Irish Free From Food Awards 2017 – the winners!

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Irish Free From Food Awards 2017 – the winners!

I was delighted to be asked to take part in the judging process for the Irish Free From Food Awards for a second time this year.  It’s fantastic to be involved with an organisation who want to celebrate free from food that’s done really well.

Being a judge has serious perks as not only are you sampling tried and tested brands, you often also get to try new and improved products before they are released to the masses. A big thank you to John and Emma for letting me get involved and I’ll see you next year!

The awards ceremony was held last week and while I unfortunately couldn’t attend, I understand a great night was had by all.  Here’s the WINNERS LIST 2017 if you fancy a look see.

Some of my personal favourites made the grade so I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Bfree Sweet Potato Wraps Product of the year and Gold in the bread products category
    I’m pretty sure these guys would lose profits if I stopped buying them.I love them as wraps but they also make a mean quesadilla – well done to Bfree!
  2. 9 White Deer  Craft beer range- Innovation Award
    See my previous blog post on this full range of GF Irish craft beer, including a stout. Cheers to that.
  3. Origin Earth Crackers – Gold in Crackers & Crispbreads category
    The only GF cracker that tastes like a cracker to me. Still no Jacobs cream cracker sadly but they are really really good.
  4. Tesco Free From Batter Onion rings – Gold in Ready to cook category
    Dear Tesco, can you make a battered sausage next please, asking for a friend.
  5. Aldi Gluten free product range – Multiple awards
    Their porridge oats, award winning Zilch bread, biscuits and pasta are my store cupboard staples. Good job Aldi.

 

Gluten Free Beer range from 9 White Deer Brewery

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Gluten Free Beer range from 9 White Deer Brewery

The folks at 9 white deer brewery in Co.Cork were kind enough to send me some samples of their new gluten free range of beer, Stag Saor.  Yes, it’s a very hard life eh?

Within this range is Ireland’s first gluten free stout and it’s also Europe’s first full range of gluten free craft beers. G’wan the Irish!

I invited some friends to try the range with me and they all went down really well, even though I was the only coeliac in the bunch. It’s a good sign when you have genuine craft beer lovers confirming they wouldn’t know there was any difference with this range being gluten free.

The stand outs for me were the Stout and the IPA. The stout has really strong chocolate and vanilla notes and is surprisingly light. I would never have been a stout drinker par se prior to being diagnosed but I would definitely buy this again. My other favourite was the IPA which was light, balanced and fruity.

The standard ales and German Kolsh were tasty and balanced – they just wouldn’t be my preference in general for a beer. Overall, a huge thumbs up from me on the entire range, well done lads

You can locate Stag Saor stockists by visiting the brewery’s website.

DIY – Gluten Free Satay sauce

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DIY  – Gluten Free Satay sauce

This is an easy recipe and the chili is optional! This amount serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

3 generous tbsp Peanut Butter (I used Aldi’s own brand)

3 tbsp Tamari Soy sauce

1 tbsp Peanut oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chili – chopped finely

1 cup of Water to loosen

This is how we do it:

  1. Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl except the water
  2. Marinate meat/fish if you have time, if not, add straight to your stir fry as it’s cooking and allow to heat through.
  3. Add water gradually to loosen to taste – I would normally add a full cup but you might prefer a thicker sauce – to each his own!

Gluten Free Lunch in Dublin City

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I blogged about this a number of years ago and still get many emails, particularly from tourists, thanking me for making their trip to Dublin a little easier in terms of eating gluten free. With that in mind I’ve updated the listing as some places had closed and even increased it, I do aim to please!

Luckily it keeps getting easier and easier to eat out gluten free so this wasn’t much of a challenge and I’m happy to say a lot of my old favourites are still on there, as well as some newbies.

So, whether you’re in the city for a bit of shopping or seeking something to tasty to brighten up your work day, here’s a listing of some of my favourites.

Beshoffs

Gluten free fish and chips as well as onion rings, chicken goujons – so so good  – their garlic dip is also delish. Multiple locations, eat in or take away.

ITSA

ITSA is an awesome lunch spot, not only for gluten free diets but for allergen friendly food in general.  You’ll get GF soups and bagels as well as great coffee and cakes . There are multiple branches and you can eat in or takeaway.

Millstone

Situated on Dame Street, Millstone has one of the best set ups for gluten free in the city, they have a separate gluten free menu for lunch and dinner with sandwiches, pizzas…you name it.

Milano

Milano do a great GF pizza base as well as a good variety of other options throughout the menu. They even launched their famous dough balls in a gluten free option last year although I’ve yet to sample them. I love their mini GF dessert and Coffee combos. There are multiple locations and you can also takeaway if you want. If you just want pizza to take away, I’d recommend Credo on Montague St for their GF pizza also.

Lemon

Lemon do buckwheat crepes which means they are suitable for coeliacs. However, they are cooked in an extremely gluteneous environment so please eat at your own risk.  Personally, I have eaten many crepes from Lemon with no ill effects but I do think you need to bear in mind that they can’t make any promises. Two locations in the city centre on Dawson and South William Street. Eat in or take away.

Boojum

There seems to be a burrito place on every corner in Dublin these days but Boojum and Little Ass Burrito are my favourites and both have gluten free options clearly marked on menus. You can eat in our take away and both of multiple locations.

Kilkenny cafe

Located on Nassau street, the cafe in the Kilkenny shop always have gluten free options clearly marked and offer really good value for money. Eat in.

Neon

Similar to the mexican vibe, Neon of Camden Street is one of the many Thai options for gluten free diners around the city. It’s my favourite and does an amazing lunch deal for a tenner which includes a drink. Other good options which are more eat in are KOH on Jervis Street, Red Torch Ginger on St Andrews Street or Saba on Clarendon Street. All clearly mark gluten free options and have good lunch deals.

Bunsen

I’ve already blogged the bejaysus out of this place here. Amazing gluten free burgers and chips – enough said. Be prepared to queue to get in.

Chopped

A salad bar with multiple locations throughout the city, it does what it says on the tin – all their dressings are gluten free so just put a bowl together and bobs your uncle. Takeaway only in most outlets.

O’Briens Sandwich Cafes

Serve sandwiches and bagels from the Bfree range. They do have guidelines with regard to cross contamination however, similar to Lemon, cannot give any guarantees. I think as long as you ask the right questions and be vigilant you’ll be fine. I’ve never been glutened here. Eat in or takeaway.

My focus here has been for lunch on the move in the city and I’ve blogged about my favourite gluten free dining experiences in Dublin overall in a separate post. Any suggestions or thoughts are more than welcome.

Best ever gluten free fudge brownie recipe – no word of a lie

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Best ever gluten free fudge brownie recipe – no word of a lie

I love a warm brownie with ice cream, especially on a cold winter evening. I’ve tried so many recipes but this is definitely my favourite, which I found on Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking.

It’s a very decadent receipe but it works every time, you just can’t go wrong with it.

I adjusted for gluten free by using Gluten Free plain flour from Aldi, Moser Roth 70% Cocoa chocolate from Aldi and Green & Blacks Cocoa Powder which is GF and can be found in most health stores.

I also added 1 tsp of Xantham gum to the flour mix to help with the binding.

Make, bake and enjoy!

Lidl Gluten Free white bread mix – a winner!

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Lidl Gluten Free white bread mix – a winner!


I bought and tried this mix recently. The result is a lovely soft fresh bread with a great crunchy crust.

The package comes with a sachet of yeast so all you need to do is add water and oil to the flour/yeast mix, leave to rise and then bake for one hour.

I enjoyed this bread fresh the first day and toasted the second, definitely a winner and one I will buy again, great price point too.

lidlbreadmix

Best ever gluten free scone recipe – no word of a lie

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Best ever gluten free scone recipe – no word of a lie

I came across this recipe in Phil Vickery’s Seriously Good Gluten Free cook book and have used many times for ourselves or for when guests are calling. The scones are light, fluffy and you can have them on the table in half an hour start to finish.

I use Phil’s recipe with a few tiny tweaks.  I like larger scones so rather than making 12 small ones, I usually get 6 -8 larger ones from this recipe. Read, bake and enjoy!

What you need

300g Gluten Free Plain Flour (I’m loving Aldi’s at the moment)

2 Tsp Xanthum Gum

4 Tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

1 Tbsp Sugar

100g Softened Butter

2 eggs

125ml Milk

Pinch of Salt

Jam and Cream to serve

This is how we do it

  1. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, sugar, salt) together into a bowl
  2. Add the butter and mix with your fingertips to form a breadcrumb texture. Put a well in the center
  3. Mix the eggs and milk together in a jug and add to the center of the butter/flour mixture
  4. Mix well with a wooden spoon to form a batter
  5. If you find the batter is a little wet, add a couple of tablespoons of flour to the mix and go again
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the scone batter. Flatten it by hand until it’s about 2/3 cm thick.
  7. Using a cutter (I use a standard ramekin, just as easy) – cut out your scones
  8. Line up on a greased and very lightly floured baking tray – use whatever is left in your milk/egg mix in the jug to eggwash the scones
  9. Bake at 220C for 8-10 mins until golden brown. You’ll know they are done if when you tap the bottom it sounds hollow.
  10. Leave to cool for a few minutes and serve with cream and jam.

If you have any leftover (unlikely!), these keep well in an air tight container for 24 hours and can be warmed for maybe 20 seconds in the microwave. They are better eaten fresh though.

 

 

New gluten free range from O’Hehirs Bakery

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New gluten free range from O’Hehirs Bakery

O’Hehirs Bakery originated in Sligo over 30 years ago and now has 14 Bakery cafes located down the Western Seaboard and across the Midlands. They saw a customer demand for a gluten free range  in recent times and after 2 years of trial and error have launched a range of products. The produce is baked centrally in Sligo in a separate bakery to avoid cross contamination and the breads are made fresh nightly.

ohehirstoastieThey kindly sent me some samples of their products and boy was I impressed. The vienna bread in particular is very close to a traditional vienna – look at the toasties my husband made and I defy you not to salivate!

What was great about the breads was that they had a lovely soft texture and didn’t taste mealy like a lot of gluten free breads can. They also stayed reasonably fresh for up to 5 days.

ohehirsvienna

ohehirsbakewellThe cake selection was equally delicious and when shared out amongst a number of friends and family, they wouldn’t have known they were gluten free unless I had told them. For me the raspberry bakewell slices were the real stars of the show – moist, moreish and not at all crumbly.

 

 

Price list is as follows

  • Chocolate & Coffee Gateauxs – €10 each
  • Vienna Breads – €3.50 each
  • Bread Rolls – €2 each
  • Brownie & Raspberry Bakewell Slices – €4 each

O’Hehirs have locations in Letterkenny, Donegal, Sligo, Claremorris, Ballina, Westport, Galway, Athlone, Mullingar and Longford.

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