Gluten free brownies: vegan, raw, and delicious

Do you know much about raw food?

I confess I didn’t; I suppose, if anything, I’d assumed it was lots of salad… very healthy, very crunchy, but perhaps not very exciting.

However, I’ve just received a pack of crisps and brownies from Gourmet Raw, and they are delicious – and definitely gourmet! How wrong can you be?

The brownies come in various flavours – I loved the mint one best, closely followed by hazelnut, while my husband and son preferred the orange flavour. These are a little like eating chocolate truffles: rich, squodgy and very, very more-ish. Whichever the favourite, though, they’re all gone!

Some of them are carob brownies – not chocolate. I’ve always liked the taste of carob, but it can be a surprise if you’re expecting the taste of chocolate, so bear that in mind. Others are cacao (which goes into chocolate and cocoa). The range of flavours are: cacao cashew, cacao cocobanana, cacao mint, carob hazelnut, carob orange. Yum!

We were sent 3 flavours of crisps, too: spicy Thai, red pepper and beetroot. Given that these are raw foods (nothing cooked over 40.5C), you’ll be asking how these can possibly be crisps… and of course they’re not slices of potato cooked in high-temperature fat!

The red pepper ones, for example, are sprouted buckwheat, flaxseed, fresh red pepper, smoked paprika and lime compressed somehow into slim squares just right for dipping into your favourite dip (the red pepper ones + hummous get my vote).

I was less keen on the beetroot ones, but then I’ve never been […]

You Will Never Guess What is Associated with Gluten Sensitivity

This is a guest post by Julia Wiesniewski, who lives gluten free to help with her fibromyalgia.

If you are reading this blog, then likely you or a loved one has gluten sensitivity. Chances are, though, that you are unaware of all the different kinds of health conditions that are associated with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Here is a list of conditions and disorders that you may not have realized are associated with a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

  1. Blood deficiencies.
    An inability to absorb gluten is associated with a deficiency in many vitamins and minerals in the blood. You need to visit your doctor to take a blood test and determine if you need to start a supplemental regimen. The deficiencies range from Vitamin A to Zinc.
  2. Addison’s Disease.
    People with celiac disease are 11x more likely to develop Addison’s Disease according to a Swedish study. Addison’s disease is when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones causing symptoms similar to IBS, which brings me to my next point.
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
    Symptoms of IBS include bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. If you experience discomfort often during the month, you should see your doctor to see if IBS is responsible.
  4. Fibromyalgia.
    IBS is found in 30-70% of fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia can have many symptoms that range from chronic pain and fatigue to episodes of extreme pain. There are many support groups, such as the FMS Community, that help those suffering from this illness find support.
  5. Arthritis.
    Anti-connective tissue antibodies are found in increased numbers in patients with celiac disease. Arthritis is becoming more […]

Allergy Alert: Doves Farm Buckwheat Flour

As a rule, buckwheat is gluten free: despite the name, it isn’t wheat – it’s actually a seed.

However, in this case, there is an issue with Dove’s Farm Buckwheat Flour – the 1kg bags with a batch code of 2011 and best before date of 12/10/12.

Low levels of gluten have been found in the buckwheat flour, which is just above the limits for foods labelled gluten-free. The tests found more than 20ppm but less than 50ppm – you may remember that the new rules say that the levels must be less than 20ppm to qualify.

The company has withdrawn all affected stock. Customers with an intolerance to gluten have been advised not to eat this product and have been asked to contact the company for further advice on how to return this product.

I can’t see a reference to this product on the company site, so I expect they’ve removed it while they deal with the problem.

No other Doves Farm Foods Limited products are known to be affected.

  • gold-stars
    Free From Food Awards 2012 Free From Food Awards 2012

    Free From Food Awards 2012

Free From Food Awards 2012

I’m so excited to have been invited to help judge the FoodMatters Free From Food Awards 2012!

And I’m not at all surprised that Michelle reports enthusiasm among freefrom and gluten-free bloggers: who wouldn’t want to be involved in this?

Here’s the press release from FoodsMatter


Judges queue up to taste-test ‘freefrom’ foods

With judging sessions for this year’s FreeFrom Food Awards set for the first week in February, expert ‘freefrom’ judges are queuing up to taste-test this year’s entries into 16 categories of freefrom foods.

Judges come from the professional food world (manufacturers, chefs and cookery writers) and from the medical world (dietitians and nutritionists) but also include allergy sufferers and coeliacs – plus some ‘normal’ food enthusiasts to benchmark the freefrom foods against their non-freefrom equivalents. This year judging ranks will also be swelled by a number of freefrom and gluten-free bloggers, all experts in tracking down new and tasty freefrom foods to write about on their blogs.

Says Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of who chairs the judging sessions

“We have some really exciting entries this year and are particularly pleased to see that previously slender categories, such as FreeFrom Ready Meals, are positively bulging. We are also very much looking forward to tasting the offerings in our new Raw Food and Superfood category – and, of course, in our ever popular gluten-free beer category. We never have any problems recruiting judges for that one!”

A shortlist of successful entries will be published on March 1st and the winners, including the winner of the FAIR trophy of the Best FreeFrom Food 2012 (won last year by Doves Farm for their gluten-free self raising flour blend) will be announced […]

  • gluten free choice
    New rules for 2012: don’t be confused New rules for 2012: don’t be confused

    New rules for 2012: don’t be confused

New rules for 2012: don’t be confused

One of the most significant changes to the sale of gluten free food in 2012 here in the UK – or at least to its labelling and packaging – is the incoming change to the law.

The packaging that you see in the supermarkets should begin to look different. There are 3 options…

  1. The new law says that food can only be called gluten-free if the food contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

    The previous level was 200 parts per million (ppm), which is obviously quite a lot more, and wasn’t consistent with food labelling in other countries. This new level, of no more than 20ppm is more restrictive, and should give you greater confidence in the foodstuff. That is, of course, assuming that companies are happy to label their food as ‘gluten-free’ under these new rules.

  2. There is a new term: ‘very low gluten’. This covers foods which have between 21 and 100ppm of gluten.
  3. And finally, there is another option: ‘no gluten-containing ingredients’. This will apply to foods that don’t contain wheat, barley or rye, and where they have reasonable cross-contamination controls in place.

These new labels should apply to food in supermarkets, restaurants and cafes: wherever you buy food.

Only you know how sensitive you are to gluten. For some people, the previous level was fine; for others, even 20ppm may prove to be too much. At least now you should have more guidance as to the real quantity of gluten in your food.

It is intended to make life better for coeliacs; it will be interesting to see how companies choose to react to this new law, and whether it is easier or harder to […]