Finding food in cans that is gluten-free can be tricky if you are on a gluten-free diet. Some ingredients, like wheat, barley, oats and rye, are easy to spot on lists of ingredients, but ingredients that contain these glutinous grains are more difficult to spot. There are hundreds of ingredients that you wouldn’t think contain gluten, but do. One good example of this is soy sauce. While there are gluten-free soy sauces available, most contain wheat and therefore gluten. Finding all of the ingredients that may contain gluten in canned food may take some detective work on your part, but there are some canned items that are gluten-free essentials for any well-stocked pantry.
Some soups are gluten-free and say so on the label. Others may contain gluten in the form of artificial colorings, thickeners and fillers. According to the Campbell Soup Company, only a few of its soups are gluten-free, including Swanson’s broth and stock. These stocks can be made into heartier soups with the simple addition of fresh or frozen vegetables and roasted meat. The Amy’s soup web page lists a variety of gluten-free soups, including curried lentil soup, Spanish rice and red bean soup, Indian golden lentil soup and black bean vegetable soup. When purchasing canned soup, avoid soups that have noodles and soups that are thickened with a roux-style base, like clam chowder and cream of mushroom soup. Instead, opt for broth or tomato-based soups and bean soups. If you are unsure about the gluten content of a specific soup, check on the manufacturer’s website, which will usually list the gluten-free options.
Canned tomatoes are gluten-free. Ingredients in canned tomatoes usually include tomatoes, water, salt and some type of a preservative. Canned tomatoes can be mixed into soups and broths, combined with herbs and meat to make sauce for rice or protein and used in stews. You can also combine them with legumes like kidney beans or lentils to make a hearty, gluten-free vegetarian main course. Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that is essential in every gluten-free kitchen.
Beans and Legumes
There is no gluten in canned beans. Ingredients in a can of beans usually include beans, water, salt and a preservative like citric acid. Canned beans and legumes are versatile in the gluten-free kitchen. You can use them to make soups, stews and purees. They can be added to chili or combined with rice to make a vegetarian main dish. You can combine garbanzo beans with tahini, garlic and lemon juice to make a hummus dip for raw vegetables. Black beans make a delicious soup, or you can combine cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans to make a three-bean salad. You can also toss drained beans on a salad for a bit of added protein and fiber.
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Karen Frazier is an author and journalist who has been writing professionally since 1987. She is a journalist and managing editor for "Paranormal Underground Magazine," as well as the wine site editor and a writer at LoveToKnow. Frazier has also written three books. She studied elementary education at Eastern Washington University.