I recently found a wonderful article called Stop Eating Gluten Free Bread by Gluten Free School. Basically the article asks us why we obsess over gluten-free bread that usually tastes icky, is over-priced, and isn’t good for you at all. I have to agree – it’s time to get over our love affair with bread, especially if you’re following a gluten free diet.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to break up with bread. We’ve been eating it our entire lives. We crave it. Sandwiches are the easiest and fastest lunch options, and we can’t seem to figure out how to make life work without two slices of bread to hold our deli meat. I ate sandwiches all the time before my Celiac diagnosis. I loved Challah on Shabbat.
Yet, there are so many reasons to break up with bread.
For starters, gluten-free bread doesn’t taste good. I have found a few okay gluten free breads, and enjoy them on occasion, but for the most part, gluten free bread doesn’t taste very good. I used gluten free bread in my son’s lunch the other day. It was a brand that I find tolerable – and honestly the best gluten free bread I have tried. He came home telling me the bread was disgusting and not to use it anymore. That is straight from the mouth of babes! (Updated, I found a gluten-free bread that might be worth it, read more.)
Beyond taste, gluten free bread is, simply put, no good for you! In fact, it’s wasted calories, elevates your blood sugar quickly, and is made with little fiber or nutrients. There’s no reason to continue to eat gluten free bread if it does nothing for your body whatsoever!
Further, gluten free bread is often double or triple the price of regular bread. Think about this for a moment, you’re paying a lot more money for bread that doesn’t even taste good and is no good for you… why put yourself and your wallet through that?
So, if you’re a breadaholic, there is hope. Instead of buying or spending hours trying to whip up a batch of gluten free bread that will NEVER taste as good as the real stuff, go breadless and enjoy all the other wonderful grains and vegetable substitutes that await you.
Make Lots of Leftovers: You’re cooking dinner each night so make a little extra for yourself to enjoy for lunch the next day or simply to freeze and enjoy at a later date. Who needs a sandwich when you have yummy dinner leftovers available at your fingertips for lunch. Having food readily available will help you resist the urge of making a quick sandwich and settling for bland tasting gluten free bread.
Plan Ahead at the Supermarket: Buy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and other goodies to curb your bread cravings. When good food is available in your pantry, you won’t miss bread. Have things like popcorn, dried fruits and nuts, and other snacks that satisfy various cravings you know you’re going to have.
Use Alternative Grains: Enjoy quinoa or rice instead of tasteless gluten free bread. I make a big batch of quinoa salad and can enjoy it for lunch all week long topped with grilled chicken or even deli meat!
Use Vegetables as Bread Substitutes: If you must eat deli for lunch, use lettuce cups or a halved cucumber as your “bread.” You’ll feel lighter and better for it.
Freeze Muffins: If you crave something that is the texture of bread, make ahead and freeze gluten free muffins. You can use oats and blueberries and really create a nutritious, sweet and bready treat that you’ll enjoy for snack or dessert. I also keep Garden Lites muffins on hand for a quick snack when I have a bread craving.
And while you’re getting over your bread addiction, I say stop eating pasta too. There are only a few brands of gluten free pasta that I enjoy but the others are not worth the empty calories, high price, and blood sugar spikes. Instead of settling for sub par tasting gluten-free pasta, substitute zucchini noodles, Miracle Noodles, or black bean pasta. Read my article about great gluten free noodle substitutes. There are plenty of options that are good for you without packing on extra calories or cost!
Share your bread alternatives in the comments section.