Review – Nush Dairy Free Yogurt 

You may, or may not have noticed a new brand of the free from market? Nush Foods are the company behind dairy free, gluten free and vegan yogurts that are made from either almond or cashew milks. I believe they are the first in the UK to offer such a product. 

Anyway I’m rambling, I saw these in Tesco (£2) and thought I’d try one. I should add that they are nut based so all testing was done well out the way of mini me.

 

  I was really impressed, I’m not sure what I was expecting really- possibly a more gloopy texture that you can get with other plant based yogurts, but this has a consistency of, well yoghurt.  Considering this was almond based, you are not over powered with the taste, there was a subtle, but pleasing blueberry flavour, not overladen with sugar or sweetness- all positives for me. I should also add that this is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 

  
So will I buy it again? Well yes, although not every day as it is a bit pricey.  That said I’m also interested in trying the cashew milk yoghurt when I track it down. Well done Nush keep up the good work. 
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own, and honest. 

Bircher ( Overnight Oats) Bowl 

Hmmm so how’s 2017 going for everyone? Not bad for us this end, although losing a dear friend has been a blow.  However this is not a post intended on depressing you all, on the contrary the year is still young, opportunities are a plenty and my popcorn machine is on standby for me to pull up my chair and watch the comedy/ horror/ disaster movie that is Trump ( I’m childish and still snigger at his name) going into the Oval Office. 

I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m supposed to be keeping you all uplifted, well you will need energy to do this…..and this breakfast is perfect for that. I love ( gluten free) oats, they are filling, good for you, and versatile. What’s not to like? 

  

  The best thing about over night oats is that there is no right or wrong way to eat them, any flavour or combination work, they can be as clean ( or dirty??) as you want them to be, and can be made the night before. This is the real winner for me, as it saves precious time on that early morning rush….

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats ( or gluten free oats) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt or choice 
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds ( optional) 
  • I dessert spoon raisins 
  • Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or Apple juice ( to suit your palate ) 
  • Topping of choice 

Mix the oats, milk, yoghurt, chia and sweetner together and leave for 6-8 hours in the fridge. 

In the morning add to a jar ( or bowl) and have fun with your toppings. 

  

Have you tried over night oats? What’s your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Cranberry Sauce 

Boring title I know, but personally I don’t think you can have a Christmas dinner without cranberry sauce. I know as well that it is easy to open a jar, but I find something deeply satisfying in making it myself. Oh and did I mention it is almost effortless to boot. 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pack of fresh cranberries ( roughly 250g) 
  • 100ml Orange juice and zest if 1 orange
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Optional- a good slug of port. 

Method

  • Pour the juice,  zest, port and sugar into a pan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour in the cranberries 
  •  Stir in the cranberries and start to simmer. 
  • The cranberries will start to burst when ready. You can either give them a vigorous stir to break them down, or leave them in their glorious half burst textures. 
  • As the sauce cools it will thicken. 

Serve as part of your Christmas dinner or with Brie in a toasted sandwhich. 

Allergy Friendly Cupcakes 

Welcome one and all ( old English christmas speak ) to Blogmas day five. I hope the new week brings you some more festive cheer, me on the other hand have a beauty of a cold and a three year old to entertain. It wasn’t fairing too well but we hit on a winner with baking cupcakes. 

They are easy to make and if your kids are like mine then the decorating will keep them entertained for a bit, then you get another 5-10 minutes for eating their creations – result. I take no credit for the recipe either, it’s adapted from your traditional sponge recipe just made allergy friendly. 

I’ll reiterate that mini me did a lot of the decorating, but to add on a more serious note Waitrose Christmas cake decorations are largely free of gluten, nuts and soya. B&M have gluten free cupcake toppers to. 

  

Ingredients 

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter ( or dairy free alternative) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream together butter and sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time. 
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Sift in flour and stir until well combined. 
  • Put in cupcake cakes and bake in the oven until well risen and firm to touch. (15 minutes roughly) 
  • Cool on a wire rack and decorate to your hearts content. 

After all that hard work, have a well earned 5 minutes eating one of these creations until your kids utter the dreaded words “I’m bored!!!” 

That’s it from me for now. Have a great evening and I’ll be back tomorrow x 

Review- Tesco Free From Truffles

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 3/4 , its a bit late but here none the less , all best intentions were lost as I’ve been struck with the dreaded lurgy. 

I hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit? A grotto visit has got mini me super excited and we still have 3 weeks left- wish me luck. 

  
Anyway today I thought I’d share my thoughts on this new find from Tesco.  Free From Fondant Truffles, they are a mouthful to say, and a mouthful to eat.  Anyway the bonus is they are wheat, gluten, egg and milk free. ( I’m waiting for confirmation of nuts). 

  

So how do they taste? The thick chocolate outer is a pleasant milk chocolate, that doesn’t have that cheap  Artificial sweetness to it, however the soft fondant centre is very very sweet. If I’m honest they are not for me but then I do prefer dark chocolate. For me they sit well with a coffee after dinner ( which I assume is their intent). What is brilliant though is that there is a grown up, affordable (£2.00) dairy free truffle on the market now. 

Have you tried these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Review- Angels & Cookies Cookie Dough 

  
  The name is romantic, the logo vintage, the products are super and free from the top 14 allergens. Say hello to Angels and Cookies a new company on the free from scene.  

  Their product is raw cookie doughs in 3 flavours Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Chip and Ginger & Spice. All come ready to bake and each pot can make roughly 6 large or 12 small cookies ( £7.99 a pot).   The lovely people from Angels and Cookies sent me some goodies to try and get creative with- so here are my thoughts. 

They are extremely easy to bake, preheat your oven to 180c. I took the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes before using it. You then divide it into however many cookies you want. Roll into a ball and then flatten.  You can also roll the dough between baking parchment to get a thinner biscuit, which is ideal for then cutting with a cookie cutter. 

 

Cook for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling rack before tucking in. 

  
So how do they taste? In short delicious. My particular favourite is the ginger, if you go for large and soft baked it’s wonderful with a cup of coffee. If you go for a thinner, crispy biscuit you then have a perfect ginger snap ( which dunked really well). The smell whilst cooking was amazing, just perfect for the Christmas season. 

Mini me favoured the chocolate fudge, it’s satisfying for a chocolate hit, but not overly sweet or full of sugar like shop bought ones can be. I made sandwhich cookies with a chocolate buttercream filling, and they were exceptional ( my take on an Oreo if you will). 

Lastly Choc chip, well what’s not to like? They taste better than supermarket cookies I’ve tried in the past- no artificial aftertaste in your mouth.  The chocolate is dark, the dough is plain, mixed together they are a match made in heaven.  I’ve not yet tried, but I can see this working well in a home made ice cream. It’s up there on my to try list- I cannot remember the last time I had cookie dough ice cream. 
   

 
   I throughly recommend this cookie dough, as does the biggest critic of them all – my 3 year old. I have to  say she also enjoyed the baking element of the process to, and I can feel better knowing  that most of the ingredients are ( where possible) organic and free of nasties. 

Have you tried this cookie dough yet? If so let me know about your creations in the comments below.     

Review- Tesco Free From Instant Rice Noodles

I’ve never been a pot noodle fan, but in fairness it’s been so long now I cannot remember what they taste like. ( I’m assuming I’m not missing much?)  so I was a bit skeptical when I noticed these new instant rice noodle pots in Tesco Free From range the other day, but I was in a rush and thought well why not?

  
  They seemed ok for the fat and sugar content, so not too bad for a quick lunch on the go. It’s easy to prepare-empty contents into pot, pour on water, put lid on and then leave for 4 minutes et voila. 

I was amazed, the cardboard like noodles had transformed into long ribbons of rice noodle, that in fairness looked quite appealing, in a lazy sort of way. 

My tip is give it a good stir, my first mouthful was horrid, it just tasted bland, but a good mix brings out the flavour. The curry isn’t like a cheap  curry sauce flavour either, there is spice, and heat. It’s warming and satisfying all in a mouthful. 

  
I have to say I’m impressed, and although I would not want to eat them all the time, as a quick and satisfying lunch option these pots are very good. It’s encouraging to find a savoury product in a free from range that covers other allergies to – these are also dairy free. So thumbs up Tesco, keep up the good work. 

Rana’s Ingenious Flatbreads 

It’s busy busy busy here at the moment, wedding preparations are into the final few stages, wedding is in T-5 weeks!  I’m still trying to convince mini me her flower girl dress is the way forward ( she’s having none of it in case you were wondering) I needed a happy distraction, and it came in the form of Rana’s Ingenious  Flatbread Mix. 

  
The lovely peeps from Rana’s sent me this, and as I was peckish the other lunch time, it was time to give it a go. The mixture is adaptable, you can make many things including pizza bases, and cheese crackers, but to start I gave actual flat breads a go. 

The instructions are super easy, weigh out your mixture, add warm water, mix leave for 5 minutes, then mix vigorously ( I love that word) for a minute. The next step is to shape on parchment paper, but do flour the surface your dough is put on, and using a wet spatula is so much easier. Leave to prove for thirty minutes. 

Cooking is easy to, even for me. On a heated frying pan place the bread dough side down, and leave the paper on, it took about 5 minutes but as the bread is getting ready the paper starts to ballon a bit, and it’s then easy to peel off, and flip over to cook the other side. 

  
  They really are delicious, I had to bake more, mini me stole the first one. Even better the mix is both gluten and nut free, as well as egg, dairy and soya free so can be enjoyed by everyone. 

I served them simply with a balsamic and olive oil dip which worked wonderfully. My next mission is cheese crackers- I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. 

Review -Alpro Go On Pots 

I know I’ve been a little quiet this week, wedding prep has been taking over, but I’m back and raring to go.  And speaking of raring to go, this new yoghurt alternative from Alpro is great for an on the go breakfast,  or mid morning snack. 

 

  Now I was skeptical, I hate ( with a passion) soya lattes, I much prefer coconut based products taste wise, but I’ll not knock something until I’ve tried it, so Off to waitrose I toddled to pick a pot up. I went for Blackcurrant, but mango or Passionfruit are your other 2 flavour options. The pots are single annd around 85p each. 

I should point out these  Are both gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians, they do however have a “may contain” for tree nuts in the allergen list. 

 Anyway how does it taste, I was really impressed. The yoghurt is thick and creamy, with a silky texture.  There was a good layer of both fruit and yoghurt. The tangy sensation from the Blackcurrant was delicious, and not too sweet or sickly. Another bonus is that these pots are high in protein, which may have helped keep the hunger pangs at bay . I’ll definitely be trying  the other flavours. 

These pots have restored my faith in soya products- some are really delicious. 

Have you tried these new products? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I was sent a voucher for a pot to sample.  All thoughts and opinion are my own, and honest. 

Chocolate Courgette Cake 

Since I’ve gone all good life ( as my friends tell me) my garden is in full produce production. Courgettes are one such thing that I have a glut of. There are only so many ratatouilles that you can eat, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like them, so on went the thinking cap and amongst other things a courgette cake was one of my ideas. 

  
Now don’t be put off by thinking ( baby George style) “yuck, veg in a cake” you cannot tell and the sponge is wonderfully moist. This is great as my version is gluten free as well, which can have a tendency to dry out, but the moisture from the courgette gives the cake a fudgy texture. It’s great warm as a pudding with some kind of creamy addition or with your afternoon cup of tea. 

I topped it off with a dark chocolate ganache which works well- be warned though your kids get plastered in it. Mind you its a win win as licking the bowl does keep them quiet for a while. I take no responsibility for the messy chops and clothes though. 

Ingredients 

  • 350g self raising flour ( I used Doves farm gluten free) 
  • 50g Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 300g caster sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 ml melted coconut oil 
  • 2 medium courgettes grated 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Method 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 24cm cake tin. 
  • Grate your courgette and set aside.
  • In a bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, mixed spice and xanthan gum. 
  • Mix the eggs with the sugar and melted oil and vanilla extract and then fold in the courgette. 
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into your cake tin.
  • Cook for roughly 40 minutes or until your inserted skewer comes out clean. 

If you want to make a ganache place 200g of chocolate ( I used kinnerton)  in a bowl Andreas until boiling point 100 ml of double cream.  Pour this over the chocolate and stir well. Once the mixture has cooled and thickened then pour on top of your cake.