First and most exciting to note is that the Starbucks menu has several certified gluten-free items.
The first one is the gluten-free breakfast sandwich, which is an egg, slice of Canadian bacon and cheese sandwiched in an English muffin. Starbucks makes this breakfast sandwich off-site and has it shipped to the store in a sealed parchment bag. The server at Starbucks is to heat the sandwich, in the sealed bag, and then serve it to you in the sealed bag. (If it comes to you unsealed, ask for a new one.) The reason it’s sealed is to protect the sandwich from cross contamination when it’s heated in the toaster oven.
I Nima tested the gluten-free breakfast sandwich, and yep, it’s truly gluten-free. Score!
The second item that is certified gluten-free is the Marshmallow Dream Bar. I always get nervous when I see things that look like Rice Krispies Treats, because Rice Krispies are not gluten-free. Someone at Kellogg’s decided that naturally gluten-free puffed rice needed a layer of gluten (barley malt to be specific). I’m happy to report, however, that the Marshmallow Dream Bars are indeed gluten-free according to the Nima Sensor. (And they’re divine too – so yummy!)
The next items I tested are not labeled gluten-free nor are they certified gluten-free. They simply contain no gluten ingredients that I could see.
I tested the new Protein Bowl with Chicken and Quinoa. Again, the protein bowls are not labeled gluten-free, but when you review the ingredient list, they appear to contain only GF ingredients. Each protein bowl has an allergen statement on it indicating that it was prepared on shared equipment with gluten (and other allergens). I tested it anyway… and sure enough, it’s NOT gluten-free. Nima found gluten. Avoid.
In my quest to uncover what is gluten-free at Starbucks, I also tested the new Sous Vida Egg Bites (I tested the egg whites and roasted red pepper). While Nima showed me that they are indeed gluten-free, they are warmed in the same toaster oven with gluten items. Please be very careful when you eat these. If you do want to try them, instruct the server that you want your egg bites cooked on a piece of parchment paper (that they should NOT to touch the toaster) and that the staff should use clean utensils when handling your egg bites.
Finally, I tested a Coffee Frappuccino Light. According to Starbuck’s allergen menu, only the caramel flavored Fraps contain gluten. Sure enough, the Nima Sensor lit up with a smiley face when I tested the Coffee Frappuccino Light. Yes, this particular Frappucino is gluten-free. Keep in mind that Fraps are prepared in a shared blender and can become contaminated with the caramel flavoring or other flavorings they use (particularly when Starbucks has speciality Fraps that might contain cookie bits, for example).
Overall, you can see there are several ways to enjoy being gluten-free at Starbucks.
P.S. I recorded all my Nima tests live on Facebook Live. More than 7,000 people watched the Facebook Live video in the first five days! I have since archived the video on the Good For You Gluten Free YouTube channel so you can see the live tests for yourself.
P.P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about the Nima Sensor, read, What You Need to Know About the Nima Sensor. I also share a discount code for a Nima Sensor Starter Kit in the post!!