Sunday, 26 December 2010

Gluten free chocolate roulade and sherry trifle!

Well Christmas day came and went so quickly! we enjoyed a gorgeous gluten free dinner finished off with two decadently rich gluten free desserts.

First a gluten free sherry trifle (I just made my own GF sponge) and secondly a gluten free rich chocolate roulade (swiss roll to you and me!) and oh my was that gorgeous! I used a Leith’s recipe which is naturally gluten free since it only contains chocolate, eggs, sugar, coffee and cream. I added raspberries to ours as the acidity helps to cut through the sweetness a little!

It was a little tricky to roll, but I managed to do so without cracking it (no mean feat! make sure you have non stick baking paper!) and possibly added to much cream, but it tastes wonderful, another “you’d never guess it was gluten free” moment! I think this might be my new favourite GF recipe!

Here’s a couple of pictures:

Friday, 24 December 2010

A list of Mars confectionary gluten free products

I emailed Mars a while back to enquire about gluten in their products since they aren't in the Coeliac UK directory and my son was forever asking to eat some of their chocolate. They quickly replied and sent me a list of all of their gluten free products:

Bounty - Milk & Dark
Galaxy - Minstrels
Galaxy - Ripple
Galaxy - Smooth Milk Chocolate
Galaxy - Smooth Dark Chocolate

Galaxy Pieces - Milk Chocolate & Caramel
M&M's - Choco & Peanut
Milky Way - Magic Stars
Treets - Peanut Treets


Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses
Ice Cream
Bounty Chocolate Ice Cream stick
Bounty Ice Cream bar
Galaxy Caramel Swirls Ice Cream stick
Galaxy Vanilla Heaven Ice Cream bar
Snickers Ice Cream bar

Are pringles gluten free?

I've been reading a little bit on the internet about pringles and gluten recently, we currently have about 6 packs of them in house (buy one get one free!) for Christmas. A couple of nights ago Seb woke up crying complaining he felt really sick and had a tummy ache - my immediate thought was "oh no, please no norovirus for Christmas!".

Anyway, some lemonade and cuddles later he went back to sleep and woke up fine the next day, but with *really* smelly breath, a sure sign he's been "gluttoned". Since he's at home on school holidays at the moment and we are a 100% gluten free house I was wracking my brains to work out what had done it, then I realised he had demolished at least half a pack of barbeque pringles and began to wonder, now I know pringles contain codex wheat starch, but he isn't sensitive to (non gluten containing) wheat and they have always been labelled as "gluten free". Still I got out the pack to check and the "gluten free" labelling had gone, same with the cheese and chive ones too, although the ready salted pack still had the gluten free labelling. I emailed Pringles to check, they speedily helpfully replied with the following:

"Hello Sarah, thanks for your email.

Except from the ‘Original’ variant, Pringles has removed the “gluten free” claim from the labels of all its products. In 2012 a new EU regulation comes into force that will set the threshold for respective labeling at below 20ppm gluten.  Current Pringles ‘Original’ already contains less than 20ppm gluten.  The decision to remove the “gluten free” claim from all other Pringles packaging now has been taken in anticipation of the coming new EU regulation and to take advantage of a recent routine artwork change.

I hope this helps but please contact me again if you have any further enquiries.

Kind regards, "

So it seems that nothing has actually changed, Seb's always been OK with them before so maybe it was just a fluke, in any case I'll be steering clear of them now I think and sticking to just the ready salted flavour.

Seb was not impressed at this news so I sought an alternative and came up with Lays Stax, a US product that is natually gluten free and they have a BBQ flavour too, you can only buy them in the UK as (expensive!) imports, but I've bookmarked this for special occassions:

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Gluten free bread

Hmmm what to say about gluten free bread? this is the one thing I really miss from my pre GF days. Seb really doesn't seem to mind, but I don't think he remembers freshly baked french sticks with thick butter or egg mayonnaise sandwiches in a summer picnic.

I have not found any ready made gluten free bread I like. Everyone raves about Genius, but personally I find it very greasy and dry and much too holey. The best we have found for children is Juvela's prescription fresh white loaf - Seb takes this in his school packed lunch every day, it's very similar to the overprocessed white sliced loaves he loved so much, I'm quite partial to Tescos fresh soft rolls (not the vacuum packed dry ones).

Last year we bought a panasonic breadmaker but I wasn't too impressed (it has a GF setting) so now prefer to bake bread by hand, the best I have found so far (that the children will eat!) is made from Juvela's (prescription) plain white mix. It is very soft, rises really well and has a lovely texture. I often make little rolls with it in a muffin tin, my only complaint is as it's such a runny dough you cannot shape it, so we have odd yorkshire pudding looking rolls instead!

Here's today's bread (cut whilst it was much too hot due to hungry moaning children!) :

Gluten free Christmas gingerbread

So today I have spent mostly making gingerbread in various festive shapes!

The kids had great fun icing them (and made a lot of mess!) - I wonder how long they will stay in the biscuit tin for?

The recipe I use is just a blend of GF white bread flour (350g), 1 egg, 5 tablespoons of honey, 100g unsalted butter, 50grams of castor sugar, dark brown soft sugar and 3 teaspoons of ground ginger (we like it spicy!), all mixed up into a sticky dough and then baked at 180c until nice and golden brown.

I think (if the icing was neater!) they would make a lovely Christmas gift wrapped up in cellophane with a pretty bow (now there's an idea for next year's teacher gifts!).

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Gluten free fish & chips!

Hoorah, it worked!!

A bit of an experiment as this was the first time I have cooked proper fish shop style battered fish, let along a gluten free version, but the result was fantastic, I honestly don't think anyone would have guessed it was gluten free!

Seb naturally adored it and polished off two cod steaks - a fantastic result, I'm one happy mummy tonight.


For anyone interested here's the recipe:

240ml fizzy water
160g Dove's farm white bread flour
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of paprika
salt & pepper
2 egg whites.


1) mix all ingredients together excluding the egg whites (using an electric whisk for best results)
2) beat egg whites until forming soft peaks
3) gently fold egg whites into batter when ready to use

meanwhile dry fish steaks as much as possible and then coat in a small amount of plain white GF flour seasoned with salt and pepper, shake off excess then dip into batter mixture until fully coated, then fry at a hot heat, preferably in a deep fat fryer.

I think this batter would also work really well for chicken and onion rings, I'll let you know when I try!

A Gluten free family Christmas

So it's only 4 days until Christmas! This will be our second gluten free Christmas. Last year I was only just finding my feet, this year I feel much more confident and have done lots of preparation.

So far I have made gluten free mincemeat (using a regular Delia recipe but with gluten free suet by community foods ( and lots of mince pies (still searching for the elusive good gluten free pastry recipe - anyone?!) chocolate and hazelnut fudge:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

and about a thousand Christmas cupcakes (given as gifts to school teachers and sold at a local Christmas shopping evening on a charity stall for my daughter's preschool), I am particularly proud of my cupcakes as they have been eaten by so many non coeliacs who haven't even spotted they were gluten free - no mean feat! I'm due to make another batch tomorrow for my husband to give to work colleagues as gifts so will make sure I photograph some for you!

Marks and Spencer pigs in blankets sausage and bacon wraps
Mrs Crimbles gluten free stuffing mix
I'm also stocking up on Marks and Spencer pigs in blankets, I was overjoyed when I found out these were gluten free and my son's favourite stuffing mix by Mrs Crimbles. We use Bisto Best chicken gravy. For desert I'll be making a choice of two, a chocolate roulade yule log with fresh cream and raspberries and a sherry trifle. I'll post details once they're made - I'm going to be a busy girl over the next couple of days!, we're not fans of regular Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, though last year we had Tesco Free From Christmas pud that was surprisingly convincing!

For Christmas eve we're having an Indian takeaway and Seb will have his favourite chicken korma, basmati rice and poppadums, he may be a picky eater but I'm so grateful he loves spicy food, helps us out of all sorts of pickles! Boxing day we'll have leftovers with cheese and crackers, Seb's favourite are Trufree herb and onion ones that I buy from Holland and Barrett, they're pretty similar to Jacobs cream crackers in appearance and similar in taste, just with a little kick:

Lastly I've bought Seb's favourite breakfast cereal for the festive period, Dove's farm chocolate stars. We can't afford to buy this for him everyday (I have 3 other hungry - non coeliac - children who all eat it too!) but I do buy it every now and again as a treat. It is SO nice to find a gluten free food that has been made with children in mind, sometimes I could cry when I find a product like this, something that helps him to feel like a normal child. I tend to pick up boxes in Sainsburys and Waitrose, at nearly £3 for 375g they aren't cheap, but sometimes it's so worth it.

That's about all I have time for now, I'm off to experiment with my very first homemade gluten free fish and chips, chips are no problem, we bought a deep fat fryer shortly after Seb's diagnosis which has been money really well spent, we rarely use it (being health conscious!) but it makes such gorgeous chips! I've also successfully made onion rings and breaded mushrooms in it, but tonight will be my first attempt at frying cod - eeek, wish me luck! if the result isn't too embarrassing I will blog about it this evening.

New Year New Gluten Free Child Blog

Hi everyone,

Well, I've been meaning to start this blog since 2009 - and here I am nearly 2011 and finally starting!

The inspiration behind this blog is my 8yr old son Sebastian. Seb was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in the Autumn of 2009, though with retrospect it was obvious he was a Coeliac since he was 4mths old. Seb was born weighin 10lbs and very long on the 98th growth centile. By 4mths (when he was weaned onto gluten containing solids - pre this he was solely breastfed) he was on the 25th centile for height and weight and seemed to hate most food I gave him. Health visitors and GPs told me not to worry, he obviously just wasn't meant to stay big, but I always had niggling doubts.

Seb quickly became the smallest child in his year at school. At age 7 when he was diagnosed he was wearing age 5 clothes. He frequently complained of leg pains, lethargy and tummy ache. He suffered from severe constipation 2 or 3 times per year and he had awful smelly breath. Things came to a head in August 2009. We had been on a family holiday to Disneyland and he cried so much (from tiredness and leg pain) that my 2yr old daughter was taken out of her buggy so he could sit in it. Off to the GPs we went and despite my late father being a Coeliac she (the GP) seemed reluctant to test Seb and said it was all normal "growing pain" and perhaps normal throat bacteria. I persisted. 2wks later his test results came back "very positive" and we were referred to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge for an endoscopy, which also proved "very positive" and so Seb was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. We decided to turn into a gluten free house, it felt safer that way. I am convinced my 3yr old daughter, Violet, is also a Coeliac although the bloods say she isn't. I'm certain I am too, since going gluten free I have felt so much healthier and if I do accidentaly eat it I have violent tummy pains and diarrhoea - but I don't want to eat gluten again in order to be tested!

So, here we are....a year in after diagnosis, gluten free living has become a way of life for us now, not all positive, we have our ups and our downs. I have rediscovered a love of cooking, after a few months buying ready made gluten free products and mixes I pretty much everything from scratch now. It tastes so much better and is so much cheaper! So this blog will mostly be looking at our gluten free, coeliac friendly, food - with a specific angle of child friendly gluten free food (not easy!). I hope to post details of party food we make, family mealtimes and gluten/child friendly restaurants. I know when we were first diagnosed there was lots of support for older Coeliacs, but as a mother of a young boy (who doesn't like "healthy food" - why does gluten free always = healthy? as if it's a lifestyle choice?!) I felt unsupported, I would have loved to have been in contact with gluten free young families. We are a member of Coeliac UK and go along to regular meets, however we have only ever met one other Coeliac child.

Please bookmark me - I shall try to update as often as possible, well as often as possible when you have 4 children under 9, a puppy, 3 cats, 5 chickens and a part time (self employed) job!

Sarah (& Sebastian!).