Lexi Striped ring binder from WHSmith
Marble paper file from Studio Sarah
Vitapen highlighters from Selfridges
This week at school blackboard from
Having been strictly gluten and dairy free for the last 14 years and even more so the last few years to help control my endometriosis, I get asked all the time the yummiest products I recommend that are gluten and dairy free. So I wanted to share those with you each month based on new things I have tried, restuarants I have been to and how I’m influenced seasonally by the things I chose to eat. It’s now summer so all about ice cream, cool drinks and snacks in the garden so here’s my favourites for July.
Caramel Pecan Praline ice cream from Booja Booja
This icecream is dreamy, it’s an more pricey treat, but I feel that just makes me savour it even more, rather than gorge on the whole tub which, lets be honest, ice cream can sometimes make you do! The gorgeously nutty praline swirl through this icecream is honestly just amazing and the perfect balance of praline and icecream, there is nothing I can fault about, it’s harder to find and harder on the pocket but it’s worth it as an indulgent treat for how good it tastes.
Corn Nuts from Love Corn
My sister introduced me to Corn Nuts at a barbeque recently, had never seen them before but they are just the perfect summer evening snack with an ice cold drink. It seems they are becoming more available and mainstream, these ones from Love Corn are available at Planet Organic but you can also get them really cheaply in lots of international supermarkets on most highstreets
Quinoa Chips from Eat Real
Another great snack are these Quinoa chips which to me are the closest thing I’m going to get to the quavers I used to eat as a teenager – but with more nutritional value! These are delish!
Free From Fusilli from Sainsburys
I’ve tried a hell of a lot of gluten free pastas over the years, and whilst there are now lots of great ones available and I’m sure a lot of the supermarket free from pastas are manufactured in the same place and just packaged and branded differently, I definitely feel that Sainsburys fusilli is the best and is always my go-to choice for pasta. As a student nurse – making pasta salad is a great lunch that I can throw a load of veg into and keep me going for a 12 hour shift and get my veg in whilst filing me up. This fusilli seems to just have more substance, a nice texture and keeps its shape, definitely the best free from fusilli on the market right now.
Sweet Green Smoothie from Ginger & Mint
You’d probably have to be a North London local to enjoy this one, but could give you an idea of a great juice to make at home too. But if you don’t want to hassle, Ginger & Mint in Crouch End is literally THE place to go for a juice or a smoothie, their selection is unreal, in fact maybe a little overwhelming with the choice, but the Sweet Green is my favourite – a blend of spinach, pineapple, strawberry, apple and mint (I always drop the parsley!) but there is every juice and smoothie that you could ever want and they also do delicious and healthy food and you can get it all delivered by Deliveroo should you so desire too!
Vanilla Yogurt from Alpro
I tend to try and limit my soya intake because of my endometriosis so it’s so good that Alpro now offer such a wide selection of milk alternatives, but their yogurts are still all soya so I limit my soya intake to yogurt sometimes as a dessert or for breakfast or a late morning snack at the hospital with chopped fruit. This yogurt is my favourite – no bits of fruit or artificial fruit flavour and just a really nice smooth yogurt, I’m hoping they will make smaller pots in this flavour too so I’m not always tempted to eat the whole big tub, because yes I enjoy it that much!
Gluten free Florentina Pizza with Vegan cheese from Pizza Express
The one thing I missed for YEARS in my life was Pizza, and Pizza Express have been doing gluten free pizza bases for a couple of years now which I always enjoy, I just get lots of toppings and chuck on rocket and drizzle garlic oil to make up for the lack of cheese, but Pizza Express have now answered our prayers and are offering vegan cheese also. I enjoyed a florentina a few weekends ago, with vegan cheese and it was such a treat, you can chose any of the Classic or Romana pizzas on the menu and just ask for gluten free base and vegan cheese. Such a treat!
Grilled chicken skewers from Tootoomoo
Whilst on the subject of eating out – my favourite taste of this summer has been the most delicious and succulent chicken skewers from one of my favourite restaurants – Tootoomoo, again you kind of need to be a North Londoner to enjoy but with branches in Crouch End, Islington, Whetstone and Highgate they’ve got North London pretty much covered. They have lots of gluten free, dairy free and also vegan options and you never feel like you are missing out there. Really nice to enjoy some summer pan Asian tastes eating out or getting a take away at home.
Mango & passionfruit cooler from Costa
Mango is probably my favourite fruit and I absolutely love this drink, it tastes amazing, keeps you cool and is also really filling. The hospital where I was working for all of June (when it was boiling hot!) has a Costa within it and this saved me halfway through many long shifts where I thought I might melt. Yes it’s sugary sweet but the closest thing to milkshake that us dairy free-ers are going to get on a hot day. With Costas great loyalty Coffee club scheme you frequently get surprised with a free drink every now and then which is always a treat!
Affectionately known as Boo to my friends, I opened bake-a-boo in 2006 and after 10 years of making cake dreams come true, hosting fabulous tea parties and releasing a cookbook I have now closed the doors of the tea room. Plagued with severe endometriosis and several food allergies I’m turning all the bad into something good and after being a great patient, I’m now training to hopefully become a ‘great’ nurse! Here I’m sharing my journey, and talking health, my inspirations and life after bake-a-boo…..and of course CAKE! You can take the girl out of the cake shop but you can’t take the cake shop out of the girl so find out here how I can still help you with cakes and treats and parties galore x