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How to Stock a Gluten-Free Pantry to Battle an Auto-Immune Disorder

About 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with the auto-immune Sjogren’s syndrome, a chronic, slowly progressive, inflammatory autoimmune disorder which affects my salivary and tear glands causing dryness in my mouth and eyes.

While I see a rheumatologist twice a year, where she checks to make sure it’s not progressing, I did research to learn about foods that I should avoid or add to my diet. I needed to eat foods to relieve the inflammation often associated with this and other auto-immune diseases.

Getting Used to Baking

Many of the foods like whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, high fat fish and other foods known to combat inflammation I already included in my diet. However, wheat (even whole wheat) is one of the foods that causes inflammation, and I’m a bread and pasta lover. While there are many gluten-free baked options available now, 12 years ago there were far fewer.

The other problem I faced, which is true to this day, is that many store-bought gluten-free offerings contain other inflammatory ingredients such as refined oils and fatty acids and carbs like potato flour that raise my blood sugar. As a result, I needed to learn how to make my own gluten-free breads and baked goods.

Given that I wasn’t a baker – I usually bought baked goods or had someone else in the family (my mother and aunt were the bakers in the family before they died) use their skills – I had to start from scratch.

In some ways, that was good because I didn’t have to unlearn very much. The first thing I did on my baking journey was purchasing my first gluten-free baking cookbook, The Joy of Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free Baking, written by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace.

While this was my first gluten-free cookbook purchased in 2014, I’ve since found many on-line and magazine recipes that I love.

What I Have in My Pantry

Here are some of my suggestions for stocking a gluten-free panty:

                Whole Grains Legumes (canned or dried)
White rice
Brown rice
Wild rice
Certified gluten-free oats
Kidney beans
Black beans
Split peas
Cannellini (white beans)
 Canned or Pre-packaged Cooking Staples
Canned beans (see above for varieties)
Diced, puree and paste tomatoes
Olives and capers
Can fish (sardines, oyster, tuna)
Salmon Gluten-free pasta (free of preservatives)
Rice, kelp and seaweed noodles
Gluten-free tortilla chips/crackers (preservative free)
Dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, dill, Italian herbs, bay leaves, oregano, etc.)
Dried spices (turmeric, garlic, nutmeg, chili flakes, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, etc.)
Curry powder
Black pepper
Herbal teas
Apple cider vinegar
Coconut butter
Nut or seed butters
Dried fruits (oil and preservative free)
Nuts (macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
Seeds (pepita, sunflower, sesame, chia, etc.)
Nut meals/flours (rice, almond, banana, coconut)
Baking soda and powder
Arrowroot powder
Cacao or organic cocoa powder
Pure maple syrup
Raw honey Cooking essential oils (orange, lemon, lime and/ or peppermint)

Fats and Oils
Ghee Butter
Cold-pressed nut oils (macadamia, almond, olive, coconut, avocado)

Stocking your pantry or cabinets can be quite daunting, but once it’s done, life is so much easier and safer if you require a gluten-free diet. I had some of these items in my pantry already, and I gradually added others over time. I suggest you start with ingredients for a particular recipe and build from there.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you or someone in your family need a gluten-free diet? If so, what has been your experience? What are some of your favorite gluten-free recipes?

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Very interesting article. I have discovered my sensitivity to gluten years ago. Since modifying how and what I eat, chronic pain was reduced dramatically, that is including gluten, sugar alternatives like Sucralose, I rarely drink coffee now, herbal tea such as camomille help. I also write notes to myself on my cell phone to remind me of the do’s and dont’s. So once in a while I read my notes. I compared your pantry list with mine and yes I am missing a few things…. Thank you for this article.


When I did a low-fodmap elimination diet, I found out that I am gluten sensitive. So, I read this article with interest and appreciate your suggestions. I have food packages from the health food store stashed all over my kitchen, You’ve inspired me to organize it so that I can find my items more quickly. I do my own baking and have a lot of gluten free items!

The Author

Julia Turner Lowe has a passion for fashion design and believes that every woman, regardless of her size or age, should be able to purchase clothing with exceptional craftsmanship and made with beautiful luxurious fabrics. She shares her thoughts about life on her blog, “Love the Body You're In.”

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