Nuts in their pure form are gluten-free. Peanuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, and all other natural nuts are gluten-free. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are also gluten-free. The thing you have to watch out for with nuts is packaged nuts that have flavors added. Many of those are gluten-free but several brands make nuts with wheat added into the seasonings that have been added to the nuts.
Blue Diamond and Planters both make many flavored nuts that are gluten-free. Read the label to determine the gluten-free status of any nuts. Typically, any nuts that contain gluten do so in the form of wheat, not barley or rye. Nuts are one food category that has fairly easy to read labels, making it simple to determine the gluten-free status of the products. Candied nuts are also an area of concern when it comes to gluten. Some brands are gluten-free and others are not. Naturally, Fresh Salad Toppings nut products are all gluten-free, according to the Atlanta based manufacturer.
Candied nuts in restaurants contain gluten more often than not. For whatever reason, the Chefs at many places add flour to the coating mixture for candied or spiced nuts. Often times I’ve ordered salads that come with candied nuts, only to be advised that I can’t have the nuts due to them containing gluten. It’s extremely easy to make both candied and spiced nuts without any flour whatsoever – gluten or otherwise. Here are a few tasty recipes from Recipe Zaar, in case you want to make some for the holidays.
Nuts are something you have to read the labels of, just like every other item that is not labeled gluten-free. The main thing to remember is that plain, unadulterated nuts are gluten-free and all others need to be checked for their gluten-free status. Any time I’m ordering a dish with nuts when dining out, I double-check with the server, asking them to double-check with the Chef that the nuts are indeed safe for me to have. For some reason, nuts are one of those things that are often overlooked when dining out, in regards to gluten. When looking for safe foods to enjoy at holiday parties, remember not to assume the nuts on the table are gluten-free.
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