Things get complicated if you need to cater for various dietary requirements when you’ve got visitors. If you’re not say, dairy free, you won’t have been through the long drawn out tastings to find something that is appetising. It’s all too easy to find some really poor examples out there.
A visit to the Free From Festival in Bristol helped me discover some really lovely foods. Foods I would have bought no matter what dietary requirements they address. So here are my top tips for foods that you can be sure your Free From guest will enjoy.
Nostalgic Flavours from Rhythm 108
Rhythym 108’s range of cookies have nostalgic flavours. There are Amaretti-style biscuits you’d find hard to differentiate from the authentic Italian variety; Coconut Cookies taste like Coconut Macaroons – no not the French version, but those packed full of dessicated coconut. The lemon ginger chia have just the right amount of ginger to lemon.
Curiously, these classic biscuits have been reinvented in Switzerland! They’re also gluten and dairy free.
You can find the cookies at Amazon which have a wider range than their website.
Superseed Pasta from Nomad Health
There are plenty of colours and shapes of pasta in this range of alternative pastas. The ingredients are fascinating. The range includes:
- Millet penne which is vegan and gluten free and a gorgeous yellow colour;
- Green banana penne – with green banana flour, sesame and tapioca flour – gluten free but not vegan
- Sorghum Fusilli – with sorghum flour and red grape seed flour which is vegan and gluten free.
All of them cook quickly, and contain no added salt. They are available from the Nomad Health website and cost between £3.50 and £4.50 for 250 grams. There are plenty of other free from products to check out.
Shores of Africa Coconut Thins
These are particularly more-ish. Eat them just like crisps and they will disappear very quickly. There’s the original coconut flavour, coconut and pineapple and my particular favourite coconut and mango. Go for the fruit flavours for fewer calories. Shores of Africa is a new company that is going places with these hand made snacks. They’re currently not so easy to track down, but Elpis have some flavours in stock.
Liobites Fruit Crisps
Liobites products are fruity heaven. Devised by Anna a Mum to two girls, not only do the fruit crisps look beautiful (the colours are amazing) they are full of flavour and made only from fruit. The smoothie bites flavours are more complex with a mixture of fruits and a lovely crisp bite to them. My personal favourites are the Strawberry Crisps and the Mango, Banana and Passion Fruit smoothie bites. The pack size is just right. You’ll need to buy 15 packs at a time which work out at around £1.50 per bag. If you purchase them from Yumbles, you can get £5 off your first order.
Gluten Free Bread Kits
As a baker, it’s hard for me to recommend gluten free bread products, I’d love everyone to eat wheat! However, it’s always wise to have a couple of packets of bread mix in the cupboard so you can whip up something acceptable.
I’d suggest seeking out the Davina Steel kits. I sampled the white loaf and focaccia at the Free From Event and found them lighter and more moist than many gluten free breads. The ingredients include potato and tapioca starches, rice flour, cornflour and sorghum flour. Other kits include sweet treats such as scones and even a chocolate focaccia. Kits are £2.99 excluding postage. Davina sounds a great person – both a nutritionist and a scientist and always looking out for new ideas.
The imaginatively named ‘jam’ is created with just 5 ingredients and contains up to 50% less sugar, carbohydrates and calories than traditional jams. I particularly enjoyed the raspberry flavour which really captures the ripe flavour of the fruit. It tasted just as sweet as standard jam.
There are blueberry and strawberry flavours as well. Cham retails at £4.99 a jar, with free postage if you spend over £20.
Free From Events
This was the second time I visited the Free From Events show in Bristol and really enjoyed discovering new products. I’d suggest signing up for their newsletter so that you hear of future events that take place around the UK.