‘Cure’ for coeliac sufferers?

An interesting article appeared in the Los Angeles Times this week.

Dr Robert Anderson, a gastroenterologist based in Melbourne, Australia, is working on a vaccine or pill to prevent or switch off a person’s reaction to gluten.

Currently there are two types of treatment being developed. One would work alongside a gluten free diet and protect sufferers from the occasional ingestion of gluten. The other would train the immune system to accept gluten and would enable a sufferer to follow a regular diet.

The first system uses enzyme therapy which breaks gluten down into tiny particles and therefore doesn’t cause inflammation of the intestine.

The second system uses immunotherapy and allows patients to eat a regular diet by stopping the immune response in the gut.

Phase 1 of the trials are due to be completed in 2010 and Anderson says that patients would receive a series of injections of the vaccine, followed by occasional maintenance doses.

Are you coeliac sufferer? How would your life be different if you could take a pill before a meal or receive regular shots to stop your reaction to gluten? Is it something you’d do?

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

Lovin’ it. Yes, it is possible to be gluten free at McDonald’s.

McDonald's french fries

McDonald's french fries. Image courtesy of cfinke

When you’re on the run, it’s tempting to dash into your local fast food joint and grab yourself a quick bite. But if you’re following a gluten free diet surely your local McDonald’s is off limits?

Not so. There are numerous foods which are gluten free at McDonald’s. (Although we recommend you don’t eat them every day.) Note: these apply to UK McDonalds’s restaurants only.

Meaty stuff
A McDonald’s hamburger, cheeseburger, Quarter Pounder®, and Big Mac® are all gluten free IF eaten without the bun. All McDonald’s burgers are made with 100% beef; so they’re not ‘beefed up’ with any cereal, rusk or flour.

And according to McDonald’s they’re happy to serve you just the burger minus the bun if you ask your server when ordering. Apparently, they don’t even mind if you bring your own gluten free bun in with you.

Potato things

  • French fries (Note: UK only. It seems that US french fries do have gluten.)
  • Potato wedges
  • Hash browns

Green stuff

  • Fruit bags
  • Carrot sticks
  • Garden salads


  • Cadburys Crunchie McFlurry andDairy Milk McFlurrys are both gluten free
  • But Aero McFlurrys are NOT gluten free


  • Strawberry sundaes are gluten free
  • But toffee sundaes are NOT gluten free


  • Regular coffee
  • Latte
  • But Cappuccinos are NOT gluten free. (The chocolate chips used contain gluten.)
  • Hot chocolate
  • Apple juice
  • Orange juice
  • Soft drinks
  • Milkshakes


  • Big Mac sauce
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Spicy tomato salsa

What else to avoid
The obvious things to avoid are buns, wraps and anything in breadcrumbs. Fish fingers, chicken nuggets and onion rings are also off limits.

But if you’re not sure about any ingredients just ask your server. And if they don’t seem sure ask to speak to the manager. Don’t run the risk of being ill over a Filet-O-Fish®

Update: Following on from a number of queries we had regarding the fries, we contacted McDonald’s directly. See this post for their reply.

White Chocolate Mousse

This recipe is taken from Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, Reduced Calorie Cookbook by Connie Sarros. A great mousse for the calorie conscious!

Shred a piece of semisweet chocolate to sprinkle over the top of the mousse before serving.

  • 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups gluten-free non-dairy whipped topping

Melt the chocolate with the water in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water until the chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool, stirring occasionally. Fold in half of the whipped topping until completely blended, then gently fold in the remainder of the whipped topping. Spoon into bowls.

Makes 4 ½ cup servings

One serving – Calories: 74; Total fat: 4.4 g; Saturated fat: 3.9 g; Cholesterol: 1 mg; Sodium: 4 mg; Carbohydrates: 6.5 g; Fibre: 0 g; Sugar: 4.6 g; Protein: 0.2 g

List of gluten free foods: all those things you CAN eat

When you’re diagnosed with coeliac (or celiac) disease, or you’ve been advised to follow a gluten free diet, it feels like everything you’ve ever enjoyed is off limits.

But there are numerous foods that are naturally gluten free (although we recommend that you always check the ingredients list.)

Check out our list of gluten free foods.


  • Fresh meat
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Poultry and game

Green and fruity

  • All fruit
  • All vegetables
  • Fresh herbs

Carbs for energy

  • Rice
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice noodles (CARE: Some rice noodles have wheat added. Always check the ingredients.)
  • Corn tortillas (CARE: Authentic corn tortillas are made without wheat or gluten. But always check the ingredients or ask your waiter.)
  • Corn chips (CARE: Authentic corn chips are made without wheat or gluten. But always check the ingredients or ask your waiter.)
  • Tapioca
  • Pulses, lentils and beans
  • Corn flakes
  • Millet flakes
  • Polenta

Flours for cooking

  • Corn flour
  • Gram flour
  • Rice flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Soya flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Millet
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese (not cheese spreads)
  • Yogurt (the ones without the wheaty bits added)
  • Milk
  • Ice cream
  • Fromage frais
  • Cream

NOTE: If you’ve been recently diagnosed with coeliac disease, you could be lactose intolerant as well.

The body produces lactase which breaks down the sugars found in milk. But if your intestine is damaged by coeliac disease you may temporarily have lactase deficiency. So avoid dairy products for a while, follow a gluten free diet, allow your intestines to repair and slowly reintroduce dairy back into your diet.


  • Jam
  • Marmalade
  • Marmite
  • Black treacle
  • Honey
  • Golden syrup
  • Peanut butter

Snack attacks

  • Nuts (CARE: Some dry roasted, ‘chocolate’ coated or ‘yogurt’ coated nuts contain whet or gluten.)
  • Dried fruit (CARE: Some dried fruit coatings such as ‘chocolate’ or ‘yogurt’ contain wheat or gluten.)
  • Popcorn
  • Jelly

Cooking basics

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Cream of tartar
  • Coconut milk
  • Dried and fresh yeast
  • Dijon mustard
  • Horseradish sauce
  • Garlic puree
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tomato Puree
  • Tamari Sauce (a wheat free and gluten free soy sauce)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Olive oil
  • Cider vinegar
  • Wine vinegar
  • Distilled vinegar (not malt vinegar)
  • Xantham gum (add to gluten free flours to get delicious breads and pastry)


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Herbal tea
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit drinks (not barley water)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Wine
  • Champagne
  • Port
  • Sherry
  • Ciders
  • Liqueurs
  • Spirits, including whisky, are all gluten-free

Have we missed anything? Let us know.

Fresh Ginger and Honey Cookies with Pine Kernels

This recipe is taken from The Wheat and Dairy Free Cookbook by Terence Stamp & Elizabeth Buxton.

These ginger cookies are very crisp.

  • Fine oatmeal flour – 55 g (2 oz)
  • All-purpose wheat-free flour – 55 g (2 oz)
  • Pine kernels – 2½ tbsp
  • Grated fresh root ginger – 3 tbsp
  • Runny honey – 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder – ⅛ tsp
  • Sunflower oil – 1½ tbsp

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2.

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and gather together with your hands to form a ball. Kneed the mixture in the bowl until it is smooth. The mixture will start out feeling rather wet, but as the flour absorbs the honey and oil, the dough will become firmer. It should look very glossy and have no cracks at all. If necessary, add some more oil to moisten.

Pinch out enough dough to form balls of about the size of a walnut and place these balls on an ungreased baking sheet, 7.5 cm/3 in apart. Using the heel of your thumb and palm, flatten the balls of dough as thinly as possible. This can also be done using a metal spatula. Tuck any loose edges of the mixture back into the dough to form a circular cookie.

Bake for 20 minutes or until evenly golden and cooked thoroughly. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 8 cookies.