Narutally gluten free food

Thanks in part to it being a fad diet as much as a captive market, gluten free food can be as much as four times more than its counterparts according to Coeliac UK (learned via the BBC documentary Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets). Make no mistake, supermarkets are happy to find the cravings of those on these diets and make compliant alternatives in the interest of lining their pockets.

So when Gluten Free Works put up a list of naturally gluten free foods, I pointed out that they should have a version for the UK. Their answer was simple, if I did it, they'd share it.

Challenge accepted.

As with their own article, raw fruit and vegetables, fresh dairy and meat are all naturally gluten free, meaning you can easily create a diverse range of flavours.

For carbs, rice and potatoes are abundant, cheap and naturally gluten free.

Wine and spirit based vinegars

Malt vinegar is made from barley, making it unsuitable for coeliacs, but there are plenty of things to give your food a flavourful tang. Wine, sherry, balsamic and cider vinegars are all naturally gluten free. As are rice-based vinegars and spirits often used in Asian cooking. They each have their own flavour, so give them a try, such as balsamic glaze over salmon instead of classic fish and chips. Cider vinegar makes a great addition to marinades and adds a lovely flavour to barbecue sauces.

Some of the 'posh' brands of crisps use cider or balsamic vinegar instead of malt vinegar for flavouring, Kettles Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar.

Baking ingredients

Naturally we know wheat contains gluten, but what about other common ingredients in baking? The only potential pitfall here is actually premade baking powder, as some use wheat flour as a bulking agent. Dr Oetker used to be one such culprit, but they have since switched their flour in favour of rice flour, removing the gluten from the product. Waitrose has been using rice flour even longer in their Cooks Ingredients baking powder.

In the off chance you're not sure or favour knowing what's in your food, you can make your own baking powder with 1 part each of bicarbonate of soda and rice flour with 2 parts cream of tartar. While the rice flour isn't necessary this will allow you to use like-for-like rather than calculating 3/4 of the quantity.

Mexican Food

I do have some good news if you like Mexican flavours, Old el Paso's corn taco shells are made with only two ingredients, maize flour and oil. Some of their seasoning mixes are also wheat and gluten free, but not the one for the chilli con carne.

Balti Mix

Hold on, I hear you say, those are made with noodles! Yes, but said noodles are made from gram, or chickpea, flour. Cofresh do a wide range of these mixes (I'm not fond of the dried peas so I go with the London Mix myself).

Other Snacks

Poppadoms are usually made with lentil flour, while prawn crackers and similar are made from tapioca, however, these are fried, so it's always worth checking the label to make sure that the oil isn't being used for battered products.

With all of these foods, check the labels before purchase, and manufacturers may change their recipes at any given time.


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