App solutely gluten free recipes?

29 Dec

You might be thinking of trying gluten-free foods or you may have been diagnosed as intolerant to gluten. I am sure you’ve found already how many staples have wheat in them. Trying to create  tasty alternatives to some of the items found in the free-from aisles will quickly seem a must.

Recently, one of my weekend guests needed to avoid all wheat. How best to tackle his requirements? Rather than purchase a special recipe book, I decided to dip into Phil Vickery‘s Gluten Free cooking app.

I love browsing through cookery books, I also use recipes from online sources but this was my first attempt at using a recipe App. I am not sure whether all Apps are so counter-intuitive (please do let me know)? Also, I am not particularly tidy when cooking, you can tell the recipes I cook from regularly – they are often rather splattered. So, using my iPhone was going to be tricky (and sticky)!

Gluten free bread

Gluten free bread

Phil has created flour and pastry recipes that you pre-mix – then use a proportion of the pre- mixes in one of the recipes. There are 14 video recipes and around 40 standard ones. There’s a shopping list function – you can add the items from any recipe.  You can also listen to Phil giving a brief overview of the special ingredients required.  Some recipes are also demonstrated in the videos.

Oh my goodness, you certainly do need a lot of different ingredients. We’re really lucky in Edinburgh to have Real Foods who stock plenty of these ingredients – however, you might have to end up getting the more unusual ones online. For example the bread mix includes: soya flour, tapioca flour, potato flour and cornflour. It’s quite a steep outlay to gather all the ingredients to start with.

Bread was very definitely on my list of  food I needed to create. The trouble is that although there is a recipe for the bread flour pre-mix, there is actually no bread recipe. I later discovered that xanthum gum is all important to make a spongy texture to make it more like wheat based bread – but this is not part of the pre-mix. I wasn’t best pleased to get back from the shop and discover I’d not got a vital ingredient which I found out about by searching the web for one of Phil’s bread recipes – for focaccia.

So, what were the results like? The shortcrust pastry is a really good equivalent – it is quite crumbly and tasty – my mix needed a little more water as you can see. The bread – well I was going at this blind, but managed to make a passable loaf – the focaccia recipe suggested the mixture should rise, but it didn’t for me – but not fair to comment.

Gluten free mincepies

Gluten free mince pies - home made filling

You’ll probably guess that I am one of those people who tends to fill in feedback forms – and I must praise the response I  had to my queries – I couldn’t find the recipe method – the response came back almost by return!

You have 3 different elements:

Overview – picture of the recipe

Ingredients – the + sign adds these items to your basket. Scroll down to see all ingredients

Method – you have to go back to Overview then swipe to the right and get a step per screen. Sometimes you also have to scroll down to read everything. ( I had to get help with this step!). You can switch between ingredients and method as required.

Recipe choice, recipe ingredients, method, video

Screen shots of recipe choice, recipe ingredients, method, video

When you add ingredients it lists these for each recipe in the basket and is a straight copy of the ingredients list including all the comments such as “chop into pieces”.   You would need to add up quantities of all the different elements if you were doing more than one recipe.

Verdict:

With the specialist ingredients needed, I think a book would probably be more helpful so you could prepare ahead. The recipes themselves are straightforward but the way you use the App seems to complicate them. It’s a nice idea to have the shopping list, but it’s not helpful when you are making more than one recipe. A nice try overall, but was it really tested by users before release?

And for me personally? I will have to try another App, but am not convinced that sticky fingers and iPhones really go together.

Usefulness – 6/10

Preparation – 3/10 – so many specialist ingredients that you’d have to plan well ahead

Customer service – 10/10

Recipes – 8/10 for the shortcrust pastry

Cost: £3.99

Aimed at: Confident cook

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5 Responses to “App solutely gluten free recipes?”

  1. Tim 2010/12/30 at 10:41 am #

    It’s a novel approach to put it in an iPhone app, but my experience trying to cook from information on my phone is that it’s extremely frustrating. The only real advantage that I can see is that you have the recipes with you if you’re visiting friends – but as you say it takes so much preparation and special ingredients that you probably won’t have the necessary bits anyway.

    I’m assuming this is just the same recipes that were in Phil Vickery’s gluten-free book and repackaged? If so, it’s half the price of the book, but I still think I’d go for the paper copy.

    • Danielle Ellis 2010/12/30 at 1:48 pm #

      It’s some of the recipes from the book maybe it helps as a taster – would be a great way to sell the book if you got a discount

  2. Danielle Ellis 2011/01/01 at 6:26 pm #

    Yeast Free Diet cure has used this post without permission.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. App solutely gluten free recipes? « Edinburgh Foody | Gluten Free Cooking - 2010/12/29

    […] splattered. So, using my iPhone was going to be tricky (and sticky)! Gluten free bread … gluten-free cooking – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Gluten-free Cooking and tagged Edinburgh, Foody, Free, Gluten, recipes, […]

  2. App solutely gluten free recipes? - 2010/12/30

    […] App solutely gluten free recipes? […]

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