Five Gluten-Free Foods That Have Always Been Gluten-Free

Categories: Top Lists
gluten_free_items.jpg
Photos by Kholood Eid and Nicole Whittington Composition by James Waldron
Gluten free: yet another trend in the food world.

Sure, labeling can be helpful, but do we really need to mark packages of meat as gluten free? I don't know. Maybe we do. Deciphering between all the gluten-free, local, organic, made-using-renewable-energy labels can be quite a headache.

Knowing what gluten is exactly might be a good starting point for easier gluten-free shopping.

Gluten is the mixture of proteins, including gliadin and glutelin. Along with starch, it is located in the endosperm of the grass-related grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. Maize and rice are also members of the grass grain family; however, they are technically gluten free because their protein composition does not include gliadin.

Still confused as to which gluten-free foods to shop for? You're probably already on the right track and didn't even know it. We have a list of five items that have always been gluten free, after the jump.

gluten_free_items2.jpg
Photos by Kholood Eid and Nicole Whittington Composition by James Waldron
1. Salsa: The most basic ingredients in any salsa are generally tomatoes, some sort of chillies and onions. All gluten free. Wanna mix it up with some pineapple, corn or mango? Still gluten free. Maybe there are some fresh herbs or garlic in the mix? Guess what? Yup, you guessed it. Still gluten free.
2. Coconut water: It's the clear liquid inside younger coconuts that haven't started developing coconut "meat." Either way, it's from a tree and is gluten free. 
3. Meat: A lot of animals we eat may feed on grain, but anyway you slice that pig, it's still not a member of the grass-related grains family. 
4. Ice Cream: Thank goodness this delicious treat is made primarily of dairy products, save for any toppings you want to mix in. 
5. Potato chips: Just think produce = gluten free and you can't go wrong. No matter what form or shape it takes.

Beware of processed/prepared foods such as frozen burritos, pastas, cereals, tv dinners, etc. Labeling is great for clarification in these sort of items, so look for the little "g" hiding in a black square box somewhere in the corner.

And next time you're out grabbing a cup of joe at your local coffee shop and want a gluten free treat, ask if they baked anything with alternative flours such as rice or mesquite or perhaps omitted the flour all together. You'll sound much more knowledgeable and as though gluten-free food serves more of a purpose in your diet than just being the latest fad.

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6 comments
catering phoenix
catering phoenix

really likable trend , i think its amazing trand every need it complete.

sarahkayhoffman
sarahkayhoffman

I agree with you all! Each and every single one of those can be filled with gluten. In the beginning, I used to be "tricked" by them all the time. 

Melissa_Montovani
Melissa_Montovani

I agree with James and Kevin that this article is a little misleading. Many companies use additives that make the flavoring of chips or ice cream not gluten free. A lot of meats, including sausages, have fillers that are full of gluten as well. Moreover, the picture of canned nuts is also misleading because recently, I had some (mind you they were a different brand that Planter's Peanuts) without any wheat in the ingredients, but which stated further down that they are produced in a plant that processes wheat and thus, there might be some cross contamination. It wasn't as bad as it could be, but there definitely was some effect from this fact.

Therefore, even if meat, fried potatoes, salsa, and dairy is, in general, "safe," the main problem is that a newbie to the gluten free diet might take your recommendations as gospel to an uncomfortable end. Many companies process a wide variety of foods in the same facilities and don't make allowances for ensuring that the food is safe for consumption. All of this means that someone can't just assume that all of these products will be "safe," but your article suggests that they can.  It's also odd that you say beware of processed foods, but aren't store bought salsas, chips and ice cream all processed? Mixed messages. 

Kevin Baron
Kevin Baron

This column is quite misleading and potentially dangerous to people with gluten intolerance or full blown celiac disease. Many off the shelf salsas, ice creams and potato chips certainly DO include gluten. Salsa use flour thickeners or are preapred in plants with wheat products too. Ice creams often have gluten, esp commerical or ice cream shop brands, and esp chunky flavors like Cookies n Cream, unless they're all natural and plainly GF. Nearly every flavored potato chip is not GF, or is too risky to chance. Not even all corn tortillas or corn chips are GF. This is all common knowledge for GF living and easily found online, elsewhere. Meat is meat, except when most restaurants marinate their meats in just about anything. I always ask, and frequently get the bad news: even simple grilled chicken is not GF sometimes. Coconut water is...well....coconuts.

James L. Shirley
James L. Shirley

Yikes, it sounds like Nicole has a lot to learn about gluten-free! First, start with meat. Many white meats are made juicy with brine and with some brands that brine contains gluten. Next, ice cream - watch out for cookies 'n cream and cookie dough and some plain vanilla's have gluten too! 

Potato chips? There is a whole list that are gluten-free, but there is also a big list that are not. BBQ potato chips often have gluten. 

If you're eating gluten-free, I would most certainly ignore Nicole's advice!

On the Same Page
On the Same Page

It sounds like someone wants to be given a fish, instead of learning how to fish.

Meats aren't "made".  They were once living beings that will always be gluten-free prior to juices and brines, and of course it won't be gluten free if its fried with batter.  Ice cream is also gluten-free, without the add-ins!  Sounds like you both agree on that one.  Fried potatoes are technically gluten-free.  Once again, it's the add-ins that make them not gluten-free. 

Is it possible that people who don't have this basic knowledge probably aren't effected enough by gluten to care and are just hopping on the band wagon?

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