Gluten Free Living... Post 1

Those of you who know me (us) in real life, or who have been following my blog for any length of time, will know that we have to be a gluten-free home for my husband, who has a strong intolerance towards it. You'll probably also be aware that the children have a lactose intolerance, so I have come to label us an 'Allergy Home'! Me personally - no such issue, just a severe dislike of pineapple; boarding on allergy if you ask me!!!!!

I really struggled with cooking when hubby first started suffering; actually, lets be honest - I really struggled with cooking full-stop, the gluten intolerance only made a bad issue worse! And baking - that NEVER happened, seriously; I was severely allergic to mine (and everyone else's) kitchens!

At the end of last year I started feeling a tad guilty for the amount of bad sugary and fatty foods my kids were consuming... my daughter had been having constipation issues for a while, and my hubby was getting on my back a bit about learning to bake! I resisted for ages; but it got to the point where he was serious about going no gluten (he had been on-again, off-again for years), and everything in the shops is SO expensive; plus the kids were getting fussier and fussier with their eating... I knew something had to change, and had to change fast, before we ruined the kids for life!!!!

So one weekend I found a couple of easy looking biscuit recipes, and got to work... I think I baked two or three different varieties that weekend, just getting my confidence up! These were not gluten-free; but as my confidence grew and I did more baking, so did hubby's cravings!

One of my first ever batches of baking...

I spent a bit of time doing some research on gluten free baking, and on where you can buy gluten free products... and I came across The Gluten Free Store Online; this was the cheapest store I could find by far, and also came recommended by a couple of friends on facebook; so we made our first order. We are lucky enough to live close by, and can pick up our orders - giving us face to face contact with Mike and Liz... and we haven't looked back!

First EVER gluten-free biscuits...
Hubby thought it was funny to make a face when I took the picture, so now he is paying!

 More gluten-free baking from November / December last year...
It just got better and better!

I have posted many pictures of the gluten-free baking I have done since then, but what I have never mentioned before are their Premixes. The one we have used the most, over and over again, is their scone and pizza base mix - we always keep some on hand (I insist we buy it by the 4kg lot), and serve it up to unsuspecting guests on a regular basis! No one ever knows it is gluten-free, and I get complimented on a regular basis about my soft, fluffy scones and the amazing base on the pizza! The look of shock when we let them in on our little secret is always amusing, and I can't recommend it highly enough! I promise I'll do a proper post on that one day - with pictures of the scones and the pizza base, and our little secrets on how we make them...

BUT what I want to share with you in this post is their new bread Premixes! OMGosh, hubby is in bread heaven now! With the loaves of G-F bread in the supermarkets costing (on average) $7-8 a loaf, it was adding up, and quickly; the basic premix, which is the one we have tried - costs $7 (exc GST), and makes two loaves; halving our bread costs for hubby, thus allowing him to have bread on a more regular basis! 

I have only made two loaves so far; but it is by far some of the easiest baking I have done, and so GOOD! I have been allowed, literally, just one mouthful... hubby has become very possessive of HIS bread these days! Button was allowed a slice of the first loaf though, and also gave it the thumbs up - it's got to be good if both hubby and Button approve of it!

The bread itself is slightly sticky, so a different texture to normal bread; but it is soft and lasts for approx. four days if stored in an airtight container (although it only lasted three days here, before I had to make the second loaf). It is perfect for both toast and sandwiches - which is highly unusual for gluten-free bread, and I think hubby is hooked!

It is so simple to make that I managed to bake the second loaf one busy afternoon, with both kids hanging around AND making dinner at the same time... pretty impressive! The second loaf is a much 'prettier' version to look at:

But there is still plenty of room left for improvement... can only get better with practise, because if hubby craved one thing, it was always bread. He has come home every night this week, and made himself a sandwich either before or after dinner! I'm sure the novelty will wear off one day; but for now it's all go, and it certainly gives me a few extra points up my sleeve as well ;-)!

There are five different bread premixes to chose from, ours being the cheapest and plainest available... but I am sure, that as time goes on, we will attempt the other ones as well! 

But as well as great prices, and great products - their customer care has been exceptional! We have always been able to pick up our order when it has suited us; weekends being our preferred time! They have always been available to answer any questions (phone or e-mail), make suggestions if I'm struggling with a recipe, smiled and been happy to see us, and cooed over the kids (always a good thing when you're a parent of littlies *grin*)!

I cannot recommend them, or their products enough, if you have to bake gluten-free for one reason or another...

This review and recommendation has come from me, and me alone; I have not been asked to do this, and I will not be gaining anything from it. The opinions are all mine, and are totally true and relevant as I see things!

And I am very excited to say that I will be doing a series on Gluten Free Living, sharing idea's and recipes that I have used, loved and found helpful. Recommending recipe books, and websites as well... I have got a lot of idea's, but it won't be a 'regular' thing, it'll be written as I have the time and the information to share with you! But they will all be entitled Gluten Free Living, and I will include links to previous posts as I go, so it will be easy to follow and find. All posts will be just my opinions and thoughts, these are not reviews or recommendations that I have been asked to do...


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