Zucchine (courgette) Pizza gluten free low lactose

Just the job for using up all those extra glut of courgettes that you have in the garden! Courgettes are great for the low fodmap diet, this recipe used yellow courgettes but green ones will work just as well so don’t feel you need to produce this recipe exactly – although the pizza dough does need to be followed closely and it is a modification of one of Jamie’s gluten free pizza bases, but using lactose free milk and one or two tips from someone who is familiar with using the ingredients and fickleness of cooking gluten/wheat free.



400g of gluten free bread flour (I used doves Farm with zanthan gum already added)

250ml lactose free semi skimmed milk

2 1/2 teaspoons of castor sugar

7g fast yeast powder

1 teaspoon of zanthan gum

1 teaspoon of salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon of oil

1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder


1 sachet of lactose free mozzarella

1 courgette

2 small handfuls of pine nuts

a few basil leaves

2 tablespoons of grated parmesan

a few thyme leaves

oil and egg (beaten)



Warm the milk to lukewarm

Add 50ml milk to a dish and add the sugar and yeast, mix and leave in a warm area till it bubbles

Weight out the flour, sieve and add the zanthan gum, baking powder and salt – mix well to ensure the gum is fully dispersed in the mix

Add the egg to the rest of the milk, pour in the oil and mix well

Add the milk to the flour and incorporate well, kneed.

Leave for 1 hour in an oiled basin with a cover in a warm place for the dough to rise.

Add two pieces of cling film to your work surface

Add the dough

Roll out as thin as possible if a thin based is wanted (makes around 4 seven inch or one large pizza)

Lift and turn upside down onto a pre-heated pizza stone

Remove the cling film (now on the top of the dough!)


Add a drizzle of oil to the top of the pizza

Wash and slice the courgette

Remove the lactose free mozzarella from the packaging and tear into thin strips

Dry the mozzarella well with kitchen paper to remove as much moisture as possible – this is very important as any excess will make the base soggy.

Tear the basil and thyme

Grate the parmesan

Combine the ingredients on the pizza base except the pine nuts

brush dough edges that are free of topping with beaten egg.

Cook at gas mark 7-8 at the top of the oven for 10 minutes

Remove and add the pine nuts and cook for a further 5 minutes

Serve and enjoy

Purple sage & parsnip gnocchi

Today the weather has been grim again so I am stuck in the house being creative, or perhaps you should decide if I am! I adore parsnips, they are a tasty root vegetable that is not too hard on the digestive system. It is getting towards autumn now so a nice recipe using parsnips in place of potato sounds an interesting idea. Not that I have anything against potatoes or I not that I reckon parsnips are some kind of ‘super root’ – if you have been following my blog for some time you will know my views on this 😉

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500g of parsnips

80g of gluten free flour

20g of Parmesan cheese

2g purple sage leaves (you can use ordinary sage if you wish)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil

a sprinkling of asafoetida


wash, peel and boil the parsnips until they are quite soft in salted water

mash them well

whilst still warm add the gluten free flour and mix well

empty the mix on to a floured surface, split into four equal amounts

roll each into a sausage shape and cut into disks evenly

roll each disk into a ball then squash flat with a fork

Boil a pan of water and add a few gnocchi at a time they will float when they are cooked

remove them from the water and drain.

using the olive oil fry the sage and asafoetida and mix with the gnocchi

add grated Parmesan to serve

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the gnocchi can be served as they are if you are vegetarian or they will taste great with meat, chicken or fish too!

If you follow a vegan diet then you should use a dairy free Parmesan alternative.

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I hope you like them – the recipe serves two for a main dish, it is also possible to use them as a side dish serving 4. If you are following the Low Fodmap Diet parsnips are low fodmap – have a small portion. I am seriously wishing the weather to improve a little – it is much to early for wintry weather to be a feature but of course being situated in the middle of the Pennines this is a distinct possibility. Although I don’t want to end on a negative note so enjoy the recipe and I will blog again soon from happy valley!

Gluten free, low lactose rosemary and olive bread

The seat in the wood has intrigued me since I stumbled across it, looks home made, old – it has certainly seen its fare share of winters, I guess. It doesn’t overlook a repose worthy view and the valley’s features are obscured by the wall when seated, but is certainly a welcome resting place from the steep climb of the valley side. A haunting melancholy spot in an old oak forest – to come home to a meal of rosemary and olive bread is certainly what’s needed to cheer up the spirit after today’s walk! Check out the recipe below.

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450g gluten free self raising flour

1 teaspoon of xanthan gum

3 tablespoons of olive oil

15 green olives


350 mls of lactose free milk

5g of rosemary leaves

Spray olive oil

2 eggs

50g of Parmesan cheese

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Wash your hands

Measure out the lactose free milk, add eggs and olive oil mix well, add salt to season.

Weigh out the gluten free flour and add the xanthan gum, and mix well.

Grate the Parmesan cheese and add 2/3 to the flour leaving the remainder to sprinkle on the finished bread.

Chop the rosemary finely and add to the flour.

Slice the olives and add 2/3 to the flour leaving the remainder to decorate the top of the bread mix before cooking.

Mix the Parmesan and olives into the flour, make a well in the centre of the flour mix and add the liquid ingredients.

Incorporate the liquid into the flour till everything is blended in.

The finished mix has a slightly sticky texture.

Oil a tray well and add the mix, wet your hands and smooth the surface and add a thumb print in lines down the bread as a decoration.

Spray the surface of the mix with olive oil

Add the remaining olives and cheese.

Cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean at gas mark 6 or 220 degree centigrade.

Serves 8-10

For a low fodmap diet xanthan gum is possibly fermentable but is in the bread in very low levels (less than 0.5%) so most people should be OK to have a portion.

Prunes – natures laxative.

“I hope my tongue in prune juice smothers, If I belittle dogs and mothers”

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash was an American poet who suffered from crohn’s disease according to Wikipedia, his unfortunate demise was after a lactobacillus infection after eating poorly prepared coleslaw as the Wikipedia site states. Interesting quote about prune juice, do you get the feeling he detested prunes? Prunes might have resulted in symptoms for him – depending on his crohn’s disease. I can only speculate, but what do these dried fruits do for us? Should we in fact include them in our diet? The following post by Compound Interest explains the chemistry behind the prune – or dried plum.


Prunes do in fact improve constipation – but for some people at a cost – the reason they do is down, in part to the large amount of sorbitol and fructans they contain, these FODMAPs or fermentable sugars draw fluid into the small bowel and rapidly ferments in the large bowel. Sorbitol is also found in sugar free mints and gum – often a warning is given on these to avoid eating too much as a laxative effect may be the result. Not great if you have IBS and bloating and are intolerant to sorbitol. Prunes could also result in symptoms for people with active crohn’s disease too – perhaps that is the reason they are suggested by Nash to be a treatment to instill an avoidance of denigrating your mother! Or alternatively it might be just down to taste or personal preference. But to help constipation if you don’t suffer from IBS, bloating and excessive wind – they are worth a try – introduce them in your diet slowly so your bowel adjusts to the extra fibre they contain. These sugars can also have a pre-biotic (food for bacteria) action, so it is worth including some in your diet if you tolerate their effects!


Gluten Free, Low FODMAP, Low Fibre, tea scones

Afternoon tea is an English tradition that is now only consumed for a birthday or other celebrations and one of my favourites for a treat. It should contain sliced sandwiches, a scone with jam and small cakes. The following is a recipe for plain scones.



250g of gluten-free self-raising flour

50g of olive oil based spread

50g of castor sugar

1 pinch of salt

40mls of milk

1 egg

(1 egg to use for an egg wash and sugar for coating the scone.)


1. Weigh out the flour and add the olive oil based spread, sugar and salt to the bowl

2. Rub the margarine into the flour until you have a small crumb

3. Add the egg and milk and bring the mix together – remember the more work you put into this the better the mix will stay together, it really is not like working with wheat flour!

4. Roll out to a 1.5 cm thickness and cut out scones.

5. Wash with egg and sprinkle with sugar and bake in an oven for 15-20 minutes at gas mark 6 22o°C.     

You could add a teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder to increase the rise of the scone – I didn’t – as I tend to feel that you can taste baking powder in scones if you use too much.





Grains galore! Super? Or perhaps not……………


It appears that we have some grains that are ‘super’ according to the blogosphere, now I am not necessarily a fan of super foods which are proposed to be better for you than standard foods, but it is great for people with food intolerances, allergies or autoimmune conditions to have more of a choice in grains. So an increase in the range of these foods might be a good idea. So what is the low down on these newly promoted grains compared with standard grains?


Freekeh (contains wheat, gluten and likely contains FODMAPs and resistant starches)

This grain is essentially toasted wheat using early harvested green grain. The grain is harvested early before it has fully ripened. This results in a higher protein content than wheat and the grain has a really nice texture and a nutty flavour it is based on durum wheat species. The grain has been produced in the middle east for some considerable time, it is an ancient grain! Therefore we are being sold a product, likely at a premium, that has been cultivated for many years. It is not the choice that anyone with a wheat allergy, wheat or gluten intolerance or people with coeliac disease should consider, therefore perhaps it isn’t as ‘super’ as you might first imagine! It is higher in protein therefore may be higher in gliadin (gluten type protein found in wheat.) It might also be higher in resistant starches, good for those people who want to have a high fibre product to improve gut transit, but certainly not a perfect choice for those with digestive problems.

Quinoa (gluten-free, wheat free and Low FODMAP)

Could this grain be the answer, a true  super grain? Actually quinoa is not a grain as such. It has all the essential amino acids (building blocks for protein) that are required for health, so it is an excellent choice for vegans to ensure that the proteins needed in the diet are consumed. It is also good for people who have coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome and those who have a wheat allergy (labels still need to be checked for contamination unfortunately) Getting more interested? I certainly am, however the only drawback is the expense of the flour  – a whopping £5.75 per kilo, wow. As a grain it can also be challenging to produce recipes using the product, but it does taste nice when done well. I have not yet tried cooking with the flour, I can’t get over how much it costs. If anyone can find a cheaper UK source I might be tempted to send for some and give it a try for you.

Buckwheat (gluten-free and wheat free)

Despite it’s very confusing name this grain is not a wheat grain, it is related to rhubarb. Again this grain has a similar level protein to wheat at 12% and contains 90% of the amino acids needed for health. This grain makes great pancakes but I have not had the experience of using it to cook other recipes. Buckwheat can cause allergies in its own right and single cases of anaphylaxis have been reported in literature, but it is likely a rare occurence, more prevalent in countries that use it as a staple food. It is a great choice for those with coeliac conditions and wheat allergy.

Spelt (contains wheat, contains gluten but Low FODMAP)

Again this is an ancient wheat grain containing a lower level of fermentable carbohydrate however spelt pasta is not lower in FODMAPs – just the flour. This needs to be 100% spelt and it is better to choose bread made from spelt that has been made using the sourdough process. I have cooked with spelt flour and dishes produced have a nice texture and I have not had any failures with this flour. It could be a choice for those who have problems with fermentable carbohydrates but those with wheat allergy, gluten intolerance or coeliac disease should avoid this grain. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation about this grain, in general by people who do not understand the requirements of the gluten-free diet. People can believe it is suitable for those with coeliac disease because it has a lower level of gluten, however it is NOT gluten-free. I am not aware of any published information on what level of gluten needs to be avoided for those with gluten intolerance, therefore this flour may need to be avoided by those people with non coeliac gluten intolerance also.

image from Wikimedia

Codex wheat (contains wheat, possibly FODMAPs but very very low gluten, therefore essentially gluten-free)

Codex wheat has been developed to replace wheat flour for people suffering from coeliac conditions, it is used in the UK by manufacturers of gluten free foods and generally for foods available on prescription, although its use in foods generally available to all is growing. The gluten content of wheat is processed by washing to remove the gluten and the wheat is then tested to ensure the content of gluten does not exceed guidelines. The benefit of codex wheat is that the texture of foods using the flour is a close approximation to those of normal wheat and therefore palatability is improved. It could contain fermentable carbohydrates, although what effect the washing process has on fermentable carbohydrates is not known for all available supply, the amount of fructans it contains depends on the type & processing of the bread, so it might not be a good choice for those with fructans intolerance. A recent research report by Whelan (2011) tested the fructans content of codex wheat and found variable amounts. It does contain wheat therefore it is not suitable for those who have wheat allergy.


Teff is an ancient Ethiopian grain that is gluten-free. It is widely used in gluten-free flour mixes and is a good choice, contains  13% protein and again an excellent amino acid profile, containing all the essential amino acids. The fructans and fodmap content of Teff is not known, but it is generally used in flour blends and gluten-free breads are generally tolerated by most people following the Low FODMAP diet although it has not be tested for FODMAP content.


Tricale is a mixture or hybrid of wheat and rye grain. It is therefore not suitable for people with coeliac disease. The amount of fructans it contains is unknown, therefore it’s suitability for the low fodmap diet is unknown, however rye has high levels of fructans so it is probably best to avoid this grain. A Wiki article suggests the protein content is higher than wheat but the glutenin content is lower, but this does not mean it is suitable for use for those who have problems with wheat.


Similar to Freekah, this is a middle eastern ancient grain, it’s true name is Khorasan, Kamut is a brand name. The grain manufacturers website suggests that this grain is high in selenium, this depends very much on the soil the grain is grown in. It contains wheat and gluten. It has a protein range of 12-18%. The companies nutritional analysis data can be found here:

Kamut nutritional information

Again fructans content is not available for this grain.

Updated 22.11.14