Monday, January 10, 2011

Gluten free doesn't have to mean flavor free too

I'm going off topic for this post as i thought it was time to share my secret gluten free favourite products. I'm usually not one for advertising a particular brand but when you are new to the world of gluten free (GF) eating it can be an expensive lesson to try out new products only to find they taste horrible.

These brands will mainly be found in Australia and perhaps New Zealand also, so I apologise to my overseas readers if this doesn't relate to you. Maybe you can keep these tips in mind if you are coming here for a holiday and perhaps you'd like to share your favourite products for those who visit your country. I know I'd love to see what's available in your town.

I have been gluten free for 2 years now and have tried nearly every product available to date. How it works in my house is everyone makes there own breakfast & lunch but any shared meals are made gluten free. Anything I cook is made entirely GF, birthday cakes the lot.

So this is a bit of a link festival, I have all my faves saved to bookmarks.

Breakfast favourites :: Woolworths freefrom gluten free buttermilk pancake mix (a weekend & camping favourite). Hans small goods make gluten free bacon, sliced meat etc. If you are a tea and toast person try Golden Hearth seed loaf. We use Nuttelex butter and Black & Gold (from IGA) jam is GF. Carmen's GF muesli is my latest fad topped with Nestle vanilla diet yoghurt and blueberries.

Lunch :: to me is always the hardest meal of the day as it usually requires preparation which is not always easy if you're out of the house. I usually make wraps, Old Time Bakery Wraps (IGA or Woolies) are the business, they don't crack and fall apart when you roll them and they taste awesome. Copperpot make nice mini GF hommus that fit in a lunch box with veg sticks et al. If not wraps then I go for salad of some sort that has protein in it to get me through to the afternoon. I'll share my favourite recipes in a later post.

Dinner :: is always interesting, I have served up some bizarre stuff to my family and yet they still eat it and say thank you...well all bar the youngest who is known to protest daily anyway. We usually go for fresh food and steer away from packet sauces etc. I like to make from scratch because then I know exactly whats going in our mouths. But you always need a back up plan for when things get busy, again Old Time Bakery have beaut Pizza Bases that you can top whatever you have in the fridge, they aren't the thick type which makes them crisp up on a pizza stone, which i think is yum. McCain Healthy Choice frozen fries/chips are GF you really have to check the ingredients in stuff like this though as companies love to add in wheat flour i guess for added crispiness. I'll share dinner recipes later too.

:: Baked Ricotta & Thyme Pie - 4 Ingredients GF book

Desert :: is a weekend treat in our house unless it's a special occasion and Ice cream what is normally called for. We go for Peter's Vanilla Ice cream. This is where it gets a little tricky trying to figure out if there is wheat in the ice cream or not. Glucose syrup from wheat is totally fine for the GF diet as all the actual wheat has been driven off through the processing although the source of the glucose is from wheat. So companies put in the ingredients list CONTAINS WHEAT even though it is really GLUTEN FREE. That being said you still need to check through the other ingredients to see if any wheat is in them. Anything Malt or cookie dough related is sadly never going to happen but that's fine because there's plenty of other options like the Creative Gourmet French Style crepes. Found in the frozen desert section, enough can't be said about their awesomeness.

Out & About :: for on the plane, road trips, to have in your bag if you get stuck somewhere longer than you thought (and if the kids don't get to them first). Artisse chewy coca aribar, Eskal tea biscuits and St Dalfours chicken, duck or salmon with vegetables, these are especially good for plane flights and camping. I normally get around with a snack cup full of dried fruit & nuts and a banana in my hand bag too.

:: St Dalfour - Duck & Vegetable - Lunch while camping at Paluma.

Back when I was diagnosed I joined the Qld Coeliac Society as my nutritionist told me they had members discounts on GF products at Coles. Monthly the specials change and it's usually 10-20% off certain GF products. To be honest I haven't used it all that much but still think it's worth having. After i joined I bought This low GI GF living, since been updated with THIS book, which I found to be awesome. I especially like the lentil & feta salad, Italian rice & lentil soup (kids love this) and the tangy tuna rice paper rolls mmm. Funnily enough some of these recipes have popped up in Weight watcher's magazines too. Joining the society had other benefits though and they are so helpful with helping you know how to chose GF and also if you are having to travel.

I'll leave it there for now. These are my own recommendations, I don't think the society likes to recommend specific brands I guess due to sponsorship butI know this type of post would have helped me save a bunch of cash so I hope you find this helpful if you are newly diagnosed or have a friend that is GF.


  1. Good on you, this should be really helpful to those who are starting out or seeking new ideas on gluten free food. Love Posie

  2. Dear Ruby,
    how comforting to read your post. In my kitchen, like in yours, nearly everything I cook is gluten free.
    I bake my own cookies for breakfast, and dinner is pretty easy too, but as you point out lunch is difficult especially if I forget to pack my own.
    Good idea to carry nuts and fruit in my bag, I will keep this in mind for the unexpected!
    I posted the recipe of a GF chocolate cake that everybody loves and that you may like to try:
    Thank you for this post!