Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
The Fluffy Assassin

I Can't Figure Out How Gluten Would Be Sneaking Into My Millet Couscous

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I was missing couscous and was so happy when a buddy suggested that millet would make a good substitute. Tried it and was very happy with the taste, but felt more uncomfortable every day. (I live alone and do all my own cooking, so tend to eat the same thing for supper every night until I run out and have to cook something else.) By the end of the last batch, I felt like this: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=58409 Eventually, I decided that buying millet from the bulk bin was a mistake, that it was probably gluten-contaminated, and that most likely the bruised all over sensation was anemia. (I should probably mention that I'm a silent celiac; get almost no reaction in the short run from eating wheat, except maybe for increased nervousness.) So this time I bought it in its own package clearly labeled "gluten-free." Plumped it using Kitchen Basics chicken broth. In the stew was boneless pork ribs, minced garlic in olive oil, a Vidalia onion, a bell pepper, water, half a can of tomato paste, canned green beans, canned garbanzo beans, a carrot, two ribs of celery, black pepper and gluten-free tamari. The harissa was just the other half of the tomato paste can, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper. I again felt a little uncomfortable after eating it. I'm going to eat the rest, but not five days running. Did not enjoy that bruises all over my insides thing.

None of the ingredients should have had any gluten. The meat wasn't marinated, the canned vegetables had no ingredients that were suspicious unless you count preservatives. Nothing that should have had gluten. I guess cross-contamination could still be possible, but I just don't see it. Maybe my Jewish forebears are punishing me for the pork, I don't know. Or maybe I'm just freaking out this time because it tastes the same as last time (being exactly the same except for different millet) and I got sick last time. Regardless, can anybody here see any ingredient above that might be a problem? I know there are sources that say that celiacs can't eat millet, but as I eat puffed millet for breakfast every morning without any problem, I'm pretty sure that I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the CC happens when it's harvested and stored. It might get stored in an area where wheat is stored or shipped in containers that contained wheat last shipment, that sort of thing.

Overall I feel better giving up grains entirely. Might be something you should consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Overall I feel better giving up grains entirely. Might be something you should consider.

At this moment, I feel like I would die giving up grains entirely, but I tell you what... if I keep feeling like I did after five days of eating that last batch (bruised on the inside), I'll start considering it a lot more seriously. I've had good luck, though, with gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada), Thai rice noodles (Taste of Thai, usually), quinoa from both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods as well as the already mentioned puffed millet. Of course, I could always eat the millet without the stew and the stew without the millet and see if I get a reaction from either, but that would assume that I had some kind of common sense. :) Regardless, thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suspect the tomato sauce. I don't eat tomatoes much myself. But a few times recently I bought some Nature's Promise brand tomato sauce and had a reaction both times I used it. There is nothing in the ingredients that should be a problem, but I reacted anyway. I thought I might be growing intolerant to tomatoes, so I bought some whole tomatoes and ate them. No problem at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd suspect the tomato sauce.

Thanks for the reply. I've been using the same tomato paste in all my pasta dishes for ages (possibly pre-dating gluten-free-ness, I forget) and haven't had any trouble with it. But it's possible. I do feel a certain discomfort from the sourness of the lemon juice in the harissa; it may be that I'm having a reaction to something else I ate and am just blaming the millet couscous on the basis of having a slightly sour stomach due literally to the sourness. Or it might be diabetes coming on, as I suggested on the linked thread, or it might just all be in my mind. Drives ya crazy, don't it?:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you change out your pans? I glutened myself for a while with instant mashed potatoes, until I bought new pans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you change out your pans? I glutened myself for a while with instant mashed potatoes, until I bought new pans.

Yes I did, but if I'm correct in thinking that the last batch of millet was contaminated, I should probably change again. The millet-plumping pan being the saucepan that I use for reheating everything, I think I'll be doing that first thing tomorrow, and ditch at least a half dozen of my plastic food containers, too. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are sensitive to the millet. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you are sensitive to the millet. :blink:

I would think so too but for the fact that I eat puffed millet every day for breakfast with no issues whatever. Am thinking of sticking only with the the same manufacturer (Arrowhead Mills), or just giving up non-puffed millet. I'd hate to give up my birdseed though; I'd finally learned how to whistle. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if you are sure the tomater sauce is ok, then maybe do away with the millet. Quinoa like you said is a possible alternative. Millet is also a goitrogen, or thyroid suppresser.

I don't do the bulk bins anymore myself, after having some problems this spring with various items from them. Since you say you have global pain, maybe check into some extra Vitamin D and B-12 too. Some people have posted about having fibromyalgia like symptoms, that resolved somewhat after going gluten-free, and I think adding Vit D.

You don't suppose the fluffy assassin has been sneaking gluten into your millet eh? Kang dat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You don't suppose the fluffy assassin has been sneaking gluten into your millet eh? Kang dat!

You may have something there. In fact, she just prevented me from replying for ten minutes by jumping on my chest and demanding scritches. You gotta watch those cute ones.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure the right answer was suggested above, the one about contaminated pots and pans. I'm still going to eat the entire batch (I ate gluten for 45 years; I'm pretty sure a couple-three more days aren't going to uh, kill me further) and then replace the small sauce pan, scrapers/spatulas, my small mixing bowl, my 1 cup measuring cup, a half dozen or more food containers, etc., etc. Wheee!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You may have something there. In fact, she just prevented me from replying for ten minutes by jumping on my chest and demanding scritches. You gotta watch those cute ones.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure the right answer was suggested above, the one about contaminated pots and pans. I'm still going to eat the entire batch (I ate gluten for 45 years; I'm pretty sure a couple-three more days aren't going to uh, kill me further) and then replace the small sauce pan, scrapers/spatulas, my small mixing bowl, my 1 cup measuring cup, a half dozen or more food containers, etc., etc. Wheee!

What kind of pan are we talking about? Non-stick, stainless? Does it have any scratches in it? It may just need a good cleaning, I carried over a lot of smooth-surface, non-scratched stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You may have something there. In fact, she just prevented me from replying for ten minutes by jumping on my chest and demanding scritches. You gotta watch those cute ones.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure the right answer was suggested above, the one about contaminated pots and pans. I'm still going to eat the entire batch (I ate gluten for 45 years; I'm pretty sure a couple-three more days aren't going to uh, kill me further) and then replace the small sauce pan, scrapers/spatulas, my small mixing bowl, my 1 cup measuring cup, a half dozen or more food containers, etc., etc. Wheee!

Anything that isn't scratched or porous can just be cleaned well.

Another possibility, what are you feeding your fluffy freind? If you are feeding her gluten food you could be getting CC'd both from the food itself and from residue on her fur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What kind of pan are we talking about? Non-stick, stainless? Does it have any scratches in it? It may just need a good cleaning, I carried over a lot of smooth-surface, non-scratched stuff.

It's non-stick. I guess I can just try giving it a very very thorough cleaning. However, as I use it to heat everything (no microwave), I have to be very sure it isn't contaminated. It occurs to me that I might still get a new one and keep this one for the next accidental cross-contamination fiasco. I try hard, but they're nearly inevitable, aren't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything that isn't scratched or porous can just be cleaned well.

Another possibility, what are you feeding your fluffy freind? If you are feeding her gluten food you could be getting CC'd both from the food itself and from residue on her fur.

Thanks. Amelia gets Evo dry, which supposedly has no grain at all. So I think I'm safe at that end. What she might be plotting is a different question.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had been getting glutened by Arrowhead Mills flours, but didn't figure it out for awhile. Haven't tried their whole millet though, and probably won't. A lessons learned...

Was also getting glutened by bulk grains, but in this case I think I was able to determine it was the store's fault. Finding gluten-free grains that aren't contaminated can be tricky. Even when the package says gluten-free, it says nothing about the possible CC. You may need to look for items which are processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Incidentally, sorghum grain looks like millet, only larger, and sorta resembles pearl barley in texture and size once cooked. Twin Valley Mills seems to handle only sorghum, so I'd like to think there wouldn't be a CC issue.

Amaranth is another one, smaller than millet, and has a nice flavor IMO. But my fav has to be buckwheat. Marvelous in all sorts of dishes, and makes a good hot cereal too. Looks like a cross between oatmeal and barley once cooked. Roasted buckwheat is called Kasha, which is wonderful as well, but can actually be eaten as a cold cereal, in which case it has a satisfying crunch, like eating grape nuts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had been getting glutened by Arrowhead Mills flours, but didn't figure it out for awhile. Haven't tried their whole millet though, and probably won't. A lessons learned...

Thanks, I'm pretty sure the puffed millet is ok, but given your experience I don't think I'll be trying any other Arrowhead Mills products. I'll look into the other grains you recommended; I'm continuing to find gluten-free living a non-stop adventure. I crazy mad love quinoa; maybe I'll switch breakfast cereals to quinoa flakes.

Strictly speaking, if it's made in the US and labeled "gluten free" that's supposed to be absolute including no cross-contamination. That's why so few things are so labeled and why Trader Joe's (for example) tends to put "no gluten ingredients used" instead. Whether weasel-wording it with something like "Millet is a gluten-free food" (which is true but doesn't necessarily mean that THIS package is gluten-free) would excuse them from lawsuits is another question. I guess they're lucky that we celiacs are a non-litigious people.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try washing the millet. I was having problems with millet and didn't want to give it up so I have been washing it and that seems to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could try washing the millet. I was having problems with millet and didn't want to give it up so I have been washing it and that seems to work.

Sure, I do that. I could use a finer mesh strainer or sieve so I could wash the millet better, but I definitely wash it. Thanks for the reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the kitty food gluten free? Don't use you hands to dish out the food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure, I do that. I could use a finer mesh strainer or sieve so I could wash the millet better, but I definitely wash it. Thanks for the reply.

I wash mine three times with soap with a fine mesh strainer and hot water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is the kitty food gluten free? Don't use you hands to dish out the food.

Grain free and gluten free, but thanks for the suggestion. Given the problems with cross-contamination in people food, I would suspect that these would be many times worse for pet food; I think I'll follow your advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wash mine three times with soap with a fine mesh strainer and hot water.

My soap removal skills aren't sufficient for that sort of thing; I have enough trouble just doing the dishes.:) I think I'd give up millet first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×