4 Tips for Your Healthy Gluten Free Summer Picnic

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Backyard barbecues and picnics are nearly synonymous with summertime. After all, who doesn’t enjoy gathering with family and friends, tossing a few burgers and dogs on the grill and chilling out in the backyard?

Of course, when you must live gluten-free, that’s not quite as easy (or relaxing) as it sounds.

To keep your backyard barbecues and picnics safe, delicious and relaxing, as they should be – even on a gluten-free diet – check out these 4 Tips for Your Healthy Gluten Free Summer Picnic and fire up the grill!

1. Grill right.

A great barbecue could go up in flames if the grill is not free from gluten. Be sure to avoid cross-contamination by making sure the grill grate is thoroughly cleaned prior to use and by keeping gluten-containing foods away from the grill. For more on gluten-free grilling safety, read my article, “6 Tips for Avoiding Gluten on the Grill“.

2. Meat matters.

Pure ground meat or poultry is naturally gluten-free. However, be sure to purchase only “pure” ground beef and not pre-made patties with add-ins like bread crumbs or seasonings that contain gluten.

Hot dogs are a bit more challenging due to the addition of wheat as a binder in some brands. Choose brands like Applegate Farms, Nathan’s Famous, Dietz & Watson, and Boar’s Head, which all claim to be gluten-free. Always be sure to read the labels, as ingredients can change without notice to the consumer.

3. Make it BUN-believable!

A good gluten-free bun is probably the biggest request I receive. While I love making my own hot dog and burger buns, and some of you do, too, there are times we just want to “grab and go” and that’s when a ready-made gluten-free bun can be a lifesaver!

Udi’s Classic Hot Dog Buns and Hamburger Buns can make summer picnics and barbecues feel like old times – without the worry of gluten getting in. That’s because anyone will enjoy these savory buns – gluten-free or not – so you can pick up a pack or two and serve these to everyone! That’s just one more way to avoid the fear of cross-contamination from “regular” bread products. And Udi’s buns are also dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free, so they are ideal for those of us with multiple food allergies, too!

4. The Condiment Conundrum.

Most condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are gluten-free so it is unlikely you will get “glutened” from adding these on your burger or hot dog; however, there are some brands we need to watch out for due to the addition of wheat or other gluten ingredients. Always read condiment bottle labels before consuming.

A more likely means of getting gluten from a condiment is via cross-contamination from using communal condiment bowls, bottles or jars.

For example:

  • Your picnic buddies are eating their burgers on gluten buns and go back for the ketchup bottle – with the same gluten-y hands that held the gluten-filled bun. You pick up the bottle later, and although the risk is slight, for some of us who are very sensitive to gluten, there is a risk of gluten contamination. (Suggestion: Use a clean napkin to grasp the ketchup bottle to provide some protection for your hands, and wash up after using if possible, just in case.)
  • A shared jar of mayo or mustard may mean gluten on your burger or hot dog. “Double dipping” of knives or spoons that touch gluten-filled breads contaminate the entire container. If you’re not the first to use or using a dedicated jar, you may want to avoid these altogether or consider having your own individual packets handy. You can find these via minimus.biz, a very handy resource for small packets of ketchup, mustard, mayo, salad dressings, and more. These are great for travel, too!

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You can even make your own condiments, if you please! Check out these simple recipes for myAvocado MayoHomemade Ketchup and spicy Chipotles in Adobo.

Now that you have these 4 Tips for Your Healthy Gluten Free Summer Picnic and know where to find excellent gluten-free buns for your dogs and burgers, you’re all set for some relaxing backyard fun!

Happy Memorial Day! 

Gigi 

All content copyright Gluten Free Gigi, LLC. Please share courteously, providing link back and full credit for my work. Thank you. 

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