Simply Gluten Free and Dairy Free – Grace Cheetham

SimplyGluten_Nov12This book is a useful addition to the bookshelves of anyone who has a requirement to follow either a dairy free, lactose free and gluten-free diet or both. However despite the name of this book it contains some recipes for a number of different food allergies or intolerances identified by symbols at the side of each recipe, the symbol key is at the front of the book. The gluten-free symbol does include wheat free so the recipes are suitable for those people needing to follow a wheat free diet, although this is not clear from the title of the book. For those coeliacs amongst my readers the book has the endorsement of Coeliac UK, meaning that the recipes are guaranteed gluten-free (as long as you use the listed gluten-free ingredients of course!) Healthy eating recipes are included and the pictures certainly make you want to try some of the dishes as they look fresh and colourful and Grace injects some personality into the chapters by writing a small introduction to each and hints and tips are included throughout. Most of the recipes are not easily identifiable as ‘free from’ by anyone who wouldn’t be aware, making the recipes useful for the whole family. Treats are not forgotten, also very important to include occasionally in the diet for those people who have to exclude certain foods. It is perhaps better to wait till you have identified your intolerances if you are being treated with the Low FODMAP diet before you think about buying the book as the recipes do contain a number of high FODMAP foods, but these types of foods are generally healthy for those people who don’t have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or types of gut inflammation such as crohn’s or Colitis. For Low FODMAP followers you should only consider these recipes if you only have lactose intolerance and/or need to avoid gluten or wheat and you are fine with all other types of high FODMAP foods. The recipes I tried worked well and the book is nicely presented and not too expensive, so perhaps think about the book as a nice birthday or Christmas present for your friends or relatives with free from needs. Or buy it yourself and treat your friends to some baked goods – even better!”

The book was provided by the author for this review


Mistake! – off the ball with the Low FODMAP diet

Decided to go to a japanese fast food establishment today as I suspected that following a low FODMAP diet might be slightly easier here, but I was mistaken and should have been more aware of watching my veggies! I asked about wheat but thought that I could perhaps pick out any vegetables that were not appropriate for the diet, I forgot about spring onion being a staple item. The green parts are OK, but the meal came with all parts of spring onion, cut small, which was impossible to pick out making it quite an issue really. So failed here big style and I knew I had as soon as the dish was served and I could actually see the problem. I also noted after I had ordered that the list of vegetables were on a notice board behind the service area, perhaps I should have been more vigilant, but I had been out all day so I was really tired. I was annoyed with myself but I suppose we can put this down to a learning experience. I am also wondering why most of the noodles available in the UK are wheat based? Surely you would imagine that as rice is the main carbohydrate in the east that rice based noodles would be more available, despite thorough searches at supermarkets the majority of noodles are based on wheat. Perhaps this is because our main stable grain is wheat – does anyone else have any ideas as to the reason for the lack of rice based noodles? Rice based noodles can be purchased from Chinese supermarkets and health food shops if you need to have them.

Violet and Chocolate Biscuits – egg free/wheat free/gluten free/low fat/Low FODMAP

150g Rice Flour

100g Soft Brown Sugar

50g dairy free low-fat margarine

125g pot of dark chocolate soya dessert (made from hulled soya beans)*

2 teaspoons cocoa powder (ensure gluten + Wheat free)

1 tsp of gluten-free baking powder

Crystallised violets.

Weigh all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix using a hand mixer till the batter is smooth.

Draw heart shapes onto grease-proof paper and shape mixture, makes about 12 biscuits.

Cook for 5 minutes gas mark 170, then add one crystallised violet decoration to each biscuit, cook for further 10 minutes at the same temperature.

Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar

These biscuits are suitable for wheat free, gluten-free, egg free, dairy free.

Suitable for LOFFLEX when chocolate has been introduced with no problems and Low FODMAP – nb contains soya products check for other FODMAP ingredients and use products made from hulled soya beans – do not consume if soya intolerant.

updated 22.11.14