29 Aug 2008

Supermarket Sweep

One of the most eye opening things about being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease is discovering those unknown places where gluten lurks. I always check the packet and ingredients list - which can make supermarket shopping more of a chore than it is, but is massively important as you just never know - I am often caught by surprise! So here is a list of less obvious foods that can contain gluten:

Soy sauce - wheat is one of the main ingredients, however Japanese tamari is often gluten free and Clear Spring produce an organic gluten free one, aged in cedar wood over two summers.

Crisps - flavourings in crisps use wheat flour as a way of making the minute amounts seasoning distribute properly, so always check the ingredients. For some GF flavours - which are often hard to come by, Devon based Burts Chips do a mature cheddar, plus their salt and vinegar flavour replaces the usual suspect of malt vinegar with a sherry one.

Buckwheat noodles
- Despite the name, buckwheat is gluten free, however some brands of buckwheat noodles add wheat to the recipe. King Soba produce very tasty 100% buckwheat noodle, great for a filling cold salad.

Pickled Onions - Complement your ploughman's with onions that are pickled in spirit vinegar rather than malt. They don't have quite the same flavour however still have that vinegary hit.

Chocolate - Expensive chocolate ahoy. Cheap chocolate manufacturers use flour to make sure the bars to not stick to the production line belt and unfortunately, with the Cadbury's take over of Green and Blacks their bars are no longer GF. In my experience I have found artisan, handmade chocolate to be much more reliable and regularly stock up at British gluten free goddesses Montezuma.

Ice Cream
- Strangely, some ice creams contain wheat to stop the fruit from sinking in the mix. If you think about it, many of the premium ice cream have indulgent goodies such as cookie dough, crumble, biscuits bits in which is annoyingly off limits. Even Green and Blacks, also a premium ice cream use their own brand of chocolate which is not safe (see above) so always check the ingredients.

Ice Lollies - Check the ingredients on these - just discovered retro lollies FAB contain gluten in their cheap chocolate...what a shame?

Oats contain a protein similar to gluten, and there are some oats available that are certified GF by the Coeliac Association, from Scotland.

Spelt is an ancient form of wheat and is therefore a no go for Gluten Free diet, however those who are intolerant to wheat can eat spelt.

More will be added as I come across them...

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