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.

    Review – Sainsbury’s Free From Apple Pie

    Well it’s most definitely getting colder, and autumn has set in with considerable force. The chickens did not like Ophelia the other day, poor things resembling feathered ping pong balls. They were wise and retreated to their run, likewise we battened down the hatches and stayed in the warm.

    The other day I spotted this apple pie in the fresh free from counter in Sainsbury’s. It’s the right time of year for fruit pies, and my pastry is usually hit or miss so I thought I’d give this a go.

    Like a lot of gluten free products this is best eaten warm so 15 minutes later out it came looking all golden and tempting.

    So did it pass the taste test? Mostly yes. The pastry was lovely and buttery, with no soggy bottoms here although I didn’t particularly like the sugar on the top, it gave a texture that was grainy and too crunchy for my liking.

    The filling is generous and has a good tang with I think a Bramley apple filling should have. You can actually taste the apples, this is a bonus for gluten free- I do feel some brands over compensate with sugar, instead of trying to perfect taste.

    On the whole I was impressed and despite the crunchy topping I would buy this again. It’s great if you are in a rush and need a dessert or ( like me) pastry isn’t your strongest point.

    Have you tried these apple pies? Or anything else from the Sainsbury’s range? Let me know in the comments below.

    Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased the items and all views are my own personal ones.

    Days Out With Allergies- Drayton Manor Theme Park

    My Daughter is Thomas mad, I mean obsessed with Thomas. We had a disaster of a holiday, resulting in a broken narrow boat and being stranded by a lock ( thanks Hoseasons) so to make up for said disaster we had our first trip to Drayton Manor Park.

    Munchkin spent the first hour in a mixture of excitement and amazement, and I have to admit it brought back nostalgia from school trips and summer holidays in my teenage years. Thomas Land is fantastic, lots of rides all perfect for little ones, plenty of photo opportunities and trains, lots of trains.

    Personal highlights are the Troublesome Trucks, and Winston’s Car ride. We loved it so much we booked an over night stay a few weeks later in the hotel for the much anticipated 4th Birthday.

    Fast forward to this point, the check in was smooth and very easy. For £30 extra we were offered the themed Thomas bedroom. We said yes- they are amazing from Thomas bunk beds, stunning painted walls, track carpets and breakfast with The Fat Controller the next morning I’d really recommend a stop over if you can ( this is not a sponsored post it REALLY is that great).

    This leads me on to eating in the hotel and park. In every outlet there is full allergen menus, many you do t need to ask its all displayed on the walls. This is from The Burger Kutchen, an actual burger that’s both gluten and nut free. Thumbs up all round ( delicious it was to).

    The Grill in is another excellent choice. Both chef and magnet sign to say your food is safe to eat. They even did a extra safe special treat for mini me on her birthday. We were so touched and could not sing their praises higher.

    I really recommend you go for a day ( or two) to Drayton Manor it’s great fun for all, with or with out allergies.

    Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It’s all my own views and I was really impressed.

    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 

    Appy Kids Company Juice Review and Competition. 


    See all this in the picture above? It could be yours but we will get to that later.

    You may ( or may not) know that I have a munchkin, and I may have commented on the fact she loves Peppa pig and Paw Patrol once or twice.  I know I’m not on my own, most children go through a Peppa stage I think.

    Anyway the lovely people over at Appy Kids Co contacted us asking if we would like to try these juices, not only that we have collaborated to offer you all the chance to try them to. If you hadn’t guessed already Appy Kids sell licensed character juice drinks, which are made with natural ingredients and in ranges such as Peppa, The Gruffalo, Minions and Paw Patrol.


    We had the Orange Paw Patrol pouches and mixed berry Peppa cartons to try. They are all much lower in sugar, (see Here for typical ingredients list) suitable for most diets and contain added vitamins as well.  I was happy for LR to try these, I’m always conscious of sugar content, in terms of teeth health and diet but 3.75g per 100 MLS is around about what these drinks are, which is so much better than some on the market- it’s a win for mums, and kids alike.

    So how to they taste? Im Pleased to say LR liked both, her favourite is Paw Patrol ( I suspect Chase on the front has something to do with it). Mind you she drank both and has gone back for more on different days. I take this as a positive- wild horses would not make her eat or drink something she doesn’t like. Her only criticism was that Rubble was missing from the front of the carton, but taste wise it’s all good. 

    For research obviously I had a few sips to. Both are very tasty and refreshing. I like the fact they don’t leave that horrid artificial after taste in your mouth.  They don’t cause a sugar rush after either, so that alone is a thumb up from me. Perfect for the back to school lunch boxes.  ( yeah I know 5 wks- you’ve got this).

    So how can you get your hands on this great prize of:

    • 3 x 5-pack of Paw Patrol Juice Drink Pouches
    • 3 x 3-pack of Peppa Pig Fruit Drink Cartons
    • 1 x Peppa Pig 9in1 Bumper Puzzle Pack by JUMBO GAMES

    That is easy just follow the instructions in the box below ( just click the link) 

    Winner will be drawn at random next week. Good luck to you all.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    We Love Cake- Review

    Bold title I know, but really who doesn’t love cake? You know when it’s been one of those weeks? Well it has for me, preparation for mini me starting school, and getting care plans in place takes a lot of work ( and phone calls), so imagine my surprise when a parcel from We Love Cake arrived on the doorstep.  It helped break the week up, although I have been swimming a couple of extra times to counteract the cake. 

      

    This fab little bundle co-insides with the new launch of the Brownies and Bakewell Tarts in to Iceland stores across the country. Something else to point out is that they are all gluten, wheat and dairy free, there is obviously almonds in the bakewell so no go for nut allergies. Don’t worry, I’m not cruel, mini me was at school introduction when the photos and tastings were going on. 

    So what are my thoughts?

     

    The tarts are delicious, lovely crispy pastry ( mine is mostly always a disaster), with a generous amount of jam. The apricot was my favourite- the jam has a sweet but tart flavour that bursts on your tastebuds. All the jams don’t taste artificial, and helpfully don’t set your teeth on edge from too much sugar either. So thumbs up for these. Blackcurrant and strawberry were the other 2 flavours. 

       

    Now before the mutters of  “Not another Brownie” start, hear me out. I liked these. I loved the fact they are packaged in twos- great for lunch boxes or picnics.  They have large chocolate chips and a soft squidgy centre with a good chocolate hit. Considering they are dairy free as well you would never know, which I did wonder about, as I’m guilty of adding butter to my brownies. 

      Now I’ve never been a huge Bakewell fan, it’s not something we have often mostly due to containing almonds, but these are new and I like to try different things. The problem I have with bakewell is the icing- it’s often so sweet and sickly, which puts me off. These have the same crisp pastry ( hooray) and a good portion of jam ( great, as some as so stingy on the jam). I didn’t like the cherry, but I hate glacé cherries so nothing new there, but and here is the BIG BUT the icing did not offend me. It’s sweet, but not sickly and doesn’t overpower the almond taste of the pie.  Of all Bakewell tarts I’ve tasted this is the winner in my book. 

      
    So there you have it, I enjoyed these cakes. Keep a look out in an Iceland near you. Round of applause fir We Love Cake. 

    Have you tried these, or any more of the We Love Cake range? Let me know your favourites in the comments below. 
    Disclaimer: I was sent these products to try- all opinions are my own and honest ( promise).