You love breakfast cereal, but aren’t sure about certain ones - is Captain Crunch gluten free?
Even though it doesn’t contain barley, wheat, or rye, Captain Crunch is NOT gluten free. Keep reading to learn why it’s not safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet.
What is Captain Crunch?
Captain Crunch, also known as Cap’n Crunch, is a sweetened corn and oat cereal. It’s made by The Quaker Oats Company (owned by Pepsi Co) and is one of the most popular cereals on grocery store shelves.
There are four flavours:
- Cap’n Crunch Original
- Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
- Cap’n Crunch’s Oops! Only Berries
- Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch
I used to eat this cereal bowl after bowlful, but that was before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I would never eat it these days. It’s not gluten free!
Ingredients in Captain Crunch
Does Captain Crunch contain wheat? It's is not listed as an ingredient.
Here is what goes into every box of the original version:
- Corn Flour
- Oat Flour
- Brown Sugar
- Palm and/or Coconut Oil
- Reduced Iron
- Yellow 5
- Yellow 6
- BHT (to preserve freshness)
- Thiamin Mononitrate
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Folic Acid
Captain Crunch doesn’t contain barley, wheat, or rye - but can you spot the ingredient that makes this cereal a risky choice for people on a strict gluten free diet?
It’s the oat flour.
Captain Crunch isn’t gluten free because it uses oats that are not certified gluten free. Oats can be easily contaminated with gluten - see this post on Oat Milk for more information. (It isn’t just cereal we need to worry about!)
Here’s what Pepsi Co. has to say about the oats it uses in Cap’n Crunch cereals:
The oats we buy are handled and transported in bulk by our suppliers. Cross contact can occur if the oats are grown in fields or transported in vehicles that once contained other grains. Since the kernels of the other grains are similar in size, shape and color to the oat kernel, it is almost impossible to separate them. Although wheat, rye and barley are not part of the ingredients in Cap'n Crunch, there is the possibility that they could contain trace amounts of these grains. For these reasons, we do not label these products gluten free.
Is peanut butter Captain Crunch gluten free?
Peanut butter Captain Crunch is NOT gluten free.
Unfortunately, all of the Captain Crunch flavours use oat flour that is not certified as gluten free, so none of them are safe for anyone on a gluten free diet.
Is Captain Crunch dairy free?
All Captain Crunch flavours (original, peanut butter and berry) do not contain any dairy ingredients, so they are suitable for anyone on a dairy free diet.
(If you’re gluten free AND dairy free - don’t eat Captain Crunch. As we’ve discussed, it isn’t gluten free.)
Is Berry Colossal Crunch gluten free?
Berry Colossal Crunch is a cereal that is similar to Captain Crunch Berries, made by Malt-O-Meal.
It’s made with corn flour and oat flour, just like Captain Crunch, and is not safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet.
The product is not labelled gluten free, which means certified gluten free oats are not used. Don’t eat Berry Colossal Crunch!
Gluten free cereal to eat instead
Looking for some gluten free Captain Crunch alternatives? You’re in luck! Here are some options:
- Nature’s Path Envirokidz Panda Puffs: corn cereal that is kind of like a Corn Pop, but still works as a Captain Crunch substitute! It’s organic, non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.
- Nature’s Path Envirokidz Leapin’ Lemurs: a great swap for Peanut Butter Captain Crunch! This chocolate and peanut butter cereal is organic, non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.
- Nature’s Path Envirokidz Turtle Splash: forget Captain Crunch Berries when you’ve got this strawberry and chocolate cereal! It’s organic, non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.
- Love Grown Sea Stars: bean and rice cereal that actually tastes good! This version is fruit-flavoured and it’s non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.
- Magic Spoon cereals: this brand is gluten free, but not dairy free. They have fruity, peanut butter, and cocoa flavours (plus so many more!)
- Chex: Believe it or not, Chex is gluten free! The Rice, Corn, Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Cinnamon, Blueberry and Honey Nut Chex are all safe for anyone on a gluten free diet. (Fun fact - Chex was created to compete with Crispix, which is not celiac-safe.)
After all that, it’s time for a big bowl of GF cereal, and some milk!