Happy early Memorial Day everyone! I took today off to kick start the long weekend since I will be celebrating my friend’s wedding for the remainder of the holiday. I am excited both for my friend and that the summer season is officially upon us!
We all know that summer is my favorite season and what better summer activity than barbecues and cookouts outside?! I know they are some of my favorite memories. When eating gluten free, these gatherings can be both a blessing and a curse so I wanted to focus this week’s tip on making it through summer potlucks, etc. safely and healthily!
GF Barbecues and Cookout Tips:
- Speak to the host before and offer to bring something. Ask what else will be on the menu so you can get a sense of what might be “safe.” Your good friends [hopefully] know about your food allergies so hopefully one or two will contribute something safe or at the very least be happy to accommodate you!
- Things like salads, fresh corn on the cob, watermelon, etc. are all naturally gluten free. Just be careful of cross-contamination!
- Chips and dip are often a summer cookout staple. Most salsas are naturally gluten free which is great news! If there are pita chips around, make sure you grab some salsa or dip before they have a chance to be tainted (and that they don’t share the chip bowl!)
- Not all chips are created equal. SO.MANY tortilla chips these days are certified [and naturally] gluten free which often makes this food a good option at gatherings. Just make sure to check the label so you don’t accidentally get glutened!
- If you have a favorite cookout food, you might want to offer to bring that dish to ensure you can eat it. Mine are baked beans so in the past I’ve offered to bring (or make from scratch) a gluten free variety for the crowd.
- Grills can be tricky. Last year I stressed out about grilled burgers and meats because I knew there was also going to be fish and buns on the grill (both a no-no for me). My friends were rockstars and grilled up the meat first and then grilled everything else to make sure I could eat. Again, they rock.
- Poolside gatherings are often my favorite because people tend to bring lighter fare like salads, fruits, etc. Just double check with your friends if they made something from scratch. I am never afraid to ask what is in something and if I’m hesitant, I frame it as a compliment – this [salsa] looks delicious! What all is in it?
- Beverages – I’m a huge fan of water during the day but sometimes a beautiful summer day calls for something a little more fun. Bring your favorite GF beer to have on hand or if other drinks are offered just double check labels and brands!
- Desserts can be tricky. Last year I made this easy cobbler that was a hit with GF and gluten eaters alike!
- Enjoy! Summer is sunny. And happy. And if you can’t eat a full meal while hanging out with friends you can dip into your emergency snacks or eat something after to round out your meal.
What’s your favorite summer food? Other tips for staying safe at cookouts?