After experiencing some bloating induced (I thought) by bread and pasta, I started dabbling with gluten free foods. Whether the bloating is down to genuine gluten intolerance or just being a bit of a piggie I still can’t say. However, reducing one’s gluten intake can never be a bad thing, as it’s said to contribute to increased energy levels, fewer stomach cramps, and less bloating. If you do decide to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet or even go completely gluten-free, the bulk of your diet should still consist of natural foods, such as fish, fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, and naturally gluten-free grains (like quinoa). Nonetheless, even those going gluten-free are only human, and will occasionally miss things like pasta, bread, and cake. While I’m still experimenting with this, I hear that Dove’s provides a good range of gluten-free flour, and I’ve had promising results so far with gluten-free pasta from a French supermarket brand, Carrefour.
As the gluten-free market gains traction, more and more brands are appearing to satiate people’s desires even while cutting out certain foods. Perk!er is one of these brands, and they very kindly sent me some of their gluten-free products to test recently. For breakfast, their golden syrup porridge pot – perfect for the road – and their apple, cinnamon and raisin box of porridge oats, for mornings when you have a bit more time. The porridge pot is a mere 230 calories per pot, so brilliant for those watching their weight, as it’ll keep you full for ages without the bloating while still delivering a hit of sweetness. At between £1.25 and £1.50 a pot depending on where you buy (Ocado, Tesco or Asda are your main choices), it won’t break the bank either and is comparable to the price of other porridge pots.
The ‘slow food’ breakfast option is equally promising, with the cinnamon, apple and raisin porridge box providing a satisfying start to your day. It’s tasty, healthy, and will keep you full without stomach cramps threatening to spoil your morning. However, as it has no added sugar, some people may find it’s not sweet enough for their tastes, so feel free to add a cheeky spoonful of honey or fructose if you like. At £4.25 a box, though, this is significantly more expensive than many other boxes of similar weight, so perhaps this is one to be bought more sparingly (although Tesco are currently offering 25% discount, so maybe it’s worth looking out for offers).
Finally, for those ‘naughty but nice’ moments, I was sent a pot of Perk!er’s Rocky Road Bites. At 59 calories per ‘bite’, these are comparable energy-wise to ‘normal’ Rocky Road, but encouragingly seem to contain far fewer ingredients than traditional recipes. Again, at around £2 a pot, these won’t make your wallet scream and are not a million miles away from the price of the usual products. They are also DELICIOUS (very important), and as with all of Perk!er’s products, you wouldn’t know they were gluten-free from their taste.
I’d therefore perhaps eschew the porridge boxes unless I could find them on offer, but would definitely go for the porridge pots and snack pots for healthier and affordable alternatives to traditional products. Thanks, Perk!er 🙂