Sunday, 23 September 2012

Coconut Flour

Desperately trying to find new gluten free options I discovered Tiana Coconut Flour in our local Holland and Barrett store and had to try it.

It is high in fibre so might not suit all, but it is filling and easy to cook with (apparently!) It says you do need a wetter mixture if partially substituting in regular recipes, so do read the Tiana site first.

My first attempt at baking was not that good, despite making the effort to read the tips on the Tiana site (Recipes & Diets -> Baking with Coconut flour --> tips ) and trawling the web for a suitable conversion chart from imperial cups to imperial oz or even metric grams.

But I have now found a fantastic conversion chart (here) which works beautifully!
Today I retried the recipe I first attempted, (a basic coconut biscuit recipe) but today it worked a treat.

Baking with Tiana is not cake baking but batter baking, it relies on eggs so I would not like to make assumptions about it working with egg alternatives, although I might try the Vegg with it.

I used the recipe below.

You DO need to allow the batter to stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken up. I used a Pampered Chef scoop which is a little like a melon baller - I don't really rate Pampered Chef but this tool WORKS!! (It's fab for little cupcakes and biscuits.) I then flattened the balls a tiny bit with the back of a spoon, baked at 190 C for 15 mins and IT WORKED!!! These are rather moreish... be warned! For children who are deprived of so many regular tastes and textures this is a fab find, and has enhance our repertoire considerably.

Coconut Almond Cookies

1/2 cup Tiana coconut flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup butter (I used "Pure" Sunflower)
1 cup sugar (I used caster)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
3/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

Unlike a cake, the instructions do not tell you to beat the sugar and butter together, just make sure the butter/marge is room temperature, and mix it with the sugar, eggs and salt, plus almond extract if you are using it. Stir in the flour and ground almonds. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes. Drop on a baking sheet in small spoon sized balls. Bake for 15 mins at 190 C until browned.

(NB the Tiana site suggests toasted almonds instead of ground almonds, and 1 1/ cups of grated coconut as well. I took advantage of the ground almond consistency as I didn't have any coconut.)

“This post is an entry into the Foodies100/Schwartz Flavour of Together challenge.”   Do you have a revolutionary flavour or ingredient which is particularly significant, evocative of times past or which adds something new to your alimentary life? Check out the Schwartz website to share your #FlavourStories !

Link up your recipe of the week

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Egg alternatives

I must admit as we are not entirely egg free I have been rather lax in investigating alternatives. I have tried the Vegg and found it nearly as good as the manufacturers claim, I must try again and post photos of the results.

A friend posted this chart elsewhere, it is an invaluable resource for those trying to exclude egg in cooking so I thought I would share it here.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Packed lunches

I've been really struggling to make interesting MEWS free packed lunches for my twins. Few egg free breads are palatable if they cannot be freshened up in the microwave which is obviously not possible at nursery/school. My two (currently!) seem to like Falafel, which is quick and easy to make. The Orgran one is OK, the Hale and Hearty mix is less crunchy (smoother consistency) but sloppier if mixed as instructed and more difficult to make round balls to fry. These also seemed to dry out faster in the fridge. Our favourite is the one our Co-Op sells, the "Just" range.
(If you are ok with corn Barkat make one with few ingredients but I have not tried this mix myself.)

So, today's cooking session was devoted to making Falafel and finding something to add with it. I have some tiny tupperware boxes I put sauces and dips in, so one twin has mayonnaise and the other ketchup to dunk these in tomorrow.

Given the bread problem mentioned above, I have been taking the advice on a friend on how to perfect rolls made with the Juvela Harvest White bread mix. I had no END of trouble getting the correct mix prescribed, this is the only one Suffolk PCT will sanction for those who are gluten free which is also dairy and soya free. DO read labels and check any bread mixes if you are lucky enough to receive gluten free prescription food. Mixes frequently contain other foods many children are excluding as they tend to cater for the gluten free category only.

This bread mix works particularly well as rolls, and you can now buy dairy AND soya free cheese from a couple of sources. I used this to create a cheezy topping on some rolls today, you could make cheese twists or even add some to the mix and make cheese rolls! I am indebted to Rebecca for these fabulous tried and tested suggestions.

Holland and Barrett on the high street stock Redwood Cheezly Soy free  which is easy to source, but our favourite is the Vegusto cheese!  BE WARNED though, their cheese contain nut protein, and NOT ALL their products are free from major allergens. They are intended as Vegan cheese products. The Melty is fab, often out of stock...... and the hard cheese we like is the No Moo Aromatic Cheddar. Strong tasting, but my daughter likes strong flavours! Her twin won't touch ANY cheese substitutes :S

So here we have some with and some without cheese. I have eaten these too, they are very palatable but do take some practice getting the method just right.

Please do email me any of your lunch box ideas to help others!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

What is EGID? Page updated

I have today updated the What is EGID? page. It does contain a lot of information but is well worth a read.
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