Gluten free at Big Church Day Out

On a sunny Saturday in May my sister and I packed up the car and took a drive down to Wiston house, a beautiful stately home in West Sussex for Big Church Day Out.

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Big Church Day Out is a gathering of Christians from around the UK and Europe. Now in its 7th year BCDO has coined the phrase ‘A celebration of all that is good’

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This was my first visit to BCDO and I would describe it as a music festival with Christian music from ever genre. An opportunity to hear the very best christian rock, folk, jazz , pop, classical, dance, soul, gospel reggae, singer song writers and worship bands from across the world. A number of big names from The States playing a big part in the weekend. click here for acts > BCDO ARTISTS

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The festival is very much a family day with a fab marque area for Big Church Kids,and a soft play tent for the under 7’s. A Big Church fete on the stunning front lawn of Wiston house offered village fete fun.

 

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The avenue was the place to find delicious food. I was very pleased to see gluten free, vegetarian and vegan clearly marked in the programme. These stalls were listed as offering gluten free options- Tasty Thai, Jumping bean burrito, Woodburn Racletterie , Goodness gracious, Healthy foods and Goan fish curry. There was also gluten free biscuits available in the tea tent. Next year I would really like to see a 100% gluten free food stall including some dairy free options.

 

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I choose to pack a gluten free picnic for BCDO there was plenty of places to sit and enjoy your own food.

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Make sure to take a big blanket to sit and listen to the varied music acts. With a choice of the Main stage, Illuminate stage and on ( what looked like ) the croquet lawn by the Tear fund tea tent  surrounded by the beautiful gardens of Wiston house.

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There was plenty of places to find something to drink, coffee stalls and the tea tent along with a Pimm’s tent and an Ale tent. At the Tear fund Tea tent there was soya milk as a dairy alternative. I would love to see almond milk available next year. Plenty of water and juices available too.

 

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I packed boiled eggs, sliced peppers, tomatoes and celery. homemade gluten free cheese scones and cold meats along with some gluten free crisps from Seabrooks and a large bar of Green & Blacks dark chocolate. The day was sunny and warm and a picnic was the perfect choice for my sister and I.

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The highlights for me on Saturday were Martin Smith both his set at the Tear fund tent and on the main stage , The Abrams brothers and NeedtoBreathe.

 

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I returned on Sunday and my highlights were Switchfoot and Rend Collective.

 

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The site is not flat so be prepared for some walking. One particularly large hill leads up to the fete and the tea tent and church. Well worth the hike!

I must mention my fellow festival ‘Big Day Out’ goers, the friendliest happiest crowd I have ever had the pleasure of spending a weekend with. So much so, that on Sunday I went back the the festival on my own, not something I would do at any other festival. But I never felt alone, we danced and sang together and worshiped our Amazing God and it was fantastic!

 

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Big thanks to Tim Jupp and team for a wonderful weekend

I will certainly be back next year!

 

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Follow Big Church Day Out Twitter here > @bigchurchdayout

Website here >  bigchurchdayout.com

 

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Facebook > Big Church Day Out

 

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My top tip –  buy your tickets Early for the best price tickets. I paid £40 for an Adult weekend ticket. Super Early bird price was £36 for the entire weekend!

Watch  BCDO video 

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Gluten free at Eric’s Fish and Chips on the North Norfolk coast

Last weekend we were up on the Norfolk coast and as always the sun was shining. This gave us the perfect excuse to go and try out a newly opened Fish and Chip restaurant and take away in Thornham next to the lovely Drove Orchards.

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The restaurant is set next to the Drove orchards farm shop and fields of strawberry plants ready for the pick your own season and wild flowers, a gorgeous setting.

 

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The restaurant and take away is a new venture from Head Chef Eric Snaith of Titchwell Manor just along the coast road at the pretty village of Titchwell . Eric had the idea to open a Fish and Chip restaurant, something that he felt was very much lacking from the North Norfolk coast and one that would  be a contrast from the fine dining and informal dining of the Hotel.

We decided to pop along for a very late lunch and received a very warm welcome from Manager Kayleigh Roe.  The restaurant itself has a contemporary retro feel with coloured tiles, retro light fittings and bright yellow tables.

 

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The restaurant felt very clean and bright and had a very cool feel with great music adding to the atmosphere.

 

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After studying the menu on a large retro style pin board I decided on the gluten free haddock and chips and my husband choose Cod and chips with mushy peas. I was very careful to explain that I had Coeliac disease and would require gluten free. Kayleigh was most helpful and reasurring and offered me either to have it cooked in beef dripping or rapeseed oil. She double checked with the Chef and the beef dripping was free from cross contamination so I choose that. I think if I have any comment is that I would prefer to see a dedicated fryer that was only ever used for gluten free products or chips. This would just help to avoid any cross contamination. This of course may already be the case. The gluten free batter is also yeast free.

 

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The delicious fish and chips arrived to our table very promptly. My batter was much lighter in colour than my husbands gluten version ( I think mine looked the best ! )

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I have to say the mushy peas looked delicious and I wish I had ordered a portion too. I’m sure the majority of people, take eating fish and chips out very much for granted but when you are intolerant to gluten it is a very different experience. Fortunately more and more Chippy’s are getting on board and offering a safe gluten free version for Coeliacs and those who are gluten intolerant.

 

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Back to the amazing crispy light battered haddock! It was perfect, not overly greasy and in a beautifully crisp light batter with moist fresh haddock inside. The chips were also very good and plenty of them, I couldn’t finish all of mine. My husband enjoyed his cod, chips and mushy peas too and was even more thrilled that we had found another restaurant where I could eat at safely.

Fish and Chips costs £9.50 to eat in.

haddock & chips is £5.50 and cod and chips is £6.50 to takeaway

Both my sons and other halves have recently eaten at Eric’s Fish and chips and both ranked the meal very highly.

 

Eric's Fish & Chips takeaway menu

Eric’s Fish & Chips takeaway menu

It appears that I am not the only person that has enjoyed the gluten free Fish and Chips at Eric’s , here are just a couple of comments from the reviews online

“It was totes delicious, loved the gluten free batter”

“great gluten free fish and chips!!! will be back soon!”

 

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I am thrilled to have this new restaurant so close to our home and cannot wait to visit again very soon.

Follow

@EricsFandC – Twitter

EricsFishandChips – Facebook

ericsfishandchips.com

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find out more about  Drove orchard < here

Grain free crackers

I was in search of a simple grain free cracker to have with cheese that I could make easily and would store well. Shop bought gluten free crackers often contain yeast or onion powder so no good for me. There are lots of grain free recipes online and also in my many grain free recipe books I have in my kitchen , I tested a few variations out and this combination worked well. These little square crackers are tasty and are a good accompaniment to cheese .

These crackers are egg free, yeast free and dairy free too.

 

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Recipe- 

200g  of ground almonds

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp poppy seeds

pinch of  salt

1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp water mixed together and left for a few minutes

1 tbsp olive oil

( you could try using other spices or seeds )

 

Method-

pre heat oven 170c

mix the ground flax seed and water together and put to one side

mix the salt, ground almonds and all the seeds together

 

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add the olive oil and the flax seed mixture

 

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stir to form a dough

bring together with your hands

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place a piece of grease proof paper on your work surface

divide the dough in to two halves

put one half of the dough onto the paper and put a second piece of grease proof on the top

roll out with a rolling pin, not too thin

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remove the top piece of grease proof

using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares but leave as one piece

 

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put the grease proof paper complete with the crackers on to a baking sheet

repeat with the second piece of dough

pop the two trays in to a pre heated oven 170c

bake for 15 mins

they will start to turn golden brown on the edges

 

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cool for 15mins, the crackers will be ready to separate

store in an air tight container

Enjoy with cheese, butter or your favourite topping

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Butternut squash baked chips

I am avoiding potatoes as I’m trying to follow the specific carbohydrate diet and was looking for an alternative to delicious regular homemade chips. Sweet potatoes work well but I wanted to try something new. Butternut squash slices are perfect. They cook in a hot oven in 25-30 mins and taste delicious.

 

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Butternut squash chips- 

Butternut squash slices  ( I found these in Waitrose ) or whole squash

Beef dripping / virgin cold pressed coconut oil ( I use lucybee )

dried or fresh rosemary

salt

method-

pre heat fan oven 200c

 

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slice the pre sliced squash into chip size pieces

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melt beef dripping or coconut oil in roasting tray for a few minutes

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carefully add the squash chips to the hot pan

sprinkle fresh or dried rosemary on the chips

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use a spatula to turn the chips over to coat them in fat

pop back in the oven

roast for 25 mins in a very hot oven

turn once during cooking time

 

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drain on kitchen roll sprinkle with coarse salt

serve and enjoy!

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Review of natures health box online store

I have been using Natures health box for a long while now as my go to gluten free and health food online store. I have always been very happy with the service and quick delivery. Recently I was asked by them to review a few of the products that they stock. I was sent Sukrin bread mix, The Primal kitchen coconut and macadamia nut paleo bar, Lucy’s chocolate chip biscuits, Easy bean chickpea crisp bread and a Sukrin cake mix.

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Easy bean crispbread – are my very favourite type of cracker and are a staple in my pantry and in my holiday emergency food pack.

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Lovely simply with cheese or butter

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or topped with your favourite spread. I had lacto free cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Sukrin sunflower and pumpkin seed bread mix – wheat , gluten, sugar and yeast free

Easy to make and very delicious. The loaf is simple to make and bake and the bread is very tasty one of the best yeast and gluten free bread mixes I have tried. My only negative is that at £6.19  its not cheap! would recommend if you miss a homemade style wholegrain loaf . Here is my review for pictures and more information  Sukrin bread mix

Lucys chocolate chip A new product to me I was interested to try them. I was impressed with these biscuits they have a good crunch and are very sweet and taste like a a regular biscuit . Yet they are gluten free, milk free, egg free, tree nut free and peanut free and vegan  so good  for those with multiple allergies. They do contain cane sugar so if like me you avoid refined sugar they are not ones to chose.

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The Primal kitchen coconut and macadamia Paleo bar –  This bar has a subtle sweet flavour which comes from dates and the texture has tiny pieces of macadamia nut and coconut. These bars are not crumbly and are perfect emergency bars to keep in your bag.  Here is my review of all the bars The Primal Kitchen paleo bars  

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Sukrin cake mixthis mix is gluten free. I was interested to try this cake mix as it is one I haven’t tried before. You simply add water, eggs and water and pop in an 8 inch tin . There are ideas on the side of the box to add your own flavour. I chose to make the lemon cake by adding the juice and zest of one lemon.

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It certainly was easy to make and the result was good. The family liked the cake, but I wasn’t impressed with the flavour. This mix is made using sesame flour and corn flour.

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Not cheap at £7.39

 

My regular order from Natures health box  is_

Lucy Bee raw organic fair trade Coconut oil At £16.89 for 2 jars ( february offer ),

I cannot recommend this coconut oil enough I use a massive amount of this good healthy oil, I sometimes bake with it for dairy free, I fry with it , roast with it and use it as a moisturiser sometimes. fantastic stuff!

 

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BonPom original cacao powder ,

  Raw honey,  

 The Primal kitchen Paleo bars ,                

 UGG Foods mixes, 

 Easy bean crispbread ,

  Tiana coconut flour , 

Doves Farm Baking powder

 

You can follow Natures health box @natureshbox

Website is www.natureshealthbox.co.uk

 

 

 

Free From Christmas festival

Yesterday Sunday 14th December was the very first Free From Festival in London. Organised by Freefromfestival The venue was BL_NK in Old street, East London and had an entrance fee of £5 which could be purchased online or at the door. It was a cash only event with live music and stalls open from 10.30 until 5.30pm Offering all kinds of free from products, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free etc

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My gluten free purchases.

 

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Bread from Romeo’s Bakery.

 

I bought my tickets in advance and then also won a couple more just a few days before the event. When I realised where in London it was I nearly decided not to go, its quite a trip from Dorking Surrey! But my husband kindly offered to drive me as he was also keen to come along.

We arrived in east London at 11.30am on the most beautiful sunny day, extremely cold and blustery but a lovely day for a drive through the centre of London and over Tower bridge. I took in all the sights as if I was on a sight seeing tour bus.

Parking proved to be very easy, we found a free parking space in an adjacent road. BL_NK was quite easy to spot on Old street but there were no Free From Festival signage. There was though a welcomer who was on the door to make sure you didn’t miss the venue. It would be good to see a large banner next year. I’m sure more people would have come in, if it had been more clear what was going outside.

Outside were 3 stalls, I felt for them because it was bitterly cold. A stall selling the most delicious looking buckwheat pancakes with delicious savoury and sweet fillings available.

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A wine stall called L’ATYPIQUE

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Selling natural wines @LATYPIQUEWINES

and a Polenta stall selling hot sliced polenta La Polenteria  I didn’t explore the stall which I regret .

 

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The extreme cold and wind drove us inside quickly. After checking out the website today, I wish I had tried some. Maybe next year!

Inside in the warm were some interesting looking stalls. It was as I had expected, relatively small. But this was the first year and I’m sure by next year year there will be more stalls eager to be part of this exciting event so near to Christmas. A perfect opportunity to show off your Christmas products etc.

Freego  a gluten free online shop offering ‘the worlds best gluten free’ They search out the best gluten free products to offer on the site. At the festival there were mince pies, christmas puddings, bread mixes and posh chocolates that were also dairy free. There were samples of things to try including the mince pies which were very good. This is a site I haven’t used yet, but after chatting yesterday I certainly will go online and have a look.

 

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Romeo’s gluten free bakery The bread looked absolutely delicious there was an array of sizes and types of bread including onion, seeded, foccacia etc. I bought two small loaves for the family. Unfortunately I am also yeast intolerant so I couldn’t try the bread but my son and husband said it was some of the nicest gluten free bread they had tried. We wish we had bought far more to put in the freezer.

 

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Mini Magoos is allergy free award winning cereals . We bought some granola to try which looked very nice. The main ingredient appears to be toasted coconut flakes with blue agave nectar, almonds etc

 

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Conscious Organic raw chocolate had five new flavours to try and buy. with an offer if you bought 4 bars , So I did!

All chocolate is gluten free dairy and refined sugar free. some are sweetened with rice syrup some with agave nectar .

 

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Elvira’s secret pantry was an artisan italian bakery gluten free, dairy free and yeast free. Also some cakes were made using birch sugar ( xylitol ) I chose a selection of 3 mini cakes in a beautiful box . The pumpkin and chocolate cake I found quite dry and crumbly, I preferred the carrot and pistachio cake which was a little more moist . Elvira also sold quiches etc and other savoury products which looked very nice. All products were well displayed and presented.  The cakes contain lots of veggies, nuts etc . You can find Elvira at Crystal palace food market.

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Pistachio and carrot cake

Pistachio and carrot cake

 

Foodamentalists I have been following this company for a while now on Twitter but not managed to meet the man behind this exciting company so it was good to meet Steven and have a chat about the company and plans for the future. The company is 100 % gluten free . The stall was packed with delicious looking products from sweet christmas treats like mince pies and Christmas cakes, savoury pies and delicious looking pork pies. A selection of foodamentalists mixes to were for sale. Worth coming to the festival for this stall alone! We chose lots of goodies to take home for the freezer and Christmas goodies to eat over the next couple of weeks. Including a very lovely looking Christmas cake.

 

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Love bites A raw organic vegan stall, selling fresh salads, juices and chocolate tart. Can you guess what I chose!

 

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Antillia delights a stall selling a selection of well labeled wheat free, gluten free and dairy free bakes. My worry here was that the wheat free products were made using organic Spelt flour . I queried this at the time and checked again on twitter today. My understanding is that spelt flour is still considered a type of wheat ! I was also then concerned about the gluten free cakes being made in the same location. I was given a helpful reply on twitter from @antilliadelight ” GF items are prepared apart from WF items and as GF is a very serious concern extra caution is taken to prevent cross contamination”

I didn’t feel confident at the time to buy anything from this stall although everything looked very good and well displayed.

LiveSmart 360 chocolate with a purpose…. this was a stall selling chocolate with extra health benefits. This was very expensive. not really sure about this.

As with most gluten free and free from products all the stalls were quite pricey with the exception of Foodamentalists who were good value for money.

Would I visit again next year? Yes,  I think I would make the trip if I knew there were a few more stalls confirmed . I would be particularly be interested in a grain free low sugar stall. Possibly a bigger venue might be needed too.

 

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We queued outside for one of the buckwheat wraps. Mine had egg, cheese and spinach. Really delicious and thrilling to be able to eat out from a stall, with so many intolerances this Never happens.

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We took them back inside and listened to more live music. They were really delicious and perfect on a freezing day.

Follow Free from festival Twitter here > freefromfestival

Facebook > freefromfestival

Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better event next year

 

 

 

 

 

Grain free Wraps

Inspired by some delicious paleo grain free wraps in Dubai, I decided to have a go at making some myself. This was the result.

Wraps-

makes 3 or 4 wraps

 

2 tbsp almond flour ( ground almonds )

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon coconut flour

2 tbsp milk or milk substitute ( I used unsweetend almond milk )

salt

2 large free range Eggs beaten

feel free to add fresh herbs or spices

Method

 

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Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, leave to stand for 3 mins

 

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in a frying pan melt some coconut oil

pour in approximately a quarter of the batter

 

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spread out using a spatula

Cook and turn over until golden . Be careful not to cook for to long. you don’t want to bake them hard. They need to be nice and flexible to roll into a wrap.

 

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The batter should make four wraps.

Perfect filled with your favourite filling.

Today I filled one wrap with smoked salmon and salad and butter, cream cheese would work well too.

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The other I filled with salad and crumbled Wensleydale cheese with cranberries.

 

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Delicious and gluten free and completely grain free. Eat fresh or store in the fridge in an airtight container .

 

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Enjoy!