Hash browns are a great addition to just about any type of breakfast. You can prepare them in a ton of different ways, creating flavors that appeal to just about any taste bud. While this popular side dish is defiantly delicious, is it gluten-free?
Hash browns on their own or cooked with other approved foods are a gluten-free option for anyone trying to avoid this protein-based cereal grain.
So what are hash browns, and how can those sensitive to gluten enjoy this menu item? Let’s take a look.
Are Hash Browns Gluten-Free?
Anyone who has a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten knows just how important it is to avoid any food with this protein mixture, especially wheat.
A lot of breakfast foods are full of gluten since the majority of them are bread or carb-based made from wheat and other cereal grains.
This means people who suffer from celiac disease or experience any discomfort digesting these items have a rough time when ordering out, having to typically pass on pancakes, french toast, and even most breakfast wraps, leaving little option left.
Luckily, hash browns are considered a gluten-free choice as long as they are prepared, cooked, and served correctly and without cross-contamination.
When Hash Browns Are Not Gluten-Free
Unfortunately, many people, restaurants, and prepared hash browns sold on the store’s shelves will fry their potatoes in a breading to give them a little extra flavor and that desired crunch. While this is typically a popular way to order hash browns, it also makes them a no-go for anyone avoiding gluten.
You see, most mixtures used to cover hash browns are defiantly not gluten-free and are almost always made from some type of bread. So unless you specify you want hash browns without the bread coating or you order a gluten-approved option, you won’t be able to order them.
How to Prepare Hash Browns for Gluten-Free Diets?
Despite how difficult it may seem, finding gluten-free options, hash browns can be the exception. There are plenty of creative ways to prepare this breakfast favorite that even gluten-intolerant people can enjoy.
There are many popular and easy ways to prepare gluten-free hash browns; it just takes a little trial and error to decide which one is right for you.
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The Basic Hash Brown
The basic hash brown primarily contains potatoes and a few spices for a little added flavor.
The ingredients to prepare the basic hash brown includes:
- Shredded or chopped potatoes
- A pinch of pepper
Add a little oil to a frying pan and combine all the ingredients, string, and flip until the potatoes are golden and crispy, then serve as a side dish or add as the main meal.
Hash Browns With A Little Extra
A lot of people prefer to order their hash browns with some added ingredients just to up the ante on taste and texture.
The ingredients to prepare these hash browns can include but are not limited to:
- Shredded and chopped potatoes
- Green Peppers
Hash Browns With A Bang
For those who like their hash browns as the main meal rather than the typical light side dish, there are some hardy ingredients you can add that can still keep their plate gluten-free.
Ingredients to prepare these hash browns can include but are not limited to:
- Shredded and chopped potatoes
You can prepare this dish in a few different ways, from frying it up in a pan to layering the ingredients in an oven-safe cast iron skillet or a baking dish and creating a fantastic gluten-free casserole.
Tips for Buying and Ordering Hash Browns If You Need Gluten-Free
Just because hash browns are naturally made from gluten-free ingredients doesn’t mean all of the options available to you are going to, in fact, be gluten-free.
To keep yourself from spending a ton of time in the bathroom or struggling with an uncomfortable gut, here are some tips for buying and ordering hash browns for a gluten-free diet.
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Look for the Label
Many packages and menus will have their gluten-free items marked as such. When purchasing hash browns from your local grocery store, look for the label somewhere on the container.
When ordering from a restaurant, look for their gluten-free menu section. Many big chains and even some smaller ones now offer an entire menu for special diet restrictions.
Be Straight Forward
When ordering your breakfast from a restaurant, let the wait staff know from the get-go you are gluten-intolerant; this way, they can help you decide which options are best for you, and they can also ensure the cooks in the back know to watch for cross-contamination when preparing your hash browns.
Look for the Word Wheat
If the products you are considering grabbing at the grocery store aren’t clearly labeled gluten-free, check the ingredients list provided on the back of the package; if there is any hint of the word wheat, it is not a gluten-free product.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Whether you are in a restaurant with a group of friends and family or strolling down the aisle at the grocery store, never be afraid to stop and ask questions to ensure you are getting a safe product.
It might not be obvious that the hash browns served at your local diner actually include a gluten-based crust or other ingredients that can irritate your stomach; taking the time to ask isn’t going to hurt anyone and can make all the difference to your health.
Likewise, if you can’t find any evidence one way or the other on the store-bought brands, do a quick google search or head straight to the company’s website to make sure you are buying a gluten-free product.
Plain hash browns made with potatoes, salt, pepper, a little butter, and other gluten-free ingredients are perfectly fine options for a gluten-free lifestyle and very tasty too. It is once you start to add in wheat products such as bread crumbs that the meal is no longer appropriate for your plate.