Monday, 18 November 2013


The first few days of going gluten free were pretty good. My symptoms had always been fairly quick to show and then dissipate, so I wasn't surprised that I started to feel better almost instantly. I know for many sufferers this is not the case at all; their symptoms hang around for a while longer.

This is why I'm pretty sure that the pecan nuts I bought the other day from Morrisons were cross contaminated.

I made some meatballs with spices, pecans, mince beef and pumpkin - they were delicious and seemingly gluten free. I felt a bit off an hour later, but as it had only been a couple of days I put it down to residual symptoms.

I had some for lunch the next day at work with some spicy sweet potato and courgette. Felt bad again. This time I took notice, and listed all the possible ingredients that could have gluten in to check. This list included the spices I used by Schwartz and the pecans by Morrisons. I'm pretty sure it was the pecans as I had included the spices in the pumpkin lattes, which didn't produce any symptoms.

Indeed I looked at the back of the pecan packet and there is note that made my heart sink.

"may contain gluten"

This made me angry. Does this mean that ALL packaged nuts, dried fruit and seeds are unsafe for Coeliacs to eat? I have found many gluten free recipes which use nuts to replace flour - where do these people get their cross-contamination free nuts? Because it isn't Morrisons that's for sure.

The Gluten Free Traveller wrote a post highlighting the same concerns as me, but the USA has which do offer gluten free nuts. Unfortunately they do not ship to the UK.

I started to research various manufacturers of nuts and spices. Here is my research so far:

  • Schwartz say: "in general, our pure Schwartz herbs and spices do not contain added gluten as they do not contain bulking agents such as flour. However, Schwartz products are produced in a production unit which handles gluten. So cross contamination, although unlikely, may occur."
  • Holland & Barrett Neal's Yard nuts: no info available online, except someone warning that they're probably not suitable.
  • Bart Ingredients spices: someone asked on Facebook whether their food contained gluten and they said "unless stated on the ingredients are products don't contain Gluten but we do pack gluten in the factory". BAD spelling, punctuation and grammar too *shudder*. 
Just as I was starting to give up for the day I remembered that Waitrose have a great gluten free selection, maybe their products would be suitable?

Happy Ending (hopefully)


Their LOVE life range includes a huge selection of nuts and dried fruit which are "suitable for those avoiding gluten".

Not only that, but their Cooks' Ingredients range offer dried herbs and spices which are also suitable.

I guess trying is believing, so I'll give them a go. No news is bad news, so if you don't hear any updates from me assume I didn't get glutened :-)

[Image: via pinterest]

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