Grain free Fruit cake ready for the Great British Bake Off

Tomorrows episode of The Great British Bake Off is inspired by Victorian baking. The contestants will be asked to make a Game pie for the signature bake and a fruit cake topped with sugar paste and marzipan. The show stopper is a Charlotte Russe

I was looking for an alternative Fruit cake that was refined sugar free and grain free. I found a delicious looking recipe from Elana’s Pantry   there are lots of amazing recipes on her website and her book, I have made many of them and can recommend you visit the website and check out her book the Gluten free Almond Flour cookbook   <click here to find out more . Its probably one of my most used cookery books !

I love to bake something that I  can eat along with Bake Off,  keeping it as healthy as possible and this fruit cake ticks that box

 

 

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This recipe is packed full of yummy dried fruit and the zest of both lemon and orange

 

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Click here for Elana’s delicious recipe > Fruit cake

I used

90g Raisins

100g dried cherries chopped

130g ground almonds

100g finely chopped walnuts

10g coconut sugar

80g chopped medjool pitted dates ( about 5 )

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

4 large eggs

2 tbsp melted coconut oil ( I use Lucy Bee )

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

I added

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Method

pre heat oven to 180c

prepare 2 small loaf tins

I mixed the almonds, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, ground nutmeg and salt together

Then I added the dried fruit, chopped dates and walnuts and zest

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In a separate bowl and beat the eggs and added the vanilla extract coconut oil and coconut sugar

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I added these to the dry ingredients and mixed well

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spoon mixture in to the tins and bake for 25/30mins at 180c

cool on a wire rack

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This Fruit cake tastes amazing, I was thrilled with the result.  Grain free and very little added sugar. Remember dried fruit is already very high in natural sugar so this cake is still very much a treat food. I think this will become a family favourite.

find more recipes from Elana’s pantry here elanaspantry.com 

follow on Twitter @elanaspantry

Happy Baking!

 

For one large cake I used a large loaf tin and baked at 170c fan oven for about 45mins

 

 

 

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Fabulously Free From at The Big Feastival

Last weekend was a foodie and music lovers perfect Festival, The Big Feastival.

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Set in the gorgeous countryside of the Cotswolds at Alex James’s farm. Presented by Jamie Oliver and Blur’s Alex James with an amazing line up of chefs, cooks and musicians. Featuring the best street food and restaurant stalls as well as cooking classes and demos.

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I was attracted to the Big Feastival this year due to the addition of a Healthy Living Zone , added to highlight all the latest thinking on eating well and healthy. There was to be gluten free , grain free, paleo , raw stalls and demos with healthy eating pioneers including Hemsley and Hemsley and Deliciously Ella . I was thrilled to be accredited with a media pass and was determined to Max out my weekend finding out as much as I could for myself and my followers on twitter and Fabulously Free From.

 

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Our trip to Kingham in the Cotswolds on friday did not entirely go to plan. Our renovation project a Bambi Airstream was not as far advanced as we had thought so we spent an unexpected 5 hours waiting for it to be campsite ready! Once on the road we made good progress and arrived at Merry Weather campsite close to the Festival site , plenty of time to prepare for the two days ahead.

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Unfortunately due to the teething troubles with Betty the Airstream we missed out on friday afternoon and evening at the festival . I was desperately disappointed to have missed out on seeing at the Big Kitchen Monica Galleti, Nathan Outlaw and Richard Burr of bake off fame.

 

Saturday brought sunshine and light cloud desperate not to miss a thing we were up and out quickly after  homemade grain free fruit bread and a full english ready to take on the day. Only 14 mins from the Festival site we arrived just as gates were opening . There was no massive queues and parking was easy. We checked in and I quickly purchased an itinerary in the form of a programme on a lanyard.  I knew today was going to be quite a challenge to get around everyone I wanted to see.

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My main area was to be around the Healthy Living Zone and Big Kitchen thankfully the quietest part of the vast festival.

 

 

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Firstly I made my way to the Oatly Kitchen counter to hear Anna Jones.

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Here was to be the place I would be able to get up close to health food pioneers and chefs during the Feastival. Just a few tables and chairs set out in a rectangle covered by an open sided marquee with bright coloured deck chairs around the edge and a couple of bench seats. Very cosy and never overly busy.

Anna talked about her passion for healthy vegetarian food and about helping Jamie Oliver to write some of his books and how she had now written her own vegetarian recipe book.

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Following Anna was Ella Woodward better known as Delicious Ella. Ella talked about managing her illness by changing her diet dramatically to healthy eating including cutting gluten and refined sugar and vegetable oil.

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Admitted to being a sugar addict and advised using maple syrup etc with control and to find a balance. Ella’s top tip was to buy nuts and flour in bulk online. Deliciously Ella also talked about using coconut oil and olive oil in her cooking and baking and eating lots of good healthy fat especially her favourite avocados . I found her to be very honest and realistic . She summed up by saying she wanted to get vegetables in the centre of the plate.

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Following Ella I dashed over to the Big Kitchen a partly covered large stage with simple seating and extra tv screens to go and see Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley and Hemsley demonstrating a lime and avocado cheesecake and other healthy meals.

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The ladies talked lots about healthy fats including butter and coconut oil. They talked of their love of cabbage and bone broths. The Hemsley’s also encouraged the use of natural sugars instead of refined sugar but only in low quantities.

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Raw vegan blonde was next on the Oatly kichen counter art with fresh fruit and veg.

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I arrived at the end of this demonstration ready for Hemsley and Hemsley

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This really was a brilliant opportunity to see them and ask questions and hear more about their philosophy . In the slow cooker they had beef bone broth bubbling away and also the famous spiraliser for anyone to come and have a go with. They spoke about their book the Art of Living well, which I can recommend.

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The spiraliser was popular with the gathered crowd and a huge plate of courgetti in a pesto sauce was passed around the table to try. I had seen Jasmine and Melissa only a few weeks before in the literature tent at Latitude festival. But I have to say this was far better and easier for the ladies to demo properly.

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There was time for a Q&A and in such a small group worked really well. Their passion for not wasting food and using every part of the animal was good to hear. They talked of their love of saturated fat including dripping and butter, I was thrilled. Gelatine from chicken feet and bones also got a mention as well as encouraging everyone to watch the new Sugar film called That Sugar film! Probably my favourite Health pioneers at the Feastival.

Around the healthy living arena area was plenty of food to tuck into including Raw Press from London serving cold pressed juice and almond milk. I had the chocolate raw pressed almond milk which was very refreshing

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As I have so many additional intolerances as well as being intolerant to gluten I bulk baked before the festival and froze it all for our trip. Lunches and dinners for me were gluten free dough balls, grain free quiche lorraine , salad, cheese and fruit and water. If you were just gluten free there was many stalls offering gluten free options including raw press. there was also lots to sample from stalls like UGG Foods offering grain free bread and muffins to try and mix’s to buy

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UGG Foods stall was very popular with grain free mixes and testers

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Coconut merchant had coconut in almost every form from sugar and jam to oil

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Dried Kale looked tasty, sadly ran out of time to go back and buy some.

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The Primal Pantry were in the Healthy living zone offering tasters and their grain free bars for sale.

Deliciously Ella and Olivia Wollenburg were on the Big Kitchen stage demonstrating a chocolate orange brownie recipe a large crowd came to watch.

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Later at the Oatly kichen counter I heard Olivia Wollenburg talk about her line of crumbles Livia’s crumble part of Livia’s Kitchen. unfortunately the crumbles are not gluten free,  I think she is missing a great opportunity but she told me that it was not cost effective as 100 % dedicated gluten free factories are more expensive.

 

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On the Big Kitchen at 5.30 pm was Gennaro Contaldo this was a fun cooking demonstration followed by Jamie Oliver at 6.30pm as you can see I hadn’t left the Healthy Living Zone all day as there was so much to do. All this time there was music on three stages the Main stage, Udder stage and the Bandstand. Also BBQ demonstrations and even yoga

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As you would expect Jamie’s Big Kitchen demo was the most entertaining he also had a guest all the way from Brazil cooking steak on a BBQ on stage.

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It was difficult to get close as the crowds by now had grown enourmosly.

Earlier on the Main Stage had been Iris Gold, Johnny Borrell and Zazou , The Beach , Hudson Taylor and Grandmaster Flash

On the main stage that evening was Ella Eyre, Example and DJ Wire and the headliner was Dizzee Rascal

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Sunday brought a damp start but once again knowing that some of the speakers started early we were quickly on our way after a cooked breakfast with plenty of eggs and bacon to keep us going.

Natasha Corrett was first on the Big Kitchen stage demonstrating here recipe for a grain free quiche using cauliflower in the base. She urged everyone to keep your way of eating healthily sustainable. In her opinion 70% healthy 30% normal eating So as not to make the task to great to stick to.

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Natasha massaged kale with lemon juice to make it easier to eat in its raw form. She also used this in her quiche.

Next on was Joe Wicks The Body Coach I have to admit not knowing the name at all but he had a huge following mainly amongst the ladies.

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A star of the internet due to his 15 minute meals and new book called Lean in 15 . Joe chose to make a Thai green curry which looked good and then a turkey burger using lean turkey mince and a white processed burger roll, really not sure that was the best choice! He did though encourage the use of coconut oil and rubbished the old school pyramid way of eating.

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Emily Watkins was up next on the Big Kitchen Stage as the ran poured outside we stayed huddled under the stage over hang . Emily is a local chef who ‘s pub The Kingham plough is ranked in the Times top 25 pubs for food and two AA rosettes .  She made a delicious looking trifle

I had to leave Emily’s demo before the end to head back up to the Oatly kitchen counter for Adam Henson from the Cotswold farm park and Countryfile presenter final chat followed by

 

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Natasha Corrett Honestly Healthy a self  trained cook who encouraged the gathered crowd to avoid meat, dairy and sugar and to cut out processed food. She was asked during the Q&A what she couldn’t live without  food wise Nashasha answer was Lemons and avocados . The weather by now was not too nice and we were all tightly packed under the open sided marquee.

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I was very excited about the next speaker the very lovely and talented Raymond Blanc

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It was amazing to be so close and hear him talk with such passion about good local healthy food and the quality of british chefs, he teaches many of them! We heard all about his recent series on TV Kew on a plate and about seasonal fruit and vegetables and seasonality. He is also passionate about the environment and was very animated when speaking it was quite hard to take a photograph as he never sat still.

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Raymond was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me.

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Jamie Oliver was once again on the main stage but due to the sheer number of people watching we decided to take the opportunity to look around more of the festival.

The choice of food stalls was amazing, even for those who avoid gluten there was a good choice

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Some delicious pork belly cook on the BBQ

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corn on the cob

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Duck and seafood

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and sausages

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Here is a list of the gluten free stalls from my earlier blog post

There were also gluten free treats including

Ice lollies

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and cakes

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I preferred the healthy Paleo bars from Primal Joy Foods

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especially the grain free chocolate brownie

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lots to try and buy!

We sheltered under our umbrella to listen to Rae Morris who sounded amazing

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and then the weather started to improve

We watched Mabel Rogers on the Bandstand 

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and enjoyed a Rocktail

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After all the speakers it was time to relax!

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This festival is very family friendly with the best choice of food I have every seen at a festival. No wonder its called Feastival

It felt very much like an old fashioned English fair with fairground rides and independent local food stands Bales of hay to sit on

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and a helter skelter, bunting, fairy lights and balloons. Plus an enourmous live music stage with some big names over three days.

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There was so much to do I barely scratched the surface. I really focused on the Healthy Living Zone which I loved . The Feeling with Sophie Elis Bextor followed by Paloma Faith brought the Big Feastival to a grand finish. Even the earlier rain couldn’t dampen the festival goers spirits

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I’m sure we will be back next year for more tasty food, great music and interesting talks and demonstrations. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

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Follow The Big Feastival on Twitter @thebigfeastival

The website is TheBigFeastival.com

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Early bird tickets now available for next year Friday 26th – Sunday 28th August 2016

Update –

Tickets now available for Feastival 2016

2016 LINE UP SO FAR

 

The new Healthy Living Zone and much much more at The Big Feastival

In less than two weeks it will be The Big Feastival presented by Jamie Oliver and Alex James.

A Food and Music Festival at Alex James farm in Kingham in The Cotswolds for all the family. A festival that not only celebrates the best in live music but also the best in delicious food. From some of the most tasty and creative street food vendors in the country to top chefs and health food pioneers.

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This year there will be a brand new Healthy Living Zone which has been added to the Feastival . Due to the rise in interest of eating healthily using fresh local ingredients and avoiding processed food. The line up highlights the up and coming health food pioneers at The Oatly Kitchen counter including  Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, of Hemsley + Hemsley ,

Jasmine and Melissa will be at the Feastival on Saturday

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Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella

Ella will be at the feastival on Saturday doing a talk at 12, a demo at 2.30pm and a book signing at 3pm

and Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy

Natasha will be there on Sunday on the Big Kitchen main stage at 10.30am for a demo and at 12.30 will be doing a talk with a 1.30pm book signing.

Olivia Wollenburg of Livia’s Kitchen

Olivia will be doing a demo in the Big Kitchen at 2.30pm on Saturday and a Kitchen counter session at 4pm talking about how she started her business. There will be chance to sample crumble too!

These timings may change, Please check your programme for up to date times

This year looks like The Big Feastival is going to be the place to be to get inspired to eat healthily and look at ways to cut down on the amount of grains and sugar from our diet.

Also in the Healthy Living Zone will be rising stars in the Paleo market My very favourite UGG Foods will be there

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as well as Primal joy foods

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and Primal Pantry.

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All of which I have reviewed in the past on my blog. I will put a link to these at the end of this post.

Also Lickalix  natural ice lollies using real whole fruit which are free from lactose, dairy and gluten. You can find Lickalix in the food and drink producers market

Also on stand HH07 you will find the lovely Gluten free Baking and living who will be amongst other things launching a new gluten free plain flour. You will also be able to learn about their baking courses and they will be sharing gluten free recipes.

Coconut merchant who as the name suggests will have an array of coconut products including raw extra virgin coconut oil and coconut water.

The Health Hub will be serving festival fare with everything from freshly pressed juices to raw salads and air dried kale chips.

The action station will be hoping to re energise festival goers offering a full programme of activities including yoga and even clubbercise!

In the big kitchen will be top chefs  Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo,  Monika Galetti, Mark Hix,  Raymond Blanc to name just a few. With Demo’s running on all three days of the feastival

 

Street food alley will have the best of the street food scene

Here are a few stalls that advertise that they offer gluten free,

Big Apple Hot Dogs advertise gluten free sausages

Crepe Lucette offer gluten free crepes, they told me “we use separate equipment and cleaning products for our gluten free options.”

Happy Maki – they should have have gluten free vegan Sushi

Popdogs–  these hot dogs are gluten free and can be served with a gluten free buns. Normally served with a gluten roll ?

The Duck truck says it has gluten free options  ( they say you can take your own gluten free roll which they will fill )

Beach food companysay they have plenty of fresh crab and lobster and gluten free fries, they say they do their best to avoid contamination

With all of these Food Stalls you will need to make up your own mind as to whether you will give them a try , If you have Coeliac disease please take extra care. I always pack a gluten free healthy picnic to take with me just in case. A festival is not somewhere you want to find yourself if you are glutened.

 

Churros – are Dairy free ( But Not gluten free )

 

As well as the big names in cooking there will also be three days of live music and DJ’s including Groove Armada, Dizzee Rascal, Example and DJ Wire, Ella Eyre, Paloma Faith, Rae Morris and Badly Drawn Boy and The Feeling.

and more music from Iris Gold, JP Cooper, Booka Brass band, The Beach, Hudson Taylor, Vangoffey etc

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If you follow me on Twitter @nels3 Gluten free Helen you will know I love live music and going to festivals. This festival looks to have a great selection of well known and new music acts preforming over the three days. I also love the camping side of festivals although when I say ‘camping’ I guess I really mean staying in a camper van or caravan. More than anything this offers me somewhere to store chilled food for the time I’m away from home . With some many food intolerances and being gluten free I normally have little or no options at Festivals. This Feastival I hope will be very different. I hope to blog about my experience to hopefully encourage more Free Fromers to give it a go next year.

Latitude 2015

Latitude 2015

 

When I heard about the new Healthy Living Zone at The Big Feastival I was really excited, great music and healthy food together. What could be better ? The added bonus of stunning sunny weather would be a great addition too.

I was thrilled to have been accredited to have a Press Pass for this years  Big Feastival I hope this will give me as a blogger for Fabulously Free From access to many of the health food pioneers etc and report back to you all about all things healthy eating and review the new Healthy Living Zone. Maybe you will be inspired to go along next year?

 

Maybe I will see you there! Do let me know if you are coming along

Some Day tickets are still available for Friday . Camping tickets and Weekend tickets are now sold out 

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Review of Primal Joy Foods > click here

Review of UGG Foods > click here 

Review of Hemsley+Hemsley > click here

Review of Primal Kitchen > click here

 

Follow on Twitter @thebigfeastival

Follow on Facebook Thebigfeastival

The Big Feastival will be raising money for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

Video of highlights from last year

Eating healthily at Latitude festival

Freshly back from a long weekend a Latitude Festival near Southwold Suffolk and unlike most festival goers  I’m feeling healthy and am not nursing a hangover! Latitude is the most laid back family friendly music and arts festival. A weekend spent chilling in the woods to bands and an array of different musicians, sunbathing at the Obelisk arena or dancing to the latest bands at the 6 music big top, listening to poetry and crying with laughter in the comedy tent plus much much more.

 

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With numerous food intolerances, festivals aren’t the easiest of venues for me. But I think its worth the effort to plan ahead and go and have a relaxing and worry free time. We normally stay at the venue either hiring a family size camper or squeezing into a VW camper van but this year due to a last minute hitch we stayed quite close by in Ipswich with friends who kindly came to our aid.

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Having Coeliac disease and Crohns disease with numerous food intolerances including onion and garlic means I have to organise my weekend with military precision. The week before the event I start baking a freezing. This year grain free fruit and cherry bread,  gluten free cheese scones, and a grain free bacon and vegetable quiche with extra cheese. I also get an order delivered from Ocado with things I can’t buy locally.

 

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This year I took two large cool bags full of ice packs one containing eggs, salad, tomatoes, spinach, fruit and the freshly made quiche. The other containing the frozen fruity bread and frozen cheese scones, unsweetend almond milk, bacon, butter and gluten free cold meats, this year it was corned beef and ham from Waitrose.

Each day I would take a small cool bag with mini ice packs that fits inside my ruck sack and a container for almond milk. If you are staying on site with a fridge with freezer compartment you can refreeze these every night. This year I was able to use our friends freezer and fridge. They kindly cleared a shelf for my food.

I can honestly say during our 3 days at the festival I was never hungry. I was however often envious and a little sad to not be able to partake in some of the delicious festival food on site, Im only human! Due to my IBD and wanting to avoid sugar, I am careful not to over do it with alcohol so over the entire weekend I had a couple of gin and tonics. If I could have found the Pimms i’m sure I would have given in to a glass.

Some good news if you are gluten intolerant, or prefer not to eat gluten is that there are plenty of stalls advertising gluten free. From amazing beef brisket and rice to paella with chicken and seafood and chicken provencale. These choices seemed free from any gluten on the stall so probably fine for Coeliacs.

I even spotted gluten free pizza ( baked onsite with gluten containing pizza ) , chips with toppings and indian cuisine. Unfortunately all these had contamination risk and with all the above contained food stuffs that I am intolerant too.

One example of having to stay vigilant is that one afternoon I went an ordered a tea from a waffle stand ( very few stalls were solely tea and coffee stands. The guy serving me was covered in flour, up his hand and arms and all over his apron. I watched as he put his gluten floury hand inside my cup and picked up a tea bag. This was one of those occasions when you just have to be bold! I explained politely that I was a coeliac and that I was intolerant to gluten, I might of even used ‘Allergic’ I cant remember , just to get my point across and asked if it was possible for someone else to serve me. They were really understanding and quickly someone else took over with a new clean cup. It caused a little conversation with my fellow customers but that is always a good way of raising awareness.

Every day I took in a slice of quiche with a green salad, a cheese scone, individual wrapped cheese cubes, fruit and the homemade fruity bread and a treat nak’d bar or gluten free biscuit. Along with the almond milk for tea and plenty of water I was well away.

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It is worth mentioning drinks at festivals. Reuseable cups are used and beer and larger is the drink of choice for most. Gluten is obviously an issue here both in the drink and in a poorly washed up cup.

There was gin and tonic on offer cider and pimms , I was able to have a couple of cheeky G & T’s . The spirits were served in a smaller reusable festival cup. Water taps are available for refilling your bottles.

The variety of music, comedy, theatre etc is incredible and you can never get around everything. My highlights were Chilli Gonzalez and the kaiser quartet , Badly Drawn Boy, Soak, Songhoy blues, Naomi Shelton and the gospel queens ,Years and Years, Catfish and the bottlemen, José Gonzalez and Lianne La Havas. I Missed out on seeing Leon Bridges as he clashed with other bands and we couldn’t get in to Stornoway’s set but listened outside.

 

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Comedy standouts were Alan Davies, Jason Manford and Shappi Khorsandi

Gareth Malone brought together festival goers to create a choir that sang on the sunday lunch time spot at the Obelisk ( main open arena )

Thanks to @dansmythphoto Withay.co.uk  for some great music recommendations

Sunday saw a visit from Hemsley and Hemsley to the Literature tent. I was fortunate to arrive early and picked a great spot up the front. Jasmine and Melissa talked about their food philosophy and their book and I was in total agreement with what they said. Lots of up to date information on good fat, the importance of bone broth and avoiding processed food, food high in sugar and avoiding grains etc. Generally enthusing the audience and inspiring us all to take a good look at what we were eating. Also how we could make favourite meals more healthy. It was good to hear Jasmine and Melissa talk about digestion and chewing and the ladies even talked about learning more about ‘what is a healthy poo’. and getting your digestion on track.

 

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I can recommend the book they have written together with 150 recipes. I have made many of the recipes over the last few months already but feel even more inspired to continue making more. click here for website and book details Hemsley Hemsley

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You can catch Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley again this year at The Big Feastival  where they will be talking and demonstrating, along with Deliciously Ella and others passionate about healthy eating.

Maybe you will consider a Festival next year or go along to The Big Feastival especially the Healthy Living Zone 28th – 30th August 

Hoping to be at The Big Feastival myself, maybe see you there!

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My review of The art of eating well by Hemsley Hemsley < click here

Surviving gluten free at Le Mans 24hr race

This was to be our first visit to the Le Mans 24hr race but we have been away to other motor racing events like grand prix’s and my experience has been that there has been little or no options for those on a gluten free diet. We were due to be away for 5 days so I knew I had to be very organised about my food.

 

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We had hired a caravan for the trip which had a fridge. This made food choices much easier as you can pack fresh veggies and meat, cheese etc. I decided my best option was to make a selection of gluten free and grain free bakes which I would freeze and take for the trip. I made a grain free fruit and chocolate loaf

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and some yummy gluten free cheese scones.

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No trip would be complete without a homemade cake, I chose a grain free Mocha cake which I made the day before we left and stored in an airtight plastic box.

 

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I decided that as well as fresh food I would prepare for any eventuality and take tinned food, just in case! I bought tinned tuna, sweetcorn, peas and carrots, new potatoes, spam, corned beef, tinned tomatoes and soup. For a treat I took chocolate and hazelnut grain free granola, I ran out of time to make homemade granola.

 

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I filled the fridge with gluten free cold meats, cheese, butter, bacon, gnocchi, regular milk and almond milk. There was limited space in the small caravan fridge so I took two cool bags with plenty of cold packs full of fresh fruit and veggies, eggs and the frozen bakes.

Bottled water is always expensive at these venues so I went prepared with lots of small bottles of still and sparkling water.

All prepared and packed we set off on our first caravan trip.

Our trip was full of adventures I could tell you some stories! Suffice to say we have learnt lots of lessons for our next towing experience.

We had a few issues with our van fridge too and next time I would check the temperature more often on our journey to Le Mans and use some cool packs inside the fridge to help keep the temperature cool enough ( our electric connection to the caravan was faulty due to a mistake on our part )

Our camp site was on the Porsche curves 2 mins from the track. We booked with Village on the curves with Lycian Events I can recommend, well worth spending a little more for secure site with 24hr security and good quality loos and showers, even a ladies pamper tent with power and hairdryers etc. Power for recharging phones too.

 

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We arrived on thursday evening in time to watch some racing just moments from our van. After a night of  horrendous thunder storms we woke to damp cloudy day.

 

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Friday was no racing so we took the free site mini bus into the main arena and dived into the Le Mans museum during a heavy shower. I had packed a picnic and snacks for the day in a back pack with a cold pack and I was so relieved I had as there was absolutely nothing for me to eat. On offer was gluten filled baguettes and sausage, burgers or pulled pork in a bun and fries.

I tucked into a homemade cheese scone or two, salad, crisps and cubes of cheese. I really didn’t feel as if I was missing out.

 

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For treats during the day I took along paleo bars, bananas, apples and some kit kat style chocolate bars. The Mocha cake I saved for down time in the caravan as it doesn’t transport well in a back pack.

A wander through the pits and garages followed, always my favourite bit.

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The weather was damp but this hadn’t put the racing fans off. Twice the number of people who attend Glastonbury attend Le Mans although it never felt overly crowded.

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Saturday was bright and sunny and we started the day as we did every day with a big cooked breakfast. Cheese and spinach omelette was my favourite. I also had a slice of fruit and chocolate bread every morning knowing this big breakfast would keep me going all day.

 

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It was good to be able to have a Pimm’s on site watching the races, champagne was also on offer!

We stood on the bank of the Porsche curves to watch the start of the 24hr race. Such a good vantage point and no travelling.

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We watched the race from different parts of the track and sheltered from the sun for a while in the site marquee watching on the big TV’s provided. I took along a small container of almond milk so that I could order a tea from the on site caterers.

 

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We took deck chairs and warm tops up to the bank to watch the night racing, a brilliant experience.

Evening meals went well in the caravan

steak with veggies

steak with veggies

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some emergency tins had to be used

tinned corned beef with fresh potatoes and asparagus

tinned corned beef with fresh potatoes and asparagus

 

tinned tuna and sweetcorn with rice

tinned tuna and sweetcorn with rice

Sunday we were up at dawn to watch the racing ( we could obviously hear it all night ) Still managed to get some sleep.

Later we took the onsite mini bus to near the Dunlop bridge to watch more of the race. We made our way to the finish line for the final few minutes where we watched Porsche’s win and award ceremony.

 

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During the trip I never felt hungry or worried about what I could eat. Going prepared was the best way to have an enjoyable time. It takes a little more organisation but well worth it to save anxiety.

I had a chat with the manager of the onsite catering who said they could cater for me another year If I emailed a few months ahead of the race. I had a quick look through at the make shift kitchens and feel that the cross contamination issue would worry me too much. My husband and our friends enjoyed all the food they had on site and well worth it if you don’t have food intolerances, allergies or Coeliac disease.

 

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We loved our experience at Le Mans 24hr race and I’m sure we will be back next year.

 

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Go on!  why not have a gluten free adventure too

Pecan and date bread

Looking for a breakfast alternative from gluten free bagels and fruit bread that you can toast or eat as it is? Well I think this could be the answer. Not only gluten free but grain free too ! With a sweet flavour it makes for a delicious breakfast treat.

 

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Free from yeast or refined sugar this bread is easy on the tummy and most importantly very yummy.

 

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Pecan and date bread

130g ground almonds

30g flax seeds

1 tsp baking powder – gluten free

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

150g pitted dates

70g finely chopped pecans ( i used my food processor )

3 free range large eggs

50ml melted unsalted butter or 50ml of melted virgin coconut oil

100ml almond milk or regular cows milk

Method 

Pre heat oven 170c 35-40mins

grease 81/2 in x 4 1/2 in loaf tin

put the ground almonds, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and flax seeds into a bowl stir well together.

 

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chop pecans in a food processor and add

 

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Put the pitted dates in a food processor and cut until it forms a paste add a splash of hot water to help loosen the paste.

 

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Add the date paste to the dry ingredients along with 3 beaten eggs , the melted fat and the milk.

 

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Stir all ingredients together well

 

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spoon into a greased loaf tin . I lined the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper too.

 

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and pop in a pre heated oven 170c

check after 35 mins

 

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leave to cool before turning on to a wire rack

slice and serve on its on or with butter or nut butter . Good toasted in the morning with your favourite low sugar jam or marmalade. Homemade no sugar jam would be perfect. I like homemade blueberry jam. Cut thicker slices for toast for best results.

 

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You could try using a different finely chopped nut like walnuts or add 50g of raisins

This bread freezes well, ready sliced or whole.

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Happy Baking!

 

 

 

Recovering from an uncomfy tum!

I sit here clutching a hot mint tea recovering from 14hrs of stomach pains and nausea. It never gets any easier does it! For me this was a much longer attack than usual. I think its always worse when you can’t work out what has caused it. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease last year but my symptoms are more similar to Coeliac disease which I cannot be tested for ( have been gluten free for over 5 years and am very ill If I am accidentally glutened ) These days I only seem to have symptoms like this when I eat out, usually due to cross contamination.

This time I think it was kicked off by my strong Iron tablets ( Ferrous Gluconate 300mg ) that I am taking for Anaemia. I have to bury it in a big evening meal and maybe I didn’t eat enough. The tablets are helping my symptoms of anaemia so I must continue to take them although I will now take a couple of days out to give my sore insides time to heal.

For me after an attack my weight just drops off so quickly, I have to make sure I eat little and often and avoid grains and other foods that cause inflammation.

Today I am going to make myself some chicken broth in the hopes that it will be a gentle introduction to eating again and healing my insides. I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for food for tummy recovery. I am determined to learn to make beef bone broth which I could freeze and have ready for such a day as today.

Chicken broth

First roast a free range chicken with thyme

Strip the chicken of all the flesh

put the cooked chicken carcass in a large saucepan with the juices from the roasting tray add some hot water to your roasting tray to make sure you get all the juices.

simmer for about 1/2 hr or so

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pass broth through a sieve

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serve

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or for a light chicken soup add some of the cooked chicken and some finely diced celery and courgette fried. Then using a hand blender , blend until smooth.

season to taste

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I’m pleased to say after a bowl of broth and an afternoon trip to the cinema I’m feeling fighting fit!

Heres to a healthy tummy!