Don’t get caught by surprise: gluten can lurk in these favourite summertime foods.
When the weather gets nicer it calls us to spend time in the great outdoors, and one of the best ways to soak up the sun is to have a picnic! Whether you’re at a park, beach, or in the comfort and safety of your own backyard, a gluten-free picnic can easily be one, two, or a few people.
But don’t let unexpected gluten sneak into your alfresco eats and spoil the fun. Be sure to carefully read the labels when shopping for these popular picnic foods:
Naturally, cucumbers are gluten-free. But watch out if they’re pickled with malt vinegar—it’s made from ale, which contains wheat. Fortunately, most commercial dill pickles use white vinegar. However, some pickles—especially British-style pickled onions—do use malt vinegar. Look for pickles brined in white vinegar, or labeled gluten-free.
Bottled salad dressings often contain gluten in the form of wheat flour, which is used as a thickening agent. Choose a gluten-free brand, or make your own with olive oil, vinegar, and your favorite herbs.
Plant-based meat alternatives
Seitan and several other vegan or plant-based “meat” products contain gluten in the form of wheat protein or a wheat-based binder. Carefully check labels for ingredients that may contain gluten.
If you want to stock your cooler with ice cream or other refreshing cold treats, check for wheatingredients, including wheat starch, malt, and some artificial colors and flavors. Avoid flavors like cookie dough, cookie bits, and cake or brownie batter. Try this delicious Cherries Jubilee Gluten-free Ice Cream Sandwich, worry-free!
Again, wheat-based thickeners are often culprits in this comfort food. Caramel coloring, cocoa powder, and other ingredients may contain gluten, and the food may have been processed on equipment that also handles wheat-based ingredients. To be sure, choose a gluten-free brand.