New to gluten-free living?Here's a printable quick start guide on how to begin a gluten-free diet.
Karina's Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet
by Karina Allrich
Foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet:
Gluten is the elastic protein found in wheat, rye, and barley (including durum, einkorn, graham, semolina, bulgur wheat, spelt, farro, kamut, and triticale). Commercially produced oats may also contain gluten due to cross contamination in processing (more on gluten-free oats below).
Injera bread (traditionally made from teff flour) and Asian rice wraps may be gluten-free, but are not necessarily gluten-free (check labels, always).
Unfortunately, spices have become a new concern, as many single ground spices and spice blends have tested high in hidden gluten. It is important to use due diligence on the spice issue; call the company and ask if the spice or spice blend you are using has been tested for gluten.
Hidden gluten can be found in soy sauce, tamari style stir-fry sauces, marinades, gravy, gravy mixes and gravy packets, broth and bouillon, cooking sauces and instant soups, salad dressings, cured meats, sausage, hot dogs, vegan hot dogs and "fake" meat, sausages and burgers, self-basting poultry, flavored and herb cheeses. Watch for spice blends including curry powder, dry mustard (often combined with flour) and ground spices such as cinnamon or cardamon.
Check labels on canned and prepared soups, tomato paste, sweeteners, confectioner's powdered sugar and brown sugar, prepared beverages, flavored and instant coffees, herbal teas (watch for barley or "natural flavors"), roasted, flavored or spiced nuts, jerky, flavored yogurts, puddings and ice creams, chocolate and chocolate chips, cocoa powder and instant cocoa mixes, flavored vinegars (avoid malt vinegar, and fake "balsamic" flavored vinegar), cooking wines, flavored liqueur and liquor, wine coolers (malt).
Always read labels. Call the manufacturer.
Eating out is very, very risky.
Be aware that delis and restaurants often add flour to thicken soups and sauces, may add pancake mix to egg omelettes, and use breadcrumbs to add 'body' to tuna or chicken salad. Gluten-free pastamight be boiled in the same water used for wheat pasta (and some kitchens blanch fresh veggies in their glutened pasta water). Avoid French fries and fried foods fried in the same oil with wheat flour breaded foods (fried onion rings, batter coated fish, veggies, meat and chicken); ask if the flyer oil is dedicated to gluten-free food only- if not- the oil is not gluten-free.
What is gluten-free?
*Safe if milled in a dedicated GF facility/source. Check with companies to determine if they are using allergen safety protocols, and a gluten-free facility.
We also recommend consuming only Non-GMO corn. Typically, organic corn is Non-GMO; call to make sure.
About baking GF recipes:
A combination of gluten-free flours and starches with xanthan gum added to improve viscosity is necessary for optimum results. If avoiding xanthan gum, try using using flax seed meal.
Just starting out? Try using an all purpose gluten-free baking and pancake mix (one without bean flour). If you are disappointed in the results, you might try the individual gluten-free flours we have come to love (see our recipes).
Too many starches can make a flavorless, gummy product.