Is cocoa gluten free – gluten free baking basics

Hi everyone! Today’s question is a great one, especially considering the layers of snow we already have outside here. Is cocoa gluten free? Excellent…I have a cup of hot chocolate at the ready, so I feel pretty inspired to write this post, so let’s go find out the answer!

Is cocoa – hot chocolate – gluten free?

When you first think of cocoa, you likely think of a steaming hot mug of hot chocolate, just as I did. Many hot chocolate mixes ARE gluten free, but you’ll need to check the package to be sure. You can check the ingredients list to ensure that there is no wheat, or other gluten containing ingredients. The best way, however, to ensure that your hot cocoa is entirely gluten free is to choose a brand that is labelled and certified as gluten free. I went on a hunt to find some varieties, listed below:

  • Laird Superfood hot cocoa with functional mushroom powder in the mix (mushrooms that promote good health, nothing too wacky!) This hot cocoa has the additional health benefits of mushroom such as Reishi (I LOOOOVE Reishi! I prefer this brand, also of course labelled gluten free.) and Chaga mushrooms for help with anxiety. Certified gluten free. (In Canada, you can try this Reishi mushroom hot cocoa mix. The original one I looked for in the US was not available in Canada, but this one contains the same benefits and has excellent reviews too.)
  • Double Dutch hot chocolate also has the added benefit of being vegan! Great for vegans and vegetarians, of course, but also very helpful for those of us who have to limit our dairy intake due to intolerances or other health issues.

Is cocoa powder gluten free?

Yes, cocoa powder is generally gluten free! As always, be sure to check the package. But, cocoa in its pure form is gluten free, as it is just ground powder from cacao beans. Finding a certified gluten free cocoa powder is the way to stay the safest, and to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa without any worries.

P.S. Wondering about buying cocoa powder from the bulk bin? The cocoa powder itself may be gluten free, but as is always the worry with buying in bulk – you just don’t know if the cocoa has been contaminated. So, if you’re Celiac I would definitely say this is a no-no. If you only have a mild gluten intolerance, you might be okay.