Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lentils, Polenta etc...

"Other Information

Warnings: Wheat and other cereal grains may occasionally be found in this product due to the way that lentils are grown and harvested."
Lentils and Polenta (coarsely milled corn) should be gluten free and suitable for a coeliac diet, but due to the way it is either harvested or packaged this is often not the case.  I'm avoiding it altogether at the moment because I've given up trying to find certified gluten free packs.  
The supermarkets are at least now labelling their packets appropriately (see above) - I suspected I was reacting to lentils long before the labelling changed, which was baffling at the time. So I started washing it thoroughly before cooking, but I'm not convinced this is good enough and then finding an actual ear of wheat in my lentils was the final straw (excuse the pun)!
It is so frustrating, especially as pulses are potentially a really nutritious and economic substitute for gluten-containing grains.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to use your Cuk Directory

So you may be wondering what is this Cuk Food and Drink Directory. Well, it's a list of free from prescription and non-prescription foods AND (more importantly for me) normal branded and supermarket foods that not only do not contain gluten but where the manufacturer has taken measures to avoid cross-contamination with wheat/barley/rye,oat products.

It used to be a paper book published yearly, but now you can get it in the CUK gluten free on the go app or on the coeliac.org.uk website if you become a member (currently £10 a year).  Membership also includes a few annual issues of crossed grain magazine.

The directory is handy if you want to check a particular product (especially if you have a smart phone) or want a list of, say, all popcorn or marshmallows that are ok.

You'll see that most economy supermarket brand tortilla crisps and many McCain frozen chips etc are fine. So it really is a must if you don't want to be limited to the freefrom aisle, which, let's face it is mostly laden with sugary biscuits and cakes (and lots of the supermarket ones now contain the dreaded "GF Oat flour" anyway! Argh!).

 In the app, you can add items to our own scrapbook so you can check your favourites continue to be GF. If items are withdrawn from the list they will have a red not suitable label in the app.

Cuk also publish a list of seasonal treats that are ok at Christmas and Easter which you can download from their website (free) each year.  This is great to email to relatives who want to buy your little ones seasonal treats, just make sure they are aware that the list is subject to change and that they need the new list each year.