We know, only too well, how tricky it can be to live gluten free. Ensuring you have plenty of delicious free from products at home is doable, but it is a little tougher eating out and if you’re thinking of heading to a festival this summer, you might have a few concerns!
Festivals are the holy grail for pleasure-seekers to unwind and have some fun. However if you, or anyone in your family or festival group, can’t eat gluten, you might be wondering if there will be food available that you can enjoy. There most likely will be, but it’s always better to be prepared.
Follow our festival tips, and you’ll be organised and ready for any situation.
Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Festival Survival Guide
Pack your own
A bit like thinking you’ll never find a loo with paper, pack like there’s nothing at the festival that you can eat. More often than not there will be – particularly at the bigger festivals – but it’s always best to be prepared. Festival food can also be pricey, so this approach may save you money! Here are some of our favourites for on-the-go.
- Pack fruit, lots of it. Pieces of fruit are refreshing, contain lots of goodness and are a natural source of energy. A bunch of under-ripe bananas and pack of apples could be your best friends, as they’re less likely than soft fruit to bruise or split in your bag. Buy only a few days before, so they last longer. Also consider tinned fruit!
- Talking of energy, you will use tons. Walking from the tent to where the action is taking place can really crank up the miles, and that’s not to mention dancing! Take snacking packets of your favourite nuts, and stuff them in your pockets. They’re super filling too and better for you than other snacks. Peanut butter or other nut butters are also a winner – spread them on rice cakes for a speedy pick-me-up.
- Granola is another great idea. Either make your own (see how gluten free blogger, Beth Heddle, make hers here) or take packets of ours. We have Wonderfully Nutty Granola and Wonderfully Berry Granola, packed with nuts, seeds and fruit to kick start your day, with a splash of UHT milk or by the handful straight from the packet.
- Gluten free bread and rolls are so handy. This can seem like a little extra effort, but it means you don’t have to miss out on the many burger, hot dog and falafel stands that your friends are enjoying. Simply check that the filling is gluten free, and if so, you can give the vendor a bun to pop yours in. Just be careful of cross-contamination.
- Cereal and protein bars, in their many shapes and forms, are perfect if you need breakfast on-the-go or a pick-me-up. These could save the day, so are well worth packing. Buy a packet, or make your own here.
Social media is your friend
You are not alone! There will be plenty of festival-goers in exactly your position, and social media is a great place to discover those secret free from finds without trudging around the entire site yourself. Hunt down some hashtags, put out requests or even search for dedicated accounts – @GF_Glastonbury on Twitter is one such goldmine!
Beware of cross-contamination
When preparing food in smaller spaces – such as the catering stalls or vans you find at festivals – the risk of cross-contamination increases. Coeliacs know that it can only take a few crumbs containing gluten to cause a reaction, so it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to suss out whether you think a vendor is safe for you. Follow your instincts!
Even when you take every precaution, there’s always a possibility of being the victim of cross-contamination or accidental gluten consumption. If this happens – and we really hope it won’t – it’s best to have a plan of attack in place. If you’re camping, think about where to pitch your tent. It may be wise to choose a spot that will allow you to get a little rest if you feel unwell. Don’t forget medication if you require it, and remember that your health comes first!
Have fun at the festival!
Have you heard about Coeliac UK’s 2017 campaign, ‘The Gluten Freevolution’? They’re making it their mission to spread the word about eating gluten free on the go. Find out more here about ordering campaign materials and joining in on social media.