Gluten free doesn’t have to mean fun free. We’ve got five simple tips to help you enjoy the free-from life to the full
Gluten is a protein found naturally in grains including wheat and barley – so if you have a sensitivity or intolerance, or suffer from the autoimmune disease coeliac disease (meaning you have to avoid gluten entirely), a lot of everyday foods are off limits.
Cutting out gluten needn’t be a chore, though. If you feel you can’t eat out safely, entertain friends with a delicious meal or even go on holiday happy in the knowledge that your dietary needs will be catered for, we’ve got five ways to put your mind at ease – and ensure you never feel you’re missing out.
1 Easy entertaining
You can cook delicious gluten-free meals without shortchanging your guests – all it takes is a few savvy swaps and old favourites can become suitable for all. Try this gluten-free fish and chips recipe from Schär. It’s easy to make, tastes fantastic and – bonus! – has a fraction of the fat of the average chip shop version.
2 Happy holidays
There are travel operators who specialise in gluten-free holidays – an online search will reveal a number of options, including holidays.schaer.com. Alternatively, Coeliac UK has advice on how to plan your gluten-free trip and eating out guides. You can also find foreign phrases to help you order your meal here at countries around the world here.
3 There’s an app for that!
Take the stress out of navigating your way to a gluten-free restaurant by downloading an app to your smartphone. The Schär Gluten Free Roads app gives you access to over 40,000 outlets worldwide, from restaurants to hotels and supermarkets. Or download an app that searches ingredients to let you know whether a meal is suited to your dietary needs.
4 Sweet treats
Remember, just because a food is gluten free doesn’t make it a free-for-all – gluten-free treats contain as many fat and calories as regular versions, so always stick to healthy portions. If you have time, it’s better to make your own from scratch. Try this zingy key lime pie recipe made with reduced-fat cream, or browse the gluten-free recipes at healthyfood.co.uk.
5 Join the club
Signing up to an online gluten-free club can be a good way to access new gluten-free recipes on a regular basis, as well as all the latest advice from dietitians. It’s also a great forum to chat and share tips with other gluten-free eaters, and receive support when needed – Coeliac.org.uk runs a Member2Member scheme. Some clubs offer other benefits, such as discounts and offers. For example, Schär gives new members a £2 coupon on signing up to try its products.
Get inspiration for gluten-free breakfasts.