Category Archives: Free From Awards

Free From Food Awards 2013 – The Results and the Party!

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On Tuesday night I made my way to the Royal College of Physicians for the FreeFrom Food Awards party. It was a hugely enjoyable evening (not least because of the delicious gluten-free, dairy-free and main allergen-free nibbles, and sulphite-free wines!) And I got to chat to lots of gluten-free friends from Twitter, and other free-from industry people. Really, really enjoyable!

Set up six years ago, the Awards have really come into their own. Starting off with no industry support or sponsorship, and buying the products herself, Michelle Berriedale-Johnson (and her team) has brought the Awards into the mainstream. It is now backed by major sponsors and recognised throughout the food industry. To me, this is a seriously impressive achievement – and a huge support to people with food allergies/intolerances or coeliac disease. As Antony Worrall Thompson (who presented the Awards) said, “I have been involved with the FreeFrom Food Awards from the start and am really delighted at the way they have grown. FreeFrom is becoming such an important part of food-thinking for all of us these days that it is important to have a reliable, independent guide to freefrom excellence – and the Awards provide just that.”

Bessant & Drury

The winner of The FAIR Trophy for the Best Free-From Food 2013 went to Bessant & Drury for their Lemon Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert. I was really pleased for them because I think it’s a brilliant product. Their packaging and branding looks great, I think – and this ice cream tastes utterly delicious (as does the chocolate ice cream which I felt compelled to try, of course…) Their ice creams are free from dairy and lactose, gluten, GMO, eggs, soya, cholesterol, and artificial additives, flavourings and colourings, and they’re made with super-healthy coconut milk.

Ugo

Ugo fusilli

And the winner of The Innovation Award went to Dell’Ugo Chickpea Fusilli. Again, I thought this was a great choice for a winner because this really does tick all the boxes. It is truly innovative (a grain free pasta), incredibly useful for intolerant/allergic people, and holds together well and tastes great.

Below is a list of all the winners and runners up – huge congratulations to everyone!

The
 FAIR Trophy for the best 
free-from food 
2013

Winner

Bessant & Drury – Lemon, Dairy Free Frozen Dessert

Runners up

Christine’s Puddings Frangipane Tart

The Indian Coeliac Paratha

Lifestyle Catering Catalan Pork

The Innovation Award – sponsored by The Newburn Bakehouse

Winner

Dell’Ugo Chickpea Fusilli 

Highly Commended

Lactofree Spreadable

La Zaragozana Ambar Green (apta para celiàcos) 0.0% (non-alcoholic)

Commended

Good Wine Online So Lo SO2 2009 Navitas

Tesco Free From Soya Crème Caramel

1. Plant ‘milk’, spread, cheese & desserts – sponsored by Sainsbury’s

Winner

Bessant & Drury Dairy Free Frozen Dessert – 
Lemon  

Highly Commended

Koko Dairy Free Original+Calcium

Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fair Trade Organic Coconut Oil

Provamel Orange & Redbush Yogurt Alternative

Pudology Banoffee Pud

Vivesoy Cappuccino/Soy Milk

Commended

Clearspring Sweet Grains Dessert Amazake

Provamel Rice-Coconut Drink

2. FreeFrom Breakfast Cereals – sponsored by Goodness Direct

Winners


Doves Farm Fibre Flakes

Hale & Hearty Choco Jungle Cereal

Commended

Doves Farm Cereal Flakes

Perkier Ginger and Raisin Porridge

Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Cornflakes

3. Bread and bread mixes – sponsored by Tesco

Winners

Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Soft Brown Seeded Bread

The Indian Coeliac Paratha

Highly Commended

Mum’s Mill Quick bread Mix/Bread Flour Mix

Waitrose LOVE Life GF Seeded Sliced Loaf

Newburn Bakehouse Fruit Loaf

Newburn Bakehouse Gluten Free Brown Bread Loaf

Yes You Can! Seeded Brown Bread Roll

Commended

Biona Organic Rye Bread with Chia Flax

Fria Gluten Free Vallmofralla Poppy Seed Roll

Yes You Can! Fresh White Bread

4. Grocery ambient/store cupboard – pasta, sauces, pizza bases, flour stock etc – sponsored by Tesco

Winners – Pasta

Riso Gallo 3 cereali – Spaghetti

Rizopia Organic Brown Rice Pasta Elbows

Highly Commended

Cornito Sea Waves Pasta

Eat Water Slim Noodles

Riso Gallo 3 cereali – Fusilli

Commended

Le Veneziane GF Tagliatelle

Rizopia Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli

Winners – general grocery ambient

Hale & Hearty GF Breadcrumbs

Sanchi Tamari Soy Sauce

Highly Commended

DS-gluten free Yorkshire Puddings

Mortimer Chocolate Company White Couverture Powder

Orgran Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Orgran No Egg Natural Egg Replacer

Saladworx Hebridean Seaweed & Lemon Dressing, Marinade & Drizzle

Sukrin Gold

Womersley Raspberry Vinegar

Commended

Innovative Solutions GF Multi-purpose Flour

Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Tikka Sauce

Sanchi Instant Miso Soup

Tesco Free From Pizza Bases

5. Freefrom foods manufactured for food service – sponsored by Livwell

Winners – Savoury

Hotch Potch Eggs Savoury Scotch Eggs

Pizza Hut GF Pizza

Highly Commended

Proceli Gluten-free Burger Baps

Red House Foods Georgia’s Choice GF Fish Cake

Winner – Sweet

Glamourpuds Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Pot

Highly Commended

Almondy Tårta with DAIM

Glamourpuds Banoffee Sponge Pudding Pot

We Love Cake Apricot Macaroon Slice

Commended

Glamourpuds Raspberry Jam Sponge Pudding Pot

6. Ready Meals – sponsored by Food Heaven 

a. Pizzas, pies & pasties

Winner

Freedom Deli Ham & Cheese Panini

Commended

Mamma Cucina Vegetable Pizza

b. One pot meals – to include ‘world food’

Winner

Lifestyle Catering Catalan Pork

Highly commended

Amy’s Kitchen Mexican Tortilla Bake

Amy’s Kitchen Mushroom Risotto Bowl

Lifestyle Catering Boeuf Bourguignon

Tideford Organics Organic Beetroot Soup with Crème Fraiche & Dill

Commended

Afia’s Spicy Beef Samosa

Dee’s Quinoa Pots with Thai Spiced Vegetables and little lentils

Tesco Free From Three Cheese Pasta Bake

c. Meat meal centres (sausages, meat balls, burgers etc)

Winner

Pig & Co Lucanian Roman Sausage

Highly Commended

Pig & Co Hey Pesto!

Red House Foods Georgia’s Choice Chicken Bites

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pork & Bramley Apple Sausages (Gluten Free)

7. Raw foods and superfoods – sponsored by Delamere Dairy

Winner

Orgran Multigrain Crispibread with Quinoa

Highly Commended

Raw Health Raw Sauerkraut

Commended

Raw Ecstasy Activated Walnuts – Raw Chocolate

8. Children’s food – sponsored by Asda

Winners

Bessant & Drury Dairy Free Frozen Dessert – Chocolate

Rizopia Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fantasia

Tesco Free From Chocolate Dessert Shakes

Highly Commended

Bessant & Drury Dairy Free Frozen Dessert – Strawberry

Doves Farm Chocolate Stars Organic and Gluten Free

Glamourpuds Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Pot

Pulsin’ Beond Organic Açai Berry Bar

Red House Foods Georgia’s Choice Chicken Bites

Commended

Eskal Ice Cream Party Tubs

It’s Only Natural Moshi Monster Poppet Raspberry Ice Lolly

Nim’s Fruit Crisps Apple Crisps


9. Savoury biscuits and snacks – sponsored by the Food & Drink Innovation Network

Winner

Conscious Foods Finger Millet Dippers

Highly commended

Le Pain des Fleurs Organic Chestnut Crispbread

Commended

Cornito Crackers Pikant

Le Pain des Fleurs Organic Buckwheat Crispbread

Le Pain des Fleurs Organic Quinoa Crispbread

The FreeFrom Bakehouse Jalapeño Pepper & Sweetcorn Muffins

The Indian Coeliac Vegetable Samosa

10. Scones, sweet tarts, Bakewells, sweet biscuits and cookies sponsored by Yes! You CanWinner

Christine’s Puddings Frangipane Tart

Highly commended

The FreeFrom Bakehouse Chocolate Macaroons

Lovemore O’Chocos

Perkier Popping Tiffin

Commended

Lazy Day Foods Ginger Truffle Slice

Lazy Day Foods Belgian Chocolate Rocky Road

Lovemore Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peace of Cake Raspberry Abricotines

11. Cakes, cake mixes and cupcakes – sponsored by Mrs Crimbles

Winner

Waitrose LOVE Life GF Millionaire Blondies

Highly Commended

Heavenly Cakes Eton Mess

Melsie Jane Bakes Victoria Sandwich

Sweetcheeks Pistachio & Lemon Zest Loaf

Commended

Cakes Divine Carrot Cupcakes

Mummy’s Yummys Indulgent Chocolate Brownies

Rebel Bakery GF Big Apple Pie

Silver Box Bakery Brownies

The Newburn Bakehouse Lemon and Poppyseed Muffins

12. Chocolate and snack bars– sponsored by Amy’s Kitchen

Winner

Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Mint Crisps

Highly Commended

BoojaBooja Around Midnight Espresso Chocolate Truffles
Winning Ways Fine Foods Ltd Dairy Free Choc covered Raisins

Commended

Kinnerton Luxury Dark Chocolate

13. Christmas foods – sponsored by Genon Laboratories

Winner

Hale & Hearty Luxury Mince Pies

The Free-From Food Awards Shortlist (and Slim Noodles and Zero Noodles)

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The Free-From Food Awards Shortlist has just been published. Set up six years ago by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson of freefromfoodsmatter.com, these Awards celebrate the innovation and imagination shown by the food industry in creating foods for the free-from market (ie foods that do not include one or more of wheat, gluten, dairy products, eggs, yeast, soya and sugar.) It’s worth mentioning the website Foods Matter here… Originally a magazine offering information and support both to food allergic/intolerant consumers and to the health professionals caring for them, it went on-line in 2010 and has become the most awesome reference site for people with food allergies/intolerances or coeliac disease (logging over 13 million hits per year!)

I took part in the judging for a day and was hugely impressed with the whole process. There were 11 of us that day and we blind-tasted every entry in our categories in silence, making notes and scoring each one out of ten. Once we had finished, we discussed every entry and then came to our conclusions as a group. This done, we could look at who had produced what. During the day I was there, we covered Breakfast Cereals and Grocery Ambient, including pastas, sauces and condiments.

It was great to taste so many of the entries. Some of them (especially some from outside Britain) I hadn’t come across before. And it was fascinating to sit there, tasting pasta after pasta, cereal after cereal etc against each other. The variety of ingredients, and combinations of those – and the resulting tastes and textures – were really interesting. The results of the awards will be announced in April…

One of the products we tasted was especially interesting. Shortlisted for the Pasta Award, the Slim Noodles were a subject of a great deal of discussion. Recently launched, it is gluten-free and it claims to deliver not only a feeling of fullness, but also an unbelievably low calorie content (7.7 calories per 100g serving). Made from a vegetable extract called Konjac (or Konnyaku) which has apparently been eaten in Asia for centuries because of its health benefits, it expands in your stomach, leading to the sensation of being full for up to four hours. Zero fat, zero sugar, low-calorie and low-carb, it’s currently being hailed (along with a very similar product called Zero Noodles which is made of exactly the same ingredient) as the answer to weight loss for many, many people. What’s more, independent studies apparently show that it can help increase insulin in your blood sugar levels, making it great for diabetics, and can help lower cholesterol. Wow!

Slim and Zero Noodles

Slim Noodles comes in three different guises – Slim Pasta, Slim Rice and Slim Noodles. The Slim Noodles – and Zero Noodles – look very similar to glass noodles and thin rice noodles in that they are white-coloured and very thin. They have a slightly rubbery texture (the Slim Noodles I find more so than the Zero Noodles) and almost no taste. I tested these at home this weekend with a recipe (see below) and they both worked really well with noodle-style recipes, such as stir-frys and Asian-style dishes. I haven’t tasted the Slim Rice yet but the Slim Pasta was very similar to Slim Noodles – just thicker, apparently more like a pasta-shape. I’m not convinced about the concept of Slim Pasta, though, as it doesn’t work for me as something that would work with pasta sauces, such as tomato-based sauces, and there was a slightly ‘fishy’ aroma to these, I thought.

You’ll find both the Slim Noodles and Zero Noodles in health food stores. In Holland & Barrett the Slim Noodles sell for £2.49 and the Zero Noodles (organic) for £1.99. They’re the same size – so go for the cheaper Zero Noodles if you’re looking to try the product!

Asian-fish Zero Noodles

Steamed Asia-Style Fish with Zero Noodles

gluten-free, dairy-free, soya-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free

Serves 2     Preparation time 10 minutes, plus at least 1 hour marinating time     Cooking time 12–15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 fish fillets, such as salmon, trout or cod
  • 2 large salad onions or 6 spring onions, white part finely chopped
  • stir-fry vegetables, such as beansprouts, pak choi

Marinade:

  • 2cm/¾in piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 serving of Zero Noodles, to serve
  1. Put the fish in a shallow, non-metallic dish. Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl or jug and pour over the tuna. Cover with a lid or cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably longer.
  2. Spoon the marinade into a large wok and heat over a medium-high heat. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the onion starts to soften and turn translucent. Add the vegetables and then place the fish on the top. Cover with a lid and steam for about 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot with the prepared Zero Noodles.