Are Sweet Street brownies gluten free?

Gluten free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for health or dietary reasons. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, sticking to a strict gluten free diet is essential. But for many others, going gluten free is a lifestyle choice aiming to reduce inflammation, boost energy, or simply avoid ingredients they wish to exclude from their diet.

Whatever your reasons for following a gluten free diet, it can pose challenges when it comes to enjoying beloved bakery treats like brownies. Store-bought brownie mixes and bakery brownies often contain gluten ingredients. So an important question for gluten free bakers and brownie lovers is: Are Sweet Street brownies gluten free?

What is Gluten?

Before exploring whether Sweet Street brownies are gluten free, it helps to understand what exactly gluten is.

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other related grains like triticale. Some examples of ingredients that contain gluten include:

  • Wheat flour
  • Barley malt
  • Rye
  • Malt extract
  • Durum
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Gluten provides structure, elasticity and a chewy texture to products like breads, baked goods, cereals, pasta and more. But for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and more.

The only treatment for celiac disease is following a strict lifelong gluten free diet. For those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, removing gluten from the diet may help manage symptoms, but it doesn’t need to be as strict as for celiac disease.

What Makes a Food Product Gluten Free?

For a food product to be considered gluten free, it must meet certain standards set by the FDA:

  • It cannot contain wheat, rye, barley or crossbreeds of these grains
  • It cannot contain more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten

Oats are inherently gluten free, but are often contaminated with gluten because they are grown and processed alongside gluten-containing grains. So some celiac organizations advise avoiding oats unless they are certified gluten free.

It’s important to check labels carefully on any manufactured food product to verify it is gluten free. Gluten can hide in ingredients like flavorings, stabilizers and thickeners. “Wheat free” does not necessarily mean gluten free. Looking for a gluten free certification logo from organizations like GFCO or Coeliac UK can help identify products verified to be below 20 ppm.

Are Sweet Street Brownies Gluten Free?

Sweet Street is a brand that specializes in customizable desserts for restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other foodservice operators. They offer a range of brownies, blondies and other bakery treats.

According to Sweet Street’s allergen information, their traditional brownies and blondies are not gluten free. These contain wheat flour, which means they contain gluten.

However, Sweet Street does offer gluten free brownie and blondie options:

  • Gluten Free Fudgy Brownie
  • Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Brownie
  • Gluten Free Salted Caramel Blondie

The gluten free brownies and blondies are made without wheat, rye, barley or oats. Sweet Street states that all their gluten free products are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility and tested to be below 5 ppm of gluten.

Ingredients in Sweet Street Gluten Free Brownies

Here are the ingredients listed for Sweet Street’s Gluten Free Fudgy Brownie product:

  • Sugar
  • Palm Oil
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Potato Starch
  • Salt
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla

As you can see, the gluten free brownies avoid any gluten-containing ingredients. The flours used are cornstarch and potato starch. Other gluten free-friendly ingredients include sugar, cocoa powder, palm oil, salt, xanthan gum, baking soda and vanilla.

How to Order Gluten Free Brownies from Sweet Street

If you want to enjoy gluten free brownies from Sweet Street, here are a few tips:

  • Check the menu beforehand – Not all cafes, bakeries or restaurants that use Sweet Street products will carry the gluten free brownies. Contact them to confirm availability.
  • Specify gluten free – Clearly state that you need the gluten free version. Cross-contamination is a risk if they prepare multiple brownie types.
  • Ask about preparations – inquire if they bake the gluten free brownies separately from regular ones, use separate pans and trays, and follow other gluten free precautions in their kitchen.
  • Mention allergy – Saying you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease may spur extra care when preparing your order.

Eating freshly baked gluten free brownies from a bakery or cafe can be an exciting rare treat when you’re avoiding gluten. With proper precautions, Sweet Street’s gluten free fudgy brownies and blondies provide a delicious option for brownie fans on a gluten free diet.

Other Gluten Free Brownie Options

In addition to Sweet Street, there are other brands that offer gluten free box mixes and pre-made brownies:

Gluten Free Brownie Mixes

  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • King Arthur Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • Glutino Gluten Free Brownie Mix

Be sure to check labels for gluten free certification logos and warnings about cross-contamination during processing. Many mainstream brands like Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker also make designated gluten free brownie mixes.

Pre-Made Gluten Free Brownies

For grab-and-go convenience, you can find pre-made gluten free brownies in the freezer section of many grocery stores:

  • Katz Gluten Free Brownies
  • Aleia’s Gluten Free Brownies
  • Nick’s Sticks Gluten Free Brownies

There are also gourmet gluten free brownie companies that ship frozen brownies nationwide:

  • Jennifer’s Way
  • Crave Bakery

Of course, you can also find plenty of gluten free brownie recipes to bake your own at home. Almond flour, coconut flour and oat flour are popular alternatives to wheat flour in gluten free baking.

Are There Healthier Gluten Free Brownie Options?

Brownies are a sweet treat no matter if they are gluten free or not. Most recipes call for butter, oil and sugar along with chocolate for that trademark fudgy texture.

However, there are ways to put a healthier spin on gluten free brownies:

  • Use alternative flours: Try almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour or oat flour for more fiber, protein and nutrients than white rice flour.
  • Swap sugar: Replace some or all sugar with lower glycemic options like coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, stevia or fruit purees.
  • Reduce oil: Cut back on butter or oil. Replace with applesauce or yogurt.
  • Add extras: Mix in nuts for protein, seeds like chia or flax for omega-3s, cacao nibs for antioxidants, or shredded veggies for added nutrition.
  • Boost flavor: Use less sugar but add vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon or espresso powder to enhance chocolate flavor.

Making adjustments like this can help lighten overly rich gluten free brownies. You still get the chocolate fix but with more health perks!

Are Gluten Free Brownies Safe for Celiac Disease?

For those with celiac disease, it’s very important to only choose brownies that are certified gluten free, ideally made in a dedicated facility. Trace amounts of gluten can trigger symptoms and intestinal damage.

The good news is Sweet Street and other commercial producers of gluten free brownies typically state their products are below 5 or 20 ppm gluten. This falls well below the FDA standard for gluten free.

However, you do need to watch out for cross-contamination. Even gluten free brownies could pick up traces of gluten if they are baked alongside regular non-gluten-free brownie batches or without proper cleaning procedures in a shared facility.

For very sensitive celiac patients, homemade brownies made with certified gluten free ingredients may be the safest choice. But for less sensitive individuals, store-bought certified gluten free brownies like Sweet Street are considered celiac-safe when avoiding cross-contamination.

Tips for Safely Enjoying Gluten Free Brownies with Celiac Disease

Here are some tips for safely eating gluten free brownies when you have celiac disease:

  • Look for “gluten free” clearly stated on packaging, not just “wheat free”
  • Check for a certification logo like GFCO, Crossed Grain, or Coeliac UK
  • Call ahead to foodservice locations to ensure they have gluten free prep procedures
  • Request individually packaged brownies or desserts if dining out
  • Ask about shared equipment, fryers and surfaces at restaurants
  • Inform staff about celiac disease severity if eating out

Following a gluten free diet for medical reasons like celiac disease can be challenging. But there are now many delicious gluten free brownie options, like those from Sweet Street, that are safe to enjoy in moderation.

The Bottom Line

Traditional Sweet Street brownies contain gluten, however the brand does offer gluten free brownie and blondie options. These are produced in a dedicated facility and tested below 5 ppm of gluten.

Sweet Street’s gluten free brownies, as well as other brands of gluten free mixes and pre-made brownies, provide tasty options for enjoying brownies on a gluten free diet. Check labels carefully and inquire about preparation procedures if ordering from a bakery or restaurant.

While gluten free brownies are often highly processed and high in sugar, there are healthier versions available too. Adjustments like using alternative flours, cutting back on oil and sugar, and adding extra nutrients can provide a less indulgent but still delicious gluten free brownie to enjoy in moderation.

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