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You are watching: Are quaker grits gluten free
If you've ever traveled south of the Mason-Dixon, you've probably spotted grits on a menu or two. Whether eaten with eggs or as a side dish at your evening meal, the creamy and quintessentially Southern dish deserves a spot in your regular rotation.
Adding to the well-deserved flattery, grits are also naturally gluten-free, as they're made from corn. However, due to risks of cross-contamination, not all store-bought grits are safe for those following a gluten-free diet.
Before you buy, make sure to check the packaging thoroughly. And if you're hesitant to order grits at a restaurant, learn how to make your own shrimp and grits (keep reading!) instead.
Grits are made of dried and milled corn, not wheat, rye or barley, making the grain a naturally gluten-free food, according to the Whole Grains Council. Usually, grits are eaten savory and prepared with other gluten-free ingredients such as hot water or milk, served with butter, cheese or meat for added flavor.
When it comes to nutritional value, grits are made up of mainly carbohydrates, with about 30 grams per quarter cup, according to the USDA. A serving of grits can provide about 10 percent of your daily iron intake, too. Nevertheless, you'll want to pair your grits with some lean protein and healthy fats for a more nutritionally balanced (and filling) meal.
As with all grains you buy in the store, always double-check the packaging to verify the product is gluten-free. Cross-contamination is always a risk with packaged or prepared foods and occurs when foods come in contact with other gluten grains or ingredients, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Cross-contact happens during preparation (as in restaurants) or during manufacturing (as in factories).
To confirm your food is free of unwanted gluten, look for a gluten-free label on the package. This label signifies that the food contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten (ppm), a value that's considered safe for those who are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, according to the FDA.
Or you can look for a certified gluten-free seal on the product. This means that the food has been tested by a trusted third-party organization. A common seal you may see is from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which tests with strict standards, verifying the food is less than 10 ppm of gluten, according to the organization's site.
Bob's Red Mill is popular for its grain products, grits included. These grits are gluten-free and contain no added ingredients.