Dairy Queen is a popular fast food chain known for its soft serve ice cream treats. One of their most popular menu items is the Blizzard, a thick milkshake-like frozen dessert. For those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, knowing which Blizzard flavors are safe to eat can be challenging. This article provides a comprehensive guide to identifying gluten free Dairy Queen Blizzard options.
What Is Gluten and Why Does It Matter?
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, and more. The only treatment for gluten related disorders isstrict adherence to a 100% gluten free diet.
For those avoiding gluten, checking labels and understanding how foods are prepared is crucial. While many flavors of Blizzards are gluten free, some contain ingredients derived from gluten sources. Likewise, the potential for cross-contamination during preparation makes it essential to confirm your selected Blizzard flavor is safely gluten free.
How Dairy Queen Prepares Blizzards
According to the Dairy Queen website, Blizzards are prepared by blending soft serve with mix-ins in a mixer specifically used for Blizzards. The soft serve itself is gluten free, made from milk, sugar, and stabilizers. It is the mix-ins that must be evaluated for gluten content. The equipment used for Blizzards is thoroughly cleaned between uses, but there is still a minor risk of cross-contamination from shared equipment.
Choosing a Gluten Free Blizzard Flavor
When ordering a gluten free Blizzard, opt for flavors made with ingredients that are naturally gluten free, like fruit. Some specific gluten free flavors include:
- Banana Split Blizzard
- Blue Raspberry Misty Slush Blizzard
- Breezeberry Blizzard
- Butterfinger Blizzard
- Cotton Candy Blizzard
- Hawaiian Ice Blizzard
- M&M’s Blizzard
- Mint Oreo Blizzard
- Oreo Blizzard
- Raspberry Fudge Bliss Blizzard
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard
- Snickers Blizzard
- Strawberry Cheesecake Blizzard
When in doubt, confirm with a Dairy Queen employee that your desired flavor is gluten free. Be aware that some locations may offer specialty or seasonal flavors that contain gluten. For maximum safety, stick to flavors made with fruits, candy, or other gluten free mix-ins.
Risk of Cross-Contamination
While many Blizzard flavors are gluten free, there is a minor risk of cross-contamination from shared equipment. To be extra cautious, consider the following tips:
- Order your Blizzard first thing in the morning when equipment has just been cleaned
- Opt for fruit-only flavors like the Strawberry Cheesecake Blizzard
- Ask employees to clean equipment and change gloves before preparing your order
- Avoid flavors with cookie dough or other gluten-containing mix-ins
In general, the risk of significant gluten cross-contact at Dairy Queen is low. But those highly sensitive should take extra precautions. Alternatively, you can opt for a gluten free dessert from a dedicated gluten free establishment.
Gluten Free Dairy Queen Treats
In addition to Blizzards, Dairy Queen offers other sweet treats that can be prepared gluten free including:
- Soft serve cone or cup
- Misty Slush
- Ice cream cone or cup
- Frozen yogurt cone or cup
Flavors like chocolate or vanilla are gluten free. But again, opting for fruit flavors reduces the minor risk of cross-contamination from ingredients like cookie pieces. Waffle cones likely contain gluten, so request a cup or plain sugar cone instead.
If you follow a gluten free diet and want an occasional frozen treat but are concerned about Blizzard safety, some gluten free alternatives include:
- Ice cream from a dedicated gluten free shop
- Frozen yogurt chains with gluten free options
- Popsicles and ice pops made with real fruit juice
- Sorbet and gelato from gluten free brands
- Homemade smoothies with frozen fruit and yogurt
There are many delicious frozen desserts to enjoy without the uncertainty of potential gluten cross-contamination. Going to a shop that only offers gluten free foods or making treats at home gives you maximum control.
Key Takeaways on Dairy Queen Blizzards
Most flavors of Dairy Queen Blizzards are gluten free, but there is a small risk of cross-contamination from ingredients containing gluten. To enjoy Blizzards gluten free:
- Stick to flavors made with fruits, candy, or other gluten free mix-ins
- Ask about current ingredients and preparation procedures
- Order first thing in the morning after clean equipment
- Request employees change gloves and clean equipment
- Avoid flavors with cookie dough or other gluten grains
With proper precautions, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities can still occasionally enjoy the popular Blizzard frozen treat from Dairy Queen. But alternative truly gluten free options are also available for maximum peace of mind.