If you find wheat difficult try sourdough bread

sourdough bread from tortoise bakery

Sourdough bread is different from your average loaf…

The natural process which makes them rise without yeast enhances their flavour, increases their nutrients and makes them more digestible.

In fact trials were suggesting that those with a wheat or gluten intolerance may be able to eat sourdough without any side effects. But analysis suggests the gluten level is still too high to be safe for coeliacs.

(See Research on Non-Dietary Therapies for Coeliac Disease, Coeliac UK, January 2013)

The taste and texture is less bland, more wheaty and chewy. Some say it has a creamy mouth-feel and the crust is always excellent.

As for nutrition, the natural fermenting process means that sourdough bread  actually becomes more nutritious than the grain from which it is made. Protein in increased, as is vitamin B12 and iron.

So step up Tortoise Bakery which will deliver sourdough bread nationally via GoodnessDirect.

I’ve just tried their Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed loaf and, believe me, it’s marvellous.

But there are many more styles of sourdough from Tortoise Bakery, all of them are organic and vegan and made with a commitment to a very ancient art of of bread baking.

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Vegan hot chocolate flakes from Plamil

Now this is good news!

Plamil, makers of dairy free chocolate, have an exciting new product!

(And I’m not talking about their new sugar free strawberry and banana flavour chocolates!)

They’ve only gone and brought out these gorgeous packs of vegan hot chocolate – and they’ve done it in style…

plamil hot chocolate
Rich and smooth, vegan hot chocolate

Add 6-8 teaspoons of chocolate flakes to some simmering soya milk and you have a luxurious non milk cup of cocoa.

Plamil’s dairy free hot chocolate flakes are exceptional, and not just because of their decadent taste. They’re at least 70% organic cocoa so they taste rich and smooth, but they can also come sweetened with xylitol, which means no added sugar.

The flakes are currently available from GoodnessDirect in four different varieties (all gluten free): organic chocolate, organic mint chocolate, organic chocolate with orange and sugar free chocolate flakes.

Italian crackers you can be proud of

croccantini
Beautiful Italian crackers

You can always taste quality.

Organico’s Croccantini are a perfect example.

Literally tiny artisan crackers, these perfect treasures will have you ‘wowing’ from the first bite.

Crisp, pleasant and bristling with flavour, these organic mini flatbreads come in 3 simple flavours: classic, chilli and rosemary.

There’s not much more to say, except…

“Wow!”

Could Horcheta be the ultimate free from drink?

I was surprised to see Plamil selling a drink at all,  until I realised what it was…

tigernut horcheta
This milk alternative is rich in vitamins and minerals

Plamil are a free-from company who specialise in vegan chocolate.

And the drink, organic Horchata, fits the bill (almost) entirely. It’s a dairy-free milk alternative which has been popular for centuries in Spain, plus it’s lauded for its health benefits as it is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Made from tigernuts (a vegetable, no nuts included) the drink has a sweet creamy taste and looks like a glass of golden Jersey milk.

The bottle seems expensive for its size until you realise you can dilute it to make five times as much. But the main thing is it’s delicious and those looking for a gluten free, possibly soya-free and rice free, alternative to milk may well find they hit the jackpot with this.

Horchata already has a bit of a following, so they know what they’re doing these Plamil guys. All that remains is for you to try it out yourself.

Need a quick lunch?

biona chilli beans
Lunch comes easy-peasy with Chilli Beans

If you need a quick lunch, how about Biona Organic’s Red Kidney Beans in a Chilli Sauce?

Simply heat them up in a pan or microwave and enjoy them on buttered toast?

Can’t get simpler than that.

The sauce is a mouthwatering combination of tomato, oregano and various spices including chilli. Not exactly, your usual tinned spaghetti on toast.

But then Biona are brilliant at making good organic food, whether it’s cranberry superjuice, 5 litre bottles of cider vinegar, pizza bases or virgin coconut oil – you’ll always find something wholesome and healthy from Biona.

A couple of coffee alternatives

It may surprise some to hear this…

But there are other drinks out there apart from coffee.

instant chicory
100% roasted chicory

In fact, if you’re looking for a smoother, more velvety taste, it might help to try barley cup.

Alternatively, if you desire a nutty, woody flavour then it may be worth sampling some chicory.

Both of course are caffeine free.

The one advantage that chicory may have over barley cup is that it is also naturally gluten free. And if you want an organic version then Prewett’s make both a usual instant chicory and organic chicory drink.

Make your own chocolate bars with 3 simple ingredients

Chocanistas of the world unite! Making chocolate is easy!

All you need is 3 simple ingredients.

Cacao powder, cacao butter and some sweetness. It’s the quality of the ingredient that counts.

Take The  Raw Chocolate Company’s Virgin Cacao Butter for example. It’s basically oil from raw organic cacao beans. Extracted without heat to ensure it keeps its nutrition, quality and wonderful chocolatey aroma.

Simple Raw Chocolate Recipe:

homemade chocolate
Enjoy making your own chocolate

90g Organic Virgin Cacao Butter
60g Raw Organic Cacao Powder
60g Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

1. Place the Cacao Butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water on a low heat and melt gently.
2. Leaving the bowl over the pan, add the coconut palm sugar to the melted oil and stir. 3. Then stir in the cacao powder and mix well using a balloon whisk or hand blender.
4. Spoon or pour into ice cube trays, silicon moulds or even a plastic tub to make one big chocolate bar!
5. Place in the fridge and leave to set.

For a flavoured Raw Chocolate, try adding any of the following: a pinch of cayenne or chilli powder, a drop or two of (food grade) peppermint or orange oil, orange zest, vanilla powder, sea salt, maca powder, dried fruit, nuts, spices… your life will never be the same again!