The Gluten Diary: Best Gluten Free Finds

When I started my gluten-free journey over a year ago, to be completely honest with you I was not strict on myself in the slightest.  Freshers week was full of chicken burgers, chicken nuggets, fried chicken… essentially anything that contained chicken and wheat. I would torture my body by filling it with all the kind of foods it could not digest properly. My mood would be constantly low and every day I would have this ‘fogginess’ which does not help when you have assignments left, right and centre.

I knew that there was only one solution to this discomfort and that was to eliminate all gluten from my diet, no barley, no rye and especially no wheat.

When you first go gluten-free, everything tastes absolutely awful and when your diet consists of 90% gluten; gluten-free bread unquestionably was not satisfying enough. I started eliminating the foods that really affected my stomach such as bread and then slowly started changing all my foods to gluten-free alternatives. Every now and then I question myself ‘will one bite really hurt?’ and unsurprisingly I’m in pain every single time. My gluten-intolerance has developed to the point, even if there is slight cross-contamination – I will end up looking like I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy. Now I have been completely gluten-free (apart from the occasional accidental cross-contamination) for quite a few months now, I have found some of my favourite foods that I think you should try out.

Tesco Free From (Frozen)

Tesco has a wide range of Free From especially in their frozen aisle, this is where my favourite foods are at – even if they are not nutritiously the best for you. A lot of the time I will create a snack platter which has a couple of items – here I have mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets and scampi. I am a huge fan of the scampi for starters and the mozzarella sticks have joined my favourites list recently. Due to my obsession with McDonald’s chicken nuggets, these nuggets do not even come close, however, it is nice to have an alternative option.

Another Free From item I normally include in my platter, however, did not have it stocked when I cooked this, is the onion rings. They are really crispy and full of flavour, so if you are a fan of onion rings I suggest trying out these too.

These are two more items that I have repurchased several times – I would definitely choose the sausages over the chicken pies as you cannot tell the difference between gluten free and non-gluten free. The chicken pies you ultimately can tell the difference purely because I do not think there will ever be a true replica of pastry, that is gluten-free. A girl can dream though!

Gluten and Milk Free Coffee Cake

With my mum being an amazing cook she used to often make coffee and walnut cake (I used to pick of the walnuts as I was not a fan) however since being gluten-free I have not been able to indulge in one. When visiting gluten-free bakeries, I have spotted that they do not tend to do coffee cake, therefore, I came up with an idea – technically my mum did but it was brilliant. I picked up the Tesco Free From Vanilla Sponge Mix where you just add butter (or a dairy-free alternative), water and eggs. After the mix was made I just added a small amount of coffee to the mix which turned it into coffee cake batter; I then repeated the same step when making the buttercream. The mix was only £1.70 and a sufficient amount of cake can be made from it – which makes it a lot cheaper than purchasing an already made cake (around £3 in Tescos).

Gluten Free Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Pasta 

I almost did not include this as it is so easy to make, however, please do be aware this is only suitable for gluten-free (as far as I am aware of) and I cannot remember whether this is completely free from i.e. milk etc. Any free from pasta is good to use, I used a mixture of Conchiglie and Fusilli as I was running low; then once it was cooked I simply used Sainsbury’s Tomato and Basil Sauce and then added some mozzarella. The photograph does not do this meal justice – as quite frankly I suppose it does look like a pile of ‘mush’ as my mum described it. Nevertheless, this is a quite an easy dinner to throw together if you are in need of something quick or are quite simply craving some tasty pasta.

Vanilla Cupcakes & Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownies

I loved these gluten-free sweet treats from the Glutopia Artisan Bakery; which you can read all about here, on an entire post focused on it.

Other Favourites

I also have other favourites which I was unable to photograph due to not having them in my cupboard, however, I will leave the list here for you to check out!

Aldi: The Foodie Market Free From Chocolate Biscuit Bars – perfect alternative to digestive biscuits/chocolate bars

Sainsburys Deliciously Free From Courgette, Feta & Spinach Pie £2 – super tasty although slightly on the flakier side

Schar Gluten-Free Pretzels – great for taking on the go and for a quick snack

Marks & Spencer Gluten Free Prawn Mayonnaise Sandwich – major favourite of mine and super tasty!

I do hope that this post was helpful to those who are searching for some new GF choices or have not got round to trying some of the quicker options. In addition, I am aware that these are not the healthiest choice or something that is substantial to live off of; however, in future posts, I will be focusing on home cooking – as well as other free from ranges.

(I cannot wait to try more of Marks & Spencer’s Free From)

Thank you for taking the time to read; please do let me know in the comments what some of your gluten-free favourites are and make sure to subscribe if you wish to do so.

Courtney Bekah x

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