Note: This post is sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Gluten free eating is becoming more and more common. Almost everyone knows someone that is either celiac or gluten intolerant. Because gluten free eating is becoming more and more common, I wanted to share a few tips for entertaining and serving food to that gluten free friend or family member you may have.
Serve naturally gluten free foods.
If you are not familiar with gluten free ingredients and reading labels, it can be overwhelming to come up with gluten free food to serve someone, so focus on those foods that are naturally gluten free. Meat, dairy, vegetables, fruit, rice, and beans are all naturally gluten free. And there are many ways to cook them without adding gluten.
A simple grilled chicken served with vegetables on the side. Beans, rice, and shredded pork served with salsa, cheese, and corn tortillas is gluten free. Homemade pudding made with cornstarch is gluten free.
Salad served with a simple homemade dressing is gluten free. Serve it with grilled chicken and you have a simple gluten free meal.
Avoid Prepackaged Spice Mixes.
Often times gluten can be hidden in things, and if you are not familiar with reading labels, you might miss the fact that it contains some gluten. Prepackaged seasoning mixes often contain gluten. Things like taco seasonings, fajita seasoning, onion soup mix, and more, but that does not mean you can’t serve your guest these foods. Homemade taco seasoning and corn tortillas would make tacos the perfect meal to serve someone that is gluten free.
You are usually fine when using plain spices like oregano, thyme, garlic powder, etc. It is when you get into the blends and packages that you start to have issues. So homemade is usually the best and doesn’t take that much more work.
Avoid Cross Contamination.
If you are having someone into your home that is gluten free, avoid using flour in the kitchen while you are preparing and serving the food. Flour is very fine and usually creates a “dust” that is hard to completely clean up. So making bread or cookies shortly before serving dinner to a gluten free person is not a good idea.
Cleaning is also important. This is another one that may seem overwhelming, but really is not that hard. Just be sure to clean counter tops, cutting boards, etc that you might be using to remove any crumbs that might still be there. Simple soap and water does the trick.
Look for Prepackaged Gluten Free Foods.
More and more gluten free products are becoming available. And they are often available at regular grocery stores. Don’t be afraid to serve them. This works especially well if you have overnight guests that are gluten free. Don’t feel bad buying gluten free muffins like Udi’s or gluten free bread. There are gluten free cereals, crackers, and more available. These all work perfectly for times when you are serving more than one meal to a gluten free person.
Ask Them Questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask the gluten free person questions. I have had several times where someone called me to ask if something was safe to serve my family. I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I appreciated it. I made me realize that they really were trying to make things safe for us. And it showed how thoughtful they were being.
Ask Your Guests To Bring Food.
This is another one that I don’t mind doing at all. If we are invited somewhere I almost always offer to bring something. This assures me that my family will always have at least something safe to eat. And most people I know that deal with food issues and allergies feel this way. We love to be invited places to eat, but we also know how hard it can be to accommodate us. So don’t be afraid to ask that gluten free person to bring something.
If you are serving salad, you could simple say something like, I am not sure my salad dressing is gluten free, do you mind bringing some that you can have. If you are serving hamburgers or meat that needs bread, simply ask for that family member to bring gluten free buns. I know people often don’t like to ask someone to bring something, but everyone I know that deals with food issues does not mind at all. We are used to it and enjoy making it easier to have us over.
Now I would love to hear your tips for serving gluten free family and friends.
Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.