Knowing how to prep gluten-free can be extremely beneficial. A person who is intolerant or sensitive to gluten must not eat foods containing it under normal circumstances, much more in a survival situation when there’s no professional medical help. But, nearly every food contains gluten, so what do we do?
It is impossible to stockpile foods with gluten if you or a close person is gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant. We have to consider alternatives to ensure that everyone preps successfully when necessary.
Steps To Prep Gluten-free
Gluten-free prepping is basically about having a surplus supply of gluten-free foods when SHTF. Also, it concerns identifying gluten-free foods, preparing them yourself at home, and storing them to prevent cross-contamination. Here we go.
Know & Recognize Gluten-free Foods
In recent times, it’s easy to recognize gluten-free foods on shelves, which is a stunning contrast to the situation, say, a decade ago. This was because such foods were strictly prescribed and reserved for persons with celiac disease. However, with the discovery that celiac was not the sole cause of gluten-sensitivity, that several other conditions could leave you intolerant or sensitive to gluten, it is now easier to come by those foods. To know and identify gluten-free foods, here are things to do.
Select “Certified Gluten-free” Foods
Presently, there is an independent org that confirms if food is gluten-free. All foods approved by this organization carry a “certified gluten-free” badge, indicating the moment you see them that they are great additions to your prepping stockpile. However, as you might have expected, this label can only be found on packaged foods, not fresh produce.
Note that food certified as gluten-free isn’t necessarily healthy for celiac patients. So, a portion of food can carry the certified tag and yet be unhealthy if you’re suffering from celiac. You, therefore, have to be careful when selecting food options. Take extra care to ensure that the product tagged “certified gluten-free” isn’t also tagged “unsafe for celiac patients”.
However, if your gluten-sensitivity isn’t linked to celiac, you can select every food that carries the certificate of gluten-free.
Peruse The List of Ingredients
Unluckily, not every food that is free from gluten carries the “certified gluten-free” tag. That doesn’t say they are unhealthy or unsafe for gluten-sensitive persons. So, you, therefore, have to do your research when shopping.
An easy way to check if a food is gluten-free or not is to check for wheat, rye, or barley among its ingredients. Gluten-sensitive or intolerant persons are incredibly allergic to wheat, and therefore, any food containing it or any of its derivatives must be avoided.
However, note that not listing wheat as an ingredient doesn’t conclude that the food is gluten-free. There are several other items to look out for. Sadly, various foods these days are doubtful, some of which are all types of malt, starches, yeasts, and wheat-derivatives.
When unsure of a food component, it is best to let it go or inquire directly from the manufacturer. This may seem excessive but believe that it isn’t. You don’t want to see a celiac patient take gluten— the effects can be terrible.
Know That Fruits, Veggies & Specific Grains Are Gluten-free
You tend to come across several fruits or veggies that carry the “certified gluten-free” badge, and while this can be reassuring, it isn’t really helpful. This is because fruits and veggies are naturally free from gluten.
However, it is unlikely to have fresh fruits and veggies in your stockpile, so you’d have to make do with dehydrated veggies, dried fruits, and canned products, some of which may have been made with gluten-related ingredients. When shopping for dried fruits or dehydrated veggies, therefore, make sure you select a product that is certified as gluten-free.
Some grains are gluten-free as well and are, therefore, excellent alternatives to gluten foods in your stockpile. They include rice and rice flours, legumes like beans and lentils, sorghum, certified oats, buckwheat, millet, certified corn, and corn-flour, certified quinoa, certified nuts, arrowroot powder and many more.
Preparing Your Gluten-free Foods
Gluten-free foods are sadly costly, particularly when carrying the badge of certification. As such, your prepping budget can be quickly depleted when stocking for gluten-free options. Fortunately, however, preparing some of these foods at home is possible, so you do not have to worry about expensive costs.
We have looked at naturally gluten-free foods above. Most of these foods are available around you at home or can be bought from a farm. You do not have to buy at the rate supermarkets are offering. To keep these foods healthy, you can freeze, dry, or dehydrate them.
To make flours, such as rice and corn-flour, you can use an electronic blender. This process is easy and cheap. Processing your nut flours at home saves you much more money.
Storing Gluten-free Foods To Avoid Cross-contamination
Since you’ll be going through so much effort making your gluten-free foods or spending so much to buy them from stores, you have to keep them well protected to avoid cross-contamination with wheat, rye, or barley. Foods contaminated by gluten can be very harmful, particularly to celiac patients.
Below are steps to ensure your gluten-free supplies remain gluten-free.
- Label Everything: Whether you’re planning to exclude gluten-free foods or not, labeling every item in your stockpile is necessary. This is even more mandatory if you’ve unwrapped the items. In your labels, remember to always mention if the food contains any allergen.
- Clean Excessively: Cooking gluten-free foods require you to clean more than regularly because they are easily contaminated. Keep a lot of soap nearby so you can wash every utensil the second you use; if this will be too tasking, set aside a set of utensils to use solely for a gluten-sensitive person.
- Cook Gluten-free Foods First: When cooking, especially in a not-so spacious place, ensure that you prepare the gluten-free foods before others, so you don’t have to worry about contaminated utensils.
- Be Watchful With Flours: Flours get everywhere when in use. You should hence be extra careful when baking. Keep gluten-free foods far away from baking flours to avoid contamination.
Conclusion On How To Prep Gluten-free
As you can see, learning how to prep gluten-free is an excellent thing. People who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten always suffer when they take gluten. I know a young, gluten-intolerant girl who turns completely red whenever she takes gluten no matter how slight.
Gluten-free prepping is not a joke. If the effects of taking gluten by an intolerant person can be so harmful now, imagine how worse it’d be during a survival situation.