Blackberry Smoothie- Dairy and Gluten Free

I know we are in the throws of a heat wave here in the UK, but I couldn’t help noticing that the wild black berries are starting to ripen.

Well it would be rude not to combine these delicious berries with some ice and blend into a smoothie for a refreshing, cooling drink ( or breakfast n my case) wouldn’t it?

Also I LOVE the colour that blackberries produce so always use it a lot at this time of year. This little lovely is also gluten, dairy and nut free as well- hooray

Ingredients

  • Serves 1
  • 100g blackberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-2 tbs of gluten free oats
  • 1tbs of chia seeds ( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Good squirt of honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
  • 250 MLS of milk of choice ( I used coconut).
  • A few ice cubes
  • Put everything into your blender/ nutribullet and whizz is all up.
  • Serve up and enjoy straight away.
  • Right back to enjoying the beautiful sun, with a refreshing drink in hand. I’ll be back this week with a review and hopefully a new recipe for you all to try.
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    Summer Berries Pavlova

    I know we were spoilt last week with the beautiful weather, but I’m sure it will be back again- maybe. I hope so anyway, on the strength of it all we toddled out and got a new BBQ. Obviously we then had to try it which leads on to one thing- alfresco eating.

    I always think that summer puddings should be easy to prepare, not to heavy and a perfect way to end those outdoor get togethers. Enter my meringue it’s soft and mallow centre combined with a crisp outer shell is perfect for pavlovas and Eton mess alike. The only negative is the lack of oven use for anything else whilst it’s cooking and cooling. I mean it’s not really a negative- you could just make more meringues.

    This pavlova is flavoured using the fabulous Sugar and Crumbs strawberry milkshake flavoured icing sugar. (This isn’t an ad- I just really love these, and they are free from nuts, dairy and gluten). It’s also pink, due to the request from the tiny human, i could not refuse.

    Ingredients

    • 4 egg whites
    • 180g caster sugar
    • 50g icing sugar ( mine was flavoured)
    • 1tsp corn flour
    • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
    • Gel food colouring if needed

    Method

    • Heat your oven to 120°c
    • In your mixer use the balloon whisk and whist the whites until they start to form soft peaks.
    • Gradually add the caster sugar 1 spoon at a time whilst the mixer is on a medium speed. Do not over beat
    • Sift in the icing sugar and cornflour and fold into you egg whites gently.
    • Add the food colouring and vinegar for a final beat with the mixer. If it’s ready the mixture will not fall out of the upturned bowl.
    • You can pipe the meringue into rounds or make one large pavlova it’s up to you.

    Now with the baking I find ovens are temperamental things. My new one is definitely hotter than my previous one. I put the meringue in at 120° and bake for about an hour ( it was longer in the old over) after this time turn the cooker off and leave the meringue to completely cool in the oven.

    When cooled whip some cream and pile those berries high. Then enjoy your efforts sat outside ( dodging the bugs) at the BBQ.

    Pancake Day…. My Free From Way.

    Rejoice it’s pancake day, and may I say it’s always greeted with much gusto and enthusiasm. I’ll admit I’m rubbish at tossing a pancake, it gets stuck on, the cat, or the ceiling or in the pan, I opt for a spatula or let my husband do it. However I do make a pretty mean American pancake, or drop scone, or whatever the heck you want to call them.

    This year has seen an added challenge. Mini me is ( temporarily I’m hoping) having to avoid both gluten and dairy, as well as nuts. So can you make a delicious dairy free pancake? Oh yes you can- and here’s how I do it.

    Ingredients

    • 110g gf self raising Flour
    • 25g teff flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1-2tbs caster sugar or 1-2tsp maple syrup.
    • 1 egg
    • 140mls milk of choice ( I used rice milk for the dairy free version).
    • I added chocolate chips ( from Moo Free) but blueberries or just plain work well as well.

    Method

    Mix all the ingredients together to form a batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    I use a Tefel pancake pan with no oil. Pour some batter in, when it starts to show air bubbles it’s time to flip and cook the other side.

    There you have it, super easy and great for pancake day.

    Mini Donuts Gluten, Nut and Dairy Free

    Yep you did indeed read the title correctly. Now gluten free donuts ( until recently) have been a bit like unicorns – not real, mythical and things you can only dream about.

    In fact there are 2 delicious producers that I recommend these are Borough 22 and wheat free bakery direct. Check them out if you can ( btw this is not an ad I just really like these).

    Any way I’ve digressed, for Christmas I got a mini donut maker. I mean I got a fab new bag as well, not just this electrical item, but I was impressed with it. This got me thinking will gluten and dairy free work? Only one way to find out…..

    By golly it did, want to know how I did it?? Have a read below.

    Ingredients

    • 125 g gluten free plain flour
    • 120g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 egg
    • 120ml of milk of choice
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
    • 1tbs butter or dairy free butter melted.

    Method

    • Put dry ingredients into a bowl,
    • Make a well and pour in all your wet ingredients
    • Whisk until you have a smooth batter

    • Heat your donut maker
    • mine takes about 3-4 minutes to cook the little lovelies.
    • Either toss in cinnamon sugar, or ice however you fancy.

    There you go, so easy, and so tasty. Even my husband ( who hates donuts) said they were good.

    Until next time, have a great week.

    Layered Breakfast Pot Gluten free

    For my third Blogmas post I’m sharing a recipe, (well sort or recipe) with you. The lovely people over at Naturelly were challenging people to create a layered jar. I took the challenge and my mango layered pot was the finished result, so far, I’m working on a truly Christmas twist for my next one.

    If you have never heard of Naturelly they produce fabulous jelly/ juice pouches for children. Nut free, gluten free, dairy free and 36 calories so great for little ones- but who says the kids should have all the fun? I’ve given them a grown up twist.

    Anyway the best thing with these jars are they are quick and so easy to make ( or assemble really). They would be so cute on a Christmas morning breakfast table, all prepared so the all important family time and present unwrapping isn’t interrupted. Win win all round.

    I can’t really call it a recipe but here goes any way.

    Ingredients

    • 1 pouch tropical naturelly
    • Chopped mango
    • Yoghurt of choice
    • Granola ( I used Nutribrex)

    The method is simple, layer up how you fancy. I chose mango, yoghurt, granola, mango then naturelly.

    The next step is simple- dive in and enjoy your breakfast.

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

    Disclaimer: I was sent the naturelly to create a recipe, all views and ideas are my own.

    Waffles- Gluten and Nut Free

    I know what your thinking, it’s not the potato kind, but the lovely, douse me in ice cream or maple syrup kind.  

    The long story short is that we purchased a ( sort of tacky) waffle iron in the sale and munchkin then kept on and on until I made some. They are delicious, the downside is that mini me now demands them a lot. This is ok and they are so easy to make, and easily adapted to suit a lot of diets. 

      
    Ingredients 

    • 240ml milk of choice
    • 150g GF self raising flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1 tbs caster sugar
    • 1 egg
    • Optional 1tsp of vanilla extract 

    Method

    • Combine everything in a bowl to form a smooth batter
    • Pour into your preheated iron and let cook
    • Cover with whatever you fancy and enjoy. 

    It really is that simple. 

    What is your favourite waffle topping? Let me know in the comments below. 
    Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the ear ache you will receive from your kids wanting these again and again x 

    Easy Lemon and Elderflower Curd. 

    It’s that time of the year, the weather is supposedly getting better, and every thing is starting to burst into life.  This means elderflowers are everywhere in the countryside and gardens alike.  Now I’m all for foraging and free food so what better than gather some of these highly scented little flowers and incorporate them into a recipe. 
    Elderflower works well with lemon as a flavour combination, think national trust tea rooms, there’s always a lemon and elderflower sponge (  or there was 17 yrs ago when I worked in one). So this got me thinking why not put them together in a curd. 

      
    I love lemon curd, the tartness and zing being my favourite, and my broody bum chickens have now snapped out of their recent nest box hogging so we are back up to full egg supplies – boom, curd here we come. ( it’s very easy to make as well). 

    Ingredients 

    • 200g caster sugar
    • Juice and zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
    • 55g butter
    • 2 elderflower heads 
    • 2 eggs beaten ( free range are best due to better coloured yolks). 

    Method 

    • In a pan over a gentle heat put the butter, sugar, lemon juice, zest and snip off the elderflowers into the pan as well. Try not to use the stalks as they can be bitter. 
    • Melt the butter and let the sugar dissolve
    • Remove from the heat and let seep for about 5 minutes
    • Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard the flowers
    • Have a pan of simmering water and place your bowl on top
    • Stir in the eggs, then keep gently stirring until the mixture thickens ( it should coat the back of a spoon) 
    • Take off the heat and pour into sterilised jars

      
    So there you have it, super easy and delicious, all I can add is that the delicate flavour of the elderflowers adds a summery twist to an old classic,  so relax and enjoy some on some toast or crumpets ( or anything else that takes your fancy). 

    Barley Cup Review and Recipe Ideas

    What is this I hear you ask?  Well I was intrigued to, and therefore very excited when the lovelies at  Barleycup offered me some to try out. With Barley in the name I was a little skeptical to whether it was gluten free, but guess what ( and rejoice ) it is.     

      
    In fact this is what Barley Cup say on their website about the products. 

    Barleycup is a delicious range of instant gluten-free drinks made from roasted cereals and chicory root. All Barleycup beverages are gluten-free and have been certified by Coeliac UK. A special process is used to separate the gluten and the products are regularly tested by an accredited laboratory to ensure that the gluten levels do not exceed 10mg/kg**.

     To start off I thought I’d try It as a drink, 2 teaspoons of Barleycup mixed with just off boiling water, and I added a splash of milk. The verdict is I liked it, the organic and original both taste like a very mild coffee, but without the caffeine. Probably my favourite was the barley cup with dandelion. There is the extra, slightly sweeter flavour that adds to the drink as a whole. Incidently all versions work wonderfully as a latte, and the even bigger news was that the product has not aggravated my coeliac disease what do ever. 

    I’ve also been experimenting with recipes using Barleycup. Below is my first attempt at a ( sort of) gluten free, nut free and dairy free malt loaf. Now it’s been years since I’ve had soreen, I can’t really remember the taste but I do remember the ‘squidge’. I’ve got to play one more time to go for the squidge factor but the taste is amazing ( sorry slight blow of own trumpet ). I promise as soon as its perfected the recipe will be up on this post. 

      

    Other ideas I’ve had are mocha type smoothie and chia seed pudding. I’ll keep you posted on how they go. 

    So would I recommend Barleycup? You bet I would, it’s a gluten free, caffeine free drink that tastes delicious and is proving to be versatile in its uses as well. Thumbs up all round. 

      
    Disclaimer: Barleycup sent me these products to try, all thoughts and ideas are entirely my own. 

    Easter Brownie Cheesecake- Guest Post

    With Easter fast approaching what better excuse for chocolate? I hasten to add that is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. I admit before children Easter wasn’t a grand affair in our household, we rejoiced about a 4 day weekend, had a family roast and chocolate eggs ( obviously). However now mini me is a bit older we tend to make a bit more of a day of it ( wish me luck this year is our first Easter bonnet parade). 

    So I’ve digressed but my point is that Easter Sunday will come, I’ve got a houseful and for those that has given up their favourites for lent, then a special dessert is in order, and a make ahead, easy chocolate cheesecake is one of my favourite. 

    The base is a rich, gooey brownie, the top a baked cheesecake. The result is amazing- the best of both worlds in one satisfying dessert.  The added bonus is you can adapt this to suit your requirements. Mine is nut and gluten free, but you can make it cleaner and vegan ( use sweet potato brownie and raw cheesecake topping)  or easier ( use packet mix brownie) it is up to you, there really is no right or wrong. 

     

    Gluten Free Brownie Cheesecake

    • Servings: 8-10
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Print

    A perfect dessert for an Easter gathering.

     

    Ingredients

    -packet of brownie mix or
    -110g unsalted butter
    -110g chocolate
    -1/2 tsp salt
    -180g caster sugar
    -60g  gluten free plain flour
    -40 g teff flour
    -2 eggs 
    -50 ml milk

    For the cheesecake 

    -700g  full fat cream cheese

    -3 eggs

    -250g caster sugar

    -1tsp vanilla extract 

    -120ml  Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche 

    Directions 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line a 9 inch spring form case. 
    2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, when almost melted give a good stir and set aside for about 5 minutes
    3. With an electric whisk beat the eggs, sugar and milk into the chocolate.
    4. Stir in the flour until just combined
    5. Pour into your tin and cook for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s not completely cooked as your cake will have phase to in the oven
    6. Turn the oven down to 160 and mix together all the cheesecake ingredients. 
    7. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie and return to the oven. 
    8. Cook for a further 35-40 minutes. The top will give a firm wobble 
    9. Leave to cool for 2 hours in the oven
    10. Leave in the tin and then cool put in the fridge for 4 hrs or over night before you decorate. 

     

      Et voila there you have it. Thank you for reading my post, and have an egg-cellent ( sorry) Easter. 

      This is my guest post for Natreco a really great site that sells a host of free from, vegan and natural products. Pop over and have a look if you have time. 

      Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake Gluten Free

      I admit I’ve had strawberries on the brain this last week.  In my efforts on embracing the good life the vegetable plot is growing, and strawberries are one of this years projects.  My new plants are in, and we are waiting for them to grow.  However in the mean time, what better excuse for a free from cheesecake? Oh and we had a houseful for Mother’s Day and cheesecake is always a winner. Plus this is a no bake cheesecake so it’s easy to make as well. 

      My error with this was that I personally think it would be better in an 8 inch tin, but I misplaced mine so the 9 inch had to be the tin of choice ( I don’t  think my guests noticed anyway). 

        

      Ingredients 

      Base

      • 250g biscuit I used gullon as they are nut free. You can click Here to buy them. 
      • 80g melted butter

      Filling

      • 600g  full fat cream cheese
      • Juice of 1/2 lemon
      • 100 g icing sugar
      • 200ml double cream 
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. 

      Method

      • Crush the biscuits either in a bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor
      • Add the melted butter and pulse until you have a damp rubble.
      • Press into the base of a spring closing cake tin and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

        

      • For the filling whisk the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla together. 
      • I whisk the double cream separately until it forms stiff peaks. Then gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. 
      • Put this on top of your biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge ideally overnight. 
      • I decorated with fresh strawberries and mini meringue kisses.