Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gluten Free in the Summer

{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest}

Summer is s-l-o-w-l-y approaching, well at least slow for us here in the Inland Northwest.  For many people summer means barbeques and time spent relaxing with friends and family.  Barbeques are fun and definitely a quick and easy meal for the hot summer weather.  You can get out of the kitchen and keep the heat outside.  I personally love it the most because Husband does most of the barbequing and all that I'm required to do is a few sides and then to sit in the shade looking pretty while I knit.
{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest}
However, barbequing is a little different when you're doing it Gluten Free.  I thought it might be nice to have a little post on Gluten Free BBQ simply because even if you're not Gluten Free you probably know someone who is and with a few small changes you can confidently invite your friends over for BBQ this summer and truly allow them to relax knowing that the food is safe for their consumption :)
{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest)
{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest}

First, the most important piece you have to consider is the barbeque itself.  If you are a Gas Grill Master then all that is left for you to do is to make sure that your BBQ is freshly clean and that any residual contaminated products are cleaned from the grill.  Make sure you clean out any trays that catch dropped wheat bun crumbs and leftover seasonings.  If you are old school and use charcoal briquets...well, you're in for a few changes.  Briquets themselves are contaminated as they are made with wheat.  Sad :( I know, I love the flavor of briquets over gas grill but by their very nature all foods will be contaminated by the cooking process.  You can avoid this by cooking all Gluten Free Foods in Aluminum foil however the easiest is to cook using a gas grill.
{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest}

Second, read the seasoning and BBQ sauce ingredient list...yes I know it is tedious but very necessary.  Fortunately the FDA has required all labels to now list common allergies and many companies are going farther and listing if something is actually Gluten Free on the container.  Here are the most common words that usually mean Gluten contamination: Modified Food Starch...yup, that easy.  Of course check for words like Barley, Rye, and Wheat but Modified Food Starch is the biggie.

Most of Kraft brand BBQ sauces are Gluten Free, and even though the Bullseye brand lists modified food starch as an ingredient we haven't had trouble with it and Kraft is really great about listing possible contaminates on their foods and on the web.

Side dishes
{Source via joshuasprincess via Pinterest}

Barbeques are great but who wants just meat?  You need a few sides to go along right?  Well, to make it easy on all parties stick to raw veggies and fruits.  Ranch dressing pre-made is contaminated but if you buy the make it yourself packet it is Gluten Free...just read your mayonnaise ingredient list first.  Also, if you combine the ranch packet with sour cream you have a great dip.

Fruit salad is possibly the best and easiest dessert/side dish ever.  Cool Whip is Gluten Free, however I personally think that REAL whipped cream is the best.  I cut up apples, bananas, grapes (usually quartered for babies) and if I'm feeling really inventive chopped pecans (or even macadamia nuts...I'm a classy nut eater).  You mix that all together with your topping and you are good to go!  You can add marshmallows, but I avoid them as they are a HUGE choking danger (even greater than hot dogs and grapes).

I hope this helps you as you prepare for the summer cook outs!  If you have a favorite summer recipe that you're curious to see if it is Gluten Free email it to me or post it in the comments.  I'll gladly look it over and let you know.  If it isn't I'm sure I can offer you a substitution that will make it so!


What is your favorite part of summer? Do you do the barbequing or your spouse?  Leave me a Friendly Thought below and let me in on what's up in your life.

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