Browse Tag by dairy free recipes
Desserts

Peach and blueberry cobbler

This peach and blueberry cobbler was something I literally just cobbled together at the weekend – I know, bad jokes aside, this came out of a need for some comfort food, as well as to use up whatever ingredients happened to be available.

I’m trying to teach my eldest daughter about cooking at the moment

We talked about how it’s an intuitive process whereby you must use your senses to guide you. You might add a little more salt or pepper upon tasting, give the pasta a little squeeze to see if it’s cooked enough, or put a splash of water in a sauce that feels too sticky and thick.

I rarely follow recipes, preferring instead to make up my own, but I recognise it’s not so easy to wing it when it comes to baking, particularly with gluten free baking. Baking is more of an exact science, but it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with flavours and this cobbler is the perfect example of that.

We had some tinned peaches in the cupboard and some blueberries in the fridge that were on the turn.

I thought they’d make a perfect combination, and as we’d already had a crumble recently, I came up with the idea of a cobbler instead. The cobbler topping is very much like a scone mix and this gluten and dairy free version doesn’t disappoint. The addition of ground almonds and almond milk give it a lovely nutty flavour.

Made with ordinary flour, you would be able to shape the dough into rounds and place them on top of the fruit, however, a gluten free version comes out more like the consistency of thick cake mix. This means you have to spoon it on instead, but by using an ice cream scoop, you can still get the cobbled shape upon baking.

Peach and blueberry cobbler - A Free From Life

I added the minimum amount of sugar to this recipe, just 25 grams, as the fruit is sweet enough on its own.

You could use an alternative such as coconut sugar, if you wanted to make it refined sugar free. The cobbler topping, I think, would be delicious on it’s own. Scooped into muffin tins, it would work as a gluten and dairy free scone alternative.

Here’s the recipe:
200g gluten free plain flour (I used Free From Fairy plain flour blend)
2tsp baking powder (if you use self-raising flour, you don’t need this)
100g ground almonds
25g sugar
100g dairy free ‘butter’
180ml almond milk
Juice of half a lemon
1 egg
Fruit of your choice

  • Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar, then add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a measuring jug, weigh out the almond milk, add the lemon juice and then beat in the egg.
  • Add this to the flour mix and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Lay out your fruit in the bottom of an ovenproof dish big enough to serve 6 people.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, add the topping mix on to the fruit, making sure it’s completely covered (tip – start on the outside, work your way around and towards the middle).
  • Bake in the oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Peach and blueberry cobbler - A Free From Life

Serve with dairy free ice cream or custard.

Le Coin de Mel
Savoury Dishes

Meat and sweet potato pie – gluten, dairy and nightshade free comfort food

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

What is your ultimate comfort food?

We’ve been having some lovely sunny autumnal days, but the mornings and evenings are getting cooler and I don’t know if it’s that, or if I’ve felt tired this week, but I really fancied some comfort food and only one thing would do – PIE.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

The dinners of my childhood years tended to be made up of meat with vegetables and potatoes and then fish on a Friday. Occasionally they would include some form of pie, be it Shepherd’s pie, with the classic mashed potato topping, or meat and potato pie with a pastry crust. Those were my favourite dinners and I’ve been reminiscing recently about that sort of comfort food. They may not have been fancy dinners, but they were tasty and balanced and in my house, there was never much waste.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

As much as I love pastry though (being a Northerner and all, it’s a given), the older you get, the less likely it is to agree with you. Whether it’s the gluten or the fat content (if it’s made with a shortening ingredient such as lard), this does not help if you have stomach acid issues or IBS. The good thing is, a gluten free pastry doesn’t seem to be as heavy on the stomach, or leave you with that heartburn feeling. That’s what I’ve certainly found anyway.

I made this lovely meat and potato pie the other day and it went down very well with the family, so I thought I would share it with you. It’s made with gluten and dairy free pastry and the filling is gluten, dairy and nightshade free. As it stands, it is a tasty pie, but if you don’t need to eliminate any of those things, I’m going to give options at the end for what you can add as an alternative. You see when I cook, I have to adapt my recipes to make them suitable for all the family. Whilst I spend time converting them to be free from this and that, you can just as easily ‘un convert’ them for your own needs.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe and it evokes some childhood memories of your own. Food can do that, which is what I love about it. Ask me any memory and you can guarantee it will include some anecdote or other about food. When it comes to meat and potato pie, I’m instantly taken back to days spent with my nanna and granddad during school holidays, sitting in their tiny kitchen, with the oven door kept slightly ajar for extra warmth.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life
Meat and sweet potato pie
Print Recipe
A gluten, dairy and nightshade free version of the classic meat and potato pie
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life
Meat and sweet potato pie
Print Recipe
A gluten, dairy and nightshade free version of the classic meat and potato pie
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200/gas 6/fan 180
  2. Make the pastry first: Mix together the gram flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch, rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water and bring together to form a dough. Wrap in a large piece of clingfilm and put in the fridge.
  3. Chop the onion, carrots and sweet potato into small chunks and dry fry for 5-10 minutes. Add the mince and continue to fry until it has browned.
  4. Add the nutritional yeast and marmite and stir in to the mixture before adding the 150 ml of water.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick, until the vegetables are softened and most of the water has been absorbed into the mixture.
  6. Whilst the vegetables and meat are cooking, roll out the pastry: Take two thirds and put the other third back in the fridge.
  7. IMPORTANT NOTE: gluten free pastry is very 'short', which means it will easily crumble. The best and easiest way to handle it, is to roll out between a folded over sheet of clingfilm so it doesn't stick to either the work surface or the rolling pin.
  8. Flatten your large piece of clingfilm on your work surface and put the dough roughly in the middle, folding the other half over the top of the dough. Now roll out, occasionally measuring against your pie dish. When big enough, peel back the top side of the clingfilm and lift up the rolled out pastry, carefully inverting it into the greased pie dish. Once placed in the dish, peel back the bottom layer of clingfilm and you can cut away any of the sides if they are too long.
  9. Don't worry if your pastry doesn't quite fit. Use your fingers to stretch it out and add extra pieces if it's too short. It doesn't need to be perfect.
  10. Once the mince and vegetables are cooked and the water has mostly absorbed in to the mixture, add it to the pastry case.
  11. Roll out the rest of the pastry in the clingfilm as before and place it on top of the mince and vegetable mixture to close your pie. Use your thumbs to press the lid of the pastry together with the edges of the case. Pierce with a fork several times and brush with a little dairy free milk.
  12. Put the pie in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, by which time, the pastry should be nice and browned.
Recipe Notes

Recipe notes:

  • If you want to make this recipe more FODMAP friendly - add a stick of celery instead of the onion.
  • If you don't have an issue with nightshades - feel free to use an ordinary white potato instead of sweet potato.
  • If you don't have an issue with gluten - add 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp plain flour, instead of the nutritional yeast.
  • You can use plain flour instead of the gram, sorghum and tapioca starch mix, when making your pastry (in the same total amount).
  • You can also use butter instead of margarine for making the pastry, or half butter, half animal or vegetable shortening.

 

Linking up with Free From Fridays.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Health, Snacks

No bake protein energy balls

Raw protein balls - A Free From Life

Raw protein balls - A Free From Life

I love making these energy balls. Call them what you like: raw protein balls, energy balls, no bake protein balls, you can find many variations. Essentially, though, they’re all a version of the same thing.

What I didn’t like about the recipes I found, was that most seemed to add either honey or dates to bind the mixture and add a little sweetness.

After quitting sugar over Lent, I’m trying to maintain that lifestyle and even if I kid myself that a little honey won’t harm, it will in terms of adding sweetness back in to my life and leading to cravings again.

Honey and dates are still sugar, even if they are in another form.

That’s why I took all the ingredients I love and made my own version.

Raw protein balls - A Free From Life

My daughter loves these. She does over 12 hours of gymnastics a week and therefore needs something energy-packed after school to help her get through training.

One or two of these protein balls is more than enough to fill you and keep you sustained.

If you’re used to having sugar, you might find these bitter. Think of bitter chocolate truffles and that’s kind of what you’re getting. Rolling each ball in a little cinnamon though, adds just a touch of sweetness to balance out the cacao.

Raw protein balls - A Free From Life
No bake protein energy balls
Print Recipe
A no sugar raw protein energy to treat
Servings Prep Time
14 15 mins
Servings Prep Time
14 15 mins
Raw protein balls - A Free From Life
No bake protein energy balls
Print Recipe
A no sugar raw protein energy to treat
Servings Prep Time
14 15 mins
Servings Prep Time
14 15 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Weigh the almonds and hazelnuts in to a food processor and blitz until chopped very fine
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully incorporated
  3. Form the mixture into ball and either roll in cinnamon, or sprinkle on top
  4. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving, then store in the fridge in an air tight container
Recipe Notes
Free From Farmhouse
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Breakfasts

Mother’s Day breakfast ideas – decadent French toast

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life

Did you know it is Mother’s Day on Sunday? Not that I’m hinting or anything. It’s just that I made this breakfast for my kids the other day and it occurred to me what a lovely breakfast it would make for someone’s mum on Mother’s Day… and in bed too… with a cup of tea (just saying).

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life

This is so easy that I made it on a school morning and considering my eldest daughter has to leave the house at 7.30am, that just shows how little effort it took. Not that your mum needs to know that and when she sees it, she will never know that something so lovely and elegant took so little time.

My recipe uses homemade spelt bread, but of course you can use any bread you like. This is also a great way to use up stale bread (but again, not something mum needs to know). I also used coconut milk, which is my favourite dairy free milk. It’s fresh, clean consistency makes it so similar to cow’s milk, but with just a hint of coconut flavour, it has a natural sweetness too.

If you’re plotting ways to spoil your mother this weekend (and I’m sure you are), making breakfast is just one idea. As a mum, I can tell you that the little things mean a great deal and I know such a gesture will be really appreciated.

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - decadent French toast
Print Recipe
Easy to make, fool proof and healthy breakfast idea to spoil your mum with this weekend.
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - decadent French toast
Print Recipe
Easy to make, fool proof and healthy breakfast idea to spoil your mum with this weekend.
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg with the milk and vanilla extract, then add the cinnamon
  2. Pour the egg mixture into a shallow bowl and put the slice of bread into it, turning to allow the bread to soak up the mixture on both sides
  3. Transfer the bread to a non-stick pan and fry on both sides until golden brown (you can finish off under the grill if you prefer)
  4. Put the toasted eggy bread on to a plate and top with the strawberries and blueberries
  5. Add the yoghurt to the fruit and drizzle with maple syrup (optional)
Recipe Notes

It really is that simple. In fact, I only added measurements to make it easier to follow. I don't tend to measure things out and so if I'd wrote this recipe in the manner of how I make things it would read: a glug of milk, with a splash of vanilla extract and a sprinkling of cinnamon. That's the beauty of cooking though, you can just go for it and trust your judgement and if you are a little bit over or under, so be it.

Have fun with this recipe and hope you like it (or your mum does!).

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Desserts

Koko Dairy Free strawberry and banana ice cream

Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

Koko dairy free strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

My son loves Koko Dairy Free coconut milk and occasionally, I buy the chocolate flavoured version. We hadn’t tried the other flavours though, so when I was sent some from the lovely people at Koko, I decided to do something a little different.

This light and creamy dessert combines coconut strawberry milk with fresh banana for a delicious dairy free alternative to ice cream.

I even made this without an ice cream maker and yes, it does require a bit of attention, but it’s possible and turns out, in my opinion, just as good.

Koko dairy free strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

 

Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life
Coconut, strawberry and banana dairy free ice cream
Print Recipe
An easy, no churn vegan ice cream that makes a tasty, creamy dessert
Servings
8-10
Servings
8-10
Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life
Coconut, strawberry and banana dairy free ice cream
Print Recipe
An easy, no churn vegan ice cream that makes a tasty, creamy dessert
Servings
8-10
Servings
8-10
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pour the strawberry milk in to a large lidded container and place in the freezer. Take out at half hour intervals and whisk.
  2. Whizz a chopped banana in a food processor until smooth. Add the frozen coconut milk and whizz again until fully incorporated.
  3. Return the strawberry/banana mix back to the lidded container and freeze until required.
  4. Allow to defrost a little before scooping out and serving.
Recipe Notes

The nice thing about Koko Dairy Free milk is that the coconut flavour is subtle, not overpowering. The milk is clean and fresh to taste and the fact they add calcium is a bonus and peace of mind when raising a dairy free child.

Free From Farmhouse
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Savoury Dishes

Slow Cooker Lasagne – Gluten free, Dairy Free, Nighshade Free

Slow Cooker Lasagne - A Free From Life

I love lasagne but don’t make it much. When you have to omit gluten, dairy and nightshades from your diet, a lasagne isn’t the ideal meal to make. That said, I’m never one to shy away from a challenge and have managed to make one that works well. It uses a nomato sauce instead of tomatoes and a cashew cream to replace the bechamel.

Here, I’m sharing another version of a gluten, dairy and nightshade free lasagne. This one is the easiest lasagne I’ve ever made. At the moment, I’m busy with work and in between I’m trying to write a novel as a participant of National Novel Writing Month. So, I haven’t got a great deal of time to be cooking elaborate meals. I need quick and convenience, but it has to be healthy too.

Slow Cooker Lasagne - A Free From Life

That’s why I’m relying heavily on my slow cooker this week. I’ve never cooked a lasagne in one before though, so I was keeping everything crossed that it would work. You don’t want to come home from a day at the office thinking that dinner is taken care of only to find out that it’s a disaster do you?

Slow Cooker Lasagne - A Free From Life

Well, I can categorically say that this was the opposite of disaster. I would even go so far as to say that it reminded me of the lasagne my daughter had last week when we were in Italy! That’s because authentic Italian lasagne is drier than what we might be used to. That doesn’t make it any less tasty though, especially as it had been slow cooking all day long, so it was flavour-packed.

Slow Cooker lasagne - A Free From Life

With a little bit of prep the night before, I was able to assemble this lasagne in around five minutes before I left for work and all I needed to do when I got home was steam some veg to go with it. Who says the slow cooker is only good for casseroles?

Slow Cooker Lasagne - A Free From Life
Slow Cooker Lasagne
Print Recipe
No pre-cooking required, just assemble and leave the slow cooker to do it's job. This tasty lasagne is a winner all round. This recipe is also gluten, dairy and nightshade free but you'd never know!
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
7 Hours
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
7 Hours
Slow Cooker Lasagne - A Free From Life
Slow Cooker Lasagne
Print Recipe
No pre-cooking required, just assemble and leave the slow cooker to do it's job. This tasty lasagne is a winner all round. This recipe is also gluten, dairy and nightshade free but you'd never know!
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
7 Hours
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
7 Hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix the nomato sauce with the water and add the minced beef and dried herbs. Mix thoroughly (I prepared this the night before and stored it in the fridge).
  2. Spoon a little of this mixture on to the bottom of the slow cooker pot, to just cover it.
  3. Add enough lasagne sheets to cover the sauce (you may have to break some up to fit)
  4. Spoon half the remaining meat mixture on to the lasagne sheets.
  5. Cover this layer of mince with another layer of lasagne sheets.
  6. Add the remaining meat mixture and cover once more with lasagne sheets.
  7. Whisk the eggs and add the yoghurt, whisking again until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour this mix on to the top of the lasagne sheets and sprinkle on the parmesan (or alternative).
  9. Put the slow cooker on a low heat and leave for at least 7 hours.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Breakfasts

Porridge with apple, pear and cinnamon puree

With the weather becoming so cold this week, I wanted to send my kids out to school having had a warm and filling breakfast. Porridge is the obvious answer and I made this really easy version the night before.

Porridge with Apple, pear and cinnamon puree - A Free From Life

When you soak oats overnight, you don’t need to cook them, although warmed up, just seem to set you up for the day. Cooking up some chopped apple and pear, with a sprinkling of cinnamon just added to that warmth.

Apart from peeling and chopping the fruit, it didn’t take long to make. I only cooked the fruit through for a few minutes, just enough to start to soften. Then I whizzed it up in the blender to make a smooth puree.

image

Although this comfortably serves four people, by adding a little extra milk to taste (depending on how thick you like it), this went round all five of us. I also made this recipe gluten and dairy free.

 

Porridge with apple and pear puree
Print Recipe
A hearty porridge of oats soaked overnight, for added convenience and nutritional value. Guaranteed to warm you through on these chilly autumn mornings.
Servings Prep Time
4-5 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-5 5 minutes
Porridge with apple and pear puree
Print Recipe
A hearty porridge of oats soaked overnight, for added convenience and nutritional value. Guaranteed to warm you through on these chilly autumn mornings.
Servings Prep Time
4-5 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-5 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the oats into a large bowl and add the milk and vanilla extract
  2. Store the oats in the fridge overnight
  3. First thing: In a saucepan, warm the chopped apple and pear with the cinnamon until starting to soften. Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth
  4. Divide the porridge into bowls and add milk, stirring to the desired thickness
  5. Warm through in a microwave for 1-2 minutes and then top with the puree. Serve immediately
Recipe Notes

It's easier to divide in to bowls and then warm through, as it takes less time. Also, for my family, we have different milk requirements, so we need to do that anyway. For this recipe, I use a coconut milk (Koko) and add more of the same for my dairy intolerant son. My husband prefers almond milk and the girls have cow's milk!

You can, of course, add any combination of fruit you desire. Strawberry and peach is particularly nice too, but I have to say, apple and pear with cinnamon is my favourite. With the cinnamon and the vanilla, you don't need to sweeten this porridge, but if you do feel the need, try adding a teaspoon of honey, drizzled over once warmed through.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Savoury Dishes

Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi – #glutenfree #nightshadefree

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I love Italian food and in particular it’s versatility. Having said that, I can only buy gluten free pasta these days and being nightshade intolerant, I’m limited to tomato free sauces. Then for a change the other day, I bought some gnocchi for my daughters and served it up with a cheese sauce. I was so envious. Those little potato dumplings, so simple and yet so satisfying, are beyond my reach now.

That doesn’t mean to say that I can’t become inventive and make my own though does it? Avoiding potatoes isn’t a big deal when you can use sweet potatoes instead, I thought. Not related in the slightest, means that sweet potatoes are a perfect substitution for ordinary white potatoes for anyone following a nightshade free diet.

So, I had the idea of trying out sweet potato in a gnocchi recipe and then I wondered what to use as a replacement for the flour in order to make it gluten free too. I don’t use rice flour and I thought that buckwheat and chickpea flour might be too strong in flavour and would clash with the sweetness of the potato. Then I stumbled across chestnut flour. Having never used it before I was intrigued and the idea of chestnut and sweet potato together seemed like a good combination to me, so off I went.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I wasn’t wrong on the flavour choices. These little dumplings, together with homemade pesto, made a truly scrumptious dinner that satisfied my craving for gnocchi. They were so simple to make and are a great alternative to pasta too.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

 

Free From Farmhouse
Link up your recipe of the week

 

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add a good pinch of salt to the mashed sweet potato
  2. Beat the eggs, then add to the mash, followed by the flour
  3. Mix to form a smooth dough
  4. Cover a surface with the flour
  5. Take half of the dough and roll into a sausage shape, about 2 cm in diameter. Then cut into 2 cm pieces and set to one side
  6. Repeat with the other half
  7. Add to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for around 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi floats to the top
  8. Remove from the pan and serve with a sauce of your choice
Recipe Notes

I served this gnocchi with homemade pesto, along with some mozzarella pearls (for my non-dairy free girls). Grate over some dairy free or lactose free cheese (if you can tolerate this).

Homemade pesto - A Free From Life

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe