We all know there are plenty of gluten free products in the shops these days. In the bigger supermarkets, the Free From sections are full to bursting with cakes, biscuits, bread and pasta that are specially made without gluten.
But there are a few things I buy frequently that aren’t in the free from section. They’re just regular products that happen to be made without gluten. So they’re not twice the price of everything else, although some are premium brands. Most are available all over the place so are very easy to get hold of. They’re my reliables.
In no particular order, here are my top 5. I would love to hear what yours are.
Green & Black’s chocolate
I try not to eat too much sweet stuff, but sometimes you just need a couple of squares of chocolate. Usually in the evening when we’re sitting on the sofa enjoying the quiet time. I’m not particularly an expert on which chocolate bars I can and can’t eat, as it’s less tempting to not know. And when I found out that I could eat Green and Black’s, I didn’t really need to find out about any others anyway.
Green and Black’s don’t shout about being gluten free because a few of the products do contain gluten and they warn about cross contamination on their website. However many bars are listed as safe on the Coeliac UK website.
Bars that are ok according to Coeliac UK include the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mint, orange, burnt toffee, butterscotch, ginger, hazelnut and currant, Maya Gold, sea salt, chilli and more. But there are some that aren’t ok, so it’s worth checking before you buy.
When I’m out with friends or family and everybody’s having an ice cream, it’s so good to know that I can safely eat a Magnum. If I can’t have a good old fashioned cone, it’s nice to still get a quality ice cream without having to have a long conversation about which products I can and can’t have. And luckily, they’re stocked by most ice cream sellers.
I think most of their products are gluten free, and they are labelled as such on the packets, which is helpful.
Some of the flavours approved by Coeliac UK are: Classic, double caramel, double chocolate, Infinity, almond, black espresso, white, dark and mint.
Continuing the unhealthy food theme, my regular crisp purchases are generally the big bags from Tyrrells (which I always share with the family, of course!)
I think all their flavours, as well as their veggie crisps, are gluten free, and labelled as such on the back of the packets. A quick look at their website didn’t turn up any flavours that we can’t eat – even the quirky favours like coronation chicken and butter & mint(!)
Tyrrells also make popcorn, or Poshcorn as they call it and they are all gluten free too. Hurrah!
Spanish potato omelette
I tend to pick one of these up every time I do a big shop. It’s one of my ultra convenience foods. You don’t even have to heat it up, although it’s nicer if you do.
The omelette (tortilla) is brilliant for breakfast (on it’s own or with bacon and/or tomatoes and spinach for something a bit heartier). I frequently take a piece to work for lunch when I haven’t got the time or inclination to faff about making a salad.
It’s also really great as an appetiser, cut into small squares, with a few olives and chorizo. Completely versatile and scrumptious!
The one in the picture is a brand called Floristan, which I can’t find a website for, but another brand I have seen is Unearthed. Both equally good.
(The ingredients are egg, potato, onion, olive oil and salt.)
Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils
Last but by no means least, the glorious ready cooked puy lentils by Merchant Gourmet. (We call them poo lentils because we’re very juvenile.) I really like lentils, and always keep an assortment of dried pulses in the store cupboard, but when I discovered these, I was won over. They’re just totally hassle free. You can warm them up in the microwave in the packet for a minute, and then serve.
I usually warm them through then toss them with some extra virgin olive oil and seasoning in a bowl, and use them as a filling accompaniment to meat or fish. They’re also great in curries, casseroles, as a side dish when we have a BBQ or lobbed in a salad as part of my packed lunch. Delicious.
There’s a fabulous Ottolenghi recipe which uses puy lentils in root veg mash with maple syrup and shallots braised in red wine. That’s definitely worth a try and you can find it here.