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Top 5 Staples for the Gluten-Free/Wheat-Free Diet

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Every kitchen needs staples, but if you're recently introduced to the gluten-free or wheat-free diet, what staples do you need? Rather than purchase expensive food that may or may not taste good, consider the following suggestions.

1. Pamela's Baking Mix. I've tried other baking mixes, and although there are others that are as good, such as Namaste's, Pamela's is by far, the most versatile baking mix that I've tried. Pamela's baking mix has been in my pantry for over a decade, and has served me well from making pancakes, to adding 'flour' as a thickener. An added perk is that one bag goes a long way.

2. I have never had a good gluten-free bread, and I'm not sure it presently exists. However, Ener-G brown rice, white rice or tapioca bread is in my opinion, when toasted, the best tasting gluten-free bread currently available. A gluten-free bread option is always nice to have, and although this bread is not anywhere near as good as I remember non-gluten-free bread being, I believe, that when toasted, it's better than any other bread currently on the gluten-free market.

The interesting thing about Ener-G rice or tapioca bread is that it's not refrigerated, but comes on a shelf. Other breads have better packaging, but taste-wise, it's better to stick with Ener-G, although toasted. One can always hope that with an increasing popularity of gluten-free foods, someone will develop a really fantastic tasting bread option.

3. Amy's Rice Mac and Cheese, whether frozen or in the box. We all need food quickly sometimes, and Amy's is the brand to go for quick. Note: there's not very much food in Amy's frozen meals, so if you're not a bird, always pick up at least one more box.

4. Nut Thins. If you're not allergic to nuts as well, these crackers are very versatile, and good for a quick snack.

5. DeBoles Corn Pasta. Some people prefer the taste of rice pasta, but for me, the texture is too mushy no matter how little you cook it, and it tastes... like rice. It seems to me that if I want the taste of rice, I'll make rice. However, I do also eat Tinkyada's brown rice pasta, which is pretty good, doesn't taste quite so 'rice-y' and wheat-eaters seem to like it too. I've also tried various bean pastas, which are delicious, but ummm... well, you know the old saying about musical fruit!

Without a doubt though, my personal favorite is corn spaghetti, or macaroni. For me, it is the only pasta that adds, rather than detracts from the taste of pasta sauce.

6. Alright, I know I said five, but really there's two more that I find necessary - corn chips and corn tortillas. Corn tortillas and corn chips are inexpensive and can be picked up in most grocery stores. I've never found a brand of corn tortillas yet that have flour in them, but always read labels just in case. When buying corn chips on the other hand, look for the ones that have the fewest ingredients!

Consider these staples for your gluten-free kitchen and you'll be ready to start eating gluten-free in no time - and without spending nearly as much money on discovery as I did. Happy eating!

Rose M. Garland is an active writer, editor and contributor. Contact Rose at her blog www.risingupward.com or at NewsBlaze.

Rose M. Garland is an active writer, editor and contributor. Contact Rose at her blog www.risingupward.com or at NewsBlaze.

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