Being on a gluten-free diet can be challenging, especially when you shop for necessary food condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup and mustard. It can also be tricky to find gluten-free oils and sauces. Shopping for spices may even present certain difficulties to those of you who are highly sensitive to gluten. What is the best approach to make when buying these things? Are any of these items labeled “gluten-free”? Can you find substitutes for gluten-filled condiments? Find the answers to these questions and much more below.
There are certainly a lot of condiments that contain gluten. Some of these have gluten as a staple ingredient, even when you don’t suspect it. For example, soy sauce often has a high amount of it (see my previous article on gluten-free soy sauce). Fortunately, popular food items such as, tomato sauce, ketchup and yellow mustard are either listed as already being gluten-free (Heinz ketchup and French’s yellow mustard) or you can easily find a brand that sells a gluten-free version of the condiment (tomato sauce).
Here’s a warning for all those who are a really sensitive to gluten cross-contamination or who react to grain-based vinegars: almost all of these condiment products contain some kind of vinegar. Some use apple-cider vinegar, which is considered safe for most gluten allergens; however, some of these food items contain grain-based vinegar instead. Make sure to always check the label of the condiment for information about its vinegar content.
Most cooking and specialty oils such as olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil and corn oil are considered by the company to be gluten-free. However, if the oils are flavored, it is far more likely that they will contain some sort of gluten. So, to be on the safe side, avoid all the flavored oils and stick to buying only the plain oils.
Any fresh herbs or spices that you buy in the produce section of the grocery store will always be perfectly safe to consume since they never contain gluten of any kind. Of course, you can always grow your own spices if you prefer them super fresh and free of preservatives. Most spices are easy to plant and cultivate.
If you prefer dry spices, I would recommend that you buy McCormick’s single ingredient spices. These are all considered gluten-free since they contain less than 20 parts per million. However, McCormick reports that many of these spices are processed in the same facility that processes gluten-based spices. So, if you react to gluten cross-contamination, you would be much better off using fresh herbs in your cooking. Otherwise, stick exclusively to McCormick’s dry spices if you are moderately gluten-sensitive. Always read the ingredients on the label before buying any other brand of dry spices.
As long as you practice the usual amount of caution when shopping for food condiments, sauces, oils and spices, you will be perfectly fine when cooking and consuming these ingredients. You can still use the traditional ingredients that we often take for granted in the kitchen and make those delicious dishes that you have always loved. Enjoy food once again!