My blogging buddy this time round is Vicki from The Free From Fairy. I had the pleasure of meeting Vicki at the Allergy and Free From show the year she launched her amazing free from flour.
Name: Vicki Montague
Blog Name: The Free From Fairy
1. Tell us about your blog?
I started my blog in August 2012 when my youngest child was about to start pre-school and I had a few spare hours in the day to do something to help others.
Being a scientist I have always loved experimenting. I also love food, so I combine the two in the kitchen and create recipes.
After my daughter was diagnosed with egg and milk protein allergies at 9 months and then coeliac disease (a life long autoimmune condition that necessitates a strict gluten free diet) at the age of 2, I was determined to create recipes that we could all enjoy together.
The blog started off by sharing these recipes. Now I continue to share recipes but I have also developed a number of products that I sell.
I have an ebook of pastry recipes (something that many people find tricky to make gluten free and free from other allergens http://www.blurb.co.uk/b?ebook=586493), a wholegrain gluten free (and rice free) flour blend (https://freefromfairy.com/shop/flour), an online programme to help people easily make the switch to a gluten free diet (https://freefromfairy.thinkific.com/courses/gluten-free-diet-basics) and cookery lessons (https://freefromfairy.com/shop/cookery-lessons)
I also develop recipes for businesses and brands wishing to access the ‘free from’ sector…whether that be helping to develop new products or showcase their ingredients in innovative ways.
2. What inspired you to start your blog?
I started the blog as a way of documenting the recipes that I created. I didn’t want my daughter to leave home with scrappy notebooks of recipes. I also wanted to help family and friends to understand what she could and couldn’t eat when she visited.
3. What are your favourites ingredients to cook with?
Well, of course I’m going to say my wholegrain gluten free flour blend! I created it because I was unhappy with the flour blends that were on the market. When cooking gluten free, you cannot just replace wheat flour with one gluten free flour. Instead, you need a variety of flours to replace the wheat because each one has different properties that help to mimic those of wheat. The blends of flours that were on the market were all made from white refined flours. The body processes these in the same way as sugar and they provide little or no nutrients. I therefore spent 2 years experimenting to find a blend that was mostly made from wholegrain gluten free flours that I could use in all my baking and cooking. I also wanted it to be free from rice, because people on a gluten free diet end up eating a lot of rice, which contains inorganic arsenic. Arsenic accumulates in the body so the more you eat the more arsenic your body is exposed to. It can lead to a plethora of health issues including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. One of the biggest achievements in my life was creating the blend and then bringing it to market. It’s available to buy on my website, on Amazon and from a few independent shops across the UK.
4. What is your favourite cookbook?
I love anything from Dan Lepard. His recipes are amazing and they convert to gluten free really well using my flour blend.
5. If you could visit anywhere in the world for dinner tonight where would you go?
I’d probably go to Mexico. I lived there for 18 months when I was 5 and I developed a taste for spicy food. I adore Mexican food to this day.
6. Favourite Free From Recipe
One of my favourite recipes from the blog is my quick naan bread… https://freefromfairy.com/2018/03/gluten-free-quick-naan-bread-recipe.html.
It is very adaptable and can be used as a quick pizza base or rolled more thinly, as a wrap.
Thanks to Vicki for taking part in Blogging Buddies – if you would like to have your blog featured please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org