Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Baking with the Seasons

Here at Gluten Free Foods HQ we try and eat according to what is in season. This January, Clementines are the top fruit of choice. So we decided to share one of our favourite recipes for Clementine Cake! This recipe is naturally gluten free- we just use Barkat gluten free baking powder (as often Baking Powder contains gluten- be warned!)

375g/13oz clementines (about 4-5)
butter, for greasing
6 free-range eggs
225g/8oz caster sugar
250g/9oz ground almonds
1 heaped tsp Barkat gluten free baking powder


1. Place the clementines into a large, deep pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for two hours, topping up occasionally with boiling water if necessary. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips.

2. Place all of the clementines into a food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Butter and line a 21cm/8in round spring-form cake tin with greaseproof paper.

4. Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl, then add the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder. Mix until well combined, then stir in the clementine purée.

5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for one hour, covering it with foil or greaseproof paper after 40 minutes to prevent the top from burning (make sure you keep an eye on it!). Test to see if the cake is cooked with a skewer inserted into the middle – it should come out clean.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack. Once cooled, remove from the tin and set aside.

Sprinkle with some icing sugar and decorate with some extra segments of clementine. We love to eat this with a spoonful of Chantilly cream.

Let us know any favourite seasonal recipes or ingredients and we will give them a try!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

Whether it's the crispy topping of a pasta bake or tender chicken pieces, there is something ridiculously tempting about the crunchy, golden texture of breadcrumbs. Going gluten free does not mean you have to say goodbye to those yummy memories. You just need to find a substitute to take it's place- and lucky for you, we've found it.

We use Barkat crackers; just throw them in a food processor for a couple of minutes and then use them as a replacement for whichever recipe you wish to follow.

We love to make fish fingers with the breadcrumbs (which is mixed with polenta for this recipe). Making fish fingers from scratch is so much more satisfying than buying them from the frozen section. Even more importantly, we know exactly what is going in them and so we make sure they stay as healthy as possible!

*3 tbsp Barkat all-purpose flour

*1 large free-range egg, beaten

*50g golden breadcrumbs (Just mix 30g ground Barkat crackers with 20g easy-cook polenta)

*500g thick skinless fish fillets (salmon, cod, haddock or other white fish), cut into 4 or 8 thick pieces

*3 tbsp sunflower oil

*salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the flour in a strong freezer bag and season with salt and black pepper.

Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish.

Put the breadcrumb and polenta mixture in a separate shallow dish.

Gently toss each fish piece in the seasoned flour bag until evenly coated, then dip into the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Put the prepared fish pieces on a plate.

Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it.

Add the fish fingers carefully and fry for 5–6 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown and crisp on all sides. (You may need to do this in batches.)

Remove the fish with a spatula and drain on kitchen paper.

That's all there is to it! We like to serve this with a big wedge of lemon, some ketchup and sweet potato fries!

Enjoy and send us pictures of your breadcrumb recipes!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Crackers for Dip

We are still keeping up our health kick for January. Today it is all about snacking but healthily. Barkat crackers are the perfect way of staying on top of your diet whilst getting through that afternoon slump.

The Matzo crackers are packed with fibre. The Crispreads are low in fat. The Crackers are just generally delicious!

We love dipping any of these crackers into a healthy homemade dip. These dips are so easy to make and always make an impressive addition at any dinner party!

Tomato and Olive Salsa

With just 22 calories per serving, this is a go to dip to get us through the afternoon!

500 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped
200 g sliced green olives
1 bunch coriander, sliced
1 small onion, diced finely
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoonminced fresh oregano
1 small garlic clove, crushed
A pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper , to taste

It's as simple as this: combine all the ingredients and mix well!

If you don't know how to peel the tomatoes, all you need to do is make slits over the skin of the tomatoes and then place the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Then place in cold water and the skins will peel off really easily.

Beetroot and Mint dip

This dip looks so vibrant and tastes so fresh too!

250g vacuum-packed beetroot
½ tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chopped mint, plus a few leaves for sprinkling
squeeze of lemon juice
3 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
a few pinches nigella seeds/sesame seeds

Put the beetroot and cumin into a food processor, season and blend until smooth. Tip into a bowl, add the mint and lemon juice, then gently stir through crème fraîche to get a rippled effect. Sprinkle with mint leaves and nigella seeds/sesame seeds.

So now all you need are the crackers or some cut up veg and that's the afternoon's 'temptation to break the diet' sorted!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Healthy Snacks to get you through the January Blues

January is never going to be the best month of the year. We all feel that bit heavier and are all in a desperate bid to shift those festive pounds. Mornings are dark and the weather doesn't seem to be cheering up any time soon. Before you get the January blues- take a look at a couple of gluten free healthy treats that taste so good they might just put a smile on your face. Take a batch of the breakfast bars in to work or school and cheer your colleagues up. With delicious food- January doesn't have to seem so bad!

We love these breakfast bars made with Barkat porridge flakes. They are easy to make and taste seriously yummy! The kids will love them too!


1 cup Barkat porridge flakes
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds (optional- flaxseed is brilliant for aiding digestion)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup currants/sultanas
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup creamy almond butter (healthier option to peanut butter)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

* Preheat oven to 180c. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.

* Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are golden (be careful as they burn quickly), shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes.

* Transfer to a large bowl. Add currants, apricots and raisins; toss to combine.

* Combine almond butter, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.

* Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Transfer to the prepared pan. Press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.

These last for about 1 week at room temperature but you can also freeze them for up to one month.

This Orange & Almond Cake is seriously delicious- it's dairy free and gluten free and will dose you up with Vitamin C. We can't claim it is equivalent to the health benefits of a bowl of salad but it is so tasty that we think you might as well treat yourself.

3 small or 2 large oranges
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
70g ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Barkat gluten free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Barkat gluten free baking powder


* Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a 20cm tin with baking paper.

* In a medium saucepan cover unpeeled oranges with water and boil for 1 hour. Drain, cool, then use a blender or food processor to purée unpeeled oranges. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.

* In a separate bowl beat egg whites until fluffy.

* Add the egg yolks, sugar, almonds and vanilla to the orange puree. Sift in flour and baking powder. Stir to combine. Gently fold in egg whites until just combined.

* Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 35-45 minutes then cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

This cake is seriously moist and is a perfect addition to that afternoon cup of tea!

Enjoy January!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Healthy Gluten Free Kickstart

Turn on your TV, read the papers, listen to the radio, and it's clear to see that we go diet mad as soon as January hits. We can all (most of us anyway) put up our hands and admit that the Christmas festivities equate to a couple of extra pounds on the scales and a few extra inches around our wasteband.

Well being gluten free means that you are already off to a good start for a detox infused January.

Throughout the month we will be posting our favourite nutritious recipes that will keep you feeling satisfied and healthy all month long.

To start us off, here are a couple of our top breakfast recipes:

Winter Porridge

Serves 1

20g Barkat Porridge Flakes
100 ml Almond milk (or your choice of milk)
50 ml Water
1 Apple (grated)
1 Tablespoon Flaked Almonds
A good sprinkling of cinnamon
A teaspoon of honey


* Heat the milk and water on the hob, once simmering add the porridge flakes and stir
* Let the flakes soak into the milk and water and stir for about 5 mins
* Once the flakes have softened and the porridge feels like it has a good consistency, take it off the hob.
* Add the apple, almonds and stir in the cinnamon and honey.

What a great start to the day!

Egg white frittata with Barkat wholemeal gluten free bread

Eggs are the most nutritious way of starting the day. With a low calorie content and full of nutrients, we try and start most days with an egg involved!
This frittata is seriously simple to whip up and tastes delicious

Serves 4

1/2 pound asparagus spears
2 whole eggs and four egg whites
1/4 cup skimmed milk
1/4 cup feta cheese/low fat cheddar
4 slices Barkat wholemeal sliced bread

(you can add any other yummy veg that you like- sometimes we add roasted butternut squash and courgettes- it adds a lovely sweetness to the flavour!)


* Turn on the grill
* Steam or boil asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes, then plunge in cold water and drain. Cut asparagus into pieces and set aside.
* Combine eggs with milk.
* Pour a drop of olive oil onto a medium nonstick skillet (with an oven-proof handle) and heat on a medium light on the hob. Add asparagus pieces, immediately followed by the egg mixture. Cook frittata gently and undisturbed for five minutes, until edges begin to set. Sprinkle cheese on top.
* Carefully transfer skillet to the grill and cook frittata for 2-3 minutes until eggs are set and are golden in color.
* Cut frittata into 4 wedges and serve immediately with a slice of toasted wholemeal bread on the side.

Enjoy these breakfast suggestions and send us pictures of your healthy recipes!