Summer is the season of cookouts, graduations, Pride parades, vacations and fun in the sun! With so much to celebrate, you’re bound to get an invitation or two to a graduation grill-out or a summertime BBQ.
However exciting these outings may be, for the celiac or gluten intolerant, any occasion that takes you away from the familiarity of your own gluten-less kitchen can raise some anxieties about your safety.
We’ve put together some Gluten Free Tips for the Summer to help you navigate the cookout landscape this season.
If you’re a meat eater, get the details from your host about how it will be seasoned. Many sauces have thickening agents that include malt or wheat starch, and some sausages and pre-made burgers include fillers than may contain gluten.
Also make sure the meat isn’t being grilled next to hamburger buns or any other glutenous accessory. If in doubt, offer to pan sear your own meat in the house or bring something you’ve prepared beforehand that you can re-heat at chow time.
(If you’re looking for a good gluten-free option, try our gluten-free hamburger buns here at Nuflours!)
Condiments can be tricky because they are not the first guess when you think about places gluten can be hiding.
Just as many bbq sauces use thickening agents, so do many condiments, including ones you might not suspect like relish and mayo.
Always, always, always read the labels carefully, including how the product was manufactured. Sometimes the condiment itself does not contain gluten, but it was not produced in a safe environment, so you may still be at risk.
People may press the tip of squeeze bottles to their hamburger buns or use a knife on their bread and put it back in the mayo jar.
Lookout for crumbs in communal jars and people who may be double-dipping with a utensil that has been used on gluten previously.
Chips & Sides
Frito-Lay tests its products for gluten, and will report when a product contains any. Many flavored chips contain no gluten ingredients but may be manufactured on the same lines as gluten products, and aren't tested to see if they meet the 20 parts per million gluten standard.
Frito-Lay chips are available almost everywhere, but if you are particularly sensitive to trace gluten, it may be best to exercise caution.
As a substitute, all Kettle brand potato chips are certified gluten-free by the GFCO and are processed in a gluten-free environment, so if in doubt, go Kettle!
Fresh fruit and vegetable sides should be perfectly safe, but keep your eye out for dips and salsas that may be sneaking gluten in the veggie tray.
Also be aware of trace crumbs in things like the butter dish if you are looking to slather your fresh corn on the cob.
Being cautious is essential to staying safe, as is openly communicating your dietary needs with your host whenever possible
Nuflours has an array of fresh sandwiches, breads, and buns for you to choose from for your next cookout if you’d rather bring your own dish to stay on the safe side. We’ll keep you well-fed and happy all summer long!
Have any Gluten Free Tips for the Summer to share? Leave them in the comments below!