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Jane Anderson

Gluten In Ice Cream??

By July 22, 2013

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Ice cream has been one of our go-to treats ever since we began following the gluten-free diet, and it's always been hard for me to imagine someone putting gluten-containing ingredients in an ice cream flavor that doesn't absolutely require them (obviously, Oreo cookie ice cream is going to be gluten-y, but vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream don't need to be).

But an alert reader messaged me on Facebook the other day to let me know she'd been out for ice cream, and the owner of the cafe told her there's flour in virtually all the homemade ice cream selections sold at that cafe.

So I started looking at recipes for homemade ice cream, and discovered that yes, some recipes do indeed call for flour -- usually a couple of tablespoons to help thicken the mixture. This recipe from About.com's Guide to Southern Cooking is one such recipe: Chocolate Ice Cream with Flour (don't try this ice cream at home -- it's not safe!).

Obviously, even a tiny bit is way too much for us, so we'd have to give that flour-containing ice cream a pass.

The lesson here? Never assume something is gluten-free (even something that seems like it ought to be gluten-free, like simple vanilla or chocolate ice cream) unless you actually verify the ingredients. I've always followed this advice, but I have to admit that my review of ingredients in ice cream parlors has been a little cursory. Now I know we can't let down our guard for a minute.

Here's the rest of my advice for keeping safe when you order ice cream out: Gluten-Free Ice Cream Parlors

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutCeliac.

Photo Getty Images/Richard Ross

July 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(1) rose says:

Jane, thanks for your blog. I get your newsletter and I think you are fantastic at explaining things. I am usually dairy free to so this doesn’t raise an issue for me.
But I was recently traveling with a group and trying hard not to be a pain to everyone else. Trying to be gluten free and dairy free was such a hassle. You normally have to choose which way you need to go. I can do a small amount of dairy without keeling over, but I can never do even a small amount of gluten.
Language barriers and other peoples complete lack of knowledge about the issue made it impossible on at least one occasion to avoid being poisoned or just go without eating for an entire day.
Thanks for what you do. Have a great day.

October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm
(2) Amanda says:

I found the BEST homemade ice cream has a frozen banana base! Cut up you RIPE bananas and freeze them. Once frozen add them to a GOOD blender, I have a Ninja Professional (worth the price!!) then you can add all of your own gluten free ingredients! I make mine with vanilla, cocoa powder, nuts or even add some VEGA protein powder, vanilla almond flavour or the berry one!

December 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm
(3) Teresa says:

Avocado would be a good base too.

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