The combination of technology and working for myself/from home means that my life pretty much revolves around the laptop/iPad and or phone, and sometimes I really don’t see anything beyond that. Just before Christmas, I made the resolution to get more hands on in the kitchen; I like baking and my boyfriend is pretty appreciative of this too so it’s win win. Another advantage of making everything for myself is I know exactly what is being put into the food I eat- something I have become a lot more conscious of in recent time.
Around 8 years ago, the doctors felt that some symptoms I was experiencing could have down to potential food allergies/sensitivities and was ordered on an exclusion diet to test the theory. Since then I have played with some alternatives to the common perpetrators such as soya milk as an alternative to milk and when I make something at home (whether cheese sauce or brownies) I make it wheat and gluten free. There is a growing number of the population in the UK that experiences such intolerances (approximately 2% of the population) from such foods and/or others who want to simply avoid such processed foods- as such there is a vast number of alternative products in supermarkets and restaurants and cafes accommodating such dietary needs. However, from my experience, gluten and wheat free foods in restaurants, cafes and supermarkets are generally revolting and ironically glue-like (particularly spaghetti which just seems to clump together). Yet, when I make something myself it’s probably more crumbly than normal baked goods (this applies to cakes and cookies mostly) and I’ve been told by others that it’s actually quite yummy. It’s something I find really perplexing (and perhaps looked into another day) but the only reasoning I’ve managed is such places put additional ingredients into their recipes to either preserve the goods or to prevent the crumbling I get. Regardless, my own experience of baking free from is generally quite positive.
If you were to search for a gluten, wheat and/or milk free recipes there will be a host of additional ingredients you’ll need (however, does provide you with some ideas of alternatives if this is a relatively new concept to you), whereas I just look for a standard recipe I like the sound/look of and will make the various substitutions I want to/need to. To give you an idea, yesterday I made Oatmeal and Raisin cookies by following a Good Foods recipe. I’ve enclosed the ingredients list below and in brackets indicated the switch made- if you want to test out this recipe then just follow the Good Foods recipe link above. What is ideal with this recipe is that it is a great way to start experimenting with wheat and gluten free alternatives if this is something you are looking to do (as the main aspect of wheat here is the flour and for the most part, is dairy free-aside the egg of course!).
- 100g raisins
- 150ml vegetable oil (I switched this with olive oil)
- 200g caster sugar (could use 20% less if you’re trying to cut down on sugar)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1tsp of cinnamon
- 1tsp of vanilla extract
- 140g Plain flour (I used wheat and gluten free flour)
- 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 300g of oats (can always check to see if gluten free- most of the time they should be it’s just whether or not this has been produced in a wheat based factory and therefore is dependent on your sensitivity)
It was a super simple recipe to follow and it didn’t take long to do- a great and simple way to monitor the foods you consume, something you can involve the children in and can be enjoyed by all (a bonus is it makes your home smell divine!).
Do you bake wheat, gluten or dairy free? Any pointers?