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NOW CLOSED Talk to Mrs Crimble's about gluten free cooking and shopping and be in with a chance of winning a hamper of goodies

(187 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Jan-13 10:32:48

We've been asked by Mrs Crimble's to find out what your top tips are for a gluten free diet. We've posted a few questions below to get you started but please feel free to add any other comments/tips you have here too. Mrs Crimble's would also love it if you checked out some of the recipes on their website. Everyone who posts their comments on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a hamper of Mrs Crimble's goodies.

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

~ Do you do lots of gluten free cooking? If so, what are your top tips for knocking up delicious gluten free meals/snacks? Please do share any brilliant recipes you have here - Mrs Crimble's may feature the ones they like the most on their website.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

thebitchbrigade Mon 14-Jan-13 21:28:11

My two DDs are coeliac.

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

I mainly shop for general stuff at Tesco. I only buy Genius seeded bread rolls. I also always buy the Crimblesplain large macaroons for me and DH the children. We also had the Crimbles stuffing mix for Christmas, it was lovely actually mainly as it has been so long since I had retro stuffing! GF oats as big porridge fans/flapjack eaters. We have given up with breakfast cereals as they are incredibly expensive and for the most part pretty joyless. I sometimes buy Tesco own brand muffins as a nice toasty treat for the girls. Also pitta breads make fantastic little quick pizzas too.

WRT Cooking. Yes, lots of. My elder DD is diabetic and the amount of sugar in shop bought cakes and stuff is incredible. I tend to adapt stuff as a rule. I do make all birthday cakes, flapjacks (crikey the oats are expensive!!!). Fairy cakes are easy because they are small but need to be eaten quickly (usually not a prob in this house). Pizzas are fine and big cakes tend to be roulades or chocolate (as covers a multitude of sins) and I now have an amazing ganache recipe that is so yummy you could slap it on the worst cake in the world and it would be amazing. I also make a lot of almond macaroons but I cannot master the coconut ones and much prefer the crimbles ones.. I am not good with GF pastry and affordable mixes of this would be very useful for us. There is a frozen one by dietary specials that Tesco have stopped selling. I make pizza bases but never attempt bread as I cannot get that right. Because it is expensive I save all the crusts from genius bread and crumb it when the freezer wont shut anymore periodically and use these to make fish fingers called fish bums in our house and chicken nuggets with chicken breast adding paprika and garlic powder (special blend of herbs and spices....hmm)

Can I say that it is absolutely imperative that you label the carbs in detail. There is often a carbs per 100g figure but more detailed, per item would be great as so many coeliacs have diabetes and almost all diabetics now do carb counting. I have found myself weighing pitta breads (not your brand but important to mention) to work out carb content

breatheslowly Mon 14-Jan-13 21:41:00

I love the Crimbles macaroons. Ocado do a very good range of GF ingredients - far more than our local supermarkets. We buy gluten free for my mother - so we don't have to cook GF all the time. We mostly avoid bread/pasta/flour based meals and do more rice and potatoes. We did a lovely ice cream hedgehog "cake" for DD's birthday so that DM could have some too. It was different flavours of icecream layered up in a bowl, turned out and decorated. DD seemed to like it as she isn't much of a cake person. We used chocolate buttons for the spines and that chocolate coating that goes hard on contact with ice cream to do the face.

Whykickamoocow Mon 14-Jan-13 22:19:19

I'm dairy and wheat free. I have always cooked from scratch, but since changing our diet for my EBF dd who reacts to both, like most above I am constantly surprised by the amount of food that contains wheat or gluten, but could exist quite happily without it: stock cubes and crisps. Why?! I miss cake and am always looking for a normal tasting bun.

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

Most of my gluten free stuff comes from Morrisons, who do pretty good free from brownies and caramel shortbread. I don't buy Mrs Crimbles very much but have been known to have a coconut macaroon. These are usually the only thing that's vaguely sinful sold in coffee shops.

~ Do you do lots of gluten free cooking? If so, what are your top tips for knocking up delicious gluten free meals/snacks? Please do share any brilliant recipes you have here - Mrs Crimble's may feature the ones they like the most on their website.

I do lots of cooking from scratch. Top tips are go Asian. It's amazing what you can do with rice noodles and rice papers (salads, curries etc/spring rolls with anything in them). For cakes, I find ground nuts really useful, but I know that's not going to help most people with intollerances. Sweet chestnuts are fabulous in a cake, but avoiding dairy does mean having to think around things. Cake Angels is my favourite book for cake. Most of it tastes normal even though it's all dairy and wheat free!

In the morning, I make our gluten free porridge with cloudy apple juice, which has the effect of sweetening it and making it taste really good.

Finding pre-made baby food, even the posh ones, that are gluten/wheat and dairy free is hard work. I'd like more choice in that area. We can't even have rusks, the clue being in the title I suppose, but it would be good to find an affordable, convenient food that I can grab for dd without worrying.

madrush Mon 14-Jan-13 22:19:49

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

DH has recently had to go onto gf diet so yes we do buy gf where needed. I have always loved Mrs C's coconut macaroons but have got dh addicted to them too. Have never tried a Mrs C biscuit/cake that I don't like personally! I pick them up at the supermarket and it's always nice to see them with normal food not just in the special section.

I've seen on the website that you sell stuffing mix etc. Would love to find this but I haven't seen it in Waitrose/Sainsburys.

~ Do you do lots of gluten free cooking? If so, what are your top tips for knocking up delicious gluten free meals/snacks? Please do share any brilliant recipes you have here - Mrs Crimble's may feature the ones they like the most on their website.
We are finding our way with gf. Dove's flour seems to be a great replacement and for making sauces it's actually smoother to work with than wheat flour so I am enjoying that. Pastry and cakes are fine too although I do detect a slightly different flavour. Have had terrible trouble with yorkshire puddings though so pleased to see a recipe up thread that I will definitely try.

We haven't yet found a good bread replacement in the supermarket - taste too malty. But they are useful sometimes.

As others have said my DH is often low-carbing at mealtimes rather than replacing gluten, just choosing different meal options that wouldn't have bread/pastry etc anyway.

awaywego1 Mon 14-Jan-13 22:31:38

I love mrs crimbles! A big fan of the macaroons. I had her stuffing with my Christmas dinner and it was luffely smile
Buy from a range of places-local health food shops, sainsburys and waitrose.
Fairly new to gluten free so don't have many great tips but am getting better and finding just adapting my usual recipes, having gf porridge for brekkie and eating s lot if mrs crimbles snacks is keyring me going. grin

trice Mon 14-Jan-13 22:35:49

My dd has two friends who have coeliac. One of them is very sensitive and her mum tells me which brands are ok.
We try to avoid wheat generally but as we try to avoid sugar too most prepacked biscuits amd cakes are off the list. I second the vote for nigellas flour free brownies though. They are lovely.

ArtigeneAuberchoke Mon 14-Jan-13 22:42:54

My 4 year old has coeliacs, as does my MiL, so we are GF in our house.

I buy gluten free bread and pasta. Miracle bread is best. I found some delicious gluten free Italian brands of pasta while in Italy but the brands easily available over here aren't great. As Sainsbueys us our nearest supermarket I tend to buy their brand.

I wish somewhere sold gluten free wraps. My DD is desperate for wraps in her packed lunch but I can't find them. They kids love fajitas but there are no gluten free tortillas or wraps. I also wishgot was possible to find decent gluten free pizza bases.

I bake lots of GF cakes using Doves Farm flour. I have no problem baking great brownies, banana bread etc and any cake recipe with ground almond tends to he a good option as flour requirements are low and the almonds keep the bake moist. Gluten free biscuits are impossible to bake and i find cupcakes rarely rise. If I could buy packs of undecorated GF cupcakes I'd buy them and decorate for the school bake sale.

I'm not sure I've noticed Mrs Crimbles before but I will look out for then from now on.
gluten free

FeelingGreen Mon 14-Jan-13 22:53:26

my son is allergic to wheat and also to milk, eggs, soya and peanuts

I was pointed in the direction of Mrs Crimble's dutch apple cake when I was trying to find a suitable birthday cake for him. I'm not a good cook so was a bit nervous about baking a cake without any standard ingredients in it! It was a brilliant suggestion and he loved the cake but also so did everyone else. We have used it subsequently for his christening cake and his second birthday cake too as well as countless other occassions. I also find the blocks of cake quite handy to pack when we travel abroad as finding safe food for him can be hard.

We also use the Mrs Crimble's ginger cake sometimes for a bit of variety although he is less keen on that.

unfortunately due to his other allergies I don't believe he can have any of the other Mrs Crimble's products. So what I would most love to see is more gluten free products that are also egg/ milk/ soya free. It is becoming more common for there to be children with multiple allergies so I believe these would be welcomed. At present there is very little even in the free from aisles that we can buy. I would love to be able to buy things like crumpets / muffins too, and also more types of biscuits as most of these tend to contain egg/butter/soya.

I occassionally manage to find the Mrs Crimble's cakes in a supermarket or shop but normally have to order them online which I find frustrating as the added cost of postage on top makes them quite expensive, whereas in store I find them normally quite reasonably priced.

I am just starting to experiment with baking as ds was desperate for a chocolate cake. we used doves farm flour and orgran egg replacer and green and blacks cocoa and it was actually pretty nice. he was over the moon to be able to have chocolate cake. I will try more baking now, but its daunting when I'm not a natural cook anyway.

a family friend made a lovely crumble type pudding using Mrs crimble's dutch apple cake as the topping, they turned the cake into crumbs in the processer and then baked it on top of stewed apple and it tasted lovely.

Hoophopes Mon 14-Jan-13 23:17:49

I am coeliac and my ds (1) is dairy free and coeliac. I find using the Coeliac UK handbook to products that are suitable helpful when shopping. I buy gluten free products in supermarkets - and have to go to 3 different ones in rotation to get what I want as all stock different products - as well as independent health food shops and a local farm shop. Variety of products is important to prevent boredom and more savoury products that are clearly labelled gluten free would be beneficial. I make gluten free cakes and biscuits but would buy savoury snacks if more readily available. I buy Sainsbury's seeded pitta bread as they are the most palatable I have found. I like Livwell's crumpets.

I buy gluten free Mrs Crimble crackers, they are the nicest ones for a cheeseboard, which anyone is happy to have. I also like the stuffing mix, which is harder to find apart from this time of year.

I would really love Mrs Crimble's to make and sell:
Wraps for mexican cooking and sandwiches - the only good supplier of gluten free tortilla type wraps I have found are mail order by Cool Chille and not stocked in supermarkets. That is a gap in the market!!
More gluten and dairy free products, especially child friendly items such as pasta shapes to interest young children.

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 09:09:07

Fantastic - a gluten free discussion!

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

I don't buy many GF products. I buy the occasional loaf of bread, crispbread type crackers, cheese thins and I have a bag of GF flour which lasts ages. I get everything from the supermarket. Mrs Crimbles are my favourite GF brand in terms of flavours and the cheese thins are my favourite snack food ever. The non GF people in the household tend to eat them in preference to other foods as well. I have bought the bakewell slices and thought they were lovely but I don't buy cakes or biscuits in general.

I'm fairly newly diagnosed and I've noticed that the GF section of supermarkets has expanded in recent years but most of it isn't stuff I want to buy. I don't want expensive biscuits and cakes. I don't want snack foods that don't contain gluten but still contain ridiculous amounts of sugar and hydrogenated fats. I want basics that taste good and work well in cooking. I think Mrs Crimbles has the edge on other brands but I'd love to see the range of savoury crackers and crispbreads expanded to match the breadth of the range of sweet stuff. If Mrs Crimbles could make a crispbread as substantial as a ryvita for example I think I'd never try anything else again.

<I also want a gluten free gravy powder that tastes like Bisto please>

~ Do you do lots of gluten free cooking? If so, what are your top tips for knocking up delicious gluten free meals/snacks? Please do share any brilliant recipes you have here - Mrs Crimble's may feature the ones they like the most on their website.

I do loads of gluten free cooking. Everything I make has been amended to be gluten free so that I can have the same meal as everyone else and they don't notice a change. This has resulted in us all having a higher intake of vegetables and a lower intake of puddings which is great for us all. Most effort goes into everyday cooking so I don't experiment too often. I've never made a GF cake for example. My lifesaving recipe has been GF wraps. If we've been invited to a BBQ I usually knock up a few of these to take with me.

Gluten Free Wraps
250 g gluten free SR flour
1 tsp sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
230ml warm water (or enough to make a soft dough)

Mix into a dough. Divide into 8/10 balls and roll each ball out into a thin circle. Cook on an oiled griddle for about 1 minute each side.
They can be eaten warm or cold or can be frozen

I have added various herbs and spices to the mix. Garlic and chilli is nice as is rosemary

Otherworld Tue 15-Jan-13 09:47:42

My DP is under investigation for coeliac at the moment. He's been told by the consultant that the blood test is rarely wrong but he's waiting for the final results from the biopsy. So, in the meantime we've been checking out the gluten free ranges in Tesco including Mrs Crimbles. The cheese biscuits we had last week were really good - as we're the digestive biscuits (I think those were Mrs C)

We have a lot of reading to do, and thanks for the tips on this thread!

whatsonyourplate Tue 15-Jan-13 10:04:12

My DP is gluten intolerant, the best gf product we've tried is Isabel's Gluten Free Pizza Base which you can get from Waitrose - makes fab pizzas.
I've found if you are baking gf cakes, recipes which are naturally moist such as banana bread, or lemon drizzle work well with Doves farm gf flour.

Another favourite is buckwheat pancakes - we prefer them to normal ones:
4oz buckwheat flour
4oz doves farm plain gluten free flour
2tbsp caster sugar
3 eggs
20 fl oz milk
sunflower oil

Sift flours and sugar into a large bowl, add beaten eggs and a little milk. Slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs, adding more milk until it is all mixed in and the batter is smooth. Add 2 tblsp of oil then leave the mixture to stand in the fridge for 30 mins. Stir the batter before cooking as for normal pancakes. Should make about 16.

olrojo Tue 15-Jan-13 11:27:59

We tend to buy from health food shops or our food cooperative at Suma. I bake almost every day and just use doves farm flour, ocassionally I use the prescription mixes. We tend to buy the mrs crumbles macaroons and sometimes brownies if we are out and about and need something.

MaryBS Tue 15-Jan-13 11:28:26

~ If you buy gluten free products, where do you tend to buy them from? Do you ever buy Mrs Crimble's products? If so, which ones and where do you buy them?

Wherever I can, all the supermarkets mainly - Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose or Co-op. I buy Mrs Crimbles products, but find them too sweet, so don't have them very often. Taste good though. The bakewell slices are my favourite. I like macaroons.

~ Do you do lots of gluten free cooking? If so, what are your top tips for knocking up delicious gluten free meals/snacks?

I do a reasonable amount. BBC good food do a recipe for an amazing lemon drizzle cake that uses mashed potatoes and powdered almonds.

I make pancakes using xanthan gum, GF plain flour, eggs and milk. The xanthan gum thickens the mixture and makes the pancakes wonderfully stretchy like "real" pancakes. Yorkshire puddings don't come out so well using this mix though (better than nothing)

I use the shop-bought half baked type GF rolls to make delicious garlic bread or to use as pizza bases.

HecatePropolos Tue 15-Jan-13 11:53:18

I buy them from supermarkets - most of them now have a much wider range. It used to be impossible to get stuff - now you can get ready to roll pastry, cakes and pastries, bread, pasta and ready stuff like beefburgers and pizza. Makes it a lot better. And everything is clearly labelled of course. One thing that does annoy me is the "may contain..." when the ingredients listed do not! What's that about hmm

My children also get the basics free on prescription, which helps, because gf stuff is DEAR!

Yes, I do lots of gf cooking, but nothing fancy. And just take out the gluten and replace it with the gluten free! I don't do anything special. Yorkshire puddings rise better with a splash of lemonade. Weird but true! I promise grin

smoothieooo Tue 15-Jan-13 13:14:27

I've been a coeliac for over 30 years and have tried most brands! I particularly love Mrs Crimble's cheese crackers (incredibly moreish). Most of the major supermarkets stock a good range.

Warburton's g/f bread is the best thing since... well you know what I'm going to say. It's the closest thing to 'real' bread and a far cry from me having to open tins of crumbly stuff when I was 15.

MaryBS I make pancakes too, using Dove's Farm plain flour, but have never had to add xanthan gum.

I make loads of g/f cakes and biscuits (using Dove's Farm plain or SR flour) and if I make a spag bol, the whole family will have g/f spaghetti as I CBA to make 2 lots.

Many recipes can be converted to g/f - i.e. escalope or tuna fishcakes using g/f breadcrumbs are particular favourites in our household.

Hecate I will try the lemonade trick as I'm trying to perfect my g/f toad in the hole!

Jins Anthony Worrall Thompson does a g/f gravy powder

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 13:30:42

smoothieooo I've tried the AWT gravy powder but it doesn't taste right. Maybe when I'm a few years further down the line I'll have forgotten the Bisto taste

Roberts' Yes You Can GF bread is even better than Warburtons but incredibly hard to find

smoothieooo Tue 15-Jan-13 13:49:56

Ooh Jins better than Warburtons? <puts on coat and heads to the shop>

I have to confess I was never a Bisto fan and usually make gravy the unhealthy way (meat juices, water from cooked veg and a splash of wine) and the AWT stuff just thickens it a bit.

millie0210 Tue 15-Jan-13 13:49:56

I love Mrs.Crimbles products. They taste just like homemade .

HecatePropolos Tue 15-Jan-13 13:53:12

Yes, try it, smoothie. It really does help. imo.

I forgot to answer part of the Q. Yes I do buy mrs crimble products. They are really nice. The children LOVE those chocolate macaroon things.

Spirael Tue 15-Jan-13 14:22:00

No one is GF in the immediate family, but a close family friend is coeliac so our meal goes GF whenever they pop over for dinner.

I pick up GF stuff from Ocado, which has a good range. Have had the Mrs. Crimble coconut macaroons before, they were yummy!

I wish more places would state specifically on the label whether or not things were gluten free. Would make things a lot easier for someone who only buys GF foods occasionally to be sure whether something is or isn't safe for my friend.

More savory snacks and multipacks would be useful too.

Our biggest 'raiding the cupboards' GF cooking success was making pancakes with gram flour. They were heavier than normal, but actually really tasty!

Other than that, making a regular curry seems to be pretty safe! With rice instead of naans, obviously. wink

elizaco Tue 15-Jan-13 14:43:06

The Coeliac UK website has lots of fantastic information and recipes, and although you have to join, it is a great resource. I also find that supermarkets are continuing to expand their ranges, and that shopping for gluten free products is easier than it used to be.

GraduallyGoingInsane Tue 15-Jan-13 15:01:12

I am coeliac, and my DDs don't eat a great deal of gluten, mainly because I cook for all, and we tend to all eat the same pasta, pastries etc.

I love Mrs Crimbles stuff - especially the coconut macaroons - they're my treat after a big gym session. I like that they're not extortionately overpriced like much GF stuff. I love the cheese bites/crackers too. I tend to get them at Sainsburys.

My best tip is when baking, try to add extra moisture where possible. My favourite cakes to bake are orange/lemon drizzles, so I can drip through extra syrup to moisten the cake. Chocolate cake works really well with whole rapsberries mixed in, as they add moisture too.

SilverAndSparklyKat Tue 15-Jan-13 15:59:49

I have cut gluten from my diet as I have an inflammatory kidney disease that is worsened by gluten.
I cook from scratch every day, eat out at a select bunch of (mainly asian) restaurants and it doesn't bother me that much.
Specific gf products I buy include the crunchy crackers in the yellow box (forgotten the brand!), free from lasagne sheets (you can't tell in the middle of all that sauce) and the odd biscuit type thing.
I buy Mrs.Crimbles coconut macaroons which are yummy.
I cook a lot of polenta cakes and also second Nigella's flourless brownies.
Ooh, Ask do a gf pizza and it's actually not bad at all.

BookFairy Tue 15-Jan-13 16:45:22

I eat a mainly GF diet due to IBS after seeing a specialist dietitian from Guy's and St Thomas hosp. I like Mrs Crimble's snacky things but GF food is generally pricey so I don't really buy biscuits/cakes/bread as I can't justify the cost. I bake a lot of biscuits and cook from scratch. I have an Australian GF cookbook which has a great recipe for choc chip cookies and ideas for main meals. I think GF flour is better for cooking/baking than non-GF flour and is especially good for a quick cheese or roux sauce.

My local supermarkets aren't great for GF food. My nearest Sainsbury's sells Doves Farm pasta which cooks nicely (not too soggy) and their GF porridge oats are good value. I also get nice chocolate/orange/wafer bars from Tesco (85p for 5 - possibly Tesco's only bargain!).

I love Isabel's pizza base mix as once made the bases freeze really well. I used to get mine from Waitrose but my local one no longer does them so I bulk buy from

Choco Chip Cookies (recipe from Gluten Free Cooking by Sue Shepherd)

125g butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I only use if I have it)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg
vanilla essence
110g rice flour
3 tablespoons soy flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
200g chocolate (chips or broken up bar)

Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and vanilla essence.
Sift the flours and cocoa powder, add to the butter/sugar and mix well.
Add chocolate chips.
Bake for 8-10mins.

This makes approx 15. I tend to double up the ingredients as I'm greedy! grin

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