Gluten Freedom

While most vegans eat gluten and wheat, there are people who choose to adopt a gluten-free diet in addition to veganism for various health-related reasons, which may include celiac disease, gluten or wheat intolerance, or simply a preference for eating a more varied range of grains, or a preference for raw and living foods.

This new page – well, extensively-updated page anyway! – contains a brief summary of various gluten-free grain and ingredient options. There will be further ingredients added as well as info on gluten-intolerance and celiac disease in the near future.

Due to my partner’s gluten intolerance and my preference for raw food, most of the recipes on this site are gluten-free, and a few of them are low-gluten. For more info about this blog and us, check out the About page.


Gluten-Free Flours/Grains

Starches – keep in the cupboard, in sealed container. Do not freeze.

Potato starch flour – made from taters! Has a slight potato flavour as a result, but is excellent for structure in breads. Found in: health shops, specialty shops, organic shops, Indian grocery stores, Jewish grocery stores. Substitutes: tapioca starch (although lacks flavour that balances out besan in mixes).

Tapioca starch – also known as arrowroot. Found in supermarkets in small quantities, and in bulk in: health stores, specialty stores, organic shops, Indian grocery stores, Asian/Chinese supermarkets. Substitutes: potato starch flour (only when potato flavour will not be an issue), cornstarch.

Cornstarch – if made from corn, it’s great! Avoid wheat-derived varieties common in Australia – check ingredients for details. This starch is best when mixed in over heat. Substitutes: tapioca starch.

Non-starchy flours – keep in sealed containers, or in the freezer (stops bugs getting in!).

Besan (chickpea flour) – has a very strong flavour, so best not used as the main flour in a mix. Absorbs a lot of water. Great for battering vegetables for tempura-style cooking! Found in: health stores, specialty stores, organic shops, Indian grocery stores.

Rice flour – lots of places sell white rice flour, but brown rice flour is the one you want for healthy goodness! My local health food shop sells it. Rice flour can be gritty, and you can get fine and coarse ground flour, depending on where you get it. Personally I don’t mind a coarser ground flour for making cookies – more texture can be good. Found in supermarkets in small quantities, and in bulk in: health stores, specialty stores, organic shops, Indian grocery stores, Asian/Chinese supermarkets.

Quinoa flour - expensive and hard to come by in large quantities in Australia. It also promotes that icky gritty texture. Give it a miss… but if you don’t want to miss it, find it in: specialty stores and organic shops.

Soy flour - a good thickener in sauces and makes fluffy cakes, but I don’t use it too much. Brown rice flour is my preferred choice! Found in some supermarkets, and in bulk in: health stores, specialty stores, organic shops.

Maize flour – it’s corn flour, not corn starch! Great for Mexican cooking and making flat breads. Found in: Indian stores, Mexican stores, continental stores, health stores, specialty stores, organic shops.

Pre-mixed Gluten-Free Flour Brands

F.G. Roberts – good shiznit and healthier than others. A soy-based flour mix. Great for making spongy cakes! Comes in plain flour and self-raising, no wholemeal or bread flours. They also sell a product called “Soy Compound” but I haven’t figured out what to use that for. All made from non-GM soy, of course.

White Wings – ugh. This flour is as white as it can get, so it is good for things like shortbread cookies and such, and it does make for a nice texture, but fibre? Healthfulness? Forget it!

Other Baking Ingredients

Xantham and Guar Gum - optional in breads, etc, but a teaspoon or two can definitely help improve structure/reduce crumbling, and even assist with rising. Definitely worth sifting in. It appears expensive, but you don’t use much! I use xantham, because it’s usually a teensy bit cheaper!

Baking Powder - watch out! Some brands of baking powder contain gluten! Tricky bastards. Baking powder goes off (ie. stops working/rising), so is usually only available in small quantities. Lotus brand has a larger packet than what you get from the supermarket, available in health stores.

Baking Soda – great stuff, but watch out for the soda taste if you add too much!

Yeast – I use dry yeast. It’s a type of fungus that is activated by heat, and eats up sugar and releases gas, thus making bread products rise. Nifty! Some people are allergic.

Other Ingredients

Greens and beans – are an excellent source of protein and minerals – much better than grains! They are a very important part of a gluten-free vegan diet, particularly dark leafy greens. Adding some green to every meal – while at first may seem challenging – is tasty and rewarding! eg. At breakfast, have a green juice or green smoothies, add some powdered greens to your regular beverage, or add herbs, spinach, or arugula to savoury breakfast foods.

Molasses – beats the heck out of sugar for nutrition. Full of calcium and other minerals. Great for bread products… and liquorice! Blackstrap molasses is the best.

Vinegar – when mixed with baking soda in baked goods, things rise. It’s grouse. Use apple cider vinegar for extra healthiness, otherwise cheapo white vinegar is fine. Vinegar contains some yeast, so may not be suitable for yeast allergy sufferers, although people with less nasty yeast intolerances can be fine.

Oils

Olive Oil – extra virgin cold-pressed is the best! Olive oil is not the best for cooking, however, as it has a low flash-point compared to many other vegetable oils, and the flavour is not suitable for most cooked dishes outside of Italian food. Best used on salad, as a dressing, or in raw soups or other raw foods.

Sunflower Oil – My favourite for cooking, as it is relatively inexpensive and usually GMO-free (note: this won’t be labelled in Australia). Has a reasonably high flashpoint and a subtle taste that doesn’t interfer with other flavours. Try to get organic if you can.

Canola Oil – Usually a GMO food (note: this won’t be labelled in Australia). I steer clear of it. Sunflower oil is better.

Soy Oil – if it comes from Australian soy beans it’s probably organic. But sunflower oil is better for cooking. I really like sunflower oil. Can you tell?

Rice Bran Oil – A “new” oil I stumbled across recently that has a very high flash point, so it’s great for cooking. Has a touch of flavour though, and is more expensive than sunflower.

Coconut Oil – Sounds fatty, but it’s a tricky oil – you don’t actually absorb the much of the fat from processed coconut oil! It has a high flash point, and is great for cooking with where a bit of coconut scent in the oil won’t bother you. Make sure you’re not using extra virgin coconut oil in cooked food – save that for raw food and skin care!

LSA – linseed (aka flax), sunflower, and almond meal. Throw it in smoothies and your bread. It’s full of omega oils and healthy things. Keep it in the fridge or freezer so the oils don’t break down.

Nuts and Seeds

Flax seed – also called linseed in Australia. Very healthy. Nice oils. Throw it in smoothies and your bread. It’s full of omega oils and healthy things. Make sure you grind the seeds or use flax meal, otherwise you won’t digest it properly. Keep it in the fridge or freezer so the oils don’t break down. If you use flax seed oil (healthy but expensive!), keep it in the fridge.

Seeds & nuts – Keep seeds and nuts in the fridge to stop them going rancid – this is particularly important to preserve the healthy oils and flavour, and of particular importance for making “raw foods.” Seeds and nuts are typically a good source of healthy fats and minerals. Eat them! don’t avoid them! they are good for your skin! and general health. A handful or two will put a stop to snacking on fatty crap between meals.

More coming soon…

  • leigh

    “Pre-mixed Gluten-Free Flour Brands

    F.G. Roberts – good shiznit. A soy-based flour mix. Great for making spongy cakes! Comes in plain flour and self-raising, no wholemeal or bread flours. They also sell a product called “Soy Compound” but I’ve yet to figure out what the hell that’s all about… Made from non-GM soy, of course.

    White Wings – ugh. Nuff said!”

    Do you know if these self-raising products contain yeast? (I’m gluten-free on acounta needing to be yeast free.)

  • http://veganza.com/ Renee

    Hi Leigh,

    They are yeast-free flours.

  • Noel

    Thank you, I needed this.
    In fact, I’m so happy, I could cry. Which is weird, but hey, so am I :-)

    I’ve even added you to my Google home page, you are so pleasing.

    N.

  • http://www.gothic.net.au/ Shea

    I think I love you!

    2 weeks in and I’ve quit panicking that I’ll never be able to eat anything again, but I was still at a loss at what should be going into my cupboard.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this up :)

    S.

  • http://veganza.com/ Renee

    Love! True love is starchy goodness!

  • Kristin

    I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    grateful to have found this website!
    I’m a teacher and with allergies and ASPD it’s really hard to bring in a snack all the children can eat that is full of sugar.
    Thank you for being on the WEB!

  • Kristin

    I meant not full of sugar.

  • ross@gladtobegluten-free.com

    I hope you don’t mind me asking but do you or any of your contributors know a good gluten free bread recipe for a bread maker?

    I am in Australia so I know Orgran products but have not had great success with bread.

    Thanks, and regards.
    Ross.

  • http://musical-presence.com peter metcalf

    Hi folks,
    I like to see true love…a good intro to your page here.
    I too am seeking a vegan (no honey, no eggs) gluten free recipe for bread. No soy either, as two studies, Korea and China, link it to twice the incidence in old age of cognitive impairment. There are some good articles online. I would like a bread that is soft and tears, rather than crumbles, real yeasty! If you know of any…I am in the San Francisco Bay area, and used to use a breadman 2 lb. bread machine, but I believe I will have a better choice of mortal illness if I abstain from wheat. (:-)
    Buckwheat is a fruit something or other. Not a grain. So, I bought some buckwheat flour, and am eager to use it.
    One thing I can recommend to enhance leavening action: based on extensive experience and experimentation with pancakes, oat milk is far superior to all others, including soy, rice, multigrain, and almond. We added for pancakes or waffles, a little vinegar in with the oatmilk to assist the leavening of baking powder and baking soda (for about 6 pancakes, we used 1/2 teaspoon soda and about 2 t. powder.
    Buckwheat would be the best choice due to it’s large insoluble fiber content, as well as some amino acid. It is the best protein of the grains.
    I also would recommend using coconut oil since iti holds together (is more or less solid) at room temperature. If you believe saturated oil is unhealthy, look up the website for Mary Inig. She is a biochemist whose career was spent researching oils and fats. She knows her stuff, and is not selling a product (other than her book “Know Your Fats”).
    Thanks.
    Peter

  • http://cupcakekitteh.blogspot.ca/ Mandee

    Hey Renee,

    What do you think of the Orgran pre-mixed g-free flours? I used some recently to make pretzels and they turned out well. I just wish they were soy-free as well.

    Also, I am having so much trouble finding tapioca flour. I have “The Gluten-Free Vegan” and tried subbing potato flour for tapioca in her scone recipe but they tasted like dry potato cakes! I might try an asian supermarket, good tip!

    Mandee xox

  • http://veganza.com/ Renee

    I haven’t had much success using Orgran. I prefer “wholefood” flours, like brown rice, besan, and buckwheat, to the processed stuff… Potato does have a strong taste, unfortunately! Quinoa is another good flour to use, perhaps in place of besan or brown rice, but it’s more expensive.

    I get tapioca from Chinese & Indian grocery stores, yep.

  • april

    Mandee, go to the asian section of your Safeway supermarket, you will find rice flour, glutinous rice flour (does not contain gluten) and tapioca. the brand is erawan, if i remember correctly. it is in a 500g plastic bag, so much cheaper than in the health section.

  • Francene

    Hi,
    The website for Bob’s Redmill grain products has recipes for gluten-free bread recipes for the bread machine.

    This link takes you directly to the gluten-free bread recipes on the website.

    http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes_search.php?product_ID=all&category_ID=14&keywords=bread+machine&submit=%3A%3A+search+%3A%3A

    Regards,
    Francene

  • http://www.mittenmachen.com/ Mary

    Thanks for this list. I’m vegan and I just found out I have Celiac. I have a lot of research to do, because I’m not willing to give up my baking!

  • http://www.glutenfreehealth.com.au Adam

    Hi,

    Take a look at these websites

    http://WWW.glutenfreehealth.com.au (Its a sales site that is being upgraded, should be fully operational in a few few weeks.

    You will be able to buy alot of these flours from the site as well as meal premixes.

    http://www.glutenfreehealth.net A blog site about health and implications on our bodies of food we eat.

    By the way FG Roberts soy compound is a soy milk powder/milk substitue but it can also be used as a base for dips and spreads.

    Adam