Gluten free living can feel a lot like living with constant paranoia- I’m always reading and re-reading labels, skeptically asking a million questions even developing conspiracy theories of cross contamination.
Luckily, over the years I’ve learned a lot about where gluten might be lurking, waiting to strike fear in the hearts of glutards everywhere. Check out this list of 15 unexpected places to find gluten:
- Frozen preformed hamburger patties, sausages, meatballs may contain wheat based fillers.
- Imitation crab meat – often used in sushi, i.e. California rolls.
- Veggie burgers-may contain wheat flour or breadcrumbs as combining agents.
- Sauces & Gravy – often times the thickening agent used in a sauce or gravy is wheat flour, also most creamy sauces are made with a roux.
- Salad Dressing- You should be safe with olive oil and vinegar (as long as it’s not malt vinegar) at home but what about all the wonderful options in the dressings aisle or restaurant menu? Some dressings are pre-made with gluten to thicken them up. Beware. Read the label and continue to reread the labels every time you buy to make sure ingredients didn’t change.
- Marinades – many marinades are soy sauce based which can contain gluten, not to mention seasonings that may contain gluten. The easiest thing to do is make your own!
- BBQ Sauce – the basic ingredients may be gluten free but always read the packaging.
- Chips – some flavor seasonings contain malt vinegar or wheat starch
- Soy sauce – Most brands are made with wheat, look for gluten-free soy sauce or naturally gluten-free tamari
- Deli meats and cheese – processed meats may contain gluten, I recommend Board’s Head Brand for quality and reliability.
- Eggs (when served at a restaurant) – some food establishments like IHOP actually put buttermilk pancake batter in their eggs/ omelets to make them fluffier.
- Communion wafers – we’re not even safe in church!
- Rice mixes – though rice itself is gluten free, packaged rice mixes can contain seasonings with ingredients that contain gluten like barley malt.
- Salad toppings like candied nuts – the sugary candy coating can contain gluten
- French fries – cross contamination can occur from the frier or they may be covered in a flour coating to increase crispiness.