Right about the time this gets posted today, the Toddster and I will be heading on down to Sommerset to the Yeo Valley Farm for a day which we hope will be informative and fun. So . . . I'm not really here at the moment. I'm probably somewhere in the middle of the UK on a train in transit.
One of my favourite things about blogging is having the opportunity to try out new things. I was recently sent some gluten free products from Orgran to try. I was quite excited to do this. We have some friends with a son who is gluten intolerant and I know how much they struggle in trying to conform to his diet. It's not been very easy for them.
Orgran is known to be a Pioneer in the Gluten Free Industry, offering products that are not only gluten free, but also healthy and nutritional. Not only are their products gluten free, but they are also wheat free, dairy free, GMO free, egg free, yeast free and vegan.
I was sent a package of their Buckwheat Pasta Spirals to trial and a package of their Buckwheat Pancake Mix.
I have to say upfront, I don't like buckwheat pancakes. At least not the kind that used to come in the Aunt Jemima packet back home. It had a funny flavour, which I wasn't all that fond of and I was a bit skeptical when it came to these things, but I was willing to give it a go.
My sister is very pro-raw-healthy-gluten-sugar-GMO-etc free. She made me some buckwheat grawnola clusters when I was home in April and I loved them. I loved them so much that when I came home to the UK I sourced and found myself a bag of buckwheat to sprout. (Haven't done it yet sis, but it's in the planning stages!!)
I love pasta as you know and so the first thing I tried was the pasta. I developed a tasty sauce to have with it. This sauce would be tasty on any kind of pasta and I am happy to say that it tasted really good on the buckwheat pasta.
The pasta cooked up nicely, was perfectly al dente in the time on the package directions, and other than it being a tiny bit darker than normal pasta, it pretty much tasted the same as any pasta. In fact if you didn't know it was made from buckwheat you could never know the difference. It was really good.
Buckwheat Pasta Spirals
Orgran Buckwheat Pasta is a nutritious quality product naturally wheat free and gluten free. Buckwheat is not related to wheat in any way and actually belongs to the rhubarb family of plants. It is known to have the best source of high biological proteins in the plant kingdom and is highly valued for its nutritional benefits.
I chose to make a gutsy healthy sauce using sun dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I wanted a thick sauce that would tuck itself into all of those nooks and crannies.
I added fresh baby rocket . . . both for colour and for punch. I love the peppery meaty flavour of rocket. We grew some in our garden this year and it grows like a weed, which makes me a happy camper. It can be pricey in the shops. Stuff you grow yourself is always tastier, I think . . .
I added a tasty sprinkle of crumbled goats cheese, which added a depth of richness to the dish and a pleasant tang. You could of course use another soft cheese if you are not fond of goats cheese. We are, but ricotta would work well as would farmers cheese . . .
This was really, REALLY tasty! And healthy too!
*Sun Dried Tomato, Rocket and Goats Cheese Pasta*
(you want about 3/4 of a cup)(drain well, rinse and pat dry)
3 TBS pine nuts, toasted
2 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
85ml of extra virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
1 pound of pasta twirls
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a couple large handfuls of wild rocket
(wash well and spin dry)
170g of crumbled goats cheese (about 3/4 cup)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking make the sauce, by combining the sun dried tomato halves, toasted pinenuts, cheese, balsamic vinegar and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until they are finely ground. With the motor still running drizzle in the oil until well incorporated.
They also sent me a box of their Buckwheat Pancake Mix. I was rather skeptical about this really . . . gluten free pancakes???? Would they be any good???
It is also gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, vegan and has no added sugar.
Buckwheat Pancake Mix
Cooking and Baking
Orgran Buckwheat Pancake Mix is wholesome and contains no added cane sugar making delicious and nutritious pancakes the whole family will enjoy. Buckwheat, the main ingredient, is part of the rhubarb family of plants and considered to be the best known source of high biological protein in the plant kingdom.
I was well surprised actually. They rose up nice and beautiful . . . there was none of that horrible taste I remembered from the Aunt Jemima buckwheat pancakes that I had not been fond of . . .
Take a look. A picture says a thousand words. We enjoyed them with lashings of pure Canadian maple syrup. You gotta have maple syrup with pancakes don't you? Oh, and I did add a nice little pat of butter on the top of each of our stacks.
They really were quite impressive. Light and fluffy . . . and tasty too. Call me well impressed.
Orgran has a whole host of products which you can see here. In the UK they are available at most good health food stores and online via Amazon.uk as well as the Eco Green Store. The prices are fairly reasonable too, so that's another bonus, with the pancake mix selling for £2.80 for a 13.2 oz box, and the pasta spirals selling at £1.99 for a 250g package.
In the world of specialized foods, that's not half bad.
Many thanks to the people at Orgran for affording me this opportunity to try something new! It's nice to know that gluten free and healthy can also be tasty!