Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Celebrating Cereal


With Gluten Free Food getting more attention than ever, we wanted to celebrate our favourite gluten free offerings- cereal. There is nothing better than being able to fill your bowl high with gluten free cereals. Barkat has over 8 different cereals to choose from which means we can always have something different for breakfast every morning.

This month Speciality Food Magazine are discussing the increase of gluten free foods. Ellis from Barkat explains how breakfast foods can now be enjoyed properly by followers of a gluten free diet: http://www.specialityfoodmagazine.com/content/news/are_you_ready_for_the_gluten_free_future

So we wanted to suggest different ways of enjoying our favourite breakfast cereals- because sometimes just adding milk can get a bit boring.


1. Add Stewed Apple
I love to add stewed apple to a bowl of Muesli in the morning- serve with a big spoon of yoghurt too and breakfast gets that little bit more exciting.

2. Almond, Rice, Coconut Milk
Sometimes cow's milk gives us a bloated feeling (which is never nice for Coeliacs!) so we like to experiment with different milks. Almond milk has a lovely sweet taste which is lovely with a bowl of crispy cornflakes. Or make your porridge a bit more creamy with coconut milk instead of the normal dairy equivalent.



3. Sprinkle with toasted nuts and seeds
Add a healthy dose of fats to your breakfast cereal. Simply toast some almonds and pecans or sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the oven for 10 mins with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Leave them to cool and add this crunchy addition to your cereal bowl.

4. Frozen yoghurt- As summer approaches sometimes it is fun to swap milk with a healthy dose of frozen yoghurt. Just sprinkle the cereal on top, maybe with a drizzle of honey and you've got an exciting breakfast sorted.



Let us know what you think of our top tips for jazzing up your breakfast!


Friday, 23 May 2014

A Vegetarian Feast

To finish off Vegetarian week in style, we thought we would share our favourite Gluten free and vegetarian meal, which hopefully you can fit in to the long weekend! Even meat lovers will enjoy this feast! Let us know what you think...



Starter: Chilled watercress and pea soup

Sometimes there is nothing more comforting than soup. We love this chilled watercress and pea soup served with a warmed Barkat roll. It only takes 10 mins to prepare and tastes delicious.

Ingredients
  • 454g pack of frozen peas
  • 85g bag watercress, roughly torn
  • 850g vegetable stock
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • ice cubes to serve
  • Barkat rolls to serve
Method
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the yogurt and ice, in a liquidiser or blender. Don’t overfill the machine – you may need to do this in two batches. Whizz everything for a couple of minutes until smooth and speckled with the watercress.
  2. Season if you want to, then serve straight away or chill until needed. The soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a 2 days (give it a good stir before serving) or can be frozen for up to 1 month. Serve the soup drizzled with yogurt and an ice cube or two to make it even more refreshing.
  3. Refresh the rolls in the oven and serve warm with a knob of butter.



Main: Veggie packed Shepherds Pie

Serves 4


Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin/butternut squash, weighing about 1.2kg
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 300g mushrooms, chopped (chestnut, oyster, shiitake- these have loads of flavour)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200ml sherry (an amontillado or an oloroso)
  • 2 x 400g tins of haricot beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 250g spinach leaves
  • 25g strong cheese (e.g. Cheddar, Gruy√®re), grated
  • 25g Barkat gluten free crackers (put them into a food processor so they become breadcrumbs)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper



Method

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Peel and deseed the pumpkin/squash, then cut it into chunks. Place in a pan with salted water to cover and cook over a low heat until the pumpkin is soft (about 15 minutes). Drain, then mash with a fork. Crush 1 clove of garlic and stir it in, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry slowly until it’s coloured as brown as you like it. Chop the remaining cloves of garlic and add to the pan with the mushrooms, thyme, sherry and beans. Season well with salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer away until the sherry has reduced – about 10 minutes or so. At the last moment stir in the spinach leaves to wilt.
 4. Place the filling in a casserole dish and spoon the pumpkin mash on top. Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top, then give it a light drizzle of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Dessert Toffee Apple Pudding
To finish off this veggie feast, I thought a caramel sweet pudding would work wonderfully. Serve with a spoon of your favourite ice cream and your meal is complete!

Serves 6 (or a greedy 4)

Ingredients

  • 85g butter, melted
  • 140g Barkat gluten free flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Barkat baking powder
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Bramley apples (or other cooking) apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • For the topping
  • 140g dark brown sugar
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
Method
  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 2-litre ovenproof dish lightly with butter. Tip the gluten free flour, sugar and gluten free baking powder, along with a pinch of salt, into a large bowl. Mix together the milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract and stir into the dry ingredients until you get a smooth batter. Arrange the apples in the dish, spoon the batter on top and smooth with a knife until the apples are covered.
  2. For the topping, pour 250ml boiling water over the sugar and stir together until smooth. Pour the liquid over the pudding mixture, then scatter over the pecans. Bake for about 40 mins until the pudding has risen and is golden. Use a big spoon to serve the pudding, making sure you get some of the gooey caramel sauce covering the bottom of the dish. Serve with pouring cream, warm custard or vanilla ice cream.




This is one of my favourite indulgent desserts.

So there you have a delicious vegetarian feast! Enjoy celebrating Vegetarian Week!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Gluten Free Treats: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cookies


One of the star treats at our Coeliac Awareness Event were Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cookies. We made them using Barkat All Purpose Mix Flour and they went down a storm.



These cookies took only 20 mins to make and they tasted even better than the gluten equivalent.

They are best served warm as the chocolate is all gooey and delicious!

Serves about 15

Ingredients:
225g butter
200g caster sugar
200g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
240g crunchy peanut butter
2 1/2 tsp Barkat bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
75g dark chocolate, chopped



Method:
  • ·      Preheat oven 170 c/gas 3.
  • ·      Put butter and sugar in electric mixer/handheld whisk and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  • ·      Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well until smooth dough is formed. Stir in chocolate until evenly dispersed.
  • ·      Arrange about 5 equally sized dough balls on each prepared greaseproof paper lined baking tray. Make sure cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking- they grow very big!
  • ·      Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and quite flat.
  • ·      Leave to cool slightly on trays before turning onto wire rack to cool.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Celebrating Coeliac Awareness Week at Gluten Free Foods


Last week we held a Coeliac awareness event at Gluten Free Foods Head Office. We filled the office with gluten free treats- and we were so happy to see Coeliacs smiling at the huge range of gluten free yummy foods on offer.


Using Barkat all-purpose flour we made a huge range of sweet treats from Blueberry Muffins to Crunchy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cookies (recipe to come later this week).


We also showed how easy it is to make a gluten free pastry for delicious pies. Alan from the team served up his famous gluten free Apple Pie and a savoury Caramelised Onion and Goats Cheese Tart.



One of the most popular treats was our range of sandwiches made using Barkat gluten free Country Loaf. The bread is seriously delicious and tastes like it has just come out of the oven. It takes just 6 minutes to prepare- we love to make tuna mayo and cucumber sandwiches and egg mayo with tomatoes. Delicious!


To finish off our feast we served up lots of our Barkat favourites: wafers, teacakes, pretzels and digestives.

What did you do to celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week?


Friday, 9 May 2014

Simply Stir Fry

Easy gluten free dinners are sometimes hard to find. That's why we love Canton Chef- their delicious Stir Fry sauces are full of flavour and are the perfect accompaniment to a vegetable/chicken stir fry.



If you need to use up left over veg in the fridge or if you just want a quick dinner for the kids- use this recipe as a template and then add your own additions depending on what's in the fridge!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 onion chopped
1 red chilli chopped
1 cm piece of ginger grated
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 brocolli chopped and cooked al dente
1 red pepper
A handful of mushrooms
1 courgette chopped
buckwheat noodles/jasmine rice
A big glug of tamari
A packet of Canton Chef sauce (whichever takes your fancy)

Method:
1. Heat a stir-fry pan and then add the oil
2. Once the oil is hot add the ginger, garlic, and chilli
3. Once the ingredients have softened, add the rest of the veg
4. Meanwhile cook the noodles/rice and then add them to the stir fry pan
5. Add a big glug of tamari, stir and season.
6. Add the Canton Chef sauce and stir

See just 6 steps and you've got a delicious dinner ready for the family! (If you'd like to add chicken, add it to the pan after you've sauteed the onions and garlic).



Enjoy your simple stir fry!