The FreeFrom Food Awards 2014 ceremony took place on Tuesday night at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park… and yours truly was in attendance, keeping my eyes peeled and ears open for nut free food finds!
The Awards this year included a category for “Foods manufactured in a nut-free environment”.
Congratulations to Ilumi, who scooped first prize in the nut free category for their kerala chicken curry (they also stole the show in the “meat based ready meals” category, for their lamb rogan josh).
If you haven’t discovered Ilumi yet, they are definitely a nut free brand to check out. They make curries, casseroles, gravies, sauces, soups and more. The products come in pouches which do not need to be refrigerated and can be eaten cold (if that’s what you fancy!) or can be heated in the microwave, in a saucepan or by dunking in boiling water.
In other words, they’re ideal as a nut free ready meal option for when you are on holiday, visiting friends, or going to a restaurant that might decide that, actually, it can’t cater for nut allergies.
Highly commended in the nut free category were:
Just Love Food Co for their Angry Birds celebration cake. The Just Love Food Company promises that:
The company was founded by Mike and Karen Woods in 2010. The couple have three children, two of whom have nut allergies. Read more about their story here. 99% of brands in a supermarket cake aisle either contain nuts as an ingredient or carry a “may contain nuts” warning, so it’s fantastic there is now a dedicated nut free brand available in supermarkets. The Just Love Food Company are my “go to brand” for any kind of celebration cake, whether it be for Christmas, one of my children’s birthdays or one of their “tray bakes” for a playdate or family gathering. Hence why you’ll find me complaining on here if my local Sainsbury’s or Tesco is out of stock! Check out their website for details of which cakes are stocked in which supermarkets. They also have cakes available to order directly online too.
Aside from the “foods made in a nut free environment” category, there were nut free finds to be discovered in the other categories too. Here’s a quick overview. However, for full details of all the winners, see the FreeFrom Food Awards website.
- Venice Bakery were a joint winner in the “Innovation” category, for their large seasoned gluten-free vegan pizza base.
- Celtic Chocolates received a “Highly Commended” in the same category for their Choices rondellos
- Bfree plain bagels were the “Breakfast foods” winner.
- Peanut free Amy’s Kitchen scooped the “pasta and pizza” prize for their Broccoli and Cheddar bake
- In the “Food to go” category, the “Freeli Wowbutter brownie” was commended. I’ve not yet spied full details of this online – but hopefully this is a nut free alternative to watch out for, given Wowbutter’s nut free credentials.
- In the same category, Udi’s Bagel chips received a thumbs up, with judges commenting this was a “useful snack for nut allergy sufferers in particular.”
- Pan’Artisan gluten free pizza base was highly commended in the foods for food service category. Not one we’ll see on the supermarket shelves, but something to look out for in restaurants and at catered events.
- D&D Chocolates dairy free chocolate minty snowmen triumphed in the “foods for Christmas” award.
- Finally, the “Scones, sweet biscuits, tarts and cookies” category was a veritable nut free feast. Won by Nairn’s for their gluten free biscuit breaks, there was also a “highly commended” for DS-gluten free bourbon biscuits and a “commended” for Asda free-from Belgian chocolate Rocky Road.
Hopefully, that’s provided some nut free product ideas for us all to track down! As the team behind the awards note: free from food is a growing sector, which is predicted to top half a billion pounds by 2017. By shining a spotlight on this trend, here’s hoping that the Awards will persuade food manufacturers to bring more nut free products onto the market. Fingers crossed…