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Kali Mireva

How Gluten-Free Beverages Can Fit Into Special Diets

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Gluten-free beverages are not just another trend that’s going to go out of style. The gluten-free drinks are here to stay. Increasing numbers of people are now working on their diet and looking for ways to be healthier. 

From paleo and vegan to keto and gluten-free, there are many diets nowadays that exclude certain ingredients and focus on specific foods. People who follow a certain diet also look for suitable beverages. This means restaurant owners are faced with some challenges and opportunities. 

Vegan drinks typically tick a lot of boxes but that’s not enough to cover all bases. You also need alcoholic and non-alcoholic gluten-free drinks, matcha drinks, specialty coffee (or regular kinds) with plant-based milk, and more. 

What’s great about gluten-free beverages is that they are suitable for a wider range of dietary plans. They are great for people who are on a keto and gluten-free diet. In addition, they can be had by people on paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and high-protein diets. 

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Paleo, Vegan, Keto and Gluten-Free Beverages and Food at Restaurants

The popularity of the ketogenic (keto) diet peaked back in 2019. Since then, fewer people are switching to keto, but there are still many who are eating this way. Because of that, businesses in the hospitality industry, need to make sure there are proper food and beverage pairings for this niche market.  

Since our goal is to help people in the restaurant business achieve success and customer satisfaction, let’s see what type of food and beverages you can offer to people on a keto diet. 

Key Takeaway: People on paleo, vegan, keto, and gluten-free diets can also enjoy different drinks with delicious food in your restaurant. By getting to know these diets, you will be able to meet the needs of many customers and suggest great food and beverage pairings.

Gluten-Free Beverages Suitable for a Keto Diet

Keto and gluten-free go hand in hand. If your restaurant’s customers are looking for drinks that fit their current lifestyle and diet, you can offer them: 

  • Water infused with herbs, cucumber, or citrus fruits (a small amount of citrus in the water would not affect the ketonic diet). 
  • Green, black, and herbal tea without any sweeteners. 
  • Black coffee or coffee with unsweetened plant-based milks like almond milk and coconut milk. During the summer months especially, you can serve cold brew coffee either black or with the vegan milk options.
  • Sparkling water is another refreshing option to offer. Like plain water, it can be infused with citrus fruits. 
  • Sugar-free vegan milk like almond or coconut milk. They can also be used as part of gluten-free cocktail drink options. For example, you can create a keto and vegan-friendly White Russian recipe for your gluten-free menu.

There are various keto-friendly foods you can serve at your restaurant alongside the delicious drinks we already discussed. Here are some great examples: 

  • Grilled or baked meat, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and delicious seafood dishes seasoned without any gluten-containing ingredients. 
  • Serve keto-friendly vegetables, which include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms. Cook them with healthy fats to stay keto. Suitable options are olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. 
  • Different varieties of eggs - from omelets to scrambled eggs, or hard-boiled - alongside a nice, fresh salad. 
  • Desserts made with plant-based, gluten-free milk are great for keto. Add nuts and seeds like almonds or walnuts, as well as chia seeds and flaxseeds to make delicious desserts.

Gluten-Free Beverages Suitable for a Paleo Diet

The paleo diet has been popular for years and is still going strong because it’s considered to be a natural way of eating. It is based on the diets of Paleolithic humans.

People on a paleo diet mainly consume meat, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables. They limit the amount of grains and processed foods they consume. This suggests that paleo is also suitable for people who experience gluten intolerance, allergies, or celiac disease. 

As a restaurant, in order to properly serve people on a paleo diet, you should have these drinks on your menu: 

  • Plain water or water infused with some fruits and herbs. 
  • Herbal tea options such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea.
  • Black coffee or coffee with a little bit of almond or coconut milk. Coffee is not typically considered paleo but it’s not something to necessarily exclude from your diet.
  • Freshly squeezed juices without any added sugar or other sweeteners.
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Now let’s briefly discuss what foods would be suitable for customers who are following a paleo diet: 

  • Meat, including grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, pork, or wild-caught fish.
  • Vegetables are always a great idea. For paleo, focus on leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. You can also serve bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.  
  • Eggs, cooked in different ways. This includes omelets, scrambled eggs, or boiled.
  • Salads, desserts, and other foods with nuts and seeds can be consumed by people on paleo diet. Include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, as well as chia seeds and flaxseed. 
  • Different fruits like berries, apples, and pears. People on the paleo diet focus on low-sugar options. 
  • Shellfish and seafood are also great. Serve salmon, shrimp, mussels, and sardines.
  • For cooking and seasoning - fresh herbs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, or animal fats, as well as coconut milk and coconut flour. 

Gluten-Free Beverages Suitable for a Vegan Diet

We have already talked about vegan drinks, but this is an important category that’s worth discussing further. Below, we’ve listed the gluten-free beverages and vegan options you can serve at your restaurant to improve the overall customer experience!

  • Freshly squeezed juices without any added sugar or other sweeteners.
  • Smoothies made with non-dairy milk. Use almond or coconut milk, and also a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Hibiscus, as well as chamomile, and peppermint teas, are all great options for vegans. Just don’t sweeten with honey.
  • Coffee drinks with plant-based milks that don’t contain any gluten. 
  • Water infused with different fruits or cucumber. 
  • There are also vegan wine options that don’t contain any gluten, as well as gluten-free beer suitable for vegans. 

Despite the great alcoholic and vegan non-alcoholic drinks you can serve, you should think about the food. Here are some great alternatives you can easily add to different types of menus

  • Fresh quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and a lemon-tahini dressing.
  • Veggie stir-fry with tofu or tempeh served with gluten-free tamari or soy sauce.
  • Lentil curry with coconut milk and spices served alongside brown rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Zucchini noodles with homemade tomato sauce and sautéed mushrooms.
  • Vegan sushi with avocado, cucumber, and other fresh vegetables. They can be served with gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
  • Bean and vegetable tacos with gluten-free corn tortillas and salsa are a great Mexican-inspired meal for vegans, this includes Mexican food appetizers
  • Gluten-free types of pasta with a vegan tomato sauce, topped with fresh basil and nutritional yeast.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Gluten-Free Beverages and Special Diets

Find more information on gluten-free beverages and other special diets in the answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Can I Have Alcohol on a Paleo Diet? 

You should avoid consuming any alcoholic beverages when eating paleo if you want to be really strict with your diet. However, as with most diets, you can allow some flexibility. Some people following a paleo diet consume alcohol occasionally. 

What Type of Alcohol Can I Have When Eating Keto? 

Whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and vodka are spirits suitable to have when you are on a keto diet. They are all in fact, keto and gluten-free. Even alcohol made of wheat, barley, or rye doesn’t have gluten because of the distillation process they go through. 

Can Vegans Have Alcohol?

Not all types of alcohol are vegan. Otherwise, vegans can have vegan-friendly alcohol that’s marked as such. In case you want to live healthier, consider limiting alcohol consumption in general.

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