Gluten Free Tips and Tricks Starter Guide

Gluten free Gluten Free Starter Guide and Tips

It is extremely important when first starting to eat Gluten Free (staying away from anything that contains Wheat, Barley or Rye)  and heal your body try to stay away from processed GF prepackaged foods. There are some good ones out there, but be aware, Some of them maybe GF ingredients but they could be processed on the same lines as gluten containing ingredients. Some of them just out and out lie and slap that GF label on the package just to make money. It is illegal and several of them have been caught, but another one pops up all the time. So until you find the products that you can trust at first it is just safer to eat as clean as possible to begin with.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, Non- processed meats, etc.

Always wash fruits and vegetables with a white vinegar and warm water mixture, then rinse well.

Plain Milk and Dairy is Gluten Free, ( although some do have reactions to them, it may just take time to figure out what you react to.)

Be aware of Ice creams not all Ice cream is GF. You have to read labels.

Eggs are Gluten Free, ( I know some of this seems like a no brainer, but I have had people ask me these questions, and some people do react to eggs, my Mom is one of them, but it’s not because there is gluten in the eggs. We use Duck eggs and have no problems with them.)

 Always, Always!!! READ LABELS!!! I don’t care if you’ve purchased that same brand or product before and it was GF. Food companies change ingredients all the time! I have found this out the hard way.

Be very aware of Cross Contamination! If you use the same pans, bowls, and cooking utensils to cook gluten foods then use them to cook GF foods. You WILL cross contaminate yourself. Stainless steel is great, because it can be washed in the dishwasher and clean it thoroughly. Plastic, rubber, and wooden bowls can have scratches or cuts in them which will hold on to gluten.

Toasters are a big source of Cross Contamination! If your household is not going totally GF, then you need to have a separate toaster only for GF foods.

Hand towels, hot pad holders, anything with a soft or porous surface will hold gluten. I usually use paper towels to dry my hands. Just in case someone comes in with Gluten on their hands and doesn’t get it all off, then wipes it on the towel.

Also be aware of Soaps, Shampoos, Toothpaste, Shaving lotions, etc. Some of them do contain gluten.  

Oh and this is something that you just don’t think about until it happens to you. Someone else driving your car and eating gluten then getting it on your steering wheel.  People just don’t think about it. So I’m constantly cleaning my steering wheel, since we have teenage drivers around now.

Be aware of Spices, some of them are the real deal and only contain the spice that’s in the jar. Some of them are not, they add fillers. There are some brands that are pure spices.

Be aware of cellulose. Not all cellulose is GF. Some of it is made from Wheat and Barley Straw which does contain gluten.     

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

We are already getting Sweet potatoes from our garden and we love them just about anyway I fix them!

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

4 Large Sweet Potatoes (washed)

3 Tablespoons melted Butter (or butter substitute)
2 Tablespoons Pure Brown Sugar
Optional, 1Teaspoon Cinnamon
Bake potatoes in Microwave just until soft.
Heat grill to 375- 400*.
Oil grates generously.
Slice potatoes completely in half then slice again through the center of the potato, but not through the skin.
In small bowl mix melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. ( If you use the cinnamon)
Place potatoes cut side down on grate and close lid for about 35-40 seconds directly over flame. Let potatoes char slightly then turn potatoes over and brush with butter sugar mixture. Let skins char for another 45-50 seconds or if you like them very brown you can let them go longer. When done remove from grill and serve!

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie

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This has become my new favorite smoothie!

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Smoothie

1 Banana (peeled and sliced)

1/2 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter ( I use low sugar real peanut butter)

1/4 Cup plain Greek Yogurt

6-8 small Ice Cubes ( add more if you want your smoothie thinner)

1 Tablespoon Ground Chia Seeds

Optional, 2 Tablespoons Stevia or your favorite sweetener

Add all ingredients to food processor or smoothie maker. Blend until smooth,  Pour into glass and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

2 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Hazelnut Flour or Meal

1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar ( If you want to make this Sugar Free just use the Pyure Stevia in the same amounts as both sugars)

1 Cup All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour ( I used Better Batter)

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

2 Large Eggs (Beaten)

8oz. Cream Cheese softened

1/2 Cup Salted Butter softened (1 Stick)

1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla

1- 11.5 oz. package Hershey’s Gluten Free Milk Chocolate Chips ( if you want this sugar free then use 2 packages of the Sugar Free Chips)

Preheat oven to 350*F.

In large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Using electric mixer or food processor beat together eggs, cheese, butter and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix together until well blended, then fold in chocolate chips. You may want to cover bowl and let set in fridge for about 15 minutes, or you can go ahead and spoon onto greased cookie sheet, and flatten out to about ¼ inch thick. ( I wet my fingers to do this.) Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. We like ours just until they are crispy around the edges. Be aware these are a little rich, but that’s ok for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup!

Lasagna Soup

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Gluten Free Lasagna Soup

1 Large Onion Chopped (mine was about 3 1/2Cups after chopping)

5- 6 Large Cloves of Garlic minced

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef

2- 14 oz. Cans of 100% Chicken Broth

4 Cups Additive Free Tomato Sauce ( you can use Peeled and Chopped tomatoes)

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/2 of a 10 oz. Box of Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles (I used Café’ Brand no boil)

2 Teaspoons additive free Dry Oregano

2 Teaspoons additive free Dry Sweet Basil

1/4 Cup additive free Plain Greek Yogurt

½ Cup additive free Fresh Parmesan Cheese crumbled

In medium size skillet brown ground beef. When there is almost no pink left in meat, add chopped onion and garlic. If you are making this on the stove top then, cook another 5-10 minutes while covered, stirring and turning over meat and onions, until onions are soft and translucent. In large stock pot, or Crockpot add browned meat and onion mixture, along with chicken broth, tomato sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Break up noodles and add to pot, along with spices.(** If you are making this in a Crockpot or slow cooker, set on low for 6-8 hours and do not add noodles, yogurt and cheese until the last 15 minutes of cooking time.**)  On stove top cook on a slow boil continuing to stir for about 10 minutes. Then stir in yogurt, and cheese. Simmer another 10-15 minutes, when noodles are soft it is ready to serve. Serve with Gluten Free garlic bread! YUM, Enjoy!!

Turkey with Fruit Salad ( or Chicken and Fruit Salad)

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Turkey with Fruit Salad (or Chicken Salad)

This is a great way to use up that left over Turkey!

2 ½ Cups cooked and cubed Turkey (or about 2 large cooked chicken breast)

1/3 Cup finely chopped red onion

1 Small apple, about 1 to 1 ¼ cups chopped apple with the peeling

1 to 1 ¼ Cups quartered and sliced seedless grapes

2/3 Cup chopped pecans

2/3 Cup Gluten Free mayonnaise ( I use Hellman’s Real mayo)

In medium bowl add cooked and cubed Turkey ( or chicken). Wash and cut up fruit and onion adding this to meat, along with pecans. Then pour in mayo and mix well. Serve in lettuce wrap or on your favorite Gluten Free bread for a great tasting sandwich. Enjoy!

Holiday Meal Prep Continued!

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I went through all of my supplies and list that I start every year before the Holidays and found I was running low and missing a few items. So my Mom and I made our last trip to the Grocery store before Thanksgiving. It was crazy, but we did get what we needed. One of the items I was running low on was my Cream of Chicken Soup. I’m down to one container in the freezer, so I got the supplies I needed to make another batch.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Cream of Chicken Soup