Thursday, 15 April 2010

Cooking made allergy friendly with Sainsburys Freefrom

This post has been about two months in the making and I am finally, very pleased to post about an evening I spent with the Sainsburys Try Team in London, who have been working very hard at re-developing the Freefrom range, which caters for those who have food intolerances and allergies. Whilst being lucky myself in that I can eat most things, at the same time I’ve noticed that an increasing number of people have been diagnosed with food allergies and intolerance’s, including close friends who now struggle to create and enjoy foods they used to love but are now off-limit's.

The event was organised by the lovely ladies at 1000 Heads, who took pictures of the evening, (I was a super idiot and had left mine on charge at home, so all the pictures are courtesy of 1000 Heads and Sainsburys, thanks!) please do check out the rest of their photostream where you can see me mostly looking  like an idiot in a hairnet! No cruel comments please ;-)

If you have food allergies or intolerences and frequently find youself trawling up and down aisles for ages, reading packets in detail for allergy advice, give the Sainsbury’s team a call and they will pop you in the post a full list of foods that are available to suit your dietary needs.

Our first task of the evening was to enjoy a glass of bubbly (gorgeous stuff by the way – will be definitely buying this at home!) whilst chatting and snacking on some little delicacies, it’s a tough job but someones gotta do it ;-) We tucked into little Freefrom bread rolls with garlic mushrooms, tasty olives with salami, smoked salmon on sundried tomato ciabatta (I would have never guessed these were both dairy and wheat free!) and houmous with crudites.

Following on we moved on to the kitchens, I was put onto the dessert section with the ever patient Mary from the Sainsbury’s Try Team and given the task of making Freefrom cupcakes that were dairy, egg and wheat free – quite a challenge for the Try Team to develop the recipe! The frosting for the cupcakes resulted in lots of people gathering around me wanting to taste it – quite un-nerving at the time! The secret ingredient was…wait for it…Sainsburys Basics instant potato flakes! Topped with luxury dried fruit and nuts and a little icing sugar sifted over, these little babies looked the part and got plenty of oohs and aahs!

Alongside my cupcakes, the rest of the group made some lovely freefrom dishes including Prawn pad Thai, Asian fishcakes, Sweet potato wedges with turmeric, lime and coconut (these were one of my favourite dishes!) treacle tart and gorgeous fruity icecreams made with cashew nut butter to be dairy free, which we all sat down at a huge table to eat, along with lots of lovely wines, I drank the white TTD Albarino which is my new favourite white wine, was medium dry, bursting with fruit flavours with a crispy finish, a really delicious wine!

At the end of the lovely evening, we got to go home with a Freefrom goody bag, one of my personal favourites were the caramel shortcakes – I normally find these too sweet but these were delicious, sweet but not sickly sweet and lighter to eat with a mmm slightly soft, crumbly texture. One of my girlfriends was also very impressed by these!

P.s. I still have your visitor pass and my name badge, does this mean I can come back? ;-) The glamorous hairnet though is all mine! ;-)

Keep your eyes peeled for my next posts, as following on from the evening I created my own 'freefrom recipes to share with you all!


  1. I once had a tour of the Sainsbury's building which was very interesting. The basement still had all the concrete foundations that the printing presses sat on when the Mirror had the site and printed the paper there.

    I am very envious that you got to cook in their test kitchens.

  2. How exciting for you to go and do that Anne!
    And you look very glamorous with your hairnet on, lol! Great cupcakes too.


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