Friday, 10 February 2012

For when you get the munchies...

Biscuits, Cakes & Other Yum Stuff
There's nothing like a good biscuit, or cake, when you've got what Winnie the Pooh might call a "rumbly" in your "tumbly". Following fairly (ahem) extensive research (my waistline will confirm this) I discovered that there's some good dairy free alternatives out there along with 'normal' biscuits that are already dairy free! I'm going to share with you some of my faves.

Free From
Let's look first at some Free From alternatives. There are some goodies out there but, as always, Free From means more expensive.

Jaffa Cakes - I've come across two versions: one from Tescos and the other is Kelkin's which are available at the moment from Sainbury's and The Co-op. Kelkin's are the best as far as I'm concerned. The version you can get in Tescos is inferior being smaller, drier and harder. Kelkin's, tastes so similar to the original that I can't fault the flavour at all. The only downsides are the size (smaller than 'normal' Jaffa Cakes) and the price.

Chocolate Chip Cookies - I can't decide whether I prefer Doves Organic or Waitrose Gluten Free (also dairy free but you have to read the back of the pack to find that out). Both are quite yummy - especially the Waitrose double chocolate version. The Doves version I have only found in an independent health food shop, so far - even though Waitrose stock two other types of Doves organic cookies. These other two types are nice enough but the chocolate version is far superior, in my opinion.

Sun Start Supreme Golden Crunch and Raspberry Golden Crunch - the nearest I have got to something like shortbread, that I like. Produced by an American company, they are available in Tescos and Holland & Barrett.

Chocolate Muffins - Tescos & Sainsburys both produce a pack of two chocolate muffins. They're not huge but they are soft, moist and taste yummy.

Chocolate Cake Bars - Tescos Free From taste very nice indeed.

Chocolate Brownies - various versions around. OK Foods Free From Chocolate Brownies from The Co-op seem quite yummy.

Madeira Cake - Asda's seemed quite nice. You could serve slices of this with dairy free custard, for a quick and easy pud.

9 Bar ...Original - I know they definitely sell these in Waitrose. They are both delicious and nutritious but sadly a bit strong on my stomach, these days. I think it's all those seeds!!

Cherry Bakewells - Tescos and Sainsbury's both do a decent Free From version. If I' picky, I don't like the pastry all that much, but I think all shop bought pastry is a bit inferior.

Bramley Apple Pies - Tescos and Saunbury's must use the same suppliers! Tasty. These might make a quick handy pud when served with some dairy free custard or dairy free ice cream.

Scones - Tescos and Sainbury's both do a decent Free From version with dried fruit. No cheese ones unfortunately, for obvious reasons!

'Normal' Fare
There is a fair bit of 'normal' food which is dairy free. Often it is the cheaper version of a classic, which has been made with vegetable oil because it's cheaper than using milk! However, you must always check the label, as manufacturers may well change the recipe without warning! Also the products in this category may well contain traces of milk (as they are made on a normal production line) so if you are really sensitive to dairy, they may not be suitable for you.

Digestives - Free From digestives are nothing like a good Mc Vities. The nearest I got to the McVities was Doves Organic Digestives, which can be found alongside all the other 'normal' biscuits in Waitrose, even though they're dairy free. I got to the point where I preferred them to McVities, until I had to go wheat free.

Rich Tea - a classic biscuit, good when you need something bland! Waitrose essentials version is or was dairy free, when I was still eating wheat.

Hobnobs - joy oh joy! I was ecstatic when I discovered these were dairy free, as I so love flap jacks - that syrupy oatey taste! Hobnobs were the nearest I got to replicating what I was missing, until I discovered...

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Oats & Honey) - absolutely delicious! I loved these before I had to go dairy free and was overjoyed when I realised they were still OK for me to eat. They're a bit pricey though!

Doves Organic Flapjacks - I've a feeling these were produced with Vegans in mind. I love the version with apple and sultana! They also produce muesli bars but I prefer the flapjack above all.

Fox's Party Rings - a recent revelation! My daughter loves these! Ideal for when your dairy free child goes to parties!

Date and Walnut Cake - Waitrose are the stars here. I liked it, when I could still eat wheat.

Sesame Snaps - these are yummy. They're a bit hard on your teeth - literally but also because they're so sweet and sticky. Sesame is meant to be a good natural source of calcium, so these could be useful if you're trying to consume enough calcium!

Crumpets - the last time I tried Free From Crumpets from Tescos I couldn't eat them they tasted so disgusting! However, Tescos own cheaper 'normal' version of crumpets are dairy free and taste fine! Perfect with dairy free chocolate grated over the top, or with honey!

Check the Ingredients on the back of the popcorn - just to be sure!
Popcorn - yes if you find the right type, you can still eat popcorn. Salty should be dairy free and sweet can be too, but make sure you check the labels carefully. I have fallen in love with Tyrells Sweet & Salty version. It's not just me - hubby and baby loves it too. Tescos and Sainsbury's have their own versions but they're not quite as nice!

Baby & Toddler Fare
A lot of baby food is dairy free because milk is not meant to be used in their diet to begin with. The following are some that we have come across:

Farley Original Rusks - dairy free but high in sugar and not very satisfying in my opinion. Baby didn't get them much and didn't seem that impressed, when she did.

Plum Spelt Fingers - baby kind of liked these until she came across real biscuits! Then she wouldn't touch them. They are quite hard. Wrapped in packs of two, they're useful for taking out and about in your bag.

Organix Goodies Organic Oaty Bites - kind of like flapjacks, they come in bars (like a muesli bar) or in packs with individually wrapped bite size pieces (useful again for your bag or pocket). They're not as yummy as flap jacks (they're sweetened with natural fruit juices) but if baby has never had the real thing she'll never know, will she? 

Orgran Gluten Free Mini Outback Animals Chocolate Cookies - Only found in Sainsbury's so far. The animal pieces are quite small and come in mini packs. Dry and yet somehow slightly chewy; they have a chocolatey taste that is also a bit syrupy. Baby didn't enjoy these.

Summing up
Looking back at the list I've made here, there's quite a lot of choice out there, after all. So there's no need for anyone's 'tumbly' to be too 'rumbly'! However, I'm sure there's more that I've missed or don't know about yet, so if you have any hot tips... please let me/us know and share the joy!!

Update! Bah! My little one has turned out to be more sensitive than first thought - she now reacts to 'may contain'. She is more likely to react than not. So do watch out! 

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