Rana’s Artisan Bread 

  
Psst… See the loaf in the picture? Well I (Mrs usually bakes doorstops) baked it. I’ll get back to the beginning. I have the honour of becoming a brand representative for Ranas’ Artisan Bakery.  If you haven’t heard about them, they offer both baked goods and bread mixes to bake at home. The added bonus is that not only are these all gluten free, but free from the dairy, eggs, nuts and soya to. 

 So anyway I was sent a bread mix to play with- Bold Buckwheat. I’ve never been fantastic with bread making, and gluten free versions even less so, however I was optimistic as the packaging stated “just add water”. Easy enough I thought, although the funny porridge like texture of the dough I was left with did have me wondering, but never the less carry on I did ( the very clear instruction sheet helped a great deal) 

Next step is to leave the dough for 5 minutes, then stir for 1 minute before shaping your loaf on the grease proof paper provided ( a wet spatula helps). 

  
Once shaped, pop your loaf into the bag and seal, then leave to prove for an hour. Now I was worried, you can’t see through the bag and it didn’t seem to rise much , again back to the instructions which reassured me to not expectd too much of a rise, -panick averted. 
Then pop into the oven and bake for 90 minutes. It said best results with non fan oven. I’ve only got a fan oven so I thought I’d give it a go anyway. It was fine, but I’d be interested to hijack my mums aga and try in there to compare. 

  
You then have to left it Cool completely on a wire rack and bat off little (and big) hands until it does so but believe me it’s worth the wait. I was very impressed with the first attempt. It has a strong tang to it, which I loved ( even tiny tot went in for seconds) and toasted either for breakfast or as bruschetta is is delicious. I can even see it going well with our Christmas cheese board. 

 So my over all verdict is that I’m very impressed with this mix. My only slightly negative comment is the £3.99  Price tag, which does put them at the top end of gluten free artisan loaves but you do get what you pay for, it tastes lovely, has the best crust on any gluten free loaf I’ve tasted, and free from multiple allergens.

Keep reading as I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeves to incorporate these loaves. 

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New product- Real Good Tomato Ketchup

  
  It’s no secret I’m fond of ketchup, and I have to admit cutting it out for operation wedding dress has been tricky.  You know a bacon sandwich just isn’t the same without it ( unless you’re a brown sauce fan I guess).  

I was really excited when new company  Real Good tomato ketchup followed me on Twitter. They make ketchup (so far) that is gluten free, nut free, reduced sugar and dairy free. This ticks all the boxes in our house, so when a bottle arrived to try out, naturally we dived in ( not literally that would be silly).  

  
  

I like the packaging, it’s simple, clear and the allergy information easy to find. These are all great factors, but the important thing is how does it taste?   

  
It has a more rustic texture than some of the sugar laden counter-parts, due to the fact that its primary ingredient is tomato paste, with this, and due to the fact the sugars are sweetener and naturally occurring  sugar from the tomatoes, the taste edges more towards a tomato purée or passata than a traditionally processed ketchup. Now this is not a bad point, I love it ( although your die hard junk food lover may not) 

This ketchup works so well with meats, and vegetables alike. I’ve also used it as a secret ingredient in a tomato/ basil pasta sauce and it was a winner all round. Would I recommend it? Yes I would, it’s less sugar and calories with a more authentic taste, what’s not to like? The ultimate judge (mini me ) even went in for seconds, which in this current fussy phase is a triumph. So well done Real Good, more of the same please. Currently this is available from Amazon, but I believe more stockiests will be added soon-watch this space. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to try, all views are my own and my honest opinion. The tiny tot’s views are most definitely honest – at 3 there is no other way. 

Breakfast parfait Gluten and Dairy free 

Parfait what’s not to like right? Whether it’s the frozen dessert or layered up in a pot I think it’s great. I’ve become a fan of mason jars or jam jars and they are great for providing a vessel to transport your breakfast. And what could be better than one of these pots of joy?? 

  So this weekend we went berry picking,  we have a few farms that have pick your own around where we live, I love the scrabbling around through the strawberry plants and raspberry canes searching for the little red jewels that are hidden beneath the leaves. Mini me ( being the slightly ferrel child she is) loves it to- and it’s all nut free so it makes for a great hours entertainment. I do confess I had to buy a drink ( I felt guilty as Lily-Rose actually consumed her body weight of raspberries as we went round) 

Anyway I digress a bit. I’ve all these fresh berries and it’s hot ( yippee) so parfait pots made for a great, healthy breakfast. Perfect for summer. 

   

Ingredients 

  • 1 banana mashed with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Yoghurt of your choice ( I used KoKo coconut dairy free ) 
  • Fruit of your choice 
  • Granola ( I used Delicious Alchemy Nutty Granola). Or my own recipe for a nut free version 

  

The method is easy, banana at the bottom, and then layer up however you fancy. Then dive in with a spoon and enjoy. 

Do you like parfait? What’s your favourite flavour combination? Let me know in the comments below. 

Fruity Berry Smoothie Bowl 

So smoothie bowls, what’s all the fuss you may ask? These lovely creations are so much more than something to make for pretty Instagram photos ( although I’m not denying they do make pretty Instagram photos). They are a great way to eat fruit/ vegetables if that’s not your thing, they are perfect for breakfast or as a satisfying sweet craving if you find yourself thinking about grabbing that Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. 

  
They are also very easy to make ( just aim for a thicker version of your regular smoothie) and you can experiment to your hearts content on different flavour combinations and toppings. Things that work well are chia seeds, fruit, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut, coconut chips or coarsely chopped nuts. The main thing is to have fun and enjoy making and eating your healthy creations. 

I took my flavour inspiration from Wimbledon and berry season here in the UK, that and places like Aldi have cherries for 59p at the moment so it would be rude to not buy them right? 

So how to make a bowl- it’s more assembly work really, rather than cooking but here is the recipe: 

Ingredients 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup strawberries 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 6-8 cherries chopped 
  • 200 ml milk of your choice ( add more a bit at a time for your desired texture) 

Method

Blend all the ingredients together 

Pour into a bowl and then decorate however you fancy.  In this recipe I have used chia seeds, coconut and strawberries. 

Serve and enjoy. 

  

Have you tried a smoothie bowl yet? What are your favourite flavour combinations? 

Free From
Farmhouse

Koko Dairy Free New Products Review

If you hadn’t worked it out yet, I use a fair amount of coconut based products, not only because they taste delicious,  have fewer calories than their dairy counterparts and are more often than not nut free, so a lot of boxes are ticked in our household. 

  Koko are one of my favourite brands to use, especially the milk, which is great in smoothies or lattes etc.  Anyway they have launched a whole range of new products including yogurts and a dairy spread, so I thought I’d share my views with you all. 

 

The yoghurts are great, the larger tub of natural yogurt does take a bit if getting used to. It has a natural tang  which if I’m honest can offend the taste buds, but I’ve never been an avid fan of soya products and too much of it definitely doesn’t like me, so to have a soya free dairy free product is a winner.  Anyway when on top of some fresh berries or with granola etc the plain yogurt is great and even I ( miss fussy pants) go as far to say it is really quite delicious. I should add the tang I talk about seems to be a flavour of all natural coconut products I’ve tasted so far to date. 

 This leads me on to the flavoured yogurts, still soya and dairy free and in individual pots so great for lunch boxes etc. Mini me loves the strawberry and peach flavours. I have to say I agree with her. The texture is creamy with fruit pieces ( and these are actual pieces not squishy pulp you can get in some yogurts). They taste great to, and leave no aftertaste. The lemon and coconut I liked but tiny tot wasn’t so keen. It’s more of a grown up taste but the coconut pieces in it give a great texture and it’s lovely over fruit. 

  

The newest product Koko have launched is a dairy free spread. I love the packaging- very tropical and the spread is a great product. It is a blend of oils including coconut and sustainable Palm oil. I used it to make a dessert for a friend who came for dinner. I made a crumble topping and I have to say when combined with a gluten free flour gave a much better crumble than the flour and butter combination I usually use.  Everyone munched their dessert so I’m going by the clean plates that this was a winner.  

  So there you have it, my run down of the new Koko Dairy free products. If you want any more information you can find their website Here

Have you tried any of the new products? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below. 

Disclaimer: I was given the products ( apart from the milk) by Koko, however all opinions are my own and entirely honest.