As someone who lives a gluten-free lifestyle out of necessity, let me tell you that I faced many challenges in the starting. I only learned that I was gluten-intolerant a few of years ago and I had to take a serious look at my stockpile. Something with grains had to travel. That includes flour and something that has flour in it; breads, gravies, several commercial seasoning mixes, pasta; it seemed my stockpile diminished to practically nothing.
I didn’t discard it as a result of my family can still eat all of that but I required to take a serious look in order to make sure that I have enough stockpiled for myself as well. Most gluten-free commercial foods are dear but I’ve found ways around it in my lifestyle. In my prepping closet, though, I’ve made a few changes.
There are many various flours that you can store in place of wheat flour. Sadly, most of those flours have a little of a shorter period of time than wheat flour and they’re different to cook with.
I have many different recipes that I use depending on whether I’m baking bread, cookies, cakes or cornbread. I recommend stocking the essential flours: almond, tapioca, cornmeal, rice flour, potato starch and perhaps a bean flour.
For thickening, I keep cornstarch for milk-based products and arrowroot powder for non-dairy recipes because dairy tends to make arrowroot a little slimy. Sometimes I simply use cornstarch. It’s cheap and simple to store because a little bit goes a long way.
I also have bulk storage of oats, not quick cook, because it’s good to eat, it works as a binder in many recipes and it’s even good for your skin. Also, oat flour is great for several recipes including pancakes.
One of the first restrictions that I actually felt was the absence of pasta. I was never a lot of a bread or cake eater, however I did love pasta. Back even a few of years ago, there weren’t several gluten-free pasta choices, at least not ones that tasted decent. Instead, I stocked bulk rice.
Over the last year or so, the major brands have developed pasta that tastes extremely similar to wheat pasta, as a result of the rise in gluten intolerance.
At any rate, I have now stockpiled gluten-free pasta in place of regular pasta – my family eats it and likes it, so there’s no need to store anything other than gluten-free pasta.
In recent months, it’s come to light that the fermentation process involved with making sourdough bread breaks the gluten strands down to the point that it’s tolerable to Celiacs and other people with gluten intolerance.
The jury is still out for a few folks however I will eat it with no issues. For that reason, I keep a sourdough starter on hand so that I will make it whenever I want to.
If you like to own the occasional cocktail, brewage is off the menu. That’s about it, though. Wine, ciders and nearly all distilled alcohols are gluten-free. As a matter of fact, I actually have yet to seek out a distilled alcohol that has gluten in it. Feel free to stock your favorite beverage as long as it isn’t beer or malt beverages.
Foods on the go
For quick, light foods, I’ve made my own granola bars and vacuum sealed them so that I have a decent source of nutrition already in my bug-out bag, ready to go.
Trail mix is another nutrient-dense food that I’ve added to my stockpile – just make sure to read the label if you’re buying commercial mix. Chex cereals are all gluten-free apart from wheat checks therefore you’ll stockpile that as a part of your trail mix if you want.
Once I started listening to what foods had gluten, I was surprised to learn that it was found in many alternative foods. Maybe I ought to justify precisely what gluten is, so that it’ll be easier to know why it’s added to different foods.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat. It’s what offers dough its elasticity and helps to hold the dough together as it bakes into bread, cake, etc. Additional protein is often added to cake and pastry flours to make the merchandise lighter and fluffier.
Gluten is also added to several commercial spices and seasonings to stay it from clumping together. But wait – I’m not done yet. Gluten is also used as a thickener and a binder to stay ingredients from separating. Ketchup could be a good example of this. Oh, and soy sauce is off limits, too. The first ingredient is typically wheat.
Well, at least we still have ice cream. Or not. Flour is usually used in ice cream recipes as a thickener so check your labels before shopping for your favorite chocolate chunk or butter pecan.
Other foods that you just need to be careful for include cereals, condiment, french fries, chicken wings and even non-edible stuff such as cosmetics including lip gloss and toothpaste.
The one factor that I did learn through this experience is that all of the foods that are actually good for me – fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, milk, etc. – area all still perfectly open to me. The substitutions that I’ve had to create were all good ones. Even after I use a substitute flour, it’s a nut flour and still better for me than nutrient-poor white flour.
As shortly as I got the hang of it and learned to start checking labels, stockpiling gluten free foods became a bit of gluten-free cake!
The bottom line of it’s that stockpiling gluten free is really a healthy choice regardless of whether you have a gluten problem or not. It pretty much eliminates foods that you eat on a regular basis that are bad for you.
For the first six months, I lived on fruit, veggies and meat as a result of I didn’t understand how many foods had gluten in them. I felt cheated when everyone else was eating pizza or pasta but currently I’m wont to it and healthier for it!