Gluten-Free Go-Tos

When I was a kid my Mom took me to a food allergist where I was forced to sit in a chair for three hours. During this time the doctor would inject different serums into my bicep and measure how much they dilated. The larger the dilation the more allergic I was. At one point I was injected with wheat and some other elements. Immediately I became belligerent and rude to the nurse, doctor, and my mom. After a couple minutes he put a neutralizer under my tongue and I was fine, just like nothing happened. When I was done my bicep looked like it had 50 mosquito bites on it.

There are a lot of trendy diets out there right now and being “gluten free” seems to be one of them. However if you really do have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease then you know how much this can suck. I refused to except that I had an allergy to wheat and continued to eat and drink products that contained this ingredient, which made me feel not so great. A couple years ago my sister suggested that I try some alternative products. I didn’t think I’d be able to not eat flour, etc. Especially being an endurance athlete. I was wrong and I have been feeling a lot better since.

If you live near an Asian market you can get some really great noodles that are made of millet, buckwheat (“real,” no flour), mung bean, sorghum, and rice flour. I like the millet noodles a lot, they are very close to cappellini and are great with meat sauces. The buckwheat noodles are great chilled in a soba marinade. Two of my favorite GF companies are Udi’s and Bob’s Red Mill products. Udi’s makes great GF breads, bagels, and hamburger buns. The Millet bread is fantastic! As are their bagels. Bob’s has great pancake mix, and pizza dough. I like to make the pizza dough let it rise then roll it out pretty thin and throw it on the grill. It only takes a minute or two on each side. You can grill a bunch ahead of time and freeze them. When I’m ready to use one I put it onto a pizza stone in a 400 degree oven for about four minutes to crisp it, then I take it out put my toppings on and cook it until the toppings are hot or melted. It’s just like a flat bread.

When I’m out on a long ride or run I use Gus along with Clif bars, and Nature Valley Granola bars. Clifs don’t claim to be GF as they share some equipment that process flour, etc., but they don’t seem to bother me and don’t seem to contain any gluten products. Nature Valleys are great and have GF bars. You can always experiment and  make your own. There are lots of recipes on the internet.

And finally libations … Heineken isn’t labeled as GF, however after much research and a couple sixers, they are pretty close. To me, the cans taste much better and do not have that skunky quality. Greens makes a great certified GF beer. Today I was lucky enough to be introduced to “Celia Saison” from the Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury Vermont and let me tell, you this beer rocks!

If your going to go out to eat at a restaurant look at the menu beforehand  to get an idea of  what you can and can eat. When you make your reservation let them know you can’t have gluten and chances are they will be more than happy to accommodate you and  always be sure to thank them.


Editor’s note: don’t miss our review of another great GF libation, Woodchuck Cider, in May’s Gear and Beer!


Greg Rems

Avid Vermont enthusiast, be it telemarking, cycling, running, hiking, or anything outside. Chef de Cuisine the Inn at West View Farm in Dorset, Vt. Living in Arlington.