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Published January 3rd 2018
Special food for your special dietary needs
Here is some great news for those with coeliac disease or on a gluten-free diet. A new bakery has opened in Adelaide's eastern suburbs, busily cooking up all the things you need and cannot buy elsewhere. The bakery was established by a doctor, Rosarii Mbu, as she has many patients who need gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan food. As I am on a gluten-free diet, I was keen to find out more, so recently stopped by and had a chat to the baker, Kellie.
Glutens Freed abides by very strict rules. They only bake with rice flour and olive oil. They do not use a mix of other grains, such as maize starch or potato flour, as some people have problems with these as well. All their products are baked onsite and are all gluten-free, lactose-free, with some items also being vegan and sugar-free. "We cater for those people who have real problems and who cannot find these products anywhere else said Kellie."
A selection of small cakes at Glutens Feed Patisserie. From left, sugar-free vegan apple and date, brownies, eclairs, apple and sultana, vegan carrot and pepita. Image by Kat May.
I scanned the cake lines in the cabinet and everything looked so delicious. However, as I have been on a sugar-free diet, I had not eaten a cake or treat for many months. I asked "Is there anything sugar-free here now?" "Yes", Kellie replied and she proceeded to show me, not one, but a few choices that were sugar-free. I was over the moon and snapped up a small vegan lemon cake to take home for supper. I confess - I couldn't wait to try it, so I ate it in the car after my visit. I also got a yummy berry slice for my granddaughter who is a coeliac and finds is hard to find snacks when she is out and hates pre-packaged GF cookies. She sat quietly at the quick snack stools and devoured the lot.
Sensational vegan choc doughnuts. Image by Kat May.
Now, I know baking with rice flour is a difficult process, so I asked Kellie how she managed to create such a fabulous range of products. Kellie told me she is a qualified chef and had some gluten-free cooking experience. However, this new job has presented some challenges. "I have done a lot of test baking and refining of recipes", Kellie told me. "We now have a good range and we are getting some great feedback from our new customers". The store opened in September 2017 so they are still finding their feet and really want to get the word out that they are open. If a business creates a niche and provides something that people need, then it will work.
Kellie the baker shows the products to some customers. Image by Kat May.
If you would like to visit this store but have not eaten food cooked with rice flour before, do not expect the same taste and texture as with wheat flours. Rice baked goods have a crumbly texture and need to be eaten soon after baking. Hence all the bread and pizza bases are kept in a freezer. Other products available at Glutens Freed Bakery include a range of cakes and treats, including doughnuts, slices, biscuits, biscotti and more. At Christmas time, they made sweet little fruit mince pies and Christmas Cake that was mighty good.
A range of gluten-free breads include seeded and pizza bases.
The store also stocks larger cakes and flans to pick up for a special dessert. Savoury goods include fresh vegan pasties, frittata, quiche and mini pizzas. The vegan slices are changed every week and use fillings like spinach, zucchini and veggies that are in season. You can have your purchase heated up, but they will not use a microwave here, so you will have to wait 10 minutes or so for it to be warmed. There are no sugar-laden soft drinks in the fridge here, only pure fruit juices. Every item sold here is aimed at the highest nutrition and quality.
This food is really aimed for the take-home market. It is the place to stop by and stock up with bread and treats and put them in your freezer. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices - the loaves of bread are cheaper than some of the awful GF bread at supermarkets. Kellie kindly gave me a vegan pastie to taste test which I had for my dinner that night. The pastie was thick and full of veggies neatly cut and diced and the pastry, although it crumbled as I took a bite, was delicious. It would be ideal to buy some of these to keep in the freezer for emergency meals or days when you simply have no energy or are too busy to cook. Served with a small side salad, a pastie or a quiche and makes an easy meal.
Savoury selections of the day included vegan pie and a chickpea slice. Image by Kat May.
The bakery does have a coffee machine but is not set up as a café. They are considering putting a couple of tables and chairs out the front at the request of customers. Although the bakery has a focus on their food products, I would suggest to them that there is a lot of money in serving up a coffee and cake. Besides there is nowhere in this city I can go for a coconut milk latte and a sugar-free cake to enjoy with a friend. And when word gets out people will come!
This is a clean and professional bakery with attentive friendly staff who care about you and your wellbeing. If you require something special to be baked, they will try to do it. Some large dessert cakes were in the cabinet, but for a special occasion, it would be best to order ahead. Ask them about special birthday cakes or dinner rolls and fancy bread to order. Please bring along your green bags to carry your goods home.