In many ways 2019 has been a pretty bad year. The world seems determined to march onward from climate emergency to climate catastrophe, the news has been filled with politicians shouting at each other, and my beloved Everton Football Club have been.. let’s say inconsistent.
It’s not been all doom and gloom though, as 2019 has been, in the eyes of this coeliac man at least, the best year for new gluten free products since sliced bread became readily available in supermarket free from aisles.
We’ve had some awesome new products from some of the excellent free from brands on the market, and seemingly every other week a supermarket would launch a new product line in their own-brand free from range. There really have been more new products than you can shake you proverbial gluten free bread stick at.
But which have been the best? Read on to find out my totally unscientific, off the top of my head run down of the top 10 products of the year!
10th – Tesco Free From Cinnamon Swirl
After years of staring longingly at the endless array of gluten-filled pastries at all manner of events over my lifetime, finally we’re getting a serious selection of gluten free pastry options hitting the shelves!
2019 really has been the year for gluten free pastries, with practically all of the major supermarkets jumping on the bandwagon.
This cinnamon swirl was a fairly late edition to the market, but it makes a worthy appearance in my top ten. Cinnamon is one of my all time favourite flavours and this pastry is simple and delicious.
9th – Morrison’s Free From Red Berry Granola
Talking of supermarkets, Morrison’s practically broke the gluten free internet earlier this year when they dropped a huge range of new products.
It was the pastries that took most of the glory, but one less hyped product has become a staple of my kitchen cupboard ever since.
Regular viewers of my Instagram feed will know that I’m a sucker for a big old breakfast consisting of cereal, fruit, yoghurt and most importantly of all, granola! This addition from Morrison’s delivers nice chunky clusters and lots of pieces of real berries. Top stuff.
8th – Dorset Cereals Gluten Free Tasty Tropical Muesli
Talking of breakfast, it’s one of my favourite meals of the day. (Definitely in the top three anyway). I’m a big believer in waking up early enough to enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast before heading out to tackle whatever gluten-based superhero duties come my way.
Dorset Cereals seemingly share my views and they launched a new range of gluten free muesli this year as part of their #BreakfastOnTheSlow campaign.
My favourite was the Tasty Tropical Muesli which was epic with lactose free Greek style yoghurt and fresh pineapple. The muesli is made from whole grain gluten free oats, and contains loads of chunks of dried pineapple and papaya. Tropically good!
7th – Nairn’s Oaties
Now it may come as no surprise to you that I’m partial to a biscuit. They’re just the best. Whether it’s as a mid-morning snack, supper, a just home from work snack, you really can’t go wrong with a biscuit.
However if, like me, you have a slight biscuit obsession, you may be aware that eating roughly 27 per day isn’t exactly ideal for your sugar intake.
Thankfully, Nairn’s introduced a product this year to help with that. Their Oaties come in handy packets, and contain 45% less sugar than the average sweet biscuit. And of course they’re packed full of gluten free oats, meaning they provide a good hit of fibre and all the other benefits that oats bring to the table.
6th – Fodilicious Cookie Buttons
Do you like chocolate? Do you like the sound of an allergen free and fodmap friendly snack? Then have the awesome Fodilicious got the product for you my friends.
Their new Cocoa Crunch Cookie Buttons were one of my favourite finds at this year’s Allergy and Free From Show in Liverpool. They taste absolutely amazing, contain only 48 calories per serving and are made from all natural ingredients.
They also contain a hit of maple syrup which just makes everything so much better!
5th – Schär Curvies
Ever since Pringles decided to alienate the entire coeliac community by changing their recipe, tube based curved crisp snacks have been something of a pipe (or should that be tube?) dream.
The good people over at Schär came to the rescue this year with their aptly named Curvies. Available in original or BBQ flavour, they’re so good that once you pop you won’t be able to cease. (For legal reasons I’m going with this as the slogan).
4th – M&S Made Without Wheat Pain Aux Raisins
The godfather of the gluten free pastry products, M&S have absolutely smashed it with their Pain Aux Raisins. Warmed up they’re an absolute delight, packed full of raisins and a nice creamy filling.
I could honestly eat one of these every morning, maybe when I win the lottery I’ll make that dream a reality. On a lesser year for free from products these would have easily claimed the win, I feel harsh leaving them out of the top three, but they take the crown as top gluten free pastry product of the year!
3rd – Tesco Free From Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Cookies
Taking the bronze medal in this year’s completely unofficial and made up gluten free products of the year awards are these bad boys.
Tesco have long since been one of the major supermarket players on the free from scene, and this year has been another good year for them. These new cookies were by far my favourite product from them this year.
They have that nice soft chewy texture that is so rare in a gluten free biscuit, and what’s more they taste fantastic. You get 12 in a box and I’ll defy anyone to open the packet and only eat one, a worthy inclusion in my top three.
2nd – Nairn’s Pop Oats
Sneaking into the silver medal position is perhaps a surprising entry for some, but I was really impressed with the Nairn’s Pop Oats.
Pop Oats are a great popped alternative to crisps, made from gluten free oats. Who knew you could make crisps from oats?! Certainly not me but they work a treat and come in three delicious flavours. Salt and vinegar was my favourite due to being the undisputed king of crisp flavours.
They also contain 60% less fat than the average packet of fried crisps, so by my reckoning you can totally have two packs at a time and not feel bad. (Usual disclaimer that I’m not a dietician or medical professional in any way, so probably take my advice with a rather large pinch of salt/healthier alternative).
1st – Schär Delishios
I’ll be honest, when compiling this list there was always a clear favourite to take the gold medal. Having had coeliac disease all my life there’s no better feeling than when a gluten free version of a product that you’ve never been able to eat before comes along.
Delishios did just that this year and they were more than worth the 29 year wait for a Malteser-esque treat. I’m reliably informed they’re not an exact replica, but they’re near enough for me.
These little chocolate balls with a sneaky biscuit centre are perhaps the ultimate treat to have hit the shelves this year, and they’re unlike anything I’ve been able to eat before. So for that reason, they take the crown on what’s been a fantastic year. Bravo Schär!
And there you have it! My top ten products of the year. Do you agree with my choices? Can’t believe I’ve left something out? Let me know!