Easy grain free soft cookies

While away I was looking for a cookie that I could make quickly, These have been so successful I have made three batches in a couple of weeks. You can add anything you fancy I have added raisins, dark chocolate chips or cherries . Maybe try adding chopped nuts. I think hazelnuts would work well.

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Recipe –

100g ground almonds

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

2 tsp ground flax seeds

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon ( you could add cacao or ground ginger instead )

1/3 cup honey

1 large egg

70g butter or coconut oil ( melted )

1/2 cup  or more – a mixture of raisins / cherries / chocolate chips /  sultanas  Be inventive !

Method

Put all the dry ingredients in to the bowl

then add in the egg, honey, melted butter or coconut oil.

mix well together , form into balls , place on a baking sheet with  greaseproof paper

squash down with your hand to flatten as they don’t spread much by themselves

bake for 12 mins at 175c

cool on a wire rack

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store in an airtight container or freeze in two’s ready for a snack attack!

The ground flax seed and coconut flour are not cheap but kept in an airtight container they last ages .

Happy Baking !

 

 

 

 

 

My review of Honeybuns Squillionaire and Fruity nut bar

Honeybuns  New Squillionaire is a gluten free polenta and date shortbread , topped with date and chocolate –  less sweet than your average millionaire square but still tastes like a treat. Containing no refined sugar its obviously still sweet but instead of refined sugar it contains date syrup and date paste . I love that it clearly says I’m a cake not a health bar .

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Its good to see Honeybuns listening to many of us requesting refined sugar free treats.

Honeybuns are hoping to make the Squillionaire bar Dairy free in the future . But please be aware that at present it may contain traces of dairy.

 

My next challenge to Honeybuns is for 100% dairy free treats using coconut oil and I would love to see a Grain free , refined sugar free treat too?

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I picked mine up from my local Waitrose cafe , located near the till. Priced at £1.85

 

I really enjoyed this new cake bar, I actually prefer the lower sugar taste and would select it again .

Also available online at Honeybuns.co.uk at £1.70 per slice.

The new Fruity nut bar is a dairy free and gluten free bar packed with cranberries, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. This is still most definitely a treat and does contain a small amount of sugar in the sweetened cranberries  , the bar also contains dates. Each bite is full of delicious dried fruit and nuts.  I enjoyed it but not sure I would choose it again.

cost £1.70

Honeybuns say ” It tastes like a decadent cake, not a health bar ! ”

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online at honeybuns.co.uk it costs £1.70 per bar

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Follow Honeybuns on Twitter @honeybunsbakery 

Simple gluten free banana bread

I always buy more bananas than I can eat before they start going brown and over ripe. So banana bread is a favourite to make, to use up this over soft extra sweet fruit.

Usually I make a grain free version for me, but this recipe is just gluten free and you would be hard pushed to tell this apart from its gluten filled version. Perfect for an afternoon sweet treat. I made this for my Son’s birthday

Recipe

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Banana bread

100g unsalted softened butter ( you could also use coconut oil  )

175g sugar ( I used Coconut sugar which I prefer )

2 large free range eggs

2 large over ripe Bananas

225g gluten free self raising flour ( I used Doves Farm )

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

2 tbsp milk ( I used almond milk )

Method

Really simple

pre heat oven fan 160c

I used a hand blender and mixed everything together, the blender mashes the banana really well and helps to cream together the sugar and softened butter.

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If you don’t have a hand blender or processor you can use a potato masher to mash the bananas or a fork and elbow grease to mix together the other ingredients.

Top tip – make sure you use a mixing spoon that is not used for making gluten bakes especially if it is a wooden spoon as gluten loves to hide in them.

I lined a 2 lb loaf tin and spooned in the batter

the loaf then goes in a pre heated oven at fan 160c for 1 hr

leave to cool, then turn out on to a wire cooling rack.

As mine was for a celebration, I added icing and chocolate shavings.

slice and enjoy with a cuppa!

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Norwich’s very own gluten free cafe and shop

Today we drove over to Norwich to visit The gluten free cafe and shop on Timber hill. We parked at the John Lewis car park but there are numerous places to park near the shop and cafe. The setting is perfect on a pretty street, one of the oldest recorded city streets in Norwich. Home to quirky shops , boutiques and beauty salons. Since January home to this exciting new enterprise from the Norfolk gluten free company. 

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I was blown away by the smartness and quality of the exterior and interior of the cafe and shop. Stepping into the busy cosy cafe I felt like a child in a sweet shop. To know that you can eat from the entire menu on the large black board was the most exciting thing ever. If  like me you have Coeliac disease or gluten intolerant  you will totally understand the wave of relief and calm you feel when you know you are safe to eat somewhere that is 100% gluten free with no worries of cross contamination. It offers a huge range of tasty savoury and sweet options for all the family including delicious looking soups and pies, quiches and ploughman’s. An enormous array of sweet treats from chocolate eclairs and muffins to beautiful cup cakes and flapjacks . You could have the biggest sugar high ! We all need a treat sometimes

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The staff were busy with lots of happy customers. Today Families , young couples and older people were sat around at tables drinking coffee and eating lunch. It was lovely to see the place so busy. We found a little table near the window where we could watch the world go by. I decided on hot cheesy balls with butter for lunch and Mr S choose a chicken pie with ploughman lunch, with coffee.

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After ordering at the counter I couldn’t resist a quick look upstairs at the gluten free shop where I was greeted by the lovely Louisa founder of the Norfolk gluten free company . I scanned the shelves full of everything you could possibly imagine, it really is like an Aladdin’s cave. I was beyond excited , far superior to a free from section in a supermarket. From an incredible selection of freshly baked bread goods from Wheat free bakery ( the best bread in my family’s opinion ) to pies and quiches and dry mixes , pasta’s, taco and wraps. Every gluten free flour, dough ball mix  I could go on.

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After doing a quick grab of goodies and paying upstairs I was down just in time for my Latte and hot yummy cheesy dough balls. These can be served with a selection of dips but I went for butter with mine. they were so scummy.

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With so many extra food intolerances I often find it difficult to order anything when I am out shopping. These were just what I needed. My husband was pleased with his flaky chicken pie packed with hearty pieces of chicken inside with a side salad, bread roll and cheese plus chutney, a feast.

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My coffee was so good I ordered a second and couldn’t resist a sweet treat.

 

IMG_9904 Its not often I can go out and order a pudding . After much thought I decided on the caramel choux bun and Mr S had a fruit and chocolate flap jack.

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I spotted some very pretty looking cup cakes made by the talented Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes so it would of been rude not to take one home for later . A toffee popcorn cupcake was popped into a little cake bag for me to enjoy later.

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Imogen made my son and daughter in law’s wedding cupcakes in August 2014 so I know just how good they are. As well as cup cakes Imogen makes the most stunning large gluten free Wedding cakes too, do check out her website Sugar buttons creative.

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Before I left I had one more quick look upstairs in the shop, It is a surprisingly good size space. So if you are in for a coffee don’t forget to take a look yourself. I choose some freshly baked bread to take home and some extra special chocolate hearts from Montezuma.

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The prices in the cafe and shop I thought were very fair and we will definitely return next time we are in Norwich armed with extra bags and more room in the freezer to take home lots of gluten free bread for the family.

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I do hope if you are in the Norwich area or visiting Norfolk this year you will make time to visit this fabulous cafe and shop. If we don’t support these brave enterprises they won’t survive . I would like to wish Louisa and her team all the very best for the future. I’m sure you have a real success on your hands. I could see just how much work must have gone into the last few months do get this venture off the ground in the centre of this beautiful city.

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You can find the Cafe and shop at the top Timber hill number 21 on the left hand side as you look down the hill.

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Website – Norfolk gluten free company

Twitter – @nklkglutenfree

 

Silly Yak gluten free pastry part 2

We never normally have gluten free pies for dinner, but as I had a second box of Silly Yak ready to roll gluten free pastry I thought I would make a chicken pie. The nice thing about this pastry is the end result is rather like a rough puff pastry so it lends itself to lots of different bakes both savoury and sweet. Although not made with butter ( personally I think this is a great shame ) but made with margarine a far less healthy choice, it does have a good ‘ buttery’ taste.

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I used the pastry straight from the fridge while it was still nice and cold and rolled out and cut a circle for the topping to my chicken pie. My filling consisted of chicken breasts diced, courgette finely chopped, finely sliced rashers of streaky bacon and plenty of double cream and seasoning including some thyme.  I cooked this in a frying pan before putting in the oven proof dish. I have to avoid usual filling ingredients like mushrooms onions and garlic as I am intolerant to them. I find the pie still tastes delicious.

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I struggled to find a dish small enough for two people as all my bakeware is for 4/6 or more. Now the family have all moved out I need to buy myself a pie dish for two!

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The pie was popped into a hot pre heated oven for 25mins. It was a huge success with Mr S , and I’m sure I will use the pastry again to make a big family pie when everyone is back home for a meal.

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With the remaining pastry I cooked down some apples and cut 4 squares from the remaining pastry and made apple turnovers. I brushed beaten egg on the outside and sprinkled a little sugar on top.

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Again these were far more successful than I expected, delicious cold or warm

 

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The pastry was sent to me by Silly Yak to test out and I feel that I gave it a fair try with both savoury and sweet bakes. If you are looking for an easy gluten free pastry that you can rely on this is your product. My only disappointment as I’ve said before is that it is not as yet made with butter. So Silly Yak if you read this review please consider maybe making a second product for us butter lovers. I’m sure it would be very popular.

If you try this ready to roll pastry and enjoy this product why not mention it to your local stores like Waitrose, Sainsburys, Ocado and Morrisons. It would be great to have more suppliers and make it more available.

 

IMG_9868Today I heated up some of the sausage rolls I made yesterday and they were delicious .

Silly yak

follow on twitter @SillyYakfoods

Facebook SillyYakFoods

The Silly Yak pastry is crossed grain symbol certified

 

Silly Yak ready to roll gluten free pastry review

Today I decided to put Silly Yak pastry to the test.

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I started with a favourite, something I haven’t made for a while ,sausage rolls. The chilled pastry proved easy to use. I gave the surface a dusting of gluten free flour and unpacked the silly yak ready to roll pastry. I decided to use cling film on the pastry to stop it sticking

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The pastry rolled out easily, I then used some delicious Black Farmer sausages for the filling. I just opened up one end of the sausage and squeezed out the sausage meat on to the pastry.

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I sealed the pastry together with water and cut to size, Then I brushed the sausage rolls with beaten egg and popped in a pre heated hot oven 200c for 25mins.

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I was pleased with the results. The appearance was good and the taste delicious.

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The pastry was perfect.

With the remainder of the ready to roll pastry I decided to make a Tarte Tatin something I’ve only made once before. I used a Mary Berry recipe replacing refined sugar with coconut sugar and was very pleased with the result.

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Firstly I made the sticky sauce the added the sliced apple and finally the pastry top.

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Once again the Tarte Tatin went in the hot oven for 25mins

IMG_9816Again perfect pastry, with very little effort on my part and perfect dessert.

IMG_9823Once turned over you could see the fabulous sticky sauce and the perfectly cooked apples. Will now add this to my list of puddings.

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The only disappointment for me is that the pastry is not made using butter. I assume to make the pastry vegetarian, margarine is used. This is something I hate. really not a healthy choice. Maybe Silly Yak would consider making an all butter version too? I know I and many others would be keen to buy it. Sadly I am not likely to buy this version again even though it has made fantastic pastry.

The pastry is available from Tesco stores here is the list  > Tesco stockists or Tesco online £1.75 for 400g

find it in the chilled section

I would be interested to know your thoughts too, as I’m sure would Silly Yak

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Follow them on Facebook Silly yak and on Twitter @sillyyakfoods

or leave a message below

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I’m off to make a gluten free Chicken pie and apple turnovers using more of the Silly Yak pastry, second post to follow

Happy baking!

click here for Silly yak review part 2 

Review of rawLicious raw crackers

At first sight these crackers don’t look the most appealing , but I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they tasted. Jam packed with organic seeds, vegetables and herbs and no grains. They are perfect for a gluten free diet.

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The crackers are also vegan and dairy free and have no added sugars. rawLicious crackers are available in 5 varieties from Natures health box

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I enjoyed mine topped with egg, butter and cress. The crackers are not crunchy, they have a slightly chewy texture, very nice.

The cost of these crackers is £5.49 per box.

Disclaimer- This is an unpaid review, I was sent this product to try and have chosen to review them.

Natures health box 

Twitter – @NaturesHBox

gluten free, sugar free carrot muffins

Every Tuesday I am hoping to bake something ready for the Great british bake off. Today I decided to have a go at dietitionuk Carrot muffin recipe.

Instead of sugar Priya suggests using puree apple about 75g. I think when I make them again I will add a little more. As they really are not very sweet. Maybe adding slightly more cinnamon too.

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First I prepared the carrots and puree apple, and pre heated the fan oven to 160c.

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I decided to use Doves farm self raising flour rather than the combination of oat and rice flour.

I mixed together the flour, cinnamon and baking powder. I also added a tsp of isabel’s baking fix.

Then eggs, milk and Lucybeecoconut coconut oil. which I used instead of rapeseed oil. I think they would work well using a dairy free milk too.

Followed by the grated carrots and apple sauce and finally the sultanas.

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The mixture was quite thick so next time I might add an extra egg.

I spooned the carrot muffin mixture into muffin cases.

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After about 16mins they were ready to take out of the oven.

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I had one warm with a cup of tea.

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They are certainly not sweet when made without sugar, no surprise there. But if like me you are trying to restrict your sugar intake then I think as my palate changes these will taste sweeter. You can make them with sugar or possible maple syrup, honey or agave. But wanted to try out a recipe only using cinnamon and apple puree.

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I will definitely make these Carrot muffins again, perhaps just tweaking slightly.

Great recipe @dietitianUk

Happy baking : )

Tips to avoid cross contamination from gluten

Newly diagnosed with Coeliac disease or sensitive to gluten? I have put together a few tips for staying gluten free.

Use separate area if possible for preparation in your kitchen, use easily identified chopping board. preferably not wooden. Glass or plastic work well as they can be cleaned easily.

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Have your own labelled butter dish to avoid contamination from gluten covered knives. It is advisable to have separate jams and spreads as it is hard to keep these free from gluten crumbs. Squeezable jams and honey work well.

Wipe surfaces well before baking and cooking and make sure cloth hasn’t been used to wipe up gluten crumbs, flour etc .

Make sure utensils are thoroughly cleaned before preparing a gluten free meal.

Always keep gluten free food stuffs in separate cupboard to gluten containing foods especially flour. If using wooden spoons they need to be clearly marked gluten free and only used in GF cooking and baking as gluten can lurk in the wood. If possible have your own colander to drain gluten free pasta as the families colander/ sieve can have hidden gluten lurking in the holes even after using a dishwasher.

Treat yourself to your very own toaster clearly labeled and away from gluten toaster to avoid crumbs.

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Make sure family grill is clean before using for gluten free food. Gluten lurks every where!

Wash hands thoroughly after feeding pets, most pet foods contain gluten.

There are Pet foods  available now that are gluten free.

Fridge doors can be a gluten trap, wipe down regularly.

Do not serve gluten free food and gluten containing food on the same plate e.g cakes. bread rolls

Best not to share a drink with someone if they are eating gluten, have heard of a case of friends sharing a water bottle causing her to be glutened.

Check with restaurants that they use a separate fryer to cook deep fried food like chips as oil will be contaminated with tiny amounts of gluten.

Always good to encourage family members to ‘clear as they go’ and not leave dirty plates possibly containing gluten on the work surface for you to clear up.

Wash hands regularly and change tea towels and cloths often.

If these simple precautions are taken, living and eating with gluten eaters doesn’t need to be a problem.

Any other tips? let me know

gluten free easy cheesy dough ball mix

Today I tried a new bread mix which is gluten and yeast free. I found the mix on the Ocado website Made by the lovely Isabel from Isabel’s naturally free from . I cannot believe I hadn’t seen it before.

The directions were very simple and clearly written on the reverse of the box.

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I used melted butter instead of the vegetable oil. The mix came together easily and I then kneaded the dough until it was smooth and pliable.

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Then split into little balls, I made 14 little rolls.

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I had pre heated the oven and they cooked in 25 mins.

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They looked and smelt amazing, I couldn’t wait to try them.

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When gluten eating Mr S tried them, he commented that “they tasted like the cheesy rolls from Gaucho’s” He absolutely loved them, saying it was the best gluten free food I had made.

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They had the most lovely airy texture, bouncy ! One of the best products I have found that is gluten and yeast free.

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Lovely filled, I chose egg and bacon today. I urge you to try them. Definitely not just for kids!

I’m going to stock up on these.

Follow Isabel on Twitter @isabelsfreefrom 

Website isabelsfreefrom.co.uk