News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

Friends for Dinner?

Gluten free friends for dinner?

There is no need to panic! It is easy to avoid gluten – when you know how.  Here is a simple introduction to cooking gluten free and some tips that will hopefully make for happy and healthy dining. Keep it simple, fresh and seasonal.  Coming Soon: Dinner Menu suggestions to wow your GF friends! 

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains including:

  • Wheat varieties (spelt, kamut, faro, durum, bulgur, couscous, einkorn, semolina)
  • Barley (barley flakes, pearl barley, malt)
  • Rye
  • Oats (Coeliac Australia includes oats in the list of grains to be avoided)

Gluten Free Foods

The good news is that many foods are naturally gluten free such as:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Fresh fish and meats
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Milk and dairy products such as cream and cheeses (always check the label to ensure gluten free)
  • Fats and oils
  • Many other gluten free grains and flours, such as amaranth, buckwheat, chestnut flour, chickpea flour (besan), sorghum, corn (maize) flour, polenta, potato flour, potato starch, rice bran, rice flour, tapioca etc.

In Australia, products containing any ingredients derived from wheat, rye, barley or oats must be declared in the list of ingredients on the packaging. Check the list of ingredients and if any allergens are present they will be in bold type.

Products labelled ‘gluten free’ are safe, this includes gluten free cooking flours, breads, biscuits, cakes, pastry goods and mixes, sauces etc. 

Finding hidden Gluten

Gluten is present in cakes, breads, biscuits and cereals that are derived from wheat, barley, oats or rye. But Gluten can also be found in many products that may not be obvious at first glance. It is very important to read the ingredient list carefully.

Gluten is sometimes present in shop bought stocks, sauces, gravies, mustard, curry powder, curry paste, chutney, pickles, dressings, soy sauce, salad cream and mayonnaise. Snack foods such as dips, nuts, popcorn, chips and some potato products.

Marinated meats, smallgoods, pates, and meat substitutes. Cooking ingredients such as baking powder, non-pure cornflour, bicarbonate of soda (cooking soda), and cake decoration products. Some chocolates, ice-cream, mousses, confectionery and some soft drinks, drinking chocolate and malted milk drinks.

Of course there are many food products in the above categories that are gluten free and safe to consume. More and more manufacturers are becoming allergy aware and are responding to the needs of these consumers.

Avoiding contamination

There is an abundance of gluten free food available, but it is important to ensure that it is not contaminated with gluten through processing or cooking. The gluten free dish must be kept separate from gluten containing foods to avoid contamination.

  • Before cooking, ensure all knives, chopping boards and other cooking and serving utensils, grills etc to be used are clean.
  • Make sure butter, spreads and condiments to be used in GF cooking have no existing crumb contamination.
  • If serving dips, accompany with gluten free biscuits or bread for all guests to avoid crumb contamination from regular breads and biscuits, or serve dips on a separate plate for the GF guest.
  • Use separate water in a clean pot/strainer for cooking gluten free pasta.
  • Do not dust meats or fish with regular flour prior to cooking.
  • Do not dust cake tins with gluten containing flour (including wheaten cornflour).
  • Use separate oil for deep frying. This will ensure gluten free fried food is not contaminated by regular bread crumbs.



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