This is a continuation of the Top 10 Staples of a Gluten Free Kitchen post. We’ve already listed the staples we can’t live without, but here are 10 more that make our lives a little bit easier and tastier.

  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. Twice-baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato pancakes, french fries: potatoes are a good, inexpensive starch with which to make your favorite comfort foods. Sweet Potatoes will make the same foods, but with more flavor, color, and nutrition. Try Okinawan Sweet Potatoes: they’re purple and taste great.
  • Gluten-free Broth. Even if you’re not making soup, cooking grains in broth infuses them with extra flavor and nutrition. My husband will only eat brown rice cooked in broth and liberally doused with citrus juice. Sauteeing vegetables in broth instead of oil is a healthy alternative that works particularly well with mushrooms.
  • Gluten-free Soy Sauce. As you are probably eating a lot of rice, you might also be eating a lot of East Asian food, which tends to require soy sauce. Soy sauce usually has wheat in it, so be sure to research brands before going to the store.
  • Coconut Milk. Much of the Asian food that does not require soy sauce requires coconut milk. But coconut milk is also a good way to revive interest in hearty bean and legume dishes–when heating up lentil soup, for example, add some coconut milk for a delightful creamy texture. Bake root vegetables or plantains slowly in coconut milk with a touch of molasses for a very homey dessert.
  • Curry Powder. Depending on your interest in South Asian cuisine, you could amass twenty or so Indian spices for authenticity…or you could buy curry powder. My household likes Madras curry powder the best. We even put it into our egg dishes sometimes. Curry powders vary widely in heat, so make sure everyone is comfortable with your choice before applying liberally.
  • Gluten-Free Beer. To go with your gluten-free pizza and your gluten-free football game, of course.
  • Frozen Fruit. A good, healthy alternative to sandwiches in the summer is fruit smoothies. If you don’t fancy the lines at Jamba Juice, use milk, soy milk, or yogurt as a base and then toss in frozen fruit or a mixture of frozen and fresh fruit. Puree, pour into a thermos and take to school or work. You’ll feel refreshed and invigorated. With frozen fruit you don’t have to worry about cleaning and sorting; they’re frozen in the peak of their seasons, so you can even enjoy good fruit in the depths of winter.
  • Dried Beans and Legumes. These are a healthier, cheaper, and longer-lasting alternative to meat, and they go very well with rice, pasta, and corn tortillas. If you cook up a bag of beans and toss them with salt, pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil, you have a tasty staple that will last you all week. Add fresh herbs and rice to turn them into a simple, satisfying, protein-rich meal. Dried beans taste much better than canned beans, and as a bonus you can control the sodium content.
  • Sake, a.k.a. Japanese Rice Wine. This is one of those rare situations where the gluten-free version is more authentic and tastes better than the kind with gluten. Traditional sake is made from rice, koji, and an enzyme. Check with the manufacturer to make sure that the source of the koji is not barley. Cheaper sake is sometimes adulterated with other ingredients that could contain gluten. Unlike grape wine, sake does not go bad quickly in the refrigerator; I savored one bottle for a whole year. Sake is a basic staple in much Japanese cooking, so if you like Japanese cuisine a lot, you probably want some on hand. Sake is very good hot, room temperature, and cold, so you can enjoy high quality alcohol all year.
  • Gluten-Free Mixes. They don’t taste exactly the same as the real thing, but sometimes you’ve just got to have cake/bread/muffins/pancakes/pizza/cookies/brownies. If you bake regularly, you should probably stock up on all the various GF flours and starches, some of which you can easily find at your supermarket (potato starch), and some of which you must order or range far afield for (arrowroot flour). Otherwise, many mixes are pretty good, and fresh baked goodies taste a lot better than any premade items you can buy. If you get plain cake mixes, you can integrate them into traditional family recipes and find yourself pleasantly surprised with the result.