Back at the end of May, I had the unpleasant experience of a gastroscopy, which is basically a tube fed down my throat and all the way to my intestines, so that a biopsy could be taken, to confirm Coeliac disease. This was not a pleasant experience at all. I can honestly say that I'd rather go through labour again than have another gastroscopy without sedation, despite the fact the whole procedure took less than 10 minutes. (Although to be fair, my second labour only took 25 minutes!!)
Anyway, I digress. Although I haven't had the official biopsy result yet, the doctor saw plenty enough damage to my insides to confirm the Coeliac disease diagnosis and I've been eating gluten free ever since (with a couple of little mishaps, which I'll talk about another time)
The day of the biopsy, I felt pretty sorry for myself. The gastroscopy had been horrible and I felt sore. Then I came home and there on the kitchen counter, was the remains of my husbands birthday cake, in all it's gluten-laden glory!!
I was tempted to postpone the start of my gluten-free life. Especially since it was my birthday the following week and we were going away for a week in our caravan. Starting GF right away would likely mean no fish and chips whilst holidaying at the seaside. Could I handle that yet? But, I've been feeling pretty rubbish and am eager to get better. A quick poll of my Facebook friends revealed they all thought the same: don't delay feeling better! So, I served up the rest of that birthday cake to the husband and kids and sulked a bit.
I've got amazing friends and neighbours. I already know that, but the fact was reinforced when, next time I went out the front door, I found these on my doorstep:
One of my lovely neighbours, who knows an awful lot about nutrition, had left two gluten free ready mixes from Ugg Foods for me. I was so touched. Thanks so much Sheila!!
With all the kerfuffle of birthdays and holidays, I didn't get around to making them right away, but I did this week, and I thought I'd tell you all about them.
I tried the Chia Seed Muffins pack first. I had never heard of Chia Seeds before, but an article on Huffpost revealed that they are full of healthy things like calcium, manganese, phosphorus and healthy omega 3 fats.
The mix was incredibly easy to put together. I whisked together almond milk, eggs and oil and then poured the contents of the packet in. Give it a stir, let it sit for a couple of minutes to thicken, then pour into cupcake cases. Easy.
I found that my cakes needed quite a lot longer in the oven than suggested on the pack, so use your own judgement to decide when they are done. Mine also remained quite flat, not risen, as in the picture on the packet.
Texture wise, they were similar to a poppy seed muffin, due to the chia seeds, but I'd say they were a bit grainier. They felt a little bit greasy on the top, which I have found to be the case quite often with gluten free cakes and biscuits, even shop bought ones.
They tasted great though. I could taste the almond milk, which was good for me, as I love almonds. I wouldn't say they taste quite as good as a great big 'Starbucks style' muffin, but then you don't have to feel guilty about eating them, they are doing you good, full of good nutritious things, and still taste like a treat with your cuppa.
I haven't made the other mix up yet, but I'll let you know when I do.
If you fancy a gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, healthy treat, I definitely reccommend giving these a try. A pack in your cupboard, ready for when you need a treat, would definitely help with the 'why has everything I want to eat got gluten in it?" moments!
You can check out Ugg Foods here. There's a ton of information on nutrition on their site, and some yummy looking recipes, which are all gluten and dairy free, paleo and nutritious, so well worth a look.
Before I go, check out my beautiful cake forks. They are from Laguiole and I love them. I love the little bee logo and the beautiful coloured handles. Someday I will treat myself to a full set of this cutlery!!