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Going Gluten Free? Try these 5 Easy Kitchen Tricks

Danielle Walker has authored three New York Times best-selling cookbooks, and is an admired inspirational speaker. She is a leader in the holistic foods industry and also the voice behind one of the most popular grain-free websites on the Internet, AgainstAllGrain.com. Danielle is a self-trained chef who tempts a range of appetites with innovative and accessible grain-free recipes that are not only healthy and delicious, but also can be credited with saving her life after a diagnosis of a serious autoimmune disease. She lives with her husband and three children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’ve been gluten free for about eight years now. Thankfully, the number of gluten-free food choices has grown ten-fold, and so I no longer feel different or left out. Grocery shopping is easy now, and I’ve found tried-and-true tricks to make eating a gluten-free diet effortless and incredible tasty. When I first changed my diet, I decided to start a blog to help others like me, and set out to recreate classic comfort foods in order to help people feel alive, rather than deprived, on a gluten-free diet.

If you’re just starting out, eating gluten free might be overwhelming. It takes some time to learn where gluten hides in products. These five kitchen tricks plus the incredible gluten-free selection at Whole Foods Market will make sticking to your gluten-free diet so much easier — promise. 
 

#1 Make your own sauces and dressings.

Many dressings and condiments contain wheat. I remember being so surprised to read “wheat” in the ingredient list for soy sauce — I had never even bothered to read labels before going gluten free! I also found that many of my favorite salad dressings and sauces contained gluten. Making your own is really easy, and super tasty! 
 
 
 

#2 Add some air to your dough when baking! 

Without the gluten protein in the flour, gluten-free dough and batters don’t get tough or overworked. They also don’t rise as high, though, and can be more dense, so I like to throw everything into a blender whenever possible to create more air in the batter and help the baked goods to rise and get fluffier. I also add a splash (1/2 teaspoon or so) of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help the baking soda or baking powder produce more air in the batter. 
 
 
 

#3 Add some arrowroot powder.

Gluten makes dough stretchy and chewy, so If I want to recreate that texture in baked goods, or even to thicken a gravy or sauce, I use a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot powder in addition to the flours I’m using — usually coconut flour and almond flour. Arrowroot mimics that stretchiness and makes your baked goods a little more chewy. 
 
 
 

#4 Use almond meal in place of bread crumbs. 

Most commercial bread crumbs contain wheat, so almond meal is a great substitute. Not only does it give your dish an extra dose of protein, but the oils in the almonds help to keep the foods really tender and don’t dry things out. You can even season them with Italian seasonings, just like you would regular bread crumbs. 
 
 
 

#5 Give veggie noodles a try.

I love to julienne or spiral slice squash to use in place of grain-based noodles. Zucchini and butternut are my favorites, but you could also use yellow squash, spaghetti squash or even sweet potatoes. If you’re short on time, Whole Foods Market sells a variety of Veggie Noodle Co. (pre-spiralized!) noodles in the Produce department.