CoOp Watermelon Lollies

Ingredients

Water, Watermelon Juice from Concentrate (20%), Sugar, Apple Juice from Concentrate (10%), Glucose Syrup, Chocolate Flakes (1%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Powder, Emulsifer (Soya Lecithin), Flavouring), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Concentrates (Safflower, Carrot, Spirulina), Citric Acid, Thickener (Locust Bean Gum), Flavouring.

Allergy Advice: Soya.  May contain peanuts, nuts, milk.

Aren’t these cute?  The ice lollies, not the Allergy Brothers!  Allergy Little gets very cross if you call him cute.  The red part of the lolly is watermelon flavoured with chocolate pips, and the green “rind” is apple flavoured.

The Allergy Brothers weren’t very impressed, but they are not big fans of frozen desserts.  I thought they were really yummy.

Jom Organic Candy (Vegan, GF)

Finding treats for the Allergy Brothers is surprisingly difficult.  Lots of sweets are flavoured with citrus or strawberry (both Allergy Bros no-nos) or have lots of artificial ingredients in.  The Allergy Brothers seem to be so sensitive to their allergens that they react to products synthesised from their allergens, for example Maltitol is an artificial sweetener that is derived from corn or wheat.  This is a long-winded way of saying “hooray for Jom candy!”

Jom Candy is gluten free, vegan candy, and, as a nice ethical bonus, is palm oil free too.  We tried the wild raspberry flavour (Ingredients – sugar*, invert sugar syrup*, water, corn starch*, glucose syrup*, acidity regulator (citric acid), concentrate of raspberry* (0.29%), natural flavouring, glazing agent (sunflower oil*, carnauba wax*); *=certified organic ingredients).  Well, I say we tried it.  I ate one and then the Allergy Brothers snarfed the lot!  They really liked these sweets.  The sweets tasted of real raspberries, rather than fake flavourings.  The best bit was the texture.  Vegan sweets can be a bit floppy and soggy.  The Jom sweets were more solid with a satisfyingly chewy mouth feel.

In summary, I will be buying these for the Allergy Brothers’ teachers to keep at school.  It is always handy for their teachers to have something stashed away for them, when someone brings in a treat for the class that the boys can not eat.  I might keep a bag or two back for me though…

Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks

We have recently tried two types of freeze fried fruit snacks.  The first type was made by Googly Fruit.  We tried the apple and blueberry flavour, and the banana and raspberry flavour.  In both cases, you have freeze-dried pieces of one fruit (apple or banana) mixed with whole freeze-dried berries (raspberry or blueberry).  The Allergy Brothers were not impressed.  The freeze-dried blueberries were a little yucky looking.  Also, the fruit starts rehydrating in your mouth as you eat it, which is an unusual sensation.  I thought they were okay.  I was hoping to be able to keep a couple of packets in the cupboard for the days when I am disorganised and have run out of fresh fruit or salad to put in their packed lunches, but the freeze-dried fruit just came back home minus one or two tested pieces.

Sour_Cherry_bar

I also tested a Freya’s Sour Cherry crunchy fruit bar.  This product is more processed so it is in the form of a bar (it is broken into chunks in the photo; it’s like a chocolate bar), and has more ingredients (Sour cherries (30%), fruit extract (carob) and fruit juice concentrate (apple and grape), Trehalose, Maltodextrin, Gelling agent:Pectins).  I think this product looked nicer than the slighty weird looking whole freeze-dried berries.  It still rehydrated a bit in your mouth, but not as much as the Googly Fruits products.  You could actually crunch into it as you ate it.

The Allergy Brothers quite like eating fruit (well, at least the ones that they aren’t allergic to) so I don’t think these products are that helpful for us.  However, I do think they have their uses.  If you needed to pack an easy to store, non messy fruit snack (perhaps for a long journey), then these might be good for you.

I think the best use for these products are for children and adults who don’t like fruit normally.  People with sensory processing dysfunctions and who are on the autistic spectrum often find the wet textures of fruits unpleasant to eat.  If you have a child who is happy to eat dry, crunchy foods then these freeze-dried fruits might be a way of encouraging them to eat fruit.  They get the fibre and nutrients in the fruit without the distress of eating a food that has a disagreeable, to them, texture.

 

Fossil Biscuits

Updated recipe for improved clarity!

The dinosaurs went stomping all over our biscuits (and we learnt about how fossil tracks are formed). Idea stolen from Okido magazine.

Ingredients

  • 180g margarine
  • 120g sugar
  • 150g corn flour
  • 150g gram flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Also required – toy dinosaurs, toy insects, or similar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar together.
  3. Stir in flours and vanilla essence, and work together to form a soft dough.
  4. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes.
  5. Now make your fossils!  Either have your dinosaurs stomp all over the biscuits leaving footprints, or press your insects into the top of the biscuits to leave their mark.  Remember to remove the plastic toys before baking.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.  You could read about how dinosaur footprint fossils are formed here or you could watch these videos (Footprints reveal dinosaur chase or More detailed video for older children and adults about how fossil tracks are used in research) while you wait.
  7. Leave to cool before removing from baking sheet.

Home-made Gluten Free Goujons/Nuggets

This is a very multi-purpose method.  You can use it to coat tofu, white fish, chicken, quorn, etc.  I used turkey strips.  I haven’t provided exact amounts of ingredients because the quantities will vary each time.  If your children like cooking and getting a bit messy then they will love making this recipe.

Ingredients

Something to coat in batter (tofu, white fish, quorn, chicken, turkey, vegetables, etc)

Gluten free seasoned flour (I used cornflour with salt and pepper; you add extra herbs, spices, or chilli)

Gram flour

Unsweetened cereal (I used cornflakes; Rice Krispies or spelt flakes would work as well)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut whatever you are battering into appropriate size pieces.
  3. Prepare your coatings.  You will need a bowl of seasoned, gluten free flour, a bowl of gram flour mixed with water to the consistency of egg, and a bowl of your crushed cereal.
  4. Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment.
  5. Coat the item in the gluten free, seasoned flour, then the gram flour batter, and finally roll it in the cereal so it is completely coated.  Place the item on the baking tray.20180116_172846
  6. Bake the goujons/nuggets for 20 minutes or until you are sure that the inside is fully cooked through.20180116_163814