Gifts that make life easier for people living gluten-free
Living gluten-free isn’t always easy. It often takes more time, effort, and expense. More time to prepare foods since you likely dine out less, more effort in the kitchen and doing all the constant planning necessary to make sure you stay safe and eat well, and money spent on gluten-free food. This holiday season, why not give a gluten-free friend or family member a gift to help them make life easier? Try these simple but appreciated suggestions!
Kitchen gadgets and equipment
Rice cooker. As a gluten-free person, I can tell you that a rice cooker is a godsend. I use ours every single week. It’s a 6-cup rice cooker, and I usually make about 5 cups of brown rice in it every Sunday. Then my boyfriend and I will use the rice as part of the lunches we pack for work, and we’ll usually have enough left to have it as a side dish for one or two dinners during the week. Using a rice cooker is extremely easy—I love things that you can just load up, walk away, and just wait for it to beep and let you know it’s done. Making rice takes me about an hour a week, and most of that hour is cooking time; it only takes me about 5 minutes to set up the rice and start the cooking process. Plus, a rice cooker can cook quinoa, too—so you’re not limited to just cooking rice in it! I recommend this Aroma rice cooker from Target that’s just a smidge over $30.
Portable dishes and cutlery. When you’re gluten-free, you make a lot of your own meals. And if you go to work, or you do a lot of traveling, you need some good portable dishes to bring your meals in. I’ve fallen in love with Sistema Plastics dishes because they’re BPA-free, and most of them are microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe. I often make soup to take with me to work, and these portable Sistema soup mugs are amazing. Sometimes I like to bring a full meal somewhere, and for those times, this covered microwave dish is really ideal. I also like to have my own cutlery on hand wherever I go, because if I’m given questionable (read: crumby!) cutlery at a restaurant, I like to have a backup. This Sistema cutlery to go set meets this need—it has its own carrying case, it’s easy to slide into a purse or tote bag, and it comes in stylish colors! All three of the products I just mentioned are dishwasher safe (top rack) and microwave safe—just another feature that makes them easy to use!
Triumph gluten-free guides. I have a number of Triumph’s guides and find them extremely helpful. The Essential Gluten Free Grocery Guide ($24.95) is a great resource, particularly for those who are just starting out in their gluten-free journey. It’s a little heavy to take with you to the grocery store, so I recommend doing your research with this guide before you go shopping, and using it to craft a gluten-free shopping list. The Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Guide ($24.95) is a wonderful resource for anyone who loves dining out. It covers all 50 states in a helpful state-by-state directory, and is the only gluten-free restaurant guide where every restaurant listed is verified and updated each year!
Magazine subscriptions. Give someone the gift that arrives all year long! Gift them a subscription to a gluten-free magazine. I subscribe to both Gluten Free Living and Gluten Free & More magazines, and I enjoy them both. Because specialty magazines like these don’t always come cheaply, I’m always looking for ways to get deals on my subscriptions. I use Magazines.com to get lower prices on these and other magazines. Click here to see their current pricing on the Gluten Free Living and Gluten Free & More magazines. (Helpful hint: If you sign up for Ebates and go through Ebates to shop at Magazines.com, you’ll get cash back! Currently, the cash back Ebates is offering is a whopping 40%, although please note that the cash back percentage changes frequently.)
For breakfast, Modern Oats. Modern Oats’ oatmeal cups are the perfect simple, healthy, and gluten-free breakfast. Ideal for busy mornings, they’re really easy to make at home or work. They come in six delish flavors like decadent Chocolate Cherry, exotic Goji Blueberry, and satisfying Apple Walnut. Each Modern Oats flavor packs between 5 and 8 grams of fiber and 8 to 9 grams of protein, both of which can help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Plus, the oats they use are certified gluten-free. Learn more about Modern Oats here.
For lunch, Daiya Cheezy Mac. Daiya’s mac and “cheese” is an absolute dream for anyone with multiple food allergies and sensitivities. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free; it’s also vegan. It comes in three flavors: Deluxe Cheddar Style, Deluxe Alfredo Style, and (my favorite) Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie. They’re super-easy to make—in fact, they’re done in under ten minutes—and even easier to enjoy. This is hands-down the best gluten-free, dairy-free mac and cheese I’ve ever had (I’m hoping Santa puts a few boxes of it in my stocking this year!). Learn more about Daiya Cheezy Mac here.
For dinner, Modern Table Meals. These meal kits and pastas are perfect for busy families. Modern Table’s pastas are all bean-based, packed with plenty of protein and fiber to keep you full. They also don’t take long to cook; they’re ready in under 10 minutes. Modern Table’s meal kits are flavorful and fun—they all include their bean-based pasta and veggies, but are flavored differently. For example, they have Southwest, Pesto, Mediterranean, and Italian meals, plus a homestyle mac and cheese meal. They are all vegetarian, and all but one are gluten-free (the Teriyaki meal is not gluten-free); click here to view their handy allergen chart.
Cheryl’s gluten-free treats. My parents have been eating Cheryl’s cookies for years now, and I’ve always wished really, really hard that Cheryl’s would come out with a gluten-free line of cookies. A few months ago, my wishes were granted! Cheryl’s now makes certified gluten-free treats! Whether you choose a small treat or a larger selection of treats, Cheryl’s gluten-free cookies and brownies are a delightful gift. Click here to view all of Cheryl’s gluten-free treats, with prices starting at just $6. I’d ordered myself a box of Cheryl’s gluten-free cookies, and the ones I’ve tried so far have been excellent. The snickerdoodles are light and flavorful, the chocolate chip cookies are buttery and delicious, and the frosted sugar cookies are amazingly decadent.
Useful gift cards
Find out what stores are near the person you want to give a gift to, and then buy them a gift card! Here are a few suggestions:
Aldi: This is a great place to buy reasonably-priced gluten-free food. They have a great line called Live G-Free, that features products like frozen pancakes, chicken noodle soup, French fried onions (yes, really!), pasta, frozen pizza and appetizer-type foods, bagged chips and other snack foods, and more. Plus, many of their other foods are marked naturally gluten-free (such as cheeses, corn tortilla shells, canned veggies, and more).
Target: Target carries a lot of great gluten-free products and brands (Udi’s, EVOL, Van’s, Annie’s, and so many more), and there’s always a wide selection of gluten-free food to choose from there. Or, the recipient of your gift could choose to buy some fun cooking tools or kitchen gadgets, or anything else that suits their fancy!
Whole Foods: Whole Foods often has awesome gluten-free products that are hard to find anywhere else, but unfortunately, they’re not generally a cheap store to shop at. By giving someone a gift card to Whole Foods, they can shop for some gluten-free indulgences without feeling guilty about it! That’s the best kind of gift—the type of thing someone wouldn’t think to buy for themselves, but that they’d really enjoy using!
Disclaimer: A few of the products mentioned in this article were provided to me for review purposes. Under no circumstances has this affected the integrity of the article. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t cover it here. See my personal disclaimer for more details.