If you haven’t actively followed it, you still probably have heard about gluten and gluten free food items. Many people have decided to shun gluten and remove it from their lives, and many others have had no choice. Maybe you have thought so too, and want to learn how to enjoy hamburgers without gluten interfering with your mealtimes. Here we have put together a little guide to do just that. First we’ll discuss just what gluten is and why some people avoid it, and then we’ll move on to gluten free hamburgers.
What Is Gluten
Gluten is a group of proteins that are found in various types of cereal grains like wheat, rye, oats, and barley. It is also present in related and hybrid wheat species, like Khorasan wheat, spelt or hulled wheat, emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, and triticale. It is also found in breads and malts as well, which is only natural as they are derived from the aforementioned grains. The name ‘Gluten’ comes from the Latin word for ‘Glue’. This is due to gluten’s property of becoming sticky and gluey once it is exposed to water, most apparent in flour. This unique property of gluten is what gives it the ability to make bread rise when baked, as well as the chewy texture we’re all familiar with.
Why Do People Avoid Gluten
Given gluten’s satisfying texture and its relatively cheap cost, why do some people still avoid it? Two reasons mainly, because they believe it to be unhealthy, or they are allergic to it. The most common reason, as you may have guessed, is being allergic to it. Being sensitive to gluten is not the only medical condition that demands a gluten free diet however. If you have celiac disease, or even just wheat allergy, gluten is a no go for you. Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance a person can have, and it affects almost 1% of the population. People with celiac disease have their immune systems classifying gluten as a foreign invader, and attacking it along with the lining of their gut. This can damage the gut wall and opens up the possibilities of several other illnesses taking place.
People many also suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wherein they do not have celiac disease but still react in a negative manner to gluten. Reactions can include diarrhea, stomachache, bloating, and even depression. Due to the discovery of this particularly baffling sensitivity to gluten, many people have decided that gluten may not be healthy, and have thus adopted gluten free diets whether they are sensitive to it or not. The 21st Century has seen the popularity of gluten free diets skyrocket, and many books have been published as well that demonize gluten and list its adverse health effects. 2014 estimates suggest that almost 30% of the populations of the United States and Australia are partaking in gluten free diets.
Gluten Free Hamburgers
And with having discussed gluten and the rise of the gluten free diet, we come back to gluten free hamburgers. Hamburgers are an extremely popular food item, and going gluten free does not mean you have to give up on them. Though the bun will crumble more instead of being elastic due to the absence of gluten. There are three ways you can go about making gluten free hamburgers: Buying premade gluten free buns, baking them yourself, or using substitutes. We discuss all three options below.
Premade Gluten Free Buns
If you don’t want to bother yourself with having to bake gluten free buns yourself, you have the option of buying some from a large selection of premade ones. For example:
- Pinnacle Foods sells premade gluten free burger buns. These ship frozen and in individual packets.
- Flowers Foods also sells premade gluten free buns. These are also individually wrapped and contain no trans-fat or cholesterol.
- Gluten Free Nation sells soft, fluffy, kosher, and dairy free gluten free premade buns. They contain no preservatives, trans-fat, or wheat.
- SmartBUN sells gluten free burger buns that are free of starch and sugar and have zero carbs as well, and thus are perfect for low-carb diets like keto.
Gluten Free Substitutes For Hamburger Buns
Who says a hamburger should always be wrapped in a bun? It should be a choice. And with the premade buns and recipes listed above, it now is. But, if you want to give your hamburger a unique twist while still staying gluten free, here are some delicious substitutes you can use for buns.
– Portobello Mushroom Buns
If you cut off the stems and empty out a giant portobello mushroom, then slightly oil it up and grill both sides for a few minutes, you have an excellent bun substitute for your hamburger.
– Potato Skin Buns
Prick a large potato with a fork and bake until it’s tender, cut in half and scoop out the insides. Slightly oil up the remaining skins and bake for another five minutes until it’s crisp. And you’ve got yourself something heavenly.
– Iceberg Buns
A very popular substitute for burger buns, iceberg can also be used to wrap a hamburger and tastes quite nice.
– Corn Tortilla Buns
Another tasty replacement for burger buns. If you slightly oil up both sides of the corn tortillas and grill for a minute, you get yourself a pretty good substitute.
And now you’re ready to make a delicious hamburger without any of the disadvantages of consuming gluten. Interested in other gluten free consumables? Read about gluten free beers here. If you’re just looking for healthier alternatives to burger buns, we’ve got a post on that as well.