Friday, July 1, 2011

Tips for a safe, gluten-free 4th of July!

Summer and the 4th of July holiday are a great time for eating and socializing outdoors in the Bay Area.  Being gluten-free can often be difficult while attending a BBQ at a friend or family member’s house.  With that in mind, here are a few quick tips on how to eat safely and gluten-free at a BBQ:

Never Show Up Without Something To Eat – Always make sure that there is something for you to eat at an event by offering to bring a gluten-free salad (make a quinoa salad for an extra source of protein) or side dish.

Have The Host/Hostess Grill Meat First Then The Bun – Nothing can be more painful than watching your beautiful burger be ruined by bread crumbs at a BBQ!  Speak up to your host/hostess!  Ask them to grill the meat or fish first and then have them heat up the buns.  You can then safely whisk away your meat and enjoy it on a gluten-free bun before it becomes contaminated.

Aluminum Foil Is Your Friend – Cooking on a potentially contaminated grill?  Take no chances – cook your meat on a piece of aluminum foil in order to allow you to cook your food on the same grill without the risk of cross-contamination.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Buns – You can easily bring your own gluten-free bun to a friend or family member’s house for a BBQ.  Ask the host/hostess to place your bun on aluminum foil on the grill to toast it up for you prior to enjoying with a piece of grilled meat.

Beware of Hidden Sources of Gluten – This is one area that you need to pay particular attention to.  Sauces, marinades and salad dressing are often guilty of containing hidden sources of gluten.  There are many mainstream brands of sauces, marinades, and salad dressings that are gluten-free but you need to really read the labels to make sure that the item offered at the BBQ is truly gluten-free.  Ask to read labels of what you are eating.  If they already threw out the bottle of the sauce, marinade or salad dressing that they used it’s better to go without.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Relax and Enjoy Yourself – Do your homework, bring something for yourself to enjoy at the BBQ, and make every effort to educate your host/hostess about the gluten-free diet so you’re able to relax and enjoy the 4th of July holiday with friends and family!

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