The Gluten Bigot: FAQ - What Do Celiacs Eat?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

FAQ - What Do Celiacs Eat?

I'm sure you've been there a million times; you meet someone, maybe professionally, maybe socially, or maybe it's even family, and upon finding out your gluten bigoted status, they will ask, "So, what can you eat?"

I find this funny to answer, because I've gotten so used to being gluten free and have learned how to make anything I would have missed that my reply is simply - "Everything, except for things that have gluten." Sounds easier than it actually is. 

If you are in a position where you are having a celiac / gluten intolerant / otherwise gluten bigoted person over for a meal, or maybe you are new the the GF diet, and need suggestions, here are the things to not serve / not eat / consider/ what we can and can't eat:

  • No standard bread or pasta. Only the GF version. 
  • Rice and quinoa are fine.
  • All non-processed meat is fine. Processed meat should be marked gluten free.
  • All fruit and vegetables are fine.
  • Sauces may be okay. Read the label. Actually on that note...
  • Read every label. Look for any obvious gluten: wheat, barley, rye, oats (unless it is GF oats). Scan for the other titles gluten likes to cavort as. Or to make it easier if you're in the US, labeling laws mandate gluten must be noted. So look for either CONTAINS GLUTEN, or Manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat. If it says either of those things, the item is not safe for the gluten bigot.
  • Look for products marked 'gluten free.'
  • If you are having a GF-er as a guest, do not hesitate to ask them for suggestions. 
  • Use the internet, and my blog, to find recipes! Nearly everything can be made gluten free.
  • Invite the celiac / gluten intolerant to serve their food first if you will also be serving gluten containing dishes. This will reduce likelihood of cross contamination. Also, when you are preparing food ensure equipment is well cleaned and use separate equipment for GF items.
  • Also, don't be offended if a celiac / gluten intolerant brings their own food. Sometimes it is just easier.
If you serving someone, good luck! If you are new to the GF diet, welcome! I guess the point is, with some adjusting our diet is not limited at all, it just takes a little bit more effort.

Do you have any tips to add on hosting a gluten intolerant/celiac?

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