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All You Need To Know About Gluten + 30 Gluten Free Vegan Recipes

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By Lora O’Brien

Not too long ago,  people were suffering painful stomach upsets without ever really knowing the root cause, and still today, it’s even been estimated that a whopping 99% of the people suffering from either a gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed. But it’s official: gluten intolerance is a growing problem. No one is sure why, but it’s been said that GMO foods may have something to do with it. In any case, with gluten hidden in so many things, it’s essential for those who are intolerant to ensure they stay feeling well by avoiding it whenever possible – and maybe trying some gluten free vegan recipes (more of which is below).

We spoke with Ed Gaynor, a doctor for Bupa UK, who shared his advice on the best ways to manage food intolerances and what to do when they flare up.

What’s the difference between an allergy and intolerance?

There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between these two things. An intolerance can be just as disruptive to your everyday life as an allergy. Symptoms usually appear after you’ve eaten a certain food and in some cases, they can come on hours after eating. This can make it much harder to work out if the symptoms you’re experiencing are being caused by a particular food, or by something else, like stress or anxiety.

A food allergy is slightly different. Your immune system reacts to a particular food, and you may experience mild or severe symptoms. These may include a swelling of your lips, mouth and face and various parts of your body can be affected.

How are food intolerances diagnosed?

Diagnosing a food intolerance can be challenging! It can’t be diagnosed like a traditional food allergy by a blood test or skin-prick test. Your doctor may ask you to complete a food and symptom diary. Once potential foods are identified, a dietician can help you remove these from your diet for at least 6-8 weeks to see if your symptoms improve. If there is no improvement, your doctor will re-assess if they think food intolerance is responsible for the symptoms you’re experiencing. Alternatively, if your symptoms don’t ease up, you may be able to re-introduce the foods into your diet.

What’s IBS and what are its symptoms? Do they vary for different people?

IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and it’s a term given to a wide range of conditions and symptoms. You may experience pain or discomfort in your stomach and see a change in your bowel habits. Other symptoms include bloating, excessive wind, constipation or diarrhoea.

Changing your diet may help to manage the symptoms of IBS. Many people try avoiding foods that contain lactose (dairy) and gluten (found in wheat, rye or barley) to see if that helps.

Can stress and emotions affect IBS?

Yes – your gut, brain and hormones all have a connection, which is often affected by stress and anxiety. When you’re feeling stressed, you will often feel your stomach gurgle and you may find you need to go to the toilet more often. This is completely normal. With IBS, this is likely to be much more sensitive.

Emotional triggers are well reported and those with symptoms that are still persistent after changing your diet or taking medication often benefit from strategies to help deal with stress and wellbeing. Being aware of the situations that cause your IBS to flare up, for example before meetings or if you’re tired, is an important first step for those affected to tackle their symptoms in the long-term.

Who’s more likely to suffer from IBS?

Younger people and women are more likely to suffer from IBS. In the United States, for example, there is a 2:1 ratio between women and men. The reason for this is currently unknown.

Is there anything we can do to prevent IBS from flaring up?

There is no single, best-prevention strategy. But there are a number of things that you can try. If one doesn’t work, then try another or combine with a strategy to tackle stress or anxiety. It can often be helpful to involve your GP or a dietitian with this. Here are some things you can try:

Make changes to your diet

If your main symptom is bloating and excessive gas, try reducing ‘gas producing’ foods. Some of these include beans, onions, celery, carrots, raisins, bananas, apricots, prunes, sprouts, wheat, alcohol and caffeine. If you’re still experiencing bloating after reducing or removing these foods, going lactose-free may help. Lactose is found in all animal milks. There’s now a wide range of alternatives you can try such as soya, almond and rice milk.

If pain is your main symptom, I’d recommend trying a low FODMAP diet. FODMAPS are a group of carbohydrates that are rapidly digested and poorly absorbed in the gut, which can lead to a build-up of gas (wind). Adopting a low FODMAP diet has been shown to help those with IBS. I’d suggest speaking with your GP before starting.

Other strategies such as removing gluten (wheat) from your diet, or gradually increasing dietary fibre can also be helpful for some people.

Identify why you’re stressed

Stress and anxiety can be both a cause of IBS and make your symptoms worse. You should try and identify the source of your stress or anxiety and get plenty of rest. Sometimes behavioural cognitive therapy can help as well.

There are many ways to deal with stress – all of which are very personal to those affected. Try to identify what thoughts or actions lead you to feel stressed or anxious. For example, if you’re worrying about not completing tasks at work on time, think of strategies to reduce these stressful thoughts or actions. Work with your boss to give you enough time and resources to complete any task set and keep them in the loop if you might not be able to meet the deadline.

You should also make sure you have a good work-life balance and get enough sleep. Recognising that you can’t always control how your body feels is essential to living a healty lifestyle.


It’s rare that medicines are needed to manage symptoms of IBS. If they are, medicines such as anti-spasmotics (these reduce gut spasm) and laxatives can help relieve temporary symptoms. However, they have been show not to be useful in long-term relief of syptoms. These should not be started without the advice of your GP.

Work out how your body responds

IBS symptoms in most cases can be controlled or reduced, but not completely cured. If no cause has been found for your symptoms, you should try to find strategies to help deal with your pain when it flares up.

Working out how your body and gut responds is important. If you find that certain food or drinks help, then use them early. Remember to continue living your life and get support from your friends, family and GP.

30 Gluten Free Vegan Recipes

Luckily for us, many health bloggers and chefs have adapted recipes for a gluten-free lifestyle.  Whether you’re after some hot pancakes drizzled with syrup and topped with berries for breakfast, or a gooey, cheesy quesadilla for dinner, there are plenty of awesome recipes out there for living a happy, healthy, GF life!

1. Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Many people with gluten allergies suffer when it comes to oats, but oats are such a wholesome and filling breakfast you really don’t want to miss out! Oats are naturally gluten free but it’s more the cross contamination that can make them a problem, but it’s easy to ensure your oats are gluten free with brands like Alara Organic readily available.

Get the recipe  here.

gluten free vegan recipes

2. Dirty Chai Pancakes & Vanilla Cranberry Compote

Make a stack of these oh so fluffy and delightful pancakes any day of the week and say hello to food porn. For real, you’ll devour these. The blend of flours used are completely gluten free, so you won’t suffer whilst eating these. And the fun part? Choosing your selection of toppings!

Get the recipe  here.

3. Gluten Free French Toast Recipe

Ahhh French Toast! Warm pieces of bread, dipped in egg – or in this case, NOT – topped with flaked almonds, berries and maple syrup…are you salivating yet? Because I sure as heck am.

Get the recipe  here.

4. Lemon Chia Seed Granola

Granola is pretty simple to make, but we tend to buy it because packaging it super fancy and alluring and almost when it’s labelled gluten free it makes life easier. But, it costs you a pretty penny just for the reassurance, when you just as easily make it at home in larger batches and store it in lock tight containers for the week ahead.

Get the recipe  here.

gluten free vegan recipes

5. Lime, Maple Syrup & Toasted Coconut Crepes

If sickly sweet desserts aren’t your bag, then this zingy crepe recipe by Clean Food Dirty Girl may just be perfect for you. It’s a twist on the traditional pancake recipe of sugar and lemon, but a lot more healthy, and dare we say it – tastier? The use of buckwheat in the crepes is a great addition, and the mixture of the sweet maple syrup and toasted coconut against the tartness of the lime works wonders. Serve this up as a Sunday brunch or as a light dessert.

Get the recipe here.

6. Superfood Bread

If you’re not willing to give up on your morning toast, never fear: there are still ways to enjoy bread without suffering afterwards. This GF superfood bread by Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella is so versatile! You can cut a slice of it and toast it with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, or enjoy a chunk with your soup or smash some avocado over it.

Get the recipe  here.


7. Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones

These scones are delicious and soft, with subtle pumpkin spices, perfect for the upcoming winter months. You could make a batch and devour them as they are, or if you’re anything like me, slather them with butter and wait for it to deliciously melt before dunking it into a huge bowl of soup!

Get the recipe  here.

8.  Curried Coconut & Red Lentil Soup

The healthiest way to consume soup is to make your own. That way you’re in full control over what goes into it, and there’s no hidden nasties lurking within! And it’s actually so easy to make soup, it’s almost impossible to go wrong. Alexandra of Inmybowl has us constantly drooling over her instagram photos, and this soup is no exception. Vibrant and colourful, it looks gorgeous and as with all of her recipes, is incredibly good for you and gluten free.

Get the recipe  here.


9. Garlic & Chive Dinner Muffins

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just crave a delicious, warm muffin that is a little more savoury than it is sweet. The texture alone on these muffins is addictive; light, soft and super fluffy. You could eat these on their own or serve them as a side with stews and soup instead of the bland bread roll. That’s if they stick around that long!

Get the recipe  here.

10. Zucchini Cakes with Spinach

How fancy do these zucchini cakes look? You could get away with serving these up to guests as a starter, and you won’t have to worry about gluten allergies as these babies are gluten friendly. Make a heartier meal out of them and serve them alongside some grilled tofu – yum!

Get the recipe  here.

11. Cauliflower Cheddar, Grilled Zucchini & Pesto Sandwich

Sandwiches need not be a nightmare for those of you with gluten allergies. There’s SO many available brands out there who sell GF bread, such as Biona and Cru8, but it’s also super easy to make your own from home. And then you can make lots of these bomb cauliflower cheddar grilled sarnies! Delish.

Get the recipe  here.

12. Garlic Teff Croutons

Sometimes you just want to add a little texture to meals like salads and soup, and so these garlic teff croutons are going to be a life saver! Plus, they also provide a little protein and fibre boost. Pairing them with a salad like this, which is a mix of sweet and savoury with the mango, avocado, raisins, tomatoes, chickpeas and lemony-tahini dressing, works perfectly.

Get the recipe  here.

13. Vegan Power Burger with Beet Slaw & Horseradish Sauce

How delicious does this look? The slightly sleet beetroot slaw and tangy horseradish sauce take it to the next level. Crunchy ribbons of cucumber add a delightful crispness, and for real, this burger will be the best damn thing you’ve tried for a while. Whilst the buns are gluten free, you could wrap them in lettuce cups if you’d prefer to ditch the starch.

Get the recipe  here.

14. Leek & Asparagus Quiche

It can be tricky finding a pastry that’s gluten free, and if you’ve ever tried making your own then you’ll know it can be at times a tricky process to nail. So aren’t you overjoyed you’ve found this recipe?! The pastry crust is made from gluten free flour and oats, and then all kinds of veggie goodies go inside. You could make this for dinner and serve with salad, but it will also store well so you can take it to work the next day.

Get the recipe  here.

15. Spinach Muffins

Not everyone likes their gluten free recipes on the sweet side, and this is a great savoury addition to add to your cookbook. Inspired by Green Kitchen Stories, Cathy of What Would Cathy Eat? has vegan-ised their recipe, making this gluten free AND vegan! And we have to say, after all those sweet recipes this savoury one is looking might good. This is the perfect snack to have on hand when on the go, or take them as part of a picnic.

Get the recipe here.


16. Popcorn Tofu

Similar to popcorn chicken (ew) these tofu bites are coated in a delicious breadcrumb mix and then baked to perfection. Whereas many breadcrumb mixes aren’t always gluten free, it’s super easy to pick up one that is, so you won’t need to worry. Alternatively, you could let your loaf go stale and then turn that into breadcrumbs. Saves throwing it in the trash!

Get the recipe  here.

17. Basil Jalapeno Corn Fritters

I LOVE corn fritters. They’re just delicious, and who doesn’t love the crisp and fresh taste of corn? These fritters have a little bite thanks to the jalapeno’s and work so well with the basil and black pepper. Serve these with condiments of your choice and you’ve got a delicious serving platter! (just make sure that corn isn’t GMO, obvs).

Get the recipe  here.

18. Three Cheese Pizza

Even if you’re eating vegan and gluten free, you can still enjoy pizza – just use a gluten free base either ready made or whipped up from scratch. Then comes the fun part: toppings! This pizza has all kinds of vegan cheese, mixed with grilled veggies, black ripe and a sweet and sour mustard sauce that just tops it off perfectly. Perfect for your Friday night in with a beer or three.

Get the recipe  here.

19. Portobello Mushroom Burger

A burger stuffed with juicy portobello mushrooms, mashed avocado, tempeh strips and onion? HELL YASS. You could source gluten free rolls, make your own or even switch it out and make these into a deconstructed burger on top of a bed or greens or use greens to wrap them in. The options are endless, but the end result is super yum!

Get the recipe  here.

20. Mac & Peas

Sometimes life just calls for a bowl of delicious and creamy pasta that doesn’t take ages and ages to prepare. You can make this mac and pea pasta dish in just 15 mins, and by switching out white pasta – which is pretty bad for us anyway – and using a pasta made from brown rice, it’s also gluten free, of course.

Get the recipe  here.

21. Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas

Cha cha cha! These enchiladas are packed with roasted butternut squash and black beans and are then seasoned with dry spices and smoky sauce. After baking, they’re crisp on the edges, whilst being tender on the inside. The best part? They have just 10 ingredients.

Get the recipe  here.

22. Kale Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups

You don’t have to miss out on delicious pasta based recipes – not when there’s gluten free pasta readily available like these green lentil lasagna sheets. The ‘meat’ is made from ground walnuts, and they’re then stuffed with almond ‘ricotta cheese’ and then topped with tomato sauce and sunflower seed Parmesan – the result is SO good, it’s hard to believe it’s vegan.

Get the recipe  here.

23. Quinoa & Butternut Squash Cakes

If you’re a vegan it’s sometimes hard to find meat-free alternatives at summer events like BBQs, and coupled with the need to eat GF, eating out with friends can be really difficult, if not downright impossible. So why not make your own ‘burgers’ and take them along? These quinoa and butternut squash cakes from Simply Quinoa look like a burger and will be filling either on their own or inside a GF bun. The perfect  summer food!

Get the recipe here.


24. Chickpea and Pumpkin Pie

If you’re not a huge fan of chickpeas then you need to make this pie recipe, like, yesterday. It’s so incredibly moreish and the perfect recipe to have in your cooking repertoire ahead of the colder months. It’s so easy to make gluten free simply by switching out the type of flour used.

Get the recipe  here.

25. Infinite Zest Cookies

Lemon is such a wonderful, refreshing flavour and so it makes the perfect counter tartness to any sweet treat. These zesty biscuits will become a household staple – they’re THAT good, trust me.

Get the recipe  here.

26. Double Chocolate Maui Muffins

Double chocolate muffin? Yes, please!! These muffins are tender and moist and are infused with a real tropical flavour that will have you thinking of an island getaway. Not only are these easy to make, but the rich coconut texture is super yummy, and goes so well paired with your morning latte.

Get the recipe  here.

27. Baked Banana Bread Almond Donuts

Who doesn’t love banana bread? Sweet bananas and crunchy nuts – hell to the yes! This recipe is not only gluten free, it’s also made only with whole food ingredients – no refined sugars or other nasty stuff, so they’re pretty good for you as desserts go. Of course, everything in moderation, but I’m about to go make and eat three of these guys.

Get the recipe  here.

28. Maple Oat Mixed Berry Crisp

With summer slowly coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to use up those ripe berries and turn them into a delicious dessert. This maple oat berry crispy combines the juice of your berries and naturally sweetens it with a little maple syrup before topping it with oats. It’s super simple but will taste SUPER yum!

Get the recipe  here.

29. Raw Vegan Double Fudge Chocolate Brownies

These delicious bites will really have you convinced you’re devouring something insanely bad for you, but rest assured these chocolate brownies are all good! Ilene of The Colourful Kitchen deserves a medal for this sweet-potato based recipe–it’s not lacking in flavour or texture, and will have even the most devoted chocoholics addicted.

Get the recipe here.

30. Lemon & Pistachio Cake

If you’re living a healthier life, green is a colour you’re used to seeing. But in a cake? Rest assured, this cake is packing a serious punch in all the right ways. This recipe from  Desserts With Benefits  is not only gluten free but sugar free, too. So go have your cake and eat it, too.

Get the recipe here.


Main image: Cream Carbonara Pasta with Shiitake Bacon. Get the recipe here.


Lora O'Brien

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