This introduction describes those ingredients that are essential to success in the gluten-free kitchen—a kitchen is really not so different from any other, except for some unique items that require explanation. I often explain to my newly diagnosed clients that most of what they already eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can easily be incorporated into an overall healthy gluten-free diet.

A quick skim of the following pages will assure you of this truth. Healthy salads and soups, many main dishes, and of course fruits and vegetables of all kinds do not contain gluten. It’s when you want a special treat or something different for breakfast or you want to thicken a sauce, for example, that specific knowledge and specific products come into play.

Measuring Sweetners

Depending on which sweetener you use, there are basically three ways to measure most sweeteners. If your sweetener of choice is in a liquid form, as is agave, honey or organic honey, then use a liquid measuring cup with the measurements listed on the side of the glass. Simply pour in the sweetener until it reaches the desired amount. For free running sweeteners, such as granulated sugar, organic raw cane sugar or xylitol, , scoop the sugar or sugar substitute into a dry measuring cup… Read more >>

Agave Nectar

The nectar of the agave plant, agave is now widely available and can be found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. Lately, it has become the darling of the baking world, for a variety of reasons. Agave falls low on the glycemix index, which means that it is slowly and gradually absorbed into an individual’s blood stream, thereby preventing spikes in his or her blood sugar. Bakers have also increasingly turned to agave since it is 25% sweeter than sugar, meaning that you can… Read more >>

Granulated Sugar

The most common sweetener of all, the king of sugars if you will, is granulated sugar. This sugar, which was historically available only to the upper classes, is highly processed and refined cane or beet sugar. Even though you may think of it as simply adding sweetness, sugar actually performs a myriad of duties in baking and cooking. It tenderizes, aerates and colors to name just a few. It is actually considered a liquid ingredient, since it dissolves when it comes into contact with water,… Read more >>


Honey is easily digested by the most sensitive of stomachs making it an ideal choice in baking. Honey also contains trace amount of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Since honey is a bit sweeter than granulated sugar, you can get away with using slightly less. The general rule is 3 to 1, meaning that for every cup of granulated sugar called for, use ¾ cup of honey. However, be advised that you may need to alter the amount of overall liquid called for in your… Read more >>


– Xylitol is considered a sugar alcohol, as is maltitol, sorbitol and amannitol. According to the FDA, foods containing sugar alcohols, but not processed sugar, can be labeled sugar free, even though they are not calorie free. Generally, these sugar alcohols contain 40% fewer calories than sugar, which means they fall lower on the glycemic index. In addition, sugar alcohols tend to have an inconsequential  effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. I especially like to use Xylitol in my baking when I want to… Read more >>