Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gluten Free doesn't have to be Expensive!

Posts around the interweb today have got me thinking. Thinking about gluten.
Thankfully, it’s only wheat that bothers me, and not gluten, but I end up eating close to gluten free as a consequence. And when I say bothers, I mean BOTHERS, friends, not a pretty sight, so I’m pretty motivated to stay away from the stuff.

I keep having a conversation with a friend about how expensive it is to eat gluten-free. I vehemently defend the point of view that it doesn’t have to be expensive – it just depends on how you do it! For example: For breakfast today I had plain yogurt with frozen berries, a dribble of maple syrup and some pumpkin seeds. Yesterday for breakfast I had cheeze, rice crackers and a couple of strawberries. Lunch was leftover chicken, brown rice and leftover broccoli with apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. Supper was homemade hamburger helper with rice noodles. No special expensive ingredients here.

I was recently at a specialty gluten free bakery. I paid $8 for 2 pizza crusts and $3.50 for a coffee cake. One tiny serving of coffee cake. $3.50. And that was the best darn coffee cake I had ever eaten. For someone who doesn’t get cake often (ever) boy that was good stuff (and you can bet I’ll be back). But can you imagine how much you would spend if you ate there on a regular basis? Save it for a treat.

So, my advice to you if you are trying to avoid gluten – avoid the specialty shops and specifically gluten free items. They ARE expensive. Because they can be, it’s a niche market. Eating gluten free is easy when you cook from scratch.

I make pizza crust at home from spelt flour (not gluten free, but you could easily use a gf blend) and baking soda which probably costs pennies. We eat a lot of potatoes and brown rice. I make a big pot of brown rice, leave it in the fridge and serve it with everything. Spaghetti sauce, tacos, everything. When the rest of the family has noodles and breads I have rice or quinoa.

Anyone else with me on this one? Do you find eating gluten free to be expensive? Comments and discussion welcome.

Here are some interesting resources I just discovered – there’s a gluten free carnival going on at kitchen stewardship this week, so I am looking forward to seeing what else comes up. Plus there's a giveaway on there right now from some coconut flour that you won't want to miss.

Also, simply sugar and gluten free looks like a good site for resources. It’s making me start to wonder if I should try quitting sugar for a while, too… but I’m just not sure how to drink coffee without it.

And I have to leave you with Gluten Free Girl’s delightful blog which asserts that she is not missing out by eating gluten free. Just look at the pictures – she is definitely not missing out!


  1. I agree! It doesn't have to be expensive.

  2. I really have no idea. I should make more effort to avoid white flour, just for our own health, but recently that's been difficult. Anyways, I look forward to hearing about how you do it...