When I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant seven years ago, my immediate response was to binge on beer, toast and pizza.
I was in denial. Giving up my daily breakfast of toast and Vegemite felt like an injustice – not to mention my penchant for a cold beer on a Saturday afternoon.
As time went on, and my stomach aches became unbearable, I eventually came to terms with the reality of gluten intolerance. Luckily for me, so did the rest of the world.
Gluten intolerances are on the rise, and supermarkets are increasingly adapting to the shift. These days, there isn’t much I miss: if I have a hankering for previously pain-inducing foods like pizza or pasta, there’s generally at least one gluten free option on the market.
Now, more specific snacks are starting to arrive in gluten-free – crumpets, macaroni cheese, Anzac biscuits to name a few. And with the release of Gluten Free Weet-Bix this month, one of the last remaining items on my list has now been crossed off. Not only are these GF alternatives easy on my guts, they also taste, look and act exactly like the original.
Here’s five gluten free products that are as good, if not better, than their wheat-laden counterparts.
Main ingredient: Sorghum.
What to expect: A crumbly, satisfying breakfast brick that absorbs milk and brown sugar in seconds. Just like when you were a kid.
Where to buy: Any chain supermarket.
The best thing about gluten-free beer is that it doesn’t leave you bloated, so it also appeals to people with low-level gluten sensitivity. O’Briens is my pick of the bunch. It comes in lager, pale ale, brown ale and light and it’s available at some really cool bars around the country.
Main ingredient: Gluten-free malted grain.
What to expect: A tasty beer, especially the brown ale. Beats cider any day.
Main ingredient: Ricotta cheese.
What to expect: Everything you love about pancakes, with actual food value!
Where to buy: Make them yourself.
Quinoa Microwave Cups
Convenience foods generally aren’t the healthiest option, but when it comes to gluten-free, you can at least be sure that a lot of thought has gone into the ingredients. The ‘Simply Gluten Free’ quinoa microwave cups are a good example.
Main ingredient: Quinoa.
What to expect: A microwave-able meal, of course, but with decent ingredients and a bonus superfood.
Where to buy: Coles.
Traditional Mexican tortillas are made from masa harina or masa lista – a finely-ground cornflour. If you want to make authentic, delicious burritos or soft tacos, opt for gluten-free tortillas, or better still, make your own using a tortilla press.
Main ingredient: Masa lista (finely ground cornflour).
What to expect: Delicious, authentic Mexican fare.
Where to buy: Do a quick Google search to find your nearest stockist.