If you or a family member suffer from coeliac disease or other conditions that make you gluten intolerant, it is worth setting aside some time to plan a safe, gluten free day out which will not limit you or leave anyone starving due to a lack of access to gluten free food. Spontaneous day trips can lead to unpleasant situations such as not being able to order a suitable meal.
Start the day with a filling breakfast to keep your energy levels up so you do not have to stop at a roadside cafe with a limited selection of foods. Gluten free porridge works a treat. Sprinkle on some seeds and nuts, and swirl in a dollop of honey for a healthy, hearty treat to prepare you for a day out. Alternatively, toast a few slices of gluten free bread and top off with your favourite jam or savoury topping.
Nowadays, many cafes and restaurants will either feature gluten free dishes in their menus or be able to offer a gluten free alternative upon request. This makes it a whole lot easier to spend the day outside your home as you needn’t worry about not being able to find somewhere to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even bakeries and tea rooms are likely to offer at least one gluten free cake or pastry so treat yourselves to elevenses or afternoon tea.
If booking a table in advance, which is advisable, particularly at weekends, let the staff member know about your special requirements and they will ensure the kitchen is prepared in advance with gluten free products stocked and ready for your arrival.
Sadly, some places have been slower to respond to the needs of gluten intolerant foodies. This is particularly true in small villages and towns with limited supplies. Also, some foreign countries are less aware of gluten intolerance.
Alternatively, in nice weather it is always lovely to have a picnic in the great outdoors. Fortunately, there is now plenty of gluten free food which comes in convenient packaging to slip into your picnic basket or backpack.
Oatcakes make a nice alternative to bread and come in pocket-sized packaging. Bring along some homemade dips like hummus, taramasalata, salsa or guacamole and fresh, pre-prepared vegetables to dip into the sauce for a light, refreshing but energising snack. For a little something heavier, pack some lunch meats but be careful not to keep them outside the ice box or fridge for too long in hot weather. This applies to the dips too.