TESCO "Free From" Gluten Free food products
TESCO FREE FROM FOODS
When you have to cut certain foods out of your diet to stay healthy it is a nightmare. I have suffered from coeliac (celiac) disease for nearly 50 years which means that I have to avoid gluten, which is a protein in wheat . Tesco produce a "free from " range which I am reviewing and will give my opinion. Please check back in later months as I expect to be adding to this hub all of the time
FREE FROM WHITE BREAD
There is a new bread which comes in a small unsliced loaf. The wrapper tells me to squeeze to test the freshness. This is really novel as most gluten free bread does not respond to squeezing, it just disintegrates!
The bread is white and is wheat free, gluten free and milk free which covers those coeliacs who are also lactose intolerant. The bread is made from a mixture of tapioca starch, potato starch and rice flour, sweetened with Golden syrup and has the usual preservatives. The manufacturer suggests that it can be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to one month.
I tried it last week and must admit to being totally impressed. It is a fairly solid loaf which slices easily and hold its shape. I have tried it as a sandwich bread with hot and cold fillings and toasted it with lashings of hot butter applied.
It is quite competitively priced at £1.49 per 400g.
FREE FROM WHITE SLICED BREAD
The bread is packed in two compartments to keep it fresh. It does not have the same taste as the unsliced loaf. I note that it does not include the golden syrup- maybe that's my addiction! I think the slices are too thick and thereby I find them difficult to digest.
The bread has to be used within 24 hours of opening so you really have to be smart in what you are eating or freeze half. It keeps in the freezer for about a month
It is fairly good value at £1.98 for 400g but it is not one of my favourites
FREE FROM SPAGHETTI
I love spaghetti bolognese but it just does not taste right when served with rice. Tesco free from spaghetti is a tolerable alternative. It is not the same taste as wheat based spaghetti but if you have plenty of sauce it will disguise the taste. It is made from a mixture of maize starch, potato starch and rice starch with some soya flour as well.
The instructions say to rinse with boiling water. It is really important to do that as there is a really gluey, starchy feeling to the pasta. I always keep a watch on it when it is boiling as it is liable to become a glutinous mass if not stirred. I try to separate the strands with a fork to make sure each is cooked and that it does not end in one lump
SYRUP SPONGE PUDDINGS
Wow! Pure filling winter food for those days when its cold outside. They take just under a minute to cook in the microwave and satisfy my carbohydrate and sweetness cravings in one hit! There are loads of ingredients that you might want to take a look at if you have problems with E numbers. At 310 calories a pudding they are a special treat but well worth it. The wrapping says warning the contents may be hot- yes, they are, so be careful when you take the lid off
I regularly use the fusilli pasta. I cook it in a separate saucepan to the family pasta. Actually it is quite hard to tell the difference by looks only! It takes about 8 minutes on the hob and again needs rinsing well. The instructions state that you can use a microwave to cook it but I have not tried as yet.
Following a gluten free diet is not easy but products such as "Free From" do help to make it a little easier. I will adding to this hub as I try new products. Please note that any opinions expressed are mine and as we all have different taste buds at work, what I find really lovely might not meet your needs.
If you have tried these or any other products please leave a comment as the more information available to us all, the better.
SUN DRIED CIABATTA
The sun dried ciabatta actually tasted a lot better than it looked. My problem is that having never eaten a ciabatta I can't comment on whether it has a natural taste.
There are two ciabatta in the packet , each one in a separate vacuum pack. The first one I tried was toasted and lashed with butter. It was very nice though I had thought to use it as a sandwich but whipped the filling out just to eat the bread.
The second ciabatta was for lunch. It took a while to eat as I found I could not eat it quickly. This time it was cold and actually tasted a lot better than it looked. The ciabatta is certainly worth a try though if you are a recently diagnosed coeliac you might remember the real thing!
The instructions say to heat in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. As usual I paid no attention to the instructions but was still impressed with the end result.
Free From Fresh White and Brown Rolls
There are two types of rolls- the ones in the picture come in sealed packs- they keep for quite a while until they are opened and are just about palatable, especially if you microwave them first.
Then there are the "fresh" rolls available in white or brown. I cannot find enough superlatives to describe them. Have they revolutionised my life? the simple answer is "yes". They look the same as normal crusty bread rolls and taste good too. I have had them as a cold sandwich roll and also with a gluten free burger inside. What is really good is that they don't look out of place with the rest of the families food so you might just have to point out which one is yours, cos they wont tell by looking and I doubt by taste. Well done Tesco! for once I actually feel that I have been listened to and someone has produced something edible
Mixed Berry cereal bars
At last a cereal bar that a celiac can eat! It is very chewy and quite a fruity taste. It is infinitely moreish which is lucky in that it comes in a pack of 5, so you have to be very disciplined not to have more than one! They are suitable for vegetarians and the front of the pack contains clear nutritional guidelines if you have other things you have to watch. Well worth trying
Free From Crumpets
When I was in my early 20's I went through a period of good tolerance and had the odd crumpet lathered in butter..... yummy.
I was so excited to try the gluten free version. They are not too bad. They are not as good as the real thing- the outside toasts nicely but the inside gave me the impression that it was a bit like rice pudding- but a nice taste. Yes, they can be smothered in butter too!