GFCFSF Diet – Best Brands and Substitutions

Nothing drives me crazier than opening up a GFCFSF cookbook that lists ingredients like “barbeque sauce” or “breadcrumbs” and it doesn’t tell you what brands are GFCFSF safe (and delicious). So when you are making the transition to this diet, here are some substitutes I recommend to help get you started.

Bread, Bagels, Muffins and Pizza Crust

Udi is, in my opinion, the best GFCFSF bread on the market. It doesn’t even have to be toasted, like many GF breads. We love all of the Udi breads, muffins and bagels, though the Mighty Bagel is our hands-down favorite. All Udi products can be stored in the freezer. Good to know for when they are on sale or you buy a case with a discount. Most stores do a 10-20% discount for a case. Whole Foods will even give you a case discount on top of a sale price. Also, when I’m in a pinch, I’ll pull a Udi muffin out of the freezer and take it to a birthday party as Henry’s special cupcake. Note: the muffins have some serious sugar in them.

However do NOT eat Udi Cookies or Pizza. They are NOT dairy free.



Daiya is THE vegan cheese for these two reasons. 1) It melts! And 2) It’s delicious! My son eats the shreds right out of the bag.

Daiya makes awesome “cheese” (available in shreds, chunks and slices), yogurt, cream cheese, frozen mac & cheese, and frozen pizza.

Note that Daiya doesn’t taste exactly the same as regular cheese. You might want to take a break from cheese when starting the diet and then introduce Daiya after your child has been cheese free for a while.



Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread – Soy Free is a fantastic butter substitute. This is the Earth’s Balance in the red container. It comes in a tub or sticks for baking. Earth’s Balance is my go-to butter substitute. It is creamy, easy to spread, excellent in baking and delicious on a toasted bagel. Another great option for butter flavor and cooking is ghee. Ghee is clarified butter. In the clarification process, the casein protein is removed and you are left with safe butter fat. I buy Organic Valley Ghee.

Earth’s Balance also makes yummy popcorn in butter and cheese flavors.

I substitute Earth’s Balance 1 to 1 for butter in most of my recipes.

Earth’s Balance

Organic Valley Ghee

Chicken Nuggets

IAN’S GF Chicken Nuggets – Make them in a toaster oven or regular oven and skip the microwave. They aren’t organic and they are processed. But if you’ve got to get the kid off of traditional nuggets, these are the way to go. I also like Applegate Farms GF nuggets, but alas my child did not.

Ian’s GF Chicken Nuggets

French Fries

IAN’s GF ALPHATOTS – When you’ve got to have French fries and don’t have the time to make them from scratch these are fun (and safe) for the whole family.

Ian’s Alphatots


Pacific Gluten Free Crispy Battered Haddock is something the whole family will love.

Pacific Classic Crispy Battered Haddock


King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix is the best pancake mix in the world! Well, that is the opinion of all of my friends and family. I mix it with Earth’s Balance and coconut milk. I don’t like regular pancakes, but I love these. Here’s my secret – add ½ teaspoon of organic cinnamon and organic nutmeg to the pancake mix. So good!

King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix


We love Nature’s Path Whole O’s and Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. They are great options if you are trying to get off of Cheerios or Rice Krispies.

Nature’s Path Whole O’s

Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal

Sauces – Pasta, Pizza and Barbecue

I can’t say enough good things about Organicville products. I use Organicville for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and barbeque sauce – Original BBQ is my fav. I even use it in my meatloaf recipe.

Organicville Products


I’m kind of obsessed with Banza chickpea pasta. It’s got 25 grams of protein in a 3.5 oz serving. But I also like Ancient Grains quinoa pasta. They don’t get as mushy as rice pastas can. Another easy option is to pressure cook or roast a spaghetti squash and use it for your noodles.


Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta

Chocolate and Marshmallows

Enjoy Life chocolate bars and chocolate chips and chunks are my son’s personal favorite. Okay, mine too. For cocoa powder, I like Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa. (Here’s a link for a Healthier Hot Chocolate recipe from the Detoxinista. Because everybody deserves to be able to sip on some nice hot chocolate.) Oh, and if you have hot chocolate, you might need some marshmallows. Try Elyon Mini Marshmallows.  If you have left over marshmallows, whip up some marshmallow treats substituting Earth’s Balance and Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal.

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars

Equal Exchange Cocoa Powder

Elyon Marshmallows


I like Hain Pure Foods Safflower Mayonnaise.

Hain Mayonnaise

Bacon and Pepperoni

First, always go uncured and nitrate/nitrite free.  My favorite brand of bacon is Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon. I like the regular better than the organic. This is the only time you will hear me say that I prefer a non-organic food item. Please don’t tell anyone. For bacon bits, try Wellshire Farms Bacon Bits. I also recommend Wellshire Farms Pork sliced pepperoni.

Applegate Farm Sunday Bacon

Wellshire Farms Products

Pork – Sausage

Every other day, we have sausage for breakfast. A great choice for humanely raised pork products is Niman Ranch. We all love Niman Ranch Uncured Breakfast Sausage – Apple Cinnamon. I use their ground pork in my pizza casserole whenever I can find it.

Niman Ranch

Lunch Meat and Hot Dogs

My favorite (and hard to find) lunchmeat is Organic Prairie. With only three ingredients – organic turkey or chicken, water and salt, it’s hard to find a cleaner or tastier product. In a pinch, I like Applegate Farms Organic Roast Turkey. For hotdogs, we choose Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs. (Udi also makes GFCFSF hotdog buns.)

Organic Prairie

Applegate Farms Organic Roast Turkey Lunch Meat

Applegate Farm Organic Uncured Beef Hotdogs

Juice Boxes

While the best option is to limit juice, switch to water or bring a thermos, sometimes you’ve just gotta have a juice box. I like The Honest Company’s Honest Kids Super Fruit Punch.

Honest Kids Juice Pouches

Snacks and Treats

It can be challenging to find a GFCF and especially soy free pretzel. I like EnerG’s Wheat Free Gluten Free Original Pretzels. In fact, I like them more than regular pretzels.

EnerG Pretzels

For potato chips, I think that it is important that they are also non-GMO. One great brand is Kettle Brand.  Here’s a tip, my Costco carries a double size bag for the price of a single from most grocery stores. The Costco one is non-GMO, but not organic.

Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Sea Salt Potato Chips

One GFCFSF cookie I really like are Pamela’s Simple Bites Mini Cookies Extreme Chocolate. I also like the Ginger Snap flavor.  Note that not all of Pamela’s products are casein free, but these two are.

Pamela’s Mini Cookies

And remember that fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally GFCFSF!

All Purpose Flour and Cookbook Recommendation

The best recipe I’ve found for an all-purpose gf flour blend (with Bob’s Red Mill products) is from Silvana Nardone’s Cooking for Isaiah cookbook. Though I don’t like every recipe in this cookbook, her desserts are fantastic. We especially like the Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies (use Spectrum Shortening), the Nut Butter-and-Jelly Cookie Cups, Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting, and Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting (Don’t use the red food coloring, you don’t need it. And use Spectrum Shortening in the frosting too.) FYI, the strawberry cupcakes do NOT freeze well. But they are so good, they probably won’t last long enough to make it in the freezer. I also like her Double Corn Cornbread and Bacon-Apple Cornbread Stuffing.

Cooking for Isaiah

Silvana’s All-Purpose GF Flour Blend Recipe


I like Ian’s GF Original Panko Breadcrumbs or EnerG GF breadcrumbs. Make sure you get the Ian’s Original and not the Italian Flavor. The Italian Flavor has soy.

Ian’s GF Original Panko Bread Crumbs

EnerG Breadcrumbs

Ice Cream

Really, this should have been first on my list because ice cream is a gift from the gods. If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joes near by, go grab some of their TJ brand strawberry or chocolate coconut ice cream. Pick up some organic olive oil while you are there, too. I also like So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream and Tempt Hemp Ice Cream. Just make sure that you get flavors that are free of cookie bits and the like that might have gluten. The container should say Gluten Free. And to make the perfect ice cream cone, grab some of Edward & Son’s Let’s Do…Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones. Edward & Sons also makes GFCFSF bullion cubes that are pretty darn good.

So Delicious Ice Cream and Whipped Topping

Edward & Sons Ice Cream Cones and Sprinkles

Edward & Son’s Bouillon


So, your skin is your bodies biggest organ and absorbs gluten and casein too. For shampoo, I started out with Weleda Baby Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. But now I use Alaffia Every Day Shea Shampoo & Body Wash (safe for babies and up).


Every Day Shea Baby Shampoo and Body Wash


This is a great opportunity to ditch the fluoride. You don’t need it. My son loves Kiss My Face Obsessively Natural Kids Toothpaste in Berry Smart – get the fluoride free version. Or just brush the pearly whites with coconut oil. Or click here for my homemade toothpaste recipe. But warning, my son hates my toothpaste recipe. I, on the other hand, love it.

Kiss My Face Berry Smart Toothpaste – Fluoride Free

Now if I have forgotten something, please let me know in the comments section below, and I’ll recommend a brand for you. Also, Whole Foods will usually let you sample any product while you are in the store and you can return for the glorious reason of “I didn’t like it.” Sprouts won’t always give you a taste, but they will take a returned product if you..or your child didn’t like it.  And for the very best prices, I recommend and

I hope this information saves you some time and money and makes the GFCFSF transition a little less complicated.  Good luck!






  1. Wow! I loved reading your story. Having all these great products listed in one place makes the GFCFSF diet so much less daunting. Thank you for providing all the links to make shopping easier. Very helpful!

    • Thanks so much, Eileen! Having a great tasting alternative that is safe is half the battle. I have learned so much from my friends and am excited spread the wealth by sharing this information here. I’m glad you liked the links, too!

  2. Great post! I agree UDI’s breads are amazing! My new favorite butter spread is “Melt”, it’s vegan, soy free, gluten free, and dairy free, and it is ORGANIC! Yum Yum! I can’t wait to try the other brands you’ve listed. Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback and the recommendation, Jackie! I think I’m going to have to try Melt. I know Earth’s Balance has an organic version, but I haven’t found it in my local stores. I’m hoping it’s a soy free version. Have you tried baking with Melt yet?

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