One in a hundred people have coeliac disease, and suffer digestive and other problems if they eat gluten, but it is thought that there could be many more people who are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Certainly lots of people report that they feel better in themselves if they reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets.
The trouble is gluten seems to sneak in everywhere. It is found in wheat, barley and rye and those products, or derivatives of them, are used in many different foods. Most of us would know to avoid pasta, biscuits and bread, but gluten can be found in seasonings and spice mixes, salad dressings and soy sauce. For those eliminating gluten from their diet, whilst also avoiding all animal products, it can be something of a challenge… at least to start with.
The good news is that supermarkets have responded to their customers, and the range of Free From products that work for gluten-free vegans is ever growing. Here is a taster of what is out there…
Unfortunately, when companies remove gluten from bread, they often put in egg. But try Schär’s gluten free white rolls, brown rolls, white ciabatta rolls, panini rolls and pizza bases, found at Morrisons and elsewhere. B-Free makes Multigrain Wraps and Quinoa & Chia Seed Wraps (Morrisons), as well as Pitta Breads (Asda). Waitrose stocks Biona’s Rice & Sunflower Bread, while Tescos’ Free From Dough Mix is great for pizza bases or dough balls. And if you prefer to make your own, you’ll find gluten-free flour in all supermarkets, as well as some fancier flours in select shops (notably Morrisons and Waitrose), including coconut, millet, quinoa, chickpea, chestnut and almond.
Every supermarket sells vegan gluten-free pasta, and you’ll find many types including tagliatelle and lasagne sheets. Try Explore Asian’s Soy Bean Spaghetti (Morrisons and Asda), Red Lentil Penne and Green Lentil Lasagne (Asda) and Black Bean Spaghetti (Sainsbury’s). Or look for Bare Naked’s Noodles and Rice, which are made with konjac flour.
Of course, you’ll want a jar of sauce to go with that. Tesco and Asda have a Free From Bolognese Sauce, and both have a Free From White Sauce for lasagnes, too. If you are looking for other sauces, try Tikka Masala or Red Thai (Tesco), Merdian’s Korma and Tikka Masala (Morrisons) or Sweet and Sour (Asda). Meridian’s Free From White Wine and Mushroom Cooking Sauce can be found in Holland & Barrett. Free and Easy’s curry pastes are stocked by Morrisons and Holland & Barrett.
All the supermarkets stock breakfast cereals that are vegan and gluten-free, from cornflakes to frosted flaked and Choco Snaps (Asda) to Tesco’s Free From Instant Porridge sachets. Nature’s Path products can be found in Morrisons and Waitrose – try the Nice & Nobbly Granola, or the Mesa Sunrise and Maple Sunrise. Dove’s Farm makes Fibre Flakes and Cocoa Rise that can be found in Morrisons, while Asda has a Free From Muesli. Nutribrex comes in various flavours, including Coconut and Crispy Rice (Asda, Morrisons), but also in Morrisons look out for Alchemy Rice Flakes and Porridge, Kallo Wholegrain Breakfast Puffs and Kelkin Organic Buckwheat Flakes.
If you need a quick snack, try the range from Great Food’s that can be found at Morrisons, including Mediterranean Falafel, Chunky Broad Bean and Quinoa Bites and Sweet Potato Pakora. Or Pure’s Butternut Squash Risotto at Asda. If you’re a fan of noodle pots, try Ilumi Sweet Chilli Noodle Pot from Morrisons or Itsu Noodle Cup Vegetable Festival from Sainsbury’s.
As for soups, the range from Amy’s Kitchen includes some that are both vegan and gluten-free, including Split Pea, Spanish Rice and French Country Vegetable. The entire Soupologie range is vegan and gluten-free. Try Three Mushroom Broth (Ocado), Spinach and Kale (Asda) or Sweet Potato and Coconut (Waitrose). If you’re a Cuppa Soup fan, try Nature’s Store Creamy Vegetable Soup Powder from Asda. (This product – and some others mentioned here, including most of the cakes and biscuits – contains palm oil. Please check labels.)
Other quick meals include the tinned Amy’s Kitchen Chilli (Asda), and the Organic Chick Pea & Vegetable Curry or the Chick Pea & Bean Tagine (Holland & Barrett). You can also buy Gluten-free Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce at Holland & Barrett. (Baked Beans are usually gluten-free anyway.) Asda and Tesco stock both a Gluten-free Fajita Kit, with wraps, salsa and seasoning. In health food shops, look out for Fry’s Quinoa & Cilantro Falafel Burgers and Rice Protein & Chia Nuggets.
In the freezer section, Tescos’ sells Free From Southern Fried Crispy Potato Skins, and most supermarkets will also stock Birds Eye Potato Waffles, McCain Oven Chips and Hash Browns, Aunt Bessie’s Chips and Crinkle Cut Chips. The Free From Spicy Bean Bakes at Asda are gluten-free, while Amy’s Kitchen makes Manhattan Veggie Burgers (Waitrose, Ocado) and Gluten Free Chinese Noodles & Vegetables (Morrisons, Waitrose).
To accompany your meal, Gordon Rhodes Sage & Onion Stuffing at Waitrose is gluten-free, and team it up with Free & Easy’s Gluten-free Vegetable Gravy from Holland & Barrett.
Most supermarkets stock Free From Ketchup, Brown Sauce and Salad cream. Sacla also makes a Free From Basil Pesto and Kikkoman makes a Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (both in Morrisons and Waitrose). Morrisons also stocks Chippa Gluten Free Worcester Sauce. In Holland & Barrett, you’ll find Plamil’s Egg-Free Mayonnaise in various flavours, as well as Granovita’s Mayola.
Granovita’s pâtés are also all vegan and gluten-free apart from the chickpea pâté. Vitalite and Pure margarines are suitable (available in most supermarkets), and most peanut butters are gluten-free as well, while most yeast extracts are not (although the gluten is in such small quantities that some with only mild gluten intolerance don’t react to it). Merdian’s yeast extracts are all gluten-free, however, and can be found in health food shops. Those who prefer something a little sweeter on their bread can check out the Free From Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread from Asda.
Violife cheese (most supermarkets and health food shops) is suitable, as are the hard and soft cheeses in the ever-growing Tesco Free From range. There are Schär’s crispbreads (Morrisons), Amisa Gluten Free Buckwheat Crispbread (Asda) and Rude Health Multigrain Crackers (Morrisons) to go with your cheese.
In the mood to snack? From the basic Nairns Oat Cakes and Free From Rice Cakes that are stocked in lots of outlets to the more exotic Eat Real range, the choice is growing. Eat Real’s vegan flavours include Tomato and Roasted Garlic Quinoa Chips, and Cream and Chives Quinoa Chips, both available in Tesco.
Try Ten Acre’s amazing popcorn and crisps in unusual flavours, such as Chicken Soup or Pastrami & Rye crisps, and Wasabi or Fennel & Lemon Popcorn (Holland & Barrett, and other health food shops). Or Tyrrells Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper Crisps, or Crinkly Mixed Root Veg Crisps, available in most supermarkets. If you’re after pretzels, Waitrose stocks Schär’s gluten free version.
The dairy-fee milks are almost all gluten-free, and Alpro’s whole range apart from the oat drink is gluten-free. (If you want oat milk, try Rude Health’s version which is gluten-free.) Alpro’s yoghurts, custard and desserts are all suitable, as are the yoghurts from Co Yo and the Coconut Collaborative but this post is already turning into an epic, so we’ll have to end here and save the sweet vegan gluten-free foods for another day.
There are loads of vegan gluten-free recipes available freely online. Check out these websites for inspiration:
* All the information here is correct to the best of our knowledge. Please do check labels as ingredients change and websites make mistakes.