Allergy Awareness

The information in this blog is the result of my own research into allergies.Some information is anecdotal but may be of use to other people trying to understand why it is that their body over-reacts to everyday substances.There will also be recipes added on a regular basis as I come up with alternatives to our favourite foods that we can't do without - Chocolate cake, pizza, nothing healthy! ;-)

Our New Bread Maker


We recently bought a Panasonic SD254 bread maker specifically because it has a gluten-free option and it works out cheaper to make your own bread than pay the high street prices.

I did a lot of research into what type of breadmaker to buy and decided that this was the best option for us. The recipe book that comes with the bread maker gives instructions for a basic bread with an option of five flavourings (spicy fruit, date & raisin, maple & pecan, five seeds and sundried tomato & parmesan).

It also gives instructions for making ready prepared gluten free bread mixes in the bread maker, including Glutafin, Juvela, Glutano, Schar, Sainsbury's and Doves Farm. It doesn't give instructions for the Laucke bread mixes, which happen to be my personal favourite, or Carrs.

My husband (who's the bread machine fiend) came up with a really delicious gluten free brack for me and also a wheat-free malt bread (not gluten-free unfortunately because of the malt).

Sainsburys first sulphite-free wine

Sainsburys has taken the first UK listing of a commercial wine made without the addition of sulphites. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stellar Winery in South Africa will be part of Sainsbury's So Organic range. Priced at £4.99, it will be available from mid-March . (Ed. 2008)

For the full article read here - 

Posted by at Saturday, March 06, 2010 10:28 AM

Hidden Wheat Products


One of my allergies is wheat and although it is easy enough to avoid prepared foods that contain "wheat this" or "that wheat" there are some things which are just not as obvious. Although I am sure that this list is not complete these are some of the most commonly found ingredients that can be used in preprepared food in the UK which contain wheat.

  • Beer
  • Binder/Binding
  • Bread, Rye
  • Cereal
  • Cereal Binders
  • Cereal Protein
  • Couscous
  • Curry Powder
  • Dextrins
  • Edible Starch
  • Farina
  • Filler
  • Flour
  • Food Starch
  • Fu
  • Gum Base
  • Kamut
  • Lager
  • Liquorice
  • Miso
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Modified Starch
  • Monosodium Glutamate MSG
  • Mustard
  • Mustard Flour
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Quorn
  • Rusk
  • Semolina
  • Soy Sauce
  • Special Edible Starch
  • Spelt
  • Starch
  • Suet
  • Thickener
  • Thickening
  • Vegetable Proteins

Wheat flour is also commonly used as an anti-caking agent. This is prevalent in Salt & Vinegar Crisp flavouring although I was okay with Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips until I had to avoid Citric Acid too (Citric Acid can be derived from wheat starch or from citrus fruit)

The following are derivatives of wheat starch -

  • maltodextrin
  • glucose syrup
  • dextrose
  • sorbitol
  • mannitol
  • maltitol
  • xylitol
  • caramel colour
  • citric acid
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 7:11 PM

Why Are Special Dietary Needs Foods So Expensive?


Well, obviously because it's a limited market and the companies that produce the food need to make sure that their running costs are met and they don't have as high a turnover as regular brands. Just supposing though that the companies that produced these foods, manufacter and market them just the same as the larger food companies. Just suppose that Mrs Crimble was as well known and popular as Mr Kipling, surely the costs of these products would fall.

Until that happens though ( as if but it's a nice thought ) carefully check the food that is readily available in your regular supermarket. If you are wheat-free (as opposed to gluten free) you will still be ok with Ryvitas, Nairns Oatcakes and Kallo Rice Cakes. Vitalite is dairy and soya free, plus it's now suitable for Vegans, it's a fraction of the cost of the specialist margarines.

In fact everything that I use in my recipes, with the exception of Xantham Gum, I buy at my local Tesco Store.

I tend to avoid the 'health food' section at Tesco as the prices are up there with the Specialist Diet ranges, but check out the prices in the World Cuisine sections. You can pick up a 1.5kg bag of Natco Rice Flour for less money than the 1kg of Doves Farm Rice Flour. Tesco stock many other Natco items in their Indian cuisine section, including chana dal and dried chick peas. The Natco red split lentils are cheaper than the Tesco own brand and if you use a lot of them you can buy them in a bulk 2kg bag which works out even cheaper.

I was concerned about the effect my special diet was going to have on my families grocery budget, but thankfully a bit of careful research has paid off and we know a variety of regular brands which we can just buy straight off the shelf.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 10:17 AM