“Is peanut butter gluten free? I have read several articles that claim ‘peanut butter is gluten free’ but I always notice a flair up in symptoms when ever I use it. Please help!” – Jason S. Sydney, Australia
This is one question we are asked on a regular basis so I’ll end the discussion once and for all. Peanuts are free from gluten and nearly every brand of peanut butter are also considered to be gluten free*. So YES, peanut butter itself is gluten free, but patients suffering from gluten intolerance need to remember the most common use for peanut butter; on a fresh slice of bread.
This isn’t an issue if you only have gluten free bread in your household, but if a family member or roommate uses regular, store bought bread and you use gluten free bread you are probably going to run into a problem.
Let’s use some imagery… Your spouse makes a delicious peanut butter and jam sandwich for their lunch break at work and use a knife to evenly coat each slice of regular bread. They dip the knife into the jar, smear a liberal amount onto the bread, dip the knife back into the jar, and apply more to the next slice and repeat this process until peanut butter is oozing from every edge of the sandwich. They, wash the knife and place it back in the drawer.
The next day, you feel like using peanut butter to make some cookies. You follow the directions carefully, and are certain that your utensils are clean and the ingredients are gluten free. Several hours after enjoying a couple of your amazing gluten free peanut butter cookies, you start to feel bloated, battle stomach issues and experience other symptoms. Why is this happening? This is a classic case of cross contamination. Your spouse unwittingly contaminated the entire jar of peanut butter the second the knife touched the bread and went back into the jar. Even minute amounts of gluten can cause many uncomfortable symptoms.
Submit your favourite gluten free peanut butter recipe in the comment section below.
When you understand this simple phenomenon called cross contamination you can enjoy your peanut butter as an ingredient in any of your favourite gluten free recipes, with pickles or right out of the jar (when no one is looking of course ). If you bake your own gluten free bread, enjoy each slice with peanut butter and rest assured it is entirely gluten free.
According to www.prevention.com, peanuts are very nutritious and contain the antioxidant vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and has lots of protein. Peanuts can also reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Oh, and did I mention peanut butter is gluten free?
Peanut butter, when used as a topping makes your food interesting and gives it the extra flavour. Peanut butter is loved by all age groups and is an excellent alternative for gluten intolerant individuals. Those suffering from gluten intolerance are often given an exhaustive list of foods to be avoided but rest assured peanut butter is not on that list. Within the permitted food items, individuals can make their own interesting dishes with peanut butter including cookies, waffles, pancakes, muffins, desserts, ice cream and many more.
Remember that peanut butter is gluten free and can be used as a sauce, as an accompaniment or toppings in a variety of dishes. Individuals with gluten intolerance can also bake peanut butter cups for themselves; remember that all the ingredients should be gluten free when buying store bought peanut butter products. You can also give yourself the treat of peanut butter balls that are made with rice and chocolate. A word of caution for peanut butter lovers: naturally peanut butter is gluten free; however some brands may contain wheat flour in them. It is therefore best to check the labels to ensure that you are not ingesting gluten in any form.
Being gluten intolerant doesn’t mean that you can no longer enjoy your favorite dishes. Gluten free foods are widely available and you can make them tastier than before by adding a scoop of peanut butter to them. Go and enjoy a gluten free life with peanut butter.
*ALWAYS READ THE LABEL BEFORE YOU CONSUME ANY PRODUCT