There’s no denying that gluten-free prepared foods, gluten-free mixes and gluten-free cooking can be very costly. Gluten-free mixes and flour blends easily cost $5.00 to $12.00 per pound! Gluten-free starches, powders and gums (which I don’t recommend using) are incredibly expensive! To be able to prepare gluten-free foods from whole, natural ingredients will cut some of your costs, yet many of these flours and grains are more expensive than traditional ones as well. It may help to “console yourself” with the fact that you are actually making an investment in your health with these expenses. Not simply by avoiding the reactions and symptoms you would have if you ate in the traditional way, but also with the superior nutrition you receive by eating such richly nutritious whole foods.
The gluten-free flours that I focus on cost, on average between $2.00 and $3.00 per pound. This is a lot, there’s no denying it. Certified gluten-free oats cost even more (upwards or $3.50-$4.00 per pound- yikes!). Yet a little dab will do ya’! Just last night I made a dinner for my husband and myself of banana teff pancakes. I used 1 cup of teff and 1/2 cup brown rice flour. This was about 2/3 of a pound of flour (I’ll explain why I know this in just a moment). So, those pancakes (with the banana included) only set us back only about $2.00. Not bad. It’s when we buy these whole ingredients in quantity that it takes our breath away. But on a day to day basis, we only use them in small amounts.
One comment I received recently was from an individual concerned about the cost of GF oats. I entirely relate. I hope, in time, as gluten-free foods become more common, the prices will come down, but for now oats are very costly. But then I began to consider how light oat flour is and that to use a cup of oat flour couldn’t be as great a portion of a pound as say a cup of brown rice flour (which is very heavy). So I got our my postage scale and began weighing the flours. Here are the results. (Can anyone tell I used to be an elementary school teacher and I’m stuck in “science fair” mode?)
Brown rice flour 5.6 oz./cup at about $2.00 per pound, about 70 cents per cup
Oat flour 3.3 oz./cup at about $3.40 per pound, about 70 cents per cup
Teff flour 5.2 oz/cup at about $2.90 per pound, about 94 cents per cup
Buckwheat flour 5.6 oz./cup at about $2.00 per pound, about 70 cents per cup
Sorghum flour 3.9 oz./cup at about $2.25 per pound, about 55 cents per cup
I hope you find this comparison interesting!