I have been living a gluten-free life for some time. When I was a senior in high school, I found out that I had Celiac Disease, but this was not a new diagnosis to our family. My mom was diagnosed with Celiac’s in the early 90’s, so growing up, my mom was very cautious about what she was eating and feeding us, but honestly back then it was VERY taboo to have a dietary allergy. I didn’t start to stick with a strict gluten-free diet until this past year, with all our infertility and IVF treatment.
Here is some brief information on Celiacs
So what is Celiacs Disease? Most people associate it with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which to a certain degree, yes I do get an upset stomach, but unfortunately, Celiacs is so much more than just a tummy ache.
Celiac Sprue is a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Basically, when someone with celiacs eats gluten, their body attacks their small intestine, which leads to damage to the villi. These are small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.
Symptoms of Celiacs: This is probably the craziest part of Celiacs, there are TONS of symptoms! Here are a few of mine:
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Headaches or Migraines
- Missed menstrual periods
What is Gluten? Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture of the dough and it is the generic name of the proteins found in the following grains:
- Wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn)
- Triticale (mix of wheat and rye)
If you have any questions about Celiacs, check out the Celiacs Disease Foundation page.
But, this blog post I would like to review some of my FAVORITE gluten-free products from Aldi.
Aldi is probably my favorite and most frequented grocery store and a few years ago they introduced their line of gluten-free products: LiveGFree.
Without further ado:
- LiveGfree Bread: After YEARS of trying and HATING gluten-free bread, Aldi created breads that actually taste like normal bread. The wide pan comes in both whole grain and white. Price $5.49.
- LiveGfree Bagels: I had honestly given up on ever having a bagel again, but again Aldi pulled it off. This is a recently new product to the line and every time I am at the store, I stock up. Coming in plain, cinnamon raisin, and everything flavors, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Price $3.99.
- LiveGfree Baking Mixes: This is probably my best-kept secret. I love to bake, but baking g-free is really hard because you need to add in a lot of extra ingredients to make up for the missing elasticity. So instead of going through the headache, I substitute the Aldi baking mix in place of flour. But if you are just looking for a good pancake, this is your mix. Price $1.99.
- Also, they offer a wide variety of baking mixes to make cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and more, all I HIGHLY recommend, I just don’t have pictures of.
- LiveGfree Noodles: Again, finding a good g-free pasta has not been easy. Most of the noodles I have tried over the years have no flavor and are either have a very hard texture or turn to mush. These fusilli noodles I yet to disappoint, and I have actually been able to switch out Romy’s normal pasta for these, and he doesn’t find the taste terrible. Follow the instructions on the back and cover in your favorite sauce for an easy dinner! Price $2.89.
- LiveGfree Mac N’Cheese: Following the fusilli noodles, most g-free mac n’cheese is pretty terrible tasting, but the deluxe g-free mac n’cheese is pretty delish and easy to make for a fast dinner. Coming in either shells or noodles, I get the shells, but both are great. Price $1.99.
- LiveGfree Pretzels: Once going g-free you realize quickly how gluten is really in everything, including LOTS of snack foods. I love pretzel’s and its awesome that Aldi carries both rods and twists and you can’t beat the price. Price $2.19.
- LiveGfree Wraps: I love soft shell tacos and a good wrap and I had a hard time not having them, but since Aldi redesigned their wraps, they are perfect if you heat them up for a couple seconds in the microwave and then add your toppings. Price $3.99.
- LiveGfree Chicken Nuggets: As you may have guessed by now, but I LOVE a quick and easy meal and these chicken nuggets are just the ticket. I pop them in the oven and again, it is something that Romy will eat. Price $4.99.
- LiveGfree Stuffing: With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner stuffing is definitely a family favorite. I am not talking homemade stuffing, but Stove Top, this is a great g-free substitute. Price $2.99.
- Also, they offer French Fried Onion topping for green bean casserole (not pictured).
These are just a FEW of my favorite gluten-free items I can’t live without. Have you ever tried Aldi’s LifeGfree line? What items are your favorite?