How to go gluten-free

22 August 2017 by
First published: 13 August 2014

Here’s how to go gluten-free the fun way. Being gluten intolerant (or having Coeliac Disease) can often make you feel like you’re missing out, but cutting out gluten doesn’t have to mean cutting out taste! Jennifer Irvine, Founder of Balance Box told us, ‘Gluten-free cooking and eating is far from boring as there are a myriad of amazing ingredients available these days, both in the supermarkets and also health stores, for us to choose from.’

‘The benefits of going gluten free cannot be underestimated. But boring it’s not!’ If you feel like you’re stuck in a gluten-free rut, here are our top five tips to make gluten-free eating more fun:


Stop focusing on what you’ve lost
It’s easy to focus on what you’ve had to remove from your diet, but Jennifer explains, ‘I believe the standard response of alarm to being told to eat gluten-free is simply because the default base to what we eat today is wheat. However there are wheat-free and gluten-free flours that can provide us with the pie crusts, muffins, crisp breads, pastas, cakes, and breads we are used to enjoying. It’s simply a question of knowing this, and making the mental adjustment.’

Jennifer loves Biona Rice & Sunflower Bread (£3.69), which she says is ‘wicked in flavour, mad in health giving properties, and the fabulous thing is, you’d never know about them unless you were gluten- free. So it’s a secret from the rest of the world, who assume, incorrectly, that being gluten-free is a punishment.’


Find new recipes
Don’t just settle for being bored with your meals – buy some gluten-free recipe books, because being gluten-free doesn’t mean that you have to stop experimenting with food! We love Phil Vickery’s Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking. It contains plenty of helpful information, as well as (obviously) a number of delicious recipes, and there’s even a Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Baking book – so you’re covered whether you have a sweet or savoury tooth.


Get online for inspiration
There are loads of great gluten-free recipes online too! Our favourite website is because it’s the best place to get information about being gluten-free, and there’s a huge recipe database for members – don’t worry – it doesn’t cost a lot to join (Full membership costs £20 per year, The web is not just great for recipes though – Jennifer says, ‘We have so much information about the dangers (to some) of gluten, and the internet, being the source of all knowledge, is generous with information on how to change over to the gluten-free life.’ Coeliac UK have also recently released an app which helps to make shopping and finding a place to eat out much easier – ‘Gluten-free On The Move’ is available now, and it’s free!


Don’t allow yourself to feel restricted
It’s fantastic that there are so many wonderful brands offering gluten-free options, but there’s no reason why you have to stick to just foods specifically labelled as gluten-free. All (fresh) fruits, vegetables and meats are naturally gluten-free, and you can whip up a tasty meal in no time without a gluten-free label in sight! So although the gluten-free section is a saviour when you’re craving some pasta, you don’t always have to rely on just that part of the supermarket.


Treat yourself
Lots of people think that being gluten-free means that you don’t get to eat any treats, but there are loads of delicious products available. Eating a balanced diet is important, but everyone’s entitled to some cake occasionally! Udi’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip & Toffee Flavoured Muffins(£1.50) are so good that you’d never know they were gluten-free! Or try this delicious gluten-free muffin recipe.