Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gluten Frugality

Last weekend I mentioned spending $60 on flour/GF baking ingredients.

Then this past week, I was experimenting with what I can eat etc, and made a very yummy spaghetti dish.

*side note - after much hunting, I have finally found a GF spaghetti noodle substitute that I like! Actually, it's the same brand as all the other noodles that I like. Really, it's hard to tell the difference between these brown rice noodles and regular wheat-filled noodles. The brand is
Tinkyada Pasta, and I really enjoy all of them. For awhile I was despairing of ever being able to eat spaghetti again because all the spaghetti noodles were disgusting.

Back to the yummy spaghetti...well, it made me sick. So in looking back through the ingredients to figure out what set me off, I discovered that when things say "natural flavorings" that can oftentimes mean - you got it - GLUTEN! GRRRR. So it was the tomato sauce that made me sick.

So, my only option was to find an organic, basic tomato sauce (and pastes). So, off to the health food store again...and $9 later I walked away with - count them with me - 4 cans of sauce/paste.

I made it my mission this weekend to do some research and find a cheaper way to make this work. Otherwise we were going to be broke just trying to buy food that doesn't make me sick. After much hunting and price comparing, I think I have found that the cheapest way for me to order most of my gluten free food is actually going to be...........Amazon!

I never thought I would reach the day when I would be grocery shopping on amazon.com, but there you have it. I can buy, generally in bulk, the ingredients/pasta/foods I need for about half the price as the health food store. Are they still expensive? More so than regular store-bought stuff, but for half the price, I can deal with it.

Also, another friend of mine introduced me to this great flour from a company called
Domata. They make this great flour that basically I can use cup for cup in place of any regular all-purpose flour (not sure about when a recipe calls for bread flour - I have a recipe which combines different flour types that should work for that, but I don't think this flour would substitute). The key is that it already mixes things like Xantham gum (a vital ingredient for getting the gluten free flours to stick and taste like regular bread) all into the flour. So although it's still priciyish, it ends up being cheaper than buying 5 different kinds of flour/gum/etc and combining them myself. Xantham gum by itself costs $10 for 6 ounces, so this flour comes out as way cheaper.

So, guess I need to rearrange my cupboard because I need to bulk order some food for me.


Almamater said...


I buy several items on Amazon in bulk. It is a strangely modern way to grocery shop, but handy.

Cousins Susan and Kathy have both gone through GF phases in feeding their families and could have suggestions for you. I don't think they are GF anymore, but rather have other limitations.

As far as tomato sauce, why not just make it? Very easy and , I don't know about your local farmers' market, but the tomatoes here are still really yummy. You could even learn to can the sauce and then have enough for the winter.

You are reminding me, though, what a small and temporary sacrifice I am making giving up citrus and dairy for Baby O's sake.

Amber said...

The good thing about the price of xantham is that you need a super small amount to bake, so it lasts forever.

Lori... said...

Hi Hanna -

Thanks for coming out of 'lurkdom' and introducing yourself! I LOVE studying too! Same as you, sometimes to a fault (obsessive). I hope to see more comments from you in the future now that you've taken that first, frightful step!


Diego said...

Have you considered making your tomato paste from tomatoes at home? I don't know how much tomatoes cost, and I also don't know how much tomato seeds cost; but I would think that it would be cheaper to grow tomatoes in the backyard and make your own sauce. I would also hope that it would be cheaper to buy a bunch of tomatoes and make sauce from them than it is to buy "organic" tomato paste at the "health" food store. (All food is organic because because it all has carbon molecules in it. GRRR!) Just my two cents.

Ouph said...

Well, the general consensus seems to be to make my own tomato sauce which I'm actually leaning that way myself (does anybody know how easy/hard making tomato paste is? and what is the difference? I mean, I know one is thicker, but what actually makes them different in the cooking process?).

If anyone has wisdom on this matter, I would greatly appreciate it!

Growing my own tomatoes, on the other hand, while appealing cost wise, scares me to death. Why? Because I'm a plant killer. I don't mean to be - I just am! And, I need more time. Time-stretcher machine anyone?

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