Cooking without gluten

Posted 5 months ago

Top tips and what to look out for on campus

Cooking together is a great way to save time and money. But if someone in your house or flat does not eat gluten, you'll need to be mindful of what you're making.

We've put together some helpful tips for cooking from scratch and avoiding using gluten...

  • The most common types of gluten filled foods are bread, pasta, cereals, bagels, muffins, cookies and cakes.
  • Most pre-made curry sauces contain gluten. Try making a curry with all you favourite dried spices, add a tin of coconut cream for the liquid and mash up a banana to thicken the sauce. This might sound odd but it works, honestly!
  • Potatoes and rice are naturally starchy, so add them raw to a stew, soup or casserole to thicken a sauce instead of flour
  • If you are making a sauce to accompany a dish, you can try using the cooking juices. Reducing the liquid will thicken the consistency and provide a real depth of flavour. If you're after a treat, try adding small cubes of cold butter and shake the pan and butter until dissolved. This is a classic French method called 'Mont au beurre.'
  • Corn starch or corn flour is great for thickening liquids but can leave an opaque finish. It is ideal for sweet and milk based sauces, like cheese sauce and oriental ones, like a home made sweet and sour sauce.
  • 'Free from' gluten flour is available in many supermarkets and can be used as a base for loads of dishes. Use the flour to make savoury pancakes and then use these as a substitute to lasagne sheets and Cannelloni tubes. If you make flat breads and have any spare the next day, try using them to line tins and flan dishes instead of making pastry.
  • Rice noodles are a great option instead of wheat.
  • For fritters, bhaji, batters, pancakes, etc – try gram flour (also called besan), garbanzo flour, or chickpea flour. 

Things to be aware of:

  • While oats naturally do not contain gluten, they may come in contact with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley at the farm, in storage or during transportation. Check the pack for precautionary 'May contain' labelling.
  • People choose to remove gluten from their diet for many reasons. If it is because you suffer with an allergy or intolerance, there is plenty of information available to you. 
  • At the University, every food outlet offers Non-Gluten Containing Ingredient (NGCI) options. Look out for the labels and special menus. You can also ask any member of our Hospitality staff, who are especially trained on the topic.