Delicious Living Blog

What's next for gluten-free foods?

Gluten-free foods 2.0 features a higher standard: delicious products made with nutrient-rich ingredients, such as whole-grain flours and "superfood" seeds and nuts, to make gluten-free foods that are tasty and highly nutritious.

 

Gluten-free foods is still one of the hottest food categories around, with thousands of people recovering from longstanding, unexplained ailments by forgoing gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some cross-contaminated grains). After the first batch of crumbly, unappetizing gluten-free foods nevertheless found a market, the next challenge for manufacturers was to create good-tasting, pleasantly textured gluten-free versions of favorites like bread, pizza crust, cookies, and crackers.

And they did. The problem was that many of these early GF options relied heavily on less-nutritious ingredients, such as white rice flour, potato flour, and refined sugar. I don't begrudge that; as the mom of a gluten-intolerant college-age son, I can attest that any good-tasting GF options were and are a wonderful boon to those who cannot or choose not to eat gluten.

 

But now I’m seeing some gluten-free food manufacturers adopting a higher mission and standard: making products that not only 1) taste great and 2) have a good texture but 3) are actually healthy for anyone. I’m calling it Gluten Free 2.0: products that incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients, such as flours made from amaranth, quinoa, and millet, as well as ground flaxseed, hempseed, chia, and nuts, to make products nutritionally valuable AND delicious. Two of my new favorites: Gluten-Free Bistro frozen pizza crusts, made with brown rice flour, coconut flour, and sorghum (they also sell their own proprietary flour blend), and Purely Elizabeth cookie and muffin mixes, made with ground flaxseeds, chia, hempseeds mixed with organic, whole-grain, and non-GMO flours. Read labels when buying gluten-free foods; you’ll see a difference.

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