My review of Helen’s brilliant bread

I was pleased to be asked to test out some of Food by Helen’s mixes my review of some of her other mixes is available here. My final mix to try was the Brilliant bread I just needed to add water and oil.


The instructions were very easy to follow I decided to make mine by hand but there are methods on the reverse for breadmaker or electric  mixer.


All you need is water and oil


Add the dry mix to water and oil

mix well and pour into greased bread tin ( 4.5in-9in )


No kneading!

Leave to prove in a warm place or Helen suggests you sit the loaf tin in a tray of warm water for 40 mins and it doubles in size.

Then pop in the oven for 35-40 mins


I was impressed with the crusty top and springy texture


cool on a wire rack


slice and enjoy with some good butter

The family’s verdict was “Amazing”  “delicious”   ” best gluten free bread I’ve tasted”

The cost of the bread mix  is £2.49 very good value I think.

I will definitely be buying this mix again, I think the family will demand it!



You can follow Food by Helen on Twitter @foodbyhelen


Food by Helen also has a brown bread mix and a seeded bread mix both costing £2.49  €2.95

and a scone mix for the same price

Review of this months gluten free Crate of Nothing

In February there was a buzz on twitter regarding a new company called Crate of Nothing I unfortunately had some how missed out on this. The tweets were all about boxes of gluten free and dairy free goodies arriving to homes all around the country. I was intrigued! Photos of new gluten free products, baked goods and a chocolate brownies recipe filled my feed. I really felt left out.

I didn’t make the same mistake this month, I ordered early and was delighted at the beginning of the month to receive my Crate of Nothing. I did have a little chuckle to myself when the delivery driver arrived at the door. The crate was smaller than I expected but parcels are always lovely to receive. I hurried to the kitchen to open my crate.

I was thrilled to see my box crammed with gluten free goodies almost all were new to me, how fabulous!

here is a picture of the contents of my Emma box ( each month, I think must have a different name, very sweet )


After a few comments last month more savoury products had been included, A great idea I think. I’m sure Crate of nothing will value any constructive comment as this is a new company trying to offer something quite different from anything on the market for people living gluten free and dairy free options too. I think the crate will be particularly invaluable if you live in an area where gluten free products are still hard to come buy. Also as a way to be introduced to new products coming onto the market. Or maybe just a lovely treat to yourself.


Emma’s box included

Chilli con carne from look what we found – I have had these pouch meals from this company before and they are very good. this came with a pouch of rice. Lovely meal for 2 or 1 very hungry person! great for camping holidays or last minute suppers.


Fiery worchester sauce and sundried tomato popcorn by Propercorn –  A family favourite. We all just felt that the packets had very little in them .


Mini harvest apple loaf by Melsie jane Bakes – tasty with a nice apple flavour


Banana sugar green bites by inspiral –  Well, all the family tried these, sadly no one liked them. Unfortunately we felt they were much like polystyrene. Disappointing.


Strawberry and chocolate bar by Frank* – I wasn’t expecting to like this bar but actually it was quite pleasant. A dark chocolate and strawberry flavour, great to keep in your bag for that emergency snack!


Plum and cinnamon frangipane tart by Christine’s puddings –  tiny but nice, not to sweet. being so small obviously meant more pastry than filling. Would be extra nice if they were slightly bigger. I would like to see these in coffee shops, as a lower sugar option to the bakewell tarts and chocolate brownies.


Mega omega superseeds by Punch foods – A tube of savoury seeds to add to salads etc very nice


Date and oat slice by Wheat free kitchen –  Sadly this arrived looking bumped about, but I wasn’t going to let that put me off a sweet treat. I wasn’t sure quite how to eat it. The slice was very crumbly and just fell apart. I spooned it out into a bowl in the end. I found it dry and unappealing. Possibly if served with custard or cream it might be ok. I certainly wouldn’t buy it again.


Muesli with goji berries and cranberry by Alara – A small bag of muesli very tasty


Recipe for Breadsticks by Mel @piginthekitchen – Finally the brown bag full of ingredients to make gluten free breadsticks the most exciting part of Emma’s box for me, as I love to bake. I found the method easy to follow but would have liked a picture of the finished product to know what they were expected to look like. Anyway they were a triumph! the family loved them and were gobbled up immediately. Unfortunately I am intolerant to yeast so was unable to test them, they looked divine and most had a good snap i’m told. I really like the idea of including a recipe.

the ingredients –


my first attempt at piping breadsticks


The finished breadsticks –


How Crate of Nothing works –

You can order a one off box for £22.50 or a monthly subscription of £20, they are sent out to you on the first of the month.

special Easter box needs to be ordered by March 26th

pop to their website for 33% of your first subscription order Crate of Nothing

I am glad I ordered my first Crate of Nothing I think for anyone with gluten intolerance, Coeliac disease, dairy intolerance they are a brilliant idea. If like me you have multiple intolerances then it doesn’t work so well and I wouldn’t expect it too. It would make it too complicated at the moment I’m sure to start doing yeast free, oat free etc. Maybe that will come in the future. Here’s hoping! I wish Crate of Nothing all the best with there venture. Why not give it a try and see what you think? Would love to hear your reviews too!

Gluten free and grain free pancake recipes for Shrove Tuesday

Here are 3 recipes for delicious gluten free pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, firstly

IMG_0221IMG_0208 IMG_0186

Grain free pancakes–  makes 6 medium pancakes

2 tbsp coconut flour ( I used fair trade Tiana organic )

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

3 large eggs

100 ml milk or milk substitute

coconut oil for frying


Mix together the flour and baking powder


make a well in the centre and add beaten eggs and milk

beat into a smooth batter

heat frying pan add a little coconut oil

spoon batter on to the frying pan


the pancakes cook very quickly turn over and brown other side slightly

these pancakes are very delicate and lighter than regular pancakes. I have a similar recipe on my blog for tiny pancakes than can be used for blinis.

serve warm with a selection of toppings

Gluten free pancakes – makes 6 large pancakes

250 g  gluten free plain flour

3 eggs

250ml milk or milk substitute

200ml water possibly slightly less

2 tbsp melted coconut oil ( I use lucy bee fair trade organic coconut oil )

coconut oil for frying


sift the flour in the bowl

make a well and add the beaten eggs and a little milk

gradually blend in the flour

add remaining milk, oil and water

leave to stand for 1/2 hr

heat a good non stick frying pan add a little coconut oil

use a ladle to pour batter into the pan, use entire pan

the pancakes will start to cook in about a minute and tiny bubbles will appear, once the pancakes start to release from the pan it is time to toss or flip with a spatula


enjoy with a selection of topping sweet or savoury

these pancakes are identical to regular pancakes/crepes a favourite with my gluten eating family



and  finally Banana pancakes– makes 10 little pancakes

1 large banana

2 eggs


mash banana

mixed mashed banana and beaten eggs together


fry in coconut oil


a delicious little pancake, light with just a faint taste of banana.


serve warm with your favourite topping

Topping ideas-


fresh berries

sliced banana

lemon and sugar ( I used dextrose as this is fructose free )

Nutella style chocolate and hazelnut spread



maple syrup

brown rice syrup ( fructose free ) tastes like a very mild honey


cream cheese and smoked salmon

mascarpone and spinach

cheese and tomato

goats cheese and basil

mushrooms and cheese

Enjoy Pancake day!

Delicious and healthier ‘Nutella’ style chocolate and hazelnut spread from Deliciously Ella

Today, as its almost Shrove Tuesday ‘ Pancake day’ I thought I would have a go at a recipe from Deliciously Ella’s new App

Her version of Nutella looked amazing! The App is well worth buying. Healthy delicious recipes with great photo’s too

Deliciously Ella’s Nutella



2 cups of Hazelnuts

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup of a good quality maple syrup ( I used brown rice syrup + 2tbsp maple syrup ) As I’m trying to avoid too much fructose

3 tbsp of raw cacao


bake hazelnuts for 10 mins in hot oven 180c


remove and cool

Place in a food processor and blend for 10 mins ( yes 10 mins!  : )

You can stop and start the processor. I found it interesting to watch the nuts turn to a sand like consistency then into what looked like wet sand and eventually to a nut butter.


then add the maple syrup and raw cacao blend again until fully combined. It will turn thicker don’t worry.


Once combined well, gradually add the water


when all the water is combined it should look and smell like traditional Nutella

taste to check for sweetness, as I had used brown rice syrup it wasn’t sweet enough so I had to add a little maple syrup. If you use Ella’s recipe yours will be fine.

I filled a clean coconut oil jar with the chocolate and hazelnut spread and will keep it in the fridge. If it lasts that long!


You can follow Deliciously Ella on Twitter here @deliciouslyella

Follow her amazing blog here Deliciously Ella

UPDATED feb 2015 – Deliciously Ella now has a fantastic recipe book out with lots of delicious healthy recipes. Available on Amazon and in all good book shops . I have it and love the gluten free recipes, I can recommend this book .

Updated feb 2016 Deliciously Ella Every Day is now out review here

Just for your interest this is the ingredients of Nutella as they appear on the jar

Sugar, Vegetable oil, Hazelnuts 13%, Fat reduced cocoa,7.4%, Skimmed milk powder 6.6%, Whey powder, Emulsifier, Lecithin  (soya) Vanillin