Tag Archives: dairy free

Costa Gluten Free Wrap Review

14 May

JD's Grill gluten free hoagieA couple of weeks ago a big wave of gluten free on the go options were announced.  Tesco have launched a range of four pre-prepared sandwiches, Costa Coffee have launched a gluten free chicken wrap and Starbucks veggie wrap is now available nationwide.  In addition to this Amy’s Kitchen tomato soup and mac &  cheese is now available in ASDA cafes, M&S have started selling gluten free scotch eggs and for those in Plymouth JD’s Grill have started offering an amazing gluten free ‘hoagie’ to take away at lunchtimes (pictured right).  Life is certainly looking up for coeliacs and those following a gluten free diet with these convenient choices.

I was subsequently contacted by Costa Coffee and offered the chance to take some friends out to sample their first gluten free savoury offering.  Costa have previously offered gluten free brownies and also cherry bakewells, and I believe there were GF Christmas cake slices stocked over the festive period.  The new wrap consists of British chicken with basil mayo, tomatoes & rocket on a seeded Newburne Bakehouse wrap.

2014-05-14 12.42.43I took along friends Greg and Sarah today to sample the wrap.  Greg is going through coeliac diagnosis at the moment after a recent positive blood test, whilst Sarah is both gluten and dairy intolerant.  At this point I should point out that the new product is also being marketed as dairy free, though it should be noted that the allergy advice on the packaging does state “may contain milk traces”.  I asked Costa to clarify this and have had the following response:

“It is not possible to guarantee that the product is 100% dairy-free because it is pre-prepared in a third party factory, which also produces products with dairy in them. Therefore there is an extremely small chance of a trace of dairy being present.”

Taste testers Sarah and Greg

Taste testers Sarah and Greg!

So as for the verdicts.  Sarah said: “I thought it was a tasty choice for an on-the-go lunch option. The wrap had a good texture, contained lots of chicken but may benefit from more mayonnaise or maybe another sauce, like GF sweet chilli? A good idea would be to have a gluten free meal deal at Costa – any drink, the wrap and one of the brownies/bakewells or crisps.”

Greg said: “For my first gluten free meal out it was a pretty good start.  Came away feeling full and satisfied.  The wraps matched any other retailer, like Boots and Sainsbury’s.  Very good filling and a great amount of chicken.  A little skimpy on the sauce, and a personal preference would have been sweet chili sauce.  The cherry bakewells were fantastic, they were just like Mr Kipling, hit the spot right on.”

In my opinion great comments from Sarah and Greg and I’d completely agree with their verdicts.  I’m already a fan of the Newburn Bakehouse wraps and the amount of filling was great, plenty of chicken and just the right amount of salad.  It was a touch on the dry side and would definitely have benefited from a bit more mayo, though the idea above of sweet chilli sauce would be brilliant!  The wrap is priced at £3.75 which isn’t cheap but for a safe, convenient and tasty gluten free option on the go this could be worse.  I can’t see me buying this very often in Plymouth when I’ve got Clare’s Gluten Free and JD’s Grill nearby, but I will definitely be buying this again when I’m on my travels.

It’s taken a long time for Costa to bring out a savoury gluten free option, but I think this is a good one.  One thing I must say is that my wife, Abby, joined us and she is going gluten free this week for Coeliac Awareness Week, but as she is vegetarian there was no savoury gluten free things that she could eat.  Hopefully something will be added in this respect in the future.  Finally a big thanks to Sarah and Greg for helping out with this review and to Costa for shouting us all lunch today.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea


Guest Post: Living Gluten, Dairy and Lactose Free

19 Mar

Since being diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2011 I have become increasingly aware of other food intolerances.  One of the more common intolerances I come across, other than gluten of course, is those who have issues with dairy or lactose.  Many coeliacs have problems with lactose in the early stages after diagnosis, and this is well explained on the Coeliac UK website here.

Being well aware that there are many Gluten Free by the Sea readers who are dairy or lactose intolerant as well as being gluten free, I was keen to be able to offer some extra advice on the subject.  So a huge thank you to Emma Louise Huthchinson of Love Free From (formerly Love Lactose Free Life) for accepting my invitation to share her wisdom with you.  Some of you may have met Emma at either of the last two Coeliac UK Plymouth Group events, or the Christmas Free From Food Fair at Ivybridge last year, which she helped to organise.

Over to Emma…

About Me!

Profile pic Coeliac UK AGMHi I am Emma of Love Free From, a small online retailer selling an extensive range of the tastiest freefrom chocolate and treats. My little business was created in 2011 after I had given up lactose, dairy and gluten for medical reasons. In 2011 I also gave birth to our little boy who has been lactose intolerant since birth.

Avoiding gluten for medical reasons is a life time challenge. One that gets easier over time but you never have a break from. I am lucky that I have not been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. However, I have been blood tested several times as I show very similar symptoms when I consume gluten to Coeliac sufferers.

I am still undergoing my diagnosis journey. For the past 6 years I have visited my GP surgery numerous times, seen several dieticians, a gastroenterologist and an immunologist. I have been told I have a virus, acute urticaria, asthma, hives, IBS, stress, anxiety, lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity. Most medical practitioners don’t believe there is anything wrong with me and I am fighting for my symptoms to be acknowledged. What I do know is that when I eat certain foods I have symptoms. These range from heartburn and reflux, nausea and brain fog, bowel problems and stomach cramps, aching joints and back ache to itchy skin and eyes, rashes and migraines. Most of these symptoms have gone after removing not only lactose but dairy and gluten from my diet.

On the bright side I love food. Even avoiding dairy, lactose and gluten I still love food. I love to cook, I love to bake and I am a complete chocoholic. It made sense to me to specialise in seeking out and selling allergen free chocolates to anyone who would otherwise miss out.

The Free From Industry

lovefreefrom logo all golden

Being involved in the freefrom industry has put me in touch with some of the most supportive people I will ever meet. Through social media you can discuss symptoms, diagnosis, recipes and eating out. You can even just chat knowing that other people understand your daily routine. It also gave me the fabulous opportunity this year to be a judge at the Free From Food Awards (winners to be announced end of March, www.freefromfoodawards.co.uk ).

Eating with multiple food allergies, intolerances or illnesses is tricky but really follows the same principals to eating avoiding one food source.

Top Tips for Eating Freefrom

  • Read labels – religiously
  • Write a list of allergen names and sources – my list went shopping with me to begin with so I had a reference while reading labels
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions – cafes and restaurants should know what is in their food
  • Research places to eat out before you get there – even give them a call ahead of time to ask questions while you both have time to think
  • Challenge yourself to eat more variety – try foods that you might not have tried before as your tastebuds will change and you will benefit from the variety in your diet
  • Make your own version – take normal recipes or watch baking programmes and have a go at making it suitable for you and you may surprise yourself
  • Enjoy making new contacts – there is nothing better than finding a new friend or company who understands your food needs.

My favourite products

There are some fantastic companies making dairy free, lactose free and vegan products which also exclude gluten and other allergens. Of course chocolate is my first love. You can find all my favourites on our website.  For even more I love reading and following the Free From Food Awards, http://www.freefromfoodawards.co.uk/index.html

Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Breakfast –

Udi’s Granola, Whole Earth Cornflakes

  • Lunch or dinner –

Warburtons Seeded Wraps, Tesco own garlic and coriander naan – makes a fab quick pizza base (lightly toast before topping and cooking), Venice Bakery pizza bases and flatbreads used with Mozzarisella Rice cheese – bring on the pizza

DS Gluten Free Crispbreads,

Pure Spreads

  • Milk Alternatives –

Lactofree – extensive range of real dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream) without lactose, great for our little one who is solely lactose intolerant and not dairy allergic

Alpro, KoKo, Good Hemp

  • Pudding and Ice Cream  –

Booja Booja, Swedish Glace, Co Yo, Razzle Dazzle Ices, Bessant and Drury, Pudology, Food Heaven, Lazy Day, Glamour Puds, Salcombe Dairy Sorbets

There are so many fabulous small companies that will have products suitable if you ask. We feature as many as possible on our blog. To name just a few check out these delights (please check all products with the producer for suitable flavours/variations):

  • Belinda Clark Confectioner
  • Raw Nibbles
  • Honeybuns Bakery
  • Ilumi
  • Portlebay Popcorn (sweet and salty only so far)
  • Rossinis (salts, marinades and flavouring)
  • Clives Pies
  • Pulsin
  • Hannah Banana Bakery
  • Munchy Seeds


Ivybridge Christmas ‘Free From’ Food Fair – 07/12/2013

26 Nov

I am pleased to be able to bring you further news of the Christmas ‘Free From’ Food Fair at Ivybridge Community Market on December 7th, running from 9:30am until 2pm.  The event promises to be fantastic, and will be a great opportunity to stock up on some sweet and savoury ‘free from’ products from some amazing local producers.  As well as fellow organisers Simply Moorish, Love Free From and Plymouth Greengrocer there will be a host of other Gluten Free by the Sea friends with stalls.  These include Traditional Puddings, St Maurice Bakery and Let Them Eat who have featured on this blog, and Kay’s Cakes who I had the pleasure of meeting at the recent Torbay Gluten Free Food Fair.

You can find the event at Unit 3, Glanvilles Mill, Ivybridge, PL21 9PS.  Parking is available in the adjacent Glanvilles Mill Car Park.  If you are a ‘free from’ trader there is still time to book a spot, see here for more information.

One quick disclaimer from me; the event is a ‘free from’ food fair and not a ‘gluten free’ food fair, so when buying and tasting products please please do ensure that they are free from your specific dietary restriction.  For example some items may be dairy free rather than gluten free.  There will of course be lots of choice for the coeliac and gluten free folk like myself.  So a big thank you to Helen Jones and the Ivybridge Community Hub for hosting this event, it really is a great opportunity for us.  I hope there is a great turn out, so please share this post to all your free from friends and make sure you come along on the day.  If this fair is successful then hopefully it will be the first of many!

Hope to see you there,

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Free From Food Fair Poster

Full press release:

The Home from Home Community Hub in Glanvilles Mill, Ivybridge. who also run Ivybridge Community Market with a network of volunteers, are proud to announce their collaboration of free from producers to bring you a ‘Free From’ Food Fair on Saturday 7th December 2013 9.30 – 2pm at Glanvilles Mill.

Helen Jones of Simply Moorish, Kevin Gollop of Gluten Free by The Sea and Secretary for Coeliac UK Plymouth Group, Emma Louise Hutchinson of Love Free From and Julie Petvin of Plymouth Greengrocer all recognise and pioneer to ensure a wide variety of produce is made available to those with food intolerances and sensitivities.

This unique collaboration has enabled a ‘Free From’ Food Fair to be coordinated for all to enjoy with free tasters and samples, homemade and local produce available for the run up to Christmas.

All coordinators have been able to bring together a great range of traders to provide a variety of products to suit all palettes and dietary requirements, including gluten and dairy free.

Traders, as well as the coordinators and their products are as follows:-

Love Free From
Simply Moorish
Plymouth Greengrocer
Bake Eat Love Treats
Clares’ Gluten Free
Nice ‘n’ Seedy
Kay’s Cakes
St Maurice Bakery
The Ivybridge Fish Company
The Good Health Clinic – offering dietary advice
Let Them Eat Cake
Traditional Puddings

There will also be a raffle taking place with great ‘free from’ products and gifts from local traders, and prizes from national brands such as ilumi and Honeybuns Bakery. The proceeds of which will be split between Allergy UK and Home from Home Community Hub (a not for profit organisation).

Glanvilles Mill is a retail unit nestled in the heart of Ivybridge town centre easily accessible within a very short walk from several car parks, providing convenience and variety only minutes from the A38 Devon Expressway. The atmosphere is unhurried, friendly and you’ll receive great personal service within its shops.

For more information on what the Hub can offer please email katie.littleacorns@gmail.com and traders or market enquiries email simplymoorish@yahoo.co.uk

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