Gluten Free Recipe: Classic Gluten-Free Margherita Pizza

The Classic Gluten-Free Margherita Pizza

Image source: Gusto

The typical Neapolitan pizza, made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Gluten-free pizza base
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ small bunch basil
  • leaves shredded
  • 2 x 125g balls buffalo mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/200 fan/gas 7 and put two baking sheets inside.
  2. Make the sauce: heat the oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion with a generous pinch of salt for 10 mins over a low heat until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes, purée and sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 25 – 30 mins or until reduced and thick, stirring regularly. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste and stir through the basil. Allow to cool a little.
  3. Finish the bases with a thin layer of the sauce and torn up mozzarella. Place the baking sheets on top of the hot baking sheets in the oven and cook for 8 -10 mins or until crisp around the edges.

Shop with Chemist.net for more Gluten-Free baking ingredients at great prices.

This recipe is simplified from BBC Good Food. Check them out for more healthy Gluten-Free recipes.

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Gluten Free Recipe: Creamy Sundried Tomato and Spicy Chicken Sausage Pasta

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Spicy Chicken Sausage Pasta

Image source: Heather Christo

A super flavourful and creamy sundried tomato sauce (with NO dairy!!) with the kick from the spicy chicken sausage. However, if you have spice adverse kids eating this, I would just opt for a mild sausage. Enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of gluten-free penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¾ pound of spicy chicken sausage
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to manufacturers directions. Drain and rinse with cold water well and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat one medium pan over medium-high heat with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the sausage links. Fry the sausages until crisp and golden on the outside, and cooked through on the inside, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Slice the cooked sausage links and set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil and the onions and garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook until soft and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer another 2 minutes. Transfer all of it to a blender and puree on high until you have a smooth sauce.
  4. Pour the sauce back into the pan and cook over medium heat. Whisk in the coconut cream until well combined. Season to taste with kosher salt.
  5. Add the just drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and stir to combine, cooking for another minute or two. Add the sausage and the fresh basil, give it a good stir and serve hot.

Shop with Chemist.net for more Gluten-Free products and ingredients at lower prices.

This recipe is taken from Heather Christo. Check out her website for more healthy gluten-free recipes.

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Dog owners are reported to be happier than cat owners

Science indicates that dogs are the best once again.

Image source: hillspet.com

Dog people and cat people are already pretty smug when it comes to their beliefs. But now we have some new official data to argue why dogs reign supreme – or why dog owners are happier than cat owners.

Image source: caninecupcakes.com

People often say dogs are a man’s best friend. What about cats? Maybe it’s because most cats don’t come when you call – even though they know their names.

According to the new survey which is run by social research organisation NORC at the University of Chicago, the exact breakdown: 36% of dog owners surveyed said that they are “very happy”, while only 18% of the cat owners came back with the same answer.

Image source: sheknows.com

Additionally, the survey also found that between dog owners and cat owners, it is dog owners that are more likely to be married and own their own home. This has obviously led to marriage and home ownership – both contribute to life satisfaction.

Other research also claimed that owning a dog can lead to improved cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure.

Image source: ecosia.org

In my opinion, dogs have several advantages over cats because dogs have to be walked several times per day – they force the owner to leave the house.

According to Bustle, the survey also showed that a higher percentage of dog owners reported having a close relationship with their pet. More dog owners than cat owners responded that they see their pet as part of the family.

However, we’re sure dog owners and cat owners have their own explanations and disagreements with these findings, but we can all agree that pets make life better.

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Don’t let Instagram envy get into you

April is Stress Awareness Month and I believe everybody experiences stress at some point in their lives. Stress can sometimes act as a positive force and lead to positive outcomes.

However, when it becomes chronic, it might affect a range of health issues – headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia and mental health conditions.

Image source: beta.thegirlontv.com

Social media nowadays play a big part in our society, especially Instagram – where users relentless emphasis on promoting their “perfect” lifestyles to make people feel envious.

So, when was the last time scrolling through Instagram made you feel better?

Image source: dailyadvent.com

If you’re like me, the cute puppies and tasty foods on your feed momentarily boost your mood, but how do those artfully edited experiences leave you feeling? Depleted?

Have you ever asked yourself how can these people afford to travel around the world? When will it be your turn to swim in the Maldives, drinking a glass of champagne overlooking the island from your resort?

All these – will leave you with adding financial faux pas to your list.

What can you do today to lead a more positive and less envious life?

Find your source of FOMO

Image source: dissolve.com

I believe there are ways to ease your stress/anxiety for FREE, without vacationing at all.

  1. Catch up with friends/family over a simple meal and end with a fruitful conversation.
  2. Find a hobby you enjoy and spend time doing it during your downtime, whether it’s with your partner, friends or family.
  3. Join a sports group – whether it’s hiking, tennis, badminton, netball or dancing, even if they meet as little once or twice a month, you’ll feel a valued part of the community.
Plan ahead for debt-free vacation

Image source: makeuseof.com

For many people, vacations or simple weekend getaways are part of their plans each year. The simple act of “getting away from it all” helps people reduce stress, whether it is for a day or a week.

If travelling is what you crave, plan a debt-free vacation by estimating how much you can afford to spend and where to go to.

Always be realistic about your ability to spend responsibly and avoid carrying debt.

Why?

Because the interest you could end up paying, and the anxiety that comes with credit card debt can easily erode any post-vacation glow.

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Mother’s Day – what are the origins?

Mother’s Day is approaching the UK! The Brits are trying to think of creative ways to express one simple thing: the endless love for their mothers. Yet, many would be surprised to find out that, at least in UK, the mums were not main target of this celebration. Back in the 16th century, the apparent start of this tradition, it was all about celebrating church or the ‘mother churches’ to be more precise.

It was originally a day when poor children were given a day off so they could go home and worship Virgin Mary at their “mother church”. The children would occasionally pick flowers to give to their mums and bake special cakes – Simnel Cakes also known as Mothering Cakes.

Nowadays, the religious aspect of this day is not as sharp as it used to be with the day becoming all about having a nice big family meal and giving the mother various gifts and cards. But what about the rest of the world? Find out about different origins of this day around the globe. And trust us, some of them will surprise you.

USA

USA is the ones responsible for the overall perception of the Mother’s Day around the globe: Flowers, cupcakes, tea and presents. As fun as it might seem, the origins of this 2nd Sunday of May celebration is nothing but tragic.

After losing her mum to measles, young activist Ann Marie Reeves decided to honour her mother by creating a women’s health awareness day. She built a community of young active mothers like herself to organize Mother’s Day work clubs. These clubs were aiming to improve the sanitary and health conditions in their communities.

France

Fête Des Mères takes place on the last Sunday of May, but is moved to the first Sunday of June in case Pentecost falls then. The day of celebration was first announced by Napoleon, who wished to reward mothers of large families and so encourage the population growth. This tradition was restored after the First World War, when mothers of four or more children were given medals for increasing the population after the massive loss.

Japan

It is believed that the Mother’s Day in Japan was first intended to be a day to honour emperor Akhito’s mother and was celebrated on her birthday – 6th of March. Yet the tradition was ended when the World War 1 begun.

The celebration was restored after World War II but the meaning behind tit changed completely. Millions of Japanese mothers who lost their sons to war turned this day into homage for their sons. Women joined in parades and marches holding red carnations in their hand as a way to tell their sons they love them.

Egypt

Ancient Egyptians esteemed motherhood and celebrated it with an annual festival to worship one of the most important gods in the Egyptian mythology – Isis – the mother of the universe. During the festival, ancient Egyptians would light various sources of light to please the goddess and young women would pray Isis to help them to become mums.

 

Although this day has many different origins and even dates, the hero of the day, at least nowadays, always stays the same. Chemist.net would like to thank all mums out there for being so amazing and urges everyone to spoil their mums whether it’s Mother’s Day or not. To give you a hand spoiling your mum on 31st March, we’ve put together a selection of gift ideas: https://www.chemist.net/mother-s-day-pa-15.html. We can’t help you cook her dinner though, you’re on your own for that one!

 

Written by Diana Levit

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How to get rid of that pesky hangover (and prevent one next time!)

Splitting headache, sickness, dizziness, dehydration – any of these symptoms feel a little too familiar after drinking? Yes, you have that dreaded hangover!

Unfortunately there is no hangover’cure’ but there are some things you can do to ease the symptoms:

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Alcohol makes you pee more, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is what causes many of the symptoms of a hangover, so re-hydrating helps the body to deal with these symptoms. Ideally, you should start by drinking some water before going to bed, however if that ship has already sailed, make sure you drink plenty when you wake up. Drink bland liquids that are easy on the digestive system such as water, soda water and isotonic drinks.
  2. Try painkillers to help with headaches and muscle cramps.
  3. Sugary foods may help you feel less shaky. If necessary, take an antacid to settle your stomach first.

“Hair of the dog” is not the answer! Drinking in the morning is never a good idea and you’ll only be delaying the appearance of symptoms until the alcohol wears off again. Ideally, you should wait at least 48 hours before drinking any more alcohol after a heavy drinking session, whether you have a hangover or not, to give your body time to recover.

How do I avoid a hangover next time?

  1. Don’t drink more than you know your body can cope with! If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution
  2. Make sure you eat before you drink. The meal should include carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats as this will help slow down how quickly your body absorbs the alcohol.
  3. Drink water or other non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drink. Fizzy drinks speed up how quickly alcohol is absorbed.
  4. Drink water before you go to sleep – ideally about a pint. Take some water up to bed with you so you can take a few sips if you wake up during the night.
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Spot the Difference: Do you know the difference between a cold and the flu?

Cold_and_Flu_VirusAn estimated one third of Britons wrongly think that flu is just a bad cold. Although many symptoms of cold and flu overlap, they are very different so it is essential to understand which illness you have.

Common symptoms of a cold include a runny nose, blocked nose, sore throat, sneezing and coughing, but you may also develop a mild fever, earache, tiredness and headache. Symptoms develop over one or two days and gradually get better after a few days, although some colds can last for up to two weeks.

Flu usually comes on much more quickly than a cold, and common symptoms include fever or chills, muscle aches and pains, sweating, feeling exhausted, dry, chesty cough and sneezing. Flu symptoms appear one to three days after infection and most people recover within a week, although fatigue may last longer (up to two or three weeks). Flu can cause serious respiratory complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, especially in at-risk groups, including people over 65, people with diabetes, serious heart or chest complaints (including asthma) or serious kidney or liver disease, people with lowered immunity due to disease or medical treatment and those who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

The table below gives a brief summary of the differences between colds and the flu:

Cold Flu
Fever Sometimes Common: higher than 38°C and lasts 3-4 days
Headache Sometimes Common
General aches & pains Common: mild Common: often severe
Fatigue / weakness Common: quite mild Common: can last up to 2-3 weeks
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort /cough Common: mild to moderate, often a hacking cough Common: can become severe.
Complications Sinus congestion or earache Bronchitis or pneumonia, which can be life threatening.
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Stop Smoking with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) from Chemist.net

Chemist.net has put together some information about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help you along the journey to giving up smoking.With the start of Stoptober just a day away, Chemist.net has put together some information about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help you along the journey to giving up smoking.

Nicotine is seen as being the addictive component of cigarette smoke. NRT provides the body with doses of nicotine that would otherwise have been provided by cigarette smoke. NRT is available as nasal sprays, lozenges, inhalers, sub-lingual tablets (tablets that dissolve under the tongue), gums, and patches. You can use a single product, or a combination. NRT basically helps prevent some of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience when trying to quit smoking, especially for the first 12 weeks after quitting smoking.

Smoking while using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

It is not advised to carry on smoking while using Nicotine Replacement Therapy as smoking while using NRT products can make you feel dizzy, raise the pulse rate and cause heart “pounding”.

However there are some NRT products that are available to use specifically to reduce the number of cigarettes being smoked:

These are the only NRT products that are able to be used while cutting down on the number of cigarettes being smoked.

It is better to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy products than to carry on smoking, because NRT is considered to be safe to use by most patient groups. If you are pregnant, using NRT products may increase the chance of having a birth defect.

NRT studies

It is not suggested that one NRT product is better than another, but there are differences:

  • The stronger gum (4mg vs 2mg) has shown to be more effective at getting heavy smokers to stop smoking.
  • Higher dose patches have also shown to be slightly more effective than low dose patches for the heavy smokers group. The patches may be worn only when awake (16 hour patches), or all the time (24 hour patches) but both types have shown to work equally well.
  • In a study, heavy smokers have shown to produce better results when using the nasal spray, and the less heavy smokers have shown to produce better results using the patches.
  • Some studies seem to suggest the use of two types of NRT better aids the process of smoke cessation, than the use of just one NRT. For example, use a 16 hour patch while awake, and if any cravings occur, use a 2mg or 4mg gum.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy Side Effects

  • NRT gums: Have been known to cause dental problems, jaw pain, upset stomach and hiccups. The gum is just meant to be held in the mouth and chewed only about twice a minute. If chewed too fast, too much nicotine is released causing an upset stomach. Hiccups and jaw ache are a result of chewing too much.
  • NRT inhalers and sprays: Have been known to irritate the mouth or nose. These effects are considered to be common (A high proportion of users have experienced the effects of runny nose and irritated mouth during the first two days of use).
  • NRT patches: Are known to cause mild skin rashes- using the patch on a different site every day will prevent such a side effect. The patches can keep the user awake at night- if this occurs, you can take the patch off at night, or just use the 16 hour patches when awake.

Which Nicotine Replacement Therapy Should I Use?

    1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Gums: These are available as 2mg or 4mg and in different flavours and allow you to have easy control of cravings – simply chew a piece of gum whenever you crave a cigarette.
      • If you smoke less than 20 cigarettes a day: Use the 2mg gum and keep using this strength until you have stopped smoking.
      • If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day: Use the 4mg gum. Depending on how much you usually smoke per day, you may use 8-12 pieces of gum a day (maximum of 15 pieces a day).

      Chew gum slowly until taste becomes strong (less than a minute). Rest gum between gum and cheek. Chew gum again when taste has faded.

    2. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Inhalator: These keeps your hands busy, so are ideal for those who miss the physical action of holding & smoking a cigarette. They may also be useful in areas where you are not allowed to smoke, for example at work or on a plane. Inhalators should be used whenever the urge to smoke is felt or to prevent cravings in situations where these are likely to occur. Smokers aiming to reduce cigarettes should use the Inhalator as needed to prolong smoke free intervals and with the intention to reduce smoking as much as possible. As soon as they are ready they should aim to quit smoking completely. For smokers unable or unwilling to quit they can swap some cigarettes with the inhalator as a safer option to smoking. Initially replace all cigarettes with inhalator Gradually reduce inhalator cartridges until stopping completely. Max. daily dose: 12 cartridges.
    3. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Lozenges: Lozenges can be used as a safer alternative to smoking and may be useful in areas where it is not permitted to smoke, for example at work or on a plane. Lozenges are suitable for smokers who smoke 20 or fewer cigarettes per day and should be used whenever you feel the urge to smoke or to prevent cravings in situations where these are likely to occur. Smokers aiming to reduce cigarettes should take the lozenge, as needed, between smoking episodes to prolong smoke-free intervals and with the intention to reduce smoking as much as possible. As soon as they are ready smokers should aim to quit smoking completely. Most smokers require 8 to 12 lozenges per day and you must not exceed 15 lozenges in one day. One lozenge should be placed in the mouth and allowed to dissolve. Periodically, the lozenge should be moved from one side of the mouth to the other, and repeated, until the lozenge is completely dissolved. Do not chew or swallow the lozenge and do not eat or drink while a lozenge is in the mouth.
    4. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Patches: People who like the patch find it very practical – simply put one on in the morning and forget about it for the rest of the day. This may be useful in areas where they are not permitted to smoke, for example at work, or on a plane. Always apply to a clean, dry, hairless area of the skin on the front or side of the chest, upper arm or hip. Don’t apply to the same spot two days running
      • 16 hour patches for those who smoke over 10 cigarettes a day: A typical 12 week program will start with the 25mg patches, to be applied daily in the morning and removed at night before bed. As the cravings during the day reduce, the strength of the patches may be reduced to the 15mg patches, again applied daily in the same routine. Depending upon the cravings, you may then step down (once you feel stabilized on the 15mg patch) to the 10mg patch daily, Or you may step up to the 25mg strength once again if the cravings have got the better of you. Once stabilised on the 10mg patches, it’s up to you when you want to step down further by removing the need for NRT patches. All the while when using the patches, you may use other NRT products such as the gum or inhalators to control cravings or urges.
      • 16 hour patches for those who smoke less than 10 cigarettes a day: A typical 12 week program will start with the 15mg patches, to be applied daily in the morning and removed at night before bed. As the cravings during the day reduce, the strength of the patches may be reduced to the 10mg patches. If the cravings increase upon stepping down to the 10mg patches, move back to 15mg patches daily, until you have stabilized and try stepping down to the 10mg patches daily. Once stabilized on the 10mg patches it’s up to you when you want to step down further by removing the need for NRT patches. All the while when using the patches, you may use other NRT products such as the gum or inhalators to control cravings or urges.
      • 24 hour patches: For 6 weeks, start with the 21mg Patch if you smoke 10 or more cigarettes a day. (Go straight to 14mg if you smoke less). For a further 2 weeks, change to the 14mg Patch. (Alternatively start with 14mg for 6 weeks if you are a light smoker). Finally, move onto the 7mg Patch for 2 weeks.

      Following the step-down programme will let you gradually wean yourself off nicotine so you can quit for good.

    5. Nicotine Replacement Therapy sub-lingual/Microtab (dissolves under the tongue): Microtabs a suitable for smokers who wants a discreet and flexible form of NRT. It’s recommended for smokers that want to stop abruptly, or cut down and then stop. It is recommended that the tablets are used for at least 12 weeks. For smokers who smoke 20 or less cigarettes per day, start with one Microtab each hour. If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day, start with two Microtabs each hour, placed under the tongue at the same time. The maximum dose is 40 Microtabs per day. After 12 weeks you should aim to reduce the number of Microtabs used each day. Use beyond nine months is not recommended.
    6. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Nasal Sprays: Nasal sprays provide rapid relief for those heavily-dependent smokers who smoke over 20 cigarettes a day and often light up within 20 minutes of waking and need fast acting relief from strong cravings. It is recommended for smokers that want to stop abruptly straight away.12 week programme:
      • 8 weeks: Use as required. No more than two sprays to each nostril every hour for a maximum of 16 hours
      • 2 weeks: Reduce usage by half
      • 2 weeks: Reduce usage to zero
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Joining the fight against antibiotic resistance

Get_Well_Soon_Without_AntibioticsWhat are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medicines that can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria to cure bacterial infections (such as pneumococcal pneumonia or staphylococcal bloodstream infections). Not all antibiotics are active against all bacteria. There are more than 15 different classes of antibiotics that differ in their chemical structure and their action against bacteria. An antibiotic may be effective against only one or multiple types of bacteria.

What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is the inability for an antibiotic to kill or stop the growth of a particular bacteria. Some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics, however the growing concern is acquired resistance, which is when bacteria that are normally susceptible to antibiotics become resistant as a result of genetic changes.

Why is antibiotic resistance a problem?
Resistant bacteria survive in the body despite you taking the antibiotic. They continue to multiply causing longer illness or even death. Infections caused by resistant bacteria may require more care as well as alternative and more expensive antibiotics, which may have more severe side effects.

Multidrug-resistant bacteria can cause a wide range of infections including urinary tract infection, pneumonia, skin infection, diarrhoea, bloodstream infection. Patients in hospitals are at risk for infections unrelated to the reason for admission, including bloodstream and surgical site infections like MRSA.

Why is antibiotic resistance a growing problem ?
The situation is getting worse with the emergence of new bacterial strains resistant to several antibiotics at the same time (known as multidrug-resistant bacteria). Such bacteria may eventually become resistant to all existing antibiotics and we cannot be sure that always be able to find new antibiotics. Without antibiotics, we could return to the “pre-antibiotic era”, when organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and other medical procedures would no longer be possible. Bacterial diseases would spread and could no longer be treated, causing death.

What can I do?
While antibiotic resistance cannot be prevented entirely, we can all do our part to slow it down, buying time to develop new types of antibiotics.

Only use antibiotics when it’s appropriate to do so. We now know that most coughs and colds get better just as quickly without antibiotics. Your doctor will only prescribe them if you need them, for  example for a kidney infection or pneumonia. Antibiotics may be life-saving for infections such as meningitis. By not using them unnecessarily, they are more likely to work when we need them.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure that you take the full course as directed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the course is complete. If you do not finish your treatment, some bacteria may be left to develop resistance.

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Gluten Free Pancake Recipes

 

Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day is here once again! For you Coeliacs out there, we’ve gathered together a couple of recipes for gluten free pancakes from Juvela and Glutafin, so there’s no need to miss out:

 

 

Juvela

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place the Juvela Gluten-Free White Mix and salt in a bowl, beat in the eggs and gradually add the milk, beating well to produce a smooth batter.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, pour off the excess, and pour in sufficient batter to evenly coat the base of the pan.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes until golden, then flip pancake and cook other side.
  4. Serve with fillings of your choice.

Glutafin

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place the flour mix into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and a little milk. Whisk to form a thick paste. Gradually beat in the remaining milk to obtain a smooth batter.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pour in a little batter and tilt the pan back and forth to evenly cover the base with the batter.
  3. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side and transfer to a warm serving plate. Cover with greaseproof paper or foil and keep warm while the rest of the pancakes are made.
  4. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and lemon juice, roll up and serve.
  5. Best eaten fresh or within 24 hours.
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