What can you eat that is gluten free? There are actually lots of options.
To start, unprocessed fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and oils are all naturally gluten free. So ar
e beans, legumes, rice, and sweeteners like honey and sugar. In general, you will notice that all of these foods do not need ingredient labels, or have ingredients lists with only one item.
When these basic foods are processed into other products, you need to start looking at the ingredient lists to make sure that all of the ingredients in the product are gluten free. When you take a naturally gluten-free potato and fry it and add spices, you need to read the label to make sure that all the ingredients added are gluten free. When you grind meats and add spices and stuff it into casing to make sausage, you need to do the same thing – read the label to make sure the final product is gluten free.
The challenge comes when it comes to grains and baking products because wheat is the primary starch used in so many baked goods. There are a lot of different products that can be used when you create gluten-free baked goods, however. Here are some of them:
- Arrowroot flour
- Baking soda
- Bean flour
- Cassava (Manioc flour)
- Chick pea flour
- Corn flour
- Cornstarch (Masa farina)
- Cream of tartar
- Dal or Dahl(Legume from India)
- Green pea flour
- Acacia (Gum Arabic)
- Carob bean gum
- Locust bean
- Invert Sugar
- Legumes: Seeds of plants which include
- Chick peas
- Malto dextrin
- Maltol (A sweetener not related to malt)
- Mustard flour (ground mustard)
- Oats* (pure uncontaminated with barley or wheat)
- Potato flour
- Potato starch
- Rice bran
- Rice flour
- Rice flour (glutinous, sweet)
- Rice polishings
- Rice starch
- Soya flour
- Soya starch
- Sweet potato
- Tapioca flour
- Tapioca starch
- White vinegar **
- Xanthan gum
* Oats, unless they are specially grown, harvested, and processed, contain barley and wheat. Only pure and uncontaminated oats are acceptable for people with celiac disease.
** Distilled vinegar, including white, apple cider, sherry, fruit, balsamic, palm, cane, and honey vinegars are all gluten free. Malt vinegar is NOT gluten free. Beer vinegar is NOT gluten free. Rice vinegar may or may not be gluten free. It may contain wheat – read the label.
Source: Adapted with permission from Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide 2008 by Shelley Case, Dietitian.