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Is gluten free bread healthy?

When transitioning to a gluten free diet, many people are often horrified at the thought of giving up toast for breakfast. But is gluten free bread healthy? Gluten free bread is so widely available now, and some of it is not bad, why wouldn’t you just swap your normal bread for this, slap on some jam, and carry on as you were?

Before delving into this, I want to clear a few things up about toast for breakfast in general. I’m not talking about your artisan, organic, stoneground, bread made in a 17th century mill in the Pennines (this is pretty good stuff), I mean your bog-standard, ubiquitous supermarket loaf. 

The concept of bread, and toast in particular, is so deeply entrenched in the British psyche that to suggest removing it is tantamount to chopping an arm off. Yes, there is some fibre in the wholewheat varieties – which we’re told is very good for us – and some might be fortified with a few vitamins and minerals, but on the whole I consider...

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Grain free granola recipe and my personal thyroid story

Why am I making a grain free granola? And what's it got to do with my thyroid?

I have been asked this question a few times in the last couple of days when I mentioned I had made a grain free granola, as I have decided to go grain-free for January (and possibly longer). Does it have oats in it? What are grains in? What's wrong with grains, and why are you giving them up? Aren't you already gluten free, what's the difference?

Whoa! So many questions! I realised, however, that I live in my little nutrition bubble where I assume that everyone knows what grains are, and what paleo is, and what a grain free granola is! But it's actually only the other people in my nutrition bubble who know what I am on about, and the vast majority of the population just think I am slightly bonkers.

So, before I get to the recipe for this delicious, grain-free granola, I thought I would give you a little background as to why I am going grain free. It's a bit personal and it's about my health. But...

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Bone Broth Soup – Gut-Healing and Immune-Boosting

There seems to have been a flurry of winter bugs doing the rounds, so you definitely need this gut-healing, immune boosting Leek, Mushroom and Bone Broth Soup to ward them off.

The vegetables I have selected for this soup will have your immune system ready to attack any virus that comes its way, and your healthy gut bacteria doing a little victory dance all over your digestive system. Not only does this soup help boost immune activity, but it is a powerful restorative remedy if you have been struck down with a tummy bug or respiratory virus.

Here's a run-down of the nutritional superstars that make up this Leek, Mushroom and Bone Broth Soup:

Leeks- leeks are in a category of foods known as "prebiotics". This means that they stimulate the growth of the healthy bacteria (PRObiotics) throughout the digestive system (primarily the small intestine). Having a good population of beneficial gut bacteria strengthens the immune system. 

Mushrooms- mushrooms have been used...

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Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Soup

I was so excited to find this gorgeous selection of different pumpkins, they were just screaming at me to be turned into a Roasted Pumpkin Soup!

As we know, the season of ghosts and ghouls is not just about dressing up in scary, polyester costumes and letting your children eat more sweets than they would consume across the entire year. The falling leaves and the chill in the air also bring a whole new selection of sumptuous seasonal foods. And pumpkins are not just for carving! 

This Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe is so simple; it's all bringing out the flavour of the pumpkin with complementary spices.

Simply slice the pumpkins in half, drizzle with a light oil, and sprinkle with spices - I used smoked paprika, nutmeg and caraway seeds. Roast them in the oven for a delicious smokey flavour, and scoop out the flesh into the softened onions and garlic, and simmer in stock before you blend. Full instructions can be found in the recipe below.

The soup is delicious...

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Gluten-Free Blueberry and Almond Butter Porridge

Serves 1
A wholesome, warming autumnal breakfast
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1/4 cup/21g brown rice flakes (such as Big Oz)
  2. 1/4 cup/21g quinoa flakes (such as Amisa)
  3. 1 cup/240ml non-dairy milk of choice (such as Koko)
  4. Big handful frozen blueberries (or fruit of choice)
  5. 2 tsp almond butter
  6. 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (Biona)
  7. 1 nectarine
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. Place all the ingredients except the nectarine and the cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the milk has been absorbed and the rice/quinoa flakes are cooked.
  3. Top with nectarine and cinnamon.

So, the mornings are getting a little cooler and I've been getting a bit of a hankering for some warm, wholesome porridge. After a little experimentation I've come up with this delicious blueberry and almond butter porridge. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Nutribullet smoothies, but sometimes you need something a little more substantial of an autumn...

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Lentil and Spinach Curry

This hearty and warming butternut squash, lentil and spinach curry was one of those dishes that came about from having next to nothing in the fridge and a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer. I have just discovered frozen spinach (no, really), and I am using it in everything at the moment from soups to curries to smoothies. The days of giant bags of spinach taking up my whole fridge and always going off too early may well be over!

I just love easy, midweek one-pot suppers, especially if there is enough for lunch the next day as well. Just knowing that I haven’t got to think about what to make for lunch in between school pick-ups, swimming lessons, nutrition consultations and keeping up with my blog is a big weight off my mind. I am just not a ‘throw together a ham sandwich’ kinda gal. In order to avoid the mid-afternoon tea and cake slump, lunch has to be hearty!

This butternut squash, lentil and spinach curry is my idea of a Ready, Steady, Cook challenge heaven....

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Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Chocolate and Almond Cake

A gluten-free chocolate and almond cake that is also guilt-free, but still tastes totally decadent? Yes!

I will be the first to put my hand up and say that my forays into gluten-free baking have not always been hugely successful. So I am shamelessly proud of myself for producing this totally delicious Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Chocolate and Almond Cake today which was a resounding success. 

The occasion? My husband’s birthday. Why on earth, I hear you cry, would you risk your previous track record in baking on such an important day? Because I’d got it into my head that I wanted to create this cake and he said it was OK if I fluffed it up and I wasn’t allowed to have a tantrum if I did. So there we go, carte blanche for me to crack on with the creation. 

Well it had to be gluten-free, no wheat flour in this house if we’re looking for a guilt-free cake. Ground almonds are a perfect alternative to flour in cakes, as they create a rich flavour and a gooey...

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Gluten Free Crispy Duck and Hoisin Sauce

By some act of miraculous fate this incredible recipe for Gluten Free Crispy Duck and Hoisin Sauce found its way into my life courtesy of the very clever Natural Chef Ceri Jones and her blog Natural Kitchen Adventures.

In my previous life as a slightly more unhealthy version of my current self, my go-to take-away/dirty meal out of choice would always be a Chinese. And what is a Chinese without Crispy Duck and Pancakes? Not a Chinese I tell you! Even when I was a teenage vegetarian, I would make an exception for Crispy Duck (and spaghetti bolognese on the odd occasion – I was a pretty crap vegetarian). And then sometime in my late teens/early 20s I discovered that I was very sensitive to MSG and it gave me palpitations. Disaster! No more Chinese! Until I found a few restaurants that served MSG-free food and was reunited with my favourite dish again.

However, more recently, since the discovery of my gluten intolerance, Chinese food has been completely off limits altogether as it...

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Quick lunch: Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad

You all know that I love a salad but at this time of year I sometimes fancy something a bit more warming at lunchtime. This warm kale and quinoa salad does just the trick and takes less than 15 minutes to make. If you want to be super lazy, you can even use ready cooked quinoa which is a great staple to have in the food cupboard.

When I’m feeling the need for some vegan or vegetarian inspiration I always turn to Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Her book is packed full of incredible plant-based recipes and tons of advice on following a really clean vegan lifestyle. Not that veganism is for everyone, and nor should it be, but it’s an extremely healthy way of eating so even if you only incorporate one vegan meal into your life every few days, your body will thank you for it.

Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient and can be used in place of rice, couscous or pasta and adapted to any flavour. Just make sure you rinse it before cooking it. The best nutritional...

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Easy Midweek Supper: Lemon and Zatar Chicken with Quinoa

This supper was one of those accidental meals up-cycled from leftovers of the kids’ tea. I love doing this and I do try and create more than one meal out of a single ingredient (in this case, chicken) as much as possible.

‘Up-cycling’ is one of the mainstays of The Fairy Food Mother’s philosophy on making life easier for mums.

We don’t always eat at the same time as our kids, and we don’t always want to eat the same meal as them. Nor do we want to be a slave to our kitchens, churning out meal after meal like a factory line or a fast food restaurant.

So why not use their leftovers and make them into a more grown-up meal for yourself later on?

I often buy chicken leg and thigh portions as these are cheaper than breast, especially when buying organic (which I highly recommend for chicken), and actually more tasty. I roasted the chicken portions and the children had drumsticks with noodles and vegetables for supper. But I fancied something a...

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