Sunday, 27 April 2014

Banana Oaties

I have had this recipe sitting around for MONTHS and have finally got round to making it! It's so quick and simple, the cookies can be frozen (if they are not eaten straight away!) and its a flexible recipe with room for changing to suit your tastes/needs.

There are few ingredients, and it is dairy free, soya free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free - most major allergens free AND sugar free. It's vegan, MEWS safe, you name it, so I can see it becoming one of our staples.

Unfortunately it contains nuts, but I imagine rice protein might work instead? Or polenta?

There are only TWO left to take a photo of, the rest disappeared when my back was turned....

  • 3 RIPE mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup of apple sauce (I used 1 banana and apple Cow and Gate infant fruit pot)
  • 2 cups gluten free oats 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice of substitute)
  • 1/2cup raisins (or substitute for your favourite dried fruit or nuts if safe)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp cinnamon
Recently I treated myself to a set of measuring cups to facilitate easy conversion for cooking with Australian cup measurements. They are particularly useful for the Tiana coconut recipes too.

Mine are from TKMaxx which is a surprisingly good source of baking equipment!

  • Easy - mash the bananas
  • Combine everything well (I use my Kenwood mixer for this)
  • Spoon onto a baking sheet
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 15 minutes!
Tip:- Best kept in the fridge for a couple of days, or the freezer if uneaten in that time. They are not hard biscuits but very soft - delicious warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Free From Foods are NOT a Lifestyle Choice

I published this on my other Blog Musings of a 21st Century SAHM in response to an email received today.

In my inbox this morning was a request to complete a short and sweet questionnaire about "Free From" foods. Right I thought, I'm a bit of an expert on that one... should only take me a minute! So I duly clicked on the link... how long could it take?!

Well that depends on whether you find the questionnaire possible to complete in the first place, and whether it triggers a response like this or not :-

So why I am getting so hot under the collar about an innocuous set of questions? Well here they are:-

I'll tell you what my "attitude" towards them is; that they are an essential, vital form of sustenance for my children who would otherwise become very ill. Foods which are sold as if I should be grateful, which are often poor in nutritional content and high in price, which we cannot do without.
It wouldn't be so bad if the first option in question 2 was "Medical Necessity" - because after all, that is the main reason the "Free From" food industry exists, even if it has become something of a fad amongst many, and this growth in consumption of "dietary" foods has undoubtedly increased production, which benefits us all. However, if the main focus for it's existence is forgotten, short cuts will be taken and those with medical needs will be the first to miss out precisely because  - and hear we come to the crux of the argument - for us it's NOT a CHOICE! 

Eating "freefrom" food is not a lifestyle choice for the vast majority, it's a no-alternative, medically imposed way of life and to suggest otherwise is both ignorant and offensive.

So when faced with a questionnaire asking me to rate answers as to why I choose "free from" food in order of importance, seeing options such as "helps weight loss" and "they are lower calorie" makes me not a little cross!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Few Foods Chocolate Mousse!

Dairy fee, wheat free, gluten free, corn free, egg free, sugar free......

...pretty much everything free so hopefully lots of you can enjoy this delicious chocolate mousse recipe!


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Puree until smooth.

When my avocados *finally* ripened I realised I had run out of cocoa powder. So I used some rice protein powder and Anthony Worral Thompson's chocolate spread as a combination. It worked well, looked fab.... but even after chilling I could *still* taste the avocado, which just didn't seem "right" for a chocolate mousse. And I only used a small one too...

So not one of my favourite recipes but I'm glad I tried it, I think I would add more sweetener of some sort another time maybe?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Carrot and Coriander Muffins

Since it's Easter Weekend I wanted to make the kids something a little more exciting than sandwiches for tea, plus we might go out tomorrow if the weather's nice. I'm also trying to be brave and bake egg free more often too!

So these are wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soya free and depending which flour you use could be corn and potato free too. (I know many of our readers have problems with those two flours)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Free From Favourites Link Up

This is our second Recipe Resource Blog Link Up! The first was here.

Do you have a favourite "free from" recipe? Something which is easy, fail safe, popular with the kids? Your go-to meal when pushed for time, or something quick and healthy which freezes well? There are many "free from" Bloggers out there - recipes don't have to be MEWS free or few ingredients recipes, they can be gluten free, dairy free etc.

Code for the badge:-

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="border:0"/></a>

To enter, click on the Link up button below and follow the instructions. Please take care to follow the three simple rules below. Happy linking!


1) You must specify which foods your recipe EXCLUDES
2) Make your reason for entering your chosen recipe clear - i.e. why it is a favourite. If you are entering an "old" post maybe add a line to explain why it's a favourite.
and lastly:-
3) The Recipe Resource takes no responsibility for anyone testing a recipe listed within this link-up, it is your responsibility to check ingredients carefully. (i.e. not everyone is always clear about gluten containing foods so if a recipe says it is "gluten free" please CHECK when following it with your own ingredients.

If you are on Google+ , come and join our Free From Favourites Community!

Friday, 11 April 2014

"Free from" Sausage Rolls

With a boy who would live on sausage meat if he could, who detests sandwiches and would happily avoid eating lunch I have had to become inventive. This recipe has been the most successful by far for us, it's portable, freezable and so quick and easy to make.

I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way to make it easier too! If you cannot get Juvela Harvest Whits mix (we get it on prescription, it's soya free but requires and egg or egg replacer) then Genius have just brought out their own pastry range which would make these even quicker and easier to make!

These contain pork sausagement from a local butcher which is gluten free. I order in bulk as they prefer to sell it that way. Alternatively you could use gluten free sausages uncooked end-to-end.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Main Meals for Kids

I find my biggest challenge is providing a balanced week day menu for my children after school. Their school will not provide them with a hot lunch, so I make up a cold lunch daily for them both. Their older brother is "only" gluten free which is slightly easier, and his High School provide him with a nutritious hot meal every day which is a MASSIVE help to me.

Like many other children with food allergies, my twins have some swallowing issues. Reflux alone usually means "sticky" food is harder to swallow, and really dry food can stick at the back of the throat. This is because reflux often desensitises that area making the swallow reflex slightly delayed - usually not much of an issue but in persistent reflux it can become a problem.

Our daughter suffers particularly with this and has to sit upright, pace herself and is very good now (at age 8) in knowing what she can and cannot manage to eat without risking choking.

And, like almost ALL children, those with allergies will still have likes and dislikes, favourites and food they wouldn't touch with the proverbial bargepole. Lastly, children with food related disorders and health conditions almost always have an overly strong emotional relationship with food. It *really* matters to them, it is often a bigger focus than maybe it should be, and they care deeply about what they can and will eat. (And what they can't!) So catering for this group can be akin to stumbling blindly through a minefield!

It's therefore even less acceptable to fob them off with the same meal several days a week (unless there are other reasons for doing so, we did it when weaning our son from tube feeds so I would never condemn anyone!) and given their dietary restrictions, nutritional content is absolutely KEY. I recently wrote about the Free From Food industry and whilst it is fine to use ready meals occasionally, most are high in salt and sugar to add flavour. You simply cannot beat cooking from scratch -and it really isn't difficult.

So here is a sample week-day meal planner for primary aged children, which you can rotate as necessary. It relies on several staples which you can easily keep in your freezer and a couple of half days (or evenings) of batch cooking. I've tried to exclude recipes which have the main allergens in, and the majority are meals you can cook in advance and freeze if desired.

Friday, 4 April 2014


With school out for the holidays, I'm finally turning my attention to Easter! 

There seem to be more opportunities than ever this year to find free from treats for our children, finally manufacturers are catching on!

Here is a selection of suggestions from our Facebook Support Group. The Lindt dark bunnies have soya lecithin in (the highly purified oil, not ok for everyone but many tolerate it) but are otherwise soya, dairy and gluten free. This is pretty much true of all the other treats pictured below, most are available from supermarkets or high street stores like Holland and Barrett.

Personally, my vote would go for the Choices "Celtic" egg which is 60% cocoa solids, and unlike many others has few additives. This is the one my youngest two have for Easter! Holland and Barrett have a fabulous selection of treats here.

Although time is running out one of the best online supplier for children's Easter treats is "Free From For Kids" which has a lovely selection of pre-wrapped gifts and treats.

My children are getting something slightly different this year though - real bunnies!!! We are adopting some rabbits that a friend is unable to care for since she has arthritis. I have to say, that whilst it is important that our children don't feel they miss out due to allergies and health conditions, I am acutely aware that a restricted diet is often too high in simple sugars and usually attempt to find non-food alternatives anyway. I often buy little craft gifts, or inexpensive (small) Easter toys instead of chocolate -for my non-allergic children as well. This year it seems I have managed to come up trumps, you can't beat real life rabbits!

 photo letkidsbekidslogobadge_zps424b7d61.jpg
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