By Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President
Considering that 2/3 of my forees into baking end in failure, I was very excited at the success of this recipe, made with Thai Kitchen coconut milk.
The recipe for Coconut Cake came from allrecipes.com and I substituted 2 cups of Cup 4 Cup flour for the gluten-y all-purpose kind that the recipe called for. OMG…this cake was absolutely fantastic. I used real butter and eggs because things go horribly wrong when I attempt to substitute. But since lactose is water soluble, thus very little is remaining in butter, my lactose-intolerant family members were able to enjoy this cake with me.
The cake was so moist and delicious, I wanted to eat half the bundt in one sitting. The crumb was not dry, like powder, and it had the proper “tooth” to it. The recipe was just sweet enough to be dangerously delicious, but not so sweet that the taste of sugar overpowered the remaining flavors. The coconut flavor was soft and silky and not overpowering. I added an easy chocolate drizzle to the top…just perfect!
My entire family loved it. No need for two desserts with this one.
My other attempt was not so lucky. I attempted Chocolate Pots de Crème. I used a coconut milk recipe, and subbed Truvia for the sugar since my dad has type II diabetes. When I tasted the delightful crème, I was pleased. I was surprised. It was creamy, with a rich feel, but a very light taste. Unfortunately, something went typically south when I added the chocolate. The recipe was unclear about what kind of chocolate to use and I selected unsweetened. Too much. Unsweetened. Chocolate. Hmmmmph.
While my second recipe went straight from bowl to trash, I included it in this review because I was able to get a delicious crème from the coconut milk, and I encourage you to experiment.
All in all, I will definitely be including Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk among my baking staples. You can find their coconut milk and other gluten-free products at www.ThaiKitchen.com.
By Sophia Kagan, Beyond Celiac Volunteer, 12 years old
Hi! I’m back and this is my first hot product review. I will be reviewing new products over the coming months and my first is Baked by Melissa Gluten-Free cupcakes! Baked By Melissa’s new gluten-free shop is in New York City. The new gluten-free dedicated cupcake parlor is the perfect place for anyone with celiac disease and who is gluten-free.
Baked By Melissa Gluten-Free launched eight cupcake flavors that are certified to be gluten-free and are sold nationwide online and in the New York store, which is located on 7th avenue between 38th and 39th Street. The new gluten-free Baked by Melissa is located right next to the original Baked By Melissa (which sells gluten-containing versions of the cupcakes). They dare you to compare them to other gluten-free treats on the market. The new gluten-free flavors are all 55 calories or less. Each cupcake is $1 and is the perfect bite-sized portion.
I had the privilege of visiting on the opening weekend in November 2015. Take it from me, after being gluten-free for over 10 years and having tried hundreds of products, I give Baked by Melissa Gluten-Free two thumbs up!
Melissa didn’t want anyone to feel upset or excluded because of their allergies or medical conditions. During her first trimester of her pregnancy, Melissa, herself, developed gluten sensitivity, so she knows and understands what it means to be gluten-free. She opened up the new shop after truly understanding what it is to live a gluten free-life. She did not want anyone to feel punished for eating differently, whether because of celiac disease, allergies or lifestyle choices.
Now the important information: the gluten-free flavors are Tie-Die, Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate Crunch, Caramel, Cinnamon, Chocolate Marshmallow, Classic Yellow, and Peanut Butter Cup. I loved all the flavors, but my favorites were red velvet, chocolate marshmallow and tie-dye. Not only are the flavors great, but the cupcakes are moist and don’t crumble, which can be a problem with gluten-free baked goods.
Baked by Melissa wants and needs the gluten-free store to be perfectly safe, so they even have the employees of the gluten-free bakery store eat their meals in the gluten-containing Baked By Melissa next door. There is NO gluten ever in the Baked by Melissa Gluten-Free bakery so there is no chance of cross-contact. Safe and yummy, I recommend ordering from their website or if in New York City, stopping by!
Until next time with more Hot Products,
Clean eating is a huge topic in the celiac disease community. Like any other topic there are varying opinions; some have no interest in clean eating, some will only follow a clean diet and others lie somewhere in between. If you’re interested in learning more about clean eating or want to give it a try for yourself, Amie Valpone’s Eating CLEAN: The 21 Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body might be of interest.
Amie, who runs the website TheHealthyApple.com, had her fair share of health issues. Once perfectly healthy, she found herself in her 20s bedridden due to a variety of illnesses that doctors couldn’t identify. Like many people in the celiac disease community, Amie found relief through using food as her medicine. Her new book shares what she’s learned about her own body’s needs over the years.
Amie has been sharing her recipes with Beyond Celiac, formerly the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, for years. Her recipes use whole, clean ingredients and taste fresh and delicious. The new book has recipes that will make anyone’s mouth water:
- Scrumptious Breakfast options: Sunday Morning Blueberry Pear Oatmeal Bake, Breadless Coconut Vanilla French Toast, Millet ‘n’ Veggie Breakfast Tacos, or quick on-the-go no-bake Fuel Up Bars.
- Finger foods: Freckled Sesame Almond Clusters, Abundant Mango Cardamom Walnut Bars, and grain-free Lemon Peppered Almond Crackers.
- Appetizers like Herbed Avocados with caramelized lemon drizzle recipe or Sunrise Nori Wraps with spicy tahini drizzle that keep readers energized and satisfied until their next meal.
- The Roasted Onion and Sweet Pea Salad with fresh mint and creamy almond dressing, which would make a tasty lunch or light dinner.
- Vegetable-based entrees packed with healthy carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, including: Raw and Grain-Free Zucchini Pad Thai, Moroccan Chickpea Skillet Pizza, or Carefree Carrot and Brussels Sprouts Medley.
- Amie also includes from-scratch sauces to zest up entrees like the peppery Sunflower Pesto, and decadent desserts that are healthy and delicious, like the Lighthearted Raw Grain-Free Fudgy Brownies.
This book is chock full of recipes; there’s over 200 vegetarian and vegan recipes that are free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and refined-sugar. In addition to recipes, the book also includes tips on detoxing your life, how to eat out, travel and entertain.
The book doesn’t come out until March 8, 2016, but you can preorder up until March 7. If you do, you’ll get six free bonus recipes that you can’t find in the book. Get all the details here.
The other day, I found myself hungry at noon with nothing packed for lunch. Luckily, I remembered we had gluten-free Broad Noodles with Chicken and Chinese Broccoli from Feel Good Foods in the freezer.
This Asian-inspired frozen meal is the ultimate convenience food. It comes frozen and heats well in the microwave in a matter of minutes. Unlike some microwave pasta dishes, the noodles did not become rubbery or gummy. The sauce was tasty and not over-powering; I could still taste the chicken, broccoli and noodles.
As the Web and Social Media Manager for Beyond Celiac, I talk to people with celiac disease in our community all the time. One of the most common complaints about the gluten-free diet is that fast and convenient options are few and far between. Feel Good Foods is meeting this need through their frozen Asian-style dishes, which also include Vegetable Fried Brown Rice with Ginger and Leeks, General Tso’s Chicken, Mongolian Beef with Asparagus and Scallions, and Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables. These are perfect for people who don’t work in a gluten-free office, like the one at Beyond Celiac. The packaging protects the food from cross-contact in the fridge/freezer at work and it brings back the convenience of not having to pack a full lunch every day.
Check out more Feel Good Foods products at www.feel-good-foods.com.
By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web & Social Media Manager
Who doesn’t love Asian cuisine? Ok, I am sure there are some of you out there, but I definitely don’t fall into that camp. I love everything about Asian food, but especially egg rolls and dumplings.
It’s always a game of gluten roulette when you order out and the calorie counts tend to edge much higher than we’d like. Luckily, Feel Good Foods has a gluten-free, lower-calorie solution! We have a few vegetarians at the Beyond Celiac office, so we opted to try out the Gluten-Free Vegetable Egg Rolls and the Gluten-Free Vegetable Dumplings.
We made these on two separate days. Last week, Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President, decided to give the Vegetable Dumplings a go. She was without a lunch that day and in a hurry, so she tossed the dumplings in a little bit of water and microwaved them, even though the directions said to either bake or pan fry them. She was nice enough to share with some of the team and even though we did not follow the package directions exactly, these dumplings were delicious. The inside was not mushy or gritty like some dumplings can be. The outside was the perfect amount of chewy and the inside had a lot more flavor than I was expecting. These dumplings got two thumbs around the Beyond Celiac lunch table.
Today, we decided to crack open the Vegetable Egg Rolls and this time, we made sure to follow the directions. We opted to bake the egg rolls and in about 25 minutes, we had slightly crunchy and sturdy egg rolls from the toaster oven. They come 3 to a pack and each egg roll is only 90 calories, which thoroughly surprised the Beyond Celiac team. These egg rolls give you the taste of takeout with a crunchy wrap that’s packed with salty flavor. They certainly did not taste like they are only 90 calories, which was a bonus in my book!
Aside from the taste, my favorite part of these Feel Good Foods products is the convenience factor. It really doesn’t get much easier than baking a frozen food or pan frying it. These are great for busy families who want a takeout feel without the risk of gluten exposure. If you’re the meat-eating type, you’ll be happy to know that the egg rolls come in a chicken and vegetable and shrimp and vegetable variety as well. The dumplings can also be found with pork or chicken.
With the Super Bowl coming up, I can’t help but think that these would make for great finger foods or appetizers at a party. I’m 99.9% sure that your guests won’t even realize these are gluten-free!
You can check out the Feel Good Foods frozen gluten-free line at http://feel-good-foods.com.
By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications & New Media
As a person with celiac disease, I’ve resigned myself to having very limited choices of convenience/snack food that I don’t make and pack myself. I wistfully look at the choices on the shelves and in the refrigerator section of my family’s favorite stop-n-go filling station. Sometimes I end up with tortilla chips or some other packaged gluten-free salty snack because there’s really no other safe choice. And let’s face it, I don’t really need to stare down the bottom of another chip bag.
Imagine my delight to find Boar’s Head pairing their traditional and roasted red pepper hummuses (or is that hummi?) with gluten-free pretzels! They didn’t have to do that, but they did! And I daresay, the gluten-eaters among us will not be able to quibble. The pretzels were delightful and crunchy despite being chilled. The hummus is smooth and creamy (and appropriately chilled). I prefer the Traditional Hummus, but the Roasted Red Pepper was good too (just a little messier.) I eat a lot of hummus, and this is just the kind of snack I want on hand. The pretzel feels appropriately snack-y enough and the hummus pulls me back to the land of the healthy. Also, if you prefer non-GMO verified foods, you’ll be happy to know that the Boar’s Head hummus fits the bill.
You don’t have to stick to the grab-and-go packages only. Boar’s Head also sells the hummus by itself without the pretzels. Just open, dip in your favorite hummus companion and enjoy! The gluten-free hummus comes in 5 varieties:
- Roasted Red Pepper
- Roasted Pine Nut
- Roasted Garlic
- Fiery Chipotle Pepper
Learn more about Boar’s Head hummus here.
By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications and New Media
One of my biggest beefs about my celiac disease diagnosis was the end of the “Non-Goopy Sandwich” era. The gluten-free sandwich bread of five years ago was very porous. As a lover of liquidy condiments – mustard, hummus, jelly, honey, nut butters – I was forced to turn to gluten-free bagels as a substitute. That answer works well, but the sandwich then becomes all about the bread, not the filling. I’m always on the look-out for bread that will fulfill the tastiness, portability and non-drippy requirements of a quality sandwich, and I think I’ve found it.
Last night, I put together a tomato, lettuce, mustard and hummus sandwich on Schar’s new Artisan Baker White Bread. A messy quartet, to be sure. I lightly toasted the bread (out of habit, frankly), assembled the sandwich, and ate without spillage. Eureka! The bread was porous but thick enough to prevent leakage. I did not have to rush through the sandwich before it disintegrated. I got to enjoy every bite, allowing the flavors to mingle with the right amount of chewing. And good-tasting too! Like bread! I definitely would not kick this bread out of my sandwich repertoire. Thanks, Schar!
If you’re like many Americans, you’re looking for real, wholesome snacks that are free of the junk. These can be tough to find, especially when you add gluten-free needs into the mix. Luckily, there’s Love with Food by G-Free Foodie, a company that gathers hard-to-find, delicious, healthy and gluten-free snacks into one box and mails it right to your door each month. How great is that?
We receive two samples of Love with Food boxes at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office. Not only are they full of great-tasting snacks, but they come in super adorable packaging, too. The box had amazing variety and included: Dried fruit with no added sugars, home cooked Virginia peanuts, premium puffed corn, sweet corn tortilla chips, protein bar, chicken jerky, gluten-free linguine, gummy vitamins and salted caramel.
Obviously, anything that is mailed to your door is pretty convenient. But, for people with celiac disease, having the ability to find new gluten-free snacks without the hassle of the grocery store is a pretty great deal. I can see the Love with Food boxes being perfect for sending to gluten-free students living away at college.
Aside from the convenience and quality of the snacks included in the box, what I really love most about Love with Food is that they give back to the community. For every box sold, Love with Food donates a meal to several food banks, like the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry. You can feel great knowing that snacks for you equals a meal for a kid in need.
Visit LoveWithFood.com to learn more about the packages, which begin at just $7.99. You’ll also receive 50% off your first box!
By Jennifer North, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Vice President
I don’t generally bake, which is why I had to wing it when making pizza from Enjoy Life’s new line of gluten-free baking mixes with ancient grains that include a new technology: heat-resistant probiotics.
But let’s stick with the pizza for now. The only required ingredients are water, olive oil and salt. While I didn’t have a rolling pin and had to use a glass cup to roll out the dough instead, I do have a pizza stone that I inherited from my sister. The box includes enough mix for two pizza crusts, free of gluten and all top eight allergens (unless you choose to add some when you select toppings). The instructions provided some direction about my options for rolling out a thin, crispy crust or a thicker, more “doughy” crust. I thought I would try one of each.
I used a can of crushed tomatoes, along with my freshly picked Jersey garden tomatoes (and basil!). On the thin, crispy pizza, I also added spinach and thin slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which is an aged cheese and therefore also lactose-free. The dough was actually dough. I got to knead it and feel it in my hands. I baked the crust on its own for eight minutes, then added the toppings and allowed to bake for another 10 minutes. The result was a wonderful, warm, cracker-like pizza. The parm also crusted up and gave the pizza a deeper flavor.
I chose to go with a lighter flavor on the thicker crust, so I used all of the same ingredients, except I subbed out the parm for goat cheese, which is not lactose-free. The bottom of the crust was crispy (as I would expect from using a pizza stone) and while the inside looked under-cooked, it didn’t feel doughy once it cooled a little.
I tend to enjoy a heartier, artisan flavor to my breads, so I appreciate the non-traditional ingredients in this crust like teff, millet and flaxseed meal. Those ingredients provide more fiber and some added protein, as well. The probiotics are an added benefit and this patented formula that allows the probiotics to stay in tact when baked enables Enjoy Life to make the claim that these mixes do support immune health, something we know is of interest to those with celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders.
You can learn more about the Enjoy Life gluten-free Pizza Crust Mix, along with other new mixes, at www.EnjoyLifeFoods.com.
There’s no more delicious place to catch up with National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) sponsors than Natural Products Expo East. This annual Baltimore event is the ideal spot to see, taste, and learn about the newest gluten-free products making their way to stores near you soon. Have you tried any of these brand new goodies yet?
Whether you need a crispy cracker to serve at a party or a zesty mix for snacking, Crunchmaster covers all of the bases. In addition to the original Crunchmaster crackers, you’ll now find the new Harvest Stone line, which features toasted sesame and cracked pepper brown rice crackers, along with fun Crispy Mixes in original, cheese, and bold.
Allergen-free bakers, unite! The new line of Enjoy Life Baking Mixes makes baking easy, no matter what foods your family needs to avoid. Whether you’re hungry for pancakes, muffins, brownies, pizza, or your own recipe, just add oil and water to these easy-to-use, probiotic-enhanced mixes.
Freedom Foods makes some of the most loved gluten-free and allergen-free cereals out there, and the new All Round Goodness and Fruity Rainbow Rocks offer healthy and safe alternatives to breakfast staples. For a quick breakfast on the go, Freedom Foods also has a new line of allergen-free Oat Bars available in apple cinnamon, apricot & coconut, and cranberries & seeds.
From bread to rolls to snack bars, Promise’s gluten-free products strike the balance between flavor and nutrition. Promise gluten-free bread, bagels, and rolls are some of the most high-fiber and low-fat products you’ll find, and the Chocolate & Marshmallow Biscuit Bars are treats you can feel good about snacking on.
Schär’s new Artisan Baker bread line replaces the original line with a fresh taste and look. The Artisan Baker breads have Schär’s distinctive soft texture with a well-rounded flavor from sourdough, millet, and quinoa. Available in white and multi-grain, these breads make great tasting sandwiches and garlic bread.