Walkers Scottish Shortbread

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Last year Walker’s announced they were going to be launching two gluten free versions of their shortbread, and promptly made Coeliac’s across the UK incredibly happy! A long-time family favourite for many, their all-butter shortbreads seemed to be a distant memory for gluten free folk, so this was welcome news.

I have to admit though, it’s taken until now for me to try them myself! At first you could only order online through their website (and stock didn’t last long), before I spotted them early summer in Whole Foods London. I resisted the temptation to buy them then, but on my first day back in the UK post-holiday, I found them by chance in Waitrose. No hesitation this time, I picked up a pack of both the chocolate chip and plain shortbread.

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These are amazing. Simply no other way to describe them, they taste exactly as I remember all-butter shortbread to taste! They taste rich and creamy, and surprisingly there’s hardly any crumble to them, which makes them fantastic for dipping in your tea! Looking at the ingredients, it’s clear to see why these taste so much like the real thing- there’s no fussy ingredients in here, instead just simple free from alternatives (list of ingredients can be found below). As they say themselves on their website:

‘The range contains no artificial flavourings or colourings, contains no genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)contains no hydrogenated fatsis suitable for vegetarians and is certified OUD Kosher.’

What’s more, these products are certified by Coeliac UK so there’s no question whether their production methods are safe or not. Great piece of mind for Coeliacs!

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The range is new to Waitrose, with an introductory price of £1.87 per pack (until 29/09/15), after which the price will be £2.50. Honestly, I think they’re worth this price!

The full range, including shortbread rounds, lemon & ginger and chocolate chip, can be found on Walker’s website: http://www.walkersshortbread.com/uk/about/gluten-free/ where you can also purchase them (same cost as Waitrose unless you bulk buy). You can also see their new gluten free snack packs, which I really hope will be picked up by retailers across the UK. These would be fantastic to find out & about, and even better if they could be offered by airlines as part of gluten free meals! We can only hope (and maybe hint a lot over on Twitter…..).

Thank you Walker’s, for making such a delicious product available for Coeliacs once more. I can only hope this range expands and is made widely available.

I’d love to know what you think of these products, and if you’ve found them available from any other retailers, please let me know!

Ingredients and Nutritional information:

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Festive GF Wrap from Starbucks

Earlier this week on Twitter,  Steph mentioned that along with those ridiculously awesome red cups, this winter Starbucks have launched a Festive wrap that’s also Gluten Free. One mention of the word ‘Turkey’ and I was determined hunt one down!

I didn’t have to look very far as fortunately there’s a little Starbucks outside my office in North West London. Venturing out for lunch I was delighted to spot one! Also in red packaging, this ‘Limited Edition’ wrap is described as a ‘Gluten Free Turkey and Bacon Wrap’. Look closely at the ingredients listed on the front, and you find it contains:

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Turkey breast, smoked bacon, spinach, cranberry sauce, black pepper mayo and pork, sage and onion stuffing. Sounds like Christmas dinner all wrapped up, right?

IT IS.

I asked for my wrap to be heated (no one likes cold Christmas dinner after all) but took it back to my office. I queried the staff around their cross contamination procedure with the grill, and was happy to hear that they place two new sheets of baking paper underneath and on top of the wrap to prevent it touching the grill. I watched them do this to be on the side, but no issues!

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Back at my desk, I tucked in. WOW. To me, this tastes exactly like Christmas dinner, all the flavour combinations work brilliantly together and they’re not overpowering. The wrap, a multi-seeded wrap from Newburn Bakehouse,  held together well and I had no issues with it falling apart or losing the filling.

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My one issue was when the cranberry sauce made a bid for freedom on my nice yellow jumper….. 😦

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I’d suggest using a napkin!

The eat-in price is £3.29 which is pretty much the same cost as they’re ‘normal’ offerings, so I don’t feel like it’s a gluten free rip off in any way. I’m happy with their cross contamination controls and frankly, I’m just really happy to have another delicious lunch option for when I’m on the go!

Well done Starbucks, thank you for not forgetting your Coeliac customers during the festive period!

New delights from Mrs Crimbles

There’s been a lot of Twitter talk over the last week since Mrs Crimble’s announced the arrival of two brand new products to their range. I was in contact with their PR team who very kindly sent me some samples to try and review for the blog. Here they are…. Country Fruit Slices and Zesty Lemon Slices.

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Mrs Crimble’s is a long established gluten free company providing sweet and savoury foods that are perfect for lunch boxes,  picnics, parties or just to accompany a cup of tea. My Grandad (who isn’t Coeliac), absolutely loves their macaroons and often heads to their local farm shop to grab a pack, whether I’m visiting or not! I’ve found that their snacks are great nibbles and perfect to take to a party as gluten free nibbles,  or into the office so I’m not left out when it comes to cake in team meetings!

I’m also a life long fan of those delicious Mr Kipling cake slices of old, so these products are a really exciting addition to the range for me. Can they live up to the pre – Coeliac favourites though?

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I was super excited to receive this gorgeous package in the post. The slices looked even more tasty having been presented so well and I couldn’t wait to get home with GBBO and  cuppa to try them!

The main packaging as always is gorgeous. It’s fun and bright but doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, nor does it have free from plastered on the front. Instead, it simply says in a small symbol ‘Deliciously gluten free’. I love this as it’s subtle but gets the message across well, without alienating non – Coeliacs.
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First of all I tried the Country Fruit Slice. I’ve never been the biggest fan of fruit cake, instead preferring to pick the icing off the top and leave the cake. But this cake is very different, in that although it’s filled with fruit pieces it’s still light and moist. It has thin pastry base which helps to give texture and prevent too much crumbling, and is topped with gorgeously sweet icing droplets to finish it off. I was really impressed with how much I enjoyed it!

The Zesty Lemon slices….wow! They taste exactly as I remember Mr Kipling slices to be, and they’re deliciously sweet and moist. The icing is finished the slice with a pretty finish, although it is harder than I expected which is possibly why mine fell apart so easily in the post. However, it’s a great accompaniment to the cake in both great taste and the overall look ( and I do love a bit of icing left over at the end of the cake). My only criticism is that they were almost too moist, making it hard to pick them out of the packaging without them breaking up. Having said that, I’d rather an over moist cake than a dry one so it’s only a small criticism. Oh, and I think they need to be bigger….you can never have enough of a lemon slice! 😉

Overall my favourite is the Zesty Lemon slice, as it was my absolute favourite growing up. But the Country Fruit Slice had totally changed my view on fruit cake and I’d be more than happy to enjoy this ad a little treat. It makes a damn nice change from chocolate brownies!

I would also suggest that like Mr Kipling have done, it would be great to have the slices packed into little packets of two inside the box. It’s rare that I would eat more than two slices of cake in one go or even in one week, so the separated packaging would help to keep the remaining slices fresh until I’m ready to eat them. Mini packets are also fantastic for breaking out when you have a friend over for a coffee, or they could even be sold in coffee shops! I understand that Mrs Crimble’s are planning individually packed slices as well as the packs of four, so fingers crossed we see these available soon.

I’m really delighted that Mrs Crimble’s have launched gluten free versions of our old favourites, and rather than being disappointed that yet more unnecessary sugary products are filling the supermarket shelves, I’m happy to say I will definitely be buying these in the future. You’ll find me curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a Zesty Lemon slice with #GBBO tonight…..

Both products are hitting shelves near you soon, as they have already been picked up and stocked by Nisa and other wholesalers have placed their orders. Available in packs of four, both products will retail for around £1.89 per pack.

Homemade tortilla chips

Earlier this week I made my homemade fajitas but I was seriously craving nachos to go with them. Nachos are amazing,  put nachos on a menu and it’s very rare that I won’t choose them! Refusing to choose an unhealthy option I decided to make some myself…not rocket science but I thought I’d share my recipe with you.

First if all you’ll need some Bfree wraps- other brands will work but these are my favourite- which are both gluten and dairy free. You can find these in Asda stores and also online at Ocado, plus they’re featured in the Tesco Lifestyle food fair until the end of August.

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Cut these into strips or triangles and place in a baking tray. Then brush with a little coconut oil (I use Lucy Bee) and sprinkle with some sea salt or pink Himalyan salt.

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Then bake in the oven at 200°C for 5-7 minutes- keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

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It’s that simple,  but they crisp but amazingly and the combination of coconut oil with the sea salt it great. I use Bfree wraps they’re thinner so create the perfect chip.

Enjoy on their own, cover with cheese (if you can tolerate dairy or grab a dairy free version) or dip into something yummy!

Veggie Good Houmous Starbucks Wrap

Following the launch of Costa Coffee’s new gluten free wrap, Starbucks were hot on their heels with their own version,  the Veggie Good Houmous wrap. Both are made using seeded wraps by Newburn Bakehouse, so really it’s only the fillings that are in competition. You can read the press release for the Starbucks Wrap here and the Costa press release here.

This new wrap has been a little more elusive for me but having popped to the shops early yesterday I was able to grab one before other gluten free people snaffled them up!

I did have a little mix up with the server,  who totted off with my wrap to heat it up when I’d said not to, but luckily I stopped her before she put it on the grill. The cross contamination alarm bells were ringing in my head and I’ve now contacted their customer services to fund out about the controls they have in place (I’ll update this post with their response).

As the packaging had been thrown away I was given the wrap in a paper bag and worried it would fall apart as I continued shopping,  but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the bag and the wrap was fully intact.

 

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Now on to the taste. I LOVE houmous and was excited that it’s used in wrap, but unfortunately the lemony flavour they’ve gone with just doesn’t work- it’s like a mild backing to the taste of the vegetables. The chunks of courgettes are odd in the wrap,  almost too big but it’s the shredded carrot that takes center stage here. In fact, it was all I could taste!! The filling is a nice concept but the flavours feel mismatched and certainly don’t come through as they should.

The wrap is however nicely filled, much more so than my wrap from Costa. It was also nicely tucked up at the bottom so the filling didn’t fall out- considering how much was in there.

 

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Overall, the filling and flavour of this wrap left me underwhelmed and I think the flavours definitely need a re-think. It’s great to have another option readily available on the high street but on this occasion the wrap from Costa wins for me.

The wrap is available in 750 stores across the UK and costs £3.99.