If you’ve ever made an effort to remove gluten from your diet, you know that it’s much more challenging than it seems. Every pizza and pasta dish needs to be carefully checked; every pastry is a liability.
With gluten everywhere, you may be wondering, “Is Açaí gluten-free?” Well, it absolutely is!
Whether you’re Celiac, gluten-intolerant, or simply looking to cut gluten out of your diet, this guide is for you. Let’s explore how Açaí and a gluten-free diet can go hand in hand.
Once you understand where gluten comes from, it’s relatively easy to spot products that don’t contain it. Gluten is a catch-all name for a type of protein that exists naturally in a handful of grains. These are:
- All varieties of wheat
The “glu” part of its name is accurate; gluten acts as a sort of bonding agent in foods and other products. Even though it only comes from grains, gluten seems to find its way into every aisle of the grocery store.
The ever-present nature of gluten in our food can make it challenging to avoid—especially if you have a medical reason to do so.
Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
As more and more gluten-free products hit the shelves of your local supermarket, you may be wondering why people avoid wheat protein.
Around 1% of all people—including three million Americans—have Celiac disease. An autoimmune disease, Celiac is an extreme intolerance to gluten that can lead to intestinal damage.
Less severe—but equally troubling—is gluten sensitivity, which is a negative reaction to gluten that stops short of intestinal damage. Some people are also allergic to gluten; eating it may not be harmful, but it’s certainly unpleasant.
Needless to say, there’s a sizable market for gluten-free products like Açaí. The best way to manage it is to reduce or eliminate gluten from your diet. To do that, you have to look for gluten-free foods.
What Does it Mean for Something to Be Gluten-Free?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), companies can only add the term “gluten-free” to their labels if there are fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten in the food. This tiny amount of gluten has been deemed unavoidable (and safe) for those with Celiac disease.
So, if you see a product on the shelf with a “gluten-free” label, you can rest assured that the food is:
- A naturally gluten-free ingredient
- Free of any gluten-containing grains (either naturally or through gluten removal)
- Safe from any cross-contamination
Açaí: Naturally Gluten-Free
Because gluten is only found naturally in cereal grains, the Açaí berry itself is 100% gluten-free, making all pure Açaí products gluten-free as well, such as Açaí juices, or frozen Açaí purée, so go ahead and explore with your ingredients and make some delicious gluten-free smoothies and bowls.
Things only start to become complicated when you mix Açaí with other foods. We’ll touch on some of these situations later on. For now, you can rest easy knowing that Açaí is a gluten-free ingredient.
Other Reasons to Eat More Açaí
Açaí’s lack of gluten isn’t the only reason to incorporate it into your diet. Enjoying Açaí in any form is beneficial because:
- It’s vegan – If Açaí is gluten-free, is Açaí vegan too? On its own, Açaí is 100% vegan. You won’t find any animal products in the Açaí berry or SAMBAZON’S Açaí products, so go ahead and experiment with some vegan smoothie recipes.
- It’s sustainable – When done properly, harvesting Açaí berries respects the environment. At SAMBAZON, we’ve ensured that every step in the supply chain is sustainable and eco-friendly—from gathering the berries to transporting and processing them. We’re also Fair Trade Certified.
- It’s bursting with nutrients – Açaí berries are an excellent source of fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants. You’ll also find healthy fatty acids—omegas 3, 6, and 9—in every spoonful.
- It’s organic – Of course, not all Açaí is guaranteed to be organic—but ours is. All of our Açaí is certified organic and GMO-free.
- It’s delightful – With all the upsides of Açaí, we’d encourage people to eat it even if it wasn’t delicious. But here’s the thing: it is. The flavor profile of the Açaí berry is earthy and slightly tart, with notes of dark chocolate and red wine tucked under a blanket of mixed berries.
When it’s all said and done, it’s hard to find a better berry than Açaí.
Are Açaí Bowls Gluten-Free?
They definitely can be. The main ingredients of a classic Açaí bowl are Açaí (duh), other fresh fruits and veggies, milk or a milk alternative like coconut milk or almond milk, and crunchy toppings like chia seeds and granola.
However, granola can often contain gluten. If you can’t confirm that a restaurant is using gluten-free granola, you may have to go without it.
Luckily, if you miss that extra crunch in your Açaí bowl, you can opt for other ingredients, such as:
- Gluten-free oats
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Banana chips
- Cacao nibs
- Coconut flakes
Are Baked Goods Made With Açaí Gluten-Free?
Baked goods are tricky. Traditionally, most pastries rely on flour. Because your classic flour is made of finely ground wheat, most pies, cupcakes, and loaves of bread are off-limits to anyone with a gluten intolerance.
With that said, gluten-free flours are now widely available online and in most grocery stores. To bake without gluten, you can use an alternative flour like:
- Buckwheat flour
- Brown rice flour
- Almond flour
- Chickpea flour
- Cassava flour
- Oat flour
- Sorghum flour
If you’re making an Açaí treat at home, be sure to swap out wheat flour for any of these alternatives. If you’re at a café or health food store, you may need to ask if the Açaí lemon loaf that caught your eye is gluten-free.
SAMBAZON: Ditch the Gluten, Not the Goodness
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease or you’ve been struggling to find gluten-free foods your whole life, we can empathize. Finding healthy, tasty meals and snacks to eat every day is hard enough without a food sensitivity.
Thankfully, enjoying gluten-free foods is easier than ever. Companies and suppliers are working every day to provide options for people with a gluten intolerance.
We should know—we’re one of them. Celiac or not, you can always create a delicious, gluten-free smoothie with our Frozen Açaí Superfruit Packs.
Celiac Disease Foundation. 20 Things You Might Not Know About Celiac Disease. https://celiac.org/about-the-foundation/featured-news/2016/08/20-things-you-might-not-know-about-celiac-disease/
Mayo Clinic. Celiac disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352220
Federal Register. Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2013/08/05/2013-18813/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-foods
Verywell Health. How Much Gluten Can Make Me Sick? https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-much-gluten-can-make-me-sick-562489