March 31, 2012

March: The Food Allergy Month in Review

Another month done and dusted... March is definitely going out like a lamb, although I can’t remember if it came in like a lion (as the saying goes) but I do hope that all of your allergies, restricted diets, health issues and intolerance are behaving like lambs as well! This month we had a few Free From staples added to the Allergy Free pantry as well as a couple new venues to go out and eat up a Free From storm in. On the whole it has been a very busy month for me, personally, and so that meant a bit of a chaotic month on Survival Guide. I hope that my posting date changes and sporadic nature didn’t annoy too many of you! and my apologies if they did. I think I will have to change my dates to Tuesdays and Saturdays at the least and I will strive to get Thursday posts out to you too! Which brings me to a question:

Is there anything at all that you would like me to work on? Would you like more product reviews? Cross-references? Recipes (I know I would! I HAVE to get into the kitchen!!)... or maybe you would like me to focus on some different food allergies/intolerances/restrictions? Your wish is my command as they say, because I write for you in the end of the day so please, do let me know what you think or what you’d like to see more of, etc, etc...

And now down to the link business of the past month:

March 14th 2012: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Organic and Specialty Foods Found at the SuperNatural Food Market
March 16th 2012: Drinking Gluten Free Beer in an Irish Pub
March 21st 2012: If You’re Gluten Free Come into Havana’s

March 5h 2012: Delicious Chocolate Brownies - Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free
March 12th 2012: Antoinette’s Gone Gluten Free: Let Them Eat Cake
March 27th 2012: Alpro’s New Dairy , Gluten & Soya Free Nut Milks ... & Sugar
March 29th 2012: The Best Gluten Free Bread on the Market?

March 10th 2012: Raw Soup & Tea Parties
March 24th 2012: What I’m Reading: March in the Free From Food Allergy World

March 7th 2012: Gluten Free Breakfast: (Tasty) Gluten Free Porridge

March 29, 2012

The Best Gluten Free Bread on the Market?

So now that the mad rush of a new Allergy Free product has died down and the pop up shop is gone I thought it high time to review what was advertised as the best Gluten Free and Wheat Free bread on the market, BFree. But guess what? BFree contains Milk and Egg! ... How very annoying ... so I was forced to make a panel of taste-testing friends and family to tell me what it was like.

My panel tried the BFree Brown Seeded Loaf. The loaf is actually quite heavy but looks lovely, fluffy and dry when sliced and the over-bounding response was ‘Yes! It really is good!’ M. said that it tasted great and was just like real bread (she has recently given up Gluten and Wheat based breads). P. also said that it was nice and had a few slices but was a bit more reluctant to give indepth criticism (he is more of a traditional bread and butter, meat and potato kind of guy). And B. said it was definitely good but still contained the trademark ‘Gluten Free’ aftertaste albeit to a fainter degree (Gluten free eaters everywhere will be familiar with the slightly ?dry? aftertaste common to almost all Gluten Free products) but even despite this gave it thumbs up.

Despite everybody liking it and confirming that BFree really is a top notch Gluten Free, Wheat Free bread, there was some comment on a slightly ‘caky consistency’ (also common to Gluten Free breads) but this caky-ness was not so caky as to discredit its wonderful bread-like attributes!

So, it looks like BFree really is the bees knees in terms of taste and wheat bread simulation. In terms of Allergy Friendliness it's a bit of a mixed bag: The Brown Seeded Loaf is amazingly Potato Free and Soya Free (!!) but then goes and ruins it all by containing both Milk and Egg (!!!!) which eliminates all Gluten Free Vegans, Strict Vegetarians, Egg Allergic and Dairy Allergic from it’s bready goodness. But I guess you win some and you loose some.

- Gluten free
- Wheat Free
- Nut Free (note: cannot guarantee Nut Free environment)
- Potato Free
- Soya Free

BFree is available in a ‘Soft White Loaf’, a ‘Brown Seeded Loaf’, ‘Brown Seeded Rolls‘ and ‘White Demi Baguette’ in Dunnes Stores. The loaves are approx €3.00 each.

It took me a while to find it because it isn’t located with the Free From and Organic produce as expected, but actually lives alongside the Wheat based breads in the mainstream bread section.

Have you tried it? What do you think??

BFree Brown Seeded Loaf
Ingredients: Water, Tapioca Starch, Corn Starch, Maize Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Sunflower Seeds (4%), Dried Egg White. Rice Bran, Whey Protein Isolate (From Milk), Treacle, Linseeds 2%), Thickening agent: Xanthan Gum, Cellulose, Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Yeast, Sourdough (Fermented Quinoa and Rice Flour). Psyllium, Apple Fibre, Flour Treatment agent : Ascorbic Acid, Thickening agents: Guar Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Raising Agent : Sodium Bicarbonate.

Allergy Advice:
Contains Egg, Milk
Recipe: No Nuts
Ingredients: Cannot guarantee Nut Free environment
Factory: No Nuts

Nutritional Information per 100g:
Energy 949kJ/226kcal
Protein 6.2g
Carbohydrates 30.5g
of which sugars 2.8g
Fat 6.2g
of which saturates 0.7g
Fibre 12g
Sodium 0.52g
Salt Equivalent 1.32g

March 27, 2012

Alpro’s New Dairy, Gluten & Soya Free Nut Milks ... & Sugar

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are really excited about Alpro’s new Dairy Free, Soya Free and Gluten Free nut based milks, available in both Almond and Hazelnut. They’re available in Tesco and they’re actually affordable at less than €2.00 for a 1 litre carton... I too was really excited when I first spotted them shining back at me from the shelf but, when I came upon them the first thing I did was pick up a carton and read the ingredients only to find that sugar is the SECOND ingredient... that means there is more sugar than nut in Alpro's Nut Milks! ...And that is when my excitement dwindled.

Originally I was aghast at a ‘dairy substitute’ to milk which is basically sugar water with a splash of nut but after reading EcoMil’s sweetened almond milk’s nutritional information I was reminded about the Agave Syrup and Maltodextrin which brings the Sugar Carbohydrates to 3.1g (0.1g more than Alpro’s). However, it is important to note that Agave is obviously a low GI sugar and the greatly increased price (EcoMil is approximately €4.00 per carton) is most likely due to the 7% Almond content as opposed to the 2% Almond content in Alpro’s milk.

Ecomil does make an unsweetened Almond milk and even at it’s equally high price of approx. €4.00 I don’t think that Alpro can compete. Dairy Free and Food Allergic diets need quality substitutes that will aid a diet nutritionally, not zap any of the good out of it with unnecessary sugars. I know that not everyone agrees with me on this but it really is something that every Free From person should contemplate. Either way, I think that sugar and sweetness should be reserved for indulgences, not daily staples (I’ve even given up my super, but naturally sweetened favourite rice milk in this belief). And I’m definitely not convinced that a ‘Plant Power’ Dairy Free milk substitute should be more sugar than plant and only 2% plant at that! But I won’t knock the price - I’d definitely like to see more of that in the future when talking about Dairy Free substitutes!!!

Outside of nutritional value, I wasn’t able to taste test Alpro’s Almond milk myself because I’m Sugar and Sweetener Free until Easter (at least) so I got my Dad to drink a cup and tell me what he thought. From a visual perspective I liked the thickness and consistency. Dad reported it to taste ‘nice’ and ‘a little bit like milk with sugar in it’. That’s about all I could get out of him - he’s not a man of many words, my Father - but he did drink the whole cup... but then again, like me he probably would no matter what it tasted like... sorry folks.

From what I gather I reckon that Alpro Almond or Hazelnut is a good choice for sweet treats and indulgent dairy requirements but not the most nutritionally sound choice for day-to-day staples... Especially for kids and dental bills! But that's just my opinion... Do let me know what you think of it - and/or how you feel about the Sugar debate - and what your favourite Dairy Free milk is!

I used the Alpro Almond Milk as for my comparison:

Alpro Almond Milk
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Soya Free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Almond (2%), Tri-calcium phosphate, Sea Salt, Stabilisers (Locust bean gum, Gellan gum), Emulsifier (Sunflower lecithin), Vitamins (Riboflavin (B2), B12, E, D2)

Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 102kJ/24kcal
Protein 0.5g
Carbohydrates 3.0g
of which Sugars 3.0g
Fat 1.1g
of which saturates 0.1g
of which cholestrol nil
Fibre 1.6g
Sodium 0.05g
(equivalent as salt) 0.13g
Calcium 120mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.21mg
B12 0.38ug
D2 0.75ug
E 1.8mg

EcoMil Almond Milk with Agave
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Soya Free
- Wheat Free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Organic

Ingredients: Filtered water, almond* (7%), agave syrup*, maltodextrin*.
*from organic farming
Nutritional Information per 100g:
Energy 189kJ/45kcal
Protein 0.9g
Carbohydrates 5.4g
of which sugars 3.1g
of which Fructose 2.5g
Fat 2.2g
of which saturates 0.6g
Fibre 0.8g
Sodium 0.01g

Ecomil Almond Milk unsweetened
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Soya free
- Sugar Free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Organic

Ingredients: Water, almond* (7%), tapioca starch*, natural almond flavouring*.
*from organic farming
Nutritional Information per 100g:
Energy 127kJ
Protein 0.9g
Carbohydrates 1.8g
of which sugars 0.5g
Fat 2.1g
of which saturates 0.3g
Fibre 0.9g
Sodium 0.05g

March 24, 2012

What I’m Reading: March in the Free From Food Allergy World

I’ve been thinking lately about why the genuinely Food Allergic can get so annoyed and even angry at the Faux-Allergic. Yes, it’s annoying when someone ‘tells you’ what it’s like to have an allergy and how they experience the same thing as you when their ‘allergy’ is obviously an optional restriction but really why get annoyed? Sure, this person doesn’t really understand and sure, they might be making light of your potentially life-threatening problem but I think that we should focus on the benefits.
First of all, all restrictions DO have something in common, and even if your allergy or intolerance is way stronger than their slight bloating or imagined side-effects this person does understand to a degree and (importantly) respects that food can cause adverse reactions and might just be telling you the truth and actually dealing with a mild but genuine intolerance and although there are arguments saying that they weaken the cause and make the public take the genuinely and seriously allergic less serious, I think that there is another side to it. I think that there are strength in numbers and that we need numbers to make living with a food allergy, intolerance or restriction easier.
If they feel better Free From a specific food item then all the better because the more Free From people there are the more Free From foods will be produced, the cheaper these Free From foods will get and the better they will taste because companies will invest in recipe improvement.. now surely we can see through the annoyance and recognize that whatever the reason this person is maintaining a restricted diet that there is a greater cause at hand and that just like Vegetarians and Vegans, they should be equally respected. That instead of condeming we should educate them in the importance and potential dangers and that we should all join in camaraderie because every food restriction be it mandatory, elective, political or just part of a fad helps food producers see that we want better choices, helps restaurants and chefs to think outside of taste alone and helps us by making our restricted diet better.
Also, just as a side note, sometimes someone might think that they have a food allergy, and they trail through elimination diets to no avail... but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a problem.. it just might go beyond a particular food to a greater health issue... you never know.

Now, back to my original agenda: I’m scarcely getting a chance to write my own blog these days, let alone keep on top of the reading world but I did happen upon a few bits and pieces that may be of interest...

- A simple one, but one that might just become a new favourite snack! - Almond Butter, Banana & Oat Cakes
- An intriguing minty green smoothie... sounds so weird it might just be good, so you try it first and report back! - Healthy Dairy Free & Soya Free Shamrock Shake

- Possible reading for Wheat and Gluten Intolerance/Allergy suspicions, helping you decipher what’s going on and how to - Healthier Without Wheat
- A humorous little sing-along for mothers of food allergy kids fighting the battle - Hello, Muddah - Food Allergy Version
- On a more somber note some more serious parent-teacher-school-food allergic child stuff - Food Allergy Resources for Schools
- Has anyone tried eating Food Allergy Free here? Sounds awesome for Vegetarians and a good chance of awesomeness for Vegans too! - Thornton’s
- Tune in to ‘Free From Foods’ on the radio - here

- Daily Beautiful food - simplybreakfast
- A bit heavier than lovely food but still quite visually appealing - A Hard Trek to Humility

- For those of you who don’t know, goats are my all-time favourite animal. Therefore, ‘Goats on Stuff’ is definitely a favourite blog.. so cute.. and seriously, what is with goats?! they’re hilarious - Goats on Stuff
- A cool little project-based site worth keeping an eye on if you’re into design and what-not - Make An Object a Day

Happy Weekend and hope you get out and enjoy that glorious day!!

March 21, 2012

If You're Gluten Free Come Into Havana's

One of my favourite venues for food and drinks in the city centre is Havanas Tapas bar on South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2. I love the music, the atmosphere, the layout (especially the 2-seater couch) and I really love that the menu states that everything is Gluten Free, EXCEPT the items marked with an asterisk (*). How great is that? Because believe me, no matter what your food allergy, intolerance or restricted food might be, you are probably very familiar with limited options and having to choose from one of two or three dishes (if your lucky!) off a long menu of tantalizing Food Allergy Laden specialities...

Now, as amazing as Havana’s is for Gluten Free options they are a bit less amazing for other food allergies. I do eat there regularly and have rarely had a problem but I would recommend being firm and treading carefully because, despite helpfulness, I’m not convinced that the staff is 100% knowledgable.

Example: I was asking about Dairy Free options but when we got to the topic of chorizo, my waiter after previously speaking to the chef about my Dairy Free options, confirmed that the chorizo was Dairy Free. However, I double checked by asking that there definitely was no ‘lactic acid or similar in the ingredients', to which I got a vague ‘No, why would there be? Lactose is just in milk and sugar’ I explained why something like lactic acid would be used and how it appears in many unsuspecting products such as Tayto’s crisps. My waiter genuinely seemed interested but also did not come back with a definitive answer ...SIGH... Her major avoids for Dairy was anything listing mushrooms, cheese (obviously) and the omlette (which she suspected to be Dairy Containing but also did not confirm afterwards). A further disappointment was her lack of including the Calamare which, if memory serves me correctly, is also Dairy Containing. I ended up eating my usual Seafood Paella which may not be as amazing as paella in Spain but does go down a treat with me, being a warm, hearty, comfort food bringing me back time and time again.

F. being an Egg Free Vegetarian was a bit more limited and likewise Vegans will have a
harder time and probably end up with the Fried Potatoes, Couscous Salad, Havana Mixed Salad, Mixed Olives & Roasted Almonds or the Selection of Dips (watch out for Egg Containing mayonnaise and/or aioli sauce and Cheese containing Pesto).

My final verdict on Havana’s Tapas bar and their Food Allergy Friendliness Status:
- If you are Gluten Free go today!
- If you have multiple problem foods or are anaphylactic to anything other than Gluten it might get a bit messy and I would probably err on the side of avoidance
- If you only have one food allergy/intolerance or restricted food then do go but be firm and relentless to ensure your safety.

Added, non-allergy related bonuses:
- free wi-fi
- fully licensed
- free language exchange (wednesdays 4-7)
- sometimes some salsa+ dancing on saturday nights
- FairTrade coffee

Havana’s Tapas Bar
Location: Georges St
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 400 5990
Opening Times: mon - tues 11:00 - 22:30; wed 11:00 - 23:00; thurs 11:00 - 23:30; fri 11:00 - 00:30 Sunday 15:30 - 22:00

March 16, 2012

Drinking Gluten Free Beer in an Irish Pub

Every good Irishman knows that this weekend is St. Patrick’s Day weekend which means that the sober will flee the city and the drunkards will flock to the streets...and some of us normal people might go to the parade, have a nice lunch and a couple of social drinks and then flee before it gets tooo messy. But what about the Gluten & Wheat Free? Some might say that Paddy’s Day isn’t Paddy’s day without at least one drink. Of course there are always naturally Gluten Free and Wheat Free drinks to be found such as Tequilla or French Brandy...some Gluten Free people, who can tolerate Gluten Free wheat, even venture to Whiskey but what if you like beer? Well, today, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going to guide you to a few Dublin pubs that stock Gluten Free beers so you can drink up a storm without any side effects on the big day.. well, not Food Allergy related side-effects anyway ;)

A really lovely little pub serving a range of whiskey’s and beers, including Estrella Daura Gluten Free. Mulligan’s is located in Stoneybatter and I love this pub! They have all sorts of special little touches to set it apart from the regular Irish pub fare such as ‘reserved’ table signs made out of Scrabble pieces, the bill comes in a school geometry set and the menu is typed into old books - LOVE!
I did hear one account of a Ceoliac (Celiac) eating at Mulligans and mistakenly getting poisoned with Gluten but the staff where very apologetic and actually gave her a voucher to try and make up for it. Now I know Free From people may scoff at that but it is a rare thing to find a genuine apology. Mulligan’s have also been reported to say that they are keen on getting more Gluten Free Friendly so maybe we can help them along and give them a hand...

L. Mulligan Grocer
18 Stoneybatter
Dublin 7
tel: (01) 670 9889

The Bull & Castle
This pub is very centrally located right opposite Christ Church Cathedral. It is a large pub with a restaurant downstairs and a beer hall upstairs. Again, they have a large range of beers and numerous ciders on offer and in the region of Gluten Free & Wheat Free they stock Ale and Larger from Nick Stafford. These cost €6.00 for a 500ml bottle. If you get a bit peckish as you are downing your Gluten Free beers do beware that the platters come with everything piled high on top of each other making cross-contamination a major problem so either avoid or make your needs VERY clear.

Bull & Castle
Dublin 2
tel: (01) 475 1122

The Porterhouse
The Porterhouse stocks Estrella Daura which again, is a Gluten Free beer. It comes in a 330ml bottle and has won some awards in the past for taste. There are quite a few Porterhouses throughout the city which are all great venues (especially Porterhouse North) and stock a massive range of regular beers for all your friends should you need to entice them! Rumour also has it that if you ask, The Porterhouse also have Gluten Free buns for burgers, etc. in stock but I haven’t personally experienced this.

The Porterhouse Central
45-47 Nassau St
Dublin 2
tel: (01) 677 4180

The Porterhouse Temple Bar
16-18 Parliament St
Dublin 2
tel: (01) 679 8847

The Porterhouse North
Cross Guns Bridge
Dublin 9
tel: (01) 830 9884

The Porterhouse Bray
Strand Rd
Co. Wicklow
tel: (01) 286 0668

With regards to taste I prefer Nick Shackleton’s Hambleton Ale to Estrella’s Daura but I’m actually not much of a beer drinker unless I’m A, at a barbeque or B, eating paella so on this topic I will leave the taste testing to you!

Have you spotted Gluten Free and/or Wheat Free beer anywhere else? And which ones do you like best?!

and so I would like to wish you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day and have loads of fun! I’ve posted some of my pictures of last year’s parade below if you’re interested ... and remember to take care of yourself and please don’t drink and drive.

March 14, 2012

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Organic and Speciality Foods Found at The SuperNatural Food Market

There are so many parts of town that I don’t get to unless I have specific business in the area... so last Saturday I made it my business to get to the SuperNatural Food Market to check out the Food Allergy Friendly goings-on. Where is this ‘SuperNatural Food Market’ you ask? Well, basically if you keep heading down Pearse St until you’re only 3 blocks away from Grand Canal Dock you will find a lovely little park and across the road, inside the St. Andrews Resource Centre (114-116) is the market with the best name in town. Here, every Saturday, you will find a food market with all things nice inside.

Of course, if you are a regular reader you will know from Monday’s post that Antoinette’s (Gluten Free) Bakery is sometimes found in the SuperNatural Food Market serving up her ever popular Gluten Free baked goods as well as Vegan, Potato Free and Refined Sugar Free creations.
But Antoinette’s Cakes are not the only thing to draw you in, there is also a baker who has many Dairy Free breads, a few Spelt based breads (including a Spelt based soda bread) and a Gluten Free loaf made with Chickpea Flour and by the time I got to the market at about 2pm there was only 1 Gluten Free loaf left!
Also in the market is an organic butcher who cooks up some sausages on site and also sells his own home-made Gluten Free sausages.
There is the regular fare such as Organic Veg, a flower stall (who is selling custom pots for mothers day - March 18th), a Whole Foods dealer with a quite a nice selection of products on offer, a fish stall and a natural cream/brush/soap type stall too.

There is also a really interesting stall selling Gluten Free and Dairy Free meringues and all sorts of jarred goodies such as pesto, jelly and tapenade. The ingredients are all foraged or home grown so the products change with the seasons. The only down side is that there are no ingredients listed but the maker is right there so you can ask her anything...
And if you are looking for something a bit more hearty to chew on you will also find a hot dish table selling indian styled food such as samosa’s and curry (ingredients are listed but I would advise to ask to be sure, as the lists aren’t very detailed)...

The SuperNatural Food Market is a great little spot. It’s not crowded to the gills so you can actually get a chance to look around at your ease and the atmosphere makes you want to take a seat and linger over your lunch or tea. The market runs from 9:30am to 3:30pm and there are definitely reasons a plenty to make it your business to head out to this little pocket on Pearse St next Saturday.

The SuperNatural Food Market
Location: St Andrew’s Resource Centre
114-116 Pearse St
Dublin 2
Opening Times: Saturday 09:30 - 15:30

March 12, 2012

Antoinette's Gone Gluten Free: Let Them Eat Cake

If you are a market-goer then you may have already stumbled upon Antoinette’s Bakery who is the new kid on the block and has been making some of the rounds. Found at Stillorgan Shopping Centre Food Market on Wednesdays, Leopardstown Racecourse Farmers Market on Fridays, and sometimes at either The Supernatural Food Market (Pearse St) or the Ha’Penny Flee Market (The Grand Social) on Saturdays, Gluten Free and sometimes Vegan and Refined Sugar Free sweet treats are never too far away!

I met Sinead (the founder of Antoinette’s Bakery) last Saturday at the Super Natural Food Market on Pearse St. and bended my sweet free rules ever so slightly in order to try out one of her many tempting items. I love markets because the portions are usually closer to my ‘home sized’ slices so I happily tucked into a thick slice of slightly sweetened cornbread.
Everything looked beautiful but I had to go with the cornbread in hopes of it being the least like a forbidden sweet... This cornbread is definitely not a savoury bread as it sweetened with ‘Sweet Freedom’ and although the sweetness was definitely present, it was gentle and not overpowering which helped with my guilty pleasure. The slice was thick and a bit crumbly but not without moisture and by the time I had savoured each bite I was quite content.
F. chose one of the technicolour pink coated doughnuts which contained traditional sugar and definitely blew the sweet tooth off him.

On the menu are giant Chocolate Chip Cookies for only €1 each (which had one little boy coming back multiple times), Banana Bread Muffins, Peanut Butter Brownies, Victoria Sponge Cake, Lavender Shortbread, Quiches, Lemon Squares, Apple Cake Slices and more!

The best news, in my opinion, is that for once the Gluten Free treats (all made in a dedicated Gluten Free Bakery) are made with a Potato Free blend! Sinead’s personal flour blend is made up of Rice flour, Gram flour and Corn flour. Most items are Soya Free (just ask for direction). The Banana Bread Muffin, the Doughnuts and the Cornbread are all Vegan and the Apple Cake Slice is Dairy Free (but contains Egg).

Outside of the market circuit Sinead will whip of a batch of whatever you fancy for direct sale, See the contact details below.
Warning: For Nut Allergy eaters you should be aware that Antoinette's Bakery use coconut, almonds and peanuts in the bakery.

Antoinette’s Bakery
tel: +353 (0)857 361387

March 10, 2012

Raw Soup & Tea Parties

I was working in the city centre all last week which meant that I was keeping an eye out for affordable healthy Food Allergy Free lunches to tame my midday beast. Unfortunately I’m not used to having such a short lunchtime allotment so I kept ending up in Blazing Salads rotating between the Buckwheat burger and the Millet burger (I seriously can’t decide which I like more!) and sadly forgot all about the Blazing Salads stamp cards that have been tucked away in my wallet out of sight and out of mind for months… but one thing that I did spot was the Carrot & Avocado Living Soup now available in Cornucopia. I was thinking about it all week and really really wanting to try it out but the ingredient of raw garlic just didn’t seem a plausible lunchtime solution for fear of knocking my co-workers down with raw living garlic breath so at last, Saturday rolled around and when F. suggested a soup lunch I jumped at the opportunity!

- Wheat Free
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Raw
- Vegan
- Vegetarian

And boy, What a treat!! It was a luxuriously creamy blend of avocado and carrot with lemon and garlic - yum, Yum, YUM!!! But despite how much I loved it, sadly F. was not as impressed. He liked the taste but a bowl of cold soup is definitely not his thing (mental note to self: never make Gazpacho soup for F!). All of Cornucopia’s breads are Dairy Free and they have Gluten Free bread too but I chose the Spelt slice to accompany my living soup which was very rustic brown (resembling many moist rye breads) with whole seeds throughout. And can I take this moment to say that I LOVED it? Because I truly did... Perhaps I extra loved it because I had been refraining from Wheat and Gluten for so long that spelt bread was such a luxury, but I think the real reason is because it was the perfect partner for dipping each bite into the soup creating a full creamy wonderful taste with a soft moist bite. Now yes, yes, I know that dipping baked bread into a raw living soup is a bit of a contradiction but I’m not actually a Raw foodist so I think that I’m exempt from such rules ;)

However, if you are less interested in my Raw soup and baked bread combo and more interested in Raw food, Raw activities and Raw talks you should check out Sseduced’s Afternoon Tea Party. Síl, from Sseduced, is having a Raw Tea Party at in Clontarf on March 17th at 15:30 - 17:30 (a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day alternative might I say!).
image courtesy of sseduced

On the menu will be Banana Walnut Muffins, Carrot Goji Cake, Quiche, Waffles and more! And of course, everything that Síl makes is always

- Raw
- Sugar Free
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Yeast Free
- Soya Free
- Vegan
- Vegetarian
- Organic

So head on over to to read more about it and book your place! But hurry because there are limited places and it’s booking up fast.


Cornucopia's Raw Living Carrot & Avocado soup is €3.50 for a small bowl and €5.00 for a large bowl (1 slice of bread included or €3 & €4.50 without bread)

Síl’s Afternoon Tea Party is €36 and you can book your place here:

March 7, 2012

Gluten Free Breakfast: (Tasty) Gluten Free Porridge

I’m sure that you’ve seen the scattering of certified ‘Gluten Free’ porridges for sale in the health food shops and larger grocery stores but perhaps, like me, you were looking for something that was also Oat Free... Well, I have finally settled on a recipe that gives me a tasty warm breakfast cereal which mimics my beloved oat porridge without the Oats, Gluten, Wheat, Milk or Sugar!

Recently I’ve been eating Barkat’s Gluten Free Organic Porridge Flakes which are made from millet flakes and rice flakes. It took a little getting used to due to the slightly more gelatinous texture and the different taste but after a little bit of testing and maneuvering I’ve managed to get a bit attached. Not so attached that if in the morning someone told me I could have oats again that I wouldn’t drop it like a hot potato but definitely to the point of enjoying my breakfast again despite having no milk or sweeteners to hide failings.

What I’ve been doing is this:

1 part Barkat Gluten Free Organic Porridge Flakes
2.5 parts Rice Milk
1tbsp (or to taste) cinnamon (for 1 person)
1tbsp pea protein (for 1 person)
4 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (for 1 person)
4 heaped tsp ground pumpkin seeds (for 1 person)

Heat the rice milk to boiling point. Stir in the Porridge Flakes and Cinnamon. Stir continuously for 3 - 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients (I find it best to have the dry ingredients already mixed together in the bowl and then add the cooked porridge on top and throughly mix).

- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Milk Free
- Soya Free
- Egg Free
- Yeast Free
- Free from Added Sugar
- Corn Free
- Vegetarian
- Vegan

This little breakfast blend totally lasts you until lunchtime due to the pea protein and pumpkin seeds as well as managing to taste quite nice without the need for added sugar because of the natural sweetness of the rice milk. I think that when you are Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Milk Free (not to mention Sugar Free) it’s extra important to inject the added bang of the flax, pea protein and pumpkin seeds to help the longevity of the breakfast as well as the texture and consistency, thereby reducing the gel-like qualities.

What do you eat for breakfast? Or how do you cook your porridge to make it yum-town good?

Barkat Gluten Free Organic Porridge Flakes
Ingredients: Organic rice flakes, organic millet flakes, guar gum.
Nutritional Information per 100g:
Energy 372.18kcal/1557.29kJ
Protein 10.11g
Carbohydrates 76.99g
of which sugars 1.7g
Fat 3.14g
of which saturates 0.27g
Fibre 3.3g
Sodium 8.7mg

March 5, 2012

Delicious Chocolate Brownies - Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free

I don’t know if you remember but shortly before Christmas I spontaneously posted about the best Food-Allergy-Friendly mince pies ever. (If not you can see the review here). They were made by the aptly named ‘Delicious Gourmet Foods’ and were found in Fallon & Byrne on Exchequer St. These mince pies were the first product I tried from the Delicious range until a few weeks ago when I got my hands on a tasty Delicious’ Chocolate Brownie (before I quit the sugar and all things sweet!) which claims to be Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free and Yeast Free (also in Fallon & Byrne). There was a little bit of mystification regarding the ingredients due to a temporary printing error which meant that Sugar and Margarine were mistakenly excluded from the ingredients list. I had a brief and very excited moment where I thought that my coming Sugar and Sweet Free lent had just gotten WAY easier but after company contact and the discovery of the printing error the ingredients began to make more sense...

- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Dairy Free (note: made in a factory that handles milk)
- Yeast Free (note: contains sugar)
- Potato & Nightshade Free
- Recipe does not contain Nuts (note: made in a factory that handles nuts)
- Vegetarian

My official opinion is that the Delicious Chocolate Brownie would taste really great with some Dairy Free and Gluten Free ice cream or cream substitute. I enjoyed eating it out of it’s individual paper pot with a spoon (which is essential as the sides have some serious stickage to the tray) and although I thought that it tasted nice (great Gluten Free substitutions from the traditional recipe) I did feel like more sugar, or another form of natural sweetener wouldn’t go astray. Texture was brilliant and if you are looking for a more subtle brownie in the sweetness category then Delicious is the brownie for you.

I do have a slight concern about Yeast Free claims because although the recipe doesn’t contain any added yeast, if you are following a Yeast Free diet due to candida overgrowth, etc it is very important to refrain from all sugars as well as 'actual' yeast. Therefore I think that it’s important to highlight that the recipe for Delicious’ Chocolate Brownie does contain Sugar... but considering that we are actually talking about a brownie I doubt that the sugar content will come as a huge surprise!...

Delicious Gourmet Foods can be found in the Fallon & Byrne Foodhall on Exchequer St. Word on the street is that Delicious products can also be found in some SuperValu shops and Avoca. All of the products are Gluten and Wheat Free and are made in a dedicated Gluten Free bakery. Not all of the products are Dairy Free but many are so keep an eye out. Also, if you are in Cork (Carrigaline) call round to the factory on Fridays from 10:00 - 14:00 for ‘Factory Friday’ days where you can buy freshly baked Gluten Free treats that aren’t available in the stores or pre-order your favourite items on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and then collect your pre-ordered items on the following Friday.

Have you tried Delicious’ Brownie, or any other Delicious products? Or maybe you have seen them available in other locations or maybe even cafés... If so, do please share your finds and what you thought of them! Their mince pies are seriously the best ever, in my humble opinion!

Delicious Chocolate Brownie
Ingredients: Flour (maize starch, soya flour, rice flour, modified maize starch, raising agent: (acid calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), egg albumin (contains acidity regulator: citric acid, foaming agent: triethyl citrate), salt, calcium carbonate, anti-caking agent (tri-calcium phosphate) stabiliser: (methyl hydroxypropyl cellulose), vitamin (B1, B2, niacin, C), Emulsifier (E741, E435), Flavouring, Colour (E100, E160b)), free range eggs, cocoa powder, glycerine, sugar, margarine. (note: some packages do not state sugar and margarine in the ingredient list due to a printing temporary printing hiccup but it is in fact present)
Nutritional Information per 100g: Unavailable
Allergy Warning: Made in a bakery that handles nuts, eggs and milk

Delicious Gourmet Foods: The Gluten Free Bakery
Location: Unit 6 Carrigaline Industrial Park, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
Tel: 021 4919583
Web: (check out their tempting little recipes too!)