Oats for the Gluten Free

Oats are a breakfast staple that I simply just can’t do without. Whenever my sailor, Tom, is home from his duty station, our favorite thing to do is go to Coney Island for breakfast. While my boyfriend’s stomach is equivalent to the Man of Steel’s, I’m the one with the gluten intolerance and egg allergy, making breakfast (especially in a restaurant) a difficult meal for me to eat safely. I’m always scared to order oatmeal in a restaurant, not sure how it will hurt my stomach later.

Breakfast shouldn’t be perilous, even if my stomach is like the wimpy Lois Lane.

That being said, I’m sure there are many gluten-sensitive people out there like me who love to have oatmeal with their bacon and coffee in the morning. But is it gluten free?

The short answer is yes, oats are gluten free. But like any other food product in the world, contamination is always a huge issue. This is especially a problem with oats. Most of the commercial companies who produce oats also produce wheat, barely and any other gluten-containing particles that could be potentially hazardous to your health.

So what does that mean for someone who is gluten free?

Definitely avoid all instant oatmeal packets and try your hardest to find oats labeled “gluten free” on the front. Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand for gluten-free oatmeal. If you’re looking for instant flavored oatmeal, GlutenFreeda is a great brand with a variety of flavors and certified gluten-free oats.

As for eating oatmeal in a restaurant, this should be avoided at all costs unless you want to play Russian roulette with your stomach. It’s more than likely contaminated, but it’s up to you if you want to take that risk. Just don’t forget where your kryptonite might be hiding.

This really sucks for those of us that love the Quaker brand or getting oatmeal in a restaurant. But like everything else, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There’s also a shitty plot twist when it comes to oats- not all people who have gluten sensitives or Celiac disease can even ingest certified gluten-free oats. Many Celiacs have a hypersensitivity to oats and cannot stomach them at all.

So what do those unfortunate souls who cannot process oats whatsoever use as a replacement?

Quinoa is always a great option for hot cereal. I’ve never personally tried it as hot cereal, but there are many recipes that make it look simply delicious. Another great alternative is Cream of Rice, a gluten-free hot cereal from the makers of Cream of Wheat. As a kid, Cream of Wheat was the best thing on the planet (not to mention Coco Wheats) and I thought Cream of Rice had the same great flavor.

Regardless, there are many great options for hot breakfast cereals for us that don’t have a Man of Steel stomach.

I think my boyfriend might be sticking to his superior oatmeal making skills at home from now on.

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