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Well, since I posted the complimentary recipe from River Cottage Light & Easy, I have been busy cooking. In fact I baked those Oaty, Nutty, Fruity Cookies too and with two kids at my feet, they took just five minutes to whizz up and ten to bake. Utilising honey for sweetness, and good old peanut butter, they made rather ‘healthy’ biscuits that weren’t overly sweet or ‘wholesome’. Even the kids got a look in!
I also tried out the Ultra Chocolate Brownies one evening. And though they did require a couple of bowls and a pan, they were easy to make and went super fudgy on refrigeration. I loved the inclusion of ground almonds as it makes for a more decadent texture in my mind. These ones are up there with Nigel Slater’s, yet free from the saturated butter fat by using coconut oil. Something I have never used so much of before!
The bulk of the book is main meals which are satisfying and simple. Whilst many are obviously, naturally gluten free, it’s the lack of dairy that makes them fully inclusive of many free from people. The chicken with lentils was simple and satisfying as was the lamb with cashew nut curry. Unusual soups for fruits of the seasons strike a chord with me and my veg box challenge. Found a great soup to use the gorgeous celeriac this week!
Much of the baking, along the lines of the Honeybuns book utilises specific flours for their unique properties and flavours. As ever, there are tonnes of bookmarked recipes including a fantastic Tempura Veg and Sesame dip, unusual savoury Seedy Bars with Chilli and Rosemary and I am curious about Polenta Porridge!
But what I love most about this book is that it stands up on its own as a wonderful collection of recipes. So many I want to cook, its almost irrelevant that they are free from wheat and dairy. Plus I actually, personally really appreciate Hugh and his team bringing his campaigning spirit to the support of free from diets and into the mainstream,. He talks simply, sensibly and honestly about removing these major allergens from the diet. He shows that free from food needn’t be free from taste, mouth water appeal, indulgence or nutrition.
Please note whilst the book claims to be only wheat free, as many of the baking recipes rely on rye, the vast majority of the recipes are gluten free, or can be adapted.