With all the excitement over the Great British Bake Off, the blog has filling up with some yummy gluten free recipes, so I thought I’d take some time out and dedicate a blog post to some of my favourite gluten free products so far. It’s been seven months since my diagnosis, and I’ve found there are a few staple products that are great gluten alternatives – let me know if you enjoy them too, or know of any other products you think I should try!
Biscuits. My diet pre diagnosis was very biscuit and cake based for snacks, so trying to find a gluten free alternative to match my expectations of biscuits has been a bit of a tricky task! I’ve found the biggest problem to be that most gluten free biscuits, also contain either gluten free oats, and/or chocolate. Unfortunately, I’m a number in the small statistics of coeliac’s who can’t tolerate gluten free oats, and I’ve never really been a fan of chocolate for most of my life (much prefer sweets!!). So, criteria set, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect biscuit since day one diagnosis.
- Dr Schar Custard Creams – these are my favourite!! Individually wrapped in sets of two, with 5 packets in a box. Perfect for having in your bag in case of snack emergencies and with two in a pack, you wont be left with any loose biscuits and crumbs in the bottom of your bag as its a perfect portion! £1.40 in Tesco
- Asda Shortbread – these are a great simple biscuit if you just fancy a no frills, easy to find and readily accessible, tasty biscuit. Quite crunchy, but perfectly buttery. There are around 10 in a box, so not great quantity, but at £1.20 you can’t go far wrong really.
- Before I realised I couldn’t have gluten free oats, I was also a fan of the Tesco Digestives (A bargain at 80p a pack for 14 biscuits) and the Asda Jammie Wheels – both perfect for dunking in your tea, and for me, two staples of the biscuit tin!
Pastry. I grew up with both my Mum and my Nan pretty much home baking everything they could, and my favourite of all was their apple pies. When I was diagnosed, we originally started to make our own gf pastry, but then I found Silly Yak and haven’t looked back!! It’s the only pastry you’ll need to try, and even beats my mum’s home made version!! Currently only available in Tesco, a 400g block is only £1.75. A ready to roll puff pastry that’s light and flaky and perfect for both sweet and savoury recipes. If you check out their website they have some great recipes too!
Pasta/Fresh Ready Meals. If you haven’t heard of Coori, I can strongly recommend going to check out their website. Based in London, they have a range of cupboard essentials, fresh food and ready meals, and snack and treats. If you’re in London, Coori have a gluten free restaurant service and deli stall at Broadway market in Tooting which is open Monday-Saturday, or for the ultimate convenience, you can do an online delivery order here: http://www.coori.co.uk/collections/all
Last week I tried out their Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli and Basil Pesto and it was lovely! To put it to the ultimate test, I cooked it for my non-coeliac parents and they said it tasted nicer than the gluten equivalents they’ve tried! Light pasta parcels that don’t stick together when you cook them, just the right amount of spinach and ricotta filling and clean plates from everyone! Perfect if you’re looking for a quick meal of an evening, with the added nutrients of being freshly made with the finest ingredients.
Snack Bars. As with the biscuit scenario, I’ve found it quite difficult to find a cereal bar equivalent that is both free from gluten free oats, and from chocolate. Anyway, Along came Good Full Stop, and all my criteria had been met! Good Full Stop base themselves on being Full On Goodness, Full On Flavour and offer a range of 8 fruit and nut bars which are gluten free and vegan friendly. There’s no nasty ingredients, just purely fruit and nuts. A big mention should also be dedicated to their pricing – each bar on their online shop is between 60p-79p, but they’re also stocked in Holland Barrett for just as a good a price of 85p!
A few other products worth a mention are: Doves Farm Flours, M&S GF Victory Sponge Mixture, Newburn Bakehose Sandwich Thins, Mrs Crimbles Madeline’s & Schar Ciabatta Rolls