If you love baking and/or baked goods, you won't have to give it up just because you can no longer use wheat. Gluten free flour is now pretty easy to find, plus it gives you tons of yummy varieties for pastries and breads.
In fact, you will find that gluten free baking probably uses more flours than the average conventional baker has heard of.
I'll admit though, when I first gave up gluten, I only knew of corn meal as the only alternative to wheat. Maybe that was because I'd always been a fan of corn bread.
Oh by the way, don't be fooled by the fact that it's called corn bread. Look closely at the ingredients, it's made with a higher proportion of wheat flour than corn flour.
The first time I had gluten free pizza, I was so disappointed. I'd just become newly gluten-free, so I was still getting used to all the tastes. But it really did taste like cardboard to me.
Then one day I went to my local Mellow Mushroom, who make their pizza from scratch while you wait - plus they have both gluten free and vegetarian options - and I couldn't believe how amazing the pizza was.
By the way, Mellow Mushroom have real options for vegetarian pizza, unlike the cheese-only ones you find at most of the other places.
But, it's true that these gluten free flours may take a little getting used to especially if you're just getting started.
Are you planning to mix some of these flours for your baking? That's great, especially if you enjoy baking from scratch.
These days though there are many companies packaging pre-mixed flour. The main problem I've found with some of these is that they don't really mix a good variety, but rely too much on rice flour and corn flour.
Most health food stores will carry a good number of these flours though.
You can play around with mixing the gluten free flour to make your own All Purpose flour, but can you see the all variety you're stuck with?
At first I dabbled with spelt flour and spelt breads quite a bit. Part of was because spelt is touted by some as not having the same devastating effects to those who are gluten sensitive as wheat is.
But I found this to not be the case for me personally.
Although spelt is just a distant ancestor to wheat, it still contains gluten. And if you're quite gluten sensitive or diagnosed with celiac disease, I'd be really wary of eating anything made with spelt flour.
My experience with was that I found I could tolerate it at first, then a few months into it, I started to feel very glutened again.
I'm bringing this up to remind you once again to please check the ingredients pf whatever you purchase very carefully (there's that broken record again :).
Some products made with spelt flour may be labeled as wheat free, but beware that wheat free does not equal gluten free.
That said, there are some gluten intolerant people who claim to be able to digest spelt just fine.
If you that is you, then it just means you have a lot more wiggle room as far as adding this grain to your list of acceptable flours. Just be sure to always mention it to your gluten free guests or friends if you are planning to bake with spelt flour.
Beware also that some gluten free bakeries use spelt flour for some of their products. But chances are these bakeries are already sensitive to the fact that many celiacs or gluten sensitives cannot tolerate ANY amount or form of gluten, so they will likely have it clearly stated that they do use spelt.
Otherwise, always ask, don't assume :)