Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Creative Nature Gluten Free Baking Mixes

I try out two of the gluten free baking mixes from Creative Nature - a chocolate chip muffin and a banana bread. Have a read to see how I got on.

This post contains some affiliate links.  This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission that helps me keep the blog running. Thank you for your support.

Have you ever heard of Creative Nature? They make gluten free, low sugar baking mixes and also some snack bars. When I was asked if I'd like to give them a try, with two hungry gluten-free kiddos here, well obviously I said yes. 

I like Creative Nature. They cater for allergies - the mixes I tried were free of dairy, gluten, nuts and soya and were organic - and although they do use sugar, they use the unrefined type, rather than refined white sugar. Yes, it's all sugar at the end of the day, but they're not claiming to be sugar free, after all. I guess the less refined, the better. I watch my sugar really carefully, so as not to flare up my scalp psoriasis - but my kids get treats every now and then and I'd rather they're gluten free. The fact that these are also free of nuts is a bonus, because my youngest can take them to her nut-free school. 

The first ones we baked were the chocolate chip muffins. They were easy enough to mix together, pour into cases and bake - and there's a vegan option on the back of the packet too, if you need it. 

They weren't dark like I expected them to be, but were light, a little chewy, and not too sweet at all. The girls took one in their packed lunch the next day, as a snack. I loved that I only needed to shop for three things - butter, an egg and vanilla - because buying different gluten free flours can be expensive when you don't eat this kind of thing very often, as well as filling up your cupboards. The only thing I wished was different was the quantity - the mix made 6 muffins - we all wished, especially for the price, that they'd made the full dozen. 

creative nature gluten free muffin chocolate chip

The banana bread was next. My daughters are really fussy over gluten free bakes - scrutinising the ingredients and casting anything aside that tastes 'powdery', 'grainy' or like coconut (yeah, they hate coconut which is a problem for a 50% paleo family, but there you go). 

This banana bread was chewy, dense but not cloying. It tasted of bananas, and had a real homely feeling about it - you could totally pass this off as your very own from-scratch creation if you wanted to. It was gorgeous served in thick, warm slices with a cup of tea after dinner. I went a bit overboard with the cinnamon, adding just under a teaspoonful - I love cinnamon - and it was wonderful. My 13 year old and I ended up fighting over the last few pieces. We enjoyed both the mixes, but this one was our favourite. 

creative nature banana bread

It's worth mentioning that as well as the bread and muffin mixes, they do also make energy/snack bars in flavours like Salted Caramel, Cacao Orange and Carrot Cake - have a read of the ingredients though, as these can contain some soy, just in case you're looking out for that. And they do superfood powders too. Go check them out on their website.

Overall, I like these Creative Nature mixes - as I mentioned, I'd totally buy the banana bread one again - in bulk, probably - to put an end to those nut-free school packed lunch panics when all I've made are some almond flour paleo muffins and my youngest daughter can't take them. 

creative nature baking mixes and snacks

Find out more about Creative Nature's range online, or look out for them in your nearest supermarket or Amazon - I saw them in my Sainsbury's the other day! 

Have you tried Creative Nature mixes or snack bars? Let me know what you think in the comments below... 

Friday, 5 October 2018

Paleo Salmon Burger Bowl

A colourful, nutritious salad bowl with fresh veggies and home made, paleo salmon burgers. And all ready in minutes. 

You know what my kids love? Burgers. 

And not just beefy, drippy cheese ones. They love these, which are made from salmon, too. 

They're a perfect weeknight food, because they come together with just 4 ingredients and cook in about 6 minutes. And they contain all those yummy omega 3 fats which are so good for you. Cook 'em up and tuck them into a bowl with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, peas, olives, avocado, boiled egg and radishes. Or mix it up with your own favourite combos. 

Paleo Salmon Burger Bowl
Serves 4
210g canned salmon (I used skinless and boneless salmon, 2 x 105g cans)
1 egg
1 tsp chopped parsley (I used freshly chopped, frozen parsley)
1 tsp coconut flour
2 tsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil

For the salad: 
4 handfuls frozen peas
4 eggs
1 round (soft-leaved) lettuce
2 ripe avocados
4 tomatoes
4 tbsp marinated olives
4 radishes, sliced
4 tbsp sauerkraut
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

First of all, make the salmon burgers. Drain the salmon and crumble it into a bowl, breaking it up as you go. Crack in the egg and add the parsley and the coconut flour. Give it a good mix until well combined. Leave to one side while you make the salad. 

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas and the eggs. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then turn off the heat. 

Give the lettuce a wash to make sure all soil is removed, and shake dry. Rip off the leaves and fold into four small shallow bowls. Halve the avocados and remove the stones, dividing the avocado halves between the bowls. Wash and slice the tomatoes and divide between the bowls. Add the olives, radishes and saurkraut. Drain the peas and the eggs, rinse the eggs in cold water and peel the shells. Add the peas and eggs to the bowls, cutting the eggs in half as you go. 

Quickly cook the salmon burgers. 

Heat the coconut oil into a large frying pan and give the mixture a final stir. Divide the mixture into 4 and scoop each quarter out, separately, into the heated pan. Fry on each side for 3-4 minutes, turning them over when golden on one side. Serve the salmon burgers with the salad. 

Made this recipe? I'd love to see! Tag me in your pics on Instagram @joromerofood!

Liked this? You'll love...


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Buffalo Cauli Bites from Paleo Cooking with your Air Fryer

This paleo recipe is so easy to make - and it's totally paleo and gluten free, too! Find out more about the recipe and how to get your hands on a copy of the book! 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps me keep the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

I love how the paleo scene embraces modern technology. Instant Pots, Slow Cookers and now Air Fryers. I mean, ancient paleo cooks would have definitely used these things if they had them - and the electricity to plug them in, of course. Paleo cooking but with modern time-saving gadgets. I love it. 

A newly-released book, Paleo Cooking with your Air Fryer is written by Dr Karen S. Lee, and photographed by my lovely and hugely talented blogging friend, Donna Crous. 

The book is available now in the US, and is scheduled to be released in the UK on 1st November, according to Amazon, but don't worry, you can pre-order it here

I was sent a review copy to read through, and I can tell you're going to love it. It's packed full of real-life recipes that my husband and children crave. Things they'd order in restaurants like fried pickles, veggie croquettes and sour cream and onion kale chips. I feel like this book is something I magically dreamed up from all the foods I wanted to be paleo but so far weren't. 

Well they are now. 

Recipes like Paleo Falafels, Your Gramma's Fried Chicken, Korean Beef Jerky, Coconut Shrimp... I could keep going. 

Yes the book is paleo - although does include some potatoes in a few recipes but nothing you couldn't sub for another rooty veg of choice if potatoes aren't your thing on paleo. There's some ghee here and there and some nightshades (for example in the hot sauce listed as an ingredient in some recipes or the Korean Gochujang paste for the Healthy Korean Chicken Wings - go look that one up if you want to get your hunger pangs going, let me tell you. Page 11.). 

And all this, cooked in minutes with no mess and no fuss, in an Airfryer. Don't have one? Dr Karen Lee recommends the Philips Avance XL - and making sure it has a wire basket, or getting one to use, to avoid the Teflon coating on some standard baskets - but you could make these recipes in a different brand of Air Fryer if you have a different one. There are more details and tips in the back of the book.

Dr Karen Lee has very kindly allowed me to share a recipe with you from the book, Buffalo Cauli-Bites. These look incredible. You can also find them on page 135 of the book

Enjoy! Grab your copy now on Amazon - in paperback or on Kindle

Buffalo Cauli Bites - image from the book Paleo Cooking with Your Air Fryer, reproduced with permission. 

Buffalo Cauli Bites - from the book Paleo Cooking with Your Air Fryer, by Dr. Karen Lee. 

Cook Time: 12 Min || Servings: 2
  • ●  1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ●  1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ●  2 Tbsp Cassava Flour (I use Otto’s Cassava Flour), divided
  • ●  4 Tbsp ghee
  • ●  3 Tbsp + Frank’s Hot Sauce 
Ranch Dressing: 
1 cup mayo (see recipe on P.180) 
1⁄3 cup coconut milk yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

1 tsp dill

Cut and discard the outer leaves and cut the cauliflower into florets. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the florets with EVOO and coat them with 1 Tbsp Cassava Flour in a medium mixing bowl.

Preheat the air fryer to 360°F.

When the desired temperature is reached, shake off any excess flour from the florets, place them in the basket, and set the timer for six minutes. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the flour, ghee, and Frank’s Hot Sauce in the same mixing bowl. Make the ranch dressing by mixing all the ingredients for ranch dressing and refrigerate in a small bowl.

When the timer goes off, transfer the florets to the mixing bowl and coat them well with sauce. Put the florets back in the basket, and cook for six more minutes. Take them out when the timer goes off, add more Frank’s Hot Sauce if needed. Serve immediately with celery, carrots and the Ranch Dressing.

Some more photos of the recipes in the book... 

Tried this book? Let me know what you think in the comments below!