Today, we’re going to be looking at gluten-free cornmeal brands, but first, we must look at what cornmeal is – and whether it’s naturally gluten-free. Cornmeal is usually a staple for gluten-free life, so let’s take a look at why.
What Is Cornmeal?
Cornmeal is made of yellow corn that has been ground down. It can be ground into a variety of textures and consistencies, such as fine, medium, and coarse. It’s a common staple food in the US and you’ll most likely recognize cornmeal as the main ingredient in cornbread.
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But don’t be fooled – there is more to cornmeal than the main ingredient of cornbread. It’s bold flavor can brighten up a range of dishes and if you fry it, it creates a light, crispy texture. Delicious!
It’s very starchy – and of course, tastes incredibly corny.
Is Cornmeal Gluten-Free?
Does cornmeal have gluten? That’s the question we need to answer today. The answer is: it depends. If we’re looking at cornmeal in it’s most natural form, it is 100% gluten-free! As it’s just ground corn, there is no reason why cornmeal should not be gluten-free.
However, depending on where the cornmeal is made can change it’s gluten-free status. The manufacturing and preparation processes play a large role in whether a product can claim to be gluten-free. For example, preparing cornmeal on a surface that has been used to prepare gluten-containing products means that this product is no longer gluten-free. Cross contact is a huge risk for celiacs and gluten intolerants.
However, if the preparation process has this risk, the packaging of the product should reflect this. If there’s any other gluten-containing ingredients, they legally have to share this information on the ingredients label. However, it’s always best to opt for products that have gluten-free claims on the packaging. To do this, the final product has to contain less than 20ppm of gluten, meaning it’s suitable for a gluten-free lifestyle.
It’s important to note that just because cornmeal is usually gluten-free, this may not be the case for cornbread and corn muffins. Many brands use wheat in their recipes or other cereal grains, meaning you must avoid them if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Cornmeal Brands
There are a few gluten-free cornmeal brands to use which are safe. Let’s have a round-up of some of the best cornmeal on offer.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Medium Cornmeal
Bob’s Red Mill is an incredible brand to utilize if you’re gluten-free. They have a huge selection of gluten-free products available, including their golden yellow cornmeal. It’s easily accessible in your local grocery stores and is just under $4 a bag.
The only ingredient in this cornmeal is whole grain corn. Every gluten-free product at Bob’s Red Mill is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and tested for any gluten products. This means that this product is as safe as possible.
It’s Kosher and vegan, and also, each serving contains over 20% of your daily fiber intake! You can find Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal here.
Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Cornmeal Gluten Free
It’s full of flavor and a staple food for anyone that’s gluten-free. This cornmeal is more expensive, at around $7 a bag. But will still be easy to source in your local grocery store. The perk of this brand is that it’s organic, which may be something of importance to you.
The only ingredient in this cornmeal is organic whole grain yellow cornmeal. It’s also low fat, dairy-free, and sodium-free. This means it’s suitable for a selection of dietary lifestyles.
Great Value Yellow Cornmeal
It’s important to note that Walmart’s own brand does not make any gluten-free claims. However, it does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients and is not a “may contain”. But it has not been tested for gluten, so this may be one to try if your intolerance is mild. It is best to avoid these types of cornmeal if your intolerance is extremely sensitive or you have celiac disease.
If you’re on a budget though, this brand is great as it’s only around $2 a bag!
The ingredients in this particular cornmeal is unlike the others. As this cornmeal has been enriched, there are additional ingredients. But don’t worry – none of them contain gluten! The ingredients are:
“enriched yellow corn meal (niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)”
A great cheap alternative!
P.A.N Yellow Corn Meal
This brand is one of the most popular yellow corn meals – and guess what? It’s 100% gluten-free! And makes gluten-free claims, meaning it’s extra safe hurrah! Not only that, but it’s kosher and halal.
Much like the great value option, it is enriched. This means that it’s even better for you! The ingredients for the P.A.N. yellow cornmeal are:
“yellow corn enriched with Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate”
This brand is available on Amazon for around $10 a bag – so it’s not certainly not a cost-effective option. But it does have some great reviews!
I hope this article has helped you become more familiar with the wide selection of gluten-free cornmeal brands that there are available to us. Another point worth mentioning is that there are some brands of cornmeal such as Shawnee Best that you definitely need to avoid, as this product is a “may contain wheat”.
As long as you’re regularly checking labels for any ingredient changes, it’s very easy to enjoy cornmeal on a gluten-free diet. Cornmeal is a great replacement for wheat in some recipes.
What cornmeal do you recommend? Are there any that didn’t make the list that you think are worth mentioning? If so, please feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments below. You’ll likely be helping out others in the gluten-free community. Sharing is caring!
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