Orgran Gluten Free Review

7 January 2014

I've been wheat free for quite a few years now. I don't have a wheat allergy or a medical condition like Coeliac. The latter is particularly serious with even just one gluten molecule causing damage to your intestines.

There are gluten free products out there, and one of the most well established brands in this market is Orgran.

So for me it was like an extra Christmas when I was sent three Orgran products to review. Buckwheat Pasta Spirals, Buckwheat Pancake Mix, and Spathetti in tomato sauce. These products are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, and yeast free. Are they also taste free? You'll have to read the rest of the review to find out.

Gluten is the ingredient in wheat that makes bread springy, and pasta divinely delicious. For me, cutting wheat or gluten out of my diet had to do with the way my skin cleared up, and my stomach was a lot less irritable without it.

On balance I have to say I'm far healthier without gluten. But my diet isn't anywhere as interesting. Increasingly people are looking to cut back on their wheat intake, and if you have a child who is gluten intolerant in any way, doing without wheat is particularly difficult.

Maybe you want to cut back on wheat for a similar reason to me, or perhaps you're just looking to cut back on grains as a whole. The first thing you have to do is accept that no matter how much it looks like pasta, the one thing that makes pasta so 'pasta-y' is the gluten. Without that you just don't get that smooth, slightly resistant bite.

Orgran Buckwheat Pasta spirals2.09 for 250g) is going to be as close as you can get though. Don't be fooled by the name. Buckwheat isn't even in the same family group. It isn't even a grain, but a fruit seed, and it belongs to the rhubarb family of plants.

Don't over cook this pasta. It can go very quickly from just right to soggy and mushy. Until you get the hang of it keep checking. The pasta will taste slightly gritty almost compared to normal pasta. But other than that it has a very pleasant, neutral flavour and works well in any dish that you use pasta. I should know, I've actually been using it for a few years now.

Which brings me to my favourite, Buckwheat Pancake Mix2.95). I serve this up to everyone , regardless of whether they are gluten free or not. This mix is always a big hit. You make it pretty much the same as you would with flour, the mixture looks the same as normal pancake mix, and it tastes the same too.

Finally we have the gluten free spaghetti in tomato sauce, in a tin (£1.29 220g). Well, sometimes I have to admit, it would be nice to just heat something up from a can. I remember a favourite snack/easy meal being spaghetti hoops, and I do miss those.  But, what makes tinned spaghetti so attractive is the price. At £1.29 for a small tin, half the size of a normal can, it is a fairly expensive snack. I'm not that fond of the pasta used in it. However, the tomato sauce is nice, with a good flavour, and on the plus side, there's no cane sugar used in this. Unlike those other cans of tomato delight on the supermarket shelves.

Pros: the pasta is as good as it gets without the gluten, and the pancake mix is even better than the actual flour version.

Cons: I can't see the point of the tinned spaghetti

Overall verdict: 8 /10

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