Posted on | April 20, 2012 | 4 Comments
There is one thing I expect to see in granola. Oats. That seems like a necessary. obvious ingredient. Without oats it is just cereal, or so I thought. I was surprised to discover this gluten free granola product does contain oats! Instead, in lieu of oats, rounded flakes made from corn were added . The flakes were thicker than corn flakes, and shaped in a semi-circle, but hollowed out. In each flake there were tiny rice crisps that appeared to be attached by syrup or a sugar. This granola also contained cranberries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, and pecans.
I tested this granola for breakfast with milk. After adding milk to the granola, I took a bite. I first tasted maple, then cranberry, then something burnt. What? Not every bite tasted burnt but the ones that did were more of a hint of burnt. The other bites were wonderful though with the tastes of nuts, cranberry, and maple. What an interesting, and yummy combination. The flakes stayed firm during my breakfast, and never got soggy. The rice crisps added a nice texture to the granola.
The burnt taste is a deterrent but it wasn”t strong enough to stop me from eating it. Overall it was okay. I was disappointed that there were no oats. Even though there are seeds and cranberries that are usually in granola, it just isn”t the same. If I wanted granola, I wouldn”t buy this cereal.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pros: The flavors work well together, variety of nuts/seeds
Cons: no oats, light burnt taste
Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: corn flour, water, evaporated cane juice, rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, honey, salt, cranberry (sugar), non-gmo canola oil, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, almonds, sesame seed, pecans, natural flavors, sea salt
Nutritional Snapshot: (3/4 cup) 260 calories, 11g fat, 36g carbohydrates 13g sugar, 4g protein
To purchase individually, visit the online store at vitacost.com.
To purchase in bulk, visit amazon.com:
Posted on | April 20, 2012 | No Comments
These bite size soft cookies were sent to us to try from A Couple Smart Cookies come in three cute, descriptive flavors: peanut butter loves chocolate chip, fudge squared, and pumpkin dates cherry. These cookies are made by Smart Planet Kitchen, a company based out of Laguna Beach, California.
These vegan mini-cookies came in a small resealable plastic container. Each package contains fourteen cookies, and each cookie measures about an inch in diameter and is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without feeling guilty.
I stored these cookies in the freezer, and when I wanted one I put it on the counter for a couple minutes and it was perfectly softened. I found the cookies to be grainy from the rice flour, but had a great taste. You could eat these cookies in one bite, but I preferred two bites so my mouth wasn’t too full. Personally I wouldn’t buy these. I can make cookies with a smoother texture, and a comparable taste. They’re not the best cookies I’ve ever had.
Here’s the rundown on the three flavors I tried:
My favorite cookie was definitely the Pumpkin Dates Cherry. I like pumpkin, but the pumpkin wasn’t too overwhelming. My husband who doesn’t like pumpkin even enjoyed these cookies. There are a bits of dried dates and cherry in the cookie to add a bit of sweetness and flavor. There were more cherries than dates.
Ingredients: rice flour, dates, evaporated cane juice, expeller sunflower oil, fruit juice, natural grain dextrims (from rice), cherries (dried cherries, sugar, sunflower oil), pumpkin puree (pumpkin, water), pumpkin powder, tapioca starch, non aluminum baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), baking soda, sea salt, ginger
Nutritional Snapshot: (2 cookies) 100 calories, 3g fat, 16g carbohydrates, 8g sugar, 1g protein
Fudge Squared was a chocolate, fudge like cookie with chocolate chips in it. This cookie was chocolate heaven! It featured a rich chocolate taste, without being overly sweet.
Ingredients: rice flour, dates, chocolate chips (dehydrated cane juice, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), expeller pressed sunflower oil, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, natural grain dextrims (from rice), cocoa powder, water, tapioca starch, non aluminum baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), baking soda, sea salt, vanilla
Nutritional Snapshot: (2 cookies) 100 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 8g sugar, 1g protein
Peanut Butter loves Chocolate was a great mix of two flavors, a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips . Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together? The peanut butter nor the chocolate were too overwhelming. These two flavors balanced each other well and tasted very satisfying.
Ingredients: peanut butter (peanuts), rice flour, dates, chocolate chips (dehydrated cane juice, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), fruit juice, natural grain dextrins (from rice), evaporated cane juice, water, expeller pressed sunflower oil, tapioca starch, non aluminum baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), baking soda, sea salt
Nutritional Snapshot: (2 cookies) 120 calories, 6g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 7g sugar, 3g protein
Overall Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pros: bite size, variety of flavors
To purchase these cookies, they may be ordered from the Smart Planet Kitchen website
Posted on | April 20, 2012 | 1 Comment
Taste of Gluten Free sent us this 13 ounce gluten free pumpkin cake mix to try out. Yum! I love pumpkin flavor anything, so this was right up my alley. This mix makes a 9 inch cake and retails for $5 from the Taste of Gluten Free website.
To prepare this mix, I combined the dry mix with vegetable oil, eggs, and canned pumpkin. I baked the cake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and let it cool completely before topping the cake with the homemade cream cheese frosting recipe included on the package, as well as toasted walnuts.
This mix seemed easy to prepare, and I was pleased that the cake mix was so easy to work with. I noticed that when I removed the cake from the oven, it fell just a little. My guess is that it needed a few more minutes to bake.
This gluten free pumpkin cake tasted quite sweet, and is definitely a cake, not a quick bread disguised as a cake. The sweetness is perfect for a subtly sweet cream cheese frosting, or alone as an unfrosted snack cake. Both ways tasted delicious. I also noticed a perfect cinnamon spice flavor that tasted balanced, and did not overwhelm the pumpkin.
This cake was ridiculously moist, maybe even more so since it could have used a few more minutes to bake. I noticed that the gluten free pumpkin cake tasty mushy when paired with the frosting alone, but tasted excellent when topped with toasted walnuts for texture and contrast. Dryness is not a problem!
As for the provided cream cheese frosting recipe on the front of the package, I quite liked it. The frosting tasted silky and smooth with just the right amount of sweetness, and the recipe made enough for a nice thick layer on the cake. When I frosted the cake, it did pull up a little of the top cake layer, simply because the cake was so moist. Other than that, it was tasty and easy to prepare and work with.
Overall, this is a good pumpkin cake mix that I would be happy to keep in my pantry.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Pros: moist, perfect cinnamon and pumpkin flavors
Cons: pretty sweet- sugar is the #1 ingredient
Ingredients: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cinnamon, baking soda, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt
Nutritional Snapshot: Not provided
Want to try this gluten free pumpkin cake mix for yourself?
Check out the tasteofglutenfree.net website for ordering information
Posted on | April 14, 2012 | No Comments
Kitchen Table Bakers sent me these parmesan crisps to try out. I was curious, as I hadn’t heard of them before, and their product seemed unique. Each three ounce container featured about 18 three inch round crisps that were shrink wrapped for freshness and to minimize breakage. Each container retails for around $5.99, and they make eight flavors: Parmesan, sesame, rosemary, flax seed, garlic, Italian herb, jalapeno and “everything.” I tried the parmesan and the sesame flavors
These lacy looking cheese crisps were reminiscent of crisp crackers and despite their delicate crunch, were sturdy enough for dips, toppings, or even broken up as a crouton in soups. To be honest, I enjoyed them in all of these scenarios, and they were just as good by themselves as a savory snack.
One of the aspects I liked about these crisp was that the ingredients were simple- just cheese. They don’t use fillers or binders, and it showed in the flavor. My husband is the kind of guy that when he makes grilled cheese, he would add extra cheese to the grill to cook and make a crisp out of, and he loved these. In fact, he came back for the crumbs at the bottom of the container and asked where to buy them! I took that as a good sign, because he is definitely the foodie in our family, and he was impressed with the quality.
Overall, these are greats crisps that will probably become a staple at my home.
Rating: 5 stars
Pros: rich flavor, versitile snacking options
Cons: a little pricey
(Parmesan – 3 crisps) 80 calories, 6 g. fat, 150 mg sodium, 7 g. protein, 20% DV calcium
(Sesame – 3 crisps) 80 calories, 6 g fat, 150 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 15% DV calcium
(parmesan): pasturized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, non animal rennet
(sesame): pasturized part skim milk, sesame seeds, cheese cultures, salt, non animal rennet
Want to try these gluten free parmesan cheese crisps for yourself?
They may be purchased from the kitchentablebakers.com website, or via amazon.com with free super saver shipping:
Posted on | April 9, 2012 | 2 Comments
Kinnikinnick sent me their new gluten free hot dog buns to test out. They are completely new and replace their old hot dog buns. Each package contains four hot dog buns and retails for around $4.59 per package.
These buns are stored frozen, but remain soft and smooth on the countertop for a few days. When thawed from frozen in the microwave, I found the buns thawed quite evenly due to the fact that they are not pre-sliced. However, slice them carefully! If you slice the buns too deep, the bun will separate and won’t cradle your hot dog or toppings very well.
These buns are thinner, smoother, and much softer than their old hot dog buns, and remind me of the store brand gluten hot dog buns I sometimes buy for group gatherings. All huge improvements. I did not notice any graininess, with a texture and favor reminiscent of white bread. They are thin enough not to overwhelm a regular hot dog, but sturdy enough for a sausage or bratwurst. I found they stood up well to condiments and relishes without sogginess. And a bonus, they are great for both kids and adults that don’t want to feel “different” in group settings or cookouts.
So, how does this compare to Udi’s? Well, both are solid, tasty buns. However, I think the Udi’s bun is a bit drier and thicker, but flavor is comparable in my mind.
Overall, love the new Kinnikinnick buns, and love that it is just in time for cookout season.
Rating: 5 stars
Pros: remains soft and smooth at room temperature, stores well, mild flavor, looks appealing
Cons: Can”t think of any
Ingredients: Water, White Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower and/or Canola Oil, Sugar, Egg White Powder, Corn Starch, Cellulose, non-Hydrogenated Shortening (palm fruit and/or canola), Psyllium fiber, Yeast, Modified cellulose, Rice Starch, Salt, Cultured Corn Syrup Solids, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Modified Cellulose, Vitamin and Mineral Blend(Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid, Iron), Enzymes
Nutritional Snapshot: 180 calories, 5 g. fat, 0 cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrate, 6 g. fiber, 1 g. sugar, 3 g, protein
Want to try Kinnikinnick gluten free hot dog buns?
Check the freezer section at your local grocery store. Or, the buns may be purchased on Kinnikinnick’s website. I included the image below from their website, so you could see the bright yellow packaging.
Posted on | April 1, 2012 | 2 Comments
There is nothing like a good hamburger. Sadly, I haven’t had a really good hamburger with a really good gluten free hamburger bun since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I would either make do with sub par gluten free bread, or wrap my burger in lettuce. When Kinnikinnick came out with this new hamburger bun to replace their old buns, I thought, why not give it a try? Especially since Kinnikinnick sent some samples to taste. Free- even better!
In each package retails for $4.59, and comes with four buns. Kinnikinnick recommends you store them frozen, or they may be stored fresh on the countertop for a day or two. They are supposed to be soft enough that after they defrost they may be consumed with no toasting or special preparation. These buns are not pre-sliced so all you need to do is slice them when to is time to eat.
When my burger was done grilling, I popped one Kinnikinnick hamburger bun in the microwave for 45 seconds. It was the perfect time. The bun was no longer cold, but still soft and evenly defrosted. I waited for the bun to cool, then sliced it in two. It is very important to let the bun cool after removing from the microwave, because when I tried to slice it right out of the microwave and it just smushed. It actually looks like a gluten hamburger bun!
I went all out and added onion, tomato, pickle, cheese, lettuce, and ketchup. Even though the lettuce was ripped funny, I still think this burger looks amazing! I took a bite and was in love. The bun is soft, and squished down a bit; just like I would expect a bun from McDonalds to do. The smell of the bun actually reminded me of McDonalds. Although the bun is soft, it didn’t squish into nothing. It still held it’s shape, and my burger. It kept it’s shape to the very last bite. There is not distinct taste to the bun, it lets the meat and condiments do the talking.
I am in love with Kinninnick’s new soft hamburger bun. Try these as soon as you can!
Rating: 5 stars
Pros: soft bun with a light taste, 5 g fiber
Cons: it didn’t come out sooner!
Ingredients: water, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sunflower and/or canola oil, sugar, egg white powder, corn starch, cellulose, non-hydrogenated shortening (palm fruit and/or canola), psyllium fiber, yeast, modified cellulose, rice starch, salt, cultured corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, citric acid, modified cellulose, vitamin and mineral blend (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iron), enzymes
Nutritional Snapshot: (1 bun) 150 calories, 5g fat, 26g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 5 g fiber
Want to try the new Kinnikinnick soft hamburger buns?
Check your local grocer’s freezer section, or they may be purchased directly from the Kinnikinnick website.
Posted on | April 1, 2012 | 1 Comment
This is their original granola, so there are no fancy robust flavors, or exotic fruits. Although this has a basic, original favor, it is not bland. The oats have a light sweet taste from wildflower honey, and the raisins, banana chips, and assorted nuts add complimentary flavors.
I ate this granola for breakfast with a little milk and it filled me up well into lunch. The oats even stayed crunchy throughout the whole bowl. The banana chips, however threw me for a loop. These banana chips are not actual dried banana, but a concoction of banana, coconut oil, sugar, and natural banana flavor. The texture was odd and slightly hard, but provided a pleasant contrasting texture with the nuts.
I thoroughly enjoyed this granola and was sad when the bag was empty.
Ratings: 5 stars
Pros: light tasting with a variety of nuts and fruits
Cons: Banana chips are an odd flavor and texture
Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: certified gluten free oats, wildflower honey, canola oil, raisins, banana chips (banana, coconut oil, sugar, natural banana flavor), walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios
Nutritional Snapshot: (1/4 cup) 120 calories, 4.5g fat, 19g carbohydrates, 7g sugar, 3g protein
This gluten free granola from Udi”s may be purchased from or in bulk via amazon.com:
Posted on | March 31, 2012 | No Comments
Glutenfreematzo.com sent us Mispacha gluten free flavored coating crumbs to try out. This 6 ounce package retails for $2.49. The manufacturer recommends using this product for breading on either chicken or fish. I used it to make eggplant parmesan instead.
I poured the breading on a plate and noticed how small the granules were. This potato based coating product’s color and crumb size reminded me of imitation mozzarella cheese. Because of the size of the crumbs it coated the eggplant very well. It did not clump together but laid a thin coating.
I baked the coated eggplant in the oven. When it was time to turn my eggplant, the crumbs did not stick to the pan, but adhered perfectly to the eggplant. When it was completely cooked I saw that the crumbs crisped up and continued to coat the eggplant. Perfect! The package stated that the crumbs are flavored, but I didn’t notice much of a flavor at all.
In an eggplant parmesan recipe, tomato sauce is used to top the breaded eggplant .Unfortunately, when the tomato sauce came in contact with the coated eggplant, the gluten free crumb coating softened very quickly. Within a minute the coating became very soggy and almost inedible. How disappointing!
If this breading is used with chicken or fish without a sauce, it may taste better, but with eggplant parmesan it was just so-so and didn’t perform as I had hoped.
Rating: 3 stars
Pros: kosher for passover, tiny granules coat well, toasts up nicely
Cons: no flavor, becomes soggy quickly
Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: potato starch, dehydrated potatoes (contains sulfates to maintain whiteness), salt, dehydrated onions, cottonseed shortening, sugar, spices
Nutritional Snapshot: (2 Tbsp) 70 calories, .5g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 1g protein
This product may be purchased from allinkosher.com
Posted on | March 31, 2012 | 2 Comments
Easter is almost upon us. We have been sent a few items from glutenfreematzo.com that are kosher or used during Passover. Matzo is unleavened bread that is eaten during Passover, but can also be eaten the week before.
Glutenfreematzo.com sent us Yehuda gluten free matzo-style squares to try. They also distribute toasted onion matzo, gluten free kosher pasta, and other gluten free kosher foods for Passover.
I have never tried matzo and felt very excited to try it. Inside each 10.5 ounce box there were approximately 10 matzo-style crackers that measured about 8 in x 8in. Unfortunately when I opened the box I saw that over half of them were either cracked or crushed to crumbs. When I tried to pull the remaining whole pieces out they cracked as well. I wasn”t able to see one whole matzo.
I tried one piece by itself, without condiments, and found it to be similar in taste and texture to a saltine cracker. The taste was mild and simple, with a tiny bit of salt. It was very thin (which is probably why it cracked so easily), with a nice crunch. It stayed crisp as I chewed and didn”t turn into mush like saltines would. It is very good! I would eat this as a snack any day.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Pros: Stayed crisp with just enough salt
Cons: Half of the crackers broke in transit
Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: tapioca starch, water, potato starch, potato flour, expeller pressed palm oil, natural vinegar, egg yolks, honey, salt
Nutritional Snapshot: (1 matzo) 125 calories, 3.5g fat, 22g carbohydrates, .2g sugar, 1g protein
To purchase these gluten free matzo-style crackers, please visit the glutenfreematzo.com website for ordering information.
Posted on | March 31, 2012 | No Comments
Here is another mix sent to us from Taste of Gluten Free. This gluten free bread mix retails for $5.00 on their website and makes one 9 inch loaf or 8 small hamburger buns.
This mix was incredibly easy to make. All I had to do was mix 1 2/3 c warm water and 1/4 c mayonnaise with the packaged dry mix. I admit, I was nervous adding the mayonnaise. I don’t love mayonnaise to begin with, plus I thought about all the fat and calories that it added to the bread. But, I had faith that this company knew what they were doing and brushed my fear aside. I baked it in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
This bread was very difficult to smooth out, so there were a lot of ridges and spikes on the baked bread. The crust was crisp, but not hard. The inside was very smooth with no graininess, and did break a little if I tried to cut it too thin. When I tried eating this bread plain, I could definitely taste the mayonnaise. It wasn’t overpowering, but more of an aftertaste. There was no other taste to the bread, it is very plain and mild. When I made a sandwich with the bread ,the mayonnaise taste disappeared, and it let the condiments and meats stand out, enabling me to enjoy my sandwich. This bread was a good, solid substitute for traditional white bread.
Rating: 4 stars
Pros: soft, easy to prepare
Cons: slight mayo taste
Review submitted by Kristina
Ingredients: white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cultured cream, pasteurized dried egg whites, yeast, sugar, egg replacer, xanthan gum, gelatin, salt
Nutritional Snapshot: 120 calories, 2.5g fat, 30g carbohydrates, 3g protein
Want to try this gluten free bread mix? Visit the Taste of Gluten Free website for ordering details.