When a product is gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, yeast-free, GMO-free and vegan, it’s usually because it’s free from any actual taste and flavour too. Subsequently, I was somewhat sceptical of dietary specialist Orgran (even with a wheat allergy myself) and its extensive range of pasta, bread mixes, cake mixes, snacks and baking products which are all free from any major food allergens.
Let’s start with breakfast. The main ingredient in Orgran Buckwheat Pancake Mix is (surprise, surprise) buckwheat. Buckwheat is part of the rhubarb family of plants and is considered to be the best known source of high biological protein in the plant kingdom. It also makes a pretty convincing pancake base, and can be adapted to a vegan diet by substituting the added eggs with oil, or even water if you really have to. Normally I make whey protein pancakes for breakfast and in comparison this mix is a little dense and on the bland side. However it is certainly a good alternative for when friends or family are round and I don’t feel like explaining that eating protein powder doesn’t make me an aspiring bodybuilder. Personally I actually like how plain these are, but if you’re after something a little sweeter you can always add a little cinnamon or mashed banana to the mix, or simply opt for the Orgran Apple & Cinnamon Pancake Mix instead.
Speaking of sweet stuff, Orgran Classic Choc Biscotti Biscuits are produced using similarly high quality gluten-free ingredients, without the addition of dairy, eggs or animal fats. Inspired by traditional European artisan bakery techniques, the flavour of chocolate is subtle with a pleasing crunch and would be perfect for any Christmas get-together or endless tea-dunking session in front of the TV as I did.
So far, so good. But where Orgran really excels is its pasta. There are many brilliant gluten-free pasta brands on the market and the Corn & Vegetable Pasta Spirals from Orgran do not disappoint. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for colour but the brightness of the added beetroot and spinach powder (albeit only 0.5%) really gives some added oomph to my go-to pasta recipes, the more unusual addition of beetroot over tomato differentiating it from your typical tricolore pasta.
Texture-wise it’s not dissimilar to any other corn pasta, with an earthy flavour that’s best suited to a deep tomato or meat-heavy sauce like bolognese. I’ve tried both the fusilli and penne versions of Orgran’s Corn & Vegetable pasta and both have the sort of rough wholegrain solidity that set it apart from your standard supermarket versions – like a gluten-free take on premium Italian food brand Napolina’s wholewheat durum semolina dried pasta.
It’s exciting enough to find a new company that produces a quality gluten-free version of any one of these foods, let alone all of them, and Orgran’s range of free-from products is certainly something to be tempted by. Find out more at: http://www.orgran.com/