Today’s topic was inspired by a family friend who just found out that she has to go on a wheat free diet [much to her dismay]. I thought about all of the foods I eat each week that contain wheat and understood her frustration. Angie, this post is for you.
Many people confuse a wheat free diet with gluten free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, but not in grains like corn, wild rice, and buckwheat [to name a few]. Wheat free products can contain gluten and gluten free products can contain wheat and figuring what you can eat and what you cannot can be tricky. Wheat starch [with the gluten removed] is used in some products and some makers of gluten free goods use wheat in their manufacturing facilities. Wheat, gluten, wheat, gluten AAARRRHHH… stay with me, you can do this! Be sure to read your labels carefully and do your research.
While wheat is most commonly found in foods such as bread and pasta as well as some soups and sauces that contain wheat flour, there are alternatives. Here is a Wheat Free Pizza Crust Recipe using rice and tapioca flour from WheatFree.org [they have tons of info and recipes on their site!].
Click on image for recipe
Not a cook? No worries. I found this great site, aptly named The Really Great Food Company, to order Gluten, Wheat, Soy, and Casein Free doughs, mixes, condiments, pastas, etc. online [and the prices are reasonable too!].
Another great site for recipes is Healthy Green Kitchen. Just search “wheat free” on their site and loads of delicious goodies, like these Wheat Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes pop up!
Click image for recipe
And there are plenty of helpful Wheat Free Cookbooks out there, like this one by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. [available at Amazon.com]
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So if your doctor or body tells you it’s time to stop eating wheat, don’t despair. It will take some getting used to and you will probably find it difficult to dine out, but there are plenty of great resources out there to guide you in the right direction. The best news? The pizzas, pastas, breads, and sweets you thought were gone forever are still on the menu!