Recipe book GIVEAWAY – Chocolate Treats free from the top 14 allergens!! Ends Sunday!

Recipe book GIVEAWAY – Chocolate Treats free from the top 14 allergens!! Ends Sunday!

GIVEAWAY!: How to Enter

Win a copy of my debut recipe book “Chocolate treats: decadent delights free from the top 14 allergens”!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a note in the comment section at the bottom of this post with your answer to this question:

What is the number 1 allergy-related problem that you wish you could solve tomorrow?

Deadline: Sunday 29th July at 23:59 GMT

*Entry is open for international participants. The winner will be emailed upon close and then I’ll post out your prize!

——–

I can’t believe after over a years worth of work my debut recipe book “Chocolate Treats: Decadent delights free from the top 14 allergens” is now available on Amazon.co.uk AND Amazon.com!! I am SO excited proud and thankful to everyone who had a hand in getting this book published and that includes you EAS community! 

Thank you to the very first people to email in with recipes requests and suggestions, it was you who got me on this path and inspired me to create more. Thank you to those of you who bought the first edition back in December 2017! I couldn’t quite believe it when the first orders came in.

As a thank you, in today’s post I am going to give you a little preview of what you will find in the book including: the key things to make great chocolate treats that are free from the top 14 allergens, a little bit about my favourite recipes as well as a GIVEAWAY!!

Cookies- dairy free White Choc-Lemon- chocolate treats recipe book allergy friendly

The Key To Working with Dairy Free Chocolate

Dark chocolate naturally shouldn’t contain dairy but you will often find that it has a warning label due to cross-contamination risks. As such dairy free dark chocolate works in basically the same way as ‘normal’ dark chocolate. Dairy free ‘white’ chocolate on the other hand is a complete diva! The number of times I have ruined a batch during melting or thinking that I could leave it for a bit like I do the dark chocolate is unbelievable! The dairy free white chocolate requires constant attention, hence the Diva tag.

The key to melting dark, and especially white chocolate is to use the Bain Marie method. A Bain Marie is when you melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. The rising steam from the water gently heats the underneath of the bowl. While you stir the chocolate it will melt evenly without getting too hot. If chocolate gets too hot it will separate. This is especially true when it comes to dairy free white chocolate, it has to be stirred constantly! It’s lack of cocoa solids is part of the reason for this, it is more unstable than its dark counterpart. So, being the diva she is, she must have constant attention (I.e. stirring) to keep her silky smooth once melted.

In my recipe book I have a whole section talking more in depth about the characteristics and techniques for working with chocolate and how to get the most out of it for your bakes.

Using Gluten Free Flours

In many of the recipes I use a combination of gluten free flours in various recipes. Each gluten free flour has its own properties, some are starchy, others are sticky when mixed with water, others are just thirsty little things. However when mixed in a various combination they create different textures in the bakes. For example, in my Chocolate Fudge Cake I use combination of rice flour and tapioca flour. Tapioca is a starchy flour made from the cassava root, when mixed with water it can be used as a thickener in savoury foods such as soups and stews, but for baking it can create a sticky texture in a batter when baked. Perfect when you want your fudge cake to be a thick chocolate sponge!

In many of my cakes I like using coconut flour. In the UK, coconut is not included as a nut in the top 14 allergen list. It is also one of the gluten free flours I can eat (as I am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts). I like that it has a sweetness all of its own which means I don’t have to add a huge amount of sugar to cakes. Not only is too much sugar not good for you, I found in a lot of store bought free from cakes the amount of sugar is horrendous!  I also find you get a clawing after taste when there is too much sugar in the recipe and it just tastes a bit fake…not pleasant at all! The coconut flour also has a very light texture, almost fluffy. I mix it with rice flour or tapioca flour in various recipes to add texture to the cake. I find the sponges come out lovely and light! Even my non-allergic friends think so!

Baking with No Eggs…How do you get cakes to rise??

Now this is something that wasn’t actually as hard as you may think. I use a combination of gluten free baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to create the rise in my bakes. A bit confused as to how or why this works? Well, think back to your school science projects, particularly how you get a volcano to erupt. The ingredients you would use are vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. The vinegar and bicarb react and create a fizzing and this is what happens in the bakes too, hence the rising.

I always like to find the natural way to make food and my general food philosophy is you should be able to eat each ingredient individually, so random replacers are not my favourite. Vinegar and raising agents on the other hand are a good option and they work. I use different quantities depending on the size of the cake, but don’t worry I’ve specified exactly how much in each recipe. 

My 3 favourite chocolate treats free from top 14 allergens chocolate chip cookies chocolate truffles and sweet potato brownies

My 3 Favourite Recipes

I have a couple recipes in this book which are my favourite: Sweet Potato Brownies, Date Orange and Chocolate Truffles and the American Style Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

In reverse order, the Chocolate Chip Cookies took quite a few tries to get the recipe right (I burned quite a few batches and some others just fell apart). I had a real sense of triumph when I got it right! Not to mention the taste is brilliant! They are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, my version of an American Cookie. 

The Date Orange and Chocolate Truffles was a recipe I dreamed up 3 months before I actually finished it. It just kept going round and round until I actually finished making them. Then once I did the taste of the fresh orange came bursting through with the sweetness of the dates and the richness of the chocolate I could just keep eating them all day! 

Finally the Sweet Potato Brownies, again took a couple tries to get right. The first time it just went hard and burned, the second was slightly better but still not great and then I got the ratios of ingredients just right and they were perfection! They were bouncy and SO chocolatey, even 3 days after I made them (because I couldn’t get to photograph them until then). My other half and his brother (who has no allergies) helped me taste test them and we finished the brownies in one sitting, they were that good!

Where You Can Buy the Book

If you are thinking of birthday or Christmas presents, or just a recipe book to add to your collection I would of course highly recommend my Chocolate Treats recipe book (how could I not?!).

I’ve aimed it at anyone who loves to bake, has multiple food allergies or wants to bake for someone with food allergies. All the instructions are easy to follow and you don’t need to buy any fancy equipment! I started off allergy free baking while I was at university so I wanted to keep it so that you could do it in any kitchen with just a bowl, a fork and an oven at the most basic level.

Along with the recipes I have also added lots of information about living with allergies, as well as links to resources that may be useful to you. Its about choosing to make allergy living your lifestyle choice rather than just something that was forced on you. I’ve found that making that choice makes it more manageable and absolutely more fun!

I wanted to make sure the book was as widely available as possible so I have published on:

Amazon.com (USA & Canada)

Amazon.co.uk (UK)

(You can get next day delivery if you have Prime too!)

 

Pin for later:

Chocolate Treats: decadent delights free from the top 14 allergens amazon UK USA gluten free vegan dairy free paleo top 8 allergen free nut free

Allergy Free Baking Kit FLASH Giveaway!! Ends Tuesday at 5pm with Bakeit FreeFrom

Allergy Free Baking Kit FLASH Giveaway!! Ends Tuesday at 5pm with Bakeit FreeFrom

Bakeit FreeFrom Baking Kit Giveaway & Review

Giveaway Entry Details

It’s giveaway time! I have teamed up with Bakeit FreeFrom for a baking kit giveaway! All you need to do is answer this simple question and leave your answer in a comment below!

The question is: What would you be willing pay for 6 cupcakes?

Deadline: Tuesday 17th July at 5pm 

*only for UK residents.

Make sure you keep an eye on your email inbox! I’ll be emailing the winner on Tuesday night to get your address so your prize can be posted to you on Wednesday!!

Bakeit Free From Cupcakes Review

A couple weeks ago the lovely team at Bakeit FreeFrom asked if I would be the subject for their cupcakes in the post trial. My first thought was just so long as the cupcakes are not free and gluten free, if they were, I was absolutely ok with being a test subject!

Unfortunately the weather was against us! The vegan chocolate butter cream couldn’t stand the heat.

I feel for Bakeit FreeFrom. When I first started Eat Allergy Safe (nee NM Cakes) I made allergy free cakes and fresh food. Posting cakes was something I did a huge amount of research into. How do you get the cupcakes to arrive in the condition they were finished in?? As we see from this experiment, Royal Mail and the heat didn’t help matters. However although presentation is important to a point, the taste is the deciding factor:

Below is a little video my boyfriend and I made while we were trying them for the first time:

The texture of the sponge was brilliant. It is so difficult to make gluten free, egg free and dairy free cakes that have a sponge exactly like ‘normal’ cakes as those of you will know who have my recipe book. However, these chocolate orange cupcakes I was sent were brilliant; the sponge was light, held together well and wasn’t stodgy.

The taste of the sponge was also good. One thing I hate about some allergy free cupcakes is how sweet they and usually leave a clawing after taste, but these didn’t. I would prefer more orange flavour in the sponge personally, but if you are making at home, you can add as much or as little as you like. 

However I think my favourite part of the cupcake was the chocolate vegan buttercream. It reminded me of the Betty Crocker frosting you can get at the supermarket. Bakeit FreeFrom buttercream was pure indulgence and SO chocolate! I loved it 🙂

ALLERGY INFORMATION: the cupcakes are top 14 allergen free!! wahey!

Remember to Enter!

Remember to enter the flash giveaway by saying how much you would be willing to pay for 6 cupcakes in the comments below. Write your email in the box provided (it will stay hidden, only I can see it!!) and the winner will be emailed on Tuesday night!

Deadline to enter: Tuesday 17th July, 5pm


This giveaway was organised by Free From Comms Collective.

Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out in Liverpool & Things to Do

Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out in Liverpool & Things to Do

Summer is coming and that means days out in the sunshine! (*fingers crossed*) 

Over the last few months many of you in the Eat Allergy Safe Community have been emailing asking how to stay allergy safe this summer. One particular email asked specifically about Liverpool. (It is also around this time I started writing my Travelling with Allergies Guide – published soon!) A couple weeks later I was asked by the lovely people at Groupon whether I would write about things to do in Liverpool, the stars felt like they were aligning!

Liverpool is one of my favourite cities in England so I thought this was a great opportunity to talk about how I go about planning an allergy safe day out and some of the fun things you can do in Liverpool.

So lets get on with…

Part 1: How to Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out

  1. Research where you are going

Seems obvious, but it really is the first place to start. If you’re going to a new place don’t assume it will be the same as home. Depending on your allergies you may not find safe foods at take aways or restaurants, unless you know where to look!

Doing some research will also give you a feel for the place and give you an idea of not only what foods you want to try but also what sites you want to see. The docks and museums are my favourite place. 

  1. Make a list of all the things you want to do, places you want to see and restaurants you want to eat at

You probably have a limited amount of time so you will want to fit in as much as possible. Making a list will help you decide the places you most want to visit, and also give you a handy quick reference of where you need to do some allergen menu checking. 

When you make your list, remember to note down an email address and or telephone number too.

  1. Call or email ahead

Remember that list you just made and the contact details noted? Set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to go through the list calling any of the places you think you may want to eat at. 

When you call, you are calling for information first. Tell them you are coming on holiday and doing some research on where might be safe to eat with your allergies and can you just ask them about their allergy policy. This is also the time you can tell them about your specific allergy needs and find out whether they could cater for you or not. 

If they say no, don’t be disheartened! It is better for them to be honest with you rather than you have a reaction because they lied!!

Read more about how to tell people about your allergies >>

  1. Have a schedule/itinerary (optional)

If you want to see lots and lots, having an itinerary listing out how to get places, what time to leave/arrive, where to get tickets, where to eat, along with contact numbers, can be incredibly handy! It takes some of the stress out the day because you know what to do when, and most importantly where you can eat! This means you have more time to relax and enjoy your day out on holiday.

  1. Double check allergen information with manager/caterer

As you do at home, when eating out or buying food, always double and triple check the allergen and ingredients labelling. This might mean reading a product packet or emailing a restaurant, and talking to the restaurant manager and your server when you arrive. 

In the EU, all food whether packaged or open must be able to give ingredients and allergy information, and we have the top 14 allergens.

Read more about my allergy travel hacks >>

  1. Pack safe snacks

Like you do at home, have an allergy safe snack in your bag. You never know if something unexpected will come up (that’s why its unexpected…) so its best to be prepared. I know I don’t think straight nor am I reasonable when I’m hungry, so having something I can nibble on and keep the hunger pangs at bay really does help keep me calm and meet a challenge head on.

Part 2: Things to Do in Liverpool

Now that you know how to plan a day out, here are some recommendations for restaurants and fun things to do in Liverpool!

Restaurants:

For dairy and egg allergy sufferers, there are now lots of vegan food offerings all over the city from small cafes to big chain restaurants. Nuts on the whole aren’t used in typical British food, but could be found in the ‘health’ food salads, and of course desserts are still a mine field.

Red’s True BBQ – many of the menu items don’t contain gluten, and none of the mains items contain nuts (as of when I last went).

Trattoria 51  – said to be incredibly allergy friendly with understanding staff (that’s half the battle!) and a gluten and dairy free menu. 

Leaf – really good labelling of gluten free, contains nuts and vegan options. The menu looks delicious and I’ve heard some great recommendations!

Nation-wide Chains: Carluccio’s, Pizza Express, Bella Italia all have a gluten free menu and understanding when I say I have a nut allergy. Many have dairy free options too!

Food on the Go

There isn’t a one shop sells everything that is suitable for allergy sufferers unfortunately, not when you are in a hurry. So food on the go is picnic style. My standard way is grab some cold meats, cheese (there are many dairy free options now too), a take away salad or gluten free sandwich and some fruit and thats lunch. I usually have some leftover, so that’s the afternoon’s snack too. Here’s where I shop:

Marks & Spencers supermarket have without a doubt the best food-on-the-go selection! Their aim is the gluten free market however, their sandwiches don’t have nut warnings, nor do most of the cold meat selections. For nut allergy sufferers, items are clearly marked when they are not suitable.

Tesco supermarket is the next on the list of allergy friendly food on the go. Again, primarily targeted at the gluten free market, but they are starting to add in more dairy and egg free options for desserts and savoury crackers.

Places to Visit

Day at Albert Dock & the Museums

The docks are on the water front and you can see the old industrial architecture has been preserve. The buildings are now how to museums such as the Tate, Beetles Museum and the Maritime Museum. You could easily spend a day just on the Albert Dock and a picnic (if the sun’s shining) overlooking the water is wonderful!

Evening at the Theatre

Liverpool is a metropolitan city with a great night life. Part of that night life is the theatres. Many of the big London shows will tour to Liverpool on their way round the country and you have everything from Shakespeare to Pantomime, Ballet to Opera, and comedy! 

Things to Do

If you, or your kids, want a bit more adventure on their holiday, you will find something for even the pickiest! Get involved with activities such as paint-balling, bowling, funfairs, trampolining, treasure hunts and open air bus tours. Groupon on always has some fantastic deals for things to do in Liverpool so make sure click on the “Things to do” title above!

 

Pin for later 🙂 

how to plan Allergy friendly day out in liverpool groupon deals

 

Low FODMAP Herby Meatballs with Fodify Foods and Nomad Health Pasta (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Low-FODMAP)

Low FODMAP Herby Meatballs with Fodify Foods and Nomad Health Pasta (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Low-FODMAP)

About a year Nomad Health got in touch with me and asked whether I would review some of the their pasta.  About 6 months later Fodify Foods gave me some of their sauces and spice mixes to try out. In the last few months I have finally made the time to actually try out all these products, make recipes, photograph them and write up my review for you.

I find the Nomad pasta exciting because these pastas are not only gluten free, they are grain free. It’s not often that you find a free from pasta that is free from the usuals of potato starch and rice flour. Not that they’re bad per se, but I find they are sometimes heavy on my stomach and I know that they sometimes provide trouble for others.

These pastas are made from sesame flour, green banana flour and other unusual ingredients. Usually gluten free pasta can disintegrate if cooked too long or it can fall apart. But this was just like cooking ‘normal’ pasta and when cooked, the pasta held it’s shape with no problem.  I had a cheeky little taste while I was plating up…

Seeing as I had pasta to try out, I had to make a sauce to go with it. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to work very hard because the lovely ladies at Fodify Foods had given me a Tomato Pasta Sauce to try. What’s special about this sauce is that it has no added sugar or salt and it is low FODMAP. Most of the time with sauces, garlic is a key ingredient, however for those following the low-FODMAP diet garlic is a no-no.

For this dish I wanted the recipe that would show off the sauce, be low-FODMAP and an easy to follow. I had some beef mince in the fridge so I decided meatballs would be perfect.

If you have any fresh basil or parsley, it goes great with this dish. I think this pasta sauce is a really great base sauce. Ideal for herb-ing up as you like!

 

So without further ado, let’s make some dinner!

Low FODMAP Herby Meatballs with Fodify Foods and Nomad Health Pasta (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Low-FODMAP)

 

Super easy to make!

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients:

 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C

Put the mince meat, basil, oregano, parsley, mustard and salt in a bowl and use your hands to mix them together so that the herbs and mustard are evenly distributed in the mince. Now take some mince and roll into a ball. You should be able to make 14 meatballs.

Heat a little oil in a sauce pan until hot. Fry the meatballs in the pan to brown on all sides. Once browned place in an oven proof dish. Continue until all the meatballs are browned.

Now pour the jar of Fodify pasta sauce over the meatballs. Use a couple tablespoons of water to rinse out the jar and add to the dish.

Put your meatball dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.

When the meatballs have 10 minutes to go. Cook your Nomad Foods Fusilli Pasta as per pack instructions.

 

Serve with a sprinkling of fresh basil and enjoy!

 

New Recipes On The Blog…

Moroccan Style Chicken Recipe – Fodify Foods Spice Mix Review

Moroccan Style Chicken Recipe – Fodify Foods Spice Mix Review

Back before Christmas the lovely ladies, Janet and Hannah from Fodify Foods sent me a selection of their products to sample. This time round I whipped up a quick and easy dinner using their Moroccan Spice Mix, and I have to say it went down a treat!

Now personally, I and everyone in my house don’t need to eat a low FODMAP diet, but I was up for the challenge. Especially with janet and Hannah’s spice mixes to ease the transition!

When putting together this dinner I wanted to create something that could be done with very little. A type of the ‘cupboard is bare’ meal but you wouldn’t know it. I also wanted to make sure that I kept my cooking time down. As an avid home cook and foodie, I can happily spend a couple hours on one dish, however for the working person, and if you’re knew to the world of free from, this is not really what you want.

This recipe will take you 30 minutes to cook from start to finish, it is really easy and incredibly yummy. My chief taste testers have no allergies or intolerances and they couldn’t tell there was no onion, garlic, gluten and dairy. In fact, they asked for more!

So without further ado, here is my quick Moroccan Spiced Chicken Recipe!

Moroccan Style Chicken – Fodify Foods Spice Mix

Ingredients:

  • a dash of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750g diced chicken breast
  • 2 tsp Fodify Foods Moroccan Spice Mix
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp tomato puree (or 2 diced tomatoes)
  • a dash of water to make a sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste.

 

Method:

  1. Heat a dash of olive in a medium sided frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf and fry until you hear the cumin seeds start to sizzle.
  2. Add your diced chicken breast to the pan and stir. Fry until the meat has turned white on all sides.
  3. Now add the Fodify Foods Moroccan spice mix, dried thyme, tomato puree and mix. Add a dash of water as needed to create a sauce.
  4. Then turn the heat down to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with some roasted vegetables or a bed of boiled rice.*

*If serving with roasted vegetables, preheat your oven to 180C, cut your vegetables into bite sized chunks, drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.

*If serving with rice, put the rice on 15 minutes before the chicken is ready. Cook the rice per pack instructions.

New Recipes On The Blog…

Gluten Free Rosemary and Mustard Burgers with Schar American Style Burger Buns

Gluten Free Rosemary and Mustard Burgers with Schar American Style Burger Buns

A few months ago Schar were kind enough to send me a huge box of their new range products; Viennese Whirls, Chocolate Chip Buns, their new Sourdough and their American Style Burger Buns.

Now if you have burger buns, how can you not make burgers to go in them!! Thank you Schar for giving me an excuse to make a whole load of burgers.

 

When it comes to living with allergies, in the beginning it can be difficult to find foods that are quick, easy and tasty but burgers are one of my go to quick dinners, show stopper BBQ editions and lunchbox fillers. Burgers are fantastic hot or cold and so versatile. You can make them out of practically any mince meat and get creative with herbs and spices galore! What’s more it is incredibly easy to make them gluten free, dairy free and egg free! They could be top 14 allergy free if you wanted, not to mention low-FODMAP.

I’ll have more burgers recipes coming your way because I just love to experiment and as I said they are such a great meal for those with allergies. Last time it was Lamb Burgers with a side of Spring Greens this time i went for something a bit spicier and what a treat to have burger buns to go with.

These buns are packed for long life in sets of 2, ideal if its just one or two of you eating gluten free. I personally love to toast my burger bun to add a crunchy side. These buns grilled really well. The flavour was just a plain burger bun which was great because then you can add condiments and any flavour of burger! Sky’s the limit!

So lets get cooking!

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Rosemary and Mustard Burgers with Schar American Style Burger Buns

Perfect for a summer BBQ or to enjoy for dinner any day of the week! 

If you need egg-free, simply omit the egg from this recipe, I promise it’ll taste just as good.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp (dollop of) yellow mustard (make sure its gluten free!)
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 kg lean beef steak mince
  • 4  Schar Gluten Free Burger Buns

 

Method:

Turn your grill on and let it heat to high and prepare you grill rack. (*Tip: use some fold to cover the bottom of the tray to make washing up easier.)
In a bowl beat the egg, mustard and dried spices, herbs, salt and pepper. Beat until it has all been evenly mixed and there are no lumps of powder.
Now add the beef mince. Use your hands to bring the burger mix together so that the beef is covered in your seasoning. Now a handful of mince and flatten into a burger shape.
Place your burger onto you grill rack. Continue to make burgers until all the mince has been used up. You should make about 10 burgers.
Now place your burger filled grill rack right under the grill.
Grill for 8-13 minutes on the first side and then turn over and grill the second side for a further 8-10 minutes. If you want rare burgers, cook for 8 minutes on each side. If you would like more well done, cook for longer on each side. Make sure the burger is piping hot in the centre, even if you are having it rare.
Now slice your burger buns in half and place under your grill to toast the inside of the buns. Grill for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Now it’s time to serve up! You could have a simple burger in a bun, or why not adding some mustard or tomato chutney?

 

 

 

Check out these great veggie side dishes too Pan-Fried Marrow and Sweet Potato Fries.