The gluten-free vegan

When I started my blog, in my mind it was for the people, who for whatever reason were gluten-free. Also, a big part of it was for those who had made a choice to become vegan.

As I go forward I have found that there are so many, who like me are both.

I am a coeliac and a vegan. This I find so difficult. Being a vegan nowadays has become so mainstream food-wise, which is a great thing. The choices we have in our supermarkets are becoming wide and varied. New products seem to appear weekly, with food resembling steak, burgers and pulled pork.

This is where I find it difficult, I would love to try some of these new fabulous foods, such as Iceland’s and Tescos range but alas they are not “free-from”. I get so frustrated. Now I am not suggesting that food suppliers should make every vegan food free from, but it does not lessen my frustration sometimes. I get excited when I see a new product that has the word VEGAN screaming across the front, then I look at the ingredients and my heart sinks a little.

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There are some silver linings now, that I am so thankful for. Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg range. I found these Shroomdogs, vegan and gluten-free, they looked like a normal sausage. I was so excited, I snatched some up straight away. These are so delicious, they come in two choices, Cumberland or roasted onion. They hold their shape in sausage casserole or even better in onion gravy with mash potatoes. Fabulous in a sausage sandwich too.

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Another of my favourites, is from the GOSH range, I am not so keen on all the range. What I do love is a falafel, my standby to take on a journey in case I get stuck for food. That and a pot of hummus has got me through many hunger situations. Even Aldi and Lidl so some great falafels now.

You can now get a vegan sandwich, which is great and you can get a gluten-free option, wonderful. God forbid if you want both. The question I get asked so many times is, well what do you eat?. We are left to feel like the forgotten ones and quite frankly I often feel like I’m the awkward one. While at home we can manage to enjoy a wide range of home-cooked food contrary to what some people believe, we do not just eat plates of vegetables.

All year round, social situations trip you up, social functions, BBQs and now with Christmas coming, up there will be plenty of parties. I have been stuck a few times, where there literally have been nothing I could eat, So hungry even my fingernails seemed tempting. If we take our own food we are fussy, or worse a food snob. Also, who wants to go somewhere with a handbag full of contraband food.

The hardest food I think, is that great everyday staple, bread. As a rule gluten-free bread is not vegan, it uses dried egg white or egg white as an ingredient. BFree bread products. I love the pitta bread and brown seeded. That was the only gluten-free vegan bread on a whole row of gluten-free bread in a big supermarket. Grab this one if you can.

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Compromising our ethical values for being coeliac is not a choice we should have to make. I know it is completely impossible for every small cafe and eaterie to provide an option for gluten-free. It needs separate food preparation areas to avoid cross-contamination. That means money. I just want supermarkets to provide a suitable sandwich option and larger food establishments, to realize that we do exist. There are out there, a large part of the coeliac and gluten-free community that has ethical values when it comes to their lifestyle and food choices. We have to hope that just like veganism has moved on in leaps and bounds that soon being a gluten-free vegan will soon follow.

I would love to hear your opinions on this subject and the difficulties that any of you face.

Gluten Freevegan

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