Photo courtesy of FlickrCC/Anders Palovaara Image by: Photo courtesy of FlickrCC/Anders Palovaara
1. Keep it simple.
That old adage of KISS (Keep it Simple and Straightforward) should apply to gluten free hosting, says Smart. Try to keep your food in as natural a form as possible by incorporating as many fresh meats, eggs, nuts, legumes and vegetables into your menu, since they're all naturally gluten-free.
2. Watch out for hidden gluten sources.
Think beyond just bread or pasta. Gluten can be in many items you wouldn't think of. Here are a few common hidden sources:
- Malt derived from barley
- Baking powder that contains wheat starch
- Spices and seasonings may contain flour, so specifically look for gluten-free spices
- Soya sauce, if not specifically labeled gluten-free
3. Keep it clean.
Cross-contamination is something a host or hostess needs to watch for when preparing a gluten-free meal. Here are a few easy tips to reduce the chance of cross contamination occurring:
- Clean your oven. If you are baking for your event, make sure you clean out the oven for any gluten-containing crumbs and same with your toaster!
- Wash all counter tops with a new dishcloth
- Use a separate cutting board for gluten-free items
- Put a sign next to gluten-free dishes
- Prepare your gluten-free dishes ahead of time separate from the other gluten containing dishes
4. Wheat-free doesn't mean gluten-free.
Many times individuals who are not familiar with gluten-free cooking will buy products that are wheat-free thinking that they're safe. That is not the case. Wheat-free products can still contain gluten as many are made with rye and barley.
5. Use simple swaps.
Many times people think that if they're preparing a gluten-free meal they can't use their family recipes if hosting. That's not the case at all! Here are some simple swaps that will take family favourites to a whole new gluten-free level:
If your recipe calls for: Use Instead:
- Wheat Flour - Brown Rice Flour
- Pasta - Quinoa or Brown Rice Pasta
- Whole Wheat Bread - Gluten Free Bread (i.e.Udi's)
Kathy's advice? Don't stress about gluten-free cooking or hosting, as communication is key. If in doubt leave it out, or always ask your gluten-free guest for input or the extent of their allergy. Nothing warms a gluten-free person more than knowing the extra love and effort you're putting in to make sure they can eat deliciously and safely.
Check out these easy ways to make your favourite foods gluten-free.