dark chocolate melted with a tbsp of coconut oil to make a healthy chocolate shell.
We also love Made Good granola packs. They are perfect for on the go and actually have some vegetable powder in them, but I’m not sure how much benefit it can be in that small amount. That’s about all I can think of off the top of my head for crackers and chips that we eat. We really don’t eat many chips/crackers at all.
Breakfast foods quick:
One go to for us is Glutino Multigrain English muffins. We eat them with an omelette egg with mushrooms and micro-greens.
Another great option is O’Doughs gluten free bagel thins with salba chia. These are fabulous as well and we usually make an omelet, cheese free (I hate cheese in my eggs!) and top with fresh greens, usually broccoli micro-greens that I order locally from a hydroponic farm around the corner from us. I highly recommend looking for local fresh greens that are organic. If you are local you can order from Circle A farms. They will even deliver!
In the summer we eat greek yogurt parfait using Siggis or Icelandic yogurt, whichever I have an ibotta rebate for and I mix one container of yogurt with one container of cocowhip (NOT the LIGHT, I get full fat), which is a dairy free very low sugar whip cream. I eat a few spoonfuls with fresh berries and some sprouted pumpkin seeds (this isn’t the exact ones I buy but the same brand) or my homemade power cookie bites(recipe coming soon!) crumbled up on top.
I also like to have a Humm Kombucha to start my day at least every other day. They are filled with probiotics, b12, folate, thiamin, and b6. It powers me through my day!
We graze for lunch usually. In the summer I eat a salad most days with fresh greens, avocado, pumpkin seeds or almonds, berries and an olive oil and white balsamic vinegarette.
We also eat Golden Platter gluten free organic chicken nuggets that we get from Costco and dip them in guacamole. My kids really like Costco’s frozen gluten free pizza for a quick no brainer fast lunch. Other than that, they eat apples and almond or peanut butter, smoothies with frozen organic berries, some kind of greens and either stevia or honey to sweeten. They love baked sweet potatoes with a dab of butter, raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut sugar.
I try to keep chicken salad in the fridge or egg salad. We also will fix some Brazi bites which are gluten free pizza bread bites. I buy these at Sprouts Farmers Market (Where I do 90% of our regular grocery shoppingn) or Costco. They snack on raw almonds and clementines or some kind of fruit.
We also make smoothies quite often with fresh greens of some kind, cucumbers, frozen organic wild blueberries and/or frozen or fresh strawberries, raspberries or blackberries depending on the season, frozen dragon fruit, and I sweeten it with organic pitted dates and a bit of stevia. Banana’s with dark chocolate almond butter spread on top is also a big favorite as well. We use Maranatha for the dark choc. almond butter.
Most kids favorites are usually chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti or some kind of pasta.
I almost always cook everything homemade so for the usual kid favorites here’s what I substitute. Full recipes coming soon.
If we have pasta our favorite would be Explore Cuisine red lentil or edamame pastas. You would NEVER know the red lentil pasta is gluten free. My kids love the lentil pasta, as do my nieces and nephews. My husband loves both the lentil and the edamame spaghetti pasta and that speaks volumes. Those pastas are filled with protein and are gluten free. It takes much less of this pasta than regular pasta because it is so filling.
If my kids want anything like homemade chicken nuggets, I use unsweetened shredded coconut and Ians gluten free panko.
For Macaroni and cheese we use the red lentil pasta by Explore Cuisine and coconut milk or ripple instead of cows milk. The recipe coming soon!
We don’t eat dessert often and certainly not every night. But if they are going to have dessert I prefer it to be the least of the evils. Meaning less sugar and preferably not loaded with carbs.
My kids love ice cream in a cone, so we get gluten free ice cream cones and we eat Nada Moo dairy free ice cream. It is THE STUFF! Seriously its an addiction. I mean the snickerdoodle has actual cookie dough pieces in it and they are gluten free! It’s not often someone who is gluten free can find cookie dough that tastes awesome.
I also make cookies quite often from scratch that are made with almond butter. No flour, no cane sugar. They are super! I make double dark chocolate, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle. These recipes are also coming soon! Keep coming back if you want the recipes!
One of my guilty pleasures is Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark. I usually purchase mine at costco or this brand from Thrive Market.
Thank you for being patient as I get this blog up and running! It is taking lots of time getting the recipes photographed, tested, tested again, and recorded. They will be coming sooner or later though!