Honeybuns Bakery

By BBB

Honeybuns Bakery

honeybunslogo

 

 

 

 

In short

Sp much more than just great gluten- free goodies

Review

Honeybuns Bakery

We spotted Honeybuns at the IFE Show in 2013 and managed to get our paws on a bite sized sample of their brownies. That one teeny taste had us hooked and we wanted to find out more. After doing a little digging we realised that there was more to this brand than tasty cakes!

Honeybuns Bakery was started by Emma Goss-Custard when she was studying at uni. Using family recipes, she made cakes and supplied them to local cafes and businesses as a way to make extra money while studying. The recipes happened to use more ground almonds and polenta than wheat flour, so when the requests for gluten-free assurances increased, the business evolved into a gluten free, wheat free and dairy free bakery.

In addition to using quality ingredients and creating a range of products that are suitable for a variety of dietary requirements, Honeybuns Bakery is also dedicated to leaving as light a footprint as possible upon its surroundings.

The cake board inserts use card from a sustainable source, are printed with vegetable based inks and are recyclable. All packaging cardboard is sold to a local recycle company, who shred it into animal bedding and sell it back to Honeybuns to use for horse bedding. Furthermore, the 5 acres surrounding the bakery is now managed as a nature reserve.

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, Honeybuns Bakery also has a few savoury treats in their range.

What we tried

Snowy Hills

Honeybuns - Snowy Hills

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our testers felt that the lemon and ginger in this cake was perfectly balanced and was pleased that she wasn’t left with a nasty chemical aftertaste. She did, however, think that it was slightly too greasy for her liking.

Cranberry and Pecan Flapjack

Honeybuns - Cranberry and Pecan Flapjack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another tester loved the packaging and was pleased that the texture wasn’t ‘gluten free powdery’ She also felt that the pecans made it that little bit more luxurious.

Amondi

Honeybuns - Amondi

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one of Honeybuns’ dairy free options and is a rich alternative to the traditional amaretti. Both nutty yet chewy, the flavour combination make the Amondi feel somewhat indulgent.

Almond & Lightly Salted Pistachio Cookie

Honeybuns - Almond and Lightly Salted Pistachio Cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flavour combination and texture make this is another great accompaniment to a cup of coffee. It’s sweet enough but not too sweet and has a chewy texture which leaves you feeling satisfied. This is also a dairy free treat.

Almond Moon

Honeybuns - Almond Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

This would be a great mid afternoon snack as it is not too heavy, but still satiates. BBB tester feedback was that ‘it was yummy, but a teeny but pricey for what it is’.

Milk Chocolate Brownie

Honeybuns - Brownie

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the winner for us. This doesn’t taste like a gluten free brownie; it tastes like a really good brownie. It’s rich, has a great texture and packs a chocolatey punch.

What we liked

 

The sheer variety of choice

The packaging – besides being environmentally responsible, it’s also really cute

The ingredient list for all products is available

Gluten, wheat AND dairy free considerations

Postage is free over £20

What we would do differently

Math isn’t everyone’s strong point so it would be great if the nutritional information provided was ‘per pack’ as well as ‘per 100g’

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters, Gluten Aware, Vegetarians

Also great for anyone with dairy on their banned list

Value for money

Individual cookies are £1.50 and flapjacks and brownies are £1.70 – not too bad if you enjoy them as a treat but could get costly if you develop an addiction. It may be worth purchasing a refill pack which contains 6 treats for £9.80 or a refill pack of 12 minis which cost £12.10

Find out more

www.honeybuns.co.uk

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Summer Treats

By BBB

Forecasting the weather in this country is like flipping a coin. One day it’s sweltering and the next is drizzling.

Regardless of the weather, we are on the tail end of a fairly decent summer so before the summer is officially over celebrate the good weather with one (or more) of these cool summer treats.

whey heyWhey Hey Official

This is definitely a treat for the carb-conscious and calorie counting busy body.

Wheyhey ice cream is the world’s first protein ice cream! Available in three classic ice cream flavours – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, this treat contains 15g of protein and only 125 calories per pot. These revolutionary ice creams are sweetened with Xylitol as opposed to sugar meaning that they can be enjoyed as part of a low carb or calorie controlled diet.

You can find Wheyhey Ice Cream at Holland & Barratt, GNC, As Nature Intended and Urban Kitchen

Find out more: www.wheyhey.co.uk

COYO Ice Cream

CO YO Ice Cream Natural LSCOYO ice cream is 100% free of dairy, lactose, gluten and egg, contain no preservatives or additives, and only 160 calories per 100g serving! These luxurious ice creams are currently available in four flavours: Vanilla and Nutmeg, Raw Chocolate, Natural, and Sticky Date and Tamarind.

Apart from the Sticky Date and Tamarind, COYO ice cream is made without any added sugar and sweetened with natural fruit extracts from apples and grapes (Sticky Date and Tamarind is sweetened with date syrup alone).

CO YO ice cream is available in 500ml pots at Wholefoods Market, Planet Organic stores, and independent health stores and delis around the UK.

Find out more: www.coyo.co.uk

1 of 5_packIt’s Only Natural

As the name suggests, these frozen treats are only made from fruit. No sugar, no extras. Just fruit. The only thing more natural is, errrr, fruit. A great choice for vegans

The brand was inspired when the company’s owner, Dan Brown, went on the hunt for a healthy, wholesome dessert for his son. After his search proved to be in vain, he decided that he would put his head down and create it himself.

The Its Only Natural range is made up of sorbets, fruit freezies, ice cream and ice lollies. We love that the ice lollies make up 1 of your 5-a-day!

You can find the range at goodnessdirect.co.uk or via the Its Only Natural Website

Find out more: www.itsonlynatural.eu

caribbean food week

It’s Caribbean Food Week! The UK’s BIGGEST celebration of Caribbean Food & Drink is well underway and Notting Hill Carnival is just around the corner. The Caribbean is renowned for producing vibrant music and equally vibrant food.

This bank holiday weekend you’ll be sure to find an array of Caribbean cuisine on the road this bank holiday weekend – jerk chicken, patties, roti and more.

So how does a Balanced Busy Body manoeuvre through a Caribbean menu? We’ve done some research for ya!

Rhythm Kitchen Jerk Chicken SaladTraditional jerk chicken is marinated with a variety of spices before it is cooked over hot coals and pimento wood. Many Caribbean restaurants in the UK restaurants are unlikely to be able to prepare their jerk chicken exactly as they would back home, but most do grill their jerk chicken, giving Balanced Busy Bodies a naturally low fat option when eating out at Caribbean restaurants. Rhythm Kitchen in Westfield Stratford City, pride themselves on marinating their meat for 24 hours before grilling. www.rhytmkitchen.co

Greenz Restaurant Vegetable GateauWe appreciate that not everyone eats meat, so you’ll be pleased to know that vegetarianism is common in the Caribbean. Whether due to the presence of Rastafarianism or the sheer abundance of fruits and vegetables in the region, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy Caribbean flavour – minus the meat. Greenz Restaurant in Tulse Hill specialise in vegetarian and vegan food inspired by their travels and their Caribbean heritage. Some items on the menu are also suitable for those on a gluten free diet. www.greenzrestaurant.com

KTmuttonIf you’re looking for an eat-in option, you should definitely get down to Sainsbury’s or Tesco and look for the Kingston Town Range. The range includes popular Jamaican favourites such as Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas, Curry Mutton with Rice and Chicken Fricassee with Rice and Peas.

The meals are free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and hydrogenated fats. The list of ingredients are easy in the meals are easy to pronounce which is always a plus in our eyes

Ocado are currently running a Caribbean Meal Deal promotion – buy 2 Kingstontown meals and 2 Port Royal patties for £8

Hope you all have a great Carnival Weekend!

Kanapina

By BBB

Located opposite Canary Wharf tube station (Reuters Plaza), is a brightly coloured kiosk serving wholesome, tasty roti rolls to the busybodies of Canary Wharf.

We weren’t really sure what to expect from the brightly coloured vendor, but we left feeling confident that no damage was done to our arteries or waistline. We were so impressed, in fact, that we took some time out to chat with one of the owners, Neelam Patel, to find out what really goes into a Kanapina roti roll.

Neelam assured us that the Kanapina menu was designed to be fresh and wholesome. Mustard oil is used where needed, chicken is grilled, and the beef is slow cooked. The most reassuring confirmation for us was that ghee is not used in the preparation of the meals.

It was while on holiday in India that Neelam noticed a distinct difference in Indian food in England and the food he was enjoying in India. Throughout the rest of his holiday he became more and more conscious of the difference not only in taste, but aroma and appearance. That was when the penny dropped and he realised that after its introduction to the UK, the quality of Indian food had gradually evolved from nutritionally wholesome and flavourful fare to calorie dense, commercial food.

On his return, he and a few others put their head down and developed the concept of Kanapina – ‘kana means ‘to eat’ and pina means ‘to drink’. The Kanapina menu is inspired from traditional family recipes and offers an option for pretty much anyone:

Calorie counters Nutritional values are only available for lassis at this stage, but management would like to include nutritional values on food soon too!

 

Carb conscious diners Chicken tikka or beef pondicherry nanga bowls are a winner

 

Coeliacs Chicken tikka, lamb sheikh kebab, beef pondicherry or shahi paneer tikka nanga bowl.

 

Vegetarians Shahi paneer tikka roti or nanga bowl, Dal vada roti or nanga bowl

 

Vegans Dal vada roti

 

Although only basic nutritional information is currently available for the lassis (see below), staff have an ingredient list they can refer to should you need to find out anything specific.

Mango lassi Pineapple & Coconut lassi Vanilla Bean & Raspberry lassi
Energy 105kcals 112kcals 122kcals
Protein 2.7g 1.8g 3.3g
Carbohydrates 12.4g 18.3g 13.3g
Total Fat 4.9g 3.6g 6.2g
Sodium <0.1g <0.1g <0.1g
250ml serving size

 

What we tried

The beef pondicherry roti, chicken tikka roti roll, shahi paneer tikka nanga bowl, lamb sheikh kebab nanga bowl.

What we liked

The flavour combinations and the fact that roti rolls are filling

What we would do differently

Add more salad to the nanga bowls

Value for Money

A Kanapina roti roll will run you less than a fiver making this a healthy meal that is kind to your pocket.

Loyalty Card

Free side on your 3rd purchase

Free drink on your 6th purchase

Free Roti Roll or Nanga Salad Bowl on your 10th purchase

Find Out More

www.kanapina.com

Cirillo

Gluten has a way of popping up in all sorts of products. This is what the founder of Cirillo Gluten Free chocolate found when her son was diagnosed with coeliac disease. After finding ways to tweak his general diet accordingly she realised she still had one more challenge to overcome: sweet treats.

She didn’t think it was fair that he was the only one of his classmates that couldn’t accept chocolates during the festive season due to the gluten so she decided to take matters into her own hands. She rolled up her sleeves and set about creating a chocolate product that was just as good as or better than other chocolate products. And that is how Cirillo was born.

When we tried the chocolates – we fell in love! The Milk Chocolate and Bresilienne flavours were rich, creamy and moreish – the way chocolate should be. The dairy free bar we tried was welcomed by our lactose and gluten intolerant tester. We say welcomed but in reality he snatched it off of us as he was so keen to tear into it. He felt that the thickness of the bar made it difficult to break pieces of the bar off, but in his case, it didn’t matter as he had no intention to share.

All in all, we think these bars would make a lovely gift for anyone in your life who has to manage a sweet tooth and an intolerance.

You can purchase and find out more about Cirillo chocolates here

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In short

Tasty and convenient nut, gluten and milk free food delivered to your doorstep

Review

Cooking your own meals is the best way to ensure that your meals truly meet your dietary requirements but sometimes our busy schedules don’t leave us with enough time to get in the kitchen and prepare lunch for the next day.

While it is helpful to know which restaurants can cater to your requests, every now and again life throws a spanner at you which confines you to your desk during lunch.

For days like that, an Ilumi meal would be just the thing you need to get you through your busy lunch. Ilumi deliver great tasting, nut, gluten and milk free meals in convenient pouches that will neatly fit in your desk drawer, handbag or backpack.

Using the best quality ingredients from British suppliers, their meals are prepared in such a way that they don’t need to be refrigerated so you don’t need to worry about fighing for space in the office fridge.

Furthermore, every detail you need to know about the food can be found on the packet: ingredients, carbs, protein, fat. As a matter of fact, the only thing is missing is the amount of fibre per meal.

Anything this nutritionally balanced sounds as though it should only taste of cardboard, but we can honestly say that the chefs haven’t skimped on flavor.

The best bit, though, is that the meals are delivered to wherever you need them to be delivered. There’s not much more that a busy body could ask for.

What we tried:

Slow Cooked Beef casserole

Photo 11-07-2013 00 46 58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also ordered the Lamb Rogan Josh, Thai Red Chicken Curry and Cardamom Chicken

Photo 03-07-2013 11 44 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we liked

The convenience

The responsible approach to food

The taste

What we would do differently

Include the fibre content of meals

Who can eat here?

All Balanced Busy Bodies – Calorie Counters, Carb Conscious, Gluten Aware, Vegetarian and Vegan

Value for money

The highest priced meal costs £3.50 and soups are around £1.75. Plan ahead and you can keep order a week’s worth of lunch for under £25.

Find out more

www.ilumiworld.com

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In short

One of the high street pizza chains that is part of the gluten free movement

Review

Prezzo is the kind of restaurant that is synonymous with the high street so when we heard through the grapevine that Prezzo has gluten free pizzas on the menu, we had to check it out.

Our two reviewers for this restaurant were a highly sensitive coeliac and an athlete who is trying to reduce her gluten intake. On this occasion we visited the Haymarket branch.

Our coeliac was highly impressed with her pizza and couldn’t find any fault with it at all. ‘Usually the only way I get to eat pizza is if I make it myself so right now I am in heaven’.

Our athlete ordered a Spicy Beef gluten free pizza and our server was quick to point out that the beef had gluten in it. This prompted to her to ask for the beef to replaced with chicken – a request that our server was happy to accommodate.


Although the athlete felt that the pizza became slightly rubbery as it began to cool down, the server’s attention was the key feature of the visit and impressed the socks off both of our reviewers. ‘Very rarely do I meet restaurant staff who actually know and understand the menu inside and out’, noted our athlete.

If it weren’t for this server’s diligence, we would have just assumed that the addition of a gluten free base was merely an exercise to increase their customer base.

In addition to gluten free pizza bases, Prezzo also offer a ‘Light’ version of their classic pizzas and pasta dishes that are lower in calories than their traditional versions. The amount of calories on of the light options is available on the menu.

What we tried:

Gluten free Prosciutto e Funghi Pizza

Prezzo Gluten free Prosciutto e Funghi Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free Spicy Beef (with chicken instead of beef)

Prezzo Gluten free Spicy Beef (with chicken)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we liked

Our server’s knowledge of the menu

Seeing light options on the menu

A variety of pizza options for coeliacs

What we would do differently

Champion the gluten free pizza bases more – we felt that it was hidden on the menu under the pizza section when it should be shouted from the rooftops

Include the calories for the traditional recipe AND the light option – that way consumers can understand the difference in calories between the two

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters

Gluten aware

Vegetarians

Value for money

We used a Taste London card for this meal so the two pizzas plus two herbal teas cost us all of £13.65 – excellent value for money.

Had we not used the Taste London card the cost would have been £22.60 which is still good value.

Locations

http://www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk/restaurants

Find out more

http://www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk/

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Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A growing number of people are taking special care with their diets. For some it’s because of a serious allergy and for others it’s because of a lifestyle choice. Either way, it’s becoming more and more common to ask for modifications to menu items.

Whilst some restaurants are prepared for these queries and happy to make changes, others are still adapting to their consumer’s requirements.

We took a chance at a popular high street coffee shop in London and asked if they would mind adding a bit of protein that we’d brought to the unsweetened blended coffee drink that we ordered and lo and behold – they said yes!

The moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to ask.

A few things to bear in mind when you are asking for modifications are:

Be polite. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Be realistic. If it’s the middle of the lunchtime rush and your requests are complicated, don’t be surprised if the establishment is not willing to accommodate.

Be prepared to explain why you are making a special request. If you have an allergy or intolerance, establishments are far more sympathetic than if you simply don’t like something.

Don’t take it personally if they cannot assist on that occasion. If for whatever reason you feel that your request was handled badly, take it up with their head office – don’t take it out on the member of staff who was dealing with your query.

Your nutrition is ultimately your responsibility. Restaurants aren’t obliged to accommodate you, but many make the effort because they want your business. If an establishment is not in a position to make an exception for you, be gracious and find another way to meet your nutritional needs.

 

Ravi Shankar Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

In short

Tasty, vegetarian restaurant that has attracted many a carnivore

Review

After receiving two recommendations for Ravi Shankar we made it a priority – especially as both recommendations came from self-confessed meat lovers.

Ravi Shankar is an Indian vegetarian restaurant located around the corner from Euston Station and has been there for over 30 years.

We found that their menu offers a wide selection of authentic, vegetarian meals to choose from. So wide that we weren’t sure where to start and opted for the daily special.

Once we tucked into our meals we understood why the restaurant is so popular. Ravi Shankar proves that just because a dish is vegetarian, it doesn’t have to be bland. Each of their meals has a distinct, traditional flavor and the portion sizes were adequate enough to leave us feeling satisfied.

What we tried:

Onion Bhaji

Thinly sliced onions dipped in gram flour and herbs, and deep fried until golden

Brinjal Bhajee

Aubergines cooked in vegetable oil and lightly spiced

Brinjal Bhaji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chana Masala

Chickpeas cooked with onions, herbs and tomatoes

Chana Masala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saag Paneer with Chapatti

Homemade cottage cheese cooked with fresh spinach and lightly spiced served with chapatti, salad and a dessert. We’ve eaten our fair share of Saag Paneer in the past and this one certainly disappoint.

Saag Panir with Chapatti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and Panir Dosa

From the Coral coast of Madras, these rice pancakes served with curd cheese & Spinach filling, and served with coconut chutney and sambhar. Having never tried a Dosa before this ended up being our favourite dish of the evening.

Spinach and Panir Dosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we liked

The traditional menu

The portion sizes

What we would do differently

Spruce up the décor a little

Who can eat here?

Vegetarians and vegans

Value for money

Onion Bhaji                             £3.80

Brinjal Bhajee                          £4.90

Chana Masala                         £4.80

Saag Paneer with Chapatti     £6.50

Spinach and Panir Dosa         £6.95

Location

133-5 Drummond Street, London, NW1 2HL

Find out more

http://ravishankaruk.com/

Cinco de MayoCinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla and is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Mexican tradition and cuisine are becoming more and more established on London’s cultural scene over the last few years so if you choose your venue well, you’ll enjoy a full day of Mexican celebration – music, margaritas and delicious Mexican food.

Although the mainstream images of Mexican food tend to be laden with cheese and soured cream, there are many authentic meals that would be suitable for a busy body. If you have a specialist diet but would still like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican meal here are some options:

Grab a carb conscious bite at Tortilla by opting for a salad and topping with the meat of your choice. The burrito chain also takes pride in the fact that they serve slow cooked beans that are fully vegetarian and not refried.

Cinco de Mayo at Lupita

Lupita East will be hosting a Cinco de Mayo brunch celebration and after party with Latin music by DJ Paola (email east@lupita.co.uk to RSVP). We love Lupita because coeliacs can swap flour tortillas for corn tortillas in most cases for a gluten free option.

 

MextecaLondon’s modern Mexican restaurant, Cantina Laredo, is bringing the festivities to Covent Garden with a three-day fiesta of all things Mexican, kicking off on Friday 3rd May.  Wear a sombrero while dining and Cantina Laredo will give you a complimentary shot of El Jimador Tequila for your troubles. In addition, the magnificent Mexteca (the Mariachi band from Doritos TV advert) will be serenading diners on the evenings of Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th of May.

 

Real Mexican FoodIf you don’t fancy eating out, pick up the Real Mexican Food cookbook from Benito’s Hat and throw together your own Cinco de Mayo party. Benito’s Hat chef, Felipe Fuentes Cruz shares his family recipes so that you can make the best burritos, tacos, salsas, salads, desserts and margaritas.

 

 

We hope you enjoy your Cinco de Mayo whatever you choose to do!