Can you get gluten free digestive biscuits?

Yes, you can definitely get gluten free digestive biscuits. With the rise in gluten free diets and awareness of celiac disease, there are now many options for gluten free versions of popular foods like digestive biscuits.

What are digestive biscuits?

Digestive biscuits are a type of semi-sweet biscuit that originated in the United Kingdom. They are made from wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, and digestive system-friendly ingredients like wholemeal flour and oats. Traditional digestive biscuits contain gluten from the wheat flour.

Digestive biscuits have a coarse, granular texture that comes from the wholemeal flour. They tend to be drier and less sweet than other types of biscuits. Popular brands of digestive biscuits include McVitie’s, Crawfords, and Marks & Spencer.

Digestive biscuits got their name from the belief that their simple ingredients made them easy to digest. They were originally marketed as a health food in the 19th century. Today, they are enjoyed as a tasty snack or served alongside cheese, tea, and coffee.

Are regular digestive biscuits gluten free?

No, regular digestive biscuits contain gluten from the wheat flour used to make them. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and fatigue.

The only treatment for celiac disease is strictly following a gluten free diet. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must avoid foods containing gluten, including regular digestive biscuits.

Why choose gluten free digestive biscuits?

There are several reasons to choose gluten free digestive biscuits:

  • You have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity – Consuming gluten free biscuits prevents adverse reactions.
  • You follow a gluten free diet – Gluten free biscuits allow you to enjoy a similar treat.
  • You have a household member with celiac disease – Gluten free biscuits avoid cross-contamination at home.
  • You want to reduce gluten intake – Some people try to reduce gluten for potential health benefits.
  • You prefer the taste – Some people enjoy the flavor of gluten free biscuits over regular ones.

Choosing gluten free digestive biscuits means you don’t have to miss out on enjoying these classic snacks just because you need or want to avoid gluten.

What ingredients are used in gluten free digestive biscuits?

Gluten free digestive biscuits are made with ingredients that don’t contain gluten, such as:

  • Gluten free flour – Rice flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, or nut flours like almond flour.
  • Oats – Check for certified gluten free oats, since some oat supplies are cross-contaminated with wheat.
  • Butter or vegetable oils – For added moisture and flavor.
  • Sugar – Usually cane sugar.
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Flavorings like vanilla or cinnamon
  • Dried fruit like raisins or dates
  • Nuts like almonds or walnuts

Manufacturers combine various gluten free flours and ingredients to recreate the texture and taste of traditional wheat-based digestive biscuits. Using whole grain flours like oat, rice, or buckwheat provides a similarly nutty, coarse texture.

Where can you find gluten free digestive biscuits?

There are several places you can find gluten free digestive biscuits, including:

  • Major grocery stores – Many large supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda have dedicated “Free From” sections with gluten free products.
  • Health food stores – Stores like Holland & Barrett stock many specialty gluten free items.
  • Online retailers – Large sites like Amazon offer gluten free biscuit options with home delivery.
  • Gluten free specialty sites – Online gluten free specialty shops like have wide selections.
  • Direct from manufacturers – Some brands sell their gluten free biscuits directly through their own websites.

Be sure to check labels carefully and look for a “gluten free” certification logo. Contact manufacturers if you have any questions about ingredients or facility procedures to avoid cross-contamination.

Popular brands of gluten free digestive biscuits

Some of the top brands producing gluten free digestive biscuits include:

Brand Details
McVitie’s Offers gluten free versions of their classic digestive biscuits in varieties like milk chocolate and stem ginger.
Marks & Spencer Sells all butter gluten free digestive biscuits under their Plant Kitchen brand.
Sainsbury’s Markets both own-brand standard and luxury gluten free digestive biscuits.
Tesco Carries Free From digestive biscuits with milk and dark chocolate coating.
Doves Farm Specialty gluten free brand offering gluten free digestives in flavored varieties.
Juvela Gluten free brand under the Hero Group that makes non-GMO digestives.

There are also options from niche health food brands and supermarket own-brands labeled “free from gluten” or “gluten free.” Compare ingredients lists and manufacturing processes when trying new brands.

Are gluten free digestive biscuits healthy?

Gluten free digestive biscuits can be part of a healthy diet, but in moderation. Here are some health considerations with gluten free digestive biscuits:

  • They are often higher in fats and sugar than regular biscuits to improve texture and flavor. Check nutrition labels and ingredients.
  • Gluten free flours like rice flour tend to be lower in protein and fiber compared to whole wheat flour.
  • Varieties with chocolate, frosting, or candied fruit increase fat, sugar, and calorie content.
  • Going gluten free does not necessarily equal healthy, since gluten free junk foods exist. Focus on whole foods.
  • Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity benefit from the absence of allergenic gluten.

Enjoy gluten free digestives as an occasional treat paired with fruit or tea. Select options without coatings and candies to control sugar intake. Combine with protein, healthy fats, and fiber for balanced snacking.

Homemade gluten free digestive biscuit recipes

You can also make gluten free digestive biscuits at home. Here are some recipe ideas:

Basic Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits

Combine gluten free oat flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, and eggs. Rolled out, cut into circles, and bake at 350F until lightly browned.

Gluten Free Whole Grain Digestives

Use a blend of buckwheat flour, millet flour, flaxseed meal, and psyllium husk for a hearty, whole grain biscuit. Add cinnamon and raisins or dried cranberries.

Vegan Gluten Free Digestives

Make dairy free digestives with almond flour, coconut flour, vegan margarine, maple syrup, plant milk, and vanilla.

Paleo Digestive Biscuits

For a grain-free option, use almond flour, coconut flour, and tigernut flour with coconut oil, eggs, and honey or maple syrup.

Get creative with gluten free flours, fats, and flavorings to bake custom digestives at home. Adjust ingredients to suit your own dietary needs and preferences.

Should digestive biscuits be crispy or soft?

Whether gluten free digestive biscuits should be crispy or soft is largely a matter of personal preference. Here is some guidance:

  • Traditional digestive biscuits are meant to have a firm, crunchy texture.
  • Overbaking gives a very crispy biscuit while underbaking leaves them soft and crumbly.
  • Storing in an airtight container helps retain crispiness while exposure to moisture softens them over time.
  • Gluten free biscuits tend to become softer more quickly than wheat-based biscuits.
  • Soft digestives are sometimes preferred for dunking into tea or coffee.
  • Crispy digestives provide more textural contrast and tend to hold up better when layered or coated.

When baking gluten free digestive biscuits at home, pull them from the oven when the edges begin to brown for a crispy exterior and slightly soft interior. Proper storage also helps prolong crispiness. Crunchier biscuits are better for dipping or using in desserts while softer ones may be nicer on their own.


Digestive biscuits are a cherished snack in the UK, and with the availability of many tasty gluten free options, going gluten free does not have to mean giving them up. Major supermarkets, health food stores, and online retailers offer a wide selection of brands making gluten free digestive biscuits with various ingredients and flavors. Gluten free digestives provide a sweet treat option for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance as well as anyone looking to reduce gluten in their diet. With some adjustments to ensure quality texture and taste, people requiring or choosing gluten free can still enjoy the comforting experience of digestive biscuits and tea.

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