Rice: Is It Gluten Free?

If you’ve been living the gluten-free lifestyle for some time, it’s not a surprise to hear that rice is, indeed, gluten free. In fact, rice is the most widely-eaten cereal grain on the planet with more than 3 billion people – that’s half the world’s population – relying on the grain each day.

Inexpensive, nutritious, and versatile: The reasons for adding more rice to your plate are plentiful. It’s often a go-to ingredient for many pre-packaged gluten-free products. Also, rice flour is a staple in many gluten-free kitchens.

While unprocessed rice is gluten free, including white, brown, jasmine, and many, many more (there are more than 40,000 varieties), there are some things to consider when shopping or eating out.

Be sure to carefully check the label on rice that is sold prepackaged with spices or sauces. There’ a chance that the ingredients in the spices or sauces may not be gluten free. One common product to watch out for is rice pilaf, traditionally made with orzo, a pasta, which is definitely not gluten free.

Another, perhaps less obvious, concern is cross-contamination. Unless the rice your purchase is certified or labeled gluten free there’s a chance it may have been contaminated with barley or wheat during processing. One thing to definitely avoid is purchasing rice from a bulk bin in the supermarket. It’s all too easy for shoppers to use the same scoop for gluten-filled grains and gluten-free rice. When eating out, be sure to ask waitstaff about how the kitchen prepares the rice and make sure nothing’s been added that would contaminate your meal with gluten.

Gluten-free rice recipes 

Whether it’s basmati, aborrio, wild, brown, short grain or long grain rice, there is a perfect side dish for every meal. If you’re getting hungry, check out these gluten-free recipes that use rice in a variety of delicious ways.

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