The toughest part of starting GFCF is the inital shopping trips. If you are lucky enough to live in a big city or near a great health food store you might find it simpler. For the rest of us, here’s Part 4 of the GFCF for Beginners series.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind with GFCF grocery shopping:
1. You are going to experience sticker shock. Yes, there are are GFCF cookies. They cost about $5 for 12 cookies. No. I’m not kidding.
2. You will probably need to shop at more than 1 store to get your list & one is going to be either a health food store or a bulk store.
3. When all else fails, buy more fruit and vegetables. At least you never need to read the label on those!
Beginning Gluten Free Casein Free Basic Shopping List
- 2 lb Brown Rice Flour
- .5 lb – 1 lb Potato Starch Flour
- .5lb – 1 lb Tapioca Starch Flour
- Xanthan Gum (get this in a bulk store if you can as you can buy a small amount, minimum of 1/2 a cup. My store pre-packs it in baggies for about $5 each.)
- 1 dozen Eggs
- Fleischman’s Lactose Free Margarine(available at Safeway, some Sobey’s and Co-op or Marketplace stores) This is Casein Free, comes in a bright yellow tub
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life are safe, read labels in all other cases. Cocoa Butter is not “butter” and is CF. You may have to sacrifice on this trip and buy a brand that “may contain dairy”.)
- Raisins or Craisins if your child likes them.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Van’s Waffles or Kinnickinick Waffles are excellent. Van’s are “eggo” shaped & my kids didn’t notice the difference
- EnviroKidz by Nature’s Path makes several yummy GF cereals. Gorilla Munch is like “corn pops” and loved by my kids. The boxes are fun & each is clearly marked with Gluten Free. They have a box or two in the same brand that is not GF, so watch for the label. This cereal is cheaper in the Enviropac bags, but buy a box first in case your child won’t touch it.
Advice: skip all the fancy “gluten free flours like sorghum, amaranth, coconut flour, teff flour etc”. You can try them next time. Keep it simple.
Liquids (Otherwise known as Milk Substitutes)
Okay – everyone says to avoid Soy Milk. It’s a pretty tempting option and one that we do use, though we are trying to cut back. So, if you are going to try Soy milk, there isn’t a lot of difference between brands. So Good and Silk are two major brands, Silk is my favorite but doesn’t go on sale as often. The “house brand” at Sobey’s is excellent too.
- Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (comes in chocolate, plain, unsweetened and vanilla)
- Vance’s Darifree – this is a powdered milk. If you live in or near Winnipeg, you can find it at Lorenzo’s. I have no idea if any other store carries it, I’ve never seen it. So, mostly I buy mine online at Feel Good Natural Health Store. It is a potato-based milk and quite good. I know, ew, potato milk, but my kids love it.
- Rice Milk – avoid Rice Dream is the advice from the GFCF Kids board. Apparently it has undeclared barley in the processing. Better safe than glutened, I’d say. There are a couple of good brands of rice milk. One kid won’t drink it, the other kid loves it. It is quite thin & I think has some texture. Not my favorite, but it’s ok to cook with.
- Apple/Pear/Orange Juice
- Plain or sparkling water – to help cut back on the amount of milk we were drinking, I offered sparkling water. They thought it was pop. Hey, I wasn’t about to argue.
Here’s an area that will trip you up. So many condiments and sides have gluten hidden in them. Here are a few that don’t:
- Wheat Free Tamari Sauce – San J makes one, I had to go to the “organic” line to find one without wheat. Available at some Safeway stores
- Heniz Ketchup – gluten free, per manufacturer
- French’s Mustard – gf per manufacturer
- Maple Syrup (pure) or Roger’s Syrup (cane syrup, like corn syrup but a little sweeter) or Corn Syrup
I think that’s enough for 1 trip. Don’t forget about meat, potatoes and rice!