Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Udi's cookies and other Gluten Free biscuits

I love cookies and was quite happy to get some samples from Udi's at the Allergy Show.

Everyone I spoke to was raving about the "Oreo" like cookies, named "chocolate flavour sandwich cookies" by Udi's. They were delicious indeed, I was very happy to get some samples to take home.

The cookies are brilliant, although I think they need a snappier name. What about Rodeos?

Sugar, Rice Flour, Potato Starch,Vegetable Fats (Palm Fat, Coconut Fat), Corn Starch, Glucose Syrup, Dextrose, Cocoa Powder (2.5%), Soya Flour, Sunflower Oil, Thickener (Xanthan Gum), Vanilla Natural Flavouring, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Salt May also contain Eggs
A serving of two cookies (30gr) has 142 calories (2.7gr saturated fat, 6.4gr sugar).
They are very nice and I would be happy to add them to my shopping list if they were easily available. They are currently available at Tesco (£3) at their Lifestyle Food Fair (till end of August, 4 for 3 at Extra stores).

However they are very similar to another cookie on the market by Lovemore.

Lovemore O'Choco Ingredients:
Rice Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Fats, Corn Starch, Cocoa Powder (7%), Potato Starch, Corn Flour, Dextrose, Glucose Syrup, Refined Sunflower Oil, Rice Starch, Raising Agent: Sodium Hydrogencarbonate, Thickener: Xanthan Gum, Flavourings, Emulsifier: Soy Lecithin, Table Salt, Biscuits contain ca. 30% of Cream
A serving of two cookies (33gr) has 148 calories (3.2gr saturated fat, 7.6gr sugar). They are sold as dairy free, so I take it that the cream they mention is soya based. I've bought them in the past at Ocado (£1.95) or Waitrose.

Between the two I wouldn't know which to choose as they are so similar. The Lovemore O'Choco cookie has a taste closer to dark chocolate and Udi's is a little bit less bitter. For me it would be a matter of availability.

What I'd like from both brands is to have the product in smaller packs of two/four biscuits so that they are easy to take away in your lunch box or when travelling (see later on review of Kelkin wafers).

I also got a sample of Udi's gluten free lemon wafers, which were delicious.
If I had to choose between the "Oreo like" and this ones, it would be a difficult choice. I've been happily testing both on and off and, as with the other ones, I'd buy them if they were easily available.

Udi's Lemon Wafer ingredients:
Cane Sugar, Potato Starch, Palm Oil, Soya Oil, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Citric Acid, Salt, Raising Agents (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Lemon Flavouring May also contain Egg, Milk, Peanuts and Tree Nuts
Available at Tesco during their Lifestlyle food Fair (£3, offer 4 for 3)
There is a chocolate option available too.

I am comparing them to Kelkin's wafers, as it's the only other wafer I've found available so far.

Kelkin Wafer Ingredients:
Milk Chocolate 80% (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla Flavour), Vegetable Fat, Sugar, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Teff Flour, Soya Flour, Skimmed Cocoa Powder, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Free Range Egg Yolk, Salt, Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate May contain; traces of hazelnuts and peanuts
I vaguely remember finding them at Salisbury's or Waitrose. They also have some orange Jaffa cakes that are very nice.

Which one do I prefer?
For taste I would choose Udi's one, it is lighter in consistency and it's more wafer-like. I find that Kelkin's has too much chocolate coating (very close to a KitKat).
However, I love the presentation of Kelkin's, with the individual wrap for each one. Not only it is easy to pop one in your bag or your lunch box, it also keeps the wafer in top condition until you open it.
What I found with Udi's wafer is that the first few I had were lovely and crisp, but by the time I got to the last one, it wasn't very crisp anymore. I'd say individual wrapping would be fantastic to have, as a pack of Udi's wafers is likely to last for a while, specially if there is only one coeliac/gluten intolerant in the household.

Overall, I would recommend all the biscuits here, all tasty in their different ways, just need to have them all in one supermarket to make my day!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Gazpacho Cold Soup - Naturally Gluten Free

When the weather is as hot as this week, only one thing is on my mind, Gazpacho soup.
This cold soup is full of vitamins, as it's made with lots of raw vegetables, and because it has ice cubes too, it's cold cold, brilliant.

There are many recipes out there but in my family it's always made the same way.

6 tomatoes peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cucumber in chunks
1 green pepper in chunks
1 garlic clove
1 slice of bread in pieces (without crust)
1 tbsp of mayonnaise (could use olive oil instead)
1 tbsp of cider vinegar (or wine vinegar)
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sweet paprika
1 tray of ice cubes (or 1/2 glass of water and 6 ice cubes if you don't want it too cold)

It is very easy, put all the ingredients except the ice in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer.
You can add a bit of water to help the process along.
Once everything is mixed, add the ice cubes and mix again until smooth.
The result is a very cold soup with bits, marvellous!!!
If you don't like the idea of bits, you can always use a colander to get rid of them, it will be just as nice.

Pasta from Elena gluten free

Pappardelle with tomato, asparagus and chorizo
I bought some pasta from Elena's gluten free way at the Allergy Show.
When I can, I always try to find Italian pasta, specially Pappardelle or Tagliatelle nests, they are my favourites.
There are two brands available from Elena's, Dialsi and Piaceri Mediterranei.

I got a packet of each and recently tried the Piacery Mediterranei Pappardelle.
These pasta ribbons are lovely and I really enjoyed my dinner.
I added a sauce made with tomato sauce (one tin of chopped tomatoes, one tsp of olive oil, half tsp of salt, half tsp of sugar and some ground pepper, cooked slowly for 30 mins or so), asparagus and chorizo.
Fantastic dinner, now looking forward to the  Tagliatelle ;)
My only concern is that the ribbons tend to break after cooking, I guess that is the corn.

Mediterranei Pappardelle Ingredients: Yellow maize flour (49,8%), white maize flour (49,8%), emulsifier: mono and diglycerides of fatty acids)
Dialsi Taglieatelle Ingredients: Rice flour, corn flour
Both ingredients lists are quite short, which I like, no nasty E numbers around.

They are available to buy on her website:

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Udis Gluten Free breads

I had already tried Udis bagels, and I was curious about their Tiger bread, spotted at the Allergy Show.
I was lucky to get a sample pack and another one of their multi seeded rolls.

There was some Tiger bread to taste at the stall, but I think it might have been cut a while ago, as it felt a bit dry.

Nothing to do with the lovely sample pack I got. It was very soft and very nice, and I've been eating it for the whole week afterwards, only being a bit crumbly towards the end.

What I'll do next time I have a packet is to freeze half so that even if it's just one of me, the second half will be as lovely as the first.

I also got some of the multi seeded rolls to try, and they were very very nice. I toasted them and had them with some ham. A fantastic treat!

The Tiger bread is available at large Tescos (£2.50) and online during their Lifestyle Food fair (till end August, 4 for 3 offer).
 Hopefully if there are enough sales they'll keep them going forward.

Tiger bread ingredients: Tapioca Starch,Water ,Rice Flour ,Potato Starch ,Rapeseed Oil ,Humectant (Glycerine) ,Psyllium Husk Powder ,Egg White Powder ,Yeast ,Thickener (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose) ,Dextrose ,Potato Fibre ,Salt ,Sugar ,Preservative (Calcium Propionate)

Multi Seeded Rolls ingredients: Maize Starch, Water, Mixed Seeds [10%] (Sunflower, Linseed, Poppy), Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Yeast, Black Treacle, Rapeseed Oil, Thickeners (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum),Psyllium Husk Powder, Potato Protein Isolate, Humectant (Glycerine), Sugar, Salt, Potato Fibre, Preservative (Calcium Propionate), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid) May contain Egg

Happy to recommend both products.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Perkier Rocky Road Gluten and Wheat free

What can I say? These little lovelies are gorgeous. They are available in small bites in a tub (£1.5 to £2) or in their regular size individually wrapped (£1) .
They have lots of marshmallows mixed with their chocolate and biscuit, nice!
The ingredients list is quite large though, see below.
Still, nice to have occasionally.

Ingredients: Biscuit 42% (Rice Flour, Vegetable Margarine (Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Water, Salt, Emulsifier (E475)), Partially Inverted Sugar Syrup, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Sodium Bicarbonate, Stabiliser: Xanthan),Belgian MILK Chocolate 29% (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole MILK Powder, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier: SOYA Lecithin, Vanilla Extract) ,Vegetable Margarine (Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Water, Salt, Emulsifier (E475)) ,Marshmallows 9% (Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Sugar, Water, Gelatine, Anti-Caking Agent: Maize Starch; Flavouring, Colour (E162)) ,White Chocolate Flavour Coating (Sugar, Vegetable Fat (Palm Oil), Whey Powder (MILK), Emulsifier (SOYA Lecithin), Natural Flavouring), Golden Syrup ,For allergens, see capitalised ingredients ,Contains Milk & Soya ,May contain traces of Nuts

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tesco Italian coffee desert (tiramisu) Gluten and dairy free

I found this gluten free and dairy free Tiramisu recently at Tesco (also available was a chocolate mousse that was lovely) in their chilled cabinets. The taste is quite nice and it's free from milk, wheat and gluten and it costs £1.60 for two. It's not the healthiest pud at 250 calories per pot, although the taste is quite nice.
Ingredients: Water,Glucose Syrup ,Coconut Oil ,Sugar ,Maltodextrin ,Egg Yolk ,Chicory Fibre ,Cocoa Powder ,Alcohol ,Potato Starch ,Flavouring ,Egg ,Stabiliser (Sorbitol Syrup) ,Egg White ,Thickeners (Agar, Tara Gum) ,Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids) ,Coffee Powder ,Raising agents (Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate) ,Preservative (Potassium Sorbate) ,Salt

Fria lemon muffins

These lemon muffins are very tasty, I tried them at the allergy show and was quite impressed with the lemony taste and nice consistency.
I got some free samples to take home and was looking forward to it.
However, I felt a bit unwell after eating them again, I think it is because one of the ingredients is gluten-free wheat, which I didn't realised was there at the show.
I also had some fiber bread to try, but I had the same problem.
After checking their leaflet, I have to say that all Fria products have gluten free wheat, so unfortunately not a range for me.

Ingredients: Eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, wheat starch (gluten free), rice flour, modified corn and tapioca starch,baking powder: bicarbonate and E 450a, thickeners: locust bean- , guar-, tara gum and pectin, salt, emulsifiers: lecithin (rapeseed) and E471 (veg), flavouring (lemon, vanillin)
They are available from Goodness Direct at £3.80

Clives pies

I loved to taste Clive's pies at the allergy show. Their tasting station is one of the best, with mini pastry squares that can be tasted with all their fillings.
I had to consider all my previous purchases, so I only got two of them, Minty Chickpea and French Cassoulet.
They were both very nice, but my favourite has to be the Minty Chickpea.

Ingredients )minty chickpea): Organically produced- tomato 15%, *water, sustainably sourced palm fat, chickpeas 11%, onion, rice flour, carrot, potato flour, maize flour, coconut milk, apricot 3%, tomato paste, buckwheat flour, *sea salt, turmeric, mint, black pepper, herbs.

Each pie weights around 250grams, and has around 600 calories. Available from Goodness Direct (£2.84) & Ocado (£2.54).

I didn't feel unwell in any way eating them, my only concern is the use of palm fat (highly saturated), instead of a healthier option.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Allergy show London 2014

I was looking forward to the allergy show this weekend in London, as I loved it last year, my first gluten-free one.
I went on Friday which is a bit more quiet and it gave me a chance to talk with many of the stall holders.
It's fantastic to see the smaller producers along the bigger ones, and I would recommend anyone on a restricted diet to visit.
Most products I saw were aimed at the gluten free and/or dairy free eater, and there is also the vegetarian area. I don't know if those on other food allergies would find enough stalls for them.

The hall this year is bigger and it all looks more spacious and light.

I was meeting with a few others from the Gluten Free London Meetup group and we chose to meet at the FreeFrom Cafe, although I have to say there was a lot of gluten containing produce on offer, and just a note saying that if you wanted gluten free food you could ask for their options.
I'd say this is an area that the show needs to improve on, it's such a lost opportunity.
Still, it was lovely to meet up with the others over a coffee and share tips and favourite stalls.

So, what did I take home?
I took a few photos as I got home and I was slightly worried at the amount.
I'd suggest to take some strong bags, a rucksack or even a trolley if you plan to get a few things, it soon adds up. I was lucky to have my sister with me as she carried half of it, but it was still a very heavy bag.
Also, if you plan to get some puds from Pudology, or frozen cakes from Fria or some fresh sausages, it's worth taking your cool bag with you. The sun came in in some areas and it was quite warm.

The first stall you find as you go in is from Udi's. This is a sample stall (A24) and they do not sell here, there is another stall later on where you can buy some of the products (A92).
They have a fantastic variety of products, from bread to crackers to biscuits, it's like being a kid in a candy store. You can try most things, and as a blogger I was lucky to get a few samples.
I chose some of their Oreo like cookies, that I had tasted and were brilliant, and some lemon wafers still to try.
The lemon wafers (a chocolate option is also available) are currently on sale at Tesco for a limited time, and the sandwich cookies will be available later on in the year.
I also got some of their Tiger bread, one of my favourites before being gluten-free and some of their multiseeded rolls, looking forward to them already!
There were also some of their Toaster Pastries boxes at the main entrace, so I had to get one ;)

One of my objectives at the show was to get some pizza bases from Venice Bakery (stand A42). They have an offer for the show, 4 products for £10. Brilliant, I got 3 plain pizza bases and some flatbreads. They also have some to taste there, which were very nice.

I also wanted to try again the lovely pies from Clive's (stand A44). Their sample board is fantastic, and you can try all their fillings with small crackers made with their pastry. All their pies are organic and vegetarian and they use palm oil for their pastries, which has a nice flavour and it is easy to digest.
At Heck (stand A193) we tried some of their pork sausages which were our favourites, and they also had some pork and apple and chorizo. We got four packs and got a free cool bag to take them home.
On Ben's recommendation we went to Sukrin's (stand A91) were I got some Sukrin gold. This is a brown sugar substitute that is healthier and has less calories. It's not cheap at £3 per pack but an interesting product to try.

Visiting Smooze (stand A120)  was also on my shopping list, as I tried their fruit ice last year and loved it. They also have a freezer at the show and you can buy just one ice, lovely if you are a bit too hot  (I think it was £0.70 approx).
I also got a rocky road tub from Perkier (stand A150), which I love and some Italian pasta from Elena's gluten free way (stall A208).

I met the lovely Sweedish ladies at Fria (A40) and loved their lemon muffins, and was lucky to get some samples of it and of one of their bread too, thanks!

And finally a fantastic Focaccia from Focaccia Per Tutti (stand MP2). All their focaccias look amazing, it's a pitty that their stall is located by one of the walls and not easy to see, but worth a visit. Their focaccia have won the Freefrom overall winner 2014 and Great Taste in 2013. They have big ones and also little ones if you prefer a variety of them.
There were also stalls from producers that I already like and can find easily like Lovemore foods (A164) great biscuits available at Ocado, Goody Good Stuff (A229) for sweets, and Eskal (A153) for rice noodles.

Interestingly there were two Paleo stalls too, The primal kitchen (A117) and Ugg foods (A157).
And the guys from Vitalfootprint (A118) who are developing a website/app for finding gluten free places to eat and products on the go.

Oveall, I'm very happy with my purchases, and the chats and all the fantastic tasting on offer, just need to find some storage at home so that I can enjoy my products over the coming weeks.
Looking forward to next year already!