By Devorah Ungerleider-Moore
No Chametz for you! It’s Passover time—growing-up the Kosher Butcher’s daughter, I know a bit about that. For some, it’s a simple notice of Matzo on store shelves and “Kosher for Passover” on food labels. But for the Jewish People it means a heck of a lot more.
Passover is the Jewish celebration of freedom—freedom from Egyptian slavery, where Hebrew people journeyed to the free land of Israel honoring human dignity and advocating human rights. In remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, long-standing traditions of retelling the story at Seeder dinners among friends and family and upholding dietary restrictions continue today worldwide.
Dietary restrictions are a way of life when living gluten-free. With the classic ceremonial unleavened bread—Matzo—made from wheat flour, can Passover be gluten-free? Absolutely! Read on for simple helpful tips and kitchen-tested recipes your family will love!
So what does it mean to keep kosher for Passover and how best can you enjoy a gluten-free holiday?
Keeping kosher for Passover means eating food that does not contain any wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt. Sounds like an easy gluten-free holiday right? Well, there are exceptions to the rule. It is okay to eat those grains if they have not come into contact with water and do not rise. If those grains cook for less then 18 minutes, do not rise and are approved by a Rabbi, they are considered kosher for Passover. For this reason, the majority of Passover’s Package foods are laced with gluten.
The classic Matzo is made with wheat so steer clear of that ceremonial bread and any food that contains Matzo as an ingredient. The good news is that there are gluten-free oat based Matzos readily available wherever kosher for Passover foods are sold. Note; they are a bit more expensive. Try making your own by checking out this recipe at Jules Gluten Free. http://blog.julesglutenfree.com/2012/03/matzo/
Open the door for a gluten-free Passover by sticking to clean foods. Fruits, vegetables, kosher chicken, eggs, fish, meats and fresh herbs. Quinoa is a fabulous gluten-free grain perfect for Passover. Think eggplants, sweet potatoes and nuts. Get creative!
For delicious kitchen tested (Jewish Mother approved) gluten free recipes Visit Progressivenectar.com. You’ll find our World Famous Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup recipe, Classic Charosets, Chai Roasted Chicken and other gluten free sides for your Seder feast.
Celebrate this week of Passover gluten-free, eat clean, embrace diversity, honor our freedoms and join in the company of family and friends. Happy Pesach to all!