So I may not follow a strict gluten-free diet (I eat regular wholemeal bread and the like) but I do try and eat less gluten than I used to, mainly because of how it makes me feel.
Lowering my gluten intake is a life choice; I feel it makes me less bloated and doesn’t give me the same gut inflammation as regular foods. That’s why finding a gluten-free alternative wherever possible is so important for people in a similar position to me.
Whilst there are a heap of gluten-free food companies around at the minute, it’s easy to go for the first alternative you see and stick with it for life. Well, there is a whole host of hidden beauties lurking on the web, and they offer some amazing alternatives to foods you will definitely never find in the supermarket.
Check out my top five gluten-free treats from around the web – give them a try and see how right I am
Pistachio energy bombs (Oatopia)
Oatopia are a company that love sport, and they created their ‘fatjacks’ and energy bombs to give triathletes and the like the option of healthy, vegetarian, high-energy, gluten-free treats.
Their range is amazing, from thick-cut flapjacks (seriously, like the size of your head), to delicious fruit & veg energy bombs. Their range of bombs is most magical – beetroot, banana and ginseng are just some in the range, but my personal favourite is the pistachio energy bomb.
Complete with oats, dates, almond butter and agave syrup, these treats are great for when you need that extra bit of energy before working out. You can find more on them here: http://www.oatopia.co.uk/shop/energy-bombs/pistachio-energy-bomb/570
Coconut Marshmallows (Ananda’s Marshmallow Confections)
Ananda Foods started when the founder realised there really were no vegetarian marshmallows available in the UK market (and only one US company). The reason for this is because marshmallows are largely composed of gelatine, the boiled bones of animals.
Luckily, Ananda Foods came up with an alternative whereby they could add vegetable glycerine, can keep them gluten-free and, thanks to premium locally-sourced ingredients, keep them tasting incredible.
My personal favourite? The gluten-free coconut marshmallows. I dip them into peanut butter or warm them up on toast for a healthy snack! You can see more on them here: http://www.anandafoods.co.uk/store/p102/%2ANEW%2A_Ananda%27s_Gelatine_Free_Strawberry_Marshmallows_90g.html
Spicy Chorizo and Red Pepper Flavour Crisps (Darling Spuds)
Darling Spuds is a lovely company based in Buckinghamshire who make all-natural gluten-free crisps for snackers who want to eat more healthily. Although I’m not a hugeee crisp fan (give me sweet over savoury any day) I thought I’d give these a try.
My reason for disliking crisps is because they always leave an oily residue on your fingers, are rarely gluten-free, plus you never actually get enough in a bag to satisfy your cravings.
Darling Spuds are the complete opposite – they taste so clean, you get tonnes of crisps, and the flavours are to die for.
My favourite is the spicy chorizo red pepper flavour – you can literally taste the meat and the spiciness is so good you simply have to relish each crisp. For more on them, see here: http://www.darlingspuds.co.uk/products.html?p=0
Tangy Tomato Jerky (Top Herd)
This quaint company was founded by Philippa and Simon, two foodies who looked to give the public what they so desperately needed: healthy, high protein savoury snacks. Whilst the market is awash with sweet protein bars, finding savoury protein goods is way too difficult to come by.
So that’s when Top Herd was born. Fresh beef, marinated and air-dried into delicious jerky, these snack packets are low salt, high protein, all-natural and use only grass-fed animals.
My winner is the gluten-free Tangy Tomato Jerky, which is composed of beef, tomato, honey and mm-mm RED WINE. Definitely satisfies the urge for naughty snacks and keeps you full for ages.
I eat a packet post-workout to up my protein. See more about Top Herd’s jerky here: http://www.topherd.co.uk/product/tangy-tomato-beef/