You can’t eat bread? Or pizza? What can you eat? Ever since I started my gluten free diet I’ve been getting these questions of disbelief. They’re really more like exclamations than questions.
But I’ve been gfree for over 25 years (well, mostly), and once I got over worrying about what I couldn’t eat, I discovered many treasures that made my life much more fun. Now when I hear But what can you eat? my answer is simple: A lot.
What Can You Eat on a Gluten Free Diet?
In addition to the amazing creations bloggers have come up with to convert favorites to being gluten free, there are many, many, foods that don’t contain gluten that have been around in traditional cultures for centuries. Astonishingly, many are grain free and paleo as well.
Main dishes and vegetables are relatively easy to figure out, and there are many favorites here on the site. Breads and desserts and wraps are the challenge, though, so that’s a large part of the focus here.
I’ve especially fallen in love with gluten-free cake made with nut flour from Vienna, and g free almond cookies from Italy and France (both of which I’ve even made without nuts). Then there are endless puddings and pastries, and some great desserts from China and Southeast Asia. Many can easily be made Paleo by swapping out, or sometimes even leaving out, the sweetener.
Traditional gluten free breads are made from all kinds of things, from Ethiopian injera made with teff, to socca, a chickpea flatbread you can buy from a vendor on the streets of Southern France. There are lots more made from cassava, rice, corn and potatoes.
Over the years I’ve sampled many gfree foods. And I’ve collected, prepared, and enjoyed some of the world’s best recipes.
If I’m so excited about them, maybe you will be too.
Your gluten-free diet doesn’t have to be difficult, or boring!
For meals and appetizers you’ll discover Latin American foods like tamales and empanadas made with things like cassava, regular or sweet potatoes, and of course the more common corn. Indian and Chinese appetizers are often based on vegetable starches, rice, or lentils.
I could go on and on... Check out my master list of traditional gluten-free foods.
Why Are There So Many Traditional Gluten-Free Foods?
Wheat and other gluten containing grains have been around since the beginning of civilization. But they haven’t always been available, especially to the poor or in certain climates.
This lack of availability, and taxes on these grains even when they were available, have helped inspire cooks to find alternative ingredients, such as almonds, chestnuts, cassava, corn and potatoes.
Caution: not all foods listed will be free of gluten, unless they are prepared with gfree ingredients in a gfree manner. Cooks and cultures and local traditions vary greatly. DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ
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The more we share and bring awareness of what’s available, the more we’ll buy, which will encourage businesses to cater to our needs. And G Free choices will become more and more available. It’s a Win-Win situation. Businesses thrive and we thrive!
I hope my website will encourage you to keep your eyes and ears, and nose, open to finding wonderful treats in unexpected places. Maybe it will even talk you into an adventure, either by traveling or by trying new foods or recipes.
At the very least, I hope you find yourself a lot more comfortable with your gluten free diet.
If you have other food or sensitivities in addition to gluten intolerance–such as a dairy allergy, which I have–then you’re in luck. Many of the foods will work for other special diets. I will include the traditional recipes as they are, and tell you the alternative ingredients I’ve used to suit other diets for myself or friends.
I update Gluten-Free-Around-The-World.com frequently–gradually adding recipes, cooking ideas, and travel tips–so please subscribe to my monthly e‑zine, The Gluten Free Nomad.
It’s free and will update you on additions to the site. You will also receive my free e-book of easy recipes from around the world that don’t contain gluten.