The Do’s and Don’ts of Cooking Gluten Free

Many people are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon lately and perhaps you have received more client requests to go gluten free as well.  According to the NPD Group about 30% of all adults in the US claim to be cutting down or avoiding gluten completely.  That is a lot of people.

To help service clients who are interested in reducing or eliminating gluten from their diets, it’s a good idea to be familiar with preparing dishes using gluten-free grains as well as knowing which foods and ingredients to avoid.

And keep in mind that if you claim that the food you cook is gluten free, it better be especially if you are serving someone who has celiac disease versus someone who is gluten sensitive or wanting to avoid gluten just as a preference.  Jamie Oliver, who is known for his TV food shows, cookbooks, restaurants and most recently his mission to get rid of processed food in the schools, had an issue when one of his restaurants served what was said to be gluten-free pasta when it wasn’t.   His restaurant was fined more than $12,000 for this mistake.

So if you aren’t that familiar with some of the gluten-free grains listed below, start experimenting and coming up with recipes that your clients will love that use these grains.  In addition, take a look at the list of grains that you should avoid because they contain gluten as well as the list of frequently overlooked foods that may contain gluten.

Important Gluten-Free Grains

Rice, corn, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, and nut flours

Important Gluten-Containing Grains

Wheat (einkorn, durum, faro, graham, Kamut®, semolina, spelt), rye, barley and triticale

Frequently Overlooked Foods that May Contain Gluten and Need to be Verified:

•    Brown rice syrup
•    Malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar
•    Breading & coating mixes
•    Croutons
•    Energy Bars
•    Flour or cereal products
•    Imitation bacon
•    Imitation seafood
•    Marinades
•    Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
•    Pastas
•    Processed luncheon meats
•    Sauces, gravies
•    Self-basting poultry
•    Soy sauce or soy sauce solids
•    Soup bases
•    Stuffings, dressing
•    Thickeners (Roux)

(The above lists were adapted from the Celiac Disease Foundation’s lists)

Please note that oats in their pure and unprocessed form are gluten free; however, most oats sold in the marketplace contain gluten and you should only use oats that have a label verifying that they are gluten free.

So tell me about your experience.  Are you getting more prospects and clients asking you to cook gluten free?  What’s prompting them to want gluten-free food?  Which gluten-free grains do you enjoy cooking with the most?  Please share your comments about this blog post below in the “Speak Your Mind” section.  I always love hearing from you!

And if you haven’t signed up for a complimentary Client Attraction Phone Consult yet,  let’s talk.  I’m excited to learn more about your business challenges and goals so we can create a plan of action to take your business to the next level.

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  1. Thank You Sandra, this is good information. I will soon have a client that will have in the household; gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. I am currently working with a vegetarian client.

    • Glad you found the information helpful, David and congratulations on your new client! Wow, gluten free, vegan and vegetarian all in one household – at least with these three dietary preferences you will be able to find many common ingredients and dishes that they all will enjoy.

  2. Very helpful info. I had to run and check my brown rice syrup. Looks like the Lundbreg Organic is gluten free. Thanks for the list.

    Hope you are well! I’ve been VERY busy! It’s good! Thanks for all of your help.

    • Great to hear from you, Kellie! Lundberg brand brown rice syrup is what I use too. All is well here, and I LOVE hearing that you are super busy. Have fun with it all!

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