Gluten is a protein occurring naturally in many grains such as wheat, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), barley and rye. Individuals with coeliac (celiac) disease should remove gluten from their diets because, in addition to causing bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness and headaches, consuming gluten can damage the small intestine.
By avoiding all gluten (some people also need to avoid oats), your gut can heal and your symptoms should improve.
If you suspect you may be gluten-intolorant, or more seriously, have coeliac disease, you should seek further advice from a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your GP.
Stick to unprocessed, fresh, whole foods to naturally stay gluten-free.
Any recipes that are gluten-free will be listed in the categories section.
G L U T E N – F R E E C H E C K L I S T
|Gluten-Free||Need to Check||Not Gluten-Free|
|Grains and alternatives||Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn (maize), cassava, chestnut, millet, polenta (cornmeal), quinoa, rice, sago, sorghum, soya, tapioca, teff||Barley, bulgar wheat, couscous, dinkel, durum wheat, einkorn, emmer wheat, Khorasan wheat (commercially known as Kamut®), rye, semolina, spelt, triticale, wheat|
|Flours||All flours labelled gluten-free||Flours from all grains may be contaminated through milling. Always check the food label.||Flours made from wheat, rye or barley eg. plain flour, self raising flour etc.
|Oats||Most people can eat uncontaminated oats labelled gluten-free. Products include gluten-free oats, oatcakes and oat-based products.||Porridge oats, oat milk, oat-based snacks that are not labelled gluten-free.|
|Bread, Cakes and Biscuits||All products labelled gluten-free including biscuits, breads, cakes, crackers, muffins, pizza bases, rolls, scones.||Macaroons, meringues||All biscuits, breads, cakes, chapattis, crackers, muffins, pastries and pizza bases made from wheat, rye or barley flour.|
|Breakfast Cereals||All products labelled gluten-free including millet porridge, muesli, rice porridge, corn and rice based cereals.||Buckwheat, corn, millet and rice based breakfast cereals and those that contain barley malt extract.||Muesli and all wheat based breakfast cereals.|
|Pasta and Noodles||All products labelled gluten-free including corn (maize) pasta, quinoa pasta, rice pasta.||Rice noodles, buckwheat noodles||Canned, dried and fresh wheat noodles and pasta.|
|Meat and Poultry||All fresh meats and poultry, cured pure meats, plain cooked meats, smoked meats.||Any meat or poultry marinated or in a sauce, burgers, meat pastes, pâtés, sausages.||Meat and poultry cooked in batter or breadcrumbs, breaded ham, faggots, haggis, rissoles.|
|Meatless Alternatives||Plain tofu||Marinated tofu, soya mince, falafel, vegetable and bean burgers.|
|Fish and Shellfish||All dried, fresh, kippered and smoked fish, shellfish, fish canned in brine, oil and water.||Fish pastes, fish pâtés, fish in sauce.||Fish or shellfish in batter or breadcrumbs, fish cakes, fish fingers, taramasalata.|
|Cheese and Eggs||All cheese and eggs||Scotch eggs|
|Milk and Milk Products||All milk (liquid and dried), all cream (single, double, whipping, clotted, soured and crème fraiche), buttermilk, plain fromage frais, plain yoghurt.||Coffee and tea whiteners, fruit and flavoured yoghurt or fromage frais, soya desserts, rice milk, soya milk, nut milks.||Yoghurt with muesli or wholegrains.|
It may seem daunting to go gluten-free at first. But for many, the advantages far outweigh the inconvenience. The first step is to get rid of all the gluten-containing products in your kitchen and stock it with alternatives such as gluten-free breads, pasta, crackers, and cereals.
|Gluten-Free||Need to Check||Not Gluten-Free|
|Fats and Oils||Butter, cooking oils, ghee, lard, margarine, reduced and low fat spreads.||Suet|
|Fruit and Vegetables||All canned, dried, fresh, frozen and juiced pure fruits and vegetables, pickled vegetables in vinegar.||Fruit pie fillings, processed vegetable products (such as cauliflower cheese)||Vegetables and fruit in batter, breadcrumbs or dusted with flour.|
|Potatoes||All plain potatoes, baked, boiled or mashed.||Oven, deep fried, microwave and frozen chips, instant mash, potato waffles, ready to roast potatoes.||Potatoes in batter, breadcrumbs or dusted with flour, potato croquettes.|
|Nuts, Seeds and Pulses||Plain nuts and seeds, all pulses (peas, beans, lentils)||Dry roasted nuts, pulses in flavoured sauce (such as baked beans)|
|Savoury Snacks||Homemade popcorn, plain rice cakes||Flavoured popcorn, potato and vegetable crisps, flavoured rice cakes and rice crackers.||Snacks made from wheat, rye or barley, pretzels, breadsticks.|
|Spreads, Fillings and Dips||Conserves, glucose syrup, golden syrup, honey, jam, marmalade, molasses, treacle.||Lemon curd, mincemeat, peanut and other nut butters, yeast extract, prepared dips.||Taramasalata|
|Soups, Sauces, Pickles and Seasonings||All vinegars (including barley malt vinegar), garlic puree, ground pepper, individual herbs and spices, mint sauce, mixed herbs and spices, mustard powder, salt, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce.||Blended and powdered seasonings, brown sauce, canned, packet or fresh soups, chutney, curry powder, dressings, gravy granules, mayonnaise, mustard products (such as English mustard), packed and jarred sauces and mixes, pickles, salad cream, stock cubes, tamari (Japanese soy sauce), tomato sauce.||Chinese soy sauce|
|Confectionary and Desserts||Gluten-free ice cream cones, jelly, liquorice root, seaside rock.||Chocolates, ice cream, mousses, sweets, tapioca pudding.||Ice cream cones and wafers, liquorice sweets, puddings made using semolina or wheat flour.|
|Drinks||Cocoa, coffee, fruit juice, ginger beer, squash, tea, water.||Cloudy fizzy drinks, drinking chocolate.||Barley waters and squash, malted milk drinks.|
|Alcohol||Cider, gluten-free beers and lagers, liqueurs, port, sherry, spirits, wine.||Ales, beers, lagers, stouts.|
|Home Baking||Arrowroot, artificial sweeteners, bicarbonate of soda, corn starch (flour), cream of tartar, food colouring, gelatine, icing sugar, millet, potato starch (flour), fresh yeast, ground almonds, glacé cherries, sorghum.
Use xanthan gum or guar gum as a substitute for gluten when baking.
|Baking powder, cake decorations, marzipan, ready to use icings, dried yeast.||Batter mixes, breadcrumbs, stuffing mix.|
Gluten may also show up as ingredients in barley malt, meat or vegetable stock, malt vinegar, some salad dressings, veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free), and soy sauce. The protein may even hide in many common seasonings and spice mixes. Always check the food label.
G L U T E N – F R E E !
CORN STARCH (also known as corn flour) is a thickener and is often used in gravies and pies. It is produced by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches a fine, powdery state. Cornstarch is gluten free.
CORN MEAL and CORNFLOUR are the same thing, but corn flour is usually ground to a much finer texture than corn meal, which is coarse.
Quick breads* use corn meal, flat breads like tortillas use corn flour, and gravies and pies use corn starch (cornflour).
*Brownies, biscuits, banana bread, beer bread, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones and soda bread.
G L U T E N – F R E E !
LENTILS are members of the legume family, as are beans and peas. Legumes are a staple of vegetarian cuisine because they are loaded with iron, protein and healthy fats, but free of the cholesterol and high fat content found in many animal-based protein sources. Lentils differ from other legumes in that they often require far less cooking time, especially compared to dried beans.
LENTILS are naturally gluten-free, however pre-packaged dishes featuring lentils may include gluten. Even dry, plain lentils may have been packaged in a facility that also processes wheat or products containing gluten, so those who must avoid gluten should only choose certified gluten-free lentils. Lentils are loaded with nutrition and are often heralded as a super-food due to their high folate, protein, magnesium, zinc and iron contents. Adherents to a gluten-free diet can find it challenging to consume sufficient quantities of many of the nutrients, one of reasons that lentils are a very healthy gluten-free food.
G L U T E N – F R E E !
POLENTA isn’t polenta until it’s cooked – until then it’s just corn meal. So if you’re on a budget, look for corn meal as it tends to be an awful lot cheaper than anything labelled polenta.
POLENTA is more of a dish, rather than an ingredient. It refers to a porridge or mush, made by grinding corn into flour, or meal. It has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy. It is gluten-free and can eaten either smooth and hot, or set in the fridge and eaten in slices. Polenta tastes best when seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice. It accompanies fish, meat, mushroom and cheese brilliantly. It can be used as an alternative to rice, bread or mashed potato.
POLENTA comes in fine and coarse granules, white and yellow. The white version, has a more delicate flavour, and pairs beautifully with seafood. Yellow polenta is best served with meat or cheese dishes and has a slightly sweet flavour.