The Gluten Hiding in Your Kitchen
Did you know there is gluten hiding in your kitchen? It’s likely lurking in your pantry, tucked away in your spice rack and camouflaged in your fridge. But don’t worry, today we’re going to talk about 5 places gluten is hiding in your kitchen and give you 5 gluten free substitutes you can replace them with.
Before we jump right in to the culprits, it’s beneficial to brush up on what gluten really is. For starters, gluten is not only found in wheat; it is a protein that can be found in a number of different grains. It acts as a glue that holds ingredients together. You can learn more about that here.
While we most frequently think of wheat and flour when we think of gluten, it is also commonly found in processed foods. It gives pastries, pizza dough, and sauces that ooey, gooey texture that we all know and love. Thankfully, I have found some killer gluten free substitutes that mimic the originals so well, you will forget you’re eating gluten free!
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1. Soy Sauce
We’re starting off with a big one; that’s right, gluten is in soy sauce. This realization is actually pretty tragic at first. For me, it meant no more eating out at Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants. Again, tragic. But once you accept that realization and learn about the gluten free substitutes, it’s not so bad.
There are two different routes you can go here. I know a lot of people who swear by tamari. That said, I am 100% loyal to coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are amazing because they are also soy free and have a mildly sweet flavor that adds depth to any dish you would use soy sauce in! Check out my favorite brand by clicking on the image below:
I’ve used this stuff in everything from homemade unagi sauce to my favorite hot and sour soup.
2. Salad Dressings & Sauces
I’ve never been a huge store bought salad dressing or sauce kind of girl; but that doesn’t make me above grabbing a bottle at the store when I’m in a hurry. Since I’ve gone wheat/gluten free, this is no longer a quick task. It can take up to 10 minutes standing in front of the salad dressing isle, reading ingredients, and there are many times when I leave empty handed because I simply can’t find a gluten free option!
My best advice to you on this one is to make your own. It’s almost always easier and faster to make a simple vinaigrette; I will write up a formal blog post for this soon but in the meantime…
In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 2 tbsp olive oil. That’s all!
The same goes for many of the options for pasta sauces, especially white sauces. Here is a brand I enjoy because it’s very simple with no sugar added: Marinara Magnifica
This is another very frustrating one. Spices are supposed to be pure; what place does gluten have in my cumin?!
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to steer clear of gluten in your spice rack if you stick to a few simple rules:
- always stick to single ingredient spices (if you’re buying cinnamon, the only ingredient should be cinnamon!)
- go organic when possible
Most of the time when you find gluten in your spice rack, it’s in the pre packaged blends like “Italian seasoning” or “taco seasoning”. The more ingredients that go in to an item, the more likely gluten is to sneak into the mix. Click here to see my favorite gluten free cinnamon.
4. Condiments: Mustard, Mayo, and Ketchup!?
Before your throw the entire contents of your fridge door shelves away, know that this is not a rule for all mustard, mayo, and ketchup. I have been able to find many successful gluten free substitutes for these popular condiments.
As with all processed ingredients, the responsibility is on you to read the ingredients closely. Just know that many popular condiment brands do use gluten in their products.
Several different kinds of alcohol contain gluten. Beer made with hops and barley, as well as certain types of rum, whiskey, and vodka. Luckily, there are many options for gluten free drinkers. Here are some of the many delicious gluten free substitutes for alcohol with gluten: white wine, red wine, champagne, tequila, potato vodka, and cider.
The gluten free world can seem lonely and overwhelming at first, but the longer you’re in it, the more gluten free substitutes you find! Can you think of one I left out? Comment below and share your knowledge!
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