Having been entertained by the idea of the Alphabet Eating Challenge, which I came across at Playlibrary, I thought I’d see if I could create a gluten free alphabet. Not that I’m going to eat them all at the same time.
We often play A-Z in the car – the idea is that you pick a category and then take it in turns to name an item in that category, going through the alphabet. We often use foods as a category – though we haven’t identified a proper X either!
So – food that is naturally gluten free …
A – apples, of course, and almonds, avocado and amaranth (either as a grain or as a flour)
B – bananas, blueberries, broccoli and brazils (what a lot of superfoods begin with B)
C – carrots, chickpeas, cucumber and chestnuts, but also corn, which is useful as a flour
D – dairy products – but check any additions – dates, duck and dulse
E – eggs, endive and eggplant (known as aubergine here)
F – fish, fruit and fowl (but don’t add gluten in the sauces)
G – globe artichokes, grapes, ginger and garlic
H – herbs of every variety, horseradish, honey and hummous
I – iceberg lettuce, ice lollies and icecream (but check for additions)
J – jerusalem artichokes, jams, jelly and (pure) juices
K – kale, kelp and kholrabi, kiwi fruit and kidney beans
L – lentils are a useful source of protein for vegetarian coeliacs (and so are other pulses). Also lemons, lettuce, lamb and lobster
M – marzipan is gluten free, but more importantly, so are millet and maize, mushrooms and meat (watch out for sauces on your meat, though)
N – nuts – all of them, whether whole or ground. Also (pure) nutmeg, nectarines and nasturtium flowers!
O – olives, octopus, okra and oregano (and all other fresh herbs). Increasingly people believe that pure oats may be GF, too.
P – pulses (lentils, beans, peas), plums and potatoes
Q – quinoa, a useful carbohydrate, and also quince
R – rice, in all its many forms (fragrant Thai, risotto rice, American long grain, pudding …), raisins and raspberries
S – sago (but not semolina, which is made from wheat), squid, soya and sorghum, as well as seaweed and (pure) spices
T – tapioca and teff, tofu and treacle
U – um … apart from from ugli fruit and umeboshi, I’m struggling with U
V – vine leaves, vanilla, (wine) vinegar and violets – and all vegetables
W – whisky and wine! Do these count? … OK, how about watermelon, walnuts and whortleberries?
X – xanthan gum. Very useful as a gluten replacement!
Y – yeast is gluten free – and so are yams
Z – apart from zucchini (known as courgettes here) zante grapes and zinc (as a food supplement) I give up!
What can you add?
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…
Thanks so much for the link! I’ll have to remember this post if we decide to try the challenge again. You have a great list going!
Melonie K. (SmallBizMentor.com) says
Lucy, this is fantastic! I have a friend who has tried removing gluten from her child’s diet for sensory related issues. She will love, love, LOVE this list. Somehow it seemed to me that “everything” would have it, and it would be so hard. You’ve pointed out that a lot of the things we should all eat more of (produce, particularly) are already on the YES list. :-) Thanks! You’ve got an amazing blog here. I’m so glad you stopped by mine!
Can I have flaxseeds, on celiac decease, and which book would you recommend for newly diagnosed.
Hi Anne – Flax seeds are naturally gluten free, so as long as they haven’t been mixed in with gluten-containing ingredients, they should be fine.
As for books for newly diagnosed people… If you haven’t already, I suggest you join Coeliac UK (or for other readers, the coeliac organisation in your own country). Coeliac UK maintains a list of products that are OK for coeliacs to eat, available as a book (or on your phone). If you are looking for recipe books, there is a good list of gluten free recipe books here. And of course, if it is your child that is newly diagnosed, there is my own book Raising Your Coeliac Child. Do let us know how you get on!