6 Uncommon Foods That Contain Gluten

Nov 07 2015

6 Uncommon Foods That Contain Gluten

If you’re trying to lead a gluten-free lifestyle, it’s easy to see bread, doughnuts or pasta and know to stay away from them. But if you step out of your comfort zone often and try new foods, it’s likely you’ll cross paths with some items you’ve never heard of before. Some, you won’t know how to pronounce, let alone know what food “category” they fall into. So let’s take a look at six uncommon foods that contain gluten – no matter how you say them.

1. Spelt
This type of wheat is a hybrid of domesticated wheat and wild goat grass. Though it has gluten content that is relatively low and is good for baking, it’s still not considered a safe option for those with Celiac Disease. It’s also a little pricey considering there’s the extra step of husk removal before the process of milling begins.

2. Farina
This mild, sometimes referred to as bland, cereal food is made from wheat germ. It cooks in very little time, is fairly inexpensive and has high protein content, so there’s no mystery as to why it was a very popular breakfast option for so many years. If someone offers you Cream of Wheat, but the appearance of the substance in the bowl seems a bit darker, you may be looking at Farina instead.

3. Durum
This hard and widely cultivated wheat is mostly used to make pastas. Due to its lower gluten content, bread made solely with durum would fail to rise, so white flour is often added to the mixture for a normal, adequate loaf. The cost of durum, however, is not failing to rise considering recent harvests have yielded lesser results than in previous years.

4. Semolina
This uncommon food is actually the coarse creation of durum wheat, though the term can also encompass product made from rice or maize. If semolina comes from wheat, it’s usually yellow, compared to the white appearance of the latter. This flour can be found in desserts and as the base for couscous (as we’ll discuss later).

5. Matzo
This type of gluten is unleavened bread, traditionally eaten during Passover. It’s thrown together quickly and rolled, often referred to as “poor man’s bread.” It can also be a pasta substitute for lasagna or made into matzo balls for soup. The crackers and meals made from this wheat are readily accessible in many areas and are fairly inexpensive. There are also gluten-free versions of them made from gluten-free oats.

6. Couscous
Though this derivative of durum wheat is popular in the North African culture and highly regarded in France, there are many people out there who’ve heard of it, but have no idea what it is. After semolina is lightly sprayed with water and rolled into small capsule sized balls, they’re dusted with flour and then sifted. Once prepared, it’s often paired with vegetables and/or meat and is definitely not gluten-free, unless the label states it was derived from starch, brown rice or egg whites.