London Calls

InSpiral Lounge, Eco Cafe, Camden. It was dark when I went so I pinched this photo from the internet!
InSpiral Lounge, Eco Cafe, Camden. It was dark when I went so I pinched this photo of the internet.

I’m working in London this week and have been super impressed with the gluten free options I’ve stumbled upon without even going looking!

My absolute favourite has to be InSpiral Lounge by Camden Lock. Overlooking the canal and with fab interior and exterior design, I was so excited to find out that I could actually eat at this groovy looking place. Also they are completely clued up on nutrition and conscious of providing food that is good for the body and soul. It runs on green energy and has an organic bar. What’s more is there’s a range of options, not just your bogstandard vegan/gluten free salad or soup that’s usually the only item on the menu which ticks a ‘safe’ box. Tonight I had gluten-free and vegan lasagne with vegetables, potatoe wedges and a bean salad. It was DELICIOUS. I was actually spoilt for choice which never happens but am so glad I settled for the lasagne because it was a welcome treat.

Not to mention pudding. A selection of raw vegan and gluten free puddings are on offer, I indulged in the berry cheesecake infused with probiotics which sent me to heaven and back. I’m still buzzing with excitement just from the simple fact that I got to go to somewhere where there was choice AND I genuinely enjoyed the food AND it was all completely healthy. Also a great place for live music and a warm, fun atmosphere when they turn the lights down and fire up the candles & glowing coloured lights for the evening.

Where else have I discovered?

Well I’ve only been here for 4 days as of yet, but already I’ve had lunch at the London Coffe Club on Holloway road (houmous and fallafel salad – yum), grabbed a cake-to-go from Islington’s gluten-free bakery called Romeo’s and stocked up on all my gluten free home essentials from The Whole Foods Market in Camden Town.

Watch this space coz I’m on a roll…

And whilst you’re waiting, feast your eyes upon InSpiral Lounge’s yummy raw cheesecakes.

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Pear + Bitter Chocolate Muffins (Free From)

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These muffins are great as they are suitable for many different dietary requirements. Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and can also easily be made vegan.

YOU WILL NEED:

-4 tablespoons olive oil

-6 tablespoons ground almonds (+2 tablespoons of agave syrup if you want a sweeter muffin)

-1 beaten free-range egg (For a vegan alternative, use 1 mashed banana or 50ml coconut milk)

-1 teaspoon vanilla essence

-A glug of apple juice

-A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

-3 average sized organic pears (peeled and grated)

-4 tablespoons of Fairtrade cocoa powder

-1 big teaspoon of gluten free baking powder or bicarbonate of soda

-Approx. 150g white gluten free flour

-Some chopped nuts to sprinkle on top, or you could make an icing of your choice

-Optional add 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to the mix

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TO MAKE:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Lay out cup/muffin cake cases on a tin.

Mix together ground almonds and olive oil, add vanilla, baking powder/bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, beat in the egg. Next, add the grated pear, glug of apple juice and the cocoa. Fold the flour in then serve into the muffin cases. Sprinkle some chopped nuts over the top.

Keep in the oven for about 15 minutes, maybe 20 – just make sure you check if they are cooked by piercing the centre with a thin knife.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-free Dairy-free American Style Pancakes

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I was very happy with how these pancakes turned out when I did some experimenting this morning. It’s rare to find that fluffy texture with gluten-free food but this recipe makes filling, delicious pancakes with a fab texture. It’s something everyone can enjoy rather than just a replacement for gluten-free people.

You will need:

1 Mug of buckwheat Flour

1 Mug of almond milk, hemp milk or whichever milk you like

1 egg

1/2 an apple, grated

1 teaspoon of GF baking powder

1 teaspoon  of cinnamon powder

Put all the ingredients in a jug/bowl and whisk up, the consistency of the mixture should be a bit gloopy. You can play around with the measurements to get a mixture that is thick enough, e.g add more flour if it’s too runny.

Next heat some coconut oil or olive oil in a frying pan and put in a small ladle of the mixture into the pan, can usually fit 3 or 4 pancakes in at a time. Turn the pancake over when it’s starting to look cooked then when both sides are done, serve with your favourite topping. Honey is perfect with the apple and cinnamon, especially if you’re in a rush and just need to sprinkle something over!

Agave syrup is a great syrup if you want to avoid the sugar overload in things like golden syrup, it’s got a low GI.