Monday, 29 July 2013

Recipe of the month: Blueberry Muffins

Here at Gluten Free Foods we have accepted the Breakfast Challenge- which means that from 01 August I will be posting a new gluten free breakfast which uses at least one of our gluten free products.

In preparation for our 'ode to breakfast', I thought that I would share one of my most popular breakfast recipes- Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins- this recipe can also be seen on our monthly newsletter- each month we let you in on one of our favourite recipes! Sign up here!

These muffins take under 10 mins to prepare and are perfect when you are after a sweet treat whilst on the morning run. Also they look lovely as well, I like to buy colourful muffin cases and I also sprinkle some fresh blueberries over the cakes as well, just to add that real sense of home cooking.

Serves 8


110g Barkat gluten free flour

110g butter

65g caster sugar

1½ tsp baking powder

2 eggs (if you want to make the muffins extra fluffy opt for duck eggs!

125g blueberries (you can use frozen blueberries)

pinch of nutmeg

*Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs and beat

*Add the gluten free flour, baking powder and nutmeg and stir

*Refrigerate for at least an hour

* Place a spoonful of the mixture into each muffin case filling it to just over half way

*Place about 8 blueberries onto each muffin, pushing them into place

*Bake in an over for 20 minutes on 200C until lovely and golden

Remember to add us on Facebook and let us know any gluten free breakfast suggestions that you think we should try out!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Gluten Free Picnic In The Sun

There is something quintessentially English about a picnic. As soon as the sun peeps through, us Brits like to clingfilm some crustless sandwiches, buy some crisps and dip and head to the nearest piece of grass with a warm rug and a crowd of friends. This weekend I decided to have a picnic with a group of friends who were not coeliac- however I insisted I treated them to a fully gluten free picnic.

Initially they didn't seem very keen. Some mentioned that the bread was going to taste crumbly and flavourless, another said they would rather pick up some snacks from a nearby Supermarket, but I insisted, I wanted them to give gluten free food a chance.

The menu consisted of:

Cream cheese and cucumber & smoked chicken and avocado sandwiches using Warburtons brown bread (crustless of course)

Tuna and sweetcorn buckwheat pasta salad

Glebe Farm Carrot Cake

Flapjacks with baked peaches and crème fraiche

Let's just they regretted their previous assumptions that gluten free food was dull, tasteless and boring- the hamper was left empty and they all left with new recipes scribbled down on their phones.

I personally think that the oaty flapjacks with baked peaches and crème fraiche was the piece de resistance- It is often thought that oats should be left at the back of the cupboard until winter dawns however, flapjacks are a perfect picnic snack and not too high on the calorie front either!

Serves 12 (realistically 4 as they are too addictive)

175g butter

175g golden syrup

175g muscovado sugar

350g Barkat porridge flakes

½ zest of 1 lemon

1 cup of raisins (ideally soaked in milk for a couple of hours as it helps hold their flavour)

12 peaches (I like the flattened ones)

1 pinch of cinnamon

3 tbsp raw honey

250 ml Crème Fraiche

* Preheat the oven to 150C and line a 20cm baking tray with baking paper.

* Melt the butter over a low heat, add the golden syrup and sugar to the butter and heat gently. Once the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge flakes, lemon zest and sultanas.

*Pour the mixture into the baking tin and squash down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

* Meanwhile slice the peaches in half removing the stone and place them skin side up on a baking tray.

* Scatter the cinnamon and with your hands rub the honey onto the peaches (it gets sticky!).

* Place in the over for 20 minutes.

*Once the flapjacks are cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a chopping board and cut into squares.

*Leave the peaches to cool and then place into a bowl with the left over juice.

***I like to serve this up at the picnic: place 2 peaches in a bowl followed by a dollop of crème fraiche and 2 squares of flapjacks on the top! It looks delicious and tastes even better!***

A perfect recipe to convert your friends to a gluten free way of life!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Superfood of the day: Quinoa

So our healthy eating plan took a slight back seat over the weekend as the sunny weather demanded us to have a BBQ and a picnic full of gluten free treats (recipes from the picnic will be posted later). Today however, is the start of a new week which means we are back on the healthy eating regime.

Today our superfood is Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). In recent months, quinoa seems to have become the 'in-vogue' food choice. With celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston praising the health benefits of this wholesome grain, we thought its about time we put the strange sounding food to the test.

Unlike wheat and rice, quinoa is all protein - Packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, this grain is probably the healthiest ingredient on supermarket shelves. Naturally gluten-free and easy to cook with, we decided to put a quinoa spin on our reliable 'vegetable stir fry' recipe using Canton Chef's Black Bean and Garlic sauce

Serves 4


200g quinoa
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 cup frozen peas
3 carrots (sliced)
1/2 butternut squash (peeled and chopped- or cheat and buy an already sliced bag of squash!)
2 peppers (any colour you fancy)
Any other vegetables that take your fancy (I like to add broccoli!)
1 handful cashew nuts (chopped)
A pinch of salt
1 Black Bean and Garlic stir fry sauce

*Boil 600 ml of water in a saucepan and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the quinoa and leave to cook fo approx. 20 mins (most of the water will be absorbed and the germ should be separated from the seed).
*Boil a saucepan of water and add the butternut squash, leave to cook for about 10 minutes.
*Heat the wok and add the sesame oil and the crushed garlic
*Add the carrots and peppers to the pan and leave to simmer for 5 mins (stirring along the way)
*Add the peas, cooked butternut squash and cashews
*Once the quinoa is cooked (it should still be al dente) add it to the pan and stir
*Pour in the Canton Chef sauce and stir for 2-3 minutes
*Now just serve it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Superfood of the day: Chickpeas

It is day 2 of our health plan and on a mission to experiment with naturally gluten free superfoods, we thought we would put the tin of chickpeas sitting at the back of our cupboard to use!

Did you know that chickpeas are a high source of fibre and help your body with the absorption of nutrients? They are also full of iron and studies show they improve cardiovascular health. If that isn't tempting enough, then our no-fuss hummus recipe should hopefully inspire you to use the chickpeas that are probably sitting in the back of your kitchen cupboard as well.

Our health inspired lunch for today was a handful of Barkat's light and moreish crackers with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, our homemade hummus and a squeeze of lemon and some olive oil. A quick and easy gluten free meal or snack packed with health benefits.

Homemade 'no-fuss' hummus recipe:

Serves 3

1 tin chickpeas
1 teaspoon tahini
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 pinch paprika
Barkat crackers
Sliced cucumber and tomatoes to serve


* Drain tinned chickpeas and rinse with water
* Pour the chickpeas, the tahini, garlic and lemon juice into a food processor
* Blend until smooth. You can just leave the processor on for 5 minutes or so (if you like smooth hummus leave it blending for a couple of minutes longer)
* Leave the blender running, add enough olive oil to achieve the consistency you want (Make sure you don't add too much as it will make it too sloppy)
* Season with salt and pepper- taste and add more if you feel it needs it
* Sprinkle over paprika as a garnish
* Scoop it up with Barkat crackers and serve with sliced cucumber and tomatoes!

Enjoy- let us know if you give the recipe a try!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb

It looks like summer has arrived (finally!) which means that shorts and vest tops are making a sudden return to our wardrobes. Here at Gluten Free Foods we are making a last minute attempt to get healthy just so we can feel that little bit more confident in our long forgotten summer attire!

For us, food is everything so there is no way we are living on lettuce leaves and cucumber for the next few weeks. Instead we are on a mission to make healthy meals which still taste full of flavour and leave us feeling satisfied.

So if you are feeling stuck for ideas and would like some healthy inspiration- then Gluten Free Foods are on hand!

Today we are praising a superfood that doesn't often get the attention it deserves: Buckwheat. Did you know that buckwheat is from the same family as the rhubarb and it has been linked with reducing the risk of developing diabetes, is packed with antioxidants and studies show that it helps lower cholesterol. On top of all of that, it tastes great too!

We love to serve a bowl of Barkat's buckwheat pasta spirals with some of our homemade pesto. It tastes like a slice of Italy (and is so quick and easy to make)!

Buckwheat pasta with pesto sauce

Serves 4


50 g fresh basil leaves
50 g cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 large clove of garlic (crushed)
1 tsp pine nuts
25g Pecorino Romano (grated)
A pinch of salt
2 cups of Barkat Buckwheat pasta spirals

* Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Pop them in the over for 20 mins at 180c
*Blend the basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil together with some salt until you have a smooth purée
* Transfer the purée to a bowl and stir in the grated Pecorino cheese and the tomatoes
* Cook the pasta in boiling water with a pinch of salt for about 10-12 minutes (until it is al dente)
* Rinse the pasta with water, pour the sauce on top and serve (We like to finish it off with a basil leaf and a shaving of parmesan)

Seriously simple yet healthy and delicious!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes- Andy Murray is a hero!

We went Wimbledon crazy here at Gluten Free-Foods HQ this weekend and in celebratory mode, we decided to rustle up some cupcakes with a Wimbledon twist whilst remaining gluten free, of course.

So here we have: Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes

serves 12

200g unsalted butter (softened is best)
200 g caster sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
3tbsp single cream (or dairy free equivalent)
1 tsp lemon juice
1tsp vanilla extract
200g Barkat gluten free flour mix
1/2 tsp salt

150g strawberries, hulled, plus 6 extra, hulled and sliced, to decorate
300ml double cream (or dairy free equivalent
4 tsp icing sugar
12 tsp strawberry jam


* Preheat the over to 180c; line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
* Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk (ideally using an electric beater) until light and fluffy.
* In a jug, lightly beat together the eggs, cream, lemon juice and vanilla; gradually beat into the creamed butter and sugar.
* Add the flour and salt and gently beat until smooth and thick
* Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
* Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
* For the topping, blitz the whole strawberries in a food processor and then sieve discarding the pulp
* Whip the cream and icing sugar to medium peaks and then stir through the strawberry puree.
* Put a teaspoon of jam in the centre of each cake; spoon the cream over the top.
* Decorate with the strawberry slices

The cupcakes will taste that extra bit bouncy because of the cream-enriched sponge! We love this alternative spin on the classic Victoria Sponge Cake.


Chocoholics take note!

There is something wonderfully childlike about filling a bowl up to the top with chocolate cereal and topping it up with lashings of milk. Well here at Barkat, we thought why not recreate those childhood memories and conjure up a gluten free cereal that would please even the fussiest chocoholics among us (because we are high up on the list). So we began working on our gluten free Chocolate Pillows.
We started by thinking about the outer shell- it was essential that it had to have a crisp and light texture. This needed to be followed by a total chocolate explosion- so we decided to fill the crisp shell with an outrageously gooey chocolate and hazelnut cream that really does 'melt-in-your-mouth'. Like kids in a candy shop we have created our dream chocolate cereal which in our opinion tastes better than the gluten containing cereals that we used to crave. However we must warn you that Chocolate Pillows are HIGHLY addictive, it has been known for an entire box to be consumed in one sitting (and straight out of the box). We hope you enjoy it just as much as the kids! Buy them now: Gluten Free Chocolate Pillows