Alright, if you are new to this diet, there are going to be ingredients/foods you have never heard of. And lots of substitutes that you don't know of. Here is what I've learned about so far:

Sugar substitutes / sweet things:
  • Agave Nectar, available in light, amber, and raw flavors. I have tried the light and amber, they both taste like a strange pancake syrup, and the amber is stronger. My favorite is the light, which is convenient since it is normally cheaper than the amber. I didn't try raw because the store I went to didn't have it. They say you can use this as a sugar substitute, but beware that using a liquid sugar as opposed to the normal dry sugar you use will affect other ingredients (eg, you would need less liquid of another ingredient). You can't just change them out and expect the same results. it's about 1/2 - 3/4 cup agave = 1 cup sugar. 

  • You can also use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar, except i'm not allowed to have honey for some reason, and i find the maple taste a bit strong.

  • Stevia - from what i can find, the healthiest sugar substitute you can possibly get. Some brands have bitter aftertastes though, so look them up. I have only tried one brand and it's a little bitter. It's extremely powerful too, with 1/3 - 1/2 tsp = 1 cup sugar. it comes in liquid and dry form. Unless you get the Stevia in the Raw, and then it is about 1/2 Cup Stevia + 1/2 agave syrup = 1 Cup Sugar. BEWARE: Read the ingredients, because people like to lie. For instance, I bought 100% Stevia and read the ingredients only to find "dextrose" in the ingredients. Umm....what? So yeah, read first.

  • Other dry sugar substitutes (that I am not sure I am allowed): Palm Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Pure Organic Cane Sugar (tried this, it smells very heavily of maple or something, kind of a gross smell), Turbinado, Sucanat, Xylitol. I would like to try Sucanat and Xylitol if I can find them. UPDATE: I tried Xylitol and got very sick - apparently some brands are made from corn and some are made from American Birch. GET THE AMERICAN BIRCH KIND.   I haven't tried this yet, but you're better off than the corn made one. UPDATE: After having the Elisa Act test, I cannot have turbinado or xylitol, apparently they aren't very healthy at all.
  • Best sugar sub i've found so far: 1/2 Cup Agave + 1/2 Cup Stevia = 1 Cup Sugar (thanks mom)

Butter, Margarine, Shortening (if you don't need to cream the butter):
  • Coconut Oil - I'd use about half you would of butter, this stuff is OILY. I'd also pick this over the other oils since the consistency is closer to real butter
  • Canola Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Land O Lakes now makes a butter with Canola or Olive oil! Thanks Land O Lakes!

  • All purpose Gluten Free flour - use twice as much as cornstarch, will need to be cooked longer to get rid of flour taste but don't overcook or it will thin out. To help this process: mix flour beforehand with 2/3 parts cold water, 1/3 parts flour. Don't use this sub for gravy or fat mixes.
  • Potato Flour / Rice Flour - 1 TBS Cornstarch = 1 TBS of either of these. Quickest thickeners, best for foods that will be frozen.
  • arrowroot - 1 TBS cornstarch = 2- 2.5 tsp Arrowroot. Great for gravies. Good for foods that will be refrigerated and doesn't matter if overcooked a bit. Do not use in dairy products!
  • quick cooking tapioca - For every 1 TBS cornstarch = 4 tsp quick cooking tapioca. Don't overcook, works good for foods that will be refrigerated.

Brown Sugar
  • Use a sub for white sugar on a 1 to 1 basis with the brown sugar, but add 4 TBS of molasses per cup and decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by 3 TBS.

Sour Cream (for every 1 cup of sour cream: )
  • for baking: 7/8 cup buttermilk + 3 TBS butter (see above for subs on these)
  • for baking: 3/4 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup butter
  • for cooked sauces: 1 cup non dairy evap. milk + 1 TBS vinegar/lemon juice, let sit 5 minutes before using

Powdered Sugar
--I learned something new today, all powdered sugar is, is just regular sugar highly processed with corn starch! wow, who knew! Of course, for this to work, you'd need a high powered blender like Vitamix or Blendtec (which I've heard you can get off Ebay?)
  • For 1 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup Sugar Sub +  1 tsp Cornstarch sub
  • 2 packets Stevia + 1 cup arrowroot/potato starch and process in food processor/blender

Heavy Cream
  • Canned coconut milk - take the solid part, Thai brand is best

Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 2 cans pure coconut milk + 1/2 Cup Agave. Combine in sauce pan, warm over med-low heat until mix begins to bubble. Continue to cook on low heat, mixing continuously until sauce reduces to half, is slightly golden and consistency is a light syrup. Cool and store in a glass jar.

Cocoa Powder / Chocolate Chips
  • Carob Powder / Carob Chips -   Turns out I react to this and it's got a nasty sweet taste anyway.
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (or another allergen friendly chocolate chip)

Gluten Free Flours
  • Almond flour / seed or nut flours are best for desserts and cakes and such. It is a little chunky.
  • sweet rice flour is also good for desserts
  • Brown rice flour, White rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, sorghum flour, fava bean flour, garbanzo bean flour can all be used in place of normal flours - EXCEPT, unless the recipe calls for one specific flour, I would suggest either buying an all purpose gluten free flour or mixing a couple of these together (based on recipes found online.) I'm still experimenting with the best gluten free all purpose flour, so I'll let yall know an update if I find a good one.
  • agave nectar
  • molasses
  • brown rice syrup - very unique taste but very allergen free friendly.
  • maple syrup