Gluten Free Hidden Treasure

24 Oct

Whilst at the supermarket, I’m sure we’ve all spent far too many hours perusing the Free From section.  When we wander outside of our comfort zone into what I refer to as “the normal person aisles”, we must then spend our time reading ingredients lists in tiny tiny type.  Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to have an allergy advice box to assist us with our label checking.  Every once in a while though you strike gold, an item in the “normal person” aisle with the words “gluten free” on the packaging.  An item good enough that it is fit for consumption by regular folk, yet the manufacturers have been kind enough to label the item gluten free for us poor old gluten intolerants.  This is something that I refer to as gluten free hidden treasure.

So here are the hidden treasures that I’ve found over the past year:

Sakata crackers: You may hear the words “rice cracker” and have the instinct to run a mile.  However I cannot recommend these Japanese beauties highly enough.  These little crackers are packed with flavour and I particularly love the BBQ version (be aware this is made with gluten removed soy sauce so may not be suitable for those with wheat allergies).  Great for dipping too, and the classic cheddar flavour with some salsa is a great combination.  They’re even 97% fat free, but be warned they are addictive and I have demolished an entire pack on more than one occasion!  You’ll find these lurking in the cracker aisle next to the Jacobs and Ritz, somewhere you’d never normally look!

Pom Bear crisps: These crisps have achieved somewhat of a cult status amongst the gluten free community.  Found in the regular crisp section, these crisps are delicious.  Prawn cocktail, cheese & onion, salt & vinegar, bacon and the Halloween special pickled onion flavours  are all well worth a try.  In fact one of the advantages to being coeliac is being able to eat these teddy bear shaped snacks without anyone being able t0 mock you.  These are medicinal, and not for kids 😉

Burts crisps:  Crisps hand fried locally in Devon, these crisps are delicious and all flavours are labelled gluten free.  Burts also produce the Nandos crisp range, which are also labelled GF.  Plenty of choice in flavours too and even the new Guinness flavour is gluten free.

Heinz baked beansThe good old classic Heinz baked beans are also labelled gluten free.  I’m sure most of you know this one, but it’s worth noting that some of the cheaper brands do contain gluten.  They’re even one of your five a day!

Birdseye potato waffles:  Beans on toast doesn’t taste the same with gluten free bread?  Don’t worry, pour your Heinz baked beans over some potato waffles instead and it tastes even better.  They’re waffley versatile too.  Some of the cheaper brands do use wheatflour in the coating so it’s great that Birdseye label their waffles gluten free.

McCain rustic oven chips:  When first diagnosed I spent a considerable amount of time reading labels trying to find oven chips that didn’t use wheatflour to crisp the coating.  I discovered these chips from McCain were not only labelled gluten free, but contain only 3% fat.  The ingredients are simply potato and sunflower oil.  I like the fact that the skins are left on too.

Almondy Toblerone dessert:  This cheeky little number can be found lurking in the regular dessert section at Tesco.  A cake like base, with a mousse topping that reminds me of a Milky Way, covered in chocolate and chopped almonds.  Really delicious and well worth a try if you are looking for a quick and easy dessert.

Amoy noodles: Amongst the Amoy range of noodles, there are a couple of varieties of rice noodle that are very clearly labelled gluten free.  They are straight to wok so perfect for stir fries, and it’s really nice to have a change from rice.  I’d recommend the ribbon variety if you can get them, as they are a bit more substantial than the thinner variety rice noodles.  Other varieties contain gluten so make sure you pick up the correct ones.

Options hot chocolateWell with winter approaching it’s nearly time to start enjoying a nice hot chocolate in the evening.  Finding a gluten free hot chocolate can be tricky however, but luckily the Options range use gluten free labelling.  I’ve tried the Belgian Hot Chocolate variety and it’s very nice, I’m not 100% sure if the other flavours are labelled gluten free so as always check the packaging (their packaging is far more helpful than their website I have to say). EDIT: I’ve checked the packs in Sainsbury’s today and all flavours I could find were labelled GF, including mint choc, orange choc and white choc.

Discovery Mexican:  I’ve mentioned this range in previous posts, but many of the Discovery products are labelled gluten free.  This includes the taco trays, most of the spice mixes and even the crumb coating.  Not all of the range is gluten free though, and sadly the tortillas contain wheat.

Packaging is subject to change as we have seen recently with Seabrook’s, so always make sure you read the label.  So what are your gluten free hidden treasures?  Please comment below and let everyone know!

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

17 Responses to “Gluten Free Hidden Treasure”

  1. gfreeb October 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Good tip on the McCain chips! Surprisingly even the Heinz beans with sausages in are labelled gluten free. Not that I eat them, honest.

    • Kevin Gollop October 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      Ooh nice tip Carly! I’ll admit I used to eat them a lot, assumed the sausages would have contained the evil stuff. Sausage and beans on waffles anyone? 🙂

    • Richard Gottfried January 8, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      I might have to treat myself to a tin of beans and sausages! Haven’t had them in years.

  2. little missed gluten October 25, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I really like ds gluten free herb & onion crackers. Really miss cream crackers since having to go gf, these fit the bill nicely!

  3. Richard Gottfried November 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Great blog post. I haven’t managed to find the Halloween Pom Bears yet 😦 I did however have a pleasant surprise in the Spa shop in Hastings when I found the Christmas-themed ‘Pigs in Blankets’ flavour Pom bears 🙂

  4. Richard Gottfried January 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    If you’re after breakfast cereals then I suggest you have a look at Whole Foods organic Corn Flakes that can be found in the ‘normal’ cereal aisles of supermarkets, rather than the free from sections. They are a lot less than the £2.49 you’re likely to spend on ones in the free from aisle.

  5. Keri January 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Hello I am a coeliac and have had it since I was 6 and I have loved discovering gluten free products that I used to love and makes me feel normal and the other day in lidls we found that the 12 pack of fresh Scottish meatballs which they were not before and they were absolutely lovely and sometimes in lidl they have a meatloaf in tomato sauce which is marked gluten free hope this can help x 🙂

  6. Richard Gottfried January 8, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    I actually bought some Birdseye Potato Waffles last night after reading this blog post. Nice 🙂

    • Kevin Gollop January 8, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Excellent, combine them with the Heinz sausage and beans and you’re onto a winner 😉

      • Richard Gottfried January 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

        A very retro meal lol. It’s nice to be ‘normal’ every once in a while.

  7. Nicola Spacey January 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    McCain hash browns are also gf!

  8. Gill Vincent February 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I like Pom-Bears too. Did you know you can’t eat HP sauce but you can eat HP BBQ sauce? Very tasty it is too.

    • Kevin Gollop February 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Thanks Gill, I have some of that HP BBQ sauce in my fridge as it happens – lovely!

  9. Kate June 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Sharwoods sauces are fab, lots of them are gluten free and in the ‘normal’ aisle!! X

  10. Frances Gander June 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    M and S Food ( who are improving their range of GF) have Gluten free breadcrumbed fish in their freezer section. Also have salmon fishcakes , and chicken and mushroom crispbakes ( not frozen). All are really good.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Changes to Discovery Mexican Gluten Free Range | Gluten Free By The Sea - July 17, 2014

    […] free labelling is soon restored to all applicable products and they can go back to being one of my GF hidden treasures.  I should also point out that there are a good number of products still certified gluten free, […]

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