*note from editor – Apparently, there is such a thing as a ‘gluten free diet’. It’s supposed to be quite good for you, but in wilful defiance, I will continue to tuck happily into my bacon bap, mice pies, pint of beer and all the other delicious, gluten-y things I have surrounded myself with.
Continuing our dedication to review every Christmas Pud available, YJ director Grant Georgiades has reviewed Tesco’s gluten free offering. Presumably being gluten free means it is made entirely of dried fruit, booze and sugar, therefore making it the healthy alternative to a traditional ‘bread’ based pudding.
Tesco, Gluten Free Christmas Pudding
Tesco are making a big push into the gluten free market this Christmas. I’m not sure that all the celiac sufferers and those with gluten intolerances in the UK will replace the profits they’ve lost to the Germanic discounters, but you can’t fault them for trying.
I’m Grant Georgiades one of the Yellow Jersey Founders and I’ve been gluten free for the last 18 months after experiencing ongoing stomach issues since contracting a nasty virus (probably brought on by over-training.) I can’t say I’ve found the inconvenience too difficult to cope with, but the difference it’s made to my stomach and in turn my energy levels has been a real eye opener.
Enough of my condition – on to the tasting. Now anyone that’s strictly GF will know it’s pretty easy to lay your hands on tasty sweet treats. Savoury snacks that traditionally contain bread or pastry are much harder to come by, so it’s quite surprising to learn that Tesco have managed to conjure up a pretty decent pudding that contains gluten free breadcrumbs. I’m no dietician or pudding expert but I think the trick might be in using an abundance of fruit and spices to cover up any flavour that might be lost due to wheat substitute ingredients having to be used.
Cooking-wise you have two options, either steam it for an hour or place in a microwave for 3 minutes. There’s no way I can wait an hour, so in the nuclear over it went. HEALTH & SATETY ALERT – listen when the packaging says “Pudding will be hot.” After you hear the bing wait a few minutes longer for it to cool than the instructions recommend. My impatience has cost me a large section of skin on the roof of my mouth.
Aesthetically after cooking, I can’t say that it looked too appealing. In fact it looked pre-eaten. But I didn’t let that put me off and boldly went there for my fellow GF readers.
In terms of texture, like most Christmas pudding I found it needed a bit of moisture. I went for almond milk and that was just the ticket. It’s worth pointing out for anyone that excludes dairy entirely that there is egg in the pudding. I only avoid dairy rather than rule it out as that would take finding food on the run a more challenging proposition all-together!
Nutritionally it contains over 340 calories per (113g serving) quarter of a pot. This bad boy will definitely give cyclists a decent pick me up post ride. Plus if you need to thaw out your hands, keep hold of it with your gloves on during the cooling period for a pudding based heat supply.