5 Surprising Gluten Free Products

** Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, nor am I associated with the medical profession in any way.  Anywhere on glutenfreeandfull.com, the words “gluten free” mean that my son, who has been diagnosed as having Celiac Disease by medical professionals, did not react negatively to the product.  Use any product at your own risk, and always double check the ingredients list of every product you try.

Lucky Charms TreatsEvery time I get groceries, I take a little time to randomly roam the aisles and check the ingredients of products on the off chance that they may be gluten free.  I’m not talking about the stuff that you might find in the specialty sections, but those mainstream products that the majority of folks never have to think twice about.  More often than not, it is a futile search.  Occasionally, though, I come across something I didn’t expect.  Below are five of those items, in no particular order.  We use all of these products on a regular basis, and my son has yet to have a negative reaction to any of them.  Your results may vary, however.

While the Lucky Charms cereals do not specifically mention wheat in their ingredients, they do mention a lot of oat oriented stuff.  And to be perfectly honest, I have never been a fan of how General Mills’ cereals list ingredients that have possible allergen ramifications.  They list those ingredients in bold instead of simply providing an allergen warning at the bottom of the list.  So we have always been just a little leery of Lucky Charms cereal.  Lucky Charms Treats, on the other hand, have a clear allergen warning listing milk and soy as possible culprits.  The treats are a tasty snack, or a nice side when packing that school lunch.

Quaker Yellow Corn Meal

Really? Corn Meal?  Yep.  It is amazing how many corn meals are actually a corn and wheat flour combination.  When you live in a tiny town that only has one grocery store, the choice of products is understandably reduced.  But we were shocked when we first went to purchase some corn meal and found that not a single product they carried at the time was gluten free.  In the years since, I believe the Quaker Yellow Corn Meal is now available, but originally we had to go to Walmart just to find some usable corn meal.  In this case, the bigger surprise may be that there are not more gluten free options available.

Corky’s BBQ Pork Dinner

Frozen dinners are often very difficult to find for gluten free customers.  Over the eight plus years since my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, we have only discovered a tiny handful of frozen dinners that would not make him sick.  Fortunately, there is Corky’s.  They actually have three different dinners, all of which we have tried.  This one, however, is my son’s favorite.  Not only is this dinner safe for him, but it is definitely one of the better tasting “TV” dinners available, gluten free or not.  When your in the mood to simply throw something in the microwave, give Corky’s frozen dinners a try.

Healthy Choice Cajun Style Chicken and Shrimp

Here is another of those handful of frozen dinners I mentioned.  Shrimp is something my son can’t seem to get enough of, so when he read the ingredients list of this product, he had to give it a shot.  Not only did it not make him sick, he really enjoyed the taste and has eaten it several times since then.  There is another of these Café Steamers, Roasted Beef Merlot, that my son has also found to be safe, but his preference is with the chicken and shrimp.

Nature Valley Oats N’ Dark Chocolate Granola Bar

There has always been a huge debate about oats and their impact on those with Celiac Disease.  I am not going to pretend to be able to suggest whether or not oats is a viable solution for you.  What I can tell you is that these granola bars have had no negative impact on my son, and they are a hit as both a snack and part of the school lunch.  There are several varieties of these granola bars, but we personally have only tried the dark chocolate and the honey versions.  Both are enjoyed a great deal in my house.  It’s up to you to decide about oats in your gluten free diet, but if they don’t bother you, give these granola bars a shot.

What items have you found to be gluten free that surprised you?  We are always on the lookout for new things to try.  If you have something to share, please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow up:  If you found this article helpful or interesting, you can also check out 5 More Surprising Gluten Free Products.

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