It’s crazy to think how many people I know have developed food sensitivities and allergies. Being aware of what other people can eat has become more and more important, if tricky at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to look at my own plate and not what other people are eating.
But these days, whether I’m hosting a meal at my home or attending one with a friend or family member, I’ve learned to become aware of what they’re putting in their mouths. As a person who really enjoys food, feeding people and watching them enjoy a great meal, I always want to make sure that everyone has something delicious to eat, regardless of their dietary restrictions.
Recently I’ve had to start thinking a lot about allergens in food. My Brazen Woman business partner has a host of food allergies with new ones cropping up by the day. My significant (aka boyfriend!) other’s daughter has a peanut allergy. And many of my friends are either gluten intolerant or celiac, including my mother. In other words, I’m no stranger to looking for great replacements or options to satisfy the hordes.
With the prevalence of all of these food issues, being careful with what I buy and serve has become less of an option and more of a crucial necessity. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone getting sick on my watch!
Imagine my gladness (I think excitement would be a bit of an exaggeration) to find out that Quaker has added a new line of gluten-free oatmeal products. Perfect for breakfast and making all everyone’s favourite oat-based recipes, the products in the range are produced in a Gluten-Free Certified facility and bear the Canadian Celiac Association logo.
I know what you’re thinking: oats are naturally gluten-free. What the heck is the big deal here? Well, sure they are, but just like with other serious allergies, when someone can’t have gluten, they can’t have any of it. Someone with celiac disease cannot ingest anything that’s been cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye and barley—whether at the farm, in storage, or during transportation. That’s what makes this Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal and Quick Standard Oats so special. They’re milled in an unparalleled oat milling system that ensures that they are free from gluten-containing grains.
In other words: they’re foods I’d be happy to serve my mother.
Wonder how they do it? I was curious, so I asked. The process for producing gluten-free oat products is interesting.
Step 1: source the highest quality oats
Step 2: Screen the oats at the world’s largest oat mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Only the right oats move on to gluten-free production
Step 3: Put the oats through a special mechanical and optical sorting system that seeks out and removes gluten-containing grains based on length, density and colour
Step 4: Test and sample the equivalient of 3,000 40 g servings of dehulled oats (groats) by putting them through a specialized inspection system. The only way the lot will be used for gluent-free processing is if all samples pass. Otherwise, they’re sent off to be repurposed for non-gluten-free products
Step 5: Mill and transport to the packaging line in dedicated equipment
Step 6: Thoroughly clean the line to make it ready to produce gluten-free product
Step 7: Add in any additional ingredients. They’re already been screened and validated gluten-free
Step 8: Test samples of finished product to ensure they meet both Health Canada and Quaker standards
Sounds like a detailed process, but for those who need it, an encouraging one. Now who’s ready to make some gluten-free muesli or oatmeal cookies? ME, that’s who!
Quaker is proud to offer Canadian consumers two new gluten-free Quaker products – Maple & Brown Sugar Flavour Instant Oatmeal and Quick Standard Oats. For more information and where to buy, visit QuakerOats.ca.
This post was generously sponsored by Quaker, but as usual, all opinions—and there are many of them— are my own.