When it comes down to having a pantry/kitchen cupboard stocked full of gluten free staples, I think most of us have got it covered. The free-from supermarket isles are stocked full of choice for those of us who need to eat a gluten free diet, and variety has never been this good. Although, how many of these pantry staples are considered healthy? Looking at your pantry, are your shelves stocked full of processed food such as cakes, biscuits and bread?
Have a read of my favourite HEALTHY gluten free pantry staples below, and don’t be surprised when I tell you only one item is found in the free-from isle…
Gluten Free Oats
Probably the most obvious item that would be on my list of staple ingredients, yes the clue is in my name: I LOVE OATS. Perfect for pretty much every type of gluten free cooking/baking, I use my GF oats in traditional breakfast recipes such as porridge and breakfast oat bars, but they also work great when crushed into a flour and used in gluten free baking.
This is defintely one ingredient you will need to get down the free-from isle in your local supermarket. Always make sure you buy oats that say gluten free on the front, as normal oats are processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye and therefore aren’t safe for Coeliacs.
Ground almonds (or almond flour) is my all time favourite gluten free flour to bake with, as it has the most delicious nutty flavour. Perfect for baking banana bread and chocolate brownies, as it creates the most light, fluffy texture. Exactly what I’m looking for when making gluten free baked goods – they’ll be no dense textures in my house!
You can easily pick up ground almonds at your local supermarket, usually found down the baking isle. Health food shops will also sell it, but it will be much more expensive so try to avoid buying here when possible.
Peanut, almond, cashew, chocolate hazelnut – any version of nut butter is an absolute necessity in my house. My all time favourite brand is Pip & Nut, but Tesco’s new nut butter range is defintely catching up as a cheaper alternative! Always double check your nut butter doesn’t have a ‘may contain gluten’ warning on it, as I’ve been caught out on this recently with a new brand I tried. Unfortunately for me it was one of the tastiest versions I’ve had, so I’ll have to block the yumminess out of my brain so I don’t remember!
Crunchy or smooth? In all honestly, I personally prefer crunchy as I love the texture, but I buy smooth so I have that perfect swirly finish on my breakfast bowls.
All hail the magnificent coconut oil, a staple in any healthy pantry. I use coconut oil in all my baking recipes, but my absolute favourite use is for cooking pancakes! The coconut flavour is usually very subtle if it’s incorporated into the baking mixture, whereas if you use the oil to fry something (like yummy blueberry pancakes) you get a much more intense coconut flavour, which I personally love!
You can now buy coconut oil in most supermarkets, usually next to the olive/vegetable oils. Make sure you buy one that is organic extra virgin, as this is unrefined (meaning it hasn’t been overly processed) and still has most of it’s coconut flavour.
To put things straight, cacao powder is the unrefined version of cocoa powder. This means cocoa powder is made from roasting cacao powder at a high temperature. What does it really mean? Cacao powder has more health benefits, such as a higher antioxidant content, than cocoa powder. It’s also much more bitter than cocoa, so you can get away with using a lot less. You can find some cacao powders in the supermarkets, but mostly it’ll be in health food shops such as Holland & Barrett.
Cocoa powder is probably what most of you will use already, and that’s fine. It’s sweeter, so perfect for baking, plus it’s much easier to find in the shops, as well as being cheaper! I love using both cocoa and cacao powders to make chocolate porridge, GF brownies and chocolate coated salted caramel truffles.
Liquid sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave or date nectar are my absolute favourite ways to naturally sweeten my recipes. They add another flavour dimension to a dish, where white sugar just doesn’t have the same effect – I’d pick maple syrup over sugar on my pancakes any day!
Honey is my favourite sweetener to use as it’s so easy to find in the supermarkets, and is relatively cheap compared to maple syrup/agave nectar. I do love trying a variety of honey flavours (farmer’s markets are amazing for this), but ultimately your basic squeezy honey will do the trick!
70% Dark Chocolate
This is my all time favourite type of chocolate, and is DEFINITELY a staple ingredient for my kitchen cupboard! I love to have a couple of squares after my dinner, or stirred into my morning porridge if I’m feeling a bit more adventurous. My all time favourite is Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate, although their Velvet Edition Salted Caramel dark chocolate is following closely behind, it’s delicious
What are your staple gluten free ingredients that you can’t live without? Comment below as I’d love to hear from you!