Ice cream is just one of those special foods we love so much. It’s a treat, a dessert, a comfort food. It’s so delicious on a hot summer day. Yet if you suffer from gluten intolerance or are on a strict gluten free diet, you may have found that ice cream has been deleted from your repertoire.
Gluten free ice cream is easily made at home for those of you who like to experiment and make your own foods. It is easily found in your supermarket’s freezer. You do have to read labels and try to stay clear of the obvious gluten laden flavors such as cookie dough and ones with brownies or other baked items included.
Ice cream that is freshly made contains no more than milk, cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla flavoring. If you have your own ice cream maker, you are well on your way to enjoying fresh, safe, gluten free ice cream whenever you so desire.
Certainly there are ice creams that contain gluten. The majority of premium ice creams do not. I say premium ice creams, not the store brands or other mass produced brands with funky flavors. There are ice cream brands that use a wheat based thickening agent to provide texture to a lesser quality ice cream. This is what you need to watch out for.
Remember gluten can come from not just wheat, but rye, barley, and even oats. Most ice cream companies are abiding by the rules and regulations requiring them to list allergens in their foods, and that includes gluten products.
Ice creams that are free of gluten are generally are flavors with natural ingredients and no additional items mixed in. Obviously, cookie dough, cookie pieces, brownies, and some chocolates (Ghirardelli for one) have gluten stabilizers added in in the form of malt which is from barley. Read your labels carefully.
The premium ice creams are generally gluten free as the product is more freshly made, does not contain stabilizers to insure long shelf life, and are clearly marked to alert consumers of potential allergens or gluten ingredients.
Learn about what ingredients could contain gluten, and you will do well to avoid those items in your ice cream. The fresher your ice cream — remember the ingredient list when you make ice cream at home — the more likely you will have an ice cream that will be enjoyable to you.
Some brands that are known to make ice cream without gluten are Edy’s, Breyer’s, Carvel, Skinny Cow, Coldstone Creamery, Ben & Jerry’s, Blue Bell, Blue Bunny, Haagan Dazs, and TCBY, which of course is a frozen yogurt dessert. Sorbets and Italian ices are also gluten free, as are various specialty items such as Edy’s Frozen Fruit Bars, Phillyswirl Frozen Stix, and most of the frozen juice bars.
You can have delicious gluten free ice cream just by watching the ingredients, knowing where and how gluten can sneak into your foods, and trying to consume only the freshest, most premium ice creams with natural ingredients.