If you are new to a gluten-free diet, then you have to ask yourselves the question: Do potatoes contain gluten?
In essence, you are investigating if potatoes, in general, are gluten-free.
The simple answer is YES potatoes are free of gluten. However, there is a big BUT about this.
When you look at potatoes on their own, they are free from gluten.
However, it is when you cook and add other products that potatoes become nongluten free. (1)
And it is very important you understand this statement.
Especially so if your body has developed a gluten intolerance.
Below I’ll tell you all the important things you must know about this gluten-free (2) and nongluten free issue.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in a number of ingredients.
For instance, you find it wheat, rye, barley, and other grains.
Fortunately, potatoes aren’t grains, they’re a type of starchy vegetable.
So, as I said it above, they do not contain gluten.
Does potato bread contain gluten?
When people ask me this question, then I need to ask them a question back.
Are you referring to a piece of bread made of potato flour?
If so, there should not be any gluten in the bread.
However, like I said before, you need to be sure that the person producing, preparing, making, or baking the bread understand what is gluten.
As you know bread is usually produced in specialized bakeries.
In these bakeries, they also produce other types of bread.
So, who can guarantee that a little bit of flour did not fall in the dough?
No one. So, personally, I would stay away from potato flour type bread from the shops.
I would bake it at home. This would definitely provide me with a piece of mind that you cannot buy.
At the end of the day, there is nowadays equipment that bakes your bread without your intervention.
You just need to pour the flour and other necessary ingredients and press a button.
Then the bread is automatically baked for you.
You just need to take it out of your bread baker when done, cut it and enjoy eating it.
You are definitely safe with this option.
Do white or red potatoes contain gluten?
After reading the above, I think you have the answer to the question.
But for the avoidance of any doubts.
There is no gluten in white potatoes.
Similarly, there is no gluten in red potatoes.
Both of these types of potatoes are fine for you to eat without questioning yourselves.
I put together a thorough article about the benefits of eating red potatoes and I am you’d benefit from reading it.
Does potato starch contain gluten?
First, you need to understand what is potato starch (3).
Without understanding this, there is no need to tell about the gluten element.
To explain potato starch, it is best to provide you with the difference between potato flour and potato starch.
Here is the biggest difference.
When you use potato starch to produce a cake instead of using potato flour, then you’ll end up with what I call a tough hard piece of cake.
What I mean is that you’ll end with something as hard as a rock (almost).
And I am sure, no one wants to eat a piece rock at home instead of a cake.
Most of the time, people get confused with the names of the two different products.
At the end of the day, both products are produced with potatoes.
In addition, when you look at the pictures representing the products, they both look the same.
The main difference that you need to remember is a follows:
- Potato flour is produced from whole potatoes.
- On the other hand, potato starch is produced from the starch of the potato. NOT the whole potato.
Let’s have a look at both of these to understand where we should use one and where we should use the other one.
What is potato starch?
Potato starch looks like flour.
It is a very fine thin white type powder starch.
The texture is similar to cornstarch and unfortunately, it does look, to some, like it is flour. Well, it is NOT flour.
Producers of starch use the dried starch substance of peeled potatoes to make it.
The weird thing and the nice thing about it is that does not have potato flavor to it.
So you can use it everywhere in any recipe.
The best way to understand the difference between starch and flour is as follows:
Starch is a fantastic thickener for gravies, sauces, and even in custards and puddings.
It is usually used to replace cornstarch for individuals with a corn allergy.
Similarly, there are people who are on a paleo or on a grain-free diet, then these can use potato starch (instead of cornstarch).
How to use potato starch in cooking? A real trick
If you plan to use potato starch as a thickener in a gravy or sauce, then you need to use this as follows:
For cornstarch, you must boil the liquid that you want to thicken.
However, with potato starch, you must never boil the liquid.
If you boil the liquid, then the potato starch will lose its ability to thicken. So, you’ll have to redo your sauce or gravy ;(.
What is potato flour?
Potato flour is produced mostly in bulk from the whole potatoes.
I have to say that this may be weird for you.
But in the vast majority of times, the potato peel is used to produce the flour too. Nothing is thrown in the bin so to speak.
Now, what you really need to know is:
“If the flour looks too white (I mean really white), then I would personally walk away from it.”
The question you need to ask yourselves is this:
How can a potato with its peel become such a nice snowy white color?
I can tell you this is not feasible.
Unless you use some heavy chemical processes.
Think of this in a different way.
We all know that white sugar is bad for your health.
And the only way white sugar is being produced is by using some advanced chemistry.
This chemistry is bad for you, so does the chemistry used to produce a white flour powder.
So aim for a flour powder that is not too white, please.
Now back on how to produce the flour.
Both raw and cooked potatoes are used to produce the flour.
In both cases, the potatoes are dried.
They are then ground into flour.
The main issue is that the flour is colored (cream color).
The other problem is that the flour has a distinct potato flavor. And no one wants a cake that smells potato.
To remove some of this flavor, chemistry is used. And chemistry is also used to whiten the flour.
Note that you need to watch when you cook with potato flour.
Too much of it in a recipe and you’ll end up with a dense, gummy baked cake.
To give you an idea, a cake that has too much of potato flour will not really cook inside.
So please make sure to use the right measure when baking with this flour.
Does modified potato starch contain gluten?
The reality is that it should NOT contain gluten. Notice the word “should”.
As for any other product, I would invite you to read the ingredients that make up your modified potato starch.
Most of the modified starch do not contain gluten.
However, producers may hide some of the gluten composed ingredients in their recipe.
So reading the ingredients is always the best you can to eliminate any doubts.
You can also contact the company that produces the modified potato starch. Usually, you have a free toll number on top of the packaging.
They should be able to answer your question. I personally would do.
To be honest with you, I would not buy modified potato starch.
Anything that has the word modified brings the ring bell to me. So I avoid these by all means and I run away as fast as I can.
Does potato starch flour contain gluten?
I think by now you know the answer to this.
Nevertheless, I want to make it clear.
There is no gluten in potato starch.
Yet again, I always prefer to investigate the ingredients that make up the potato starch.
This is an old habit of mine and habits don’t die easily with me ;).
In essence, you should be able to see in the list of ingredients if there is any trace of wheat or other gluten substance.
Does potato salad contain gluten?
The answer is again NO potato salad does not contain gluten.
Like any of the different observations made above, potato salad does not contain gluten as long as you do not add other ingredients that are of gluten nature.
That is all.
Conclusion on do potatoes contain gluten?
I truly hope that you understand the dangers associated with potatoes and gluten.
The answer to the question do potatoes contain gluten is simple:
No, potatoes do not contain gluten.
However, side dishes may contain it.
Also, I showed you that when you order potatoes at restaurants, these can contain the dangerous substance.
So knowing how the potatoes have been prepared is key for you.
You need to be clear with the chef that you have an intolerance to gluten.
And if he does a mistake, then these can have adverse health effect that can at times lead to death.
That’s why I insisted on that you understand the issue in its entirety.
You can avoid gluten by avoiding restaurants, but I think you still must have a social life.
And therefore, you should not avoid restaurants. Instead, you should choose these carefully.
Many restaurants provide gluten-free meals. Still, ask what type of oil vat they use and if they cook anything else in that vat.
Please do not undermine these symptoms as you may end up in serious health trouble.
If you have any of these essential fatty acid deficiency symptoms, please increase your intake of Omega-3.
If you prefer to eat at home, then I have put together a set of red potato recipes. These are really nice.
Just make sure you avoid any side products that contain gluten.
And by the way, you can always try my succulent paleo salmon fish cakes. It is free of gluten.
So you have no excuse. Go and eat potatoes as long as you do not add side products with gluten or cook in a vat oil that had gluten.
Back to you
I hope you know now that potatoes do not contain gluten.
I invite you to read our detailed article about 10 health benefits of red potatoes nutrition. You’ll definitely learn why I like these potatoes in particular. It’s awesome.
Let me remind you one last time:
It is extremely important for you to keep with the fact that you must be careful at restaurants when eating out.
Though potatoes are free of gluten, it does not mean that other ingredients are too.
So, stay vigilant and enjoy your potatoes.
Please do not forget to take action and like the post and eat potatoes from time to time.
Share it with your friends and families and please leave a comment below.
See you soon in another Omigy post.