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We have a great range of Gluten Free products available - just look for the bright blue tickets in-store.
Learn how to cook from scratch
The problems most people find when taking gluten out of their everyday eating are certain staples such as bread, cereal and pasta, baked goods including cakes and biscuits, and packet foods like crackers and pre-made sauces.
While many of these things can be avoided by buying specific gluten-free products (usually the staples mentioned above are easier to buy than make), cooking your meals from scratch is the cheapest and easiest way to convert to gluten-free and it doesn't need to be overcomplicated or time consuming.
This also goes for baking from scratch; gluten-free flour alternatives may seem pricey, but you will likely get more value out of baking with it than buying pre-made gluten-free cakes and biscuits.
Keep it simple
Rather than focusing on what you can't eat, focus on what you can eat.
Many natural, unprocessed foods are fine for you to include on the menu. For example, fruits, vegetables, plain meat (unbreaded, marinated or coated), poultry, fish, corn, soy, rice, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and most dairy products are all gluten-free options.
Add flavour to your food with delicious herbs and spices. Learn to create a few basic gluten-free sauces, dressings and marinades from scratch by trying out a new one each week.
Combinations of these gluten-free ingredients can lead to amazing salads, barbecues, roast dinners, curries, stews, soups and stir fries, among other meals.
Build up your 'trusty' recipes over time
With the internet at your fingertips, you can avoid frustrating experimentation by searching for tried and trusted recipes from others; especially where baking is concerned as there is usually a certain science to quantities and ingredients involved.
Overhauling your entire range of meal options at once can be daunting and exhausting. Begin with simply finding gluten-free solutions to the meals you would typically make at home. Start out by 'converting' your favourite meal. Look for gluten-free recipes that have been reviewed by other people and received good feedback, as this is often the best way to separate the great recipes from the ones that don't work out so well. Remember to keep any good recipes in a recipe book to use again later.
Be patient with the process and remember that practice helps. The more recipes you try, the more confidence you will gain and the bigger your stockpile of gluten-free ingredients in your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer will grow.
Gluten-free Balsamic Dressing
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove crushed and finely minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb blend, optional
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients, except oil, in a mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously while very slowly drizzling in the oil.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. May be refrigerated overnight for even better results. Stir before serving. May be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Note: the first step can be done in a blender if desired.
Gluten-free Moroccan Style Marinade
cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp honey
garlic cloves, crushed
tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
tsp ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients, mix well.
Cover and refrigerate until required.
NZ Real Health is an online magazine where you can find practical information and advice on health, wellbeing and fitness. For more articles like this, visit www.nzrealhealth.co.nz.