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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

starlakid Wed 16-Jan-13 16:50:52

I started following a gluten free diet at the beginning of last year following many symptoms suggesting coeliac disease. I am undiagnosed as yet as shortly after suspecting the condition I fell pregnant after some years of trying and the doctor suggested leaving tests til after birth.
Eating gluten free seems to be getting a little easier - I can go into many restaurants and cafes and find a gluten free cake on offer - I feel it's my duty to then eat it, of course, as they've made the effort to provide it!
Supermarkets could do with catching up, particularly the budget ones like Lidl and Aldi, but I'm always pleased to find brands like Mrs Crimbles on offer in Sainsburys or the Co-op where I usually shop. It's disheartening to find the price still quite prohibitive for so many specialist products though.
Not quite got my head around the baking yet after some mediocre results with pastry, but made a great mincemeat cake at Christmas. Of course, I had to make my own mincemeat first...


HeadfirstForHalos Wed 16-Jan-13 17:34:15

None of us need to use gluten free, but my dad is Coeliac and as he comes up often for meals I cook gluten free a lot. We are also veggie (inc dad) so I am quite experienced with using and making gluten free food. I always buys Mrs Crimble's macaroons for when he visits as they are his favourite. I always buy from the supermarket. They all stock them including our Tesco Express.

I also often bake peanut butter cookies for when he visits, the children love them too. The rice flour gives them a lovely "puddingy", almost creamy flavour.

125 gButter
175 gSoft Brown Sugar
125 gPeanut Butter
1 Egg
1 tspBaking Powder
175 gRice Flour

Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the peanut butter and egg.
Mix in the baking powder and flour.
Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into small balls and place on an oiled baking tray.
Flatten each dough ball with the back of a fork.
Bake in a pre heated oven for 15/20 minutes at 180°C/Fan160°C/350°F/Gas 4

Crunchy peanut butter gives a lovely texture. I usually use Sainsburys value. Nice with a cuppa or with some vanilla ice cream.

HeadfirstForHalos Wed 16-Jan-13 17:35:50

If I won the hamper I would of course give it to my lovely dad. He lives alone and isn't the best cook so has struggled with the change in diet. It would make his year smile

HerLadyshipsSoap Wed 16-Jan-13 18:03:54

Great thread, must make a note of all these recipes. I have been diagnosed coealiac for 6 years.

I like Mrs Crimbles products esp the almond slices. I also find Doves farm range very good and Kaloo chocolate rice cakes are good but some of the own brand ranges are awful.

I buy most gf products in Tesco/Sainsburys but tbh there is not a great selection in my local branches and they are simply far too expensive. Marks and Spencer do a lovely fruit loaf. I don't like any GF bread except one called "Yes "or You or something like that, not sure who makes it, but at £2.99 for a small loaf I certainly don't buy it every week.

I would like to see more GF foods that aren't also egg/dairy/nut free too ie taste free and also, the price of GF food really really needs to come down.

I love it when friends/family make an effort to cook something GF for everyone and not just me.

sweetprincess Wed 16-Jan-13 18:40:08

I get all my GF food from Sainsburys, including Mrs Crimbles. I steer clear of pre-packaged bread though and make my own as I haven't found any that are edible.

I like the Phil Vickery cookery books, esp. the baking one. Lots of great polenta cake recipes. I didn't know there were recipes on the Mrs Crimbles site so thanks for that tip, I'll certainly be trying some out.

Katz Wed 16-Jan-13 19:12:58

~ 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 do, mainly from Ocado but also from the COOP, I get them for my mum so she can have cake when we do, iv'e bought many different products but one of her favs is dutch apple cake

~ 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've done bits and pieces, mainly i chose to cook meal which wouldn't have a gluten containing ingredient in them like meat and 2 veg.

I think the best gluten free recipe I have come across is the lemon drizzle cake made with mashed potato but since this a bbc good food one i probably shouldn't post it here!

Smudging Wed 16-Jan-13 20:36:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

talkingnonsense Wed 16-Jan-13 21:21:02

I'm gluten intolerant and I buy gf food from whichever supermarket I'm in, usually asda or waitrose.

Asda have very little choice and no mrs crimbles that I have seen ( poss the macaroons which I don't like!). The dietary specials rolls are ok, and their own brand bake well tarts are nice.

Waitrose have recently started stocking their own stuff rather than mrs c. They have a nice millionaires thing.

Mrs c brownies and bake well slices are v v good but can only get in sainsburys. Our corner shop has the apple cake but that isn't gf- but it looks good!

I second nigellas flourless brownies, and the hairy bikers do a Nutella cake ( hazelnut thing) that is v c good.

ConnieBradshaw Wed 16-Jan-13 21:29:22

We love the Mrs Crimble's chocolate-dipped macaroons, but less so the orange-flavoured or jam-centred ones. I would be interested in a good crumble mix as I find making a normal crumble with gluten-free flour is disappointingly dusty.
All our main supermarkets now stock loads of gluten-free food, it is so much easier and probably more affordable than it must have been a few years ago. Coop Finest and M&S sausages are gluten-free and there are plenty of other brands in all the supermarkets that are gluten-free too.
One of the best things in recent years is the Allergy box on the back of most packaged food. Instead of examining the entire ingredients list, I just check the Allergy box to see whether it says Gluten or not.
Gluten-free pasta fusilli are great, the penne are good for macaroni, but I find the spaghetti hopeless - just get a sticky solid starchy mess in the pan.
Pancakes are fine with GF flour, as are brownies with ground almonds.
I use the standard GF flour mixes that you get in the supermarket, but do not get all the separate types of flour (rice, soya etc) that some recipes call for so cannot use those recipes or recipe books.

OhMerGerd Thu 17-Jan-13 04:37:21

My daughter has gluten induced migraine and so we have been GF for a couple of years.
We shop at a variety of stores precisely in order to find our favourite GF products. So it's Tesco because round here they seem to be the only ones who stock the Mrs Crimbles Sage and onion stuffing mix and the genious naan bread. They also do a triple choc cookie own brand which daughter enjoys. We prefer the Waitrose ciabattas and their choc chip muffins and we get the Crimbles cheese crackers from there. They also stock an own brand GF sausage. Booths do the Black Farmer range of GF sausage too. Co op do some decent Pasta ( and Waitrose again) that does not turn to slop and actually also stays firm in a Pasta salad. Lasagne leaves too. There is a pizza base mix by a company called Isobel's that we used to buy at a local health food store but its often sold out and we have recently discovered that you can order on the web. This health food store is an independant and also makes /sells home made/ small producer GF cakes and pasties / quiche which are our 'ready meal' options. M&S lemon drizzle sponge is acceptable too and if i see a Mrs Crimbles stem ginger cake anywhere I'll buy it. Asda sell the Doves organic flour the cheapest...
We will go a long way to get the best tasting GF products. That doesn't mean we are prepared to pay over the odd though and this is the biggest bug bear. Price. Everything is so expensive, and a lot of the cakes and biscuits very sweet ( lol that sounds contradictory but they are sometimes too sweet) and we would like more savoury products. A good GF pizza from the fresh or frozen aisle and stuff you can pick up at a service station ( we travel a lot) and the Waitrose GF Sarnies are a good example.

Recipes we adapt everything using Doves organic flour and we don't tell guests ( apart from one rice allergic family member who we have to buy wheat based products in for).

Try this stuffed marrow it's fantastic. Children love it and hard working/ hard cycling non GF husband finds it very satisfying on a cold day. We call it Brenda's stuffed marrow as it's an adaptation of my late MILs recipe .
1 marrow ( peeled, cored/deseeded and sliced in half lengthways)
1 pack GF sausages ( take off skin and rough chop - ordinarily you'd use sausage meat but haven't found a GF brand yet).
1 pack Mrs Crimbles GF sage and onion stuffing mix.

Make up the Mrs Crimbles stuffing mix as directed but err on the side of drier rather that sloppy when adding the water.
Mix the sausage meat and Mrs Crimbles stuffing together till evenly combined( don't mash it about too much). Sticky up bits crisp up lovely at the end to add texture.
Evenly stuff your two halves of marrow with this mixture and give a few grinds of black pepper over the top.
Pop into a greased oven proof dish and cover with foil.
Cook on at 180 for about 45 mins to an hour or until marrow soft and melty inside but still has some shape to it.
Remove foil. It will have sprung juice don't worry. Turn up oven to 200 and pop back in for ten mins to crisp the top. The juice will reduce and can be spooned over the finished dish if liked.
Slice, it's quite rich. Serves four BIG appetites and six generally.
We serve with sliced runner beans in a white sauce ( roux made with Doves GF flour) and either mashed or boiled spuds.

This southern fried( but it's baked ) type chicken is quick and again everyone enjoys we don't say it's GF and nobody notices. Whizz up in a blender a couple of slices GF bread (sainsburys seeded is best) add paprika or chilli powder if you like it spicey. Black pepper I chuck some dried parsley sage thyme depends on what's in the cupboards. U could add curry powder if you wanted that kind of flavour.
Mix an equal amount of whole grain Dijon mustard with mayonnaise and coat your chicken drums and thighs in this then roll in the breadcrumb mix. Bake in oven at 200 for 45 mins or till chicken cooked.
Serve with salad and rice or salad and home made potatoe wedges.

And this cake is fab. When I'm being pretentious I call it chocolate praline sponge... Make a normal chocolate Victoria sponge with doves self raising. I don't vary the recipe at all and it's fine 6, 6, 6, 3 (ozs caster sugar, butter/stork, flour, eggs. Add coco powder - I liberally add till it looks a good colour depending on how chocolatey you like your chocolate cake and for special occasions and if the mix looks a bit stiff if the eggs were small I add a capful of dark rum - yum!
Bake as usual 25 mins at 180.
Cool and then sandwich with a mixture of marcapone and nutella type spread. 250 gramms marcapone and the nutella to taste but probably 2 good tablespoons at least. Mix this well no streaks and you will fill the middle and cover the top. You can decorate with chocolate Buttons or hazle nuts etc depending on whether you want to look homely or sophisticated. You need to keep chilled but can be eaten as a dessert with vanilla icecream and as a tea time treat, if there is any left after a Sunday lunch it's the first thing they head for when they get home from school/ work on a Monday. We don't tell people it's GF and everyone loves it. I think they think the slight texture difference between non gf sponge is actually nuts.
I wrote this on a phone and expect there to be some very odd auto corrections so I hope this makes sense. Too long to check as writing has cured my insomnia!

HuffingMum Thu 17-Jan-13 06:27:00

This is my pie substitute, made for me by my South African friend. Very substantial family pie, I do a lot of substitutions, such as mushrooms (pre-fry first to eliminate water), any left over vegetables and mini chorizo sausages.

Cook in advance and leave to stand for 15 mins before serving

Potato Crust
4 large potatoes
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp salt

Boil potatoes, drain well, mix with other ingredients, line an oven proof dish.

250 grams ham
250 grams Vienna sausages ( hot dogs)
4 sliced tomatoes
4 eggs
3 onions (finely chopped)
250 g cheddar cheese
1 tbs mustard ( mix with little vinegar)

Beat eggs well, add other ingredients except tomatoes.
Layer tomatoes on top and bake at 180 degrees for about an hour.

notapizzaeater Thu 17-Jan-13 08:03:37

Ohmygerd - M and S do gf Sausagemeat.

OhMerGerd Thu 17-Jan-13 08:43:39

Oooh thanks Notapizza... Will have a good look next time I'm in.

iseenodust Thu 17-Jan-13 09:18:52

I've just remembered my GF mum rated the M&S GF salmon fishcakes I fed her recently. A good freezer standby! They're no more expensive than the non-GF ones.

Minimeee Thu 17-Jan-13 15:00:56

I always have a packet of chocolate brownie's in my bag (Tesco's or Mrs Crimbles) in case we want to do an impromptu stop at a cafe or in case we are round at someone's house and all the other children are being offered cake.

Top tip is chickpea flour. As well as being GF it also has fewer calories and you can kid yourself that it's good for the kids as it contains protein!
Use in place of normal GF flour and add more baking powder. Has a slightly nutty taste which works particularly well with chocolate recipes - chocolate cup cakes a favourite in our house :-)

I've found that sweet treats are relatively easy to work around - am just frustrated sometimes that biscuits seem even higher in sugar than their counterparts. Good quality bread remains the biggest frustration.

HannahLI Thu 17-Jan-13 15:41:09

Yes I'm gluten intolerant so we buy some products including mrs crumbles usually from waitrose or sainsburys as the have a good selection. We regularly by free from pasta, and we like the biscuits but i find a lot of the bread is only good for toasting so opt for other options. I do more gluten free baking and I have a great free from chocolate cake recipe from Australian women weekly recipes which is worth checking out. The cake one is great because it adds a banana and jam to it which really helps the texture and taste in fact it's delicious! My top tip is to cook everything the same for everyone so that it doesn't seem that one is getting "special" pasta.

addictedismoving Thu 17-Jan-13 16:04:53

dh is gluten intollerant, and I started buying mrs crimbles in Tesco. We now buy from Morrisons where there is limited choice.
I hate that gluten free is so expensive, eg a packet of normal pasta is under £1.00 where as gluten free pasta starts at £2.50 and often is chewy and disintergrates into nothing sad

I'm still struggling to get my head round gluten free cooking so will go and take a look at their website

Allalonenow Thu 17-Jan-13 17:33:54

I shop at Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys for gluten free food, both have a good range for my gluten free Grandson. His favourites from Sainsburys are the Mrs Crimbles macaroons with chocolate.
I've got a favourite Mrs Crimble product too, it's the Dutch Apple Cake which is nice and moist and gently spicey, very like a childhood treat of mine when I lived in Belgium.
When cooking, I usually look at Phil Vickery's "Seriously Good Gluten Free Cooking" for inspiration, also I use polenta quite often rather than gluten free flour.

lemoneater Thu 17-Jan-13 17:45:10

I buy some GF foods - Sainsbury's granola, Dove's Farm pasta and as treats Mrs Crimble choc macaroons or the Lazy Day millionnaire shortbread. Lazy Day ginger biscuits used to be good but they've changed the recipe and made them all airy and light with no substance. Also bake my own bread with Juvela mixes and eat GF porridge for breakfast. I buy from Ocado and Sainsbury's.

I don't bake much but top tip for any GF cooking is to choose recipes that don't contain flour/pasta/pastry etc rather than recipes with a GF flour substitute. My favourite chocolate cake and biscuit recipes are both made with lots of ground almonds and no flour.

Doobydoo Thu 17-Jan-13 18:26:06


reastie Thu 17-Jan-13 18:35:12

I get my GF foods from a mixture of health food store, asda, waitrose, sainsburys and tesco. Generally I buy nairns bf cereal and free from pitta bread as my gf staples and many other foods are 'normal' gf ones not specialist brands.

I've eaten a number of mrs crimbles products including their crackers and biscuits. They've been tasty and I've enjoyed them. I tried one of their mixes before (I think it was a bread mix) and disn't particularly enjoy that so didn't repurchase.

When I cook gf foods they often come out dry, so when I make cakes etc I often try to find recipes that use ground almonds in place of flour as I find they are more moist and tasty. One of my favourite gf recipes is a lime cheesecake which has gf ginger biscuit base and a filling of condensed milk, lime juice and zest and double cream. It is absolutely scrummy. I like using gf pasta on ocassion and making dishes like veggie lasagne (butternut squash, mushroom and spinach is my favourite) and veggie spaghetti with tomato sauce and nutballs (I'm veggie).

I try not to buy gf snacks as often they are very fatty and sugary and not that healthy. I love the fact we can now get gf oatcakes though and I eat rice cakes quite often. It would be nice to have low fat/calorie snack options and agree with previous poster that individually wrapped is important so I don't have to eat a whole packet of biscuits etc soon after opening.

Misty9 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:46:38

I'm wheat intolerant and tend to buy GF products from supermarkets (sainsburys, morrisons and occasional m&s and tesco) and sometimes independent wholefood shops.

I love:
Black farmer sausages
Prewetts biscuits - all types, most amazing biscuits ever!
Mrs crimbles coconut macaroons and choc brownies
Most DS stuff (Yorkshire puds, ciabattas, pasta)
Sainsburys own free from pasta and spaghetti

My dh and I both bake and usually use doves farm flour as a substitute with pretty good results. We got a breadmaker for Christmas and tried the mrs crimbles bread mix the other day - LOVE it! Best GF bread I have EVER tasted. Bit expensive, but oh so worth it.

I'd love to see more things like doughnuts and fresh GF desserts available - but there again my waistline wouldn't thank me smile

Misty9 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:50:30

Ooh, and m&s chocolate and cherry cake is possibly the best shop bought cake I've ever had (let alone GF) though it doesn't last long.

NOmeansNO Thu 17-Jan-13 20:38:04

We have tried mrs crimbles, as we are new to the gf diet we are going through all brands. Will be trying the pastry base this week. Hoping its better than the last.

When it comes to cakes though, I am afraid the sunstart brand wins hands down. Their rocky road in particular.

We find where a manufacturer has used recipes which use other ingredients rather than flour substitues are much better.

What I would really love to see is good value items, but all stocked in same section. We know corn tortillas are safe, but sometimes searching and finding them is a pita. If you were to charge the same as the main manufacturers(and not throw and extra £1 on price tag) but stock it in the gf aisle, then would buy your pack everytime to save having to read the allegy lists on every single packet I lift.

I need to do my supermarket shop in my lunch hour, but I also have a budget. So I just end up grabbing the brand I know is safe as its quick and conveient.

Plus I would love if you could do individual wrapped

Firelighter cake

Rice crispies
Dairy toffee
Golden syrup

So easy to make too. Melt all ingredients in giant pot. Add rice crispies, stir and then press into tray/mould

Its amazing. But I am not aLlowed to make it as we end up eating the whole batch in 2 days and get uber fat.

Kellogs squares tried hard... But they got their measures wrong. The firelighter measurements as so much easier and lighter to eat

HavingALittleFaithBaby Thu 17-Jan-13 20:45:09

misty yes that M&S cake is amazing! smile

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