Gluten-Free Food Storage
March 25, 2013 by Peggy Layton
What is gluten? Gluten is found in anything made with wheat, barley or rye. It is the ingredient that makes yeast bread dough stretch like elastic. Without it, the ingredients would not bind together into dough that can be kneaded and stretched in that way. Gluten-free dough does not stretch, so the dough tends to be thicker — like batter rather than dough. Most bread made from gluten-free flour tends to be more like a quick bread rather than a yeast bread. You can substitute the flour called for in any recipe with other grains that do not contain gluten. There are hundreds of gluten-free recipes for breads and other food items on the Internet.
What Is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance means you react to gluten, either with celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you suspect that you are gluten-intolerant, you must be prepared to cut out all products containing gluten. Gluten comes from three different grains that are cleverly hidden and disguised in everyday foods. Wheat, barley and rye attack the intestinal tracts of innocent consumers unaware of the hidden grains.
Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance
Our nation has seen a rise in the number of people that are being diagnosed with diseases directly related to the consumption of breads, cereals and other items containing certain grains. The gluten in the grain triggers a reaction in the intestinal tract that causes inflammation and results in a very painful bowel disease. If you suspect that you have an intolerance to wheat, barley or rye, do not store these grains.
The following are symptoms potentially caused by gluten intolerance, celiac disease or gluten insensitivity:
- Abdominal pain.
- Brain fog.
- Joint pain.
Avoid The Foods That Contain Gluten
A crisis is not the time to discover that you have a problem with gluten. You could have a double crisis if you are not prepared for a situation where you cannot get to the grocery store and you need foods that are gluten-free. You must be a label reader to make sure grain flours containing gluten, as well as hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, are not hidden in the mixes.
Avoid anything that contains wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and all wheat products such as bulgur wheat, durum wheat, cracked wheat cereal, farina, wheat bran, bran cereals, wheat germ, couscous, wheat starch and any packaged meals that contain the flour from these grains. Also avoid semolina flour, panko, surtan, udon, faro and orzo.
Check the labels on prepackaged bakery products such as cake, pancake, pizza, muffin and biscuit mixes, or any pasta dishes with sauces that contain flour. Wheat pasta contains gluten, too. Watch out for products such as soy sauce, thickeners, bread coatings, mustard, salad dressings, sauces, gravies and anything that contains natural flavors. Flour is added to other items that you may not even be aware of such as toothpaste, lipstick, chutneys, relish, curry powder, white pepper, hard tack candy, licorice, cheap chocolate and even some cheap brands of supplements and pharmaceutical products.
Oat groats and oatmeal have been known to trigger a reaction in some people because of cross contamination of oats and wheat in farmers’ fields and storage been. If you have a gluten problem, you will need to make sure that the oats you purchase are pure oats that are organic and have not been cross contaminated. They should be certified gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Foods That Can Be Stored
Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, green peppers, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, onions, spinach, tomato powder, vegetable stew blend and zucchini.
Fats and oils: Vegetable oil, olive oils, shortening, mayonnaise and some salad dressings with oil and vinegar in the mix.
Canned and bottled fruits, vegetables, beans, soups and tomato sauces: Plain canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans and lentils, spaghetti sauces, and organic pre-packaged vegetable soups are all a great addition to a gluten-free food storage program.
Snacks: Popcorn, gelatin and dried fruits.
Canned and freeze-dried meats: Canned fish (tuna, salmon and sardines), canned ham, chicken, beef and other meats. Freeze-dried meats packed for long-term storage.
Grains, seeds and thickeners: Acceptable gluten-free grains are amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown and white rice, rice bran and rice flour, teff, and buckwheat. Flax seeds, arrowroot flour, cornstarch and potato starch can be used to thicken gravies and sauces and are also gluten-free.
Condiments: Apple cider and white vinegars (but not malt vinegar), mustard, ketchup, horseradish, jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, relish, pickles and olives.
Cereals: Cream of rice, millet, pure organic oats (certified gluten-free) and gluten-free cereals.
Baking Items: Sugar, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, evaporated or condensed milk, corn meal, tapioca, baking soda, baking powder, gluten-free flours, high-quality baking chocolate, and cocoa.
Beverages: Coffee (some flavored coffees contain gluten), tea , soft drinks, fruit juice, powdered protein and other drink mixes.
Dairy products and eggs: Powdered milk and dried eggs are a great addition to a gluten-free food-storage program. Dried dairy products include dried butter powder, buttermilk, cream cheese powder, cheddar cheese powder, sour cream powder, scrambled egg mix, and whole egg powder. Dried dairy products can be used in baking as well as substituted in any recipe calling for the fresh product.
Beans and legumes: Dried beans are all gluten-free. Beans can be dry or canned. Dried beans can be ground into a bean flour and used as a thickener in gravies and sauces. Dried bean flour can also be cooked with boiling water until it is the thickness of refried beans. Refried beans can be used in any Mexican dish or made into a bean dip.
The following varieties of beans and legumes are available and will store for many years: 16-bean mix, baby lima beans, butter beans, large lima beans, black-eyed peas, black turtle beans, lentils, small red beans, small white navy beans, split peas, red kidney beans, refried beans, garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), great northern beans and pinto beans.
With the rise of diseases due to gluten intolerance or allergies to wheat, it would be a good idea to stock up on these gluten-free products.