Whether you have celiac disease or are simply gluten intolerant, finding naturally gluten-free foods makes it so much easier to plan your meals and snacks without worry. You must avoid wheat, rye and barley, which is easier said than done. Take it from me – I have a gluten-free son and it’s always astounding what items these grains are hidden in. So, knowing some naturally gluten-free foods helps take the guesswork out of shopping and keeps you from having to scrutinize every single ingredients list.
Not only is fruit one the several naturally gluten-free foods, but it is also a healthy staple for any diet. Full of vitamins and minerals, fruits contain no gluten and are an easy way to satisfy your hunger without compromising your health. This goes for all fresh and frozen fruit. You will need to be cautious about canned fruit pie fillings and any fruit that comes bathed in any type of sauce. These may contain gluten.
Just like fruit, vegetables are gluten-free and chock full of nutrition. Eat them raw or cooked any time you like. They taste great in omelets at breakfast, salads at lunch and steamed with garlic for dinner. Just stay away from tempura vegetables and vegetables doused in sauce of any kind. They very likely contain gluten and could make you sick.
Ah, milk! It’s full of calcium for your bones and teeth and protein for your muscles. And the bonus is that it’s completely gluten-free. That’s great news for your health and your taste buds. Likewise, most kinds of yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese and butter are also gluten-free. Be wary when it comes to ice cream though. Obviously, you can’t have any flavors that contain cookies or cake, but some of the off brands also contain fillers that might not be gluten-free. When in doubt, call the manufacturer and check.
No, you don’t have to become a vegetarian just because you’re on a gluten-free diet. Fresh beef, chicken, pork, fish, lamb and turkey are all gluten-free. Grill, bake or roast them for a nutritious meal that won’t make you sick. That being said, it’s imperative to stay away from breaded meats, some processed meats, gravy, some types of seasonings and many marinades. They often contain gluten, though you can find gluten-free versions at many supermarkets like Whole Foods or Sprouts.
Sure, it’s a grain, but it’s a safe one. Rice is a great alternative for pasta in my house. Loaded with steamed vegetables, ham and an egg, it’s a great fried rice recipe that tastes good and is completely gluten-free. White rice and brown rice are equally great tasting, but the brown variety is less processed and therefore more nutritious.
6. Chex Cereal
All types of Chex cereal (except for Wheat Chex) are gluten-free. Manufactured by General Mills, there are many flavor options to choose from. Chex is a godsend at my house when breakfast comes! Choose from corn, rice, honey nut, vanilla, chocolate or cinnamon flavors. No morning meal will ever be the same. Do like my son does, and mix and match them for new and yummy bowls of cereal you’ll love.
7. Corn Tortillas
Not being able to eat bread is difficult and many of the gluten-free versions don’t taste good or they crumble when you try to spread them with mayo or peanut butter. Corn tortillas make a great alternative. Though they might not work for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they work well with mayo, turkey, cheese and lettuce for a yummy wrap that’s safe to eat. Taco shells and chips are also perfect for your gluten-free diet and let you make yummy dinners anytime you want.
What’s your favorite gluten-free food? If you check, you might be able to find gluten-free versions of things otherwise off-limits. For example, you can now buy gluten-free soy sauce. Oriental food, here we come!