For those of us diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten is the enemy. Nevertheless, gluten does not need to be sought out and destroyed; rather, it needs be avoided at all costs. At first, gluten may seem to be everywhere, lurking around every corner, hidden in almost all foods. In some ways, that is the case. In America, we are prone to eating heavily processed foods. These foods are rich in gluten. Suddenly having these foods taken away, can be a shock to anyone’s system. However, there is hope. The food industry has finally taken notice and started producing more mainstream (readily available at grocery stores) gluten free food. The only problem now, is sorting out the good from the bad, and the it’s just okay from the inedible.
First, let’s start with the bread. For me, this was the most obvious item to disappear from the shelf once I was diagnosed with Celiac. Let’s just say that ten years ago, gluten free bread was in short supply – to describe it as slim pickins’ would be an understatement. I ended up spending hours upon hours trying to make my own gluten free bread. The bread maker was really getting a workout, and still, I would end up with the kind bread that fell apart with even the lightest touch! Nowadays, there are so many options it’s almost hard to decide which to try. We have Schar, and Udi’s and Rudi’s…oh my! They all have their pros and cons, and what you buy is based upon what you’re really looking for in a bread.
If you want gluten free bread that does not have to be frozen, and is ready to go at a moments notice, may I suggest you look into Udi’s. They also have bagels that are so delicious it restored my hope in unfrozen gluten free products. Up until that point, I had a strict belief that any unfrozen gluten free bread was basically a brick that a company packaged and tried to pass off as something edible. You can find it easily at Whole Foods or Wegmans. Schar brand is also unfrozen, but is not fully cooked. It needs to be placed in an oven – usually no longer than 10 minutes. They also have ciabatta rolls, long rolls, dinner rolls, and hamburger rolls. All of which I have tried, and all of which I have really enjoyed! Schar is also easily found in Wegmans.
If frozen bread is more your style, then the Grainless Baker Brand or Rudi’s is the way to go. The bonus to using frozen gluten free bread is that it can stay in your freezer for quite some time and still come out tasting pretty darn good. Both the Grainless Baker and Rudis have multiple kinds of bread, including Raisin Cinnamon and Muli-Grain. Again, Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these brands. However, Costco has a great price on a double pack of Rudi’s. Here’s a quick run down of the two; although both brands are good, in my opinion, Rudi’s just edges out the Grainless Baker. It is slightly larger in size – size does matter…for a sandwich anyway. Also, the texture in Rudi’s seems to be slightly more authentic as well.
In the end, do not fret my Celiac comrades. There are many gluten free options. I am here to help you navigate through those inedible landmines to the sweet taste of gluten free success!