When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, there were a ton of things that I cut out of my diet that I later re-introduced. I’ve discovered that even if it isn’t marked gluten-free, it might still be gluten-free. It’s just that there are strict guidelines if a product is going to be marked gluten-free that most companies don’t want to follow.
Always be careful when eating food not marked gluten-free. Stick to small portions until you know whether or not the food will bother you. Always pay attention to what your innards have to say! If you react to a food, stop eating it – it’s as simple (and sad) as that.
So here’s my list of seven surprising gluten-free foods, in reverse order…
7. Nacho Chips
Most nacho chips only have corn-based grains. I have had great luck with Tostitos, although obviously the multigrain flavor is out. Stick with chips that have just a few ingredients. Add some salsa and cheese (both of which are usually gluten-free) for a delicious snack!
6. U.S. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
The first ingredient in Canadian and British Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce is malt vinegar, which contains barley. However, the same sauce in the United States is gluten-free, using spirit vinegar instead of malt vinegar. No, I don’t know why. But I do know I got my parents to buy me a few bottles on their last trip to the U.S. :)
5. Taco Shells
Like nachos, most taco shells are corn-based and gluten free. (Remember, though, always read the ingredients!) They are an excellent idea for meal night: chop up some vegetables, put out some sour cream and salsa, fry up some ground beef, grate some cheese, and let everyone create their own taco!
4. Chapman’s Ice Cream
This Canadian ice cream company makes all of their original ice cream flavors gluten-free. Many of their other products are gluten-free too, and feature a symbol that is easy to spot. Plus, they offer many other specialty products, including lactose-free and low fat ice cream.
All flavours of Doritos are gluten-free except for Nacho Cheese. Bring on the Cool Ranch! You can see a full list of gluten-free Canadian Frito-Lay products here. Note their warning about the (very slight) possibility of cross-contamination!
2. Cheese Slices
Most cheese products are gluten-free, but I was really surprised when I found out that that extended to processed cheese, too. Kraft cheese slices are one of my go-to foods!
A friend told me about gluten-free Chex, currently only available in the United States. It tastes just like normal cereal and is available in Chocolate, Rice, Corn, Cinnamon, and Honey Nut. Plus, Chex has a ton of great recipes to go with it. Now, the downside is that it’s only available in the U.S., so if you know someone that has a trip planned, get them to bring you some back! It’s available in most grocery stores at around $3 a box.)
A Postscript on Potatoes
This one couldn’t be in the list because I knew from the start that potatoes are OK. However, many people think potatoes have gluten. Why??? I’d die without my starchy friends. (Caveat: Some processed potato products can contain wheat.)