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Senior product developer Leah Ellis shares her tips for going gluten free, from easy swaps and handy products to seven seriously tasty recipes.

Discovered you need to go gluten free, but worried about having to cut out your favourite foods? Forget about what you can’t eat and focus on what you can. There are plenty of delicious recipes out there that don’t contain gluten. And while regular bread and pasta might be off the menu, there are lots of gluten free alternatives available that deliver on flavour and texture.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a form of protein found in certain grains, such as wheat, rye and barley. Those who are coeliac or gluten-intolerant are unable to eat foods containing gluten, as these can damage their gut and cause other adverse symptoms.

My top tips for going gluten free

1. Read food labels

In order to help make safe choices, it’s important to read food labels to ensure a product is gluten free. Remember to look out for gluten free and Free From logos on Co-op products – these are clearly marked to help customers make informed decisions when shopping.  

2. Focus on what you CAN eat

Remember, there are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten free, such as potatoes, dairy, fruit and veg, nuts, certain grains (including corn and rice), meat, fish and eggs. That’s a pretty long list to keep you occupied in the kitchen

3. Don’t get caught out!

There are many recipes and ready made products containing gluten that you might not expect. Sauces, stuffing, beer and stock cubes can all be common culprits, so it’s important to get clued up about what could worsen your symptoms. Knowledge is key.

4. Check out alternatives

Yes, there are some pretty poor gluten free alternatives for bread and pasta out there, but there are also some really good ones. I’m a huge fan of Co-op Free From Brown Seeded Loaf when toast is the only thing I’m craving for breakfast. Or, if you’re in need of a speedy supper, try Co-op Free From Cod & Parsley Fishcakes. And don’t panic! Pasta dishes are still very much on the menu with Co-op Free From Spaghetti. Clever swaps will make the world of difference when it comes to ensuring you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

Discover the full gluten free range here.

Gluten free recipes that take less than 30 mins to make

Take a look at some of my favourite gluten free recipes for when hunger’s calling and I need something delicious, pronto! The best bit? They all take less than 30 minutes to make.

1. Spicy salmon nachos
Ready in: 30 mins

Tortilla chips are actually gluten free and make a tasty hack if you’re looking to add crunch to your cooking. Plus, these spiced nachos make a pack of two salmon fillets go further to feed four.

Courgette and corn salad
Ready in: 20 mins

Make a date with your vegetable peeler for this summer salad, made with courgette shavings, sweetcorn and a zesty garlic, lemon and parmesan dressing. It’s the only salad I’ll be serving at BBQs this year!

One-pot smoky lamb and rice
Ready in: 30 mins

One-pots are always a winner as far as I’m concerned: low fuss, minimal washing up and packed with flavour!

Spiced cauliflower mash
Ready in: 20 mins

Regular potato mash is also gluten free, but I do love this option for when I fancy a change.

No-churn espresso and rum ice cream
Ready in: 15 mins

Gluten-free puddings can be pretty special, too. Cue this no-churn rum and espresso ice cream, which requires just four ingredients to make. Why not try it served with Co-op Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies crumbled on top?

Pesto rice salad 
Ready in: 30 mins

This tasty rice salad is a breeze to throw together and features everyone’s favourite Italian staple: pesto!

7. Ice cream sundae
Ready in: 15 mins + chilling

Using just five ingredients (including a couple of short cuts), this show-stopping sundae packs wow factor and playfulness into one summer dessert!

Leah Ellis
Senior product developer

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. I love that a lot of your own products are generally gluten free , from fish to sausages, soups and more, would like to see Warburton gluten free bread and rolls in smaller store, as only has two small shelves of free from food

  2. Hi there, thanks for taking the time to leave us some feedback! I’m thrilled to hear we’ve made your shopping that little bit easier – have a great day. 🙋 ^Cressida

  3. Thank you so much for adding gluten free to your smaller branches, especially Corsham Wiltshire. Just makes life so easier, as I cook fresh food everyday for my family and now this addition has made my life so much easier to shop with you!

  4. Like the increase in CoOp Fish Dishes in the Chiller, and In Vegan, well marked as Gluten Free. As others say, eating any Gluten has such horrible effects so very grateful to my local CoOps for providing suitable products. And always including GF products in my Weekly Special Offers

  5. I love coop products. Always easy to see what is gluten free or not. I would like to see more fresh sandwiches.

  6. Thank you Co-op. A really helpful article and your gluten free products are really good. My daughter is gluten intolerant and has very severe reactions if she consumes gluten. The large range available makes meal planning so much easier and safer.

    • I am also gluten intolerant, and often people think that it’s a choice. I suffer quite badly if I accidentally miss something that contains gluten, (for me it’s mainly wheat gluten), so I am never without my trusty Buscopan! The best bread that I have found most recently, in Co-op, is Warburtons gluten-free Tiger bread; it’s delicious. Normal white or brown bread, I have found Schar to be the best, also in the Co-op. It’s worth a try.


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