For some, going gluten free is an absolute must because they are celiac or have a sensitivity to gluten. For others, they keep hearing about how their neighbor went gluten free and lost 20 pounds and has never felt better. Then there are people who decide based on current research on gluten and its negative effects on health, to eliminate it from their diet.
Our family has been gluten free for almost two years and yes we have experienced the health benefits. There are challenges when adopting this lifestyle, particularly when you have children who want what their friends are eating. One of the first suggestions I give people I meet who are newly diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity is to check out Trader Joe's. I say this because first off, they have a list at their customer service desk that lists all of their gluten free-products by section and in ABC order. How nice is that? Secondly, Trader Joe's typically has the best prices on gluten-free products. Whether it is their brand or another brand, they tend to be at least 50 cents less than the competition. While I tend not to rely on foods that come out of a package, I do have three young kids that want to be kids and sometimes I just need something easy to give them.
Some of the GF products I buy at Trader Joe's are bread, crackers, cereal, waffles, pancakes, snack foods, cookies and some of their prepared foods. We don't rely on these as staples of our diet because quite frankly fresh fruits, veggies, meat, eggs and some gluten-free grains are healthier. I also buy their organic beef jerky because most jerky you find at stores is made with soy sauce and includes wheat. You need to check the label to find the GF one. The last product I want to mention that I buy from Trader Joe's is their oatmeal. Most oats contain gluten as a result of cross contamination, but Trader Joe's has a GF one, look for the bag that says gluten free on it.
Speaking of oatmeal and Trader Joe's, I just discover the best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. Guess where I found it? On the oatmeal bag. That's right, Trader Joe's saves me again. I now have a recipe for a cookie that doesn't taste gluten free that I am excited to serve my non-gluten free friends and bring to the kids bake sales! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — Gluten Free
Preheat 350 degrees
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease the sheets
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 baking soda
1 cup peanut butter (sunbutter works too)
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
12 oz chocolate chips (original recipe called for 6 oz which seemed a little skimpy)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts (optional — I left them out)
In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts. Place a tablespoon full of dough on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. Makes about 4 dozen.