We’ve got a lockdown activity to keep the kids busy for a couple of hours. If you want a break from cooking then how about making play dough? This version is suitable for children who are coeliacs or anyone on a diet that restricts gluten.
Making playdough is lots of fun for kids and it’s a welcome distraction from screen time. This gluten-free version is a silky soft texture and safe for kids that are continually putting hands in their mouth or the ones who can’t resist eating it – which is most of them!
You don’t need a lot to make dough, but double check everything you use is suitable for your child’s allergies. Here is what you’ll need.
3 cups of W&G gluten free plain flour
4 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
1 ¾ cup water
2 tbs oil
Add the flour, cream of tartar, salt, water and oil to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Start stirring with a spoon, but you may find it easier to combine everything with your hands as it thickens.
Once the mixture turns into a dough-like texture, separate into pieces, depending on how many colours you want to use. Carefully add a few drops of food colouring to the dough and knead it until mixed through.
Tip: There is more than one way to make play dough. Another option is to mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. But we thought it would be more fun to just mix it with our hands, it worked beautifully!
Once the kids have finished playing with the dough it doesn’t need to be tossed out. Instead, store it in zip-lock bags until it’s next needed. You may need to add a little oil to bring it back to life again.
We hope you enjoyed this alternative use for our flour. Stay safe and sane!
Keeping the kids occupied can be a challenge at the best of times, but during a lockdown, it gets even harder. If you’ve finished a day of home-schooling and are struggling for ideas, you may want to give them a cooking project. We’ve pulled together 12 tasty recipes that are gluten free, fun and simple to make.
Why is baking a useful experience for kids?
Teaching kids to
bake isn’t just about the eating, although that’s the fun bit. My
daughter learned everything she needed to know about the metric and
imperial systems, how to follow step-by-step instructions, what
flavours work well together, and kitchen safety.
Depending on the
child’s age, you’ll need to decide if they’re able to work solo
or need your guidance. For the young ones, the fruit skewers or cake
balls are great options; the older ones may want to try their hand at
making gnocchi for your dinner tonight?
Gluten free recipes for kids
#1 Melting moments
Sandwich freshly made icing between two crispy biscuits to create a classic Australian snack, Melting Moments.
Also, known as yo-yos, they’re frequently found in cafe jars and everyone seems to love them. What’s more, younger kids get some serious enjoyment out of joining the biscuits together.
A pancake stack is the ultimate in versatility. Cook them up and eat them for breakfast, lunch or dessert.
This recipe is for banana pancakes, but you can leave the fruit out and add for favourite savoury ingredients for a mid-week meal that’s quick and low-cost. Basically, any ingredient you use for tacos will also tasty amazing in a pancake.
This is a much-loved dessert in the United States, originating from the early settlers.
In our version, you basically fill the bottom of a baking dish with fruit and bake until almost soft. Then pour over cake mix batter and cook until set. The result is something similar to an apple crumble, and it’s a useful way to increase the fruit intake of fussy young (and old) eaters.
Coeliac Awareness Week 2020 runs from March 13th – 20th. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness of coeliac disease. To help spread the word, we’ve pulled together an introductory guide on the subject.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the body reacts abnormally to gluten, causing small bowel damage. Villi are tiny finger-like projections that line the bowel; they are flattened and become inflamed when gluten is consumed. This condition is a type of atrophy which reduces the available surface of the bowel to absorb the food’s nutrients.
Gluten is responsible for this damage to the body and can be found in a wide range of food and beverages. Wheat, barley, rye, and oats all contain gluten at varying levels. At first glance, this may not seem like a lot of food types; however, food manufacturers use these ingredients in a surprising number of products.
It is estimated that one in every seventy Australians has Coeliac Disease. Interestingly, of that number, around 80% have not been diagnosed. In Australia, Coeliac Awareness Week plays a major role in increasing awareness and helping people understand the symptoms.
Do you suspect you may have coeliac disease? Getting a definitive diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner is imperative. The good news is, screening for this disease is relatively simple.
Step 1: Maintain a regular diet
Before any medical testing can be carried out, you’ll need to stick to a regular gluten diet for six weeks. You probably won’t feel great over this period, but it is necessary. Testing may produce false negatives if you’re already on a gluten-free diet.
Step 2: Get blood tests
A quick blood test, referred to as serology testing, is the next step in the process of diagnosis. The test looks for elevated levels of specific antibody proteins. Higher levels indicate that there could be an immune reaction to gluten.
Step 3: Endoscopy
If the blood test results come back positive then your doctor will usually request an endoscopy. A long tube with a small camera is fed down the throat and through to the small intestine. This allows the specialist to take a close look at the lining of the intestine. At the same time, several biopsies can be taken, which involves taking some small tissue samples; any damage to the villi will be evident from analysing these tissue samples.
The thought of an endoscopy may seem overwhelming for some, but it is actually a simple procedure which usually takes under 10 minutes.
We pulled together some statistics…
* The average age for getting diagnosed with coeliac disease is 40 years of age.
* If a family member has CD, there’s a 1 in 10 chance of other family members also developing it.
* Once starting a gluten free diet, it takes 3-6 months for the small intestine to recover, in children.
* Once starting a gluten free diet, it takes 2-3 years for the small intestine to recover, in adults.
Life for a coeliac is a different world in 2020 compared to 10 years ago. There is a staggering range of products on supermarket shelves that are suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. Virtually every category of food has an ever-increasing number of options; however, there is still plenty of room for new products to be developed.
According to data published by Statista the gluten-free market is estimated to grow to almost USD$7 billion by 2025.
So, what are the common symptoms associated with coeliac disease? There is a wide range, but here are some of the more common ones:
There is a range of other symptoms so check out Coeliac Australia’s symptoms for more information.
Did you know that 12.1% of Australians have removed gluten and or wheat from their diet? This number grows each year which means there is an ever-growing base of resources in this area. If you need to eat gluten-free then you won’t be alone. There are loads of gluten free recipes that have been developed without gluten, as well as groups on social media to discuss anything related to the topic.
There’s a 15% chance that if you have coeliac disease, you’ll have another autoimmune disease. The later the age of diagnosis, the higher the possibility of developing other autoimmune disorders. Some of the common disorders associated with CD include arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid disease. For more information check out this page.
Your initial foray into eating gluten free may seem overwhelming. There are a surprising number of products that contain it. Soup, processed meat, dressings, sauces, and even beer may contain gluten.
In Australia, gluten is classified as an allergen and must be declared on the product’s nutritional label. Always check this label in-store. Even if a product is gluten-free, the food may have been made in a facility that contains allergens.
If you, or your child, are experiencing symptoms of coeliac disease then the best thing you can do is visit your doctor to get a checkup. A simple 3-step process will provide you with solid answers.
For those that have recently been diagnosed, eating out and at-home cooking may seem daunting at first. We suggest asking lots of questions and joining online groups to absorb as much information as possible. Another great option is to attend exhibitions – these are invaluable for finding new gluten free food suppliers and for staying up to date with all the latest information on coeliac disease.
Good news for all you bread-lovers across Australia. Most of the leg-work is already done! We’ve lovingly par-baked the dough in our Melbourne bakery; all you need to do is pop the loaf into an oven for 10 minutes, then slice and eat!
About the range
The team are excited to introduce our new range of bake at home artisan bread. An unsliced loaf that’s soft on the inside and crusty on the exterior. As with all our bread, these loaves are vegan-friendly and are free from gluten, soy, nuts and dairy.
The bake-at-home range is available in three delicious varieties: white, 7 seeds, and olive.
How is this range different?
1. Take advantage of a bake-at-home product
The beauty of “bake-at-home” is that the end user has more control. When you’re ready to eat the bread, it’s a quick blast in the oven to create bread that’s just like fresh bread bought from the bakery!
2. Innovative packaging
Thanks to an innovative gas-flushed bag, we can maximise the freshness of your bread without the need for preservatives. No oygen can get in, and that’s what causes bread to “age”.
3. Online shipping Australia wide
Until now, we have been unable to ship our bread to various parts of Australia due to the shelf life constraints. This artisan range has 20 days of shelf life – well, it’s actually longer but we wanted to be conservative! This allows us to ship to every part of Australia – so noone misses out.
We’re also working hard to get this artisan bread into retail stores across the country. If online shopping isn’t your thing, visit your local Independent Supermarket and let them know you want the bread in store (if it isn’t there already).
Each year when Hot Cross Buns hit the market, I get a little over-zealous and buy up big. This isn’t a wise move on my part because our freezer is always packed to capacity so any leftover buns end up going stale.
Food wastage is one of my pet hates so I needed a solution for using leftover buns. It’s actually surprising how many possibilities there are for alternative bun usage. Eating them on their own or with a little butter is just the start it seems!
When you start making these mouth watering desserts keep in mind that if you’re cooking for a coeliac everything needs to be gluten free. Custard is one product that’s hard to buy without gluten so you may have to make your own if you can’t find any. Chocolate is another one that’s not widely available as a gluten free option. But a quick search online should provide you with some good options.
Leftover hot cross bun ideas
For most of the recipes below, you can probably get away with using fresh buns. But some of them, such as bread crumbs, tend to work better with stale buns.
1. Hot cross bun pudding
This is probably the most popular use for leftover hot cross buns. It’s super simple to make and is practically impossible to mess up.
Buns with custard are a magical mix.
You’ll need a baking dish which you then layer with sliced hot cross buns that are buttered and slathered with apricot jam. In a separate bowl whisk 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of cream, then warm in the microwave. In a second bowl, whisk a half cup of caster sugar with 4 eggs. Combine the milk mixture with the eggs and then pour around the buns. Finally, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top of the buns and bake on 180C for 40-45 minutes. Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.
To save some time you could also buy a gluten free custard powder, make the custard then pour it into the oven dish before adding the buns.
2. Bostock Buns
French toast used to be the status-quo for bread dipped, fried tastiness. Cafes are now taking this recipe to a whole new level with Bostock Buns. The idea is to dip halved buns into orange syrup, place them on an oven tray, smother with frangipane cream and sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake until a lovely crispy crust appears then devour.
Orange syrup: add ½ cup orange juice and 2 Tbsp of sugar to a small saucepan and heat on low-medium until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool before using.
Frangipane Cream: Combine 1 egg, ¼ cup soft butter, ¼ cup caster sugar, ½ cup almond flour. Place in the fridge for ½ hour before using.
3. Hot Cross Breadcrumbs
Transform stale hot cross buns into flavoursome breadcrumbs. Use them to make sweet treats like breadcrumb cookies, apple crumble topping, tarts or a cheesecake breadcrumb crust.
Apple crumble never disappoints.
To make breadcrumbs, slice stale buns in half and place on an over tray. Bake at 140C for about 20 minutes until crisp then blend in a food processor until crumbs result.
If you can’t get your hands on gluten free hot cross buns and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of proofing the dough, there’s an easy backup option: hot cross muffins – or buffins! You can simply make some muffins using a muffin mix. While you’re mixing, toss in some cinnamon and sultanas or chocolate chips. Bake the muffins as you would normally.
To make the cross, combine ½ cup water and ½ cup gluten free flour, add to a piping bag and pipe the crosses.
5. Hot Cross Egg Buns
This is basically French toast, only you’ll use hot cross buns instead of regular toast.
To make the eggy dip, whisk the following ingredients in a bowl: 2 large eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 ½ Tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Now slice each bun in half and dip each of the sliced sides into the mix until they’re nicely soaked. Finally, add a Tbsp of butter to a frying pan and cook the egg side on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Eat on its own or doused in honey, maple syrup, mascarpone or ricotta.
6. Fondue Buns
You might want to save this doozy for after Easter? Round up all that leftover chocolate and toss it into a fondue pot (or small saucepan). Add a splash of cream and milk and a knob of butter for good measure. Slowly melt the chocolate on a low heat and add a little more milk if the texture is to thick.
Ensure you use gluten free chocolate.
Cut the hot cross buns into bite sized cubes and toast in the oven until lightly browned. Slide the cubes onto skewers and begin dipping them into the chocolate. Now slide those bread chunks into your mouth for maximum enjoyment.
Any type of leftover gluten free chocolate is fine for this fondue. You can even combine white, milk and dark chocolate together for a unique combination. Another alternative is to use gluten free buttons if all the Easter eggs have been eaten.
Now it’s your turn
As you can see, there’s no shortage of uses for left over hot cross buns this Easter. I’m sure there are dozens more creative ways to incorporate them in your next dessert. Of course, if you prefer them the traditional way you can always just freeze them before they go stale. But if you don’t have space for them, these are some excellent fallback options.
Do you have a favourite use for leftover hot cross buns? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.