Is making your own gluten-free food worth it?
One of the great myths about gluten-free food is that it tastes disgusting.
It can do, hence the (gluten-free) grain of truth in the myth, but that's usually because the person making it either doesn't know what they're doing or has taken a short-cut. But remedying this takes time, which many of us simply don't have.
Besides, knowing gluten-free food will get better in the future doesn't help if you're eating mediocre food at the moment. There's often only one option: making your main meal from scratch, and that doesn't exactly scream fast food.
It's only when I go to other people's houses that I see the number of shortcuts there are. I'll see someone's bought a ready-cooked crumb-coated ham, bacon quiche or a box of falafels. Then all they need to do is tip out a bag of salad and possibly boil some new potatoes. It all seems to be done in the blink of an eye!
I'm lucky: I love cooking. But I don't love being exhausted, and that can be a side-effect of constantly making gluten-free food. There have been times when I've made an enormous dish on a Sunday (like chilli) to eat a portion of every day so I can take care of other things during the week. But that's for times when I've just had to feed myself; I wouldn't inflict a week of the same food every day on my family.
So there are definitely days when I wonder if there's a simpler way. Maybe I should buy ready meals with the Coeliac UK approved stamp. Perhaps I could stomach a jacket potato every day (not fast food, I realise, but at least it involves the minimum of effort).
But the thing is, I really appreciate home-cooked food. It seems a shame to sacrifice the taste of a good meal just because I want to shave twenty minutes off preparation time. And there's always the cost to consider: am I really going to scrimp in other areas simply to afford the pre-made gluten-free meals?
So, like many other Coeliacs, I guess I'm just going to have to accept that taking more time over food is a small sacrifice when you think about the things that some people have to go through. For the normal Coeliac (i.e. someone who doesn't also have another health issue) there are no limits on the amount of food we're allowed, we don't have to inject ourselves to maintain our health, and we don't have to go to hospital. I shall be thankful for small mercies, and in the meantime try not to fall asleep at the dinner table.
What are your thoughts on gluten-free cooking? Do share them below!