Gluten Free Made Easy (and fantastic)

Earlier in the week I chatted to Neville and Judy Green from

Gluten Free Made Eas

y (GFME).

GFME is THE place to learn to cook fantastic gluten free (and other allergy friendly) food. Not only do Neville and Judy run classes across New Zealand, they also make their recipes available through their online Recipe Club.

GFME was born out of the couple’s dream for gluten-free folk to be able to make good quality, safe food in their own kitchens. “We want to give families the skills, information and confidence to do it all themselves at home” says Neville.

The couple got started with gluten-free 15 years ago in their own cafe. When their gluten-free food started out-selling the regular food, they knew they were on to a good thing. The couple were asked to teach their skills to a family with coeliac children, and the difference these skills made to the family were huge. Both children started gaining weight for the first time, and their dietitian was impressed with the results.

And so GFME was born.

Judy and Neville’s dedication to GFME is something to be admired. Although the couple claim to be retired, Judy says they’re always thinking about the business and playing around with new ideas, “I come up with the weird ideas, and Neville tries to solve them… sometimes our recipes take months to perfect.” The couple describe themselves as perfectionists, and say that their kitchen (which is 100% gluten-free) is in use 24/7.

Neville, a qualified chef has over 50 years experience in catering. He says one of the main challenges of gluten-free cooking is the lack of rules “Wheat based baking has been around for over 200 years. Gluten-free baking has only been around for twenty years, so we’re at the forefront here. There are no rules [for gluten-free baking], and there are lots of different ideas of how to get there.”

Neville’s dedication to gluten-free experimentation has led to the development of the couple’s flour blend recipes, which are the basis of a number of their recipes: “The base flours are more economical [than bought ones], with no additives or preservatives.” says Judy ” … Using the flour blends ends up being cheaper overall.”

The success of GFME is largely down to word of mouth. The couple don’t advertise, and yet their Facebook page alone has over 11,500 fans. Many dietitians and doctors even recommend GFME to their clients. And Neville is a regular seminar speaker at the

Gluten Free and Allergy Show

.

With such huge success, you’d expect their classes to be expensive. But that’s not the case at all. “This is our way of giving back to the community” says Judy “regardless of where we run our classes, we charge the same amount.” The couple say they derive huge satisfaction from hearing the success stories of people who have taken the skills they’ve learnt and applied them in their own kitchens.

Neville and Judy’s classes have brought relief to thousands of allergy-affected people. And I’d just like to make a personal thank you to Neville and Judy. Thank you for sharing your skills. For many of us, you’ve been the difference between a life of boring food and confusion over what to eat, and a world of fantastic noms with lots of variety and good health. Thanks guys!

If you want to go in the draw to win a 12 month subscription to GFME’s Recipe Club, leave a message on this post with your top tip for allergy-free cooking. Competition closes Friday, 19 December.

17 thoughts on “Gluten Free Made Easy (and fantastic)

  1. My fail safe tip is to keep the whole house allergy free , it's so much easier than worrying about cross contamination . Some people can't do this but my kids seem fine with basically eating a gf , low fodmaps diet

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  2. They do courses in Hamilton, just contact them and find out when they're next in town. They will often travel if you can get enough numbers as well.

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  3. Invest in some electric scales. The best way to ensure better results in gluten free baking is measuring by weight rather than volume!

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  4. These people are just amazing and if you ever have a chance to meet them never turn it down . They have a special place in my heart and I owe them hugely. They changed my life . They are very special and well worth doing the courses . Just amazing

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  5. Check the ingredients on all packagings of anything you are going to use – some brands and flavours contain different allergins than others and the most surprising foods can be unsafe at times. Some brands/flavours of jelly for example – who would have ever thought huh?! Also I continually check known 'safe brands' when the packaging has been changed or it has been made 'new and improved' as often the ingredients can change in this process too.

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  6. My number one tip is to never assume anything! never assume dried coriander is jsut dried coriander, never assume the nuts don't contain wheat, never assume that the coconut is GF…… Always check and double check every time you buy something – the labels and factories change all the time.

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  7. Sounds bad I know but never believe shop owners you don't know when they say " yes its GF" .Make it yourself.Then you only have yourself to blame.

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  8. I use non stick baking tray liners as I am the only one who is gf in our house and it means I don't have to worry about trays being safe etc I just use a liner.

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  9. We found having a little one with Coeliac disease that having a specific box with his stickers on for his snack food helped gave him a safe place to go to for snacks. We also did a photo book for him explaining what he can and can't eat in positive language with photos of him helped him to see the positive aspects.

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  10. Toaster bags are my new best friend when flatting and when the butter or marg is first brought get a small container and fill it up and put into the fridge to keep the crumbs away. And also Check, double check and triple check… there have been food where I have guessed were gf and then realised they weren't, also check your teas!

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  11. These guys are absolutely incredible. I have been dealing with gluten free in excess of 30yrs and they are the best help ever. My best tip would be to get a decent electric beater (Neville's recommendation) and toaster bags are an absolute godsend, as you can take them anywhere. Marg Kane – Timaru

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  12. Read up and learn about the different gf flours and how they affect your baking/cooking. It's not hard and can save you a lot of wasted food and a lot of wasted money. Once you understand the properties of the flours, cooking becomes a breeze.

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  13. Read labels and ask questions! The strangest things have gluten in them: some brands of soy milk for example. Also don't be afraid to experiment. As Wistarose said, knowing the nature of your ingredients is great, but it's also great to give an idea an opportunity 🙂

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