My Kitchen Essentials
People often ask me what I stock in my kitchen. In addition to some specific gluten-free items and the obvious oil, spices and seasonings, I stock ingredients that will allow me to make simple food that is still bursting with flavor. And none of it takes hours in the kitchen.
Gluten-free flour blend - Mixing up your own is really easy and runs probably half the cost of buying a ready-made one. Here's a link with some instructions for making your own. If you don't mind the cost of a ready-made one, I prefer a flour blend with no xanthan gum.
Xanthan gum - It helps gluten-free baked goods hold together. I like a flour blend without it so I can control how much goes into my recipe. I use about ¼ tsp. per cup in cakes and even less in cookies. You may cringe when you see how much it costs but fear not, since you use very small amounts it will last a long time.
Fresh herbs, ginger, garlic and citrus - These ingredients are quick, easy and healthy ways to add flavor and interest to your cooking at home. Add some lemon juice and fresh parsley to your rice or quinoa for a new spin. Toss your steamed broccoli with sesame oil and ginger for an easy side dish.
Microplane - This is a tool that looks like a very fine grater. It makes quick work of fresh ginger, garlic and citrus zest. It is so much easier to grate on a microplane than it is to finely chop garlic and ginger.
Gluten-free bread crumbs - Great for mixing into meat balls, coating chicken or adding body to a soup.
Coconut Aminos - This is a great substitute for soy sauce. It does not taste like coconut since it is made with the nectar of the flower on the coconut palm. I know there are gluten- free soy sauces but I find them to be very salty (even the low-sodium ones) and somewhat overpowering. Coconut aminos have great flavor and are much less salty. Look for it in your natural foods market in the same aisle as soy sauce.
Quinoa - So many gluten free products are rice based so it's important to add some variety to you diet. Quinoa is easy to cook (much less tricky than rice) and has a nice nutty flavor. Some citrus zest will add a nice pop to your quinoa.
Sorghum, Millet and Teff flours - Another way to add some variety to your diet and millet and teff are powerhouses of nutrition. Sorghum and millet flours are great in sweet baked goods and teff flour adds a nice nutty flavor to breads. Check out my post on g-f flour blends for more information on how to use these flours.
Gluten Free Tortillas - They are great for a quick snack or sandwich wrap. So perfect when I'm running out and need something easy and portable.
Gluten-Free Bread - Find a bread that you enjoy which also has some whole grain and at least 2 grams of fiber per slice.