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Published May 02, 2013, 11:35 PM

5 Things Friday: 5 packaged staples for your gluten-free diet

FARGO – A few months ago, I found out that I’m sensitive to gluten. I mourned the loss of pasta and baked goods and set out to find some suitable gluten-free replacements.

By: Anna G. Larson, INFORUM

Editor’s note: “5 Things Friday” is a weekly feature in SheSays that runs on – you guessed it – Fridays. It focuses on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five. If you have a “5 Things Friday” suggestion, contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

FARGO – A few months ago, I found out that I’m sensitive to gluten.

I mourned the loss of pasta and baked goods and set out to find some suitable gluten-free replacements.

I found five packaged products that now occupy my cupboards on a regular basis.

The products are easy to find at grocery stores in the natural foods area. If you want to shop local, Hornbacher’s and Swanson Health Products carry most of my favorite products.

Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies, $3.98 at Walmart

While the chocolate cookie is grainer than the traditional Oreo, these gluten-free cookies are crunchy, sweet and satisfying. My cookie fanatic boyfriend even likes them.

As with the real deal, these are a treat and still have a hefty dose of sugar per serving.

Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soup, 68 cents, at Walmart

I eat rice noodle soup at least twice a week because it cooks quickly. The gluten-free Thai Kitchen soups come in five varieties, and I like to add Sriracha to mine to boost the flavor.

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Creamy Brown Rice Farina Cereal, $3.98 at Walmart

I’ve eaten Cream of Wheat since I was a kid, and I never thought I’d be able to replace it, but Bob’s Red Mill Organic Creamy Brown Rice Farina Cereal is warm and satisfying.

I cook a batch every Sunday to keep in the fridge for my week morning breakfasts. It’s creamy and reminds me of rice pudding when I add milk, cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar.

Luna Protein Bars, gluten-free, $5.59, at Target

Clif Bars were my typical no-time-for-lunch snack, and I worried that a gluten-free protein bar would taste icky. I was wrong.

Gluten-free Luna Protein Bars are fairly tasty for a protein bar. My favorite flavor is the Chocolate Cherry Almond because it tastes like an indulgent candy bar. The flavor is hard to find, so I usually stick with Cookie Dough or Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Each bar packs about 12 grams of filling protein, 6 grams of fat and 21 grams of carbohydrates.

Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins, $2.98 at Walmart

I’m not keen on rice crackers usually, but I like the salty, nutty flavor of Blue Diamond’s Almond Nut-Thins. I pair mine with goat cheese and pear or just eat them plain, straight out of the box.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525

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