One of the first things I did when I began the gluten-free journey with my son was to print off a list of ingredients to look for when buying prepared foods. For example, I learned quickly that most of the common breakfast cereals have gluten, even the rice cereals. (Though, thankfully, Rice Chex just very recently went gluten free.) The culprit? Barley malt. Which is made from barley which has gluten in it.
I trained my eye to look for things like modified food starch and brewers yeast. I learned that somethings sound bad but are really okay like buckwheat and whey. It was a lot in the beginning but over time it became second nature.
The most important thing to happen was that our eating habits improved a great deal. Most prepared foods are contaminated with gluten. For example, I had been using a great deal of cream soups in my recipes but cream soup is thickened with wheat.
Going gluten free meant eating more natural and fresh foods and that's a good thing. Of course, grains took a beating but I managed a few grains. Rice and corn are safe substitutes for wheat.
Tomorrow I'll write about converting bread and pastry recipes to gluten-free flours.
Meanwhile, here is a gluten free blog to check out.