Al Fresco Dining… Gluten Free!

From my first cuppa and slice of toast in the morning, to my evening meal, I love nothing more than being able to sit out in the open air, weather permitting of course!

So whether you are by the sea, in the countryside or simply throwing a rug on the back lawn I thought I would offer a couple of gluten free suggestions for tasty snacks that can be packed up and enjoyed anywhere.

Picnic 1

Carrot and pepper sticks with Hummus* (I tend to use M&S but lots of supermarket ones are fine just check the ingredients)

Quick mini pizzas: Juvela gluten free rolls white or fibre, sliced topped with pizza topping*, grated cheese* and anything tasty you may like to add.  Bake in a preheated oven 180c fan/ 160c/ 350f/ gas mark 4.  These work well hot or cold! (children will love tucking into these in their make shift dens in the garden)

“Happy sticks”: tasty things on cocktail sticks, Sausages* are a must, you can leave them plain or mix a little honey and mustard together and coat the sausages before cooking… so tasty! Mature cheddar works well with lots of things. Here are a few of my favourite things to add to a little cube of cheese: pineapple, grapes, cherry tomatoes and red onion. I’m sure you can think of lots more!

Ask your local butcher if they can offer you gluten free sausages, if not M&S have a great range. I have also found that most supermarkets will also have a good selection.

Ham and cheese pin wheels:  You can make your own gluten-free wraps using Juvela Mix, but if time and convenience are important for you then ready-made gluten free wraps from Warburton’s are really good.  Simply spread with soft cheese* and lay ham across the wrap season and roll wrapping tightly as you go.  Slice with a sharp knife. If you want to splash out a bit smoked salmon is a delicious alternative to ham.

Gluten-Free scotch eggs: New in at M&S they are fabulous… I love them and although I know homemade ones are delicious, if you are short of time these more than do the job!

m&S MWW

Quiche Lorraine: you can always portion this up once cooked and wrap in foil, pop in a freezer bag and freeze. The new M&S quiche is yummy and can be shared with the rest of the family! You could make your own as well, Juvela have a recipe for Cheese & Bacon Quiche, this could be adapted to your favourite filling.

Homemade pastiesThese will freeze really well and you can always vary the filling. If you can do a batch bake, freeze and when the sun shines you are ready to throw them in your picnic hamper.

picnic
Few little side orders…

Coleslaw* I know I’m always harping on about M&S but their coleslaw really is my favourite. I go for the “traditional” one which is gluten free.  Just check the ingredients on any other varieties or brands.

Homemade potato salad:  Boil the amount of potatoes you require (great way to use up left overs), drain and rinse in cold water and allow to cool.  Cut into desired size and add finely diced red onion, a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise* to coat and season to taste. Another tasty alternative to add to the cooked potatoes is crispy fried smoked bacon (cooled) with a spoonful of garlic mayonnaise*.

Olives* Naturally gluten-free 🙂

Crisps* Seabrook have the crossed grain symbol on some of their packs, but there are lots of other brands that would be OK. Just check ingredients and allergen box to be safe.

And any other favourite nibbles you may like!!

 

Now for a delicious treat to enjoy with a cuppa from the “Thermos” or Afternoon tea in the garden

Homemade scones These look and taste fabulous! (I find a level teaspoon of Xanthan gum works well in this recipe as it holds the crumb together really well, you may just need to add a little more liquid to your mixture.) Super to do a batch of these and freeze allowing an impromptu cream tea when the fancy takes you – It has to be clotted cream and strawberry jam for me!

mini scones

Flapjack, brilliant snack and will give you lots of energy if you are up in the hills.  Also great to wrap up and pop in your bag as a tasty snack and energy boost if you are simply out and about.  Try adding a handful of chopped dried apricots and dipping the flapjack in melted chocolate* for an indulgent treat!

Always ensure to use gluten free oats and to consult your GP/dietitian before you start to include them in your diet again.

flapjack

Mini Victoria sponges Although you can get special tins to do miniature cakes, I just did my sponge in a swiss roll tin using 3/4 of the basic sponge recipe which works out at 6oz of mix, 6oz butter, 6oz sugar and 3 eggs, baked for 20 minutes.

cake mix

 

tray bake

Once it had cooled I used a round cutter to cut out the miniature cake shapes and filled with jam, then sprinkled some caster sugar on top. The sponge I had left over has gone in the freezer to use at a later date, maybe for a trifle or when I feel like sponge pud and custard*!

table

All we need now is the sunshine…..happy eating!!

Liz x

For all ingredients or products marked with an asterisk * please check to make sure they are gluten free or look in Coeliac UK‘s Food & Drink Directory for a suitable brand.

*The information we’ve provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. As always, please ensure you thoroughly check any food is definitely gluten free by asking plenty of questions before you decide to try or buy!

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