All About Gluten Free Cheese
If you have always been attracted to the cheese then you must be well aware of the fact that with the help of it, everything can be made much more interesting and delicious. Cheese can be combined with basically everything.
But the people with celiac disease and those who have gluten sensitivity tend to follow a strict gluten free diet without all the dairy products. Gluten is not only harmful for them but also acts as a slow poison. Those who have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity are prohibited to consume gluten containing foods.
Cheese is generally made up from the milk from cow, goat, buffalo or sheep. The milk is first pasteurized in high temperature to kill the harmful bacteria in it. Although there are many beneficial bacteria as well which help in the digestive system.
The major ingredient for the production of cheese is milk and agar-agar. For any kind of gluten free product you can use agar-agar and gelatin to get the perfect cheese like structure. Glutenin is a protein found in wheat and is a major part of gluten which is generally absent in the cheese.
The group of people who have celiac gluten sensitivity or non celiac gluten sensitivity cannot carelessly eat the processed cheese. Gluten can decrease the patient’s immunity and make them weak and tired.
For this reason it is advised that you avoid gluten as much as you can and consume naturally gluten free food. This article will focus on the gluten free cheese and in the end you can also find a recipe to prepare cheese.
IS CHEESE GLUTEN FREE?
If the cheese is made up from milk without any further processing, then it is gluten free. There are various packaged cheeses which are labeled as low fat or fat free and no low sodium might have gluten in them because of the ingredients used.
It is always suggested that you double check the ingredients in the cheese to make sure there is no gluten in it. Buy the food products which are labeled as gluten free. They are the food products which are made with 100% consideration of gluten sensitive people.There is a certain kind of vinegar such as malt vinegar which contains gluten and is an important ingredient for the production of cheese.
If you are severely infected with gluten sensitivity then it is advised that you read labels to make sure that there isn’t any hidden ingredient. This way you can uncover the gluten which has been used as a thickener or stabilizer. There can be ingredients which increase the shelf life which also contain gluten.
Some of the hidden gluten source ingredients are:
- Wheat (contains glutenin, a wheat protein)
- Malt (present as malt vinegar or extract)
- Any form of starch or modified food starch
- Artificial color
- Artificial flavor
- Spice mix
To ease you a bit, I will also be mentioning certain varieties of cheese which are naturally gluten free and do not contain added products. These cheeses could be:
- Cheddar cheese
- Swiss cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Feta cheese
- Goat cheese
- Ricotta cheese
CONTAMINATION OF CHEESE WITH GLUTEN
It is true that most of the natural cheese packaging could be gluten free but the added ingredients one might add can include gluten in them. This is known as contamination of cheese.
There is one more possibility that the people who are sensitive to gluten might not have that much problem with the little amount of gluten. So they can include processed cheese in their diets.
There are people with celiac disease who cannot resist even a low amount of gluten. Even the gluten contaminated cheese can harm the patient in a serious manner.
The contamination to gluten is also known as gluten cross-contamination. When there is an addition of the extra ingredients in the food which have a hidden gluten source, it is known to be cross contaminated.
Nowadays there is one more type of cheese which has been popular in the market called beer washed cheese. You must keep in mind that beer is not a gluten free product. Beer washed cheese is recommended only if the beer is labeled gluten free.
Whereas you must completely avoid it because beer washed cheese has higher chances to get contaminated. Because it is always considered to be one of the processed foods and will have the need to call the manufacturer to double check.
The main question arises from where can the cheese get contaminated. So we have the answers for that as well. They can get in contact with the gluten in the initial stage when at the farm or at the factory.
During transport as well you cannot trust how the processed food reaches to you. In restaurants there are many knives and spoons to cook. Gluten free pan can get contaminated with gluten from the cooking sources. Same in grocery or deli stores there can be mishandling of the products.
GLUTEN FREE TIPS TO BUY CHEESE
So now that you are well aware of the fact that even the gluten free cheese can get contaminated, there are few tips which you must keep in mind before buying any kind of open and packaged cheese.
- Not just check but double check that the ingredients don’t have any hidden gluten content in the cheese.
- If the label reads gluten free, also check for the label of all natural. It makes sure that there is no additive in it.
- Make sure that you don’t buy shredded cheese or if you are in a restaurant make sure that you don’t order a dish with shredded cheese. This is because the shreds of the cheese are generally kept separated with the help of starch.
- Be mindful about the cross contamination at deli shops or any kind of grocery store.
RECIPE OF HOMEMADE GLUTEN FREE CHEESE
Nothing can be better and safe than the homemade products. You can be extra cautious and can also store the dishes. This will also help you to have a better and fresh tasting cheese.
Homemade gluten free cheese is not only good for your gluten sensitivity but also for your immunity system. The processed milk will help you gain extra energy and strengthen the weakened immune system.
Make sure that all your ingredients are gluten free.
COOKING TIME: 15-20 minutes
1 liter skim milk
2 teaspoon condensed milk
2 tablespoon corn flour
Salt and pepper according to the taste
3-4 teaspoon of agar-agar
- Put half of the milk in a heating pan and pour in all the corn flour. Keep the pan on the flame.
- Keep stirring the mixture until it becomes thick and has a consistency as that of a paste. Let it set aside to form a fermented milk
- Now heat the remaining milk until it is in boiling state and then close the flame.
- Stir the corn flour mixture yet again and pour it in the milk pan. Do remember to keep stirring.
- Add agar-agar to give the perfect cheese cube shape.
- Also add salt and pepper and heat it for a while.
- Remove from the heat and pour it in a bowl. Let it cool.
- Keep it in a texture until it gets similar to cheese consistency.
- Now you can serve it as a sauce with gluten free bread or have your own gluten free shredded cheese without any starch.
So, here it is all about the gluten free cheese. Cheese can be the most valuable ingredient in a dish. If you are a person with an allergy, you must take care about the ingredients. TRy more of the gluten free recipes to stay healthy.
Hope this article helps people with gluten sensitivity.
Stay gluten free!