Browse Tag by gluten free recipes
Baking, Reviews

Free From Fairy gluten free wholegrain plain flour

How to make gluten free bread - A Free From Life

I’ve been following the Free From Fairy’s blog for some time now. Having developed her own blend of gluten free flour that doesn’t contain rice flour, she’s used it to develop lot’s of scrummy looking baked goods, both savoury and sweet.

I’m not a fan of rice flour either, not just for the health concerns regarding its arsenic content, but also because I find it gritty and drying. I can see why it’s used in gluten free baking, but there are so many other lovely and tasty gluten free flours out there.

One of the first things I did when my son went gluten free, in addition to dairy, was to buy a bread maker. I can’t stand the commercial offerings and I knew I had to make something better. Oh boy, did I have some disasters – inedible bricks, poorly mixed loaves, too sticky, too crumbly, you name it. My kitchen was like a product development laboratory for a good few weeks until I found a combination that worked, but that combination was a good one and I’ve stuck to it.

Finally getting around to ordering some of the Free From Fairy’s flour, I decided to put it to the test with my recipe and do you know what? It worked a treat.

How to make gluten free bread - A Free From Life

In fact, I didn’t measure it (though was tempted) but it might have even come out taller than my own do (not that I’m obsessed with the size of my loaves or anything).

Anyway, this recipe is for a Panasonic S2500, though I’m sure it works with other Panasonic machines. I haven’t tried it with other bread makers, so I’m not sure if the recipe would need tweaking in order to work. I use the gluten free programme and the dark crust setting. If you don’t have the gluten free option, you can use a rapid bake setting. What this means, essentially, is that your machine will allow the bread to rise, then bake it off. The normal programmes include a rise stage, followed by another kneading called ‘knocking back’. If you do this to your gluten free loaf, you won’t get it to rise again.

Gluten free bread recipe:

  • 500g gluten free flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 80g olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 300ml water

Instructions:

  • Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the eggs.
  • Add the oil, vinegar and water.
  • Mix using an electric mixer with dough hooks until it forms a loose sticky dough. Note that it won’t be a workable dough as you would expect with bread. It should be wetter and stickier.
  • Pour into the bread machine pan and set the machine to the gluten free programme with dark crust.

If you happen to try this recipe in another bread machine, please let me know how you get on.

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.

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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
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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.
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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.

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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

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Baking

Courgette and carrot loaf – gluten and dairy free

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

We have a small vegetable patch in our garden and every year, one of our greatest successes is courgettes. With such an abundant crop, it would be easy to become fed up of eating them, which has happened in previous years. So I’ve had to become more inventive in how I use them up.

One of our favourites is a chocolate courgette cake and I also enjoy letting the odd one grow big enough to be marrow size, then baking it in the oven, halving, scooping out the middle and filling with a savoury rice, mince Bolognese or chilli. It’s such a hearty meal.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

Then I inherited a recipe for a courgette and carrot loaf that I thought I’d try out. I had to convert it to be gluten free and with the addition of sunflower oil, it’s dairy free too. What I love about this courgette and carrot loaf is that it’s packed with flavour and wholesome goodness.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

The ingredients work together so well, with the carrots providing some sweetness, the courgettes moisture and the nuts give just the right amount of crunch. A slice of this loaf will give you a tasty, satisfying mid-morning snack that will keep you going until lunch or an afternoon tea treat to last you until dinner.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

Free From Farmhouse
Link up your recipe of the week
Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life
Courgette and carrot loaf
Print Recipe
A tea time loaf packed with vegetables and nuts for a tasty, satisfying and filling treat.
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life
Courgette and carrot loaf
Print Recipe
A tea time loaf packed with vegetables and nuts for a tasty, satisfying and filling treat.
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mixed nuts. Stir well
  2. In a separate bowl mixed together the beaten eggs, oil, lemon rind and grated veg.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until well incorporated.
  4. Pour in to a greased loaf tin and bake in the oven at 180/gas 4 for 50 mins to 1 hour. Check with a tooth pick to see if it comes out clean. If so, it is done.
Recipe Notes

Leave to cool in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

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Breakfasts

One Pot Bircher Muesli – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life

This is a gluten free and dairy free, one pot wholesome breakfast in a jar that takes me straight back to previous visits to Germany. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating Bircher muesli, you will appreciate the smooth, creamy richness that signifies this decadent breakfast. Not for the faint hearted, calorie wise, Bircher is often made with cream. This version, however, is much lighter and healthier, whilst retaining that same satisfaction.

One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life

I credit this recipe to Jenny at Let’s Talk Mommy, whose gorgeous looking recipe for overnight oats inspired me to make my own.

Like Jenny says, the possibilities for this dish are limited only to your tastes and preferences. Vary the fruit, swap the fresh fruit for dried (dates, apricots, cranberries or raisins) and make it nut free by swapping the almond milk for apple juice and the nuts for toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life

It really is that versatile and I promise you, it is just as yummy as it looks.

Free From Farmhouse
One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life
One Pot Bircher Muesli - Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Print Recipe
Individual, portion-sized fruity gluten and dairy free Bircher in a jar. Make ahead and store overnight. Just grab from the fridge next day to take to work.
Servings Prep Time
1 10
Servings Prep Time
1 10
One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life
One Pot Bircher Muesli - Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Print Recipe
Individual, portion-sized fruity gluten and dairy free Bircher in a jar. Make ahead and store overnight. Just grab from the fridge next day to take to work.
Servings Prep Time
1 10
Servings Prep Time
1 10
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Measure the oats into a jar
  2. Add the milk and stir to mix
  3. Pour over the yoghurt
  4. Layer the blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries and drizzle with maple syrup (optional)
  5. Cover with the crushed walnuts
  6. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the fruit and nuts
  7. Seal the jar and store in the fridge
    One Pot Bircher Muesli - A Free From Life
Recipe Notes

The best bit about this recipe is stirring it all up the next day to make a lovely Bircher mix. What you get is a zingy fresh and fruity hit, along with a touch of crunch to complement the creamy oats. The hint of coconut coming through gives a burst of sweetness.

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