101: The Grains & Ingredients of Gluten Free

Grains to Avoid



Barley + brewer’s yeast, barley malt


Variations of Wheat

  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Freekeh
  • Fregola
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Low-gluten wheat
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale (a cross-breed of wheat and rye)
  • Wheat starch (unless it tests below 20 ppm per the gluten- free food labeling rule)

Gluten Free Grains and Flours

  • Amaranth *
  • Bean flours -chickpea, fava bean, navy bean
  • Buckwheat *
  • Corn – corn flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, grits, hominy, masa harina
  • Millet *
  • Nut flours -almond, pecan, hazelnut, peanut
  • Oats (certified gluten- free)
  • Potato – potato flour, potato starch
  • Quinoa *
  • Rice -brown rice, white rice, sweet rice
  • Sorghum *
  • Tapioca starch
  • Teff *

*These are nutrient-dense flours and grains. Great to combine with RYZE Yellow Flour Blend to make gluten free breads.  See our bread recipes (add links to bread machine bread and my baguettes).


Ins and Outs of Gluten Free

Wondering which baking ingredients are gluten free? Here’s the Scoop.

Vanilla extract

Although it is extracted using alcohol, vanilla extract is gluten free. The distillation process of making alcohol captures the gluten molecules in the distillation filter, removing the gluten.

Vanilla Flavor is chemically derived. No gluten there.

Dairy-free buttery substitutions

Dairy-free substitutions do not contain gluten. However, some contain soy, another food allergen.

Chocolate Baking Chips

Several brands are of chocolate chips are gluten free including Nestles, Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Enjoy Life Foods.

Other brands may contain barley malt. Read labels carefully.  Carob chips (carob is a substitution for chocolate) are often sweetened with barley malt.

Butterscotch Baking Chips

Some butterscotch chips, like Nestles brand, are flavored with barley malt. Hershey’s, Aldi’s Baker’s Corner, and Guittard brands are gluten free.

White Chocolate Baking Chips

Many are sweetened with barley malt including Ghirardelli brand. Choose Hershey’s or Nestles brand.  Both are gluten free.

Cinnamon Baking Chips

Hershey’s brand is gluten free.


Vinegar is distilled. Like alcohol, the gluten molecule is caught in the distillation filter so all vinegar is gluten free.  There are exceptions.  (Aren’t there always?)  Malt vinegar contains barley and, because it is fermented and not distilled, it is not gluten free.  Ingredients in flavored vinegars should be checked with the manufacturer before using.


Distilled alcohol does not contain gluten. Like vinegar, the gluten molecules are too large to pass through the filter in the distillation process.  Exceptions are fortified alcohol where a bit of mash (from grain) is added back after the distillation process.  Alcohol infused with flavors might also be a problem.  These need to be checked with the manufacturer.  Wine coolers (contain malt) and beer are not gluten free either.

Most liqueurs are safe. Wine, brandy, sherry, tequila, and dark rum are inherently gluten free.  Most gluten free beer is made from sorghum, corn or rice and is safe.  However, people with celiac disease should avoid beer that says “gluten removed.”  This beer is fermented and made from barley.  There is no protocol for testing this beer.


Oats are grown in fields where the crop is rotated with wheat or barley thus making them unsafe for people on a gluten-free diet.

Farmers are growing oats in dedicated fields and harvesting them with equipment that is not shared. These oats are labeled gluten free and are safe for a gluten-free diet. This process is known as “purity protocol” oats.

In the past couple of years, a new process mechanicals separates regular oats from wheat and barley after harvesting. Referred to as “mechanically separated” oats, these products can have “hot” spots where gluten levels may be too high to be safe.  Therefore, mechanically separated oats probably should be avoided by people with celiac disease.

Always read those labels as ingredients do change.

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