This post was written by Tiana Yom, MPH, CHES
As May is Celiac Awareness Month, I wanted to expand the 15 Essentials to Store in Your Kitchen and include a post on Gluten Free Pantry Essentials. Celiac disease (CD) is a lifelong genetic disorder affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine. Gluten is the general name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives.
Rice, Corn (Maize), Soy, Potato, Tapioca, Beans, Sorghum, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Arrowroot, Amaranth, Teff, Flax, gluten-free oats* and Nut Flours.
*Oats do not contain gluten; however, they are often processed in the same facilities and on the same machinery as gluten-containing grains and foods, which can lead to cross-contamination. Look for gluten-free oats.
Grains not allowed in any form:
Wheat (including einkorn, durum, farro, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, farina, bulgur, wheatberries), Rye, Barley, and Triticale.
Foods/products that may contain gluten:
Beers, Ales, Lager, Breading & Coating Mixes, Brown Rice Syrup, Communion Wafers, Croutons, Dressings, Drugs & Over-the-Counter Medications, Energy Bars, Flour & Cereal Products, Herbal Supplements, Imitation Bacon, Imitation Seafood, Marinades, Nutritional Supplements, Pastas, Processed Luncheon Meats, Sauces & Gravies, Self-basting Poultry, Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids, Soup Bases, Dressings, Thickeners (Roux), Vitamins & Mineral Supplements
There are many hidden sources of gluten, so it is extremely important to read the ingredients list if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.
Top 5 gluten-free items to stock your pantry:
- Gluten-free flours: Rice flour, potato flour, quinoa flour.
- Vinegar: Distilled, white vinegar is the safest for those who need to avoid wheat and gluten in their diet. Many people with CD can consume other vinegars as well, but this varies.
- Olive oil: Most oils are safe for those on wheat and gluten restricted diet. Be sure to read the labels for any allergens that might be used to flavor the oils. Basic oils recommended for cooking are extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil.
- Spices: Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. (Most spices are technically gluten free, but cross-contamination is common, so read labels.)
- Canned Tomatoes: Make sure to read the ingredients list carefully to avoid any added sauces, seasonings, flavoring or other potential gluten-containing items.
If you have Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, what ingredients are essential in your pantry?