Lucy’s Ginger Snaps

Gluten free, vegan, no peanuts, no tree nuts, no milk, no eggs, no GMO, Kosher.

Ingredients – Lucy’s blend ™ (Gluten-free oat flour, chickpea flour, potato starch flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, broad bean flour), cane sugar, soya drink (soya beans, filtered water), sustainable palm fruit oil, expeller pressed rapeseed oil, olive oil, vanilla extract, non-dairy lactic acid, raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, potassium bitartrite, monocalcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate), ginger (3%), oil of lemon, red pepper, gluten-free vinegar, black treacle, stabilisers (Xanthan gum, corn starch, carrageenan), salt, calcium carbonate, colour (Annatto extract), emulsifiers (Sunflower lecithin, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methycellulose).

Sadly, these biscuits are not Allergy Brother friendly as they are allergic to three of the ingredients so I selflessly tried them with a cup of tea.  They were very good.  Everything you would want in a ginger snap biscuit.  They made a satisfying snap when I cracked them in half (little known fact – if you break a biscuit and then tap it on the plate then the calories fall out; this also applies to broken biscuits at the bottom of the tin.  This is definitely true.).  The biscuits had a good crunch when I bit them, and, most importantly, they tasted good.  The snaps had a good, strong, but not overpowering ginger flavour, and were just the right amount of sweet.  I hope the Lucy’s brand considers branching out into the UK, because I would definitely recommend them.

Homefree Lemon Burst Mini Cookies

Ingredients

Gluten free whole oat flour, evaporated cane sugar, high oleic safflower oil, organic tapioca starch, pear juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, lemon extract, salt, pure vanilla extract, cream of tartar, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), sunflower lecithin, gum karaya, rosemary extract.

Allergen Information

Made on shared lines with soya lecithin.  Made in dedicated facility containing no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, casein, fish, crustaceans, molluscs (shellfish), wheat, gluten, sesame, mustard seeds, celery, sulphur dioxide, sulphites or lupin.  Home Free Treats carefully source ingredients and test for peanut, almond, egg, milk and gluten proteins.

20160608_195833Can you see the toys strewn around in the background of the photo?  Quite often whole rooms looks like this at Allergy Towers.  These are the days when the only solution is baked goods.  Today, I thought I would try these lemon burst mini cookies.  The front of the packet showed a slice of lemon with the words “pucker up!” so I was expecting a big hit of lemon flavour.  It was more of a waft of lemon and that was a bit disappointing.  On the positive side, these had a good texture for a gluten free biscuit and were nicely sweet.  Of course, the biggest positive about this brand is their commitment to producing allergen free food.  It almost seems churlish to complain about the flavour not being strong enough when this product is potentially such a boon to some people with very sensitive allergies.

NuGo Dark Peanut Butter Cup

Ingredients – Dark chocolate (Unsweetened chocolate, Cane sugar, Cocoa butter), Non-GMO soy crisp (Non-GMO soy protein isolate, Tapioca starch, Salt), Tapioca syrup, Agave syrup, Non-GMO Brown crisp rice, Ground peanuts, Peanut flour, Rice bran, Gum acacia, Peanut oil, Natural flavour, Soy lecithin, Salt.

Contains Peanut and Soy.  Manufactured on equipment that also processes products containing tree nuts, milk, and egg.  Product is produced under Kosher supervision and is certified Pareve.

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I was pulling a late night working on my lap top and decided I needed something to give me an energy boost.  This definitely hit the spot. There was a generous layer of dark chocolate, and it was pretty sugary.  The NuGo bar was crispy and light too.  This bar fulfilled all my requirements and fuelled me for another hour with my nose to the spreadsheet grindstone.

 

Amy’s Kitchen Mexican Burrito

Ingredients – Organic pinto beans, Filtered water, Organic cooked brown rice, Organic chickpea flour, Organic tomato puree, Organic potato starch, Sunflower oil, Organic onions, Organic tapioca starch, Organic sweet peppers, Organic sorghum flour, Organic sweet rice flour, Organic sugar, Sea salt, Spices, Organic garlic.

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Oooh, vegan, gluten free convenience food!  Yay!  These are not pretty to look at, but they sit in my freezer waiting for me to mess up buying fresh food and then help me out.  Three minutes in the microwave and voila!  I find them quite tasty in an instituitional, stodgy food kind of way.  One of these and some salad makes an acceptable meal.  Amy’s Kitchen have made this Allergy Mum’s life easier.

A home made pizza on a plate with some grapes.

Getting A Pizza The Action With Allergies 2 – Make Your Own Pizza

Unfortunately, the Allergy Brothers can’t eat the pre-made bases we reviewed earlier in the week so we had to make their pizzas from scratch.  Well, we got a little bit of a helping hand from Orgran’s Gluten Free Pizza & Pastry Multimix.

Orgran’s  Pizza & Pastry Multimix Ingredients – Potato starch, Maize starch, Maize flour, Raising agents: Glucono Delta Lactone, Sodium Bicarbonate, Yellow Pea Flour, Salt, Vegetable gums (Stabilisers): Xanthan Gum, Carboxymethylcellulose, Methylcellulose.

This multimix has had a rebrand in the last few months with new packaging and new cooking instructions.  I use the old method that requires yeast, but if you are pushed for time or allergic to yeast, then you can just follow the instructions on the packet.  It’s really very easy.

For my method, you will need half a packet of Orgran Pizza & Pastry Multimix, sugar, yeast (I use Allinson Dried Active Yeast for Hand Baking), 250ml water, 40ml oil (I use olive oil), and your toppings (I used Pepperami, Vegan pesto and Vegan cheese).

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F, and oil a baking sheet.
  2.  Dissolve a tsp of sugar in 50 ml of hot water.  Add 75ml of cold water.  Add 1 tbsp of dried yeast.  Give it all a stir.  Leave it to do its thing for about 15 minutes.  You should get a few centimetres of scummy foam on the surface of the water, when it is ready.
  3.  Mix together half a packet of multimix, the water and yeast together, and the oil.  Combine it with a spoon until a dough has formed.  Then knead it by hand.
  4. Form the pizzas and put them on the baking tray or pizza pan.  You can roll out the pizzas with a rolling pin, but I am making child-size portions so I just form them by making a ball of dough and squashing it flat with my hand.  I divide the dough into two and make two mini pizzas for the Allergy Brothers.  A full packet should give you enough for 3 full-size pizzas.  Allergy Little likes to have pepperami mixed into the dough, and then vegan pesto and vegan cheese as the topping.  He thinks the pepperami dries out too much if it is a topping!
  5. The pizzas take about 15 minutes to bake.  The pizza should be golden brown, but fluffy inside like a deep pan base, and the toppings should be bubbling.
  6. Enjoy your pizza.  Serving it with grapes is optional!
A home made pizza on a plate with some grapes.

Home Free “Mini Double Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

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A sneaky snack when working from home!

Ingredients – Gluten free whole oat flour, Natural cane sugar, High oleic safflower oil, Chocolate chips (evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter), Demerara sugar, Non-alkalized cocoa powder, Organic tapioca starch, Apple juice concentrate, Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), Organic vanilla extract, Salt, Baking powder, Xanthan gum, Sunflower or Canola lecithin, Rosemary extract.

This is one of those products that makes me sad.  This is a fantastic product.  When you consider how many allergens are avoided (no dairy, no soya, no wheat, no gluten, no egg, no tree nuts, no peanuts, etc, etc), it’s really amazing that they have made a product that works.  So why does it make me sad?  Because, the Allergy Brothers still can’t eat it!  Sometimes, it just makes me sad when I realise how far we are from “normal” eating.

Anyway, less moaning and more reviewing!  This is a really good product.  As I have already mentioned, many common allergens have been avoided.  In addition, the product is convenient.  It comes in an individual serving, which would be perfect for a packed lunch.  Also, it has a long shelf life so you could stock up.  Finally, the taste.  Well, as always with free from products, the texture is different to what you expect.  In this case, the cookies are more chewy than crumbly.  The taste is also pretty chocolatey, but lacks the richness of a regular cookie.  Basically, if you have never tried a regular cookie then you will be very happy with this product.  If you have tried regular cookies, then you might have to eat a few packets to learn to love these cookies.  It really depends if you have as much dedication as me!