Many of us coeliacs are very sceptical and a little bit precious about the growing number of ‘lifestyle’ gluten free-ers; but there’s no denying that an increasing number of people choosing a gluten free diet (often as a proxy for ‘low carb’ or ‘grain free’) has increased the amount of choice for those of us with a medical condition.
So it was I found myself with 2 new types of gluten free bread mix to try – one designed for the ‘paleo’ diet, and another aimed at carb-reducers. Would either taste like actual bread? And would I part with that much money again?!
How the loaves compared:
Ugg Foods Chia Seed & Nut Bread
The winner of the ‘Store Cupboard‘ category at the 2014 Free From Food Awards made me baulk a little when I saw the cost, especially when you consider you also need to add 6 eggs and vinegar to the mix, but if you look at the ingredients list you soon see why – this is packed with only nuts and seeds, and very few ‘funny’ ingredients (did cavemen really use xanthan gum?). This is simple to make, and produces a good sized, dense loaf that’s high in protein. The texture is more cake-like than bread-like, but by no means crumbly, and the taste? Wow – so, so more-ish. I put this down to the large levels of fat from all of the nuts and the satisfying crunch from the seeds. I enjoyed this plain for breakfast, as a sandwich, with soup, as toast… delicious.
Good for: grain-free people, nut lovers, pretend cavemen
Bad for: your wallet, low-fat dieters, egg allergies (although can be made with egg replacer)
Sukrin Low Carb Free From Bread Mix
£5.00 for a 210g mix. (Currently on offer at Ocado for £3.75)
Sukrin make a range of products that are low in sugar and carbohydrates, including fat-reduced nut and sesame flours. The ingredients list is a little more alien than the Ugg Loaf, but high in different sources of fibre – something many coeliacs lack, and low-fat sources of protein (including whey, unfortunately for the dairy-free). This makes it much lower in calories than a nut/seed based bread, and more comparable to a ‘normal’ loaf. I had mixed results with their cake mix, but the bread mix performs altogether better. Making it couldn’t have been any easier – a tin is provided for you, you need only add water. The thick batter/dough could be easily made into rolls or any shape you fancy. The result is a small but rich and satisfying loaf, not unlike a seeded wholemeal bread you might get from my local German baker.
Good for: can’t-cook-ers, fibre-hunters, calorie-reducers, people who miss Northern European style dark breads
Bad for: budgeters, the dairy-free, whole-foods enthusiasts
The Sukrin loaf won our challenge by a small margin. Overall it performed better against my personal nutrition goals, for ease-of-bake, and compared most favourably with ‘standard’ bread; however the Ugg Foods loaf was delicious in its own right, and would suit those following a whole-foods or high-protein diet better. Despite the high price-tag, gram for gram the Ugg loaf was the cheaper option. I was surprised to find that I would definitely buy both again!
|Ugg Foods||Sukrin||Standard Shop-bought Seeded GF loaf|
|Price (including additional ingredients)||£8.25||£5.00||–|
|Price per 100g||£1.81||£2.38||–|
|Nutritionals (per 100g)||Calories||289kcal||157kcal||273kcal|
|Ease of bake||–||9||10||–|
|Total Rounds Won||–||2||3|
If you’re looking for a normal, carb-tastic, sort of gluten free bread mix, find out which the best one is here!