Category Archives: Product Reviews

Gluten free Valentine’s Day Candy

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, here are a few sweets that are safe to give to your gluten-free sweetheart. Obviously your first line of defense is chocolate – something heart shaped or chocolate covered strawberries. Just steer clear of truffles unless you know they’re gluten free because I’ve found that most of them have barley or malt in them.

Something new I learned today = Godiva and Lindt chocolate makers explicitly say not to consume their products if you have a gluten allergy.

Godiva says “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.”

Lindt says “Gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products that Lindt & Sprungli produces; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component… trace amounts of these gluten ingredients and components may have the opportunity to come in contact with non gluten products.”

I’ll admit, I totally eat Lindt truffles. The ingredients are just cream, chocolate, and butter. It also doesn’t say “may contain wheat” on the nutrition label, just that it may contain nuts. Stupid gluten free labeling. Or non labeling in this case.

Anyhoo – I guess steer clear of Godiva and Lindt to be safe, and go with one of these less classy options. Or just buy flowers 🙂

Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts
I’m not really into gummy things, but since basically all licorice is filled with wheat, these could be a good alternative.

NECCO Sweethearts conversation hearts
On NECCO’s website they have a full list of their gluten free products. Something I didn’t know was that Clark Bars are gluten free as well, I don’t think I’ve ever even had a Clark Bar because they seem like they’re for old people? I’ll have to pick one up.

Valentine’s Day M&Ms
They’re adorable, they’re pink, and besides the pastel Easter ones, they’re my favorite holiday M&Ms.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ranking the best gluten free beers

While I’m obsessing over gluten free beer, I figured I might as well make it into a popularity contest and rank my favorites.

If I was presented with the following beers and asked to vote them off of the gluten free island, Survivor style, this is how I would do it.

Beers ranked best to worst:

The best:
1. Brunehaut Blonde Ale
2. Brunehaut Amber Ale
3. Estrella Damm Daura
4. New Planet Tread Lightly Ale
5. New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale

Good, but not my first choice:
6. Green’s Discover Amber
7. Green’s Dubbel Dark
8. Redbridge
9. St. Peter’s

Beers I won’t even drink
10. Bard’s Tale
11. New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale
12. New Grist

Beers I haven’t tried/aren’t released yet:
Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale
(to be released later this month)
Hambleton Ales Gluten Free Ale and Lager
Beljica Brewing

Any ones I’m missing? Agree/Disagree?

More Baked and Wired

This bar from Baked and Wired warrants it’s own post. If I was a poet, I would write an ode to it to declare my undying devotion to its caramely goodness.

That’s a caramel blondie with a thick layer of caramel on top, full of chocolate chips, and topped with chocolate and peanut butter chips.

It’s buttery, chewy, and the kind of baked good you need to pace yourself with. You better believe I obnoxiously ate this and crinkled the wax paper during the movie I went to after – I just couldn’t stop myself.


Both times I’ve been to Baked and Wired the non-gluten free friends I’ve been with have liked my gluten free treat better than their own. So there.

A baked good that probably isn’t as good, but I’ve never seen before, so I thought I’d share, are these mini pound cakes from Jennie’s Gluten Free Bakery. They also have these cakes in raisin and marble flavors, which sound more up my alley than plain. I can imagine using these to make strawberry shortcakes pretty easily though.

As you can see, I did not make a New Year’s resolution to cut down on sweets 🙂

 

Vic’s Bagel Bar NYC does it again

Remember the last time I went to Vic’s Bagel Bar in NYC and nearly died of ecstasy from my gluten free everything bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese?

I certainly do. I couldn’t wait to go back the last time I was in NYC.

This time I decided to go in another direction and get a sweet bagel. So I started with a plain bagel and added peanut butter…

Then I decided to mix in bananas…

Then I decided, whattheheck, why not add potato chips too?

It’s stick to the roof of your mouth, crunchy, salty/sweet goodness. I forced myself to save half just so I could continue to eat it later.

This time they also were selling Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies at the front, so I picked up a bag.

These were good, but I honestly really don’t like crunchy cookies, so they didn’t really do it for me. I ended up giving the package to a friend back in DC.

If I could give one gift to someone who has Celiac’s, it would be to take them to NYC and get Vic’s bagels.

Next time I’m getting a pizza bagel 🙂

Three gluten free snacks you should be eating

I’m always on the look out for new gluten free snacks, since I’m convinced that I’ve already tried about 80% of them. Here are a few that I’m loving right now:

1. Planter’s Pumpkin Spice Almonds

I got a GIANT canister of these sweet babies from Target for $3.24. Yes. Three dollars and 24 cents. I’d run there right now and see if they still have any. I also was impressed because usually products like this are “made in a facility that also processes wheat”, but these are totally gluten free.

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2. Go Raw Super Chips

My latest work snack has been Go Raw Super Chips. I’ve tried the chocolate and spirulina ones, and they’re really addictive. You can eat a whole bag of them for the same amount of calories as a bag of Fritos, and they’re about 100 times better for you.

Warning: the spirulina chips look really scary because they’re bright green, but they taste mostly like coconut and sweet dates, so be not afraid.

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3. Bakery on Main Apple Raisin Walnut Granola

While this isn’t exactly the healthiest granola out there, it sure is delicious. I love that all of the ingredients are really high quality (giant walnuts and raisins) and there are big chunks of granola in each bag. I add this to a bowl of Honey Nut Chex and almond milk when I’m feeling like a cold breakfast.

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Any new gluten free snacks I should try?

Sweet Seasons Orchard gluten free bread – Lansing, MI

I love that more and more gluten free products and specialty shops are making their way to my home state of Michigan. When I was home for Christmas, in addition to finding a new gluten free beer at Horrock’s, I found a freezer full of gluten free baked goods at City Market in Lansing.

I nabbed up a loaf of this Amish made gluten free bread from Sweet Season’s Orchard. They also had pies, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts, etc.

The bread was sweet and eggy, with a beautiful golden brown crust. I think that the potato flakes in this bread made it extra dense and helped it stay moist.

It was used to make french toast for breakfast.


With strawberry syrup and pecans.

And a grilled cheese.

Since I don’t travel with my bread maker, it’s awesome to be able to find quality gluten free baked goods at home! Plus, at $6.50 a loaf it’s actually less expensive than buying a mix.

 

Brunehaut: The best gluten free beer you’ve never heard of

I’ve tried my share of gluten free beers. I’ve tried every one I can get my hands on.

And these were the best.

The BEST.

I had never heard of Brunehaut brewery before I saw their beers on a shelf at Horrock’s in Lansing, MI. Probably because they seem to be a really old, obscure brewery in Belgium that just happens to make two amazing gluten free beers. Wikipedia says that they’ve been in operation since 1890, which explains how they’ve actually managed to make a gluten free beer that has that lovely thing called taste.

I got one of their blonde ales, which I basically chugged the second I got home from the store. Amazing. Wish I had three more. Right now.

And an amber ale.

Both were full bodied, smooth, with no hint of weird sorghum or grass.

Both were also gold medal winners at the 2011 United States Open Beer Championships. I am so proud that our country has one of those. Go USA! 😉

I wish I could tell you where to find this beer, but the locations map on their website only has where you can find it in Belgium. I don’t know what twist of fate brought them to this random store in Michigan that I happened to go to; it just must have been my lucky day!

The best I can say is to beg a locally specialty store to order it for you. Cost should be no object, just get it.

These Brunehaut beers give me hope that one day us Celiacs can also enjoy specialty beers.

Cheers 😉

Brilliant gluten free foods

There are some food creations that you just wish you had come up with yourself. Like the taco shell made out of a Dorito, pizza muffins, or bear pancakes.

These are two of my latest food obsessions.

1. Cinnamon raisin peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co.

Put this on an apple and your whole day will be better. I can eat this right out of the container – but it’s also great spread on toast. Such a great idea – peanut butter tastes great on cinnamon raisin bread – so why not just blend it all together?

2.Chocolate covered strawberry ice cream

I don’t know who came up with the brilliant idea to create this ice cream, but I would like to make them my best friend. Or possibly marry them.

I found this ice cream at Giant, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same kind that they sell as the Kroger “Black Label”.


See that fudgy chocolate goodness?

One day I’m going to come up with something equally as brilliant. Until then, I’ll be finishing up this ice cream 🙂

Ian’s cookie buttons – eat like a kid

Even though I have a grown up job, I still tend to eat kid snacks throughout the day. When 3pm rolls around my brain gives me a couple of options: 1) eat about 50 jelly bellies from the communal jar 2) sit around and whine about how hungry I am until I go home 3) find a snack. Lately I’ve been loving the cinnamon cookie button pouches from Ian’s. They’re single serving packs of little crunchy cookies that satisfy my need to munch.

The cinnamon and ginger in them gives them a ton of flavor, and while I wouldn’t exactly say they’re packed with nutrients, they’re definitely better than the Jelly Bellies.

Next up on my list to try are the not-so-healthy chocolate covered wafer bits.

Something I’m NOT going to try? These weird-looking egg and maple breakfast sandwiches. No thank you.

But the cookie buttons? Yum!

Ian’s: All Natural Allergy-Friendly Foods

Hail Merry almonds and tart review

I saw Hail Merry’s tarts at Yes! Organic Market a few weeks ago, but didn’t actually get one. This time I decided I needed to try one, and picked up the Meyer Lemon Miracle Tart.

It was pretty amazing. Like a lemon bar with a big bang of lemon flavor. The filling was creamy, the crust crumbly and flaky. I’m sure that the chocolate tarts are great too, but I feel like it takes more finesse to get a lemon dessert right. I’m saving the rest until I can pick up some whipped cream, since I think that’s the only thing that would make this tart better.

I also picked up a pack of the Vanilla Maple almonds. Unfortunately they were expired, so not as crunchy as they should be, but the flavor was still great. This is one of those things that you should probably make yourself, but it’s nice to have someone make for you.

I love Hail Merry products because they come from a company that really seems to care about the gluten free community. Their blog and attitude toward gluten free products, plus their approachability, makes them a company I feel good giving my money to.