A gluten-free diet eliminates those foods containing gluten (a protein in wheat and other cereals). Going gluten-free is a personal choice, and the prospect of a strict gluten-free diet is for people with celiac disease and allergies or intolerances.
A study shows that gluten-related issues affect less than 1% of the population in the United States. However, despite such a low percentage of the occurrence. The consumption of gluten-free foods is constantly increasing.
Choosing to be gluten-free means identifying alternatives and brands you can trust. One common food that gluten-free followers need to think about is beans.
There are over 400 distinct types of beans, and all beans in their natural form, do not contain gluten. Nevertheless, some bean products may contain gluten-containing additives or cross-contaminate with gluten. So while beans are gluten-free, you might want to read through the food labels while buying a can of baked beans.
Baked Beans: An Introduction
Baked beans are immensely popular at BBQ parties and picnics. In addition, it is a staple in Native American cuisine, usually cooked with a sauce made with brown sugar, onion powder, salt, garlic, and other seasonings. You can slowly bake the beans in sauce at low temperature or stew the beans in sauce after parboiling.
Today, there are multiple brands of canned baked beans that you can buy at grocery stores. However, these go-to canned baked beans are steamed, not baked. Moreover, commercially canned baked beans contain more potentially glutenous ingredients than normal canned beans.
All types of beans, including kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, great northern white beans, chickpeas, and mung beans, are naturally free from gluten.
But canned beans like baked beans are more likely to have gluten than raw beans. Baked beans are most at risk for gluten contamination, especially when flavoured.
The HealthifyMe Note
Check to see if the baked beans have a gluten-free label. If the label-reading section has “May contain wheat”, it is not gluten-free. The more flavour in baked beans, the more likely they will have gluten. Gluten is hiding in all sorts of colourings, additives and preservatives.
Do Baked Beans Have Gluten in Them?
The commercially canned baked beans are likely to contain gluten because they include glutenous ingredients like liquid smoke and distilled vinegar.
According to the FDA guideline, a gluten-free product must have less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. Unfortunately, not all baked beans are safe for gluten-sensitive people. But you can find certified gluten-free canned baked beans to ensure that your baked beans contain no gluten.
Baked beans may not be gluten-free, depending on the brand and the recipe. For example, baked beans made with sweetening sauces often contain gluten. That said, cross-contamination during processing and packaging can also lead to gluten-contaminated baked beans.
If you’re not severely intolerant to gluten, a minute amount won’t cause any harm. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry when purchasing canned baked beans.
The problem is, you will have to add some ingredients while baking something. And there’s a strong chance that it might contain gluten. Therefore, ensure not to add an ingredient that contains gluten whenever you decide to make baked beans. Moreover, keep a close eye on baked beans containing gluten-containing additives (semolina, soy sauce), flavour enhancers (spices, miso), or other problematic stabilisers.
The HealthifyMe Note
The safest way to buy canned baked beans is to find those with a “certified gluten-free” label. This label makes the baked beans a safe addition to your gluten-free diet because it proves that the baked beans have passed the FDA requirements. Although expensive, it’s better to buy high-quality gluten-free products as they are less likely to be contaminated by gluten.
Are Canned Baked Beans Healthy?
Buying a can of baked beans is convenient and simple to cook. All you have to do is open and heat them. It is an affordable way to incorporate more beans into your diet. In addition, fibre and phytosterols in baked beans can help limit cholesterol absorption in the stomach. As a result, high blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, may be lowered, says study.
The canning process ensures a long shelf life of at least one to five years. It can benefit individuals who often throw away fresh baked beans due to spoilage. While canned baked beans can be easy and convenient, you must choose those without added salts.
According to data, one or more sweeteners, such as sugar or maple syrup, are commonly used in baked beans. Three teaspoons (12 grams) of added sugar are present in a 1/2-cup (130-gram) portion of baked beans, whether canned or homemade. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this is 20% of the daily maximum.
The HealthifyMe Note
Be mindful that the baked beans marked “reduced sodium” are not necessarily sodium-free. Plus, most baked bean varieties come in light or heavy syrup, which equates to added sugars. Most importantly, avoid baked beans cans with dents, bulges, cracks or leaks.
Gluten-Free Baked Beans Brands for You to Try
Bush’s Baked Beans
Bush’s Baked Beans are canned baked beans made with garlic, onion powder, brown sugar, and salt. The brand offers different varieties, such as Vegetarian, Organic, Barbecue, Brown Sugar, Onion, Sweet & Tangy, Sweet Heat, Maple & Cured Bacon, and Country Style. In addition, all varieties of their beans are gluten-free since the brand uses corn-based and distilled vinegar.
Bush’s baked beans use corn starch, but it does not contain gliadin gluten from wheat, barley, oats or rye grains. And none of their canned baked bean products includes any of the eight major allergens. Although the vegetarian baked beans from the brand are not vegan-certified, the natural flavouring used in it is animal-free.
Heinz Baked Beans
The Heinz baked beans are gluten-free with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Some of their baked bean flavours include Original, Bacon & Brown Sugar, Bold & Spicy, Molasses & Pork, Hickory Smoke, Bourbon & Molasses, and Sweet & Spicy.
Although, you should be aware that only Original, Hickory Smoke, and Molasses & Pork are gluten-free varieties. Plus, none of these flavours is vegetarian. However, these baked bean varieties do contain distilled vinegar derived from corn.
B&M Baked Beans
B&M baked beans get sweetened with molasses and cane sugar, are high in fibre, and are fat-free by 98 per cent. B & M Baked Beans are gluten-free as well. This brand is unique because it offers a wide range of baked beans, including the classic B & M baked beans, Boston’s Best, vegetarian, and more.
The pea bean, often known as the navy bean, is used in B & M Baked Beans. In addition, B&M offers seven types of gluten-free baked beans that follow the legal standard of containing less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Amy’s Kitchen offers many gluten-free products, including gluten-free baked beans. Their traditional baked bean recipe combines organic white beans with tomato puree, mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. The brand also has a range of vegetarian and vegan baked beans that are gluten-free as well.
Amy’s Kitchen baked beans contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. The baked beans are also dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, and kosher. However, their baked beans contain grain-based vinegar. Be cautious if you are sensitive to grain-based vinegar.
Nuts.com offers hundreds of options for gluten-free products. For example, their baked beans meet the stringent standards set for gluten-free products. Moreover, their certified gluten-free baked beans are handled on a dedicated gluten-free production line to prevent cross-contamination.
Baked Bean Brands That Are Not Gluten-Free
Not all baked beans brands are gluten-free. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, take precautions and research your chosen brands. Brands like Campbell’s, Trader Joe’s, Pacific Foods, Van Camp’s, and Grandma Brown’s are not gluten-free. However, you can quickly identify gluten-containing brands due to FDA regulations on bean packaging.
A significant part of eating gluten-free is identifying a product or brand that works for you. Once you find one, make sure you write it down.
Here are some problematic ingredients that typically contain gluten:
- Flavour enhancers: miso, natural flavouring and smoke flavouring.
- Texture additives: food starches, flour, emulsifiers, dextrin, maltodextrin, and vegetable gum.
- Protein additives: hydrolysed vegetable protein, hydrolysed plant protein, seitan, and wheat protein.
Beans and legumes are gluten-free in their natural state. So there’s no reason not to consume them if you’re on a gluten-free diet. However, if you are gluten-intolerant, you should be cautious of cross-contamination and avoid bean products that may contain gluten-containing additives, flavour enhancers, or other potentially harmful components.
Fortunately, gluten-free baked beans are readily available in most supermarkets—most safe brands are widely available. If you’d instead prepare your version, baked bean recipes are simple to follow and usually turn out well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are baked beans gluten-free?
A. On a gluten-free diet, not all canned baked beans are safe. Some baked beans contain gluten, wheat, barley, and rye protein. Gluten should not be present in the beans themselves (assuming no gluten cross-contamination in processing). However, some baked bean recipes may use gluten-containing additives such as Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke flavouring. Some gluten-free brands are Amy’s Kitchen, B&M, Bush’s Best, and Heinz.
Q. What canned beans are gluten-free?
A. Yes. Whether it’s black beans, pinto beans, or garbanzo beans, naturally, they are all gluten-free. And all work well on a gluten-free diet. However, cross-contamination is possible, just as with black beans, so read all ingredient labels carefully and avoid buying beans in bulk. These beans have a far higher risk of cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Amy’s Kitchen, B &M, Bush’s Best, Nuts.com, and Heinz are some brands that offer gluten-free canned beans.
Q. Are Crosse and Blackwell baked beans gluten-free?
A. These classic baked beans are in a rich and tasty tomato sauce, are low in fat, high in fibre, high in protein and gluten-free. However, gluten may be present in the additional ingredients, or they may have got contaminated with gluten.
Q. Are all Bush’s baked beans gluten-free?
A. All Bush’s canned bean products are gluten-free. The brand uses cornstarch in their baked beans, but it does not contain gliadin gluten from wheat, barley, oats, or rye grains, which may cause adverse reactions in people suffering from celiac sprue.
Q. Are Heinz canned beans gluten-free?
A. Original, Bourbon & Molasses, Bacon & Brown Sugar, Bold & Spicy, Hickory Smoke, Molasses & Pork, and Sweet & Spicy are just a few of the baked bean flavours available from Heinz, the manufacturer of the most famous gluten-free ketchup brand. Heinz considers only three gluten-free varieties: Original, Hickory Smoke, and Molasses & Pork. There are no vegetarian options in any of these three flavours.
Q. Are Branston baked beans gluten-free?
A. Only one variety of Branston Baked Beans is gluten-free. The classic baked beans recipe contains beans (51%), tomatoes (38%), water, sugar, modified maize starch, reduced-sodium sea salt, spirit vinegar, paprika, white pepper, spices, and flavourings.
Q. What are the worst gluten foods?
A. Here is a list of some unhealthy foods that contain gluten.
- Bread: This includes all types of bread (unless labelled “gluten-free”), such as rolls, buns, bagels, biscuits, and flour tortillas.
- Baked Goods: Gluten is present in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, and pies, as well as pancakes and waffles.
- Pasta: All wheat pasta contains gluten, including spaghetti, fettuccine, macaroni, lasagne, and ravioli.
- Cereal: Although not all morning cereals contain wheat, many do, so read the nutrition labels carefully. Also, keep in mind that oats are frequently grown and processed alongside wheat. As a result, oat goods will contain gluten unless they are labelled gluten-free.
- Crackers: Gluten is present in popular snack foods such as crackers, pretzels, and several types of chips.
- Beer gets manufactured from gluten-containing malted barley. Wheat often gets added to several liquors, so read the labels carefully.
- Gravy: Gluten is present in sauces and gravy-based ready-to-eat meals. Unless specifically labelled “gluten-free,” powdered gravy mixes also contain gluten.
- Soup: Wheat flour is a thickening additive in many canned and boxed soups. Look at the nutrition labels to discover gluten-free ready-made soups.
Q. Do Ranch Style Beans have gluten?
A. Yes, Ranch Style Beans do contain gluten. However, Texas Ranch Style Beans are a favourite gluten-free, dairy-free savoury side dish with a little kick of heat. They might contain allergens like soy, distilled vinegar, paprika, and a blend of animal fat.
Q. Does spaghetti sauce have gluten?
A. Most spaghetti sauces are naturally gluten-free. When shopping for gluten-free jarred spaghetti sauce, check for any wheat-containing ingredients on the label. Tomato sauce for spaghetti often contains gluten-free ingredients such as tomatoes, veggies, and seasonings.
Q. Is there gluten in coleslaw?
A. Although coleslaw does not often contain gluten-containing components, cross-contamination is the biggest concern. For example, in a deli, the coleslaw is almost certainly not gluten-free because the mayonnaise used might have gluten contamination.