Archive of ‘Gluten-free products’ category

Gluten-free chocolate cupcake (#1)

So the quest for the gluten-free chocolate cupcake in Johannesburg has its first nomination. Whilst at Belle’s Patisserie in the Bluebird Centre for a work function, I discovered the “Skinny Menu” with gluten-free, sugar free and vegetarian options. So what’s gluten-free on the menu? Red Velvet Cupcake, Fran’s Cheesecake, Hemp Brownie and Paleo Poppie Loaf.  In the interests of fair investigation I tried the cupcake (although they had chocolate not red velvet), the cheesecake and the brownie. Tough job but someone had to do it. Let’s be clear though, I did share. They also have savoury options (in fact, most of the menu is gluten-free) from crustless quiche to cauliflower wraps – see the full Skinny Menu here.

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The cupcakes are made from coconut flour and are very moist… but I am I think still getting used to eating coconut flour. Or maybe the icing threw me off slightly – is sugar free and I think made from coconut cream which gives it a different taste and texture… rich but different. So I give this cupcake a 7/10. Is good but not decadent. You don’t feel like you have to run round the block after eating, which I suppose is the reason behind creating a Skinny Menu in the first place. But nice to know it’s there when you just feel the need to cheat but be skinny at the same time!

Belle’s Patisserie also has gluten-free Paleo bread which they serve for breakfast as part of their Skinny Menu. I tried this with some of the snacks they had provided for our event and was very very moreish!

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So moreish in fact I bought a loaf. Unfortunately I cannot eat large quantities of this as the nut butter can get to me (main ingredients almond nut butter and egg yolks; also made with almond milk, coconut flour, honey, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds). But if you do not have issues with eggs or nut butters then this is the bread for you! You need to phone ahead and order if you want to buy a loaf as is very popular.

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Visit Belle’s Patisserie website http://www.bellespatisserie.co.za or find them at Shop 16, Blubird Shopping Centre, Corner Athol Oaklands Road, Birnam, Johannesburg

Girl wants cake – first taste of a Lamington

For those in Johannesburg – seems every 4th week or so I feel the need to venture forth and find myself some sweet treat. So as per previous excursions I ended up at Fresh Earth in Emmerentia, and this time I bought a gluten-free Lamington.

Now this is something that I have never actually eaten, or even tried a nibble of in the dark while no-one was looking. So time for some research… a Lamington is an Australian dessert with sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce (or icing depending on where you read) and then in desiccated coconut.

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Being a fan of both chocolate and coconut I decided to try the unknown. Very nice, satisfies the sweet tooth and as with everything I have tried at Fresh Earth a great tasting gluten-free cake – nothing worse than a gluten-free cake or bread that tastes like dried cardboard! Visit the Fresh Earth website here.

Whilst on the topic of nibbly things, someone recently gave me some Schar gluten-free “Maria” biscuits (thank you Morne) which are basically Marie biscuits, and I wondered why an Italian company was producing a South African biscuit. Seems I rather erroneously believed that a Marie biscuit was a South African invention. Imagine my horror (and embarrassment, yes maybe I blushed a little) to find out that the Marie Biscuit was created in London in 1874. I grew up in the UK and have no recollection of a Marie Biscuit – not that I would have been eating them of course,  but I am well aware of chocolate digestives , Bakewell Tarts and Jaffa Cakes and I was not eating those either!

I did ask someone at work to try one and then do a comparison with a local Marie biscuit and apparently it is rather close – they taste just like the real thing.  So if it’s time for tea and you are looking for a biscuit to dunk, now you know what to eat! Schar products are imported by Master Health Products – visit their website for a full list of stockists.

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Pretty and pesto

This weekend I felt like pasta and one of my favourite sauces is a simple pesto. That said, with additives and who knows what else sometimes being added, one has to be quite vigilant in terms of what one actually buys (plus some pesto seems to have walnuts in which, for some reason, can bother me). So right now I have two trusted options:

Option 1 – raw pesto from Free Food

Made with extra virgin olive oil, filtered water, basil, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and kalahari salt; this is a gluten-free, dairy-free, additive and stabilizer free pesto. If you eat dairy then you can just your own parmesan as so desired.  Free Food has a small restaurant and deli just off Corlett Drive where you can find deli items, frozen meals, soups, salads, gluten-free pasta, vegan burgers, gluten-free pizza bases/wraps and so much more (including the odd dessert). The menu changes every 2 weeks but you can always find the pesto and other great things in the deli section. Free Food is gluten/what, dairy, sugar, preservative and animal free. Many more postings on this shop to come!

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Photos originally from freefood.co.za

Visit http://www.freefood.co.za for more or visit them at the corner of Corlett Drive and Delta Street (opposite BMW).

Option 2 – make it yourself!

I was recently watching Siba’s Table (starring Siba Mtongana) on the Home Channel and she made a chicken pesto penne dish, and I was inspired by this to make my own pesto as well.

Find the original recipe here at http://www.foodnetwork.co.za.

For the pesto:

  • 200g fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded
  • 160ml olive oil
  • Parmesan shavings, to serve
  • Fresh basil, to serve

1. To make the pesto: place the pesto ingredients in a food processor, except for the olive oil. Blend until smooth and well combined. Add the oil in a thread like motioning until you have a thick pesto.

2. Transfer to a sterilized jar and cover with a layer of oil to seal. Store in the fridge until needed.

How simple is that? I do not add the chilli myself not being a lover of spicy food so that is up to you.

With both these options I know exactly where the products have come from and what the ingredients are, which for me, is the most important thing… and they taste pretty good as well!

 

Ode to the cauliflower

The simple cauliflower has it seems been elevated to super hero status by Tim Noakes and his “Real Meal Revolution”. I have been making cauliflower rice and mash for quite a while now (yes way before Tim Noakes made Banting famous) after hearing and reading about the Paleo diet. This diet is based on the premise that we should eat as our caveman ancestors did and gave me inspiration for recipes and options to eat as a coeliac. With a no grain approach the diet gives great ideas on how to use coconut and almond flour and the humble cauliflower. I am limited to potatoes and rice at the moment as my carbs so I try to find other ingredients that can provide more nutrition and less high GI options on a daily basis.

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I do not follow the Paleo diet specifically as they avoid legumes and dairy and focus on a higher fat diet; I just adapt some of the recipes.  A similar diet is the Primal Diet (visit marksdailyapple.com for more), though in this case dairy can be included. Either way, great inspiration can be found!

Next on my list this week was cauliflower wraps made by Calorie Conscious, available on their website or at Jacksons Real Food Market at the Riverside Shopping Centre in Bryanston. I was at Jacksons early to purchase my wraps (5 for R111) but I have to admit I was not bowled over by the texture,but I think maybe the microwave was not a good idea and the oven might be better option to warm them! Made from cauliflower, psyllium husk, eggs and Himalayan rock salt it all sounds good as a gluten-free option. Jacksons also makes their own “Banting” cauliflower mash and rice. I did buy the cauliflower rice (and yes it tastes very nice) but with the butter and coconut oil they add, I will stick to making this myself and not have the additional fat.

Cauliflower is low in fat, cholesterol free, is a rich source of minerals and vitamin C so give this humble veg a place at your table. Next recipe to tackle…cauliflower hummus!