Gluten Free Geek

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Lifestyle Bakery Gluten Free Range


I will admit it I am a bit of a gluten free bread snob.   I am not a fan of most commercially available gluten free bread as most as white and bland.   When I could or did eat bread I always ate rye bread or grainy bread not white sliced bread.   I still think the Deek’s bakery quinoa loaf if the best bread have found but it is expensive and not easy to source.   So I was pleasantly surprised to sample the new Lifestyle Bakery range and particularly like the Chia & Quinoa bread and the Soy & Linseed is good as well.   Both breads are still best toasted in my opinion but on the day the bread arrived the Chia & Quinoa was good fresh with some Nuttlex on it.   The Lifestyle Bakery range is available at Woolworths and IGA – check out the website here.

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Merry Gluten Free Christmas


Hope you are all having a lovely gluten free Christmas wherever in the world you are.   Here it is very hot, getting up to 36 degrees celsius so while I have a lovely gluten free hamper with cake, pudding and brandy butter I don’t feel much like eating it!   Might just stick to fresh fruit and nuts – love the cherries and berries in season at Christmas!   I got this gluten free Christmas hamper from Innovations catalogue that my Mum saw, find the link here.   The shortbread biscuits were OK though a little hard and the cake a bit crumbly so overall would not buy again as not really a big fan of these products when I did eat gluten.   Whatever gluten free food you have today I hope is it delicious!

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Pure Bred


Thank you to Pure Bred for giving me the chance to sample their new range of gluten free breads.   I had already tried the grain bread rolls and was very impressed particularly since first time have had a sausage (gluten free of course) in a bin since being diagnosed with Coeliac.   The grain and white bread loaves were very good and could even be eaten fresh though I did toast mine and have it with the delicious jams sent to go with the bread.   I was impressed to read that the breads are also a bit healthier than the average gluten free bread as it is high fibre and low fat.   The bread is available from Coles but you do need to be aware that it has been frozen and defrosted so not suitable to refreeze.   This is a bit of any issue for me as not a big bread eater anyway so prefer to be able to freeze and get a slice out to toast as required.


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Springhill Farm New Range of Slices


Thanks again to Springhill Farm for letting me sample their new range of slices that while available in Coles in Victoria and NSW are not available in WA yet. I love the Real Bread Mix and have sampled their slices at Hudson’s Coffee at the airport. The slices include Rocky Road, Floretine and Chocolate Brownie. My 10 year old and I sampled the Rocky Road and while I liked it that is something we make ourselves and add the ingredients we like. I felt the Springhill Farm Rocky Road had too much chocolate and coconut and not enough other ‘bits’ like marshmallows. The Florentines I took into work for a staff meeting and I got one as the rest got eaten very quickly and everyone said they were just the right size for morning tea with your coffee. Not too much chocolate but enough to satisfy along with the crunchy cornflakes, almonds and sultanas.

My personal favourite was the chocolate brownie as each slice just the right size for a morning treat with coffee or served warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for dessert. Springhill Farm has been making finger slices, biscuits and baking mixes for almost three decades and was one of the first companies to respond to the growing demand for gluten free products. For more information or ordering online visit Springhill Farm website here.

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Slim Secrets Gluten Free


Unfortunately having Coeliac Disease I never lost lots of weight and if anything after going 100% gluten free have put on weight as being gluten free does not mean low fat!   Often to compensate for the lack of gluten products can have more fats or sugars added and also are not necessarily very high in fibre or nutritious.   One thing that is tricky is to find a gluten free snack to eat on the go, after the gym or on the road.   Slim Secrets “Wanted Less Than 100 Calories” snack bars fit the bill as can carry in my bag for after gym coffee instead of the gluten free cake.   They are also good to have at work in my drawer if hunger strikes or if someone brings in cake I cannot eat.   I like the cranberry, choc ‘n’ nuts best but the vanilla almond is tasty as well.   Slim Secrets also have Low Carb Fit Balls which are choc mint and these are only wheat free but actually don’t contain any gluten in the ingredients so  assume it must be gluten contamination in production that stops them being labelled gluten free.   All the bars and snacks have chia seeds which are a super food.



Slim Secrets also do a range go gluten free low fat chips.   I am more a sweet tooth than savoury but like chips occassionally.  I snuck some into the cinema today as nothing at the snack bar is gluten free, even the popcorn can have gluten in the flavouring.    The sea salt ones are nice but prefer the flavoured salt and vinegar or cheese and onion.   Slim Secrets can be bought at the supermarket, Coles in Bunbury stock some of the range, or ordered online here.

Brookfarm Gluten Free Porrij


It is definitely winter here in Bunbury, Western Australia and it is the time of year for porridge.   I love porridge but of course oats are out for most Coeliacs.   I have already taste tested WBC GF Porridge and was keen to taste Brookfarm’s new GF Porrij as I love their GF Muesli for summer.   Also there is no local stockist of WBC and it is expensive to get mail order.   That said I still prefer the WBC Porridge which has a different texture and much tastier with vanilla and cinnamon added.   It is easy enough to add to the Brookfarm GF Porrij to improve the otherwise quite bland taste, I added almonds, sultanas and craisans as well as some vanilla extract and cinnamon.   I like mine served with some slice banana, dollop of creamy greek vanilla yoghurt and drizzle of honey.    Check out the Brookfarm website here and the GF Porrij can be bought locally here in Bunbury at Tastefully Yours on Stephen Street, get in soon before I buy it all up for winter!


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Gluten Free for Kids


I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease as an adult and I have had my 1o year old son tested but he does not have Coeliac disease.  I think it must  be very hard for children to be gluten free and hard for the parents to manage it.  Thankfully there is such a good range of gluten free products available as well as other allergy free products.   Recently I had the chance to sample or get some kids to sample a range of products.   Firstly the Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks which are gluten free and also egg and peanut free, a good idea with young babies where you don’t know what allergies might have when first introduce them to solids.   I taste tested them on some babies from the staff in my office and they were a hit!   For slightly older children taste tested the Orgran gluten free Itsy Bitsy Bears biscuits which are very similar to the much loved Tiny Teddies, so a great option for children that have to be gluten free so they don’t miss out.   The final product was one close to my son’s heart, peanut butter, luckily he does not have Coeliac disease and luckily no peanut allergy!   He was not sold on the Eskal FreeNut Butter which is actually made from ground roasted sunflower seeds but my husband who is American loves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and thinks the crunchy nut free butter is not a bad alternative.   I think it is fantastic that there are so many gluten free and other allergy free products on the market for children and if it can make their life a bit easier and make them feel like not missing it out this a good thing!

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Gluten Free Banana Bread


I had some over ripe bananas so decided needed to make some banana bread.   After the success of the Anzac biscuits from The Healthy Chef website I decided to give the banana bread recipe a try, you can find the recipe here.   I ground my own almond meal and flaxseed in the Thermomix and set aside.   You then whip up the rest of the ingredients like a smoothie on speed 5-6 for 20 seconds.   I then added the almond meal and ground linseed and mixed for another 20 seconds on speed 5-6.   The mixture pours into the loaf pan like a batter.   I sprinkled the top with walnuts, cinnamon and some organic raw sugar before baking for about 60 minutes on 160 degrees celsius.   I did oil and flour the pan but had some trouble getting it out and some of the base stuck to the bottom, think maybe needed to cool a bit more before removing from the pan.    Served it with ricotta, blueberries and drizzle of organic maple syrup, made a delicious brunch with coffee, I think my cat Peppa agreed!

Gluten Free Cake @ The Cheesecake Shop


It was Aubrey’s 40th birthday and we had friends over for drinks and nibbles and needed cake so went into The Cheesecake Shop to get a black forrest cake for everyone.   I was planning on being cake free as over Easter and school holidays have over indulged.   But there was a sign at The Cheesecake Shop saying try our gluten free chocolate mud cake so on impulse bought a whole one!   I was impressed as the staff member tells me they are baked in a dedicated facility and then plastic wrapped and sent down to Bunbury.   Of course this means has been frozen and the list of ingredients is long, probably not the healthiest choice but for convenience factor worth buying and great for a kids birthday cake!   It tastes delicious, not that different from their other chocolate mud cake, but best warmed slightly with some vanilla ice cream! (I like the Weiss for a gluten free vanilla bean ice cream)

Worlds Best Cereal


Thank you so much to WBC for my hamper of cereal, hot chocolate and Natvia.   I love the WBC bircher muesli which I soak overnight with apple juice and add some grated apple.   In the morning I stir through light greek style yoghurt and top with blueberries and banana.   I also love the porridge in winter and the muesli is great to take with you when going away for a quick and easy breakfast.   If you cannot find gluten free options in a cafe I often order fruit salad and yoghurt and then sprinkle muesli over the top as crunchy topping.

I also love the Vitarium 100% natural sugar free drinking chocolate with Natvia.   Very nice in frothed or steamed milk with a gluten free marshmallow for a sweet evening treat before bed.   It is also gluten free as well as egg and nut free.

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