Unlike what most assume, just because bread is gluten-free doesn’t mean that it is kosher for Passover.
Besides bread, even other gluten-free products may not be fit for kosher for Passover.
For it to be kosher for Passover, it needs to satisfy certain specifications as per the traditions and laws of the Jews.
That’s the grain protein component, and it has gluten.
Equally important, kosher for Passover can’t have any leavened bread.
It explains why it can be challenging to find such a product given these requirements, especially if you are on a gluten-free diet.
It is advisable to look for symbols illustrating that a product is certified for Passover on its label.
These symbols include CRC-P, Star-KP, KFP, OU-P and OK-P.
As soon as you see such, rest assured that the product qualifies to be kosher for Passover.
Interestingly, some companies offer only such products, although it will be hard to find them.
Alternatively, you can seek clarification from the local kosher certification authority or rabbi to avoid using a product that isn’t kosher for Passover.
Which Gluten-Free Bread is Kosher for Passover?
Regarding gluten-free bread, there are several ingredients that different manufacturers go for.
The most common ones include corn flour, coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, soybean flour, and potato flour.
Despite being gluten-free, as long as the flour comes from kitniyot food products, Ashkenazi Jews can’t use it as kosher for Passover.
So, that rules out seeds and grains such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, rice, and corn.
The same applies to peas, beans, lentils, and other legumes, although the list differs from one tradition to another.
Other than that, these Jews can use any additional gluten-free flour, including coconut flour and almond flour, which are quite common.
On the other hand, Sephardic Jews are okay with any gluten-free bread, including made using kitniyot.
Remember that gluten-free bread isn’t independently on the list of chametz.
The bottom line is to use gluten-free bread certified to be kosher for Passover strictly.
What is Passover?
As we focus on what to eat for Passover, it is also great to understand what this holiday is all about.
First, it has a historical purpose, and the Jews use it to commemorate the challenges their ancestors experienced at the hands of the Egyptians during their slavery days.
God commanded that the Egyptian Pharaoh release the Israelites, and he sent Moses to relay the message.
So, every time the Pharaoh defied God’s message, the Egyptians would experience a plague.
The back and forth continued until the last plague, which is also associated with the Passover holiday.
It involved killing Egyptians’ firstborns, and the Jews marked the doors of their house using lamb’s blood.
It helped the angel of death pass over such houses to spare the Israelites’ firstborns, and that is where the name of this holiday came from.
Since they didn’t have time to wait for the bread to rise, gather their things, and leave Egypt, they ate unleavened bread.
That’s why Jews don’t eat leavened bread during Passover.
After that plague, the Egyptian Pharaoh released the Jews from slavery, and that’s when they left the country.
The Jews celebrate this holiday during the Hebrew month, popularly known as Nissan.
The celebrations begin on the 15th of this month, which is the date the Egyptians experienced the last plague and released the Israelites from slavery.
It is usually during the spring, and it happens annually.
Whereas Israelites celebrate the Passover holiday for 7 days, some Jes do it for up to 8 days.
Is Gluten-Free Matzo Kosher for Passover?
It is no secret that Matzo is an exception when dealing with the kosher for Passover issue.
After all, it usually contains prohibited grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, barley, and oats.
The most intriguing fact is that a product can’t be considered a matzo if it doesn’t contain any of these grains.
It qualifies as kosher for Passover since it is unleavened.
What Are Gluten-Free Alternatives for Matzo?
Instead of going for a matzo meal, you can go for its gluten-free alternatives.
Some of its excellent substitutes include coconut flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, and rice flour.
Alternatively, you can go for the garbanzo bean flour, buckwheat groats, and potato starch, especially due to their crunchy coating that strikingly resembles that of Matzo.
You can get varying and unique textures and flavors by combining various flours for an amazing taste.
For instance, combine chickpea and almond flour for a traditional flavor when making your matzo meal.
You will be surprised by how enjoyable and delicious a gluten-free meal can be as long as you are creative and it is okay to experiment until you get it right.
Tips When Looking for Kosher Passover
If you want kosher for Passover, avoid products made using regular flour and instead go for their potato starch counterparts.
Excellent examples of kosher Passover include the following;
- Eggs comprising frittatas, omelets, and think quiches
- Most dairy products, including cream cheeses and yogurts, look for certification to be sure.
- Passover cereals, as long as they don’t contain wheat
- Potato pancakes
- Potato starch cake mixes
- Potato starch noodles
- Potato starch pizza crusts
It is recommended to add quinoa grains to your gluten-free dishes during Passover for a wonderful taste.
Which Food Can’t You Take During Passover?
The Jews summarize this food that is off-limit during Passover with the term chametz.
This term refers to grains such as oats, rye, spelt, barley, and wheat that are either fermented or leavened.
Therefore, a Jew can’t eat muffins, waffles, pancakes, crackers, cookies, cake, and bread, to mention a few, during Passover if they are made using such grains.
As long as a grain can be leavened, like barley or wheat, that’s also prohibited during this holiday.
So, that adds millet, quinoa, rice, and corn to the list of chametz.
The same applies to other products containing these grains, including soy sauce, vinegar, malt, beer, and various kinds of yeast.
Therefore, it is advisable to eat food items that fall under this category before the Passover holiday commences.
Alternatively, remove such products from your house before these holidays start.