Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Naturally Gluten Free Foods

All the food items on this list are gluten free in their natural state. Any food can become "glutenized" if it is cooked with gluten. The safest way to eat on a gluten free diet is to eat unprocessed food. Prepackaged and commercially prepared foods often contain hidden sources of gluten. The easiest way to be sure your food is gluten free is to buy fresh, whole foods and prepare them yourself.

Vegetables

If you love vegetables, you're in luck. Vegetables are naturally free of gluten. The key word here is naturally. Although veggies are gluten free, cooking methods can add gluten. Veggies should not be fried in wheat or other gluten containing flours. Vegetables prepared in sauces must be scrutinized, too, as many sauces include wheat or barley as a thickener or filler. If you eat vegetables away from home, ask questions to determine whether wheat, rye, barley, oats or any of their derivatives have been used. At home, veggies may be boiled, sauteed, steamed, stir fried, or even fried as long as gluten free flour is used. In their natural state, the following vegetables are gluten free:
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

Fruit

Like veggies, fruits are naturally gluten free. Once again, it is cooking and preserving methods that add gluten, so you must be cautious with cooked fruits. Raw fruits are safe, including:
  • Acai
  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carobs
  • Cherry
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Guavas
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Kumquat
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mandarin
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruits
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plantains
  • Plums
  • Persimmons
  • Quince
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tamarind
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelons

Meat and Poultry

Meat and poultry are also naturally gluten free. Avoid breaded or fried meat, unless you know gluten free flour was used. Even with grilled or broiled meat or poultry, you must be sure it wasn't cooked on the same surface or in the same oil use to cook breaded items. Most commercially prepared gravy contains gluten. At home, you may grill, broil, stir fry, or roast your meat. If you make your own batter or gravy, use gluten free flour. As long as cooking methods or accompanying ingredients do not contain gluten, the following are safe:

WARNING: I have gotten sick on SO many types of meat.  Make sure it is 100% natural.  I make sure my red meat (that is eaten very sparingly) is from pasture fed cows.  The poultry I make sure is from free-range chickens (with more than just a little porch to roam around on - that is NOT organic), and Pork we eat maybe once or twice a year from an organic source.  We eat scavenger meat as a delicacy usually for Christmas, New Years or special occasions.
  • Beef
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goat
  • Goose
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey
  • Quail
  • Veal
  • Venison

Dairy and Eggs

Eggs are gluten free, as are most dairy products. When following a gluten-free diet, you can safely consume:

Warning:  We eat raw dairy from a trusted dairy that is very clean and the pasture fed cows have very minimal chance of having contaminated milk.  Cows fed grain have an acidic environment in their system.  We use dairy sparingly, but when it is consumed we make sure it is organic.  For my baby, we supplement my milk with raw goats milk from Drake Family Farms.  Raw milk has not been pasteurized and so all of the wonderful nutrition has not been killed in processing.  Be careful with cheese.  I stick to mozzarella, provolone etc. that isn't colored in any way.  Also be very careful of yogurt as well. 
  • Butter (check for gluten containing additives)
  • Cheese (except for blue cheese)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt (plain, unflavored)

Grains and Flours

When it comes to gluten, grains are the tricky part. You already know that bread, flour, tortillas, pasta, and other products made from wheat, barley, rye, and oats are off limits. You can, however, eat starchy goodies made from the following grains and flours:

Note:  We buy our grains in their whole state and then grind them and let them sprout or ferment (like sour dough bread) before consuming.  Sprouting or fermenting food allows the food to be broken down so that the body is able to assimilate it better and the nutritional content of the food increases along with the health benefits when it is soaked or sprouted.
  • Almond flour
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Bean flour
  • Besan
  • Brown rice
  • Brown rice flour
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Corn flour
  • Corn meal
  • Corn starch
  • Cottonseed
  • Dal
  • Flaxseed
  • Job's tears
  • Manioc
  • Millet
  • Milo
  • Pea flour
  • Polenta
  • Potato flour
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rice flour
  • Sago
  • Soy flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Taro flour
  • Teff
  • Yucca

Gluten Free Prepared Foods and Mixes

Just because you have to avoid gluten doesn't mean you can't have the occasional prepared or processed food. You can even eat bread, crackers, and pasta! As awareness about celiac disease and gluten issues grows, more and more companies are creating specialty gluten-free items. Here is a list of companies offering gluten free foods:
  • 1-2-3 Gluten-Free
  • Authentic Foods
  • Barkat
  • Cause You're Special
  • Chebe
  • Cravings Place
  • Deboles
  • Don Pancho
  • Dr. Schar
  • Ener-G
  • Glutano
  • Gluten-Free Pantry
  • Glutino
  • La Tortilla Factory
  • Pamela's
  • Perky's Natural Foods
  • Rustic Crust
  • Yummy Earth
Please note that some companies manufacture both gluten free and "regular" food items, so you still need to check labels, visit the company's website, or call the company. Some mainstream companies, such as Hormel and Kroger, also publish lists of their products that are gluten free.

Note:  I have become sick more often off of products labeled as "gluten-free".  I personally avoid the above list and only buy every once in awhile for birthdays or if I have to make something for a social etc.  If you do buy something that says gluten-free, make sure it is Certified Gluten Free.

Use products that have only one or two ingredients.  The closer to how it came from the earth the better.

Some surprises for me was learning sometimes frozen fruit juice cans are coated with flour so they can come out easier, conveyor belts are floured, and even rice mixes could be contaminated if the company makes any other product with a gluten containing item.

Use PDA software, or an updated gluten-free shopping guide book if you venture out into the processed foods world.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

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