Can’t tolerate the nasty stuff? Me too. Gluten does some very unpleasant, not to say the least inconvenient, things to my system. Apparently (after tests proved negative) not because of Coeliac Disease but NCGS, Non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity. In my case one more step in a very tortuous saga following major bowel disease. You could read the whole sordid details here if you have the inclination but its not pretty, Gluten is my Sworn Enema
In terms of management a gluten free diet is, on the surface, straightforward, but in reality fraught with pitfalls for the unwary. Must sufferers discover quite quickly that they can expect an occasional setback in the form of a sudden rush to the loo after consumpting of contaminated comestibles, often within 30 minutes and even from the tiniest amounts. This is followed by perhaps a day or two more of a similar level of in-convenience (hyphen intended!) every few hours and the inevitable post trauma analysis. To minimise these events I started this log as a ready reference on shopping trips recording all those foods that I trusted to be gluten free or at least constituting a low risk according to experience. These are not so-called “Free From” products. I take those for granted. But there are many branded products out there which are GF but which are not advertised as such (presumably therefore not guaranteed) or where their GF status is on the packaging but not prominently so. In addition “Free From” foods are generally just an excuse to over-price products and milk us gluten avoiders of our hard earned cash. Avoiding this “Free From” premium (or extortion as I like to think of it) is one of my main motives.
This list might be useful to any fellow gluten avoiders but please be careful. Our individual reactions vary from mild to extreme therefore our individual attitude to risk must be assessed accordingly. Always read the packet before trying something new, recipes vary.
I am not listing the obvious. If you are not aware that apples and Brussels sprouts are naturally gluten free then I advise you to research the facts regarding your condition a lot more assiduously than you have so far. Most natural foods except wheat, barley and rye are in fact gluten free until they are processed in some way and this log will therefore predominantly feature processed foods. It should be obvious that if you consume mostly natural home cooked foods made from fresh, unprocessed ingredients then you should have few problems eliminating gluten from your life. You will in the process change your life for the better, for the much, much better.
I have my likes and dislikes so if anyone has anything to suggest which is not here please let me know. I will always try it out first before adding it and remember I have made this list as an aide memoire for my own shopping, there is no intention on my part to make it a comprehensive resource for others but if it helps any one other person I would be pleased.
Finally I will add other information and links that are worth recording regarding advice, diets, foods, recipes, restaurant experience and the latest research as time permits.
Unmarked but treated as Gluten Free
M&S – Tarka Dal Soup
Heinz – Big Soup Steak and Vegetable, standard and Mighty
Heinz – Cream of Tomato
Tesco, Healthy Living – Three Bean and Vegetable
Tesco – Tuscan Bean Soup
Tesco – Lentil and Bacon Soup
M&S – 12 British Outdoor Bred Pork Chipolatas
Tesco – Peppered grill steaks
Tesco – Peppered lamb steaks
Birdseye, Potato Waffles, Original
Tesco Hash Browns
Lidl Harvest Basket Branded Straight Cut Chips
Lidl Harvest Basket Branded Crinkle Cut Chips
Quick Dishes/Ready meals
Tesco Takeaway – Butter Chicken
Tesco Takeaway – Lamb Rogan Josh
Tesco Takeaway – Pilau Rice
Tesco – Jalfrezi
Tesco – Vindaloo and Pilau Rice
M&S – Shepherds Pie
Tesco – Crème Brulee
Bisto – Best, Beef Gravy Granules (In the jar)
Tesco – Stock cubes premium, vegetable
Tesco – Stock cubes everyday value, vegetable
Tesco – Stock cubes premium, beef
Virini – Gram Flour
Allison – Easy Bake Dried Yeast
Belbake – Easy Bake Dried Yeast
Tesco – Healthy Living, Thai Chilli Dressing
Dolmio – Lasagne White Sauce, Cheesy
Biscuits, cakes, snacks, cereals
Tesco – Rough Scottish oatcakes
Nairns – Organic super seeded oatcakes
Nairns – Cheese oatcakes
Flahavans – Irish Organic porridge oats
Aldi – Kavanagh’s branded Organic porridge oats
Cofresh – Sev Mamra Indian snack
Cofresh – Balti Mix
Crisps – almost all (believe it or not) check the ingredients watch out for the meat flavoured varieties, any gluten will be in the coatings/flavourings. Buying “Free From” crisps is plain deft when there is no gluten in potatoes. I stick to the gourmet 150 grm packets and confidently consume those from all the major brands and supermarkets (or I should say scoff, I’m a crisp addict!) with confidence. But all small plain crisp brands and many other of the regular packs are fine.
Nachos – same applies as for crisps, “Free From” products are just a joke. Check the packs but those of reasonable quality are made solely from corn, no gluten in sight.
Marked Gluten Free (perhaps discretely)
Tesco – Finest 12 Beef Meatballs
Tesco – Finest pork sausage meat
Tesco – Finest Cumberland Sausages
Tesco – Finest Outdoor Bred pork
Tesco – Finest Chipolatas
Tesco – Finest Chipolatas Sausages wrapped with bacon
Coop ‘Irresistible’- Outdoor Bred, Cumberland Sausages
Coop ‘Irresistible’- Outdoor Bred, Sweet Chilli Sausages
Aunt Bessie – Crinkle Cut Chips
McCain – Skin On Rustic Chips
Biscuits, cakes, snacks, cereals
Kallo – Corn Cakes, lightly salted
Kallo – Corn Cakes, with chia seeds
Quick Dishes/Ready meals
Ashoka – Delhi Dal Makhani
Ashoka – Punjabi Coley
Ashoka – Bombay Biryani
Knorr – The RICH beef cube
Kikkoman – Tamari Soy Sauce
Wilsons Butchers Swindon, for their own made Gluten Free Haggis, Faggots, Sausages and Brawn
Restaurants I have tried which make good provision for gluten avoiders
The White Hart, Wroughton, Wilts (They claim Coeliac Society certified)
Other (Not necessarily tried) useful links
Gluten Free Oat Muesli – DIY
3oogm Tesco Four Seed Mix
300gm Island Mix
300gm Trail Mix
500gm x 4 Quaker GF Whole oats
Approx. cost £4.5/Kg which is significantly less (33%) than GF grain/seed/fruit/nut muesli.
This quantity, at one serving per day, lasts me two calendar months and is very filling.
Liberally cover with almond milk and leave to absorb/swell for 20 minutes before consuming.
Flahavans Organic Irish Porridge Oats
Roasted Seed mix
Cranberry, raisin and sultana mix
Or try your own!