All of us ‘free from foodies’ are guilty of it; heading straight to the free from aisle and falling for all the clearly labelled free from foods and paying the price for it too.
I don’t blame you because I did it for a long time too, not even giving a second thought that what I want might be available in the ‘normal aisles’ but over time, I’ve found some great free from foods mixed amongst the normal stuff and they’re nearly always cheaper!
Here are some of my best finds:
Tesco Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta
Is it just me or is the regular pasta aisle insanely large and crowded? Maybe I’ve got used to the compact selection of pasta available in the free from aisle but I can’t even begin to wonder how people navigate their way around all that!
One thing I did spot a while back when searching for some regular pasta for J was gluten-free brown rice fusilli pasta. Packaged like normal Tesco pasta but clearly labelled ‘gluten-free’ on the front, it costs 95p for 250g which considering the average serving of pasta is 70g, this will do a few servings!
It’s delicious and actually my favourite gluten-free pasta!
Tesco Salt & Vinegar Rice Cakes
One product that really winds me up is ‘free from’ rice cakes, I just think they’re such a con!
Rice is a naturally gluten-free product, so as much as you need to be aware of manufacturing methods and flavourings that could stop rice cakes being gluten-free, a lot of supermarket own brand ones from the regular aisle are gluten-free and safe for coeliacs!
I’ve mentioned how much I love the Tesco Salt & Vinegar rice cakes before and they’re definitely one of my favourite regular aisle finds!
Processed meats are a bit of a funny one if you’re gluten free. You’re often told ‘meat is naturally gluten free’, which is true it is but processed meats like sausages can have gluten added to them but if you shop wisely, you don’t need to buy free from ones.
High quality sausages will often be gluten free because they have a high meat content and no added nasties.
The Tesco Finest sausages are mostly gluten free and they even add a GF label on the packaging!
Pasta and Stir Fry Sauces
The free from aisle is filled with specially designed free from sauces but if it’s only gluten you’re avoiding, you can often find safe sauces in the normal aisle.
Some of the Homepride pasta bake sauces are gluten free and safe for coeliacs but always check using the CUK app as some aren’t. We have the creamy tomato and herb one all the time!
Blue Dragon stir fry sauces are another staple in our house, we like the sweet chilli and garlic but if you’re low FODMAP, the sweet and sour one is gluten and dairy free and low FODMAP! Again, check each sauces individually with the app as some aren’t safe. I use the sweet and sour sauce to make my takeaway style chicken and it works perfectly!
Nature Valley Peanut Bars
I love peanut bars, some of my favourites are the Meridian Peanut Bars and KIND bars but they’re often sold in the free from aisle whereas the Nature Valley Protein Peanut Bars are labelled gluten free and sold from the regular cereal bar aisle!
They do a chocolate flavour, salted caramel and a coconut version and they’re so tasty! They’re still a little pricey but that’s because of the brand, not because they’re gluten free!
They may still be a little expensive but because they’re a regular brand, they go on offer all the time!
Tesco Gluten Free Fresh Ravioli
Something you may have walked past in the regular fresh pasta aisle a fair few times is the Tesco own gluten free spinach and ricotta ravioli.
It’s not branded in their free from packaging but it does say gluten free on the front and it is delicious!
It cooks in minutes and has a really good flavour, the pasta is delicious and it costs just a little over a £1 for a pack!
Sainsbury’s Crispy Chilli Beef
Possibly one of the best free from finds ever, when I saw on a Facebook group that Sainsbury’s own brand Crispy Chilli Beef from their oriental section was safe for coeliacs, I could’ve cried.
I haven’t had a Chinese takeaway since I was diagnosed, so I try to make my own versions of my favourite dishes but could never pluck up the courage to try and make this, so when I heard the Sainsbury’s pre-made one was safe, I was so happy.
It’s super easy to cook and really delicious!
If you’ve got the time to shop around, read the labels and scan everything with your CUK app, you can find some super affordable and really tasty free from foods in the regular aisles of the supermarket!
What’s your favourite free from find from the normal aisles? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!