It’s Coeliac Awareness Week and in our research for this blog, I was surprised to learn that up to a half a million people in the UK may be living with symptoms of undiagnosed coeliac disease.
Coeliac seems to be a relatively new phenomenon, although it’s obviously not, in fact it was first identified when a Greek physician in the first century AD referred the ‘coeliac affection’, coeliac deriving from the Greek word for abdomen.
It now affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, making it much more common than previously thought, so it’s always been around it’s just through medical advancements and greater awareness of the condition that we now understand it more clearly.
Thankfully, people with coeliac disease now also have a much greater choice when it comes to gluten-free food, so are less restricted than previous generations.
A bit like vegan food, the popularity of ‘free-from’ foods is at an all time high with many non-coeliacs also choosing to avoid gluten, in their case in the belief that it is healthier.
In 2018 there was a 27% rise in sales of free from foods, with the UK supermarkets now dedicating whole aisles to gluten-free products and brands such as Warburtons launching gluten-free wraps and Stella Artois a gluten-free beer.
Restaurants, including some with Michelin stars, have also cottoned on and there are generally now always gluten-free alternatives, which is great.
From a chefs’ point of view, having to substitute a few ingredients to remove gluten from the dish is no hardship, as I hope you agree with this week’s recipe:
Gluten free Jamaican Ginger cake, Blueberries, lime and crème fraiche
Jamaican Ginger cake
170g Gluten free self raising flour
75g Black treacle
95g Golden syrup
75g Soft brown sugar
20g Ground ginger
12g Ground cinnamon
5g Ground nutmeg
7.5 Xanthan gum
7g Bicarb of soda
2 medium eggs
Whisk eggs, sugar, golden syrup and treacle for 5 minutes on a kitchen mixer.
Melt butter and pour into sugar batter and whisk for another 5 minutes. Mix all dry’s ingredients together and mix into the butter sugar mix. Mix well then pour into a 20cm loaf tin. Bake at 160oc for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to cool.
Blueberries and lime compote
Juice and zest of 1 lime
50g Caster sugar
In a pan put the blueberries, lime and sugar and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Until the sugar is dissolved and the blueberries have started to just break down slightly. Leave to cool.
1 Tub of crème fraiche
Slightly toast the ginger cake until warm, on top spoon a generous amount of the crème fraiche and then spoon over the sticky blueberries compote. Enjoy.