‘Free’ Bread Crumbs

by Gavan on December 4, 2008

No no, not free as in you don’t have to pay for it. Free as in Wheat Free/Gluten Free.
This Friday’s post for Health Habits is a recipe for a lentil loaf (it tastes better than it sounds, believe me). Naturally DR (Mr. Health Habits) was impressed because lentils are super nutritious, but he also had this to say:

“I want to try it out, but the Missus and I don’t eat wheat. Can you suggest an alternative for bread crumbs?
In the past, I have used coarsely ground oatmeal, rice cooked al dente and even quinoa as a bread crumb replacement. Any suggestions?”

So off to the internet I went to look up alternatives for ‘free’ bread crumbs if you will, that would serve the ‘real’ bread crumb purpose and here’s what I found. All of these choices were liked and recommended by people with Celiac Disease on various sites.

  • You can make your own Gluten Free Italian-style bread crumbs pretty easily. I found this recipe on glutenfreebay.blogspot.com and it’s easy peasy. Here’s what you’ll need from your pantry:
    ITALIAN GLUTEN-FREE BREADCRUMBS

    12 slices gluten-free bread (stale bread and ends are good)
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
    2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 teaspoons dried basil
    She also gives you two ways to make these bread crumbs: Fresh or Dry. Click here for the directions.

But if you don’t want to make them from scratch (say you don’t have any ‘free’ stale bread lying around) I’ve found 3 prepackaged varieties that can be purchased online or in your local health food store:

  1. Gillian’s Foods Italian Style Bread Crumbs.
    Ingredients:
    Rice flour, Water, Yeast, Sugar, Sea salt,
    Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Garlic Powder, and Black Pepper. Sounds good. The only thing that I’d be careful of is the sodium content at 430mg per 1/4 cup serving. But with 60 calories per serving, .05g total fat and zero saturated fat & cholesterol, this looks like a great alternative if you can find it.
  2. Ener-G Foods Bread Crumbs.
    Ingredients:
    Filtered Water, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Pear Juice Concentrate, Yeast, Methylcellulose, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Glucono Delta Lactone, Nulomoline…. Per 1/4 cup serving it has 100 cals, 4.5g total fat, zero saturated fat & zero cholesterol. Though this one has a fraction of the sodium, 100mg, there are too many things I can’t pronounce which is never a good choice in my book.
  3. Holgrain Brown Rice Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs.
    Ingredients: Medium grain brown rice. (that’s it!) A quarter cup has 40 cals, 0 g total fat, 0 trans fats, 0 cholesterol, NO sodium either…this would have to be my choice out of all three just by looking at the nutritional info. Perhaps what I’d do here to flavor it up a bit is add in the dried herbs mentioned above so it’s sort of like making your own from scratch. Aha good idea you say!

I hope this gives you good information and choices to try out. If you’re familiar with any of these choices or know of any I should know about I’d love to hear from you. I haven’t tasted any of these so I’m curious to know which one reigns supreme.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.

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