Is Pudding Gluten Free?
The question, “does pudding have gluten?” is becoming popular these days. While some people claim that gluten has no bad effect on them when eaten in moderation, there are those who actively avoid consuming them. This is why desserts, such as pudding, are being considered as gluten-free sweets.
What is Gluten?
Before asking if pudding has gluten, you should first understand what gluten is and what it is not. Gluten is made of a family of proteins that are commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. There are two main components of gluten – glutenin and gliadin. The latter is known for causing the negative effects of gluten on people.
The purpose of gluten is to help create a glue-like consistency that enables flour to become elastic. As you all know, the dough’s elasticity is necessary for the texture of the cakes and pastries it will be made with. Gluten is also responsible for letting the dough rise when they are being baked.
Do You Need to Go Gluten-Free?
Like what was said earlier, gluten is not at all bad unless you are specifically allergic to it. People with celiac disease suffer from gluten intolerance which is why gluten-free foods should only be consumed. There are also those with gluten intolerance that cannot digest the gluten properly. Some people with gluten sensitivity react to gluten differently. While others experience loose bowel movement, some have stomach aches, headaches, and even inflammation.
On the other hand, if there are no symptoms of allergies and pain while you consume gluten, chances are that you don’t need to go on a gluten-free diet. However, if you choose to avoid gluten altogether, then the choice is still yours.
Cross-Contamination – A Precaution
In spite of products being labeled as gluten-free, they still have a chance of containing gluten due to cross-contamination. Cross-contamination occurs when an ingredient with gluten gets accidentally mixed with a non-gluten product.
For example, a mix of gluten-free dough is placed on a bowl. However, bits of wheat get thrown near the bowl where some of its particles fell on the actual dough right beside it. While this scenario is highly unlikely, you cannot risk these scenarios if you are very sensitive to gluten. In the end, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
Is Pudding Gluten-Free?
Pudding is one of those desserts that you can opt to have as gluten-free. This is because its main ingredients like eggs, salt, and dairy are gluten-free. It also includes cornstarch, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract that are all gluten-free.
When asking “is pudding gluten free?”, take note that pudding means differently in other places. The pudding described above refers to American pudding which is a creamy and somewhat glutinous dessert. On the other hand, in England, their pudding is not like the creamy dessert. In fact, it is a type of bread pudding that contains a lot of gluten.
Types of Pudding That May or May Not Have Gluten
- Jell-O pudding
One of the most common types of pudding is Jell-O. This product is common in grocery stores and they are ready to eat after you open the packaging, but is Jell-O pudding gluten free?
While they are not labeled gluten-free, Jell-O has almost no gluten because of the ingredients used in it. In other words, Jell-O is one of the safest gluten-free puddings. However, you should still check the label when buying Jell-O. This is because some artificial flavoring or coloring might contain gluten. If you are not sensitive in gluten, then the amount of gluten in this type of pudding is not something to worry about.
- Instant pudding
If you’ve bought some homemade mixes in the grocery, chances are that you’ve seen instant pudding. Instant puddings have the common ingredients of American pudding – dairy, eggs, salt, cocoa, etc. This type of pudding is gluten-free. What about puddings with flavors? Is chocolate pudding gluten-free? Does vanilla have gluten? As long as it is in Jell-O form, they are all gluten-free.
On the east side of the world, Asian countries also have their version of instant pudding. Since Asians are known for their sweet tooth, there is a high chance that their pudding contains sugars. Hence, they may contain gluten.
- Rice pudding
Just as the name suggests, rice pudding contains gluten since rice is filled with it. If you have celiac disease or are very sensitive with gluten, then you should steer clear of this type of pudding. Don’t worry, most people are not fond of rice puddings anyway.
- Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire pudding is an English side dish that is often made with flour, eggs, milk, and water. Because it contains flour, it definitely has gluten. However, there are some people who have created recipes of Yorkshire pudding with a flour that is gluten-free. This means banana flour and other similar alternatives.
- Bread pudding
You also have bread pudding. Bread pudding is a bigger version of Yorkshire pudding and it has certain crispiness in its crust. It can include other flavors like apple or cinnamon.
Bread pudding is a lot like Yorkshire and rice pudding simply because their main ingredient contains gluten. So if you react badly with gluten, this is another type of pudding you don’t want to have beyond your reach.
- Healthy pudding
With the rise of health-conscious individuals, several recipes of pudding are also starting to come up online. If you will notice, these types of pudding often have some kind of fruits, nuts, and an alternative to flour that is low-fat and gluten-free. While these are almost always gluten-free, some ingredients that are mixed in the dessert can contain gluten. For healthy puddings, it’s best to break down the ingredients and check individually if they contain any gluten.
When determining if a type of pudding is gluten-free, the rule of thumb is to check if it uses flour or rice. If they do, then they are not gluten free puddings. It also helps to check the label as it contains a breakdown of the ingredients and nutrients that are found in the pudding. If you want to make sure that your pudding is completely gluten-free, go for homemade recipes of your own pudding.