Gluten is a common protein found in grains such as rye, barley and wheat. Other well-known grains such as semolina and durum also contain gluten. It’s particularly useful in binding food, giving it elasticity and helping maintain its shape.
While most people can tolerate gluten, you may be one of those people who must follow a strict gluten free diet. It can be because you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or you’ve developed a sensitivity to gluten. This could be devastating if you enjoy many foods that include gluten. However, you can find products such as gluten free beer to include in your diet.
If you’re in the process of compiling a list of beverages to include in your gluten free diet, read on to get some ideas.
1. Gluten Free Beer
There’s no need to completely remove alcoholic beverages from your diet because you can’t handle gluten anymore. Beer is one drink that’s full of gluten but fortunately, craft beer manufacturers are producing gluten free beer.
Without compromising on taste and experience, you can still get together with your friends and enjoy a beer with a gluten free option.
2. Fresh Fruit Smoothies
Many fresh fruits are safe to consume on a gluten free diet. Bananas, apples, peaches and berries are some examples of fruits you can add to a smoothie for a gluten free taste sensation. A combination of yoghurt, honey and crushed ice with your chosen fruit makes a delicious smoothie.
Make sure the yoghurt is completely natural and doesn’t include granola or other ingredients that may contain gluten.
3. Almond Milk
If you’re suffering from celiac disease you know it’s best to avoid any dairy products. So, what are your options? Almond milk makes a great alternative and is completely gluten free. You can use it instead of yoghurt in smoothies, giving a rich and creamy taste.
Avoid flavoured almond milk since the flavourings often include gluten by-products.
While most sodas claim to be gluten free, it’s always a good idea to scrutinise their labels. Homemade lemonade is a drink you can add to your menu plan. Just remember, this recipe should only include water, sugar, ice and of course, lemons.
Get adventurous and add some berries to your lemonade. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are great additions to any of these drinks.
5. Herbal Teas
Gone are the days when the only tea you could drink was the conventional cup made by your mom. Now, you can pick from a wide range of herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint and lemon thyme. These teas are refreshing, soothing and gluten free.
With anything that could potentially include artificial flavours, ensure the tea you’re drinking is 100% natural. By the way, normal tea is gluten free too.
6. Hot Chocolate
Who doesn’t enjoy a hot chocolate before going to bed on a cold winter’s night? The thought of scratching this soothing drink off your grocery list forever may be a depressing thought. However, if you make this hot beverage with pure cocoa, then you’re safe.
Pure cocoa powder is gluten free. It’s all the hot chocolate powders that you need to avoid. Once again, always check the label and make sure the only ingredient is 100% cocoa.
For those who need a kick start in the morning, rest assured you’re safe with coffee. But, if you’re drinking a flavoured coffee at your local coffee shop, it could have gluten by-products in it. The best way to drink your coffee is with milk or cream if you’re not lactose intolerant.
Watch out for hidden gluten by-products in iced coffees because many ice creams do include this ingredient.
8. Coconut Milk and Water
Both coconut milk and water are great on their own or as additions to smoothies, coffee and even to fresh fruit juices. What’s more, you can add them to a number of food dishes without worrying about loading your meal with gluten.
Ice-cold coconut water is a great alternative to water on a hot summer’s afternoon and you can always add a slice of lemon to give it some natural gluten free flavouring.
9. Tomato Juice
Here’s another refreshing and healthy drink to have on hot summer days when you want something more than a glass of water. Tomatoes are completely gluten free and you can add a zest to the drink by including celery, green peppers and salt & pepper.
Avoid commercially made tomato juices as they could include gluten by-products. However, some brands do make gluten free tomato juices, so always read the label.
A Final Word on Gluten Free Drinks
Changing over to a gluten free diet can be challenging. So many of the foods we are used to eating include gluten in some form. The same applies to beverages. For many, the prospect of giving up their favourite ale or a soda can be depressing. But, if you look hard enough you’ll find a gluten free beer at your local craft brewery or you can make a delicious lemonade.
A gluten free diet requires you to think out of the box and explore what’s available. There’s always an alternative to your favourite drink without you having to compromise too much.