Disclaimer: This list is entirely my own opinion and from personal experiences, and is meant to be a guide. Please use caution according to your individual needs as this information is not to replace that of your healthcare professional.
The summer months are off to a great start, and grilling season is finally in full swing. Whether you host or attend, summer picnics and barbecues can actually have many hidden sources of gluten. If you have Celiac or are avoiding gluten, I have some tips to help you reduce the risk of getting sick from cross-contamination!
If you are hosting the party at your own home, you have more control over what goes on your grill and what dishes are being served. Offer to cook all main grilling dishes yourself, so that only gluten free ingredients go on the grill. You can also use some tin foil for anyone who brings their own food, if you aren’t sure about the ingredients used.
But what if you are the guest? If you can’t speak to the host ahead of time about the food being served, here are some tips to help you feel comfortable at your summer gathering:
Bring Your Own Food
I always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you aren’t sure of what is being served at the party, bring your own meat and buns and offer to bring a few dishes to share so you know you will have something to eat. If you know what there will be some gluten free dips, bring your own crackers and ask to scoop some dip out on your plate first before anyone cross-contaminates it.
Serve Yourself First
Although you might not be the only guest at the party, check with the host to see if you can serve yourself first before everyone else… especially if the meal is potluck style. This way, you can use all utensils before they may become cross-contaminated, or before the salad croutons accidentally spill onto a plate of gluten free appetizers.
Bring a Grill Pan
When using a shared grill, you probably won’t have the convenience of cleaning it yourself to ensure it’s safe. Instead of worrying about what goes on the grill, bring a grill pan and offer to grill your own meat and veggies. I like the Weber Grill Pan, and it’s something that I always do when eating at family gatherings.
If you don’t want to use a grill pan, you could also use tin foil as a protective barrier on the grill. You may also want to bring your own grilling utensils, to avoid any mistakes and cross-contamination when moving food around.
Watch Out for Hidden Gluten
Be aware of certain items and dishes that could contain hidden sources of gluten. These might include sauces, dips, processed cheese, pre-made meat patties (may have bread crumbs or soy sauce), dressings, salads, and even chips. When in doubt, don’t eat it.
Eat Before you Go
Eating before you go is always a good idea, especially if you are unsure of what will be served. If you can’t make some gluten free dishes to bring to the party, bring some snacks with you in case you get hungry and can’t find anything safe to eat.
Ready to start cooking or hosting? Here’s 50 gluten free recipes to help you make the most of your summer grilling party or picnic.
For the Grill:
Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs by Once Upon a Chef
Grilled Baby Potatoes with Mojo Verde Sauce by Kitchen Treaty
Grilled Portobello Burgers by The Roasted Root
Balsamic Grilled Zucchini by Valerie’s Kitchen
Teriyaki Paleo Grilled Chicken Skewers by My Natural Family
Grilled Steak Fajitas with Cilantro Chimichurri by Gluten Free Daddy
Grilled Chicken with Spice Rub by Joyful Healthy Eats
Garlic Hummus Crackers by Gluten Free Vegan Pantry
Toasted Coconut Mixed Nuts by Everyday Maven
Chipotle Lime Popcorn by Hola Jalapeño
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps by Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Crispy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings by Joyful Healthy Eats
Gluten Free Sticky Asian Wings by Mama Knows Gluten Free
Prosciutto Melon Mozzarella Skewers by A Dash of Megnut
BBQ Bacon Meatball Skewers by Around My Family Table
Sauces, Dips, and Dressings:
Sweet Strawberry Salad Dressing by Amy Myers MD
20 Minute BBQ Sauce by My Natural Family
Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing by Mama Knows Gluten Free
Spinach and Artichoke Hummus by The Nasty Nutritionists
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip by The Dirty Sifter
Chimichurri White Bean Dip by My Wife Can Cook
Goat Cheese Bacon Guacamole by A Dash of Megnut
Grilled Corn and Avocado Pasta Salad by Iowa Girl Eats
Salads, Salsas, and Sides:
Grilled Corn and Avocado Pasta Salad by Iowa Girl Eats
Grilled Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad by With Salt and Wit
Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette by Cooking Classy
Greek Yogurt Coleslaw by Gimme Some Oven
Paleo Low Carb Coleslaw by Wholesome Yum
Lemon Dill Potato Salad by Apples for CJ
Black Bean and Corn Salsa by Zest and Lemons
Mocktails and Cocktails:
Strawberry Lemonade by Elana’s Pantry
Cranberry Lime Mocktail by Gluten Free Homemaker
Sparkling Pomegranate Coconut Mocktail by Kiip Fit
Margarita Mocktail by Gluten Free Club
Mojitos Recipe by Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Ruby Red and Rosemary Honey Cocktail by Cookie and Kate
Summertime Breeze Cocktail by Simply Gluten Free
Bars and Cookies:
Chewy Sugar Cookies by Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies by Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Beaming Baker
Vegan Paleo Pecan Pie Bars by Allergy Free Alaska
Strawberry Crumble Bars by Bakerita
Ice Cream and Cold Treats:
Strawberry Coconut Swirl Popsicles by Zest and Lemons
Chocolate Covered Kiwi Pops by Diethood
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Popsicles by Beaming Baker
Easy Pineapple Sorbet by Fearless Dining
Frozen Key Lime Pie Tarts by My Gluten Free Miami
Coconut Mango Popsicles by The Little Epicurean
Mango Kiwi Lemonade Popsicles by A Cookie Named Desire
Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles by One Lovely Life
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