Dairy Free Yoghurt Recipe – Delicious!

I have just had huge success making yoghurt!! It was so nice eating it for the first time in years…one of the boys had tears in his eyes as he wolfed it down… huge lump in my throat watching him.

I bought the Severin Yoghurt Maker with extra set of jars & New Recipe Book. I have now tried using Kara cartoned coconut milk, tinned coconut milk, almond milk and rice milk. By far, the best is with the coconut milks, and the voted one in this house, is using tinned coconut milk. Although high in fat compared to all the other milks we used, it contains ‘good’ fats (see a review here) so unless you are calorie counting, don’t worry overly about it.

How to make delicious coconut milk yohurt?

Use 1 litre tinned coconut milk, heat until it starts bubbling, but not boiling. Add in 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour (dissolved in water to make a paste first) and one sachet of gelatine (or vegetarian equivalent agar). Whisk until the gelatine/agar has melted and the tapioca flour has thickened the milk – heating gently if need be. Then add in 2-3 tablespoons of honey or syrup as food for the yoghurt making bacteria.Cool it down to room temperature, and add in 3 capsules of dairy free probiotics (open the capsules and tip in the powder). I think it’s important that you use ones which contain Streptococcus thermophilus, but mine from Colchester Natural Foods contain about 7 additional strains. Stir or whisk thoroughly, tip into the jars and stand them in the yoghut maker. It takes a good 8 hours with coconut milk to ‘yoghurt’ so you can make it overnight or leave it whilst you’re out in the day. You can tell easily that it’s done by opening and smelling. You’ll notice that the liquid it still quite runny – don’t worry, it will all thicken as it cools.
Take the jars out and stand them in cold water in the sink before putting them into the fridge. You can add in your flavourings at this stage if you wish, or like us, leave until thickened. We use fruit conserves, chopped up fresh fruit, honey…the choice is yours!Use Kara coconut milk in cartons for a lower fat version, using a bit more tapioca flour and 1/2 a sachet more gelatine to thicken.Do let me know how you get on!


Strawberry Jelly with Vanilla Panna Cotta – allergy free!!

I have just found THE most delicious recipe that is easily converted to what we need. It comes from peasepudding and I highly recommend it to anyone with any allergies – or indeed none and in it’s unadulterated form! Thanks to peasepudding for this recipe that I have adapted for our community!


Ingredients – makes 4

  • 6 strawberries
  • 240ml red berry fruit juice (cranberry, strawberry, raspberry)
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp agar powder – or use the appropriate amount of powdered gelatin according to the instructions, eg 1/2 sachet for Dr Oetker gelatine
  • 240ml dairy free milk (I use Alpro almond milk) – or single cream for those who can!!
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp agar powder – or use the appropriate amount of powdered gelatin according to the instructions eg 1/2 sachet for Dr Oetker gelatine
  • Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the jelly, cut the strawberries, I cubed mine to fit the ramekins I was using.
Add the to the ramekins
Combine 1/2 tsp agar (soak gelatin first if using), fruit juice and 1 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan. Over a medium heat bring to a simmer whilst stirring.
Pour the fruit liquid over the strawberries to half fill the ramekins.
Allow to cool.

To make the Panna Cotta, combine the 1/2 tsp agar (again, soak gelatin if using), dairy free milk (or cream), vanilla bean seeds and 1/2 tsp sugar in a small saucepan.
Over a low heat bring the milk (cream) to a simmer, whilst stirring the liquid.
It will start to thicken slightly, remove from the heat.

The Panna Cotta needs to cool before pouring over the jelly. Agar will set as it comes to room temperature so you need to keep an eye on it. Stir every minute or so to distribute and even cooling and prevent a skin from forming. Gelatin takes a bit longer.

Once the cream mixture is luke warm pour over the jelly and place in the fridge until required.

Happy eating!

Stress-free sleepover

Jack has just been for a BBQ sleepover at a friends house…and for the first time ever (outside of immediate family), he was staying with people who truly understand food allergies! It was by far, the least stressful stay away ever, as they have children who’s allergies put together make the family wheat, dairy, egg and soya free. Hurrah!!

Given our stress free evening, he can almost be forgiven from staying up all night and asking to be collected at 7.30am…. Almost!

Sick of the sight of hospitals!

I’ve not given up on my blog – honest! I will be writing more very soon, but the family has been plagued by ill health and emergency hospital visits so my focus has been elsewhere.

This weekend it is my father’s 70th birthday party. He doesn’t know it yet, but my brothers and I are organising a surprise gathering for him and I am about to get my apron on to cook up all sorts of treats tomorrow ready for the feast. Like I have said before, 99% of the food on offer will all be gluten, egg, dairy, soya and celery free. It’s so much easier to do it this way so that the boys can freely choose their own food without the worry of picking ‘unsafe’ items which plagues them at most social gatherings.

Apart from the cake and stack of mouthwatering, maple syrup drenched mini pancakes I am making, I shall also rustle up garlic bread and rolls, mini pizzas, pasta salads, thyme crackers, cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, and a vegetarian tart to boot – all alongside the general array of dips, tortillas, salads and strawberries. I’ll try and remember to take some photos of the event to show you.

I hope you have as good a weekend as I am going to have!


Anapen recall

I just took a call at work from my husband telling me that he heard a newsflash that the Anapen adrenaline injector is being recalled.

Having googled the recall, apparently we are hearing it from the news channels first as the manufacturers issued the press release without informing hospital allergy centres.

To confirm I rang our GP practice and they have confirmed the voluntary recall here in the UK saying it is due to possible dosing irregularities which may occur due to the properties of the plastic needle sheath used to deliver the adrenalin.

I’m guessing that Anapen patients will be called by their hospitals or GP practices shortly to offer replacement adrenalin injectors – most likely Epipens. If you don’t get a call, pick up the phone and sort it yourself.

However, there doesn’t seem to be much cause to panic! Be assured that here in the UK we are being ultra cautious. Other countries who use the Anapen more widely are not recalling them yet. France use it much more routinely and they are sitting on the fence until more tests are done.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the recall might be due in part to the Anapen adversely affecting at least one person…but no! I gather that no-one has be let down by the pen so it would seem that the manufacturer really is just playing safe.

Here’s the latest update from the BBC

I’ll bring more updates as I find them…

Would you like a downloadable weekly / monthly menu planner?

Hi, Ruth here! It seems that there is a growing readership on my blog and I’d just like to thank everybody who has sent me emails recently.

I’ve been asked a few times in the last two weeks if I have a menu planner I use – with menus already on it? I guess it was after my post ‘Get Smart….‘ post where I said that planning meals in advance and pinning up a weekly menu on the fridge door saves time wondering what to cook every day.

I’m sure that there are heaps of us using such methods, but as I’ve been specifically asked to think about producing one (and before I spend too much time on it) I thought I’d ask if you think it is a tool you would find useful?

If enough people do, I might well look into putting together entire weekly or even monthly menu planners where the meals are free from all major allergens: gluten, dairy, soya, fish, peanuts, eggs, shellfish and tree nuts…and of course celery for my boys!

I would be very grateful for all those who email me their thoughts…and if the vote is to go for them, I will do my very best to put together a tool that is useful for us all….and will make sure those who respond get the planners first!!

Contact me here

Thank you!


Allergy and Free From Show – a Must this Weekend

If you can get yourself to London this coming weekend (18th-20th May 2012) you won’t regret it.  The ‘Allergy and Free From Show’ at London’s Olympia represents the largest gathering of people suffering from food allergies and those providing products and services for them.

There is a ticket charge on the door, but if you follow this link now, you can preorder FREE TICKETS and get them emailed to you.

Over 150 individuals and companies are exhibiting their wares, from food and drink, to skin products and cosmetics, allergy solutions and demos.

Specifically aimed at those with allergies, food intolerances, Coeliac Diseases (and other autoimmune diseases), chemical sensitiviteis, eczthma, asthma, hayfever and a host of other respiratory and skin conditions. Don’t let this pass you by…