Making Game Day Gluten-Free

by Maddie Roberts

Game days are a staple for SU students, especially during the basketball season. And as March Madness approaches, Syracuse students are getting even more excited for games. Whether you are camping out in front of the Dome for the upcoming Duke game or watching it on TV from the comfort of your friend’s apartment, everyone knows game day food can make or break the whole experience. Game day foods are perfect for bringing everyone together, but for about 6% of the U.S. population, these foods are a no-go. Most game day foods contain gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat. Many people have gluten sensitivity, intolerance or Celiac disease and cannot eat gluten. But that does not mean they should not miss out on the incredible game day foods we all know and love. Here are two easy ways to make your game day menu gluten-free and still delicious. 

It is not a true game day without chicken wings. Surprisingly, most chicken wings are not gluten-free. Raw chicken wings are naturally gluten-free, but the sauces and breading are where the gluten comes in. Not to worry, as these can be easily switched up with an amazing gluten-free sauce. This 5 ingredient, 30-minute recipe makes baked chicken wings in a sweet and spicy sauce. Even better, no one has to get any gluten-free replacement ingredients. All of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free! These are super simple wings that can be enjoyed by all your gluten-free friends and with some blue cheese (or ranch, but that is a debate for another day). 

As air fryers have grown in popularity, many people have been making their own fried foods at home. This can be disappointing for all those not eating gluten, but there are easy substitutes to make fried, delicious foods that can be eaten by everyone. In this air fryer gluten-free mozzarella stick recipe, only two substitutions are needed. For normal mozzarella stick breading, recipes call for flour and breadcrumbs. Both of these ingredients contain gluten, but gluten-free folks do not need to panic, as many grocery stores carry replacements. Some examples of gluten-free flour include almond flour, buckwheat flour and brown rice flour. Gluten-free breadcrumbs can also be found on grocery store shelves, right next to the regular breadcrumbs. 

Cooking gluten-free can be somewhat challenging. Gluten is generally used in recipes to create a specific texture, and when there is none, the texture can be a bit off. Thankfully, there are so many recipes all over Pinterest that have done the trial and error work for you. These recipes show you exactly how to replace ingredients to get the best texture possible. Lots of foods are also naturally gluten-free, so those are easiest to put on your menu for a fun basketball game snack. So just try your best with these recipes, and your gluten-free friends will be thankful you did as they enjoy all the delicious game day foods and (hopefully) celebrate a Syracuse win!

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