Monday, 18 November 2013

Sainsbury's Freefrom Christmas

When Sainsbury's gave me the opportunity to review their gluten free Christmas food, I thought why not? I also asked some of my work colleagues and family to sample the food for their opinions too and the response was quite surprising!

I can't believe it's nearly Christmas, you wouldn't believe how excited I am this year, I just can't wait!!!  Food-wise, I'm still getting used to the nightmare of catering for all the different diets and avoiding cross contamination. One thing I have learned from past experience is to make some of the grain free, SCD legal foods in the weeks coming up to Christmas and freeze them.

Most of you that read my posts will know I make everything from scratch and rarely buy anything pre-prepared but not everyone has the time or actually wants to cook their own food and the great news for people following a gluten free diet is that Christmas is getting much, much easier.

The "freefrom" chocolate selection includes chocolate medallions, a santa chocolate bar and an awesome advent calendar.

I haven't taste tested these treats yet but if they are the same quality as the cakes and pies then they will make several children very happy this Christmas. Suitable for coeliacs and vegans, there are no artificial flavours.

By the way, Sainsbury's also sell "freefrom" chocolate mint crisps which I can highly recommend if you are looking for gluten free or vegan after dinner mints.

Photo with kind permission from
These foil wrapped vegan, dark Belgian chocolates are deliciously moreish, the last packet I bought didn't last long in my household!

This little gingerbread man unfortunately lost his arm on his travels to my house! But this didn't make any difference to it's flavour! Crispy and not too heavily spiced, this is perfect to eat just on its own. But how about planning a fun activity icing them with your children?

I wasn't able to take a photo of the mini chocolate logs because sadly they are all gone but I declare that they were my favourite of all the content of the hamper by far. I was so very taken aback by their delicious chocolatey taste. Half expecting them to be dry like most pre-packaged cakes, I was amazed that they were quite the opposite AND no xanthan gum in these! Their perfect texture probably comes from the ground almonds in the recipe and with 53% cocoa solids minimum, I'm not surprised they tasted so rich and decadent. I took them to work to share but I wish I'd just kept them all for myself! I tried one with my coffee in the morning and that's when I realised I'd made a huge mistake by taking them in! Wow, these are awesome!

Watching my reaction, my colleagues were looking forward to trying them in the afternoon though I think they were half expecting them to be a poor copy of the "real thing". I asked them to give a score out of 10 and considering one of my colleagues is a very competent baker I wasn't expecting her perfect score of 10, in fact they scored 39 out of 40!

Incidentally, I went to my local Sainsbury's to buy another packet so I could share again but there weren't any - please Sainsbury's, I think you may need to get these stocked in every store!

The iced rich fruit cakes are perhaps a little sweet for me mainly because I really don't like icing so I peeled off the marzipan and the icing and just ate the cake. The girls at work loved them too but gave them a 9 out of 10 because they felt there was a too much icing in relation to cake.

But don't let the criticism about the icing stop you from buying them since their home-made texture and flavour makes up for that!

My husband loves the mince pies and they're filled to the brim with fruity sweet mincemeat. With a light, melt-in-your-mouth short pastry they certainly tick all the boxes.

The iced ones are too sweet for us but if you like iced mince pies then these will be just perfect and they look awesome!

This isn't the full selection of "freefrom" Christmas products, Sainsbury's also stock a "freefrom" Christmas Pudding and Christmas cake too. So if you don't have time to bake this Christmas or you just prefer not to, this selection of Christmas fare will put a smile on your face and considering my work colleagues are not gluten free, their opinions almost guarantee that you won't be disappointed!

If you would like to keep up with my posts, please join me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and subscribe by email (top right).