March 31, 2011

Restore – A Small but Well-Stocked Dublin Health Food Store

In addition to health food, supplements and the other expected fare which you are likely to find in most health shops in Dublin, Restore offers Food Allergy testing every Wednesday for €45 (this is not a blood test). You should book in advance but a place may be available if you are in the area so do check in if you are interested. I believe that the tester is also versed in acupuncture and even hypnosis, should you be feeling a bit experimental! But don't worry, I’m sure that you need to make a separate appointment for that ;)
After your food allergy test you will find that the shop is well stocked to help launch you into your new dietary awareness with a good range of free from foods like flours, biscuits, milks, teas and coffee substitutes, spreads and sweets covering the major food allergy offenders such as wheat free, gluten free, dairy free as well as sugar free, caffeine free, vegan and vegetarian diets. Although Restore is a compact shop and therefore possibly don’t stock everything you might want, I believe that they have a good range of available products and that you should be able to find most of what you’re looking for or a close relation to it at least.

Restore have friendly staff which are knowledgeable in the areas of diet, nutrition, herbalism, homeopathy, massage therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, skincare and naturopathy. I find the shop pleasant and well located on the bustling Camden Street which is especially handy for locals walking home (southbound) from the city centre after work. I have often found myself nipping in to pick up a few items on my journey home. Particularly worth noting are their fruit purees (a staple in my life) because Restore have some of the best prices in the city at €1.88 (every little helps as they say).

Restore stock a selection of all the usual suspects like grains, milks, biscuits, teas, coffee substitutes, cereals, spreads, sweets, cleaning products, skincare, supplements, etc… and a few extra special temptations like fresh and food allergy friendly Blazing Salads cookies and squares which are free from a host of common allergens. Also, you will usually find the ever delicious dairy free Caramel Choices chocolates which are so delicious in fact that Restore was recently sold out due to a very thoughtful boy buying up all of the stock for his free-from girlfriend (we should all be so lucky!). They are also one of the very few supplies of Soyatoo Rice Whip!

p.s they also have a nice selection of easter chocolates in stock at the moment (dairy free bunnies, booja-booja eggs as well as the chocolate free, caffeine free, sugar free, vegan Siesta carob eggs)

Restore Health Food Store
67 Camden St
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 475 9847
Opening Times: mon – fri 10:00-19:00; thurs 10:00-19:30; sat 10:00-18:00

March 28, 2011

Dublin's Soul Bakery - Tempting Allergy Free Baked Goods

I believe that I made a quick mention of ‘Soul Bakery’ in my Dunnes Stores post on March 18th but I think that a little more should be said:
Soul Bakery, which is a Dublin based bakery, is not predominately a ‘free from’ company but they are allergy aware and have a few products which are food allergy friendly…
The best thing about Soul Bakery is that all of the ingredients are simple and straight forward. Soya is not a staple (like in SO MANY bread products!) and I like nothing more than to be able to pick up a product and read everything on the label in less than 20 seconds and to know what every ingredient is without having to wonder and ponder its food allergy safety (i.e. Spelt Bread: Spelt Flour, Salt, Filtered Water). Oh yes, and the other great thing about the Soul Bakery is that the products taste good – always important!!

Apricot Delight
This is a dense loaf which is generously filled with sultanas and apricots. Despite it being preservative free it lasts longer than you would think for a fresh loaf and is a great sweet treat. I actually can’t believe that the Apricot Delight loaf has no added sugar because it really is quite sweet and I think that it would taste amazing with tea or coffee!
- Egg free
- Dairy free
- Corn free
- Soya free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Nut free (although not guaranteed & nuts are used in the factory)
- No added sugar
- No preservatives
- Potato free

Apple & Walnut Log
This log looks scrumptious. Again it has a generous amount of icing and walnuts which is so important, to me at least, and especially important for the price. Soul Bakery describe the Apple & Walnut log as “One of our sweet treats…like strudel only yummier”. And it is similar to a strudel only larger (Pictured above).
- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Corn free
- Soya free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- No preservatives
- Potato free

Spelt Bread
I haven’t tried this bread myself, but if you are spelt advocate then this is probably the one for you. The special thing about this dairy free loaf is that it uses spelt, which as you probably know, is an ancient form of wheat and to compliment this the loaf is actually made in a fashion that was popular 100 years ago.
- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Corn free
- Soya free
- Potato free
- No preservatives
- No additives
- No added yeast (but it is left to ferment for up to 24 hours)

Healthy Seed Soda Bread
This one is a bit of a mystery with a secret ingredient and all! But it is completely yeast free and one of Soul Bakery’s most popular breads, or so they say..
- Yeast free

You can find Soul Bakery Goods stocked in Dunnes Stores and a few gourmet grocers, like Nolan’s Food Fare in Terenure. They also make appearance at a lot of different markets about the country such as:
- Drogheda Market
- Dun Laoghaire Market
- Navan Market (co. Meath)
- Carlow Farmers Market (co. Carlow)
- Cornelscourt
- Abbeyleix Market (co. Laois)
- Red Stables Farmers Market - St. Ann’s Park, Clontarf
- Howth Farmers Market

I think that maybe their website is still in the process of creation because it’s a bit confused and unclear but there is a brilliant calendar of what markets they will be appearing in and when, which is enormously helpful. Regarding the ‘Our Breads’ section there are only a couple of breads listed and the information is a bit sporadic.

Soul Bakery
Dublin 22
Tel: 01 457 6640
Suppliers: markets (see their website for details), Dunnes Stores, Nolan’s Food Fare in Terenure, Eurospar in Applewood, Swords and no doubt other gourmet Grocers about the city (I will update this list as I uncover them!)

March 24, 2011

The Easter Bunny can lay Dairy Free, Soya Free & Gluten Free Eggs!

If there is one thing that the Easter Bunny should be I think that it should be 'all-inclusive' and thankfully, as times are changing the taste of that all-inclusiveness is getting better and better. Easter is definitely one of my favourite holidays because:
1, You don’t have to ‘behave’ to get your treats
2, It’s the one day where you are almost expected to have chocolate for breakfast (which is when it tastes best!)
3, I love yellow! And flowers and rabbits and baby chickens! And baby ducks too!! (I’m afraid that Easter makes me outrageously girly!)
4, You can get dairy free Easter Eggs in Dublin!

I also love that this is the first year that I have actually seen Chocolate free carob eggs (which happen to be sugar free too!)… and yes, even though I bought them for my mom I have already stolen one from the nest so I can testify that it is a truly tasty treat. Of course, like I have said before, carob is not chocolate, does not taste like chocolate and is an acquired taste but you should start working on acquiring it because it really is delicious when you get into it.

I know that Easter is still almost a month away but stock can move fast so I thought sooner rather than later wouldn't go astray! The strange thing I’ve noticed this year is that there is a shocking lack of eggs on the market so far... maybe they will come later, or possibly it's due to the recession?? The Hopsack in Rathmines is fully stocked but elsewhere the pickings are slim… so like I say, shop early if you want to be sure to get your allergy-friendly egg or bunny this year!

Now, down to business…
A few of the offerings in the land of Dublin with Food Allergies :

Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Egg
A traditional egg wrapped in coloured foil and presented in a box. Montezuma do a few different varieties but only the dark chocolate egg is dairy free… and actually free of most things with ingredients of only cocoa solids, sugar and vanilla! Eggs are approx €8.55 and there are also a box of Cheeky Bunny bars available too for about €5.75. Montezuma chocolate is very rich and you should definitely like dark chocolate is this is your intended purchase. Both of these products also have a ‘may contain milk & nuts warning. The eggs are available in the Hopsack in Rathmines’ Swan Centre and the Bunny’s are available in both the Hopsack and Nourish.
- Dairy free (but has a may contain dairy traces warning)
- Egg free
- Vegan (listed as vegan despite warnings)
- Vegetarian
- Soya free
- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Corn free
- GM free
- Organic

Siesta Carob Eggs
Hollow Easter Eggs made from carob with a few packaging options like a clear box with a ribbon, a cardboard box or a really sweet little tin with white ducks on it (shown in the title picture above). I love Siesta carob - yum yum!
- Dairy free
- Sugar free
- Chocolate free
- Caffeine free
- Egg free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Gluten free
- Wheat free

Dairy free Bunny Bar
A simple bunny shaped bar loosely wrapped in gold foil and presented in a flat box. A good substitute for milk chocolate.
- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Gluten free
- Wheat free

Booja-Booja Hand-painted Eggs
These have been around for a few years now and they are positively beautiful, not to mention the class act of chocolate inside the hand-painted wooden eggs. However, I must admit to a bit of sheepishness on my part – I have never bought the hand-painted Easter eggs by Booja-Booja purely because of their hefty price tags (+€20 for the large egg and +€10 for the small) BUT I just found out this week that the wooden eggs are actually hand-painted in India AND –hold your scoffing – a portion of the proceeds go back to the families in India who do the painting… Well, that’s more worth it you might say. I might have to crack out the extra euros for such a cause…
- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Wheat free
- Gluten free
- Vegetarian
- GMO free
- Vegan
- Organic

Moo Free Egg
A new egg to Dublin this year is a very affordable traditional egg (approx. €4.95). Moo Free is not a luxury chocolate item. They are aimed directly at the mainstream (albeit dairy free) market. The chocolate tastes quite sweet but is very like most of the mainstream milk chocolate on the market and acts as a great substitue with closer prices to the mainstream milky versions as well!
- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Vegan
- Soya free
- Corn free
- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Vegetarian

Green & Blacks
If you have been Dairy free or Vegan for a while you will probably know about the great upset of Green & Blacks and their ‘may contain milk’ and their added milk ingredients after they were bought out (huge disappointment for many) but if you don’t mind ‘may contain’ warnings then Nourish is stocking the Organic 'Maya' egg for about €7.95. It’s ingredients are cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, soya lecithin, vanilla extract and flavourings fruit & spice extracts… but of course, like many products, this egg ‘may contain milk, nuts and cereals’
- Dairy free (although contains warning)
- Wheat free (although contains warning)
- Corn free (although contains cereals warning)
- Organic

Pandora Bell
Oh, and just a little word on Pandora Bell, the Irish Confectionary company. In my family we LOVE Pandora if for their packaging alone! Some of their amazing nougat bars are dairy free (and have become an Easter tradition in our house)... but this year they have come up with the sweetest little thing ever: Praline Chocolate Easter Eggs in actual chicken’s eggs! – the white ones, which are just as picture perfect as Easter could get! Now, they’re not dairy free (SO Sadly) but they are just the most beautiful Easter egg on the market this year and they are

- Wheat free
- Gluten free

So honestly, if dairy is not an issue for you get thee a Pandora Egg because they are luxurious, Irish made and so so so beautiful all for about €2.95. I’ve bought one for my uncle this year and have great plans of swapping his morning egg on Easter Sunday for the chocolate version!

Happy Easter Shopping!

March 21, 2011

Good Finds: Pure Foods – Wheat, Gluten and Dairy Free Baking

Well I certainly had a sunny and ‘food allergy free’ rich weekend! Not only did I try THREE new dairy free chocolate bars, but I finally caught ‘The Baking House’ in action and off the top of my head invented the best muffins ever! ...and to top it all off: I also fell upon the new wheat free, gluten free and dairy free baking company ‘Pure Foods’ out in the Marley Park Saturday Market!
I will share all of my finds in due course over the next few weeks (I need to do a bit more research, perfecting, and measuring first) but I will, for now, tell you all about our sunny Saturday visit to the Pure Foods stand in Marley Park.

F & I were heading out to do the first part of the ‘Wicklow Way’ (for our foreign friends - the Wicklow Way is a famous Dublin mountain hiking path) which starts in Marley Park, when we saw that the Saturday market was in full swing. I was eager to get on our way but F urged me to have a look ‘just in case’ we should find something ‘I’ could eat. I later noted that his true inspiration for ‘looking’ was to get a falafel before the hike! But I can’t hold it against him because what a find there was within those walls!

Pure Foods is a new bakery on the scene. They are predominately wheat and gluten free but have some dairy free in there too for good measure. The Pure Foods team is a Mother-Daughter duo who have been privately baking up a ceoliac storm for 25 years and have decided to share their wealth! In their own words, they home bake all of their products with the ‘finest and freshest ingredients coming from local suppliers which are organic and sustainably produced’.

- Wheat free
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Corn free (ask for guidance)
- Soya free (ask for guidance)

Something I love about markets is that you often find the proprietors/bakers themselves at the stands so you can totally trust them to know all of the ingredients! In keeping with this, Pure Foods were able to tell me that in addition to wheat, gluten and dairy that they use very little corn (outside of their polenta cake and Cornbread) or soya so with a little bit of requested guidance multiple food-allergy-diets might find some gastronomic delights in Marley Park on a Saturday!

Unfortunately I arrived a little late (about 12:45) to the market and most of the dairy free products were already sold out! –Could you get a better recommendation than that?! So I was sadly unable to try out what was on offer but can I just say that the brownies looked the closest to the traditional wheat and gluten filled brownies of my Canadian upbringing that I have ever seen in this free-from world?! ...If looks count for anything, then perfection is the word that comes to mind. But please, if anybody gets a bite, let me know what you think! Also, a major bonus is that there are free samples for all of the produce which is also testament to good taste.

As a new company the list of suppliers is growing but at the moment you can find ‘Pure Foods’ at the Marley Park Market every Saturday in Rathfarnham. They are also supplying some local, south Dublin cafes such as:

- Lowes Café, The Rise, Mount Merrion
- Café Divino, Tree’s Rd, Mount Merrion
- Simply Delicious, Foxrock
and of course,
- The Marley Park Café itself

And just to get your taste buds pumping, the menu is…

Cakes: Ultimate Chocolate Orange, Spanish Almond, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Marvelous Flourless Brownies, Polenta Almond & Blueberry, Raspberry
Cupcakes: Belgian Chocolate, Lemon
Breakfast Muffins: Blueberry & Pecan, Rhubarb & Strawberry, Banana & Maple Syrup
Fresh Gluten Free Breads: Brown Soda, Sundried Tomato, Cornbread, Banana Bread
Scones: Traditional, Fruit, Blueberry & Cinnamon, Poppyseed & Lemon, Sundried Tomato & Fennel, Stilton & Apple
Healthy Snacks: Crunchy Gluten Free Granola

And there were definitely cookies at the market too!

Pure Foods
Tel: 087 682 1991

March 18, 2011

The Other Big One – Dunnes Stores’ Food Allergy Free Section

As promised, a little review on Ireland’s other major food supplier: Dunnes Stores. In my mother’s opinion, the Food Allergy Friendly section of Dunnes is better than that of Tesco’s... I’m sure that that is up for debate but I must say that it’s not half bad for a big supermarket. There is a genuinely top quality selection of milks with the best prices I’ve found in Dublin for Rice Milk (Organic Rice Milk at €2.12 and Rice Milk with Calcium+ at €2.45 which undercuts the competition by about 50c or sometimes even more!) Although I like to support the independents wherever I can, sometimes I just need more realistic prices for my staples…

The predominant theme of Dunnes, like Tesco, is

- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Dairy free (but possibly more dairy free products? - or maybe it's my wishful imagination..)

They are major stockists of Kelkin products and have a nice selection of Bunalun Organic products too (not that Bunalun is predominately food allergy aware, but it’s still nice to have organic options in a supermarket). Dunnes also stocks ‘Genius’ bread which looks like the real thing! And Soul Bakery products which make some lovely dairy free and egg free breads and sweet breads.

  • Dairy Free Milks - Rice Dream, Alpro Soya in strawberry & vanilla as well as light & original, Soya Soleil, Kara DF Coconut

  • Alpro - puddings (vanilla, chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel) and pouring custard

  • Glutafin - Wheat free and gluten free Bourbon Creams & Custard Creams

  • Sam Mills - Gluten Free Corn Spaghetti

  • Kelkin - Pizza Bases, Buckwheat ‘Corn’ Flakes, Gluten Free Muesli, Rice Cakes (Salt free, Lightly Salted, Multigrain, Chocolate Minis), Madeira Cake, Tea Cakes, Chocolate Snack Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crunchy Nut Cookies, Lecithin Granules, Organic Flax Seed, Gluten Free Jaffa Cakes,Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Soya Wheat & Gluten Free Corn Crispbread, Cheese Flavour Corn Crispbread, Chocolate Fingers, Oat Cakes, Gluten Free & Wheat Free Buckwheat Flakes (but they contain corn), Gluten Free White Sliced Bread, Multigrain Brown Bread

  • Linwoods - Hemp, Goji Berries, Flax, Flax Mixes, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds

  • Linsuit - Golden Linseed

  • Lifeforce - Rice Cakes (Plain, Yoghurt, Chocolate)

  • Kallo - Rice Cakes, Hazelnut & Chocolate Rice Cake Bars

  • Whole Earth – Gluten Free, Wheat Free & Dairy Free Corn Flakes (but unfortunately they contain soya), Maple Frosted Flakes

  • DS – Cornflakes, White Ciabattaa, Brown Multigrain Loaf, White Sliced Loaf

  • Juvela – Fibre Rolls, White Rolls

  • Genius – Gluten & Wheat free ‘Fresh’ White Bread and ‘Fresh’ Brown Bread

  • McCambridge – Gluten & Wheat Free Fruit Soda Bread

  • Livwell – Wheat, Gluten & Dairy Free (although containing Soya) – White Rolls, Hot cross Buns, Multi-seed Bread, Multi-seed Rolls, Sultana Scones, White Pitta Bread, Garlic & Coriander Naan Bread, Sliced White Bread, Ciabatt Rolls, Chocolate Muffins, Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Bunalun – Corn Rice Cakes, Rice Cakes, Honey Wafers, Wheat Pastas, Sauces

  • The Organic Co – Rice Cake covered in Milk Chocolate, Yoghurt and Orange

  • And don’t forget to try out some of the Soul Bakery offerings, but you will find these in the actual Bread section as opposed to the Food Allergy Friendly Section.

    And can I just take this opportunity to say – why so many varieties of rice cakes?! Seriously! There seems to be more than a quarter of the entire section dedicated to rice cakes (and almost all of them have sesame seeds!)... But at least Dunnes have a wider variety of Rice cakes, like Rice free Corn cakes! Now, that’s my whinge over… so I will carry on with saying that I hope that this free from food allergy, dietary restriction trend keeps growing to include more variety in ingredients because like Tesco products there is a heavy weighting on egg, potato, maize and soya in the bready products… but maybe it will come in time becasue I tell you, there’s a market! – with me at least!! ;)

    Have a fun weekly shop!

    Dunnes Stores
    Locations: Ashleaf (Crumlin), Balbriggan, Beacon Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Citywest, Clondalkin, Comelscourt, Crumlin, Finglas, Finglas Charlestown, George's St, Henry St, Ilac Centre, Kilnamanagh, Leopardstown, North Earl St, Northside, Ongar, Portmarnock, Rathmines, Saggart, Stephen's Green SC, Swords Pavilion, Tallaght

    March 16, 2011

    Is Guinness Good For You? – Have an Allergy Friendly St. Patrick’s Day!

    1st of all Happy St. Patrick’s Day –in advance because I’m not planning on working on our National Holiday after all!

    This is really just a quick little mid-week message to keep the food-allergy, dietary-aware, free-from population on the right track on our up-coming big day of breaking your Lenten vows and throwing caution to the wind!.... As we all know, food allergies and vegetarianism and veganism don’t always bend for such trivialities as saints driving snakes out of a country and teaching the trinity based on the clover 1571 years ago... If you’re digestion and beliefs are good with that then ‘Cheers!’... or rather: ‘Sláinte!’... However, if not, then read on…
    What is Guinness anyway? Here in Ireland you probably won’t see any green food colouring marring the ‘beauty’ of the pure thing (beer or Guinness alike). Although some of the more feminine among us are allowed a splash of black currant cordial in the black stuff to ease the bitterness (personally I need half a pint of blackcurrant to muster the taste... either that or just keep drinking it to keep the bitter aftertaste away! But who am I to comment on one of the world’s most successful beer brands?!).. So where were we... Oh Yes,

    1st, Guinness is a stout.

    2nd, the ingredients are these:

    - Water
    - Barley
    - Hops
    - Brewer’s yeast
    - ‘Isinglass Finings’

    Yes, that’s right; they use the dried ‘swim bladders’ of fish for the clarification process... Wikipedia says that Isinglass is a form of collagen and that the method of use is such that it would be rare that any isinglass would actually remain in the beer itself.

    So there you have it… Definitely NOT:
    - Vegan
    - Wheat free
    - Gluten free
    - Yeast free

    Up for debate on Vegetarian & Fish free (I’ll let you make your own call on that one)

    But Guinness should be safe for:
    - Dairy free
    - Egg free
    - Corn free
    - Nut free
    - Soya free
    - Potato free - probably one of the few things on St. Patrick’s Day to NOT contain potato! ;)
    and the rest of them…

    Oh, and interestingly, in my readings I discovered that a pint of Guinness only has 198 calories which is less than a pint of skimmed milk!... or so they say… So I guess that all of those beer bellies are from the fish and chips after the Guinness rather than the Guinness itself!

    So have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and don’t drink too much, and remember that the digestion troubles, the skin breakouts, the cold-sores, the eczema, the hives and the rest of it are really not worth it.. Especially when you put it all together on top of the hang-over!

    P.S. Where can you get a pint Guinness? The answer is basically anywhere for about €4-€5.50! The streets will be flowing and the pubs will be CRAMMED! ~(or so we expect, it is a recession afterall)

    March 14, 2011

    The Big Supermarkets: Food Allergy Section – TESCO

    If you’ve been in Ireland for almost any amount of time you will have probably come across either a Dunnes Stores or a Tesco. Tesco are one of the of the major grocery store/supermarket chains in Ireland. They are an English company and in addition to all of the regular supermarket fare, Tesco have developed quite a substantial food allergy friendly section as well as their very own ‘Free From’ line of products.
    The Free From line is growing rapidly with breads, muffins, sauces and loads of sweets like bakewell tarts, biscuits, brownies etc. This dedicated product line produces food which is suitable for some or all of the following:

    - Wheat Free
    - Gluten Free
    - Dairy Free

    In fact, this is the case with the entire food allergy section. If I had to guess how they prioritise their allergy-friendly stock I would say that the #1 priority is supplying the Gluten free community, 2nd is Wheat free, and finally, 3rd is Dairy free. If you have multiple allergies and/or intolerances you will be disheartened to discover that most of the products rely heavily on maize (corn) and potato flours but if this is not a problem for you then thumbs up & dig in!

    Of course, as is the trend, online shopping is available from Tesco and their website (be sure to log into the “.ie” site for Ireland only) is much more than just store times. There is some basic information about their labeling, information on their ‘free-from’ range, a quick hit section on the pitfalls of vegetarianism & how to balance your diet, a weight-loss group, as well as all the other crazy things that Tesco are branching into like mobiles and even Tesco Finance!!

    Some of the Products and Brands you will/might find in Tesco's Food Allergy Section: (note: there could be more or less depending on the size of the tesco you are in)

  • Free From - Extensive Range including: English Muffins, Chocolate Muffins, Cereal Bars, Curry

  • Free & Easy - Gluten Free Gravy Sauce Mi

  • Glutafin - short bread, custard creams, milk chocolate biscuits, White Bread Loaf

  • Mrs. Crimbles - Macaroons, Cheesy Bites, Bakewell Slices, Chocolate Brownies, Rice Cakes

  • Hale & Hearty - Gluten Free, Wheat Free & Dairy Free Bread Crumbs

  • Provamel - Soya Milk, Rice Milk

  • It’s a Free World - Fragrant Thai Chicken Curry, Indian Korma Sauce

  • Doves Farm - Pasta

  • Kelkin - Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crunchy Nut Cookies, Madeira Cake, Rice Cakes

  • Dairy Free - Buttons

  • Alpro Soya - Puddings, Pouring Custard

  • Odlums - Gluten Free Tritamyl White Bread Mix

  • Life - Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Vegan Worchester Sauce

  • No Wheat - Gluten Free, Wheat Free Chocolate & Orange Wafer Bars

  • Juvela - White Sliced Loaf

  • Livwell - Bread Roles, Sultana Scones, Brown & White Ciabatt

  • Tru-free - Wheat Free & Gluten Free Biscuits, Herb & Onion Crackers, and

  • Free & Enjoy - Cheesy Crackers

  • Red Deli Selat - Japanese Mini Rice Crackers

  • Celtic - Dairy Free Fine Dark Chocolate Bars

  • DS - Pizza Bases, White Bread Loaf

  • Tesco stores vary greatly in size and variety of produce. Tesco Express shops, like that found on Camden St, are much smaller and carry only the most popular of products as opposed to some of the bigger branches which carry the full range.
    And indeed, there are SO MANY Tesco's in Dublin that I will be brief and only list the locations in the Shops Short List .. at the risk of it no longer being very short!

    tesco free from line
    Locations: Parnell St, Talbot St, Jervis Centre, Baggot St Lwr, Camden St, Baggot St Upr, Ringsend (Irishtown), Sandymount Rd, Merrion Centre, Artane Castel, Rathmines Rd Upr, Phibsboro Shopping Centre, Prussia St, Thomas St, Moland House (Dolphin's Barn), Upr Drumcondra Rd, Santry Omnipark, Upr Ballyfermot Rd, Tower Centre (Ballymun), Clearwater SC(Finglas), Crumlin SC, St. Agnes Rd, Kilbarrack, Dundrum TC, Nutgrove SC, Rathfarnham, Clarehall, Tyrconnell Place, Stillorgan

    March 9, 2011

    Egg Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free Pancakes!

    With a full tummy and a happy start to Lent I would like to share with you our Pancake Tuesday spread. This pancake recipe is wonderfully versatile. They can be made as lovely crepes with crispy edges (I LOVE the crispy edges!) or as a thicker traditional pancake. They suit sweet or savoury fillings and made our Pancake Tuesday a delightful gastronomic occasion! Note: the below recipe makes a HUGE amount of pancakes (15!) – and remember that there a lot of ground almonds in this mix so they are very filling, but luckily the recipe is easily divided…

    - Wheat free
    - Gluten free
    - Egg free
    - Dairy free
    - Sugar free
    - Vegan

    Egg Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free Pancakes
    Makes 15 pancakes

    1 cup gram flour
    1 cup tapioca flour
    2 cups rice flour
    4 cups ground almonds
    4.5+ cups rice milk (more or less depending on desired consistency ie: pancakes or crepes)
    A pinch of salt
    Vegan margarine for the skillet

    Sift the gram, tapioca and rice flour together. Add the salt and ground almonds and mix together thoroughly (I like to use a whisk just to keep the gram flour from clumping together). Add the milk according to the type of pancake you are making (more milk for crepes). Mix thoroughly with the whisk.
    You can start making the pancakes immediately or you can cover the bowl with cling film and store in the fridge until you are ready (I made mine 4-5 hours before I fired up the stove top)

    Heat a pan to a moderate-high heat (being careful to not let the pan get too hot). Butter the pan (the more butter you use to grease the pan, the crispier your edges will be, especially relevant when making crepes).
    Add a ladleful at a time and tilt the pan around until you have an evenly distributed pancake. Leave on the heat until you see the edges browning. Flip and cook until the underside is a somewhat even golden colour.
    Place on a plate under tin foil and store in the oven at 100C to keep warm.

    Then top with whatever your heart desires!

    Some ideas outside of the Irish staple of lemon and sugar…
    - Vegan margarine & maple syrup – the time tested superior choice! ;)
    - Vegan margarine & St. Dalfour’s Raspberry and Pomegranate jam
    - Allergy friendly chocolate shavings, thinly sliced banana & rice whip
    - Pureed canned peaches (drained from their natural juice), rice whip, raspberries, blueberries & maple syrup

    - Tomato tapenade (see
    - Tomato tapenade & spinach and mushrooms (cooked with powdered ginger, turmeric, salt and a bit of lemon juice)
    - Spinach & Mushrooms (same as above) with minced fresh rosemary & thyme with lemon juice

    March 7, 2011

    Eating an Allergen Free, Wholefood Diet at Home – The Blazing Salads Cookbook

    Blazing Salads' primary concern is making wholefood living accessible. All of their recipes are 100% vegetarian and refrain from using ‘sugar’ (refined, beet or cane) or artificial sweeteners. All of their famous salads and breads are revealed in the pages and they even list which recipes are suitable for freezing which can really help the day-to-day logistics of a healthy food/work/life balance.
    In my opinion, The Blazing Salads Cookbook has a lot to offer and would be a major aid for anyone struggling to eat a wholefood AND allergy friendly diet 7 days a week instead of just a ‘weekend only’ diet.

    Each recipe is listed as being one or all of the following:

    - Sugar free
    - Wheat free
    - Dairy free
    - Vegetarian

    But I can vouch that there are many more ‘free-froms’ if you read between the lines such as:

    - Yeast free
    - Egg free
    - Vegan
    - Gluten free
    - Nut free

    Blazing Salads have got mixed reviews on forums in the past and I’m not 100% sure why. Yes, their prices can be a bit high and I do feel that there can sometimes be more oil than necessary on the food but overall the ability to buy food ‘out’ which is food allergy friendly and predominately ‘healthy’ is not something that I can easily dismiss. I think that when a restaurant/café, etc. produces a cookbook people can easily be surprised to read what they previously ate without thought but and as one forum reviewer said: “Just don’t eat the foods which contain maple syrup if it’s a problem for you!”… Likewise, when you are cooking at home it is very easy to reduce oil and sweeteners to suit your own preferences.

    The cookbook is broken into eight categories, covering all bases of a wholefood lifestyle at home:

    - Spreads & dips
    - Soups
    - Salads
    - Savouries
    - Main courses
    - Bean casseroles
    - Cakes & desserts
    - Breads

    My family have made of few of the recipes at this stage and have been very pleased with the outcomes. Namely: the Almond Fruit Pies (pictured above) which are a family favourite from the deli. You can imagine my Mom’s happiness at being able to have her favourite wheat free & dairy free pies at home in the midlands whenever she wants them, and not have to wait for her infrequent trips to Dublin for a bit of indulgence! Another major success in my mind are the Spinach & Almond Cannelloni. I have made them a couple of times now and have been taken aback with the flavour and appearance of this wonderful main course recipe.

    A personal favourite from the deli are the Brown Rice Balls with Aduki Bean & Vegetable Filling served with soy sauce…and yes, the recipe for these delicious savoury treats are neatly tucked into the pages of the Blazing Salads Cookbook as well so I’m definitely looking forward to trying my hand at them!

    The Blazing Salads CookbookThe Blazing Salads Cookbook

    March 4, 2011

    Pareve Bread aka Dairy Free! – The Bretzel Bakery

    The Bretzel Bakery is one of the lovely things about Portobello. It’s a top-notch establishment based in the heart of the old Jewish section and has been in business there since 1870! I don’t know if you know all the in’s and out’s of Jewish dietary laws but one of the best cross-over’s for milk free diets (vegetarian & vegan to a lesser extent) is that dairy and meat cannot be taken together in the same meal, or even served on the same plates. Depending on the nationality and personal customs a wait of 1 to 6 hours must lapse between the different meals. This of course means that it is essential to know which foods contain dairy and which foods do not!
    Although the Bretzel Bakery no longer holds a Kosher certificate they do still have a list of all of the breads which are considered Pareve (dairy free) so ask if you are unsure but all of the breads listed as ‘P’ are:

    - White bread
    - White round
    - Turnovers
    - Twist
    - Vienna
    - Baguettes
    - Ciabatta Bap
    - Onion Bap
    - White Hotel Rolls
    - Brown Hotel Rolls
    - Tomato Hotel Rolls
    - White Dinner Buns
    - Walnut Wheaten
    - T & F Slipper Bap
    - Rye
    - Seeded Rye
    - Farmhouse Slow Dough
    - Sourdough 30% Rye
    - Sourdough 100% Rye (also wheat free – note: cross-contamination is an issue)
    - Challah (dairy free but contains eggs)

    But unfortunately the bagels are not dairy free –sniff sniff

    Also good to note:
    - Brown Scones are yeast free (note: cross-contamination may be an issue)
    - Brown Soda Bread are yeast free (note: cross-contamination may be an issue)
    - Macroons are Gluten free (note: cross-contamination may be an issue)

    Bread is very yum but unfortunately many find it hard to be satisfied on bread alone… and the Bretzel Bakery has a very tempting array of sweet treats but I suggest venturing forth with caution. As far as I’m aware the sweets are made off site and although I believe some of them to be dairy free I have unfortunately received mixed guidance from the staff so extreme caution and food allergy street sense should be on a high alert if you are thinking of indulging.

    Quick Guide to Kosher labelling (below symbols usually appear in a circle):
    OU – dairy free & meat free
    P – dairy free
    DE – may contain dairy (similar to ‘produced on a line that handles dairy’ warnings)
    OU-M – dairy free but does, or may contain meat
    OU-D – does contain or may contain dairy

    If you would like to know more about the Kosher symbols and categories a helpful link is:

    1a Lennox Street
    Dublin 8
    tel: 01 4752724
    Opening Times: mon-fri 08:30-18:00; sat 09:00-17:30; sun 09:00-13:00 (Closed on Bank Holiday Sundays and Mondays)

    March 1, 2011

    The Organic SUPERmarket - Many Rare Free-From Foods

    I have been aware of the existence of Blackrock's Organic Supermarket for a few years now but I so rarely get out to Blackrock that I have not been able to give it the full attention that it deserves… until last Friday that is! During the AMAZING Dublin weather F and I set out on a cross city cycle to Dun Laoghaire’s famous 40 Foot bathing spot… Too cold for our own swimming ventures it was quite entertaining to watch the brave bathers jumping and flipping into the icy waters.
    It’s an awkward cycle from Terenure to Dun Laoghaire and my level of fitness is severely lacking compared to F’s avid cycling habits so by the time we hit Blackrock I easily devised a resting spot when I saw The Organic Supermarket – not only could we get something food allergy friendly for a picnic at 40 Foot but I could also take the time to truly examine what’s on offer in the Supermarket while my body recharged for the last leg of our journey.
    The Organic Supermarket is EXACTLY what it says: Everything that is sold inside their walls is 100% certified organic and all of the usual supermarket sections are covered despite the seemingly small square footage. The shelves are high and the space is jam packed with a load of options for people with 'normal' and special dietary requirements. The main priority of the supermarket is to supply organic produce but it really doesn’t stop there because there are food allergy friendly options in most sections catering to (to name but a few):

    - Wheat free
    - Gluten free
    - Dairy free
    - Corn free
    - Vegan
    - Vegetarian

    I found things that I have never seen anywhere in Dublin like Buckwheat Crispbread and Quinoa Crispbread and Spelt Dream milk and nut butters like pecan butter, a super seeds blend, and a mixed nut blend… And there are multiple options in every section which truly cover every category I can think of:

    - baby food (extensive selection - not just 3 or 4 flavours)
    - sweeteners (honey, agave, fructose, malt, rice)
    - fruit & veg
    - nuts & seeds
    - spreads (jams, butter, chocolate, hummus, pate)
    - milks (including dairy free: rice, almond, oat, quinoa, spelt)
    - cured meats, cheese, eggs
    - flours, baking mixes (including wheat free and gluten free)
    - breads, cereals(including wheat free, gluten free and dairy free)
    - pasta, rice, noodles (including wheat free, corn free, gluten free)
    - snacks (chocolate, bars, crisps, crackers, biscuits)
    - ice cream (including dairy free)
    - toiletries, detergents, cleaners
    - beverages (including freshly pressed orange juice)
    - teas, coffees
    - wine (extensive selection)
    - oils, spices, sauces & marinades
    - frozen food
    - stocks
    - and even a grow your own garden section!

    On close inspection I felt rather sheepish at how blind I had previously been to the extensive treasure chest that is The Organic Supermarket. I can’t believe that I was there before and failed to see the wonder that was stacked all around me!

    If you are car-less like me there is a delivery service to your door through the internet for €6.50 which services all of Ireland (Northern Ireland and Southern)! Oh, and if you can’t get what you’re looking for The Organic Supermarket also has a ‘Request a Product’ feature on their website which boasts 292 product requests sourced out of 388 requested to date!
    If you do take a little shopping trip to Blackrock some of the price tags might get you down but there are affordable options if you browse through the different brands and there are definitely a lot of products that you just simply can’t get anywhere else… The shop itself is visually quite pretty too which is a total added shopping bonus!

    The Organic Supermarket Ltd
    2c Main Street
    Co. Dublin
    tel: (01) 278 1111
    Opening Times: Mon-Fri 08:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 11:00-18:00