Tesco Pudding Shakes

Another fab product from the new Tesco Free From range. These lunch-box sized ‘pudding shakes’ are a bit thicker than a milk shake, but drinkable rather than in pudding form. They come in chocolate or vanilla flavour and certainly fill a gap in the dairy-free portable pudding area. My girls loved them and they proved a huge hit (even with the non-dairy-free members of the party) at our picnic last weekend.

It’s just so nice to discover new dairy-free products that are child-friendly, rather than rather serious and lacking in fun because they’re made for a ‘special diet’.

Lucky Clover Cookies

It may still be March, but the weather today looks perfect for a trip to the beach. As I’ve mentioned before, picnics are very hard if you are egg/dairy/nut-free. It’ll be sandwiches, crisps, vegetable sticks, fruit and these cookies I made last night. They’re chocolate and orange and hopefully will stand up to the journey…. I’ll post the recipe later, got to make the picnic now!

I wonder if we’ll be able to get an ice lolly? Obviously ice creams are out of the question, but last year good old Calippo ice lollies you can get nearly everywhere started to contain traces of nuts – that risk may be ok at home, but certainly not in the middle of nowhere on a day out. It’s rather gutting for a child to not be able to even have an ice lolly when everyone else is tucking in on a hot day…

UPDATE: Here’s the recipe, inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar. Apparently they’re like Pepperidge farm Milanos – I’m from the UK so that means nothing to me!

Choc n Orange Lucky Clover Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes about 18 cookies

  • 1/3 cup oat milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsps vanilla paste (2 of essence)
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 45g dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate, chopped

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Whisk together the oat milk, sugar, oil, vanilla, orange juice and orange essence

Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

– Using floured hands form large marble sized balls of dough and place on a lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly. (I then stamped mine with a clover template)

– bake for about 15 minutes

– Cool slightly, then move to a wire rack to cool.

(These were great for a picnic, but I reckon they’d be even better half coated in dark chocolate when cool)

Almond Scones

Have you ever been to Food for Thought? This vegetarian restaurant, based in London’s Covent Garden, has been there forever and everyday has a long queue out the door with hungry diners keen to get their plates of goodness. While it can by no means be classed a fine dining restaurant (the vibe is far more veggie cafe) they do serve some knockout dishes, packed full of flavour. This scone recipe is a real winner, in fact you’d never guess that they’re dairy-free/vegan, and makes a fantastic after-school snack. While we may be a peanut free household, almonds are ok for us (and great for the dairy avoider as they’re full of calcium) so this is our preferred variation. Next time I may try the chocolate version….

Almond Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan, soya-free)

makes about 10 (sorry about the not very good photo!)

  • 450g plain flour
  • 3 level tsps baking powder
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 50g sugar
  • 60g ground almonds (or use cocoa powder)
  • 300ml oat milk
  • more oat milk to brush
  • demerara sugar to sprinkle

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– Oil and flour a baking sheet

– Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl

– With your fingertips, rub the dairy-free spread into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

– Stir in the sugar and ground almonds (cocoa powder)

– Stir in the oat milk and bring together to form a soft dough

– Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead to form a soft ball.

– With your fingers, press out until 2-3cm thick

– Cut out with a floured cookie cutter

– Place on the baking sheet.

– Brush the tops with oat milk and sprinkle with the demerara sugar

– Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top

– Serve hot or cold, with dairy-free spread, jam or honey.

– Oh, and they freeze brilliantly

Sweetcorn Fritters

This egg and dairy-free sweetcorn fritter recipe must be the simplest dish in the world, and makes a great accompaniment to a veggie ‘fry-up’ or just as a standby when you need to whip up a children’s supper in five minutes from a couple of store cupboard ingredients. This recipe is easy, works a treat and really does not suffer for not having eggs in. You could put any vegetable in the mix, but my children love sweetcorn, so that’s the choice we go for!

Sweetcorn Fritters (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

IMG_5129

serves 3-4

  • 80g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 105ml water (7 tbsps)
  • 1 small can of sweetcorn

– Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, stir in the water to make a smooth but thick paste

– Stir in the sweetcorn

– Fry spoonfuls in hot sunflower oil, until golden on both sides.

– Serve (How easy was that!)

IMG_5126

Dairy-free dauphinoise

Mmmm, potato dauphinoise is one truly delightful potato dish. While this is by no means as creamy, unctuous and rich as the dairy version (I like Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall’s) it’s a good substitute if you’re dairy-free. The oat milk cream gives a soft, ‘creamy’ richness and it certainly fills the spot of a dinner party-worthy dairy-free potato dish. To make a divine supper serve with ratatouille – yum!

Dairy-free Dauphinoise (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

Alter the quantities for however many you are serving, this was for a ramekin sized portion to serve one after-school hungry 8 year old!

  • 1 small – medium potato, very finely sliced
  • dairy-free spread, to smear over ramekin
  • oat cream
  • 1 clove of garlic (more if you like!)

– Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– Rub the inside of the dish with a cut garlic clove (can also layer some if you like)

– Smear the inside of the dish with dairy-free spread

– In a separate bowl, combine the sliced potatoes with enough oat milk to cover and mix well.

– Layer the sliced in the dish.

– Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour until golden on top and soft all the way through.

– Serve!

Easter!

From the aisles of the supermarket you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s nearly Easter – and to most little people Easter equals chocolate, possibly Christianity, fluffy bunnies, chicks and more chocolate. But if you are allergic to milk, chocolate is a bit of a nightmare. You’d possibly think that any quality dark chocolate would be fine, but in my experience it normally contains milk solids and so is immediately out of bounds. So the yearly hunt for suitable chocolate easter eggs has begun. Today I found a Kinnerton dark chocolate egg in Tesco (it’s guaranteed nut free too which is a big bonus) for £5.

To be honest, it’s not particularly appealing looking for a child is it? It certainly doesn’t compete with the cute character themed ones most children get to enjoy…. but it’s a start!

Today’s foray to a Holland and Barratt uncovered a couple more dairy free chocolate egg options by Choices. there were three varieties, dark, milk and white. All of them are dairy, egg and gluten free. My children will probably prefer the dark (because they’ve never known milk chocolate like other kids, they don’t tend to like the creamy taste!), but I bought one milk and one white for one of their Grandmothers to give them at Easter. These are a little more child-friendly, but it still isn’t Hello Kitty is it!