One of the things that I am not clueless about is shopping. In fact, I’m really very good at it. If you ever had the privilege of meeting my Granny, then you would understand that shopping is imprinted into my DNA. I therefore feel suitably qualified to blog on the subject.
Shopping whilst gluten free is really very easy. Every supermarket stocks your basic staples of fruit, veg, rice, potatoes, meat and fish etc.. But when it comes to ‘replacement’ products such as breads and cereals, then it really is worth shopping around to find your favourites.
This week, I’ll give you a quick round-up on some of the best I have found for these ‘replacement’ products.
Sainsbury’s: They have a really large selection of products – both own brand and branded. Brilliant for breads and cakes, including celebration cakes. I’d highly recommend their own brand cherry bakewell tarts (phwoar). I’m fortunate to live near a very large Sainsbury’s that has a free from section in the chiller, freezer and regular aisle. In the chiller section there are numerous products such as quiches, pastas, tarts and pies. In the freezer section sausages, fish fingers and Genius pies. I thought I’d hit jackpot when I found their own brand frozen cocktail “sausages”, unfortunately they were rank, nothing like a sausage at all and had to be binned. I’d suggest to sticking to their butchers range of sausages in the chiller aisle, most of which are labelled as gluten free. Special mention goes to Sainsbury’s frozen melt in the middle fish cakes.
Verdict: best all-rounder.
Tesco: Well, Tesco exclusively stocks gluten free Peroni, what more could you ask for? I’d suggest stocking up as they are regularly on offer. They also have an impressive offering in their free from aisle of branded goods. However, don’t overlook their own offerings, particularly in the freezer aisle. Here I have found battered onion rings and garlic bread that is like proper garlic bread. Special mention goes to the Tesco Finest Triple Chocolate Cookies. Highly calorific so naturally they are boss. Jeez, these are so popular my poor sister had to come with me daily over Christmas at her local store to see if they had come into stock.
Verdict: best for branded goods.
Waitrose/Ocado: Probably the largest (and most expensive) selection out there. There’s little in the way of own brand products apart from cakes, cakes and more cakes but I have noticed other items creeping in. I’ve actually bought my pancake batter for Shrove Tuesday from here. Ocado has a great selection of beers that I am working my way through. Ocado also has a great frozen section and I have filled my freezer with naughty things to try including pastries, donuts and profiteroles. I was particularly impressed at my recent visit to the new ‘Little Waitrose’ store at Holborn. So impressed that I took a photo and used it as my feature this week.
Verdict: Fill your freezer!
Marks and Spencer: Obviously almost everything is own brand. They have a small but growing selection of ready made sandwiches, wraps and pasta salad for lunch options. Good old M&S leading the way here. I’ve not found anything in the freezer aisle to date but the chiller aisle has chicken and gravy pie, mac and cheese and other tempting ready meals, most of which can be frozen. I’m not a ready meal type of person but its always handy to have something in the freezer. The free from section has a small but sexy selection of bread, cereal, chocolate, biscuits and crackers. I can’t wait to try their cake and I’m just waiting for an excuse to bust one out. Special mention goes to the Salted Caramel Millionaire shortbread -oosh!
Verdict: Best for convenience meals
If anyone has any supermarket recommendations to share I’d love to hear about them in the comments section. On that note I thought I would add a mid-weekly post with a *Product of the Week*. Look out for this each Wednesday!
That’s it for my supermarket round up for now. It’s great that so many are getting on board and in the last couple of months alone I have noticed that the selections are expanding.
On a final note and in my quest for The Vitality, this week I have bought a SAD Lamp. I don’t have SAD but I hate the winter and these lamps supposedly make you feel better by encouraging serotonin (a mood boosting hormone). I’m sticking it on high for 60 minutes a day. I’ll keep you posted on whether I start high kicking to the television adverts in the evenings.