All posts filed under: Where to Shop

Star Product: Antoinette Savill Rolls

I am going through a bit of a bread obsession.  For the first time in my life, gluten-free bread is becoming properly good and enjoyable, and I am relishing the opportunity to try all the new options.  I have also become more fussy about what bread I buy and eat, because like many coeliacs I have come to resent paying over the odds for gluten-free products that just don’t pass muster, and bread is something that is still often below-par. I buy my favourite cobs from the WAGfree bakery in Brixton when I can, but it is a treat and I don’t always get round to making the trip. Fortunately I have  a Waitrose ten minutes walk away, which sells the delicious Antoinette Savill Rolls. As far as I can see, Waitrose is the sole stockist of these rolls, which is a shame as they are a great product and could do with being more widely available. They have quite a distinctive taste and texture, and are most similar to the WAGfree buns served at …

Genius pastry and pie launch

Genius are launching a new range of gluten-free pastry and pies, HOORAH! The brand seem to be listening to what coeliac and gluten-free dieters want, and making products that fill a savoury gap in the market. This is a launch I am especially excited about as gluten-free pastry is a) very tricky to make from scratch and b) totally unavailable on the supermarket shelves in recent times (whatever happened to Dietary Specials pastry?) The new Genius range includes puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, chicken and gravy pies and steak pies. MmmMMM. Hannah over at Gluttonous and Gluten Free has posted about her first time using the pastry, including photographs of her own sausage rolls made from the pastry. They look great, and as she points out they even flake! The pastry is priced at £2.50 in ASDA which though not cheap, is in my opinion reasonable as GF products go. I will be scouring my local ASDA for these products and will post a review as soon I give them a go!

Udi’s Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels.

The last time I tried Udi’s bagels I wasn’t overly impressed. I just didn’t see the magic in the plain bagels, but I was urged to give the sweeter variety a go by an American GF friend. The cinnamon and raisin bagels appeal to my innate English appreciation of tea + sweet thing, and make a nice treat for a weekend breakfast. I tried them with just butter, with butter and honey and with butter and lashings of St Dalfour apricot jam (pictured). Mmmhmmm I enjoyed these far more than the plain variety. I still found the texture a little rubbery, but this isn’t so noticeable when toasted, and the flavour makes up for it. They hold together well and are not too messy,which is an advantage on a rushed morning’s dash-to-the-bus. There are similarly flavoured British treats that I prefer, (Waitrose’s Freefrom Hot Cross Buns and Fruit Scones for example) but I would purchase these again if I saw them on offer. Bargain alert: This post is rather timely as the whole range of Udi’s bagels is currently on offer …

Supermarket in the Spotlight: Marks and Spencer

M&S have been on FIRE with their gluten-free offerings lately. I am consistently impressed with the quality and taste of their foods, and really appreciate their efforts in creating gluten-free products that are actually desirable and good enough to be part of their normal range. Though the prices can be a little high, M&S provides innovative GF options that are simply not available anywhere else. Click here for their dedicated page for coeliacs – how many other supermarkets have one of those? A couple of products I have been enjoying lately: Gluten-free Cod Fishcakes – around £1.79 for 2.* Fantastic product and one which I have repurchased several times now. They require little effort, you literally chuck them in the oven and leave them to cook. They are lovely with chips, mash, boiled or steamed vegetables. I think these would be a good stealth introduction to fish for coeliac children who are a bit nervous of eating it (if they are anything like I was), as with the mashed potato and breadcrumb coating they don’t …

A Wholefoods reminder: Gluten-free store tours

…Remember that y’all can take a gluten-free tour of the store at your nearest Wholefoods branch! I have never seen any other shop offer this, and think it is a nice welcome for coeliacs and gluten-free dieters. It is especially useful in Wholefoods as their gluten-free products are scattered in amongst the ‘normal’ food, and it can be easy to miss the specialist products. I haven’t been on the tour myself (I think I’ve spent quite enough time perusing the aisles) but imagine that this will be useful for those new to gluten-free shopping.

Gluten-free pick me ups: 8 snacks for on the go

In my years living and working in London, I have become somewhat adept at multi-tasking while on the go. I have fine-tuned my ability to eat-breakfast-while-applying-mascara-and-listening-to-a-podcast-on-a-crowded-commuter-train, and when I don’t have time for a proper meal, I now have  few staple foods that I pick up en route. Here are a few of my tried and tested gluten-free  snacks for on the go. 9 bars – I have only tried the original flavour, but I love it. The bar is made up of nuts and seeds coated in carob, and is a solid energy boost, perfect for mid-morning. Approved by the Coeliac Society, available to buy in most major supermarkets and health food stores. Eat Natural bars – I like the bars with the yoghurt coating; the Cashews, blueberries and Yoghurt bar (blue packaging) and the Almonds, Apricots and Yoghurt bar (orange packaging). A good breakfast for when you’re running out the door about to miss your train. Kettle Chips – Classic posh crisps. A decent array of gluten-free flavours, I particularly favour the Sea …

New place to shop: Wholefood’s in Richmond

There’s a new Wholefood’s in town! I was more excited than most normal people would be when I heard that Wholefoods were opening a store in my nearest shopping area. Richmond is a lovely place to visit anyway, and now there is a place bang in the centre to stock up on gluten-free goodies. I have visited a few times now, and they have a great selection, huge shop space and clearly labelled gluten-free everything. I took my parents there a few weekends ago and they were awed by the sheer variety and size of the foods. On our visit they were even giving out free samples! We had some cheese and wine, which made the afternoon’s shopping a very pleasurable experience. The one downside is the crowds. Wholefoods seems extremely popular amongst the Richmond residents (it handily comes with parking and proximity to Waitrose for the rest of the posh shopping!) and even though the store is big, when busy it feels a little cramped, and the layout is such that that the people-traffic …

Coeliac UK

Coeliac UK creates gluten-free app!

Coeliac UK have been busy. Not only have they given their website a full makeover, but they are to launch a gluten-free app. You will be able to check your purchases against the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory by scanning the barcode of items, as well as make use of their gluten-free ingredients checklist when checking labels. As if Coeliac UK were not being damn useful enough, the app will also feature a venue guide, which will enable you to use your location to search for Coeliac UK-approved venues nearby. I think this is a genius idea for gluten-free app, and if it works it will be invaluable for coeliacs on the go, especially the newly diagnosed. Good for CUK for being innovative and keeping up with the times. Full details here.  

GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS PARTY PLATTER AT M&S!

M&S have done it again. For years they have consistently led the way in the supermarket freefrom stakes. From their incredible cherry chocolate cake, to their gf sausagemeat stuffing, fishcakes made with gluten-free breadcrumbs and GF rolls in the M&S cafe, Mark’s and Spencer have always gone the extra mile to make tasty gluten-free equivalents to their ‘normal’ food. They have also always had very clear allergen labels on their own-brand products, for which I award them a gold star. This year they are upping their game even further by introducing a 70 piece gluten-free party platter for Christmas, full of delicious-sounding gluten-free goodies such as chicken kievs and bacon lollipops. [All credit for discovery to Sharon on this gluten-free forum I frequent!]. This looks just as good as their gluten offerings and at £27.50, while not really a bargain it does not seem to be priced any higher than their other platters. Joy to the world!

Gluten-free Food Shopping: Ocado

I used to think that Ocado was reserved only for the yummy mummies and red trouser brigade, but I have recently become a convert. I have found that Ocado is actually a great place to shop for gluten-free food, and good quality food in general. It is not the cheapest place to shop compared to supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl or Asda, but as the Coeliacs amongst you will  know, cheaper food is often off-limits anyway, as many companies use wheatflour to add bulk and keep costs down. If you succumb to the more high end products on Ocado then it is easy to spend a lot. However. If you shop carefully and take advantage of the decent offers and ‘essential’ range, it is actually not much more expensive (if at all) than the high street supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. They even price match with Tesco, so if your shop is ever more expensive, you get a nice little money off voucher for next time. I have made a list of pros and cons …