Next, I have checked out some of their fruit as most dried fruit has oil coatings and myriad additives, so you have to watch it. For example, their dates and apricots (like so many others) are coated in rice flour. Who would have thunk it?
Here is their reply to my questions:
Dried fruits and almond paste: Almond paste and almond flour are used by a lot of customers for a gluten free diet.As you are concerned about allergens i thought i should make you aware that we process peanuts on site and pine kernels.
Regards coatings, we stipulate that rapeseed is used. As it’s one of the cheaper oils, I would imagine this is the case – but can not guarantee this, but on a more positive note we also stipulate that palm oil is not used. The veg oil that is used is not GM or hydrogenated. It is purely applied to stop the product from sticking together in transit.
The Scorbic acid used is E200, which I only know is a natural one, but do not know what it is made from. (Actually can come from corn so best avoided, Ed.)
Sulphur Dioxide used is E220, applied so that the fruit keeps the colour. (Not grain usually, but not a nice additive generally, Ed).
Apricots 94% / Rice flour 6% Sulphur dioxide 2000ppm X
Blueberry 57 -63% – Sugar beet 36-42% OK
Cranberry 49% – Sugar 50% – Veg oil <1% OK
Currants 99.5% – Veg oil 0.5% OK
Dates 99.5% – Rice flour 0.5% X
Prune 100% – Sorbic acid 1000ppm max. Plums are boiled with E200. Scorbic Acid to turn them into prunes and to stop mould growth. X
Raisins 99.5% Veg oil 0.5% OK
Sultana’s 99.5% Veg oil 0.5% Sulphur dioxide150ppm OK, although I don’t like the sulphur dioxide generally.
Goji Berries – pure 100% berry. OK
Fruit and Nut Mix contains:
Hazelnut Brazil nut Almond Pecans Cashews Papaya Cranberries Mixed Raisins
and I am waiting to hear if the sugar used on the papaya bits etc is cane or beet sugar but most of you should be fine with this. (Cane sugar is a grass and I am starting to think about whether the issue we have is with grasses generally rather than grains, hence looking at what contains cane (which is grass) and beet (which isn’t.)
Generally, I use the cranberries, goji berries and raisins in most of my cooking – muffins, fruit loaves etc, and as snacks with nuts and fruit.
As for nuts, I have checked them out and the nuts, meals and pastes are all pure nut:
The products listed below (the nuts, pastes and meals of all the nut products) are 100% product, nothing added or any derivative or preservative added. The products are only roasted if you request them as roasted, otherwise you will receive them as a raw nut.
I have tried the walnut, cashew and almond pastes so far, but quite fancy the pistachio and hazelnut ones.
I have found it is cheaper by far to grind the fine coconut flakes myself to make coconut flour rather than keep buying it. Not quite as fine as the Tiana, but passable. Also, with the new Thermomix I mentioned here, it is so easy to just buy the whole nuts and make them into flour and paste yourself as you need them. Takes a couple of seconds!
One point I would make is to vary your use around a bit for the first 6 months before the TGF prescription kicks in to help stop you building any new sensitivities. I went a bit mad on almonds to start with and am now paying the price. I now make some coconut, some hazelnut, some walnut, some almond, some cashew etc stuff and rotate them round a bit.
I asked too about storage:
“Freezing nuts: No. But you can freeze them as part of an ingredient. Nuts last a long time anyway, we only put 6 months on our products as they are prone to infestations (we do have a few exceptions where rancidity rises over time). The pastes we produce can be kept in the fridge. With other products: flours, flakes etc will keep best in an airtight container under normal kitchen conditions.
So, I have now checked out all HBS Foods products for TGF-compliance so your fruit and nut sources should now be sorted. I note they have a free bottle opener and cool bag offer for orders currently too so get in there if you need supplies.
I also find the Crazy Jack organic range of dried fruit OK as it is pure fruit. I haven’t checked them all out but I have been fine with the apricots so far. I have just bought a bag of dried figs to try. I LOVE figs so am looking forward to those!
Hope that all helps. Clare has sent us yet another recipe – using fruit and nuts, so rather aptly-timed. That’s coming next.