Gluten Free – The Verdict

July 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Nearing The Finish Line.

Gluten free week has finished and I have arrived unscathed, healthy and none the poorer (…relative to other students anyway!) I think GF must be touted as an expensive diet because, when people learn they have coeliac disease or decide to change to a GF lifestyle, they stock up on expensive gluten-free versions of breads, crackers, and pizza bases, which are often not nutritionally substantial or fortified with vitamins.

What I did, to keep the cost down and make sure my diet was balanced, was to base my meals on fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes and meat in their purest form. If you can cook from scratch you can ensure there are no additives or thickeners that might trigger a gluten allergy. It also means everything tastes so much better. Admittedly, we don’t all have the time to be baking our own buckwheat bread but this comes down to a little game of give and take…and then knowing where to shop.

I gave pasta.

Despite the awesome sauce in my leftovers recipe the pasta was a soggy let down (several brands – same deduction) and I think I just want gluten in my linguine, my conchiglie and my papperdalle…Saying that, my Gluten Free Girlfriend swears by homemade GF pasta, I have asked for the recipe, it’s worth a shot…you know the drill – watch this space!.

But to give, I took.

I took rice, I took polenta and I took potato, glad to reignite my relationship with the humble spud, a long lost childhood friend that was distorted in my kitchen by fads of low carb dinners. Welcome home mash!

And sometimes it was expensive.

I did make my own GF muesli and it was costly, but it was also delicious and I would happily do it again. Why was it expensive? This was not a bowl of empty puffed rice and sultanas my friends, oh no I put incredible amounts of goodness in there: amaranth for protein, millet for calcium/magnesium/zinc and B Vitamins, rice bran for fibre, goji berries for antioxidants…the list goes on!

But we need to be smart about where to shop.

Lesson learnt! If buying GF, know where to go  – for cereals look at bulk buying in health food stores, don’t shop where it’s fancy but do shop where it’s local, and apparently check out Aldi if you have one near you, the GF Girlfriend says they do a good range of inexpensive gluten free and organic.

And when we’re sick of cooking…

There are places to go (gluten-free/ dairy-free/ Sydney)

Bodega, 216 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, 9212 7766.

Wafu, 460 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, 9319 1880.

The Bentley Bar, 320 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, 9332 2344.

Longrain, 85 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, 9280 2888.

Iku Wholefood, many restaurants.

Suveran Cafe, 244 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, 9369 4040.

Crust Pizza, many restaurants.


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