Are strawberries gluten-free? I guarantee you this question is asked at least once a month in celiac forums and groups. The short answer: yes, all fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten-free.
Keep reading for the long answer to the question: are strawberries gluten-free?
With celiac disease, it is essential we are getting celiac-safe food. That means not only does our food have to be gluten-free but it has to be free from cross-contact with gluten too. That’s where the question on if strawberries are actually gluten-free comes in.
Here’s the thing, even if the strawberries are grown in hay or straw, they are still gluten-free. Let’s dive deeper into why.
In most cases, hay and straw are not as high-risk as you might think. Yes, they come from the wheat plant but straw doesn’t even contain gluten. Let’s break this down…
Hay is the entire dried wheat or other grass plants that often is harvested before the gluten grain develops. Though sometimes it can contain the seed. It’s often used to feed animals but if used when farming, could transmit low levels of cross-contact to produce like strawberries in the field (please keep reading though!).
Straw on the other hand is made from the stalks of wheat and other grasses (without the gluten grains) and is preferentially used for mulching and gardening.
Even then, the use of hay or straw in strawberry farming isn’t all that common. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter what’s used to mulch the strawberry beds.
Why? Because strawberries are often rinsed well before even arriving into the stores. And that’s not all, if you’re following best practices for produce, then the strawberries are washed a second time in your home. Thus, ensuring they are free from gluten cross-contact.
That’s because washing things does a good job at removing foreign particles from the surface of the things. That’s the entire point of washing. If washing didn’t do a good job, we’d be sick a lot more.
So strawberries are gluten-free and perfectly safe. Just make sure to wash them well (like you already should be) before use.
And if you need some recipes to inspire you to use these delicious red berries, check out these 20+ Gluten-Free Strawberry Recipes.