Posted on | July 31, 2013 | 1 Comment
Gluten Free breakfasts can be a dilemma since many quick options are full of gluten. Udi’s asked if I would try some of their new gluten free items, I was happy to see if anything would work for me as I return to early morning classes this fall to finish my graduate degree. They sent me an assorted box of free goodies to try, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much. I like Udi’s hamburger buns and but don’t purchase their other products regularly due to quality control issues (bread with too many holes) or just thinking they are so-so, like their cinnamon rolls.
I must admit, I was surprised by the flavors and textures I discovered and wanted to share some of my favorites:
The bagels really surprised me. In the past I reviewed their plain bagel and thought it was so-so. I have to admit, I LOVED the cranberry bagels bursting with seeds and dried cranberries. I found this gluten free bagel hearty and filling and tasted great toasted with a pat of butter. Unfortunately, there are still issues with uneven slicing, but not enough to prevent me from eating the whole thing. The exterior wasn’t as chewy as a traditional bagel, but it was really good. Rating: 4 stars
By far, my favorite item in my Udi’s breakfast box was their Harvest Crunch muffins, They have flax and pumpkin seeds, cranberries and sweet potato. When I warmed them in the microwave for 25 seconds, they tasted like autumn to me, my favorite season. The sweet potato added some great moisture and flavor. The muffin itself was on the dense side, soft, and not very crunchy, but I didn’t mind since that is how I like them. Rating: 5 stars
I liked the Gluten Free Udi’s Blueberry Cashew granola for it’s controlled sweetness and touch of richness from the cashews. The dried blueberries were so small I could’t taste them, which was fine by me since I don’t like blueberries anyway! The granola was nice and crunchy, and would pair fantastically as a topping for yogurt. Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Udi’s Millet-Chia bread was a nice surprise. I took note that there were less holes and gaps in the bread and tried it toasted with a pat of butter. The flavor was mild with a bit of nuttiness and tasted great on it’s own. I think it would also make a great breakfast sandwich with egg and bacon. Rating: 4 stars
Finally, I am a big fan of the “sweet and fruity” cranberry granola. Cranberry is one of my favorite flavors so it wasn’t a hard sell for me. The granola tasted crunchy with a touch of sweetness from honey, but not too sweet. It was bursting with dried fruit and walnuts, and was great with a splash of almond milk. Rating: 5 stars
Overall, I was impressed with how Udi’s gluten free products have improved in flavor and texture. Rumor is they now have soft tortillas, and I can’t wait to try those soon!
Nutritional information, ingredient lists, and coupons can be found at Udisglutenfree.com
Posted on | May 27, 2013 | No Comments
Eleanor’s Bake Shop
9495 South 560 West Building D
Sandy, UT 84070
Yes, it’s a miracle. Resurrections happen! At least when it comes to my website.
I am excited to post some fun and tasty reviews now that school is almost out and my family has a break from the craziness.
I am kicking things off with one of my favorite places to grab a bite for lunch or satisfy a sweet craving. Eleanor’s Bake Shop is a family owned and operated dedicated gluten free facility in Sandy, Utah that churns out cookies, specialty cakes, bread, rolls, arepas ( kind of like a south american flatbread), gourmet cupcakes, cake pops, muffins, pizza, dessert bars … and more. I take my gluten eating family here from time to time, they like it. A lot. Better yet, they are currently working on offer dairy free options as well.
Pictured here is their nutella cupcake and their strawberry chocolate cupcake – both with heavenly filling. Can you believe the strawberry frosting tastes like strawberry ice cream? I’m not kidding, it was yummy! The flavors of their tasty and sweet concoctions tend to rotate day to day, so there is always something new to try, so be sure to check out the daily menu on their website. The cakes, reads and rolls are light and flavorful, with a great moist crumb and no hint of graininess.
For lunch and dinner items, they offer a variety of arepas that taste wonderful and have a light flavor and smooth texture that accentuates the sandwich fillings. My favorites are the brisket with creamy BBQ sauce and their chicken salad. They also offer soups and pizza.
I really enjoy their gluten free baked goods because to me, they don’t taste gluten-free. They make me forget I need to eat “special” food. It’s nice to not feel like a special case every time I walk into an establishment.
Although I love the food, the location is terrible- located in an industrial park across the way from a taxidermy shop. As for the service, it can be painstakingly slow. However, they are always friendly and my food order is always accurate.
Posted on | September 11, 2012 | No Comments
I purchased this gluten free NOW Healthy Foods cookie mix in my sister and brother-in-laws pharmacy and natural foods store, Kanab United Drug, in Kanab, Utah. I LOVE visiting down south because of the proximity to the parks – Lake Powell, Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon. This mix sells for $4.99 and makes a dozen cookies.
This mix was easy to prepare, and I actually prepared two versions, one with butter, and the other with non-dairy ingredients by substituting Good Earth spread for the butter. Oh my, what a difference!
I prepared the first version as directed on the package. These gluten free cookies featured a grainy, crunchy texture with a strong buttery flavor. These cookies also tasted quite bland, but sweet, with only a light chocolate flavor from the chips. The cookies bake up with crisp edges and soft centers. Overall, they were OK, my children enjoyed them more than I did.
The reduced dairy version I made for my lactose intolerant daughter tasted awful with the Good earth spread in lieu of butter. A waxy coating on my tongue and a strange aftertaste from the spread just wasn’t appetizing, and most of the cookies ended up in the garbage.
With both versions, the raw cookie dough tasted grainy, sugary and unpleasant. I felt a little disappointed, because I like to sneak bites of cookie dough when baking- that is part of the fun!
Overall, this mix is just Ok, not bad, but not great. I would definitely stick to the preparation directions on the package using butter for best results.
Rating: 3 stars
Pros: easy to prepare
Cons: really sweet, grainy texture
Ingredients: Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin), Organic Turbinado Sugar, Organic Brown Sugar, Rice flour, Tapioca Flour, Non-GMO Soy Flour, Guar Gum, Sea Salt, Baking Soda and Baking Powder (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate, non-gmo corn starch).
Nutritional Snapshot: 250 calories, 6 g. fat, 140 mg sodium, 36 g. carbohydrates 34 g. sugar, 3 g. protein
Want to try this gluten free cookie mix?
In Kanab, try Kanab United Drug or online via Vitaminlife.com or in bulk from amazon.com:
Posted on | September 8, 2012 | 2 Comments
Blake’s sent me two complimentary freezer meals, a chicken pot pie, and a shepherds pie, to try out. Each is a personal sized portion of comfort food in a disposable container. For a meal, I simply added a small side salad or some fruit and felt satisfied.
I initially baked them both in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes for the shepherd’s pie, and a total time of 55 minutes for the chicken pot pie. I discovered I needed to bake the pies for an additional five – eight minutes to what the package direction indicated to completely bake and brown the crust and topping.
Shepherd’s Pie: The shepherds pie tasted quite flavorful, albeit simple. The ground beef and corn inside the pie was cooked perfectly. The beef tasted moist and rich, and was complimented by kernels of corn that tasted fresh and burst with flavor in every bite. I tend to be leery of frozen veggies, but I had nothing to fear with this corn. The mashed potatoes on top tasted slightly lumpy, homemade texture, but had a pleasing flavor. Overall, this pie felt rustic and an option for home cooked flavor without the fuss and mess.
Chicken Pot Pie: This pie definitely needed an extra 5-8 minutes to bake to firm up the crust, thicken the gravy, and finish off the vegetables. After the extra baking time… oh my, so yummy! This pot pie features a corn bread crust that brown nicely and isn’t too sweet. The chicken pieces in this pie are quite large, tender, and delicious. The carrots, potatoes and peas are vibrant, tender, but not mushy, and taste incredibly fresh.
Umm, can you tell I likes these pies? Thanks to Blake’s for the samples. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have given them a second thought in my local freezer case, since gluten free frozen meals can be a disappointment. These are a great option for an individual comfort food, home-style meal without the mess and prep.
Rating: 4 ½ stars
Pros: fresh flavor,
Cons: needed extra baking time, plan ahead to bake
Ingredients & Nutritional Snapshots:
Shepherd’s Pie: organic potatoes, cooked ground beef, organic corn, organic onions, organic whole milk, organic butter (pasteurized organic sweet cream, salt). 240 calories, 9 g. fat, 26 g. carbohydrates, 520 mg sodium, 14 g. protein, 2 g. sugars
Chicken Pot Pie: chicken broth, cooked white chicken meat, organic potatoes, organic peas, organic carrots, organic soybean oil, organic white rice flour, organic corn starch, organic spices, sea salt. Crust – organic whole milk, organic white rice flour, organic whole grain yellow corn meal, organic whole egg, water, organic butter, organic evaporated cane juice, organic baking powder, sea salt. 310 calories, 13 g. fat, 540 g. sodium, 32 g. carbohydrate, 15 g protein, 15 g. sugars
Want to try Blake’s gluten free pot pies?
Posted on | August 28, 2012 | 1 Comment
This cereal from Glutino is a combination of hearty, textured and crunchy corn and rice flake style cereal with freeze dried strawberry slices that are flavor packed and really pack a punch on my taste buds. Surprisingly, the cereal looks just as good as it does on the box! I usually purchase this cereal from Against the Grain for $5.99.
This gluten free cereal tastes great with almond, soy or regular milk, and the flakes soften a bit, but don’t become soggy. At least for me- maybe I just eat my cereal too fast? It’s totally possible, because it is so good! The cereal had just a hint of sweetness, which I love, as I am not a huge fan of sugary cereals. It actually reminds me of Special K.
I also appreciate that this cereal is fortified with vitamins, so it doesn’t feel like an empty calorie snack that I will regret eating later.
Overall, a good, flavorful cereal I plan to keep in stock in my household pantry.
Rating: 5 stars
Pros: flavorful, doesn’t get soggy, fortified
Click HERE for nutritional information
To purchase this cereal, check your local Harmons grocery store. May also be purchased in bulk via amazon.com:
Posted on | August 4, 2012 | 1 Comment
At my local health food store they featured a sale on all gluten free foods. It was a great time to stock up on the tried and true products, and to try new ones. One gluten free product I grabbed was the Schar pizza crusts. They retailed at $8.99 (before the sale).
Each box contained two pre-made and separately packaged crusts. Each crust was about twelve inches in diameter. Fresh out of the package the crusts appeared pale in color, felt firm, and were about 1/2 inch thick. One side was completely smooth while the other had poked holes. I have to admit that I was very nervous to try this pre-made Schar pizza crust. First of all, how long had it been in that package, and secondly, could it possibly taste good?
To prepare my pizza, I placed both crusts on greased cookie sheet. I added tomato sauce, some herbs for seasoning, then topped with cheese, mushrooms, and ham. I baked it in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
After cooking for a few minutes, it was challenging to cut through the crust. I had to use a little muscle, and it some places I had to saw with the pizza cutter. The crust had a slight after taste to it. I don’t know if it was one of the flours or a preservative, but luckily it was not very strong and it was easily masked by the toppings on the pizza. Only if you have a very sensitive pallet would it be a problem. The crust seemed dense and a bit chewy. The edge of the crust without any toppings is crunchy.
Overall it was a decent crust and great if you need one in a hurry!
Rating: 4 stars
Pros: premade, wrapped separately for freshness
Cons: slightly funky taste, difficult to cut
*Review provided by Kristina
Ingredients: water, corn starch, rice flour, potato starch corn syrup, yeast, guar gum, mono- and diglycerides, cream of tartar, baking soda, milk protein, salt, tartaric acid, citric acid, natural flavor
Nutritional Snapshot: (1/3 pizza crust) 130 calories, .5g fat, 29g carbohydrates, 2g protein
Want to try this gluten free pizza crust for yourself?
Check your local grocery store’s gluten free section, or visit glutenfreepalace.com
Posted on | June 19, 2012 | No Comments
210 South 100 East
Kanab, Utah 84741
My family and I are down in Southern Utah for three weeks, exploring the national parks and spending time as a family. We are renting a home in Kanab, a small town near the Utah/Arizona border, which we are using as out home base for exploring and hiking. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of gluten free options since it is a tiny town with only two stoplights. The local grocery store, Honey’s Marketplace, has some gluten free basics like pasta and Udi’s bread. Imagine my surprise when I ran across a mom and pop looking creamery called ‘The Three Bears” with a huge gluten free sign out from by the road!
This is an old timey, rustic cafe style establishment. They offer delicious gluten free sandwiches and prepackaged Blossom brownies, all prepared in a separate section of the kitchen with special gluten free condiments, griddles, toasters and utensils. The best part? They can make ALL of their hot and cold sandwiches gluten free! They also offer gluten free taco soup made in house and gluten free ice cream. Although, I must admit I won’t try the ice cream because I am concerned about cross contamination since they serve gluten waffle cones. I don’t want to get sick on vacation, so I won’t even risk it.
I’ve eaten there twice so far, and plan to visit again. So far I have tried their turkey sandwich and philly cheese grilled sandwich, which was heavenly! Their gluten free bread is wonderful, doesn’t crumble and has great flavor. The sandwiches are served with prepackaged Lay’s chips and a pickle and cost on average $6.99. I’d definitely recommend this place if you are passing through ton on the way to Lake Powell or Zion National Park.
Posted on | June 19, 2012 | Comments Off
I had never heard of this company before so I did some research and found that Pastariso is owned by Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Inc., which specializes in gluten free foods. They offer many shapes of pasta as well as instant mac and cheese, boxed mac and cheese, and potato pasta. They are in a dedicated gluten free facility and frequently inspect their facility to ensure that it is gluten free.
I prepared the noodles by boiling 4 quarts of water, and then adding the noodles to cook for seven minutes. I noticed the water clouded up a bit, and when I rinsed the noodles some mushed a bit. The noodles softened a bit too much. I like my pasta slightly al dente, and these noodles were just too soft for my taste. The taste of the noodles were mild, and didn’t interfere or overpower the sauce I added.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pros: wholegrain, easy to prepare
Cons: too soft
*Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: 100% wholegrain brown rice flour
Nutritional Snapshot (2 oz): 190 calories, .6g fat, 42g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 4g protein
Want to try this gluten free pasta?
Use THIS store locator to find a grocer near you or purchase in bulk via amazon.com:
Posted on | June 19, 2012 | Comments Off
p>This is another kid friendly gluten free product. This is brown rice pasta from Tinkyada pasta features shapes such as stars, boats, cars, and airplanes. I purchased this bagged pasta from a local gluten free shop for $4.49.
I have always had wonderful results with Tinkyada pasta in the past. It is my family’s favorite, and some gluten eaters like them better than their gluten pasta. I figured the quality would be the same, but would the pasta retain it’s shape?
Fresh out of the bag, all the small pasta shapes closely resembled the figures. I was pleased to notice that there were very few broken shapes in the raw pasta. So far, so good. To prepare, I boiled 4 quarts of water, then let the pasta cook for about 15 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the brown rice pasta retained it’s shape! The pasta appeared to plump up about 50%. Even after rinsing the noodles, and stirring while adding sauce, the noodles did not break or lose their shape.
As for the taste, it is up to my high standards for this brand. The flavor was mild and paired well with a variety of sauces. The noodles were soft but not mushy. They cooked al dente which left a bit of chewiness. This is most likely what helped the noodles retain their shape.
My husband and I gobbled these up, while my picky little one ate some and refused the rest.
Rating: 5 stars
Pros: noodles retained shape, cooked soft but not mushy
Cons: none that I could find
*Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: stone-ground brown rice, rice bran and water
Nutritional Snapshot (2 oz): 21o calories, 43 g carbohydrates, 4g protein
Want to try this gluten free pasta for yourself?
Check your local grocery store ( even Walmart carries Tinkyada pasta!) or purchase in bulk from amazon.com:
Posted on | June 16, 2012 | Comments Off
p>Gluten Free Matzo sent us a cookbook that has Passover friendly recipes. This cookbook is retails around $23.
In the cookbook there are starters and appetizers; soups, soup garnishes & sauces; fish; poultry; meat; vegetarian mains & substantial sides; desserts; breads and crackers; American cookies & English biscuits; and cakes.
The author is a woman who has been wheat and gluten free for many years. She compiled this cookbook for those who follow Ashkenazi traditions. The cookbook is written and published in London. It uses the metric system but there is a handy conversion reference sheet in the back.
Each recipe comes with a short description, and variations for the recipes. I found this helpful because most of the recipes I have never heard of, and it helped me select which recipes to try.
The photos throughout the book are mediocre at best . Some photos are crisp and show the food well. Other photos are slightly blurry and unclear. Since I was unfamiliar with most of the recipes, I wish they had pictures of each recipe that were crisp and clear.
I tried one recipe from each section. Each recipe offered different flavors , although my family did not enjoy every recipe we tried. The flavors and the method of cooking is very different than what my household is used to. There were a few that appealed to us, but most were disappointments. The directions were not as clear as I would have liked them to be as well. When I am cooking with ingredients and recipes I am familiar with it is okay to be a little vague. When everything is so new I need exact directions. At times I guessed what the instructions meant. Even so, every recipe I attempted turned out (at least I think).
Overall, it is an okay cookbook. I would use it when I’m in the mood to try something new, but I would not recommend it.
Rating: 2 stars
Pros: new flavors compatible with Passover
Cons: blurry pictures, unclear directions
If you wish to test this cookbook for yourself, it is available at via Gluten Free Matzo via amazon.com: