Friday Breakast Dash

Not every day is full of home crafted breakfasts. I’m a realist. Some mornings it’s a quickly scarfed bowl of cereal and a dash for the door. Of my five kids, the two still at home are teenage GIRLS, which implies countless hours of wardrobe revisiting and last-minute hair tweaking. Mundane things like properly fueling your body before school and nutrition, pale in comparison to the smallest strand of bangs that isn’t cooperating. Cereal is our breakfast staple on days such as these.  Use the “milk” product of your choice and have on hand peeled hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, raisins or juice to accompany the cereal, and you’ve at least shoved some fast nutrition down the gang.

Two quick cereal options for gluten-free kiddos (and adults):

Kix: Newly reformulated without oats, Kix seem to be well tolerated by most GF individuals. Although not made specifically in a dedicated gluten-free environment, which means cross contamination is always a possibility– the ingredients themselves are appropriate for gluten and dairy free diets. As with anything, if you’ve not tried these before, use caution and read the label to be sure you’ve not picked up an older product before the oat-free revamping.  Kix, while not organic, is  vitamin fortified, and fairly low in sugar compared to many other mainstream cereals, so I can comfort myself it’s not a total wash when we eat this item.  (1  1/4th cup serving has 45 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron and 50 percent of folic acid. )

Option 2 is our new favorite- Bakery on Main  Gluten-Free Granola. Reaching a corporate milestone this summer by satisfying their 100,000th  satisfied customer, it’s easy to understand when you peer at the labels. Rainforest Granola (my personal favorite) as well as the other flavorful options are all made with ingredients from reputable suppliers, contain superior products and are as natural as you can get.

 I’m not sure why non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil tastes better (or even why it is better period)…but this granola possesses an impressive array of ingredients that when combined, are pure yumminess…:) Other GF flavors include, Apple Raisin Walnut, Nutty Maple Cranberry, Extreme Fruit and Nut, Cranberry Orange Cashew.  Says Bakery on Main, “We use corn and rice to create a hearty breakfast cereal that is free of gluten and also makes a great snack by itself or on yogurt or ice cream.” And it’s true! 

Although some ingredients do warn, “Manufactured on equipment that also processes milk proteins, eggs, and peanuts” — we’ve not had a problem with any of their products. (I believe that warning is only on the Tropical variety, not the other granola varieties) Again, use caution and read labels and test out in small quantities. But these are seriously the best granola products I’ve ever stuffed in my face.  The company also makes “grab and go” gluten-free bars and snack sized packages. I’ve written and asked for samples, since these aren’t available here in my local stores. When/if I get these, I’ll add a review post-consuming. I live in the Midwest and actually found the cereal in my natural food section of the supermarket, so it’s likely you can find this product in most mainstream grocers and health food stores.  However, you can also find Bakery on Main products on Amazon and through the Gluten-Free Mall, as well as direct through the manufacturer.  With a philosophy that, “food that’s good for you, should taste good, too” –Bakery on Main does deliver on their promise. No unnatural items, no refined sugar and no trans-fat, and 100 delicious.

Rainforest Granola Product Description: Real dried bananas and roasted sliced brazil nuts with coconut flavor. Made with unrefined sugar and Non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil.  Ingredients: Corn flour, water, evaporated cane juice, rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, honey, salt, non-gmo canola oil, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, banana, sesame seed, flax seed, natural vanilla flavor, natural coconut flavor, natural brown sugar flavor, sea salt.

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Break-the-Fast With Van’s Waffles

As part of my spotlight on breakfast this week, I’m selecting family favorite products and tossing in a few recipes to beat the morning “blahs.” Stay tuned as we go through a week of GF options to recharge your diet and your appetite.

A great reason  to get up and face the world comes from Van’s Natural Foods. You’ll love Van’s gluten AND dairy-free frozen waffles in a variety of truly scrumpteous flavors- Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Totally Natural, Flax, and Buckwheat. BTW, don’t let the Buckwheat variety scare you off.  Buckwheat, in spite of the name, is a  fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and is 100 percent gluten-free. (whew) Packed with hearty flavor, buckwheat also is nutrition-dense and full of flavonoids and magnesium, so it makes a perfect choice to start your day.

Our family favorite is  blueberry, but each of Van’s waffle varieties are consumed en masse here with much enjoyment.  You’ll also find in some stores, the Van’s “Minis” – which like most small items–are favored by kiddos and make a nice snack. All of Van’s GF Waffles are  made with whole grain brown rice flour and are  fruit juice sweetened. Van’s regular sized frozen waffles are readily available in most mainstream grocery store chains and in health food stores, but you might have to hunt a bit in some areas for the minis.

 

Quick Breakfast Ideas: Gluten-Free Frozen Burritos

It’s Monday and no doubt you’re scrambling around for a way to jump-start your week.  If you’d like a delicious “quick and easy” gluten-free morning, grab one of these items from our friends at Glutenfreeda Foods. The newest addition to their product line are  Glutenfreeda’s Burritos– which score a home run with my family for taste and ease. Not only are they the first gluten-free breakfast burrito on the market, they also have amazing flavor and actually possess the same texture as a “real” wheat flour burrito.  Glutenfreeda’s Burritos are honestly so good, you might enjoy waking up a little more– even if it’s Monday.

 According to  Glutenfreeda Foods, “Our burritos are made from all natural ingredients, contain no  trans fats, no hydrogenated oils and are a cinch to prepare.  Simply take the frozen burrito, tear off the top strip and microwave in the bag (eliminating any possibility of cross contamination) for about 1 minute per side – the cooking time will depend on the strength of the microwave, but this is a fair approximation.  Burritos come in 4 flavors – Breakfast Beef, Chicken & Cheese, Bean & Cheese and Vegetarian & Dairy Free.”

The “Vegetarian & Dairy Free” burrito is the only one of these that isn’t laden with cheese or dairy, so if you’re watching caseins opt for that variety. However, with ingredients like “vine-ripened fresh peeled tomatoes” and Serrano peppers, you won’t miss the meat or the dairy in this veggie burrito. Top with a little salsa and you’ll be on your way out the door, doing the macarena all the way to work.  Pick these up from your local health food store or order online from the Gluten-Free Mall. You can also pop a frozen burrito in your lunch and heat up at school or work, which provides a nice option for kiddos who need a change of lunchtime pace.

Note: Check with retail stores for discounts on case lots. While not pricey compared to many other GF foods, you’ll usually save a bit on bulk purchases.

Rise and Shine!!!!

 

 

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Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies by Glutino =Equals Happiness

 

Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies

By:  Glutino

Retail: Approximately $4.99-$5.50

Serving Size: 20 cookies (10 servings)

In the writing world, you need to be careful to use words that don’t give biased attention to brand names. Hence, Kleenex is “facial tissue.” Fruit-flavored gelatin desserts aren’t called the “J” name unless specifically referring to the product, etc. But in this instance, let’s throw caution to the wind and speak of a familiar brand- Oreo’s.

I’ve missed Oreo’s. Like many gluten-free folks, I get misty at the memories. Those tasty, unique chocolate sandwich cookies with the trademark vanilla crème are becoming a distant dream.

While I can bake almost any cookie with the proper mixture of gluten-free flour/starch/xanthan gum- Oreo’s remain hopelessly impossible to create in a home kitchen. What’s more, I somehow think there’s a special magic associated with the process- unique to the makers of the elusive Oreo.

When my daughter first got diagnosed with this condition, we picked up another gluten free Oreo-like brand (who shall be nameless here) and were sadly disappointed. In fact, I’d actually sworn off attempting this trial again with other GF brands.

But, our friends and culinary geniuses at Glutino, have produced a gluten-free chocolate wafer plus vanilla crème sandwich cookie that actually satisfies the cravings of even the most die-hard cookies and cream fan.

These yummy Glutino cookies are not only free of gluten and milk, but also free of the “health food” taste that frequently accompanies “special diet” fare. While there is a time and place for that “whole grain” flavor- it’s got no part in a snack like chocolate/vanilla crème sandwich cookies. In other words, Glutino’s cookies taste like a decadent treat- as they should.

If you know much about our family, we didn’t come into this lifestyle by choice. We actually were what I’d call, “non selective” feeders- dining on veggies and healthy fare in unison with equally unhealthy junk food. So, for me to give the A+ stamp of approval on Glutino’s efforts is a profound compliment to their ingenuity.

Of course, you can scarf them right out of the bag, (and no doubt, you’ll want to) but they also work well when mixed with Purely Decadent’s Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream or your favorite brand of ice cream. And when dunked in milk (or other milk-like substance of your choice? ) Mmmm…

For kiddo’s and grown up alike, Glutino has given us another reason to live gluten free fearlessly and happily. Yum.

Find them online at glutenfree.com,  in chains like Meijer, or ask for them at your local health food store.

 

Ingredients: Icing sugar, flour blend (corn flour, potato starch, corn starch, white rice flour, tapioca starch, soy flour, potato flour, carrageenan, gum arabic, xanthan gum), organic palm oil, canola oil, cocoa powder processed with alkali, natural cocoa powder, invert sugar, natural flavors, corn starch, egg whites, sodium bicarbonate, sea salt, soy lecithin, ammonium bicarbonate.

May Contain: Contains soy and eggs. May contain traces of milk, peanut and tree nuts

 
 

Sandwich Petals

 

Until recently, finding edible gluten-free  flatbread and soft tortillas have proven to be challenging feats. Lacking the “elastic” of gluten, most GF flatbread and tortilla products are crumbly and frequently tasteless as well. But thanks to the pioneering talents of folks at Raquelita’s Tortillas, in Denver, Colorado, gluten-free options- in the form of  soft, flavor rich and flexible  Sandwich Petals  now exist.

Billed as “The Ultimate Gluten-free Athletic Flatbread”- Sandwich Petals deliver with some pretty ultimate taste and extra-ordinary nutritional aspects. Aside from yummy flavor and variety, we loved these for the convenience. Unlike so many GF products, Sandwich Petals (gasp) don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen- and have a shelf life without ‘fridge storage of up to 30 days.

For those of you pondering school lunches or quick “grab it and go” meals, Sandwich Petals are a significantly useful item to combat boring pack lunches and as well as adding zing to a medley of tasty dishes.

And, as opposed to countless “special diet” products- Sandwich Petals aren’t costly. In fact, these are actually reasonably priced. It’s possible to still pay your bills and eat this item on a routine basis – a rarity in the GF world, my friends. A mere $25 bucks will offer a variety pack of 36 petals (12 of each flavor). (OMG)

Of the three varieties – Agave Grain, Spinach Garlic Pesto, and Chimayo Red Chile- we preferred the Chimayo Red Chile overall. It’s a perfect partner for items like breakfast burritos and Mexican style recipes. Since our family virtually devoured the entire box of these in a few days (and even fought over the last Chimayo Red Chile Petal) I’d say it’s now a permanent fixture in our GF dining.

The Agave Grain is a sweetish, honey reminiscent tortilla – a factor I wasn’t prepared for when I made tuna fish salad roll-ups without reading about the varieties first. But Agave Grain does pair fabulously with peanut butter and banana treats and is excellent in the recipe for “Roast Chicken Wraps” offered on the Sandwich Petals website, as well as divine brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked into crispy sweet flatbread chips.

Spinach Garlic Pesto is a vibrant offering, and deliciously works well with GF cream cheese and fresh veggie roll-ups or functions well as the platform for boundless varieties of flatbread-esque mini-pizzas. Avocado and sprouts, mixed with grilled fresh salmon is a family favorite for this version of Sandwich Petals.

You’ll want to heat Sandwich Petals prior to using for about 10-30 seconds. Although surprisingly soft and moist, like  most GF items, they need a bit of help being pliable and may crack if you don’t preheat a bit. Make use of the many recipes offered on the site or try your own. Sandwich Petals have endless options and due to versatility, are well worth adding to your GF diet on a happily regular basis.

Lab certified by American Institute of Baking, as gluten-free (less than 20 ppm) Sandwich Petals are also:

Low carb and low-calorie

Free of dairy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, soy and wheat

Full of heart happiness, with cardiac health essential Omega 3

Diabetic friendly

Rich in pre-biotics for sound digestion.

 

 

 

 

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