15 Oct 2016

A toast to gluten-freedom

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 15 October 2016

Yeshe Dawa has perfected a gluten-free bread that's liberating her from a life of allergies, food intolerance and dietary restrictions. At her cafe Midnight Baker on Dominion Road, her 'Freedom loaf' takes centre stage. And toast is the only thing on the menu.

This recipe was Yeshe's starting point for Freedom loaf (she has given it a few tweaks here and there)

People avoid gluten in their diet for all sorts of reasons. Some are allergic to this protein found in wheat and other grains. But many of the estimated one in ten of those living a gluten-free life are not suffering from Coeliac disease or any recognised medical condition. 

They avoid gluten because it makes them feel more healthy, or because they think it will help them lose weight. For some, gluten-free has become a lifestyle choice.

Whatever people's motivations, the gluten-free market is going off. Whole supermarket sections are now devoted to gluten-free, trade expos and food shows celebrate the challenges and the benefits of a gluten-free life, and woe betide any cafe or restaurant that doesn't have a good range of gluten-free alternatives on the menu!

Yeshe Dawa 2

Yeshe Dawa 2 Photo: Emily Hlavac Green

It all makes up a global industry worth well over $5 billion with the NZ gluten-free market estimated to be growing at around 26 percent per year.That's despite the fact that for years gluten free food has had a bit of an image problem; dry, gritty, cardboard-like with strange tastes and textures...but that's changing.

"You want the freedom to just be able to eat without having to worry about having a horrible reaction to something, or a surprise reaction to something. You want it to be easy" - Yeshe Dawa.

More gluten stories here