Abe’s Gluten-free Bagels – Part 2: Return of the Bagel

Abes bagels

A while ago, Abe’s were kind enough to send me some of their new gluten-free bagels to try out. I talked about them here.

Last year, they contacted me to ask if I’d like to try out their new Six Seed Bagel – gluten-free of course! It took me a while to decide if I wanted to try some new product…about .1 milliseconds…and in due course my bagels arrived.

I like to look at the ingredients and nutritional breakdown nowadays, so here’s that information for you!

Abes bagels ingredients

As with the plain bagels, these come in a three-pack. The gluten-free bagels are smaller than the regular bagels, but still make for a good breakfast. Here’s what they look like with nothing on them – these are just toasted:

Abes bagels plain

Nice and seedy, with the chewy bagel texture just right and the seeds add a little extra flavour. They went very nicely with hummus and plain butter, but would work brilliantly with your favourite bagel topping. I really liked the high fibre content and the fact that they are made in NZ and have no GM ingredients. But really, it’s the taste that’s the best thing!

Abes bagels hummus

What would I change about these? If I was being picky, I would ask Abe’s to cut these in half in the same way they do with their regular bagels. I always forget to do it before I put them in the freezer and then have to defrost them before I can cut them and put them in the toaster. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I really struggle to cut bagels in half easily!

Also, I would have them in more supermarkets, but I guess that’s not really up to Abe’s. I don’t see the regular bagels around often (so always buy a couple of packets when I come across them and chuck them in the freezer) and have yet to come across the Six Seed bagel anywhere.

Note to self: I have no bagels in the freezer, so must remember to pick some up. And this time, cut them in half before I freeze them!

Check out the Abe’s Bagels website for more information.

Note: I wasn’t paid in any way to write this, apart from being sent some bagels to try. In fact, I have taken a shamefully long time to write this review!

 

Pita Pit – oh how I love thee!

I miss Subway. The fresh, sweet smell of bread baking never fails to make my mouth water. Despite my repeated requests, they don’t seem to want to trial gluten-free bread, and to be fair, it would be hard to keep the bread from cross-contamination. So I’ve grown accustomed to not eating at most of the fast food outlets but it can be tricky when I’m travelling for work or helping out during a sports trip. My very helpful kids are all about looking out for gluten-free things for me, and happy day, daughter #2 told me that Pita Pit offer gluten-free pitas! I tried one and it was very good, but I wasn’t watching too closely as they made it, so couldn’t answer for the cross-contamination.

However, we were recently in Mairangi Bay with a team of hungry waterpolo players and we went down to the nearest Pita Pit, the one on Apollo Drive. I ordered my gluten-free pita and watched the process with an eagle eye. I was totally impressed. They changed their gloves before getting out the pita bread and used a different knife which came from a selection of clean knives to cut the pita open. They then put the pita on a piece of greaseproof paper to pas it on to the next stage. The next person also changed their gloves before handling the pita. When the pita was put into the toasting grill, the baking paper stayed around it, so that even if the paper came into contact with gluten on the grill, the pita itself didn’t. Finally, they used a new piece of paper to wrap the pita pocket in.

I’m not sure whether the other Pita Pits around the place are as rigorous as the Mairangi Bay outlet, but I was amazed by the care the staff there took. And do please note that we had 10 starving 14 and 15 year old boys with us so there were a pile of orders to be made up. Full marks Pita Pit, well done to you!

Click on Pita Pit NZ for more details.

Since I posted this a couple of weeks ago, I’ve heard again and again how good Pita Pit is from all sorts of people all over the country! Pleased this isn’t confined to just the Mairangi Bay Pita Pit.

Note: this post was not sponsored in any way by Pita Pit. Also, I can’t talk about the processes used to make the gluten-free pita bread.

Ethos Cafe – gluten-free, vegetarian, raw haven

When I ventured to East West Organics in New Lynn recently, I observed a nice looking cafe. It was closed, but I thought I’d go back because it looked very inviting – wooden tables, light and airy and the menu looked nice too with LOTS of gluten-free options.

I duly went back with my husband and the two youngest children for lunch. Until we ordered for the small fry, I hadn’t noticed that the menu was vegetarian! We managed to find some lovely food – here’s a sample of our brunches!

Fritters

Big Brekkie

Buckwheat crepes

The building used to be part of a timber yard, and it has been beautifully converted. There were a large number of tables outside, which was lovely in the heat of the day. Do take a sunhat and sunscreen though. The food was great, although the small boys would have liked it a little faster. We finished up with cheesecake, rhubarb crumble and a brownie and it was all very delicious.

Do stop in if you’re want to eat good quality vegetarian or gluten-free food, or just wanting to try something a little different. It was a little pricier than a lot of the local cafes, but was very high quality food, so we were happy to pay it for an every now and again treat.

East West Organics

East West organicsWest Auckland has been a little lacking in wholefood stores which include gluten-free products. So I was delighted when I was driving along Portage Road in New Lynn a few weeks ago, and stumbled across East West Organics. I thought I’d mosey in and see what they had on offer.

At the front of the shop is an art/ craft gallery which has a very wide range of items on display in a small space and which made me want to stay and browse for longer. Following on from there is an airy, well laid out space with lots of mid-level shelving. There is a great range of product, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. There’s also a naturopath counter and natural health clinic, and I see from their website that they also run workshops in things as esoteric as beliefs and green smoothies as well as yoga classes.

Their pricing is reasonable – certainly in line with somewhere like Natural Organics – and the range of items includes vegan, organic, gluten-free food products all the way up to items like glass drinking bottles and an assortment of other environmentally friendly products.

East West Organics has a very comprehensive web page here and can also be found on Facebook. If you’re out in New Lynn, have a look – and you can even stop at the cafe attached to the shop, although be aware it doesn’t have the same opening hours as the shop. More about that in a later post.

East West Organics, 34D Portage Road, New Lynn 0600

ph 09 826 5454

L’Assiette gluten-free galettes

On a recent girls’ night out, we wandered the Britomart Precinct in downtown Auckland looking for something to eat. It was a Saturday night, and of course being in the CBD was heaving with people. Our first choices of restaurant all had waits of more than an hour and a half and we’re mostly old and a little boring and  didn’t fancy the idea of a really late night. Luckily one of our group remembered a little restaurant called L’Assiette.

From the outside, this looks more like a little cafe than anything else and we weren’t sure it was open for dinner. But we headed on in, and they managed to fit all eight of us at a table. I was delighted to see buckwheat galettes on the menu with the confirmation that they were gluten-free. It was really nice to see a menu item which was just a standard item on the menu. Not a special “we can make this gluten-free” not a “does this have gluten in it” just a standard menu item. Yay!!!

The menu was small, but there was enough variety that we were all very happy with the selection available. I of course ordered one of the galette, because wherever possible, I try and encourage people who make gluten-free things to KEEP making them! This is a smoked salmon and spinach variety and it was incredibly yum!

 

 

Lassiette

Service was great, the wine list reasonable, prices very good and we had a lovely evening. If you’re down near Britomart, stop in for a meal!

Ranga’s gluten-free refreshing drinks!

RangaI was lucky enough to be sent some Ranga drinks to try recently. I love Ginger Beer, so when they said they had an alcoholic version, I was keen to see what it was like. They also sent me through some Blackcurrant and Apple Cider and some Lemon Lime and Bitters – all alcoholic versions. I chucked them in the fridge and then we had a ceremonial family tasting.

Our verdict? The Ginger Beer was lovely – refreshing, gingery and nicely flavoured. The cider was extremely drinkable, but a little sweet for my tastes. It was very nice and had a lovely blackcurrant flavour – kind of like fizzy Ribena. The Lemon Lime and Bitters was probably my favourite. We were drinking these in the middle of winter, not the best time, so they lasted for a few weeks! I can’t wait to try these in summer, and think they’ll become a staple in our fridge.

These drinks are also gluten-free, and produced down in Gisborne, my home town, so a double tick in my book!Ranga bottles

Note: I wasn’t paid for this review, but I was sent some free samples to try. Thanks for letting me try them Ranga!

Christchurch Airport Gluten-free food – Coffee Culture

Coffee CultureI was in Christchurch recently and on two separate days, was in the airport for a breakfast and a lunch. I was a bit uncertain that I would find anything to eat, as airports can be a bit random. I was delighted when we walked into Coffee Culture to find that I had several options of both sweet and savoury food.

My colleague said that the coffee was good, and I found the hot chocolate very nice. I had sweetcorn fritters for breakfast with very nice field mushrooms. For lunch the next day, I had a savoury loaf/ muffin.

It’s always pleasing to come across a place which caters for the gluten-free amongst us, especially at an airport (Wellington airport is very good because of Wishbone, but Auckland isn’t nearly as gluten-free friendly). I’ll definitely be back to Coffee Culture next time I’m at Christchurch airport.

Koffee Kulture food