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What to eat when you have wheat allergy?

I'm always able to find my way around problems regarding food and cooking. This is something new for me and I don't know where to turn. My son cannot eat any wheat products. This holiday was a good example, where only rum balls (almonds, chocolate and icing sugar and some rum) was all he had as sweet. There are other people with same problem, so what are they doing? Surely they are not denying themselves.

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  1. Is the allergy just wheat? Or is it to anything containing gluten?

    I ask because there's quite a body of recipes for gluten free cooking.

    1. as Yank indicated, it depends somewhat on whether your son has a specific wheat allergy or needs to avoid all gluten. but either way, there are TONS of recipes and informational resources on the web if you search, and gluten-free cooking and baking are discussed regularly here on Chowhound.

      1. just saw a rice tortilla at trader joes. they have a big variety of tortillas and more flatbreads lately.

        1. When I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy I ate a lot of gluten free products and recipes, because they are wheat free. (Thank GOODNESS I outgrew it!)
          Things are much easier now, so many more GF options
          Betty Crocker (I think) has a line of gluten free cake mixes... there are also many resources on the web, and a lot of GF cookbooks.
          I hope that your son will outgrow it as well. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: jujuthomas

            My sister has celiac, and she thinks the Betty Crocker brownies are better than the fancier gluten-free brands. They have them at our regular grocery store. If you didn't tell anyone, you'd never know they were gluten-free.

            1. re: arashall

              has she compared the BC to *scratch-made* too, or just boxed mixes? i'd just be curious to hear how they measure up. the mixes contain far too much sugar for me, but it's always nice to have a review from someone that i can pass along if the topic arises.

          2. Thank you so much to all who responded. As for outgrowing his allergy I don't know, he's 32. I wish I knew if he's allergic to gluten. This is all quite new to us. I've seen products without gluten but never had a reason to try any. I know that for last 8 weeks perhaps, my son completely eliminated wheat from his diet. I want to be able to offer him food when he comes to visit and I need to learn how to get around this. We are Eastern Europeans and boy do we use wheat. I've moved away somewhat from using flour as much, still there are things I can learn.

            1 Reply
            1. re: serbianbelle

              "grow out of" is perhaps an inaccurate term. our body chemistry changes every 7 years (or so I'm told). my most recent food allergies came on when I was in college, and the wheat allergy abated in my late 20s.
              the thing that will help the most is to be sure to read labels, especially on your mainstream products. Products you purchase that you might not think will have wheat in them, may and if you don't check your labels he could have a reaction. I still have a dairy allergy. When I was at my mother's recently we were looking for some soup to heat for lunch. All the soups in her pantry contained some kind of dairy. She was really surprised when I told her this, she no similar food sensitivies so doesn't think to read the ingredients lists.

            2. Another active topic - this one on Gluten Free food:

              1. There is some baking you can do using almond flour and/or golden flaxseed meal. If you google around you should be able to find recipes which use those ingredients in place of flour. These would also involve baking powder, so you can't bake a yeast bread using those subs. On my very low carb diet I do bake buns using these products, and they are OK. They bake up fine but they don't taste like flour products, so you have to get used to how they taste. They do bake up with a nice texture though.

                Try searches involving low carb baking.

                You can also try baking with soy flour instead of wheat flour.

                1. I finally found out what my son can't eat. Wheat, rye and barley.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: serbianbelle

                    That is really, really tough. I find out shortly whether I have celiac disease for sure (my doctor says I do accoding to the the bloodwork and I had the colonoscopy and gastroscopy this week) so I can empathize with you and your son. The first month off gluten I grieved a lot. I kept telling myself what I couldn't have and learned to focus on what I could have instead. It is tricky when wheat, rye and barley are in so many things. Cross contamination is also a huge issue so eating out can be very difficult. I find eating at home much easier. We in Canada rely on wheat as you do in Eastern Europe. At times it is very restrictive and limiting but thankfully, as stated above, there are more and more GF recipes and products all the time. When I was last in Croatia I was happy to see a few GF products there, too. We managed to grill a lot. Do you have many GF products there (in Serbia I take it)?

                    Hang in there. Initially it can seem like a death sentence in a way but it really and truly does get better.

                    1. re: serbianbelle

                      Those are all gluten items. My bet is he can't eat the other things containing gluten either. The good news is that there is lots of really good, gluten free eating. Many recipes, including sweets never did have gluten items. I've collected an orange cake recipe made with almond flour on this site and some other seriously yummy recipes that please everyone, including those without food restrictions. The many versions of flourless chocolate cake also please me. Even Trader Joe has a good version of this. If you are heading out to eat, Thai restaurants are easy for gluten free eaters as they base their recipes on rice rather than the gluten containing grains. One can order pretty much anything on the menu.

                    2. Meringues would be a nice choice. Also coconut macaroons. Check the ingredients. The almond growers of California have come out with really wonderful nut and rice flour based crackers--not just almond, but there are pecan crackers, hazelnut crackers and macadamia nut crackers and different flavors too. Blue Diamond Nut Thins, they're called. Absolutely addictive.

                      1. Hello! I am 2 years gluten free, and I eat almost everything I did before. Just a bit differently prepared. During the holidays, I made cinnamon rolls, cookies, pizza -- I just had to relearn how to make this stuff with things like millet, rice, teff, quinoa, amaranth, corn flour, potato starch and flour, montina... It's actually quite fun to learn. Here are a couple of good resources: http://glutenfreegirl.com/, http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/, http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/, even Amazon.com has a ton of gluten free ingredients.

                        And your son can also look to cultures that aren't dependent on wheat. Losing wheat made me such a Mexican food fan! And now I appreciate the flatbreads of India, Provence, Italy, and more. It's a beginning, not an end.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Vetter

                          I second gluten free girl! She also has a cookbook out. There are also all the flourless tortes for dessert!

                          1. re: PAO

                            It's a great cookbook, and worth the purchase just for the pizza and bread recipes. I looooove that pizza.

                            Here's my favorite chocolate dessert these days: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/01/...