17 Tips That Make it Easier to Eat Grain Free

UHomB 728x90

17 tips easier on chocolate pie

Although grain free isn’t a long term lifestyle choice for us at this point, in different seasons and circumstances, we go back to it as a way of resetting our bodies, aiding digestion, and coping with specific health challenges.

I know that we’re certainly not the only ones trying to eat grain-free, less grains, gluten-free or some variation thereof. So many of you are right there, making these kinds of dietary changes, just like we are.

When you’re used to living in the land of bread, tortillas, pasta and muffins, grain free eating and cooking can be a shock to the system. For one thing, it’s common to get hungry more often, especially in the beginning.

To make it even more challenging, one of the most common reactions is to panic and feel like you’re staring at this fridge full of food, but there’s nothing to eat.

Ever felt that way? I know I have, so many times.Whether we’re on GAPS, the Maker’s Diet, eating Paleo/Primal, Whole 30, wheat and dairy free, or something in between, it can be a struggle to shift your usual eating habits and find new, satisfying and simple ways to get full.

Particularly with four growing children who ask for more food before the breakfast dishes are even washed, I’ve learned that I have to have a plan that includes foods that can be:

  1. grabbed on the go
  2. made in a hurry
  3. cooked without much fuss or extra energy

How great we feel when we take a break from grains (even though I’m actually not opposed to eating properly prepared grains as part of our everyday diet) is a huge motivation for us. But to keep going, especially in the beginning, I still need a few tricks up my sleeve.

tons of eggs in fridge

So here are my 17 tips for making it easier to eat grain free:

1. Keep boiled eggs on hand.

Whether for breakfast, a quick protein-rich snack, adding to a salad, whipping up deviled eggs on the fly, or taking out the door,  boiled eggs are convenient.

For that matter, always keep a TON eggs on hand. I’m not even kidding. See those eggs? That’s a portion of what’s in my fridge right now. But when you’re grain free, you use them for breakfast, more than usual in baking, on salads, in mayo, in quiche, for quick emergency dinners, and well, pretty much everything it seems. We hardly ever seem to have enough.

2. Cooked meat

Three things I love to keep in my freezer:

  • cooked, diced or shredded chicken
  • ground beef, already browned
  • pre-made and cooked sausages

With pre-cooked meat, it’s SO much easier to come up with a last minute meal.

bunny banana nut pancakes

3. Always, always make extra of everything.

Like these pancakes, for example. Doubling up on banana nut pancakes on a Saturday morning means a quick weekday breakfast later on. Double batches of soup mean lunch for the next day or two. Doubling a recipe for nutty granola means you’ve got yogurt topping for weeks.

4. Keep some sort of bread, or “wraps” on hand at all times.

Be it homemade grain free bread or egg-based crepes, or simply large lettuce or cabbage leaves, anything that can turn into a “sandwich” or wrap makes for simple meals in a hurry.

grain free bread on counter

5. When you bake, bake for an army.

Bread isn’t the fastest thing to make, even when you’re using grains, but I find grain free bread particularly tedious to make. I’m enjoying the taste and texture of the bread we make from the book Against All Grain, but it’s not worth it for me unless I make at least 3 loaves at a time.

With regular bread, I freeze it to keep it fresh, but this bread doesn’t do as well once it’s been frozen. Keeping it in the fridge seems to keep it fresh enough for us to make use of it all.

6. Fill your freezer with meals.

Even if you don’t do a full day of freezer cooking, it’s worth it to do mini sessions (just a few recipes at a time) or even make up a recipe to freezer here or there as you have time. Sometimes I do this just with baking or snacks, and other times I try to put actual meals away.

I’m currently testing out a membership to Once a Month Meals, which has a fantastic Paleo option. It provides you with all of the recipes with cards, grocery lists, prep instructions, cooking day directions, AND all sorts of other recipe options so that you can swap out meals that don’t suit you for ones that do. It’s a really useful system and so time saving!

*Interested in trying Once a Month Meals for FREE? Keep reading to the bottom!**

fridge overflowing wiht produce

7. Keep well stocked on fruits and veggies.

These fly out of the fridge when we’re not eating grains, because we just need a whole lot of food to fill us up, so making sure I really stock up each time I shop makes life much easier (hence, the crammed fridge- but hey, at least we’re not hungry).

Being able to quickly throw together a salad, chop up a plate of veggies, or serve up a dish of fruit really helps me to complete meals when they still need a little something extra. They’re also easy grab-and-go snacks for me and the kids.

8. If you’re going to cook potatoes, always make extras.

Every time I cook potatoes, I make extra, whether they’re baked or boiled or fried.  I’ll use them as the base for a breakfast casserole, or fry them up with a simple meal of scrambled eggs and hashbrowns, or they also come in handy for a sausage, veg and potato fry in the evening.

If white potatoes are off your radar, use sweet potatoes or yams instead. They work just as well.

nibble plate

9. Consider the Nibble Plate.

This is a term I coined and will eventually write a post on, although the idea is so simple that is feels a bit silly. Essentially I put together simple, finger foods to make up a quick & easy lunch on busy days.

I use foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, dried fruits, olives, cheese, sliced sausage or cooked meat, grain free crackers, hard boiled eggs or anything else I can think of. It’s filling, very fast, and can often be a good way to use up odds and ends in the fridge.

10. Come up with a list of super quick, easy meals.

These are the meals that you can whip up in 15 minutes flat.

For us, it might be

What are your fast, go-to options?

frozen broth in freezer

11. Weekly make broth in the crockpot and then freeze it.

Most weeks I roast or slow cook a whole chicken, partly for the convenient cooked meat and also so that I can make nourishing broth from the bones.

As soon as the chicken is done cooking, I cook it and remove all the chicken (which I freeze in small bags). Then, I toss the chicken bones straight back into the crockpot for a 12-24 hours to make broth. This also gets frozen, and it ensures that I have broth ready for any meals I want to make that week.

12. Have baking ingredients stocked up in pantry.

Grain free baking ingredients, like almond flour or coconut flour, nuts or dried fruit, are cheapest when you buy them in bulk. So you kill two birds with one stone by stocking up your pantry with bulk-sized packages.

So many recipes can be mixed up quickly in just a blender or food processor, especially things like bars, muffins or healthy cookies. Between these pantry items and a stockpile of eggs, I can usually get something in the oven in 15-20 minutes or less (a double or triple batch, of course!).

13. Sausages & bacon. Have lots of them.

If you can find a source for preservative and gluten-free sausages and bacon (I buy mine in 5 lb boxes from a small, local meatshop), these can help to make last minute meals.

Thawing and cooking these meats is a much faster process than thawing packages of the cheaper cuts of beef or chicken I buy. When I leave dinner too late, I know I can make something with one of these if I have to. Besides, bacon. Mmmm. Enough said.

meal plan on wall board

14. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.

Since my husband and I rotate in our work and home duties, the hour I take each weekend to plan out a meal plan (and then shop according to that plan) pays off wildly.

It allows my 9 year old to see what’s for breakfast, as she’s being trained to do a lot of that meal mostly by herself. My husband can start a simple lunch with a glance at our bulletin board in the kitchen. And I can set things out the night before to thaw in preparation for easier dinners the next day, or start the crockpot before I head down to the office each morning.

Plus, it really simplifies my shopping process, and guarantees that unless the kids go through a zany growth spurt and eat us out of house and home before the week is up (it’s been known to happen), we’ll have everything we need to make meals and avoid last minute ingredient runs.

One tip for simplifying your planning – Use your weekly breakfast plans over and over. Don’t most of us eat the same things for breakfast anyways?

15. Use your leftovers.

As a general rule, we eat leftovers any chance we can get. If there isn’t enough to serve as a full meal, we improvise and turn them into other dishes, or make a “leftover buffet”, or add things like a salad or fruit platter to supplement what we have.

Leftovers are pretty much the best thing ever. Cook once, eat twice, less dishes, save money by not wasting food. Really? Okay!

If you dislike leftovers, you really need to figure out some ways to get over it and make them taste better. Frying things up in some butter or oil, or using a toaster oven to keep food from getting soggy helps (and for the record, using a microwave makes things disgusting and as nutritious as cardboard, so I advise against that). And I always say that adding cheese covers a multitude of sins.

vertical 17 tips easier grain free

16. Smoothies. The perfect food.

Smoothies are the perfect, filling, nutritious, 5 minute snack. Always keep your fridge and freezer stocked with the ingredients you love to dump in the blender. For us, that’s all sorts of frozen berries and fruit, raw milk/yogurt/kefir, stevia/honey/maple syrup, vanilla, chia and flax seeds, fresh greens, orange juice concentrate, fresh fruit, cocoa powder, nut butter, etc.

If you’re extra keen, you can even use small serving ziploc bags to make pre-measured individual frozen smoothie “mixes” that can be dumped straight into the blender with your choice of liquids.

17. Use that crockpot.

There is nothing nicer than measuring out ingredients and even still-frozen meat first thing in the morning or as you clean up lunch, and opening up a steaming crock of cooked dinner later that night. I am always on the lookout for crockpot meals we enjoy.

Dishes we make most often in the crockpot: chili, beef or chicken stew, roast beef or roast whole chicken (usually with vegetables and maybe potatoes added in), soups, Asian-style chicken or beef to go over veggies (like Broccoli and Beef, or Orange Sesame Chicken). Pinterest is FULL of crockpot recipes. Use them!

What are your tricks that making grain free eating easier for YOU?

And have you seen this yet??

bundle collage for grain free post

P. S. Did you know that there is a FREE one-month Pro Once a Month Meals membership that comes with the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

This is an incredible collection of homemaking ebooks, on topics like cooking, marriage, mothering, health & wellness, working-from-home, pregnancy & babies, and so much more. It includes 84 (yes, really!) digital resources worth almost $700, PLUS you get 10 bonus freebie offers worth $200 (this is where the Once a Month Meals comes in).

FoodShelf

In fact, the bundle includes a number of books that would really serve those on a grain free, dairy free, sugar free or gluten free diet. These are the books in just the Food category (one of twelve categories– I’m telling you, this bundle is HUGE!).

It’s for sale for a very limited time, only four more days, so hurry and check it before it’s gone! The price tag on the entire bundle is just $29.97 (or spend $10 more to get perfectly-formatted Kindle editions as well). I’m one of the organizers of this sale, and our goal was to make it as valuable of a package as possible, something that would really serve you and your needs as a homemaker!

You can read all about the full contents of the bundle, including all the eBooks and the bonus offers HERE. Or jump on over to the website to get your own bundle now. Remember, the sale ends Monday, April 28th at midnight and there will be no late sales!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. As an author, I make a portion of sales through my site, so thank you for supporting Keeper of the Home! Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

WhyBundle

Everything you need, one HUGE, awesome package (The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is BACK!)

By popular demand, 100+ homemaking bloggers are bringing back The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! Our team has spent months pouring over the details of this, our 4th eBook bundle, to make sure that it was our best ever. I really believe it is. Not only is this a completely fresh collection of ebooks and other resources (unique from any other bundle we’ve offered before), BUT it also includes our biggest and most exciting line up of bonus freebies. Woohoo! Now is your chance to grab the […]

Read Full Post »
HTB-Stephanie-Langford.jpg

Two podcasts for your listening pleasure (and a glimpse into this blog’s future)

Get out your laundry baskets and let the folding begin… This week I have not one, but TWO fun podcasts to share with you! Listen to me gab about blogging The first is on a topic I don’t usually get to share about as much as I would like to, and that is on business and blogging. I had a great time talking with my brilliant friend Kat from How They Blog (whom I first met when I traveled to the Philippines with Compassion International), […]

Read Full Post »
An All Natural Homemade Oven Cleaner

An All-Natural, Homemade Oven Cleaner

  By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer I love to clean. Since I have two young children, my ideal of a clean house has greatly changed over the past seven years, but I still enjoy cleaning – especially spring cleaning. Each March, April and May I gladly welcome the warmer temperatures, sunnier skies and longer days by thoroughly cleaning each room in my home. I love the dusting, polishing, vacuuming, purging and reorganization that my chores bring. But I dread one chore in particular. I just […]

Read Full Post »
UHomB-728x90coming soon

Weekend Links {and Spring Giveaway Winners}

This is both an exciting and a very busy week ahead for me, as it is the launch of our 2nd annual Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale! What’s an ultimate bundle? In a nutshell, it’s a package of extreme awesomeness, with an incredible number of eBooks and other resources like printable packs, audio files and eCourses, PLUS all sorts of freebies from companies offering products you’ll use and love, valued at almost $900!! The price? Less than $30. So you’re probably wondering what the catch is? […]

Read Full Post »
The Vinegar Myth-Why Vinegar is Not a Great Natural Cleaner

The Vinegar Myth: Why Vinegar is Not a Great Natural Cleaner

Are you looking for ways to improve your homemaking skills? How about some new recipes? Or maybe you really need some inspiration for your faith, your mothering, your marriage… What if you could get all these things and more, in one HUGE awesome package of digital resources (plus $200 of bonus freebies) for less than $30? The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is 95% off of retail value and worth almost $900! Interested? Read more here! By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer Vinegar is a great green and natural […]

Read Full Post »
6 Steps to a Naturally Clean Home

6 Steps To a Naturally Clean Home {Plus 48 recipes}

By Jami Leigh, Contributing Writer When I first began my natural living journey, it all started with food. I was concerned with eating healthy and what I  put into my body. But it wasn’t long before I realized that the chemicals, lotions, and cleaners that I used everyday can actually seep into our skin and affect us as much or more than the food we eat. I began doing research and it didn’t take long for me to land on The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to […]

Read Full Post »
140415hope__compressed

Hope Runs: The Power of Letting Our Stories Shine

Guest post by Claire Diaz-Ortiz I never meant to share this story. Of course, I never meant to live this story at all. It started on a trip unlike the others. A trip around a small-big-tiny world with a twenty-something best friend in tow. A year-long trip through nineteen countries, and hundreds of books and one pair of running shoes that took me to the finish line of a Spanish marathon and to the Base Camp of Mt. Everest. A trip that ended in a country where […]

Read Full Post »