Product Review: Orgran Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Vanilla Cake

I thought I would put a review on the website of Orgran’s gluten and dairy free Vanilla Cake Mix. Honestly, I usually make all my own cakes from scratch but I was interested to see the results I would get using a packet mix, and I was impressed by the results.

This mix is suitable for people with multiple food allergies as it is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, yeast free, GMO free, soya free and vegan.

You have the choice of either making this cake vegan by adding water and vegetable oil or you can add dairy free spread and eggs. As I can eat eggs I made it using dairy free spread and eggs so my review is based on the non-vegan version.

It is extremely easy to make, you just add water, eggs and dairy free spread to the contents of the cake mix and beat for 4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a 6” cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

As the cake was cooking it filled the kitchen with a lovely warm vanilla smell. I had to cook the cake for about 5-10 minutes longer than the packet stated to ensure that it was cooked through and had that lovely golden crust.

The cake had a light, soft texture but also that just baked golden crust you get on homemade cakes. It had a lovely taste, you could really pick up the vanilla. I cut the cake in half and filled it was strawberry jam and dairy free buttercream before serving.

I would recommend you try this product as it would be perfect to have in the store cupboard for emergencies or would be great for people to buy if they had someone visiting with food allergies. The only negative I would say is the size of the cake is fairly small, I think to get the cake shown on the box you would need to buy two packets of mix and sandwich them together with buttercream.

You can purchase this product by clicking on the following link: Buy Vanilla Cake Mix at Real Foods

Ingredients:

Raw sugar, Rice Flour,Maize starch, Potato starch, Maize flour, Dextroxe from maize, Raising agents;sodium bicarbonate, Monocalcium phosphate, Monoglycerides from vegetable, Salt, Natural vanilla flavour (0.4%), Vegetable gums: Carboxymethylcellulose,Carrageenan, Guar gum.

Vanilla Cake Mix

Gluten and Dairy Free Chicken & Avocado Sushi

GF DF Sushi

The origin of sushi is believed to have been during the second century A.D. in Southeast Asia. It developed through a need to keep meat fresh without refrigeration. Meat and fish would be cured and wrapped in rice to preserve its freshness. The idea eventually spread through China and then to Japan, where fish is a food staple. The Japanese would ferment their cured fish and rice sushi with Japanese rice wine, or sake.

A lot of sushi is naturally dairy and gluten free, just be careful of any wheat based soy sauce.

Enjoy!

Gluten and Dairy Free Chicken & Avocado Sushi Recipe

Product Review: Orgran Gluten & Dairy Free Apple & Cinnamon Mix

Orgran Mix

I always keep a pack of this pancake mix in the cupboard for that quick, easy to make breakfast. The mix is made by Orgran, a leading producer of allergy free food.

This mix is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, yeast free, soya free, nut free, vegan and has no added cane sugar. This makes it an extremely versatile product to have in your store cupboard for people with multiple allergies.

The pancake mix can be made up by adding dairy free milk and eggs or to make them vegan by just adding water. I have tried them both ways and you get a great result with either option.

One of my favourite things about this pancake mix is the flavouring, you can actually see the chunks of apple in the mix which perfectly compliments the subtle cinnamon flavour.

This packet will make about 10 medium sized pancakes, I usually make up the mix and freeze the remaining uncooked batter until needed.

The pancakes are light and fluffy and have a lovely apple and cinnamon taste. I would highly recommend this as an addition to your allergy free store cupboard.

GF DF Pancakes

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Maize Starch, Fructose, Sorghum, (3%) Dried Apple (Sulphur Dioxide), Maize Flour, Raising Agents: Mono Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cinnamon(0.8%), Yellow Pea Flour, Stabiliser: Guar Gum, Natural Apple Flavour.

You can purchase this mix by clicking on the following link: Buy Orgran Apple & Cinnamon Pancake Mix at Real Foods

A Review of Gluten Freedom by Dr Alessio Fasano

Gluten Freedom

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Gluten Freedom from the kind people at Turner Publishing. As soon as I started reading the book I couldn’t put it down, it definitely is a must read for everyone who has, or is close to, someone with coeliac or any other gluten related disorder.

The book was written by Dr Alessio Fasano who is a leading expert in coeliac and other gluten related disorders. Dr Fasano is the founder and director of the Centre for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, which he founded in 1996. In the book Dr Fasano states that his mission is to improve the lives of people with celiac disease and other gluten related disorders while unlocking the complex mechanisms of the autoimmune response.

I believe that as patients, as well as being able to rely on medical professionals, we have a responsibility to be informed about the conditions we have. As someone who is interested in all aspects of coeliac this book provided me with all the information I required in one text. It is pitched at a level that everyone can understand, the medical aspects of the book give you all the facts you require but in a simple and informative way. The aim of Gluten Freedom is to separate the facts from the fantasies and to present the real story about celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the gluten diet.

The book is divided into four main sections:

  • Gluten Enters the Picture – this section covers what celiac and other gluten disorders are and the journey to diagnosis
  • Learning to Live Without Gluten – once diagnosed and the condition is understood, part two of the book shows you how to live on a gluten free diet with nutritional advice and a number of recipes
  • Gluten Free for Life – examines the gluten free diet at all stages of your life covering pregnancy, childhood, family life, college years and golden years
  • Going Beyond Gluten – examines new treatments and alternative therapies

A number of useful appendices are also included in Gluten Freedom:

  • Recommended Reading
  • Resources
  • Apps for Mobile Phones
  • Glossary

I can say that if I had been handed this book the day I had been diagnosed I would have felt more informed and less lost in my initial weeks of diagnosis. I really enjoyed reading the book and my family have also asked to borrow it so they can be fully informed of my condition.

I would highly recommend you get your own copy and Dr. Fasano will be donating 100% of his proceeds from Gluten Freedom to the Center for Celiac Research.

Gluten Freedom can be purchased/pre-ordered by clicking on the following links:

Pizza Hut – Gluten & Dairy Free Pizza Review

For people on both a gluten and dairy free diet, a visit to a pizza restaurant can be a disappointing experience. The wheat base and the cheesy topping is not the friend of the coeliac and/or dairy free diet.

Pizza Hut introduced a gluten free pizza last year, it was developed with close consultation from Coeliac UK and has been awarded the NGCI accreditation (No Gluten Containing).

One of the great ideas that Pizza Hut has introduced is making only the gluten free pizzas square. If you are served a non-square pizza then it isn’t gluten free.

My first trip to Pizza Hut was a vey pleasant experience and I was delighted by both the quality of the pizza and the service. When I arrived at the restaurant I informed the server that I couldn’t have dairy or gluten and they were extremely knowledgable. I didn’t have to explain the dangers of cross contamination, the waitress completely understood all aspects of my condition.

She immediately brought me an allergy menu so I could decide what toppings I wanted on my pizza. Both the BBQ and tomato sauce are dairy and gluten free as are the majority of the toppings, obviously with the exception of the cheese! I chose a BBQ sauce with a gluten free base topped with chicken, peppers and onions.

When I placed my order the waitress phoned the kitchen to re-iterate the importance of cross contamination. She also returned with a freshly prepared salad so I didn’t run the risk of cross contamination from the communal, self service salad trolley.

When the pizza arrived I was surprised by the additional toppings the kitchen staff had added to the pizza to compensate for the lack of cheese. This made a huge difference from my usual pizza dining experience of a cardboardy base with a bit of tomato sauce painted on it. The base was light and crispy without being dry and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

Pizza Hut

I have returned on several occasions to different branches and have always been served by very knowledgable staff. The pizza is also available for takeaway and you can order on-line and specify the gluten free base with no cheese.

If I was to change anything about the experience it would be to suggest Pizza Hut widen the range of starters/sides and desserts for people with food problems. The potato wedges and chicken wings had gluten in them and there was no dairy free pudding option, perhaps a sorbet would be a great addition.

All in all I would definitely recommend this as a casual dining experience for gluten and/or dairy free people.