Thursday, 20 February 2014

Illumi - Delicious Food Free From

Illumi is a food company specialising in "Free From" food. Their nutritionists and chefs work together to create delicious food that is perfect for those with allergies and dietary conditions such as Coeliac disease and I.B.S. and those that feel their diet benefits from avoiding certain foods, specifically their food is nut, gluten and milk free.

Personally I try to avoid milk, cream, onions and garlic where possible so I was interested in giving this a try. I don't have any allergies luckily so I do eat these foods but I find my digestion much better if I avoid them. It's not nice to have to take a tablet if I am eating a creamy dessert, and speaking to friends of mine I know I am not an isolated case.

Illumi food is 'proper' food - no diet foods here but they have a keen eye on nutrition and flavour and don't use unnecessary oils and fats . The food is delivered in pouches and packets, they say they gently steam their pouches to keep the flavours and the moisture in.



I tried the Boost Energy diet. The Boost energy diet is designed to offer you an easy to follow gluten free one week meal plan. It's a flexible plan so you can switch a food you don't like for another one from their large range.

Recommendations on the plan are:-

  • That you eat regular meals, three meals and up to three snacks each day (all provided).
  • That you always eat breakfast and try not to eat your evening meal too late or close to bedtime.
  • You vary what you are eating and add fruit and veg so you are getting your 5 portions a day and 3 portions of dairy.

So here are my thoughts on some of the dishes.

The gluten free porridge was lovely, not as powdery as my normal porridge as the oats were quite large and it wasn't milled but a very acceptable porridge. I made it with water and added soya milk and honey to taste. I had this most days and it certainly kept me full until lunchtime.  For a snack throughout the week I had the oatcakes. I enjoy these anyway although some people may think they are bland, I like them, and there is also the benefits of oats being great for your heart health. 


Gluten Free Porridge

The lunches were really tasty in general. The Tom Yum soup, had a real depth of flavour, you could taste the coconut, galangal, lemongrass flavours and it tasted creamy - no mean feat when you realise there is no cream in it.

Another lunch dish I enjoyed was the pea soup with mint and pancetta. This soup was thick and delicious, but wasn't too smooth. I don't like smooth soups and normally I wouldn't pick pea soup but I honestly really thought this was yummy. To add some crunch I made my own croutons out of wholemeal bread lightly fried in olive oil.



Pea soup with pancetta and mint

Out of all the evening meals I had some favourites. The beef stew was rich and delicious, again there were decent chunks of meat in the stew and you could really taste the wine. I served this with potatoes although these were not part of the plan.

The lamb casserole was filling and hearty. It didn't need anything other than some vegetables perhaps. There were real chunks of lamb and there was a hint of mint in the gravy, topped with sliced potatoes it was a real meal in itself and very satisfying.

With this plan you also get gluten-free lager. As I don't drink lager my husband sampled it. He enjoyed it and said there was no difference in the taste and flavour to normal lager.


lamb casserole

The downsides of the plan you may ask? The Kerala chicken curry I didn't rate, it was just not to my taste and the spicy butternut squash soup could have been seasoned more and i thought it had a grainy texture.  I would have liked to see another accompaniment included other than rice in the weekly Boost Your Energy diet. All these dishes are meant to be heated in the microwave, those in the pouches with the top cut off but I often found the motion of the microwave turntable moving would tip over the pouch. I combatted this by opening the pouch and putting the food in a dish instead and then heating in the microwave.

In conclusion 

Most of the food was very tasty, and I really did enjoy the diet. It made me eat regularly and pay attention to what I was eating. I didn't fully stick to the week as I went out one night for a Valentine's meal. Would I recommend this diet and Illumi foods? I would say yes. I can see how it can be very useful for those with dietary problems. My digestion did feel better, and I had less bloating. My energy levels were also good.

Recommended.

* I was sent a week's worth of food for a honest review.
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38 comments

  1. Ah I've tried Illumi's range and did like it - the kids like them too - but I didn't realise they offered plans. Will check it out.

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    1. Yes the Boost Your Energy plan was very good. I think the meals are generally delicious.

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  2. I always imagine free from food to be a bit bland, however, this range looks and sounds great. I really like the look of the soup.

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    1. This diet was certainly not bland. In fact the flavours were better than a lot of pre-packed food. The soup was really lovely.

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  3. This sounds like a great idea if you're on a restricted diet. It must be hard to find things that are OK to eat so a ready-made range is an excellent idea.

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  4. Have never tried free-from food before. But the Boost Energy sounds like something I could do with about now!

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    1. I think we could all do with some energy boosting :)

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  5. Never heard of Illumni but it looks pretty tasty! I think it's a great idea - we need more food for people with allergies, they should have a choice of healthy and safe ready meals :)

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    1. I think it's an amazing idea, and even if you have not got any allergies I think it is a very nutritious diet.

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  6. I've tried some of these, and they're lovely.

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    1. Which ones have you tried Angela? I think they have new dishes all the time.

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  7. How interesting, never heard of this company before but the food looks great!

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  8. I've tried Illumi's range and liked it. It is great for times when I am unwell and need something fast

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    1. Yes these dishes are perfect when you want a quick delicious meal, all nutritionally sound.

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  9. This sounds like such a great idea and the food seems tasty overall. Will have to have a look, I've not tried this before :)

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  10. I so need more energy, I should give it a try! x

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    1. You should, I think it very reasonably priced as well.

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  11. Never heard of Illumni before, but they sound fab for those that need convenient free from foods. We went vegan for a month last year and I noticed the difference in myself.

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  12. i adore ilumi, loved the lamb dishes and liked the Kerala. One of the best 'Free from' on the market! The new soup is lovely.

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  13. i'm a celiac and have lactose intolerance, so things like this are great for me.

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    1. This plan would be perfect for you Laura

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  14. That lamb casserole looks delicious :)

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  15. Interesting. We are dairy, soya, wheat and gluten free here and I have heard of Ilumi. Do they also sell other products for creating your own meals?

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    1. As far as I am aware all the food is ready prepared. Why don't you have a look at their website?

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  16. I love the look of the soup with those croutons.

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  17. I always think stuff that says 'free from' will be quite bland but that looks delicious!

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    1. These dishes weren't bland at all. The same flavours as food made with gluten, milk and nuts, except these dishes exclude all these ingredients.

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  18. The soup looks tasty and the portion sizes look good too

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  19. It is really interesting that there is a 'free from' diet plan out there as I've not seen anyone cater for this market before. I'm glad to hear that most of the meals were tasty and enjoyable, sounds like a great alternative for anyone looking for gluten free diet

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  20. These look fab.... could definitely do with some energy boosting!

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    1. I think almost everyone could do with an energy boost.

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  21. We tried Ilumi but I didn't like it - to be fair we only tried the Thai curry and I am not a fan of that anyway

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  22. Brilliant idea - I imagine that people on a limited diet must often struggle to find meals x x

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  23. Thank you for sharing these, My mother has a gluten intolerance and we are always looking for new things for her to have x

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  24. I've not heard of this before but the food does look quite tasty. A great idea for people who have food intolerances x

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