I always love the opportunity to learn and to face new challenge. I am in the medical field and although medical books have taught me what is Celiac Disease (Gluten-Sensitivity and/or Intolerance) , they never go further to delve into what people with this allergy can eat and what foods to be cautious of. We were mainly taught “Avoid Gluten Products.” The majority of what I make, does in fact have gluten in it. I have a few requests from my readers to suggest/make a few recipes that are Gluten Free. So I started to wonder, well, what ingredients can I use to cook with and what do I have to watch out for.
So I began to research.
Gluten is a kind of protein that is found in wheat, barely, rye and other carbohydrates. Even though it is a component of grains and cereals, it is not in ALL grains.
Grains that are Gluten-Free:
Montina (Indian Rice Grass)
Oats, I from what I read, are inherently gluten-free BUT are frequently contaminated with wheat during growing or processing. The following companies offer pure, uncontaminated oats: Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates and Gluten Free Oats.
There are many substitutes for using grains. Foods such as nuts, arrowroot, beans, chestnuts, potato, soy and tapioca all are gluten-free. Some of which can be ground into flours for baking.
The Celiac Sprue Association has a list of foods categorized as “Consistent with gluten-free diet, Questionable or Not Consistent.” Another great site: Mama’s Health has a great list of everyday foods that are safe to eat. Sites likes this one are an excellent way to figure out substitutes for your recipes.
Celiaccess Site has a Gluten-Free Product Search and Gluten Free Restaurant Search
My goal with this information (and any information in the future) is to try to come up with recipes that fill the following criteria:
- Gluten Free
- Ingredients easy to obtain by everyone
- Food that everyone would enjoy (aka not have to be made especially for one person)
In the meanwhile, I have added a category for my recipes. “Gluten Free” and “Gluten Free Substitution”. There are also tags for these categories. This gives you quick and easy access to many of my recipes that are either already gluten free or have I added suggestions on how to make the recipe gluten free.
- The Celiac Sprue Association has a list of foods categorized as “Consistent with gluten-free diet, Questionable or Not Consistent.”
- Mama’s Health has a great list of everyday foods that are safe to eat
- Celiaccess Site has a Gluten-Free Product Search and Gluten Free Restaurant Search
Information I have learned:
- Be careful with canned broths. Bouillon cubes may contain gluten
- Vanilla extract: Read label. McCromick brand is gluten free, others may contain gluten
- Hydrolyzed corn, soy or vegetable protein All of these have the potential of containing gluten. Wheat is often used in the process of making these proteins (because gluten is a protein). Of these, hydrolyzed vegetable protein is most likely to have gluten in it.
- Soy sauce is made with wheat. Be careful of all soy products as they may contain wheat
- Modified food starch: Avoid..you don’t know what it is made with.
Helpful Information From Friends and Readers:
From whirlwind way: Since finding out that I had a wheat allergy 6 months ago I have had many new food adventures. A lot of those involve time making my own food, or much time staring at the ingredient labels. Many foods that I avoid/always check the ingredients of that have hidden gluten products in them are: candy (mostly gummy candy and chocolate), canned soups, all salad dressings, spices, soy sauce, deli meat, gravy, tomato sauce, oats, pickles, seasoned/roasted nuts (i buy them dry), tea, and worcestershire sauce. These are the main things that I either avoid, make my own version of, or make sure to check the ingredients of or even call the company. Most companies are very willing to discuss the ingredients in their food. Gluten is hiding in many places that you would not expect and it is better to check and double check then to realize you are eating something that contains wheat.