Are you a bagel lover who is also gluten intolerant or has celiac disease? Good news: you can still enjoy your favorite breakfast or snack! Gluten-free bagels are a great alternative for people with dietary restrictions or who simply want to reduce gluten intake. In this article, we’ll explain what gluten-free bagels are, how to make them, how to eat them on a gluten-free diet, where to find the best brands, the health benefits of choosing gluten-free, and what to look for when shopping.
What Are Gluten-Free Bagels?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, consuming gluten can cause digestive discomfort or damage to the intestine. Gluten-free bagels are made without these grains and use alternative flours such as rice, corn, or quinoa. They also often contain xanthan gum or other binding agents to imitate gluten’s texture and elasticity.
Gluten-free bagels taste different from traditional bagels, but they can be just as delicious. Some people prefer the slightly denser and chewier texture of gluten-free bagels, while others miss the familiar softness and fluffiness of wheat-based bagels.
The Best Gluten-Free Bagel Recipes to Try at Home
Making gluten-free bagels from scratch may sound intimidating, but it can be a rewarding experience. By making your own bagels, you can control the ingredients and customize the flavors to your liking. Here are some popular recipes for gluten-free bagels:
– Simple Quinoa Bagels: using a blend of quinoa, tapioca, and coconut flours, these bagels are high in protein and fiber.
– Paleo Bagels: made with almond flour and coconut flour, these bagels are grain-free and keto-friendly.
– Easy Brown Rice Bagels: this recipe uses brown rice flour, potato starch, and millet flour for a nutty and chewy bagel.
When making gluten-free bagels, it’s important to follow the recipe instructions carefully, especially when it comes to the ratio of flours and the amount of liquid. Gluten-free dough can be sticky and tricky to handle, but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t look like regular dough. Use plenty of flour on your hands and on the surface to prevent sticking, and give the dough enough time to rise.
How to Eat Bagels on a Gluten-Free Diet
Bagels are a staple breakfast food or midday snack, but when you’re on a gluten-free diet, it can be tough to find safe options. Here are some tips for enjoying bagels without risking gluten exposure:
– Buy certified gluten-free bagels: look for the label that says “gluten-free” and confirms that the product has been tested and meets the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
– Toast your bagel: toasting can help break down some of the proteins in gluten that can cause digestive discomfort.
– Use a separate toaster: if you share a toaster with gluten-eating family members or roommates, buy a separate one or use toaster bags to prevent cross-contamination.
– Choose gluten-free fillings and toppings: cream cheese, avocado, smoked salmon, nut butter, eggs, and veggies are all great options. Be cautious with processed meats and sauces, as they may contain gluten or wheat fillers.
The Top Gluten-Free Bagel Brands You Need to Try Today
If you don’t have time to make your own bagels or simply prefer store-bought ones, there are several gluten-free bagel brands on the market. Here are some of the most popular ones:
– Udi’s: known for its wide range of gluten-free bread and baked goods, Udi’s offers plain and flavored bagels made with tapioca starch and millet flour.
– Canyon Bakehouse: specialized in gluten-free bread and buns, Canyon Bakehouse also produces plain and everything bagels with brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and yeast.
– Schär: a European brand that features gluten-free bagels with a light and crispy crust and a soft inside.
The Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Bagels
Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, not just because of celiac disease or gluten intolerance but also because some people believe it can improve their overall health. Gluten has been linked to inflammation, autoimmune conditions, and gut disturbances in some individuals, although the evidence is not conclusive.
By choosing gluten-free bagels, you can reduce your exposure to potential allergens and enjoy a diet that’s rich in other grains and fibers. Some gluten-free flours are also more nutritious than wheat flour, such as quinoa, teff, or amaranth, which offer more protein, vitamin B, and iron.
What to Look for When Buying Gluten-Free Bagels
When shopping for gluten-free bagels, it’s crucial to read the labels and ingredients list to avoid any hidden gluten or fillers. Here are some things to keep in mind:
– Look for the “gluten-free” label: as mentioned above, this indicates that the product has been tested and contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.
– Avoid cross-contamination: make sure the bagels are stored in a separate area and not close to wheat-based products.
– Check for fillers: some gluten-free bagels contain corn syrup, soy flour, or other additives that may not be suitable for you.
– Buy from reputable brands: do your research and choose brands that have a good reputation and customer reviews.
Gluten-free bagels have become a staple food for many who follow a gluten-free diet or have gluten intolerance. With the variety of recipes and store-bought options available, anyone can enjoy a bagel without compromising their health or taste preference. Whether you make your own or buy from a trusted brand, always check the labels and be mindful of any potential cross-contamination. Remember, gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthier, and it’s important to seek advice from your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your diet.