Whilst many blogs sing of new and exciting products as they are launched, I wanted to spare a moment for the ‘unsung heroes’ of my store cupboard. Not the product samples I have been sent, but the ones I stick in my shopping trolley on a regular basis. This list has been kicking around my inbox as an email for some time, for when people new to a gluten free diet ask for advice on how to navigate the vast amount of choice we now have! So here, in one post, are crammed my favourite gluten free products – after 6 years of experience! I hope you find it useful.
I typically shop at Ocado – I find they have the biggest selection of gluten free products, including many smaller and imported producers. Otherwise, I pop into multiple supermarkets to find the products I prefer.
If you are newly diagnosed as a coeliac, or starting a gluten free diet, Coeliac UK have some good pages on how to navigate the gluten free diet and lifestyle. I also recommend this book by Alex Gazzola.
I think gluten free bread can (still) be a bit hit and miss – most of the sliced fresh loaves often have manufacturing problems and get dry and crumbly quickly. They also have very high fat and sugar content. If you do want one, it’s best to pick one with a long date and freeze it immediately. Instead of sliced bread, my picks are:
- Dietary Specials Ciabatta Rolls – they are long-life, so a good option to take travelling (link)
- BFree White Rolls are pretty good for burgers and sarnies too, and nutritionally better than most brands (link)
- Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons square wraps are my favourite – they freeze and wrap well, and make a good hasty pizza base. (link)
- Rizopia or Dove’s Farm brown rice pasta are best for consistency and flavour in my opinion (link)
- Salute (an Italian brand) is also good, and more like a ‘white’ pasta (link)
I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with different flours. Some are good for specific recipes, but I fall back on these:
Doves Farm Plain and SR flours are the industry leaders for a reason. You can use them in most cake recipes as a straight substitute (even for choux), with about a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum – although it sometimes takes a little more liquid. (link). If you get prescriptions, Infinity Foods blend is the best alternative.
- Isabel’s mixes are very good for pizza, dough balls, Yorkshire puddings & batter and don’t have hidden nasties (link)
- For hand-baked bread the Bakels mix is superb – you can shape it into all kinds of rolls, artisan loaves or even sweet buns. (link). It also works in a bread machine, but I haven’t tried it yet.
- Mrs Crimbles make a decent bread machine mix (I’ve tested!) It’s best to slice and freeze the loaves as they don’t last long. (link) If you get prescriptions and can tolerate gluten free wheat starch, the Glutafin Select mix is the best one.
- Pastry requires quite a lot of practice. I usually just buy the ready-made frozen one from Dietary Specials. Genius now also make a puff pastry, but only in Asda. (link)
Whilst some own-brand breakfast products are suitable for a gluten free diet, I prefer to stick to certified gluten free products, without any trace of barley malt. There is lots of lovely choice, I try to stick to lower sugar options including:
- Perkier Porridge which has natural flavours added. They also do an oat-free version if you don’t eat oats. (link)
- Juvela Fibre Flakes (prescription) or Doves Farm Fibre Flakes are a good staple breakfast, although be aware that most supermarket gluten free cereals are not fortified with vitamins and iron like normal cereals, whereas the prescription ones are. (link)
- Nature’s Path Nice and Nobbly Granola is good for an occasional treat, or a little topping on a plainer cereal. (link)
Savouries & Ready Meals
This is a big matter of personal taste (especially the pizza!). I don’t often use ready meals or sauces, but there are plenty of naturally gluten free options to be found outside of the free from aisle.
- Good Little Sausages are the most ‘meaty’ gluten free sausages I’ve found, with lower fat and salt content than other brands (link)
- Dietary Specials Bonta D’Italia Pizza (frozen) is authentically thin and crispy, just the way I like it (link) or despite some dreadful packaging, Georgia’s Choice is similar. (link)
- Young’s Gluten Free Fish Fingers are usually lurking in the freezer, but all own brand ones are good too (link)
- Marks and Spencer can be relied on for gluten free fish cakes, burgers, crumbed fish and even steamed dim sum. (link)
- Tilda Steamed Rice – yes I know it’s really easy to cook rice. This is even easier! (and certified GF). (link)
- Perkier Chocolate Tiffin or Rocky Road are so good, you won’t know they are gluten free (link)
- Mrs Crimble’s Macaroons are naturally gluten free (link)
- Marks & Spencer Caramel Pecan Crunch Bar can be picked up in most station branches
- Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins are moist, zesty and delicious (link)
- Tesco Finest Gluten Free White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies can usually be found in their free from aisle (link)
- Pudology make some delicious little pudding pots – and they are dairy free too. (link)
- And finally, I’m not a crisp muncher, but can sometimes be tempted with a bag of Pom Bears! (link)