While some of us have been scoffing Australia’s favourite Easter treats since they popped up in the supermarket in January, hot cross buns are a rare, precious delicacy only available for a short window of time for the gluten intolerant.
This week, Canberra bakery Deeks Health Foods has started producing tasty vegan morsels free of gluten, grains and dairy with no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours, all while keeping it delicious, according to managing director Theresa De Castella.
“We didn’t want people with very restricted diets to miss out on important traditions like Easter. It gives them something to look forward to and one that they can share and experience with kids and loved ones,” Theresa says.
The seasonal offering is sold online and is available to either collect directly from the specialist bakery in Fyshwick or delivered. Made from quinoa, tapioca and soy flour, it has more of a muffin look than the standard wheat-filled bun, but once you cut through it and enjoy your first bite, the taste and essence of the traditional spice, sultanas and currants are revealed.
The hot cross buns are just one line in the world’s first 100 per cent grain and gluten-free bakery. The pioneering business was established in the capital by local resident, Australian Olympian and World Marathon Champion Rob de Castella, or as he is better-known, ‘Deeks’.
“I’ve spent my entire life striving for either my own personal best performance or helping others achieve theirs. In 2005, my good friend and clinical biologist Bill Giles and I founded Deeks Health Foods because being healthy, fit, and full of life requires good food, an active lifestyle and balance, but it’s not easy!” says Deeks.
Producing wholesome, healthy food is at the forefront of the company, which places huge importance on quality and flavour, with no compromise on either. The product range includes seasonal treats like hot cross buns and staples like bread, pizza bases, pasta and biscuits. All items are grain and gluten-free, and some are vegan, free of dairy, nut, egg, artificial colours and preservatives.
“Initially, Deeks catered for people with autoimmune diseases like coeliac disease by providing 100 per cent grain and gluten-free bread and foods that are practical and tasted great. Deeks has evolved from solely a provider of food for just coeliacs and the gluten intolerant,” Deek explains.
“More and more of our customers don’t have health issues; they just want more from their lives! They want to feel invigorated and energised by the foods they eat, not depleted, bloated and generally lacklustre. They want the confidence of knowing that what they eat will not only be good for them but that they’ll enjoy eating it too.”
To place an order or locate stockists, visit the Deeks Health Foods website.