A new vegan parmesan worth trying

dairy free parmesan

The finishing touch for a vegan meal

Vegan cheese has come a long way but there are few successful parmesan style cheeses out there.

Let alone gluten free ones.

Dairy free Bellissimo is a powdered vegan cheese which works pretty well.

Reviewers say it’s great on pasta and risotto and melts well too. Unlike previous alternatives this cheese uses coconut flour as its base.

So for those who can’t eat soya, gluten or dairy Bellissimo offers that finishing touch to a pasta dish.

Coconut sweetener is the healthiest around

When I predicted that a new sweetener would take off in 2013, I didn’t know I’d be so right but so wrong.

The all natural monkfruit sweetener is now available in the UK, but manufacturers are trying to conquer the American market first, so all their efforts are focused there.

coconut blossom syrup

Natural sweetness in a bottle

In the meantime the most successful health food in recent times (which I also wrote about) has stepped in to the gap: the coconut.

Biona Organic has introduced its own version of a coconut syrup; with its rich and mellow honey like taste it’s a perfect alternative for vegans and diabetics. Try it in your baking or on your pancakes.

The Blossom Nectar, as it is called, has a low GI which means it won’t raise your blood sugar levels and leave you hungering for more sweet foods.

Best of all, coconut nectar has such a high antioxidant and mineral content it is seen as the healthiest form of sugar around. It’s also the most sustainable.

Change your future health with a bottle of natural coconut sweetness.

The free from pie range we’ve been waiting for

When specialist salesmen take the food they sell home to eat themselves you know they’re on to something good…

Voakes Gluten Free Pies

The taste you love, without the gluten

Especially if it’s gluten free…

Such is the case with Voakes Pies.

Voakes are actually pretty famous in the world of pies but the new free from range comes from a family member’s diagnosis with coeliac disease. The prospect of never being able to eat a Voakes Pie again demanded a solution!

The pies use the same finest quality pork and meat that Voakes are renowned for with pastry any award winning pie maker would be proud of.

The range includes quiches and pasties, in addition to traditional pork, chicken, steak or mince & onion pies. They even sell the puff pastry so you can have a go at making your own, or game pies for that special evening meal.

Don’t wait for someone else to tell you how good they are  (or the salesman will scoff them all himself).

It’s here! Gluten free puff pastry from Fria

It’s the food thousands have been waiting for…

Scandinavian gluten free bakers, Fria, are introducing a free from puff pastry called Smördeg.

It’s dairy free and gluten free. Reviewers say  the pastry doesn’t tear or stick and handles really well. When you take it out of the oven it is flaky and golden brown just as you would expect. But, best of all your guests won’t know it’s gluten free at all.

fria gluten free puff pastry

Fria’s gluten free puff pastry – everyone’s been waiting for this!

To tempt you here’s a recipe for  Gluten Free  Strawberry Pastry Roundels
(serves 4)

100 g Fria Smördeg Swedish Style Puff Pastry
1 egg
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 litre fresh strawberries
200 ml freshly whipped cream
plain gluten-free flour for rolling
fresh mint leaves (optional)


1. Defrost the pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours. Heat the oven to 200 C (gas mark 6).
2. Place the pastry dough on a clean smooth surface sprinkled with plain gluten-free flour and roll the dough until it is approximately 1-2 mm thick.
3. Make eight roundels in the dough using a large glass or a round biscuit cutter and place the roundels on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
4. Whisk the egg and brush the tops of the dough roundels. Sieve icing sugar over the roundels.
5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for approximately 7 minutes or until the roundels are golden brown.
6. Wash and cut the strawberries in half. Place the roundels on four individual small serving dishes. Top with cream and arrange the strawberry halves. Place the other roundel on top and decorate with strawberries, fresh mint leaves (optional) and icing sugar.

Fria have a fantastic range of gluten free breads and bakes to try, from muffins to rolls to pizza bases to brownies. And now there’s Prosciutto or Margherita dairy free and gluten free pizzas to enjoy as well. These will have to be tasted! More to come in another blog…

Cauldron spice up vegetarian meals

We’ve all argued over whether vegetarianism is right or wrong.

But when someone suggests that vegetarians are missing out, that they lack protein or that we need meat, you can answer in one word: Cauldron.

I’d regularly cross swords with my student flatmate, but I couldn’t argue with the quality or flavour of his Cauldron Cumberland Sausages.

Cauldron vegetarian Sausages

Beautifully seasoned vegetarian foods

Made from tofu and seasoned to perfection, these bangers would surprise any stubborn meat eater.

Now, Cauldron Foods have Italian Herb Tofu and Moroccan Spiced Falafel to add to their list of vegetarian wonders, I’m delighted to see them on GoodnessDirect’s shelves.

The only battle left is over who gets second helpings.



New egg replacer on the shelves

egg free omelette mix

The search is over for some

What does a someone with an egg allergy do when the recipe requires an egg?

The traditional answer has been to reach for some ‘egg-replacer’.

However, the demise of the popular Allergycare range has been a source of frustration for many, particularly those in need of a good egg substitute.

The difficulty led vegetarian food innovator, Yogesh Morjaria and team, to make their own version. The result is an egg replacer that is comparable with, if not better than, the old Allergycare one.

Yogiji’s Protein Omelette Mix comes egg free and gluten free. However, it isn’t vegan or yeast free, so for some the search continues.

Healthy snack food you’ll long for

Raw food has come of age.

What started with eating sprouted seeds for extra health has now become a full blown food industry, complete with raw chocolate and snack foods.

rawLicious crackers

Take a walk on the rawside

Even a raw equivalent of a loaf of bread is possible now. I look forward to trying some.

I am impressed with what I’ve tasted from organic company ‘rawLicious’. They make crackerbreads which tingle with taste. There’s an impressive range of flavours including Brazil Nut & Thyme, Date & Cashew and Tomato Pizza crackers.

Of course these delicious and versatile crackers are dehydrated at low temperature in true raw fashion, thus keeping all the goodness, nutrients and flavour intact.

rawLicious also make raw kale chips, which is a great way of having superfood as a snack. The flavours are so imaginative they won the 2014 “best new food product” at the Natural & Organic Europe Awards. Take a dip and try Double Pepper, Indian Spice Twist, Oh So Cheesy or Thai Chilli Twist flavours.

When you’ve devoured them you may be left asking yourself one question: Is this the kind of food my body has been longing for all along?