As you know, us Pudologists work hard to ensure that our delicious Puds are the best dairy and gluten-free desserts on the market.
It is Pudology’s mission to ensure that those who suffer from food allergies can enjoy a treat even more decadent than the ‘normal’ alternative. This is because in the modern world, allergies are hard work! A lot of this comes from lack of understanding, which can lead to disaster. Lucy and I are both intolerant to dairy, so we love the fact that April is a time for raising allergy awareness (25th April – 1st May).
As all of our products are free from gluten, I decided to share my favourite ‘life hacks’ for gluten-free living. It is something I have become very accomplished at after three years of trial and error!
(Choc brownie with ice crem (all GF, V) from Green’s cafe in Grasmere, Lake District)
So what actually is gluten?
Gluten is the general term for proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. These proteins hold the food together. People with Coeliac Disease suffer from an autoimmune reaction to gluten in the digestive tract. It is a potentially life-threatening disease that effects 1 in 100 people in the UK. This is different to those with an allergy or intolerance to gluten (non-coeliac gluten sensitivity). These people (myself included) suffer digestive discomfort after consuming gluten. This can range from mild to severe, but is rarely life threatening.
Avoiding gluten in daily life can be daunting. It turns up in unlikely places, especially when processed foods are involved. Fortunately, ‘free-from’ foods have flourished in the UK over the past five years, and every major supermarket has a selection of foods suitable for those unable to consume gluten. This of course, includes all of the Pudology Puds and yoghurts – aren’t we good to you?!
Avoiding gluten has steadily become second nature to me, and here are my top four life hacks for those leading gluten-free lifestyles…
1)Learn to cook from scratch!
It may sound a chore if it’s not something that you’re used to, but not only is this the healthiest way to eat, it’s the best way to ensure that there has been no cross-contamination with gluten. Take packed lunches to work (rice and vegetables, baked potato, gluten-free sandwiches); cook a batch of soup at the weekend to eat through the week; break out your blender and throw your favourite fruit into a smoothie. Not only will you avoid any gluten-based mishaps, you will save money and your health will improve! If you need any inspiration, head over to our recipe section to get your mouth watering…
2)When eating out – opt for Asian or Mexican restaurants!
They have plenty of rice dishes, which is a brilliant staple for any diet, but amazing for those who opt for gluten-free! It’s nutritious, filling and tasty and most of the accompanying curries or stir-fries don’t include gluten. Of course, be sure to check with the specific restaurant to ensure that your option has no gluten lurking behind the scenes!
(Nachos (GF, V) from V Revolution in Manchester)
3)Still do what you love, but make it gluten-free!
I have always loved baking, and this didn’t stop when I said good-bye to ‘normal’ flour. Now I use rice flour and xanthan gum as a replacement, and I enjoy the end result just the same.
(Pizza (GF, V) – from restaurant)
4)Find out what packaged foods you can enjoy for when kale smoothies just won’t cut it.
Go to your local supermarket and scout the free-from section. These things get bigger and bigger as the options expand, so you are sure to find something you fall in love with! Our Banoffee Pud is a firm favourite for those on gluten-free diets (myself included) and can be found online at Ocado as well as in Holland and Barratt stores.
Let us know your favourite gluten-free life hacks over on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages!
(Biscuits from LABL fair in Liverpool (GF, V)
(NB: Watch out for our cookies recipe from the cover photo coming this may…!)