Eating gluten free is easier than ever! Large chain grocery stores are selling gluten free items and ingredient lists are more explicit than ever. However, gluten free living is still expensive and often times inconvenient. This instructible's purpose is to share some knowledge and tricks gleaned from three generations of living gluten free.

Principles to remember
If in doubt leave it out. - This one is hugely important. There are a lot of trial and error mistakes you can make. Unless you know what is in a food, don't eat it.

If gluten touched it, it's no longer safe - My child would come home throwing up (her reaction to gluten) at night because the lunch lady at school wouldn't change her gloves to make a salad.

Step 1: Safe Foods

A lot of times you start to explain to people that you can't have wheat products and they think you mean you can't eat whole wheat bread. After it dawns on them that you can't eat any normal bread products they then say "What can you eat?". So here's a safe list. Your list may be more restrictive due to other allergies or lifestyle choices.

Bear in mind that how these foods are cooked can make them unsafe. For instance fish is safe but breaded fish would not be. You also have to be very careful about food cooked in a fryer. If they are used to cook other non-GF foods, they should be left out.

I'm only including things that may be common in anyone's kitchen. This is partly to help with finding foods you and family might be familiar with.

Food groups that are safe

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts

Starches that are safe

  • Potato (baked mashed etc)
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Tapioca

Common cereals that are safe

  • Fruity and coca pebbles
  • Rice chex are now safe
  • Trix
  • (Update) Cheerios
  • Lucky Charms
  • Chex (many varieties)

Take out food that is safe (as of this writing)

  • (Update) Red Robin has gluten free buns or you can have your burger in a lettuce wrap.
  • (Update) Red Robin also has gluten free french fries (a lot of french fries are unsafe due to cross contamination in the frier)
  • Burger King Fries (they have their own dedicated fryer and don't coat with wheat starch)
  • Burger King Milk Shakes
  • Wendy's Burgers without the bun (Fresh patties means they're not dusted with wheat starch to separate them.)
  • Wendy's Baked Potato
  • Most take out salads (croutons are normally in their own pouch) but watch out for the dressing
  • Hot Dogs without the bun are usually safe


  • Red Bridge beer made with Amaranth and is labeled Gluten free
  • Wine (all except possibly spiced wines)
  • Potato Vodka
  • Many but not all hard ciders

When going to a restaurant ask if they have a gluten free menu. Many are starting to, some have menu items that are marked gluten free.

Update. We recently ran across Dinty Moore Beef Stew and found out it's gluten free!

I love that one of your pictures is a camp fire. My kids love to cook anything over a fire. And my most useful pans are cast iron. Thank you so much for the thorough explanations of the necessities and nuances of gf baking.
<p>Thanks! I've made a few updates, seeing as I wrote this over six years ago. There are tons of options that have opened up for people sensitive to gluten.</p>
I realize we all have our ND's regarding GF. <br>Check out this great Podcast: http://podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/fireYourMD/pcast.php<br>He truly gets GF!
My boyfriend and his family are gluten free and they have told me that Sonic French fries are safe :) just though I'd let you know
Thanks for the info.
I have come across a gluten free chocolate and it is delicious. It is got the highest antioxidant content in it so it is very healthy.<br><br>Worth a try..if you like chocolate..<br><br>
This is so cool, I have never seen a pizza cooked over an open grill before.
A cast iron pan helps a lot.
this is awesome, even through ive been living GF for a couple yrs now this really helps. i also hav to agree that my friends like my GF cooking and always ask for food.
Thanks! We GF people need all the help we can get, we need to support each other. You should make some instructables about what you make.
i wil,l i just found this site a couple days ago so i havent had much time to make some cool stuff yet, through im getting there
Oats are actually a double-whammy. Not only do they use wheat flour to roll them through... but oats have been grown in wheat fields for so long that they actually develop some gluten in and of themselves. They are genetically altered (naturally) over time because of their proximity. Soooo... you have to get gluten free oats no matter what type of processing they use. Also, it is much harder when sorting to separate out wheat from oat groats. <br><br>This becomes clear once you actually make oatmeal with those gluten-free oats. They take much longer to cook down, *and* the texture is fundimentally different.<br><br><br>With Ameranth, the two are genetically different enough and easy enough to tell apart that even a machine can do it. ;)
Amaranth does NOT have gluten in it, at least the puffed Ameranth or the Ameranth flour from Bob's Red Mill. My dietitian said it was safe. <br><br>OTOH, I tend to avoid most pre-packaged things like Ameranth flakes which have had wheat flour added to them to roll them through the machines. *sigh*<br>They use such a proportionately small amount for this that they don't put it on the label *double sigh*.<br><br>
Yes, Amaranth by itself doesn't appear to have gluten, I suspect it picks it up like oatmeal when processed.
Really awesome explanation of GF guidelines! Your bread recipe sounds pretty good, but I try to avoid gums and things like that when baking - <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Gluten-Free-Bread-without-icky-gums/">this recipe works well and uses flax seeds and egg whites instead</a> (it can be a little heavy though if it doesn't rise for enough time).
Is there an issue with gums that I wasn't aware of? Guar gum is a plant protean, xanthum gum is a little weird in that it comes from bacteria I'll admit. Sometimes I've used too much gum while experimenting and I get something a little odd.
Some folks have reactions to them, and depending on where you live they can be expensive or difficult to find. If they work for you though, no reason not to use them.
I guess thats not too surprising that people can be allergic to them, I hadn't heard of that. They are pricey per pound but you don't use a lot so even though it's expensive to buy a bag of it they go really far. We did have to order guar gum last time we needed it. For some reason everyone decided to not carry it all at once.
I'd be interested in your pizza recipe. I've got one that works, but it's very complicated. I make a 4x batch and freeze 3/4's of it when I make it, but that gets old. :-)
Sorry I'm responding so late, the one we use is not a simple one either but it's good. It's based on the pizza recipe in Gluten Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg but with modifications. I'll have to sneak the recipe away from my wife. Maybe I'll make it as it's own ible.
And there's a Pizza contest so I'd better get cracking!
Yes, please!
Sorry I didn't get this done earlier but I finally finished the instructable.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Gluten-Free-Pizza/">https://www.instructables.com/id/Gluten-Free-Pizza/</a><br>
We've got a Gluten free student riving in a couple of days so this is invaluable for us, thank you!
No problem! If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I'll see if I can answer them.

About This Instructable




Bio: EmmettO is a general mad scientist, blacksmith, metalcaster and former Unix admin. Now he fixes darn near anything that people throw at him and breaks ... More »
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