My Favourite Christmas Products ( So Far)

Yes, yes, yes I know it’s only October, but I will not be apologising for the fact that I LOVE Christmas. I really do, and since having mini me I has become even more magical, but I can be a bit of a challenge for those of us with food allergies and intolerances, so I thought I’d share with you lovely lot my favourite products so far- gone on confess it you’ve bought some things to??

This year ( so far) I’ve been really excited by this panettone (£3) from Tesco. I can here coeliacs everywhere rejoice. I’ve tried it- for the sake of my followers, and it doesn’t disappoint, it really is lovely. My only downside is it’s quite small for the price, but hey it’s Christmas. Sainsbury’s are also doing a larger panettone for around £14 but I’ve yet to locate and try one. I’ll keep you posted.

Also from Tesco, and another gluten free find is this Black Forest wreath. At £5 it looks great and will feed a whole lot of guests with no effort. Sadly it does carry a nut warning though ( boo) so will probably not be on my Christmas table

My one last exciting find in Tesco is their Christmas pudding, mainly because it covers so many free from categories including nut and dairy free. As to what it tastes like, in all honesty I don’t know, it’s firmly on my to try list.

My other exciting find is this pretty dairy free chocolate box from M&S although at £8 it’s expensive. It also carries a nut warning despite Kinnerton making the chocolate- don’t worry we are keeping on at them to change it. However it would make a great gift or after dinner treat.

Other things to look out for is the gluten free and vegan mince pie and Christmas cake from Costa, and well as a very cute dairy free chocolate penguin from Asda.

Fear not I’ll update this post when I find things.

Nb- this is not a sponsored post. Just my honest opinion.

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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.

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. 

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. 

Eggnog Smoothie

Welcome to day 2 of my Blogmas posts. I thought a recipe would go down well for today.  I say a recipe, but that makes this super easy smoothie sound harder yo make than it is.  Fear not it’s incredibly easy and tastes fantastic. 

 Edit   
To me there is nothing more satisfying that the festive taste of an eggnog, it’s rich and oh so moreish and contains all the right spices that just scream christmas. However I can appreciate as much as the next that A) not everyone likes the idea of eggs in a drink and B) it’s fairly  calorific as a drink, but hey it is christmas so a treat is ok.  With all this in mind this version has all the taste but without the egg or refined sugar. I can’t (and won’t) be jumping on the clean wagon with this. There is still sugar in it- so you know every thing in moderation, but this can be vegan friendly, it’s all down to your choice of milk used. 

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates or a dash of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Top up with milk of your choice ( almond works brilliantly) 

Put all ingredients into your blender and blitz until well combined.

 Edit   
Enjoy in between wrapping, putting up decorations or, in my case, as a reward from stopping the cat from wrecking the Christmas tree. Cheers 

Gingerbread Biscuits-Gluten & Nut Free

Well Christmas is nearly upon us and you cannot beat the festive inspired fragrances of mixed spice, ginger, and mulled wine (it’s Christmas you’re allowed to) wafting through your home. I hope this conjures a suitable image for you, which I’ll now shatter if you decide to let your kids help. 

My kitchen looked like a snow storm, my daughter kept stealing the dough and eating it, and the cat ended up wearing it, but never the less we soldiered on because there’s a houseful descending this week and it’s great to have a supply of nut friendly treats, a should add if you can handle the mess it’s great fun for all involved. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 350g plain flour (I used Doves Farm ) 
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if doing gluten free) 
  • 150g soft brown sugar 
  • 125g butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 4tbs of golden syrup (or four good squeezes from the squeezy bottle) 

Method 

  • Making these couldn’t be easier. Set your oven to 180 degree C 
  • In to a food processor sift the flour, bicarb, spices and xanthan gum. 
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  • Stir in the sugar. 
  • Beat the egg lightly 
  • Add the golden syrup to the egg and beat again. 
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and pulse until a dough is formed. 
  • Turn this out and kneed together. 
  • I let it rest for about 5-10 minutes in the fridge. (15 if using gluten based flour) 
  • Dust your surface and roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. It needs to be thinner to get a good “crunch” 
  • Cook biscuits on a lined tray for about 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack and decorate if you choose to. 

  
Enjoy with your kids, or make a small hole and hang on the tree or as a snack for Santa on Christmas Eve. I should add these go perfectly with a Baileys laced coffee. So there you go an easy recipe perfect for the festive period. 

Right I have more recipes to perfect and a mound of presents to wrap, wish me luck…. 

My Guide To A Nut Free, Gluten Free Christmas..Part 1

So it’s that time of year again, and Christmas is fast approaching. In preparation for the big guys’ visit, I’m doing a guide for allergy sufferers and those who have invited anybody with allergies and are starting to panic- please don’t it will all be fine. 

First things first Advent Calendars 

No Christmas would be complete without one of these especially for children, this got me thinking, what’s out there, nut free so my little one isn’t left out? The best ones I think are 

Nut Free Chocolate People these little goodies are handmade individual chocolates to go in an advent calendar (although they sell that as well). They also sell boxed chocolates but all are nut and gluten free. 
Kinnerton have a great selection, including frozen (one even lights up), Peppa Pig and Marvel comic characters so a good selection for boys and girls.  
   
  

If you are after a more traditional advent calendar, then M&S do a nativity themed calendar which is gluten free, but may contain nuts. 

Chocolate Coins

Again the Nut free Chocolate People do coins so worth a look on their website. 

These from John Lewis are also stated as Nut Free and a bargin at £1.00. 

  

The Best Of The Rest 

These chocolate lollies from Waitrose are both nut and gluten free  

 

Again from Kinnerton there is this cute Santa figure 

  
Moo Free offer a great selection of gluten,Dairy and vegan products including advent calendars and selection boxes, however these aren’t suitable for people with nut allergies. 

For things like mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes all the supermarkets are offering these options, and whilst all are gluten free, they are lacking in nut free options, the “May contain” being on all boxes. I can feel myself getting itchy teeth just typing this as these warnings frustrate me…..but I digress and for now will shove my soap box to the side. All is not lost however,  Matthew Walker offer both a gluten free pudding (it’s delicious) they also do a nut free one, so no one is left out. 

So there you have it, my guide to a gluten free, nut free Christmas in terms of treats. I will be following up with the supermarkets’ selections of offerings in the next couple of weeks, and some lovely festive recipes for you all to try. 

If you have found any other little gems for the festive period, let me know in the comments below.