More and more people in my life have had to eliminate gluten from their diets recently, for one reason or another. This includes my husband, so this hits very close to home for me. Whether it’s just our own family dinner, hosting a BBQ, or attending a cookout at someone else’s house, I’ve been spending a lot of time experimenting with gluten free side dishes for barbecues this summer.
WHY DO PEOPLE EAT GLUTEN-FREE
Some people go gluten-free because they have a medical condition called celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Other people may have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, which means they experience unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, headache, or fatigue after eating gluten. Some people may also choose to go gluten-free for personal reasons, such as following a certain diet or lifestyle.
If you want to make gluten-free recipes, here are some tips that may help you:
Read the labels of packaged foods carefully and look for the gluten-free certification or symbol. Avoid foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, malt, or oats (unless they are labeled gluten-free) as these grains contain gluten.
Use gluten-free flours such as rice, corn, almond, coconut, or buckwheat flour to make baked goods. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid and leavening agents in your recipes to get the right texture and rise.
Substitute gluten-free pasta, noodles, or rice for regular pasta in your dishes. You can also use spiralized vegetables, such as zucchini or carrots, as a low-carb alternative.
Avoid cross-contamination by storing gluten-free and gluten-containing foods in different places. Keep cooking surfaces and food storage areas clean. Wash dishes and cooking utensils thoroughly before using them for gluten-free foods.
Experiment with different gluten-free ingredients and recipes to find what you like. There are many online resources and cookbooks that offer gluten-free recipes for various cuisines and occasions. You can also modify your favorite recipes by using gluten-free substitutes or omitting gluten altogether.
Here are some of our current favorite gluten free sides – husband and child approved!
Cowboy Caviar – love this on top of a burger!
Strawberry Mango Spinach Salad – the homemade dressing makes it!
[Baked] Perfect French Fries – because there’s nothing better than fries.
Broccoli Salad – this just screams “SUMMER BBQ”
Creamy Ranch Coleslaw – okay, maybe this really screams “SUMMER BBQ!”
Grilled Corn on the Cob – with parmesan cheese and garlic, no less!
Herbed Red Potato Salad – the epitome of summer side dishes.