Well, after Eric's doctor visit a couple of weeks ago, we've slowly been switching the whole family's diet to GFCF (Gluten Free/Casein Free). Fortunately I have already familiarized myself with what this takes, since Bethany has herself been on the diet for some time.
If it's any encouragement, the expensive parts of GFCF come if one buys lots of prepackaged convenience foods. Cooking from scratch, on the other hand, saves money but takes time and energy.
Since I have kitchen helpers (teenaged daughters!) it's worth it to do things from scratch.
I'm very proud of Bethany. Yesterday she made GFCF graham crackers. We are getting much better at this. The thinner we roll them, the crispier they are! I think we'll be whipping out at least on batch or one double batch of these per week, as graham crackers have always been a favorite around here.
She also used some (icky to me) vegan cheez to make some cheez crackers, and now the icky vegan cheez is gone and we can buy Tofutti American slices and Mozarella slices, instead. Those are the best I've found, and they are GFCF. If any of my readers live in the Louisville Area: American cheese style Tofutti is in stock in the Kosher section at the Breckinridge/Hikes Lane Kroger, and the Tofutti Mozarella at the Amazing Grace Health Food Store, down on Bardstown Road.
Also to be found at the Amazing Grace health food store is Darifree milk alternative. We bought two cans.
Then we headed up to the Dixie Asian Grocery further up Bardstown Rd. to get rice noodles, and rice flour, buckwheat flour and corn or potato starch (can't even remember which we got). Bethany's done her research and basically said a 50/50 blend of some type of GF flour and a GF starch is what is needed, along with the guar gum, of course. I'm looking forward to using the rice wrappers that we procured at Dixie last week to make some pork and cabbage spring rolls later this week. Perhaps tomorrow.
At Walmart our Gluten Free/Casein free food choices focused on veggies, fruits, eggs and meat. We also bought some rice pasta, which they carry now, and some tea. Oh, and we bought our cod liver oil there, too. I'm having the whole family take a dose of that daily, as research indicates it's good for people on the Autistic spectrum. I bet it's good for anyone.
Then we headed over to whole foods for the Almond Breeze (we like the unsweetened plain), some dried cranberries, and some children's chewable vitamins that are GFCF and free of artificial color, sweetener and flavor.
For our sweetness these days we are seeking lower glycemic alternatives like stevia blends, sucanat, or palm juice crystals, or sucanat, and honey of course. To go over our GFCF homemade waffles I'm going to mix agave nectar and maple flavor and some water, bring to heat and then let cool. If it needs thickening, I'll add a bit of guar gum. It's lower on the glycemic index than normal pancake syrup, which can contain milk derivatives sometimes.
Well, the GFCF pizza I made with the Tofutti mozarella got good reviews by Eric, our picky eater, and he's also happy that I found Ore Ida fries to be GFCF. I could make my own, but I do have my limits.
This week I made a big batch of GFCF chicken nuggets and those are in the freezer, Bethany made up a bunch of waffles (sorry Van's, we won't be buying yours anymore!) and we froze those as well.
So you can discern our strategy for keeping it affordable.
Oh, and I almost forgot, as an alternative to Boost or Carnation Instant Breakfast, I found a chocolate soy protein mix that Eric can add to his Darifree. His ped said he needed those extra calories.
It's been a very productive day. I'm tired, and I still need to make a GFCF St. Basil's bread for after tomorrow's divine liturgy. (St. Basil's bread is like an Orhtodox equivalent to "Drai Koenigskueche"...has a hidden coin inside. Fun stuff.)