Now that summer is in fully swing, I’m sure you have been invited to a BBQ or plan to have it for summer. BBQ is my favourite season! I love walking through the neighborhood at dinner time and smelling the smokey BBQ smells floating through the air. Whether it be thick juicy steaks, marinated chicken or good old fashion hamburgers, my mouth is watering!
Living a gluten free lifestyle makes BBQ season a little more challenging. Thankfully these days many classic BBQ foods such as buns, BBQ sauces and seasons are made without the addition of gluten, but that doesn’t mean people with Celiac disease are out of the woods just yet!
Here are 5 tips to enjoy a happy, healthy, PAIN FREE BBQ season:
1. Ensure Cooking surfaces are clean – Grills are one of the easiest places to have gluten free items coming in contact with gluten items. Unfortunately, gluten is not like a bacteria. It can not be killed or broken down by heat. It is estimated that it takes between 500-600 degrees F to affect the gluten protein and none of the grills on the market reach those types of temperatures. If you are cooking on your own grill, you can dedicate one side of your grill to gluten free cooking to ensure no cross contamination. If you are visiting family or friends, its important the host to cook your meat on a piece of tinfoil or in a pan or cook it on a clean section of the grill prior to adding gluten products. Also be aware that gluten free products should be placed on the highest tier and never placed on the warming rack. It only takes one drop of those delicious meat juices to ruin an entire meal.
2. Read marinade labels – Many marinades contain gluten as a binding or thickening agents. When reading the label, look for soy-sauce, teriyaki sauce and Worcester sauce which are a few of the common hidden gluten ingredients.
3. Avoid Cross contamination – Cross contamination can be very painful and uncomfortable for someone with celiac disease. Whether it is cooking a gluten free burger on an area of the grill that was previously used for a regular burger, or crumbs left over in condiments, these gluten contaminates, no matter how small, can cause a reaction in a person with celiac disease. Its very important to use separate utensils when preparing and cooking gluten free food. Using different colour utensils (i.e. black for gluten and white for gluten free) or wood vs plastic are two ways to help keep the cross contamination down.
4. Eat First – It may sound rude, but by serving yourself first you can ensure that salads, rolls and meats haven’t been exposed to cross contamination or accidentally placed on the wrong plate.
5. Endulge in Gluten free foods– Luckily, there are many companies on the market that offer amazing gluten free tasting foods. One of my favourite Gluten free BBQ must have is Glutino’s Baked Potato crisps. Offered in both BBQ and Salted flavour, these chips are to die for! Salty and crunchy, they are the perfect companion for your next camp out or summer BBQ.
Gluten Freedom – Dr. Alessio Fasano MD
For more great tips for staying pain free, I highly recommend reading the book Gluten Freedom. Written by Dr. Alessio Fasano, This book covers the latest developments in research and treatment for gluten related issues. Dr. Fasano is one of the world’s leading experts on gluten related disorders and the founder of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Celiac Research. Covering topics from getting a proper diagnosis to pregnancy with celiac disease to tips on living life with celiac disease, this book is a must have for people newly diagnosed with celiac disease and a good read for those who have lived with it for years. I have read many gluten free books on my celiac journey and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It went into further depth of the scientific facts and research related to celiac disease rather then glossing over those topics. That being said, it was written in such a way the people who aren’t scientific minded can still read and enjoy this book.