December 21, 2011

Food Allergy Friendly Christmas Pudding & Some Essential Free From Extras

Ok, we’re almost down to counting hours so now is the time to sort out the last bits and pieces for the big day and to DEFINITELY get your Allergy Friendly Free From Christmas Pudding if you haven’t already done so... and seriously, if you haven’t what are you waiting for!!? Christmas isn’t Christmas with a pudding! Well, at least I know that my sister would be sorely upset with any other Christmas Day dessert. But then again, we have been truly blessed with our baking magician of a Mom. She makes the MOST fabulous Plum Pudding. I hear people complain about this traditional dessert and have never understood because we have a pudding fit for kings every year. She always makes it Dairy Free and has been known to even make a little Gluten Free & Dairy Free variety for herself... and believe me, she wouldn’t eat just anything. I have tried her Gluten Free version and it’s awesome. Maybe some year, she will let me rob her recipe to share with everybody! ... But lets get down to business:

The Village Bakery Organic Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding (pictured in the title shot)
Nice, nutty, and you can definitely taste the carrot. Be sure to cook it all the way through. The upper center of mine was quite moist and almost runny which made for a sickly sweet gooey taste but the parts that were properly cooked had a good texture and displayed the flavours better. You wouldn’t necessarily know that the pudding is Gluten free and it is my favourite of the two I tested. The size would easily and generously feed two although non-savages could probably squeeze three servings out of it if you used smaller dessert cups. I think that the most impressive part of Village Bakery’s pudding is that it is so all-inclusive by being free of almost all the common food allergens - now thats the spirit of christmas ;) Available in Health Matters and The Hopsack for about €6.50 (The Village Bakery also produce Christmas cakes and mince pies)

- Milk Free
- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Soya Free
- Egg Free (produced in a bakery which uses egg)
- Vegan (produced in a bakery which uses egg)
- Vegetarian
- Potato Free
- No Refined Sugar (contains rice syrup and molasses)
- Organic
- Potentially Corn Free (contains molasses, which can sometimes contain corn)

Ingredients: Sultanas, Raisins, Brown Rice Syrup, Sunflower oil, Brazil Nuts 9%, Manioc Flour [ed. which is also know as cassava or yucca and is used in tapioca], Dates, Ginger Wine 5%, Carrot, Apricots, Brown Rice Flour, Molasses, Chestnut Flour, Concentrated Apple Juice, Low Sodium Sea Salt, Mixed Spice, Cardamom
Allergy Advice: This product contains nuts. The ingredients used in this product are suitable for vegans; however, it is produced in a bakery which uses egg and mustard seeds as ingredients, so there is a slight possibility these allergens may be present.

Christmas at Dunnes Stores Rich Fruit Christmas Pudding
Very gooey, very sweet. It’s fine in an average christmas pudding fashion but is nothing special.
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free (note: made in a factory handling nuts)
- Soya Free (note: made in a factory handling soya)
- Egg Free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian

Ingredients: Sugar, Sultanas (23%), Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour ,Water, Yeast, Salt, Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid), Water, Vegetable Oil, Cider (5.5%), Flour, Raisins (4.7%), Molasses, Currants (3%), Mixed Peel (2%) (Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Salt, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid), Mixed Spice, Salt
Allergen Information: Contains: Wheat, Gluten. Made in a factory handling nuts & soya

I think that most Christmas Puddings are naturally Dairy Free (and a lot of the smaller ones available in the stores are egg free) so it’s probably worth your while to check out all the different brands that tempt you. Superquinn’s red packaged pudding is definitely Dairy Free as well.

Other Gluten Free Pudding options:
Marks & Spencer Gluten Free single serving puddings, pictured left (contains nuts, milk and eggs) for €2.99
Sunny Vale Gluten Free Pudding available at Health Matters. For I think about €9.50

Good Accompaniments to Christmas Pudding is obviously whipped cream or ice cream so try out some Dairy Free Soya-too Soya Whip (available at Down to Earth or Restore) or Dairy Free & Soya Free Soya-too Rice Whip which is super good, and already sweet (available at Restore). Otherwise, Dairy Free Swedish Glacé Vanilla Ice Cream makes a lovely topping (available at almost all Heath Food Stores, Nolan’s Food Fare and some Tesco branches)... Gluten Free or Sugar Free Ice Cream Lovers should definitely get some Booja Booja Ice Creams too (available at The Hopsack and -I think- Nourish and a few of the other big shops)

And Don’t forget your Non-drinkers and/or alcohol allergic friends and family:
Coles Traditional Food Alcohol Free Christmas Pudding available at the Field & Vine in Rathmines for €8.99
Rochester Dickensian Recipe Ginger Drink (with the kick of two angry mules). Currently available 3 for €13.00 in Holland & Barrett because seriously, one can only drink so much 7-up or orange juice (even the drinkers will be stealing some - it is SOOooo good!)

And finally, for some Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Dairy Free Plus Christmas Cakes try:
- The Foods of Athenry make an iced Christmas cake
- The Village Bakery
- I also heard that Genius mince pies are selling well

Happy Shopping and Baking and House Cleaning (if you're anything like my family that is! ;)

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