A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO "GLUTEN FREE"
Here are some basic guidelines to "gluten free", and some handy hints:
What is gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, and other grains such as barley, oats (see more about oats and gluten here), rye and spelt.
What is a gluten free diet?
A diet that eliminates wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt and any products made from these grains.
Why are so many people allergic or sensitive to gluten?
Coeliac disease is the most common reason we see in our stores for a gluten allergy. For some people gluten can be difficult to digest. This creates a sensitivity in the gut and can be a symptom of impaired digestive health. Some children struggle with digesting gluten due to their immature digestive systems.
NEW FOODS TO TRY OUT
If you have Coeliac disease or are sensitive to gluten we hope to make things easier by providing clear labelling and product information. If you have decided (or have been told) to go gluten free, it is a great opportunity to get excited about new food.
Gluten free grains
Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, polenta, millet, quinoa, sago, tapioca and all varieties of rice such as jamine, basmati, arborio.
Beans and pulses
All beans and pulses are gluten free. Chickpeas, lentils, haricot and black beans just to name a few! We even have gluten free tinned baked beans! Have a look at this handy guide to beans and grains cooking times.
Bread, crackers, cakes and confectionary
Our Wellington City, Kilbirnie, Lower Hutt, and Johnsonville stores offer house-made gluten free food Monday-Friday, including sandwiches, muffins and winter-time soups.
Baking gluten free goodness
Baking your own gluten free treats can be very rewarding. We have a great range of gluten free flours and recipe books to give you ideas. However - it can also be very tricky! We sell pre-made baking mixes for bread, pancakes and pizza bases, cakes, biscuits, raising powder and natural sweetners.
Gluten free babies
The majority of our baby foods are gluten free. We also have formula, teas and infant cereals that are gluten free.
GLUTEN FREE OR LOW GLUTEN- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Some products that used to be labeled gluten free now have a ‘low gluten’ label.
This has caused some concern among our gluten-free customers, but it is a legal issue, rather than a health one. The law in the United States and Canada states that the term "gluten free" means 0 to 20 parts per million. The New Zealand law is stricter- gluten free means 0 parts per million. As some foreign products are only tested to their legal requirements, the producers have decided to label their products in New Zealand "low gluten".
The ingredients are exactly the same, it is just the packaging that has changed.
LIVING GLUTEN FREE
- Coeliac New Zealand is a not for profit group that supports people living with Coeliac disease. They have great online resources about Coeliacs and all things gluten free
- Gluten Free Kiwi is a great source of information and reviews about eating, shopping and travelling gluten free.