Logan’s Bake in Bag Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns

By | Sep 1, 2015

By Alicia Carango, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Web & Social Media Manager

To be perfectly honest, I have not been as excited about a gluten-free product as I am about Logan’s Bake in Bag Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns. Don’t get me wrong, we get loads of delicious gluten-free products sent to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) regularly, but it’s rare that we receive products that are so cool.

Logan's Gluten-Free Bake in Bag Hamburger Buns: Packaging

Yes, you can really bake these right in the bag!

What’s so cool about Logan’s Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns? It’s the “bake in bag” part. The buns come in a plastic bag (which I was convinced would melt immediately in the oven, but it didn’t). All you do is pop them in the oven, microwave or toaster oven and you get deliciously warmed (not toasted) gluten-free hamburger buns. They are the perfect way to keep your bread products safe from cross-contact both in and out of the home. Imagine being able to warm up your bread at work in seven minutes without fear of cross-contact! If you don’t have a toaster oven at work, you’ll be happy to know that the bread can be fresh baked in the microwave as well in just 20-40 seconds.  This product makes it possible to eat safely when a dedicated gluten-free toaster isn’t an option and when the microwave poses cross-contact risks.

Logan's Gluten-Free Bake in Bag Hamburger Buns: The Spongy Bread

The “spongy” bread. It doesn’t even look gluten-free!

Around the office, we’ve been referring to Logan’s as “the spongy bread.”  This is a good thing – it actually feels like real, squishy bread. I like that the bread didn’t need to be toasted to taste good.  Most of the NFCA team who tried the bread said it tasted like potato hamburger buns and I agree. I asked them to share a few sentences about the bread for the blog. Here’s what they said:

“The Logan’s bun was a treat! It was great for dunking in my Indian stew at lunch, and it held together when I wiped up the rest. My mom would kill me for my bad manners, but the bread was that good!” – Claire Baker, NFCA Director of Communications and New Media

“I (surprisingly) really liked the hamburger buns.  They were very springy, almost a cake-like consistency and they weren’t crumbly at all.  I thought they were very close to a gluten-containing bun.” – Sue Gardner, NFCA Director of Finance

You can check out Logan’s Gluten-Free Bake in Bag Bread products for yourself, including sandwich buns and baguettes, on Amazon.com. Enjoy!

Pamela’s Gluten-Free Graham Style Crackers

By | Aug 10, 2015

By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications and New Media

A few facts:

  1. I was a girl scout and I did a lot of camping as a kid. Campfire cooking and the whole bit.
  2. I’ve been a vegetarian for 23 years.
  3. Most marshmallows contain gelatin, an animal product that I don’t eat.
  4. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, so I haven’t had graham crackers in at least 5 years.
  5. I thought I would never eat another s’more. So sad, right?
pamela's graham crackers

All of the s’mores supplies!

 

I was so wrong! With my discovery of a vegan marshmallow and the dedicated intervention of Pamela’s and their creation of a gluten-free graham style cracker, s’mores are on the cookout menu once again.

We recently planned a whole family dinner around the s’mores. I fired up the outdoor fireplace and we set many fine things to the heat – my kids and spouse had veggie dogs, we experimented with roasting Brussels sprouts and grilling cheese sandwiches, but it was all really an annoying prelude to the main event – the preparation of dessert.

My kids are vegetarians too, so they’d never had marshmallows. One of them wasn’t even interested in them this time and went straight for the chocolate and graham crackers. My other son quickly discovered that he had no taste for burnt ‘mallow. Can’t blame him. I’d say it’s an acquired taste.

s'more

Delicious!

I tried to keep the char to a minimum on mine, but I did want it hot enough to melt the chocolate. I was successful. I assembled and bit into my warm gooey creation. It was so good! The Pamela’s Graham Style Crackers are more cookie-like than I remember the other kind to be. Pamela’s are a little thicker and have a little less snap, but they taste just right. Maybe a little sweeter. I can’t be sure. It could be that my grown-up palate is more sophisticated now and that much unrelenting sweetness of the cracker, marshmallow and milk chocolate is a bit much. For my second s’more, I used a dark chocolate that was less sweet, and the balance was excellent. I double and triple-checked, just to be sure. Yep.

In the last days of summer, live it up at the cookout and reintroduce yourself to s’mores. Check out Pamela’s Gluten-Free Graham Crackers and once again enjoy one of the most classic treats of summer.

Pamela’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix

By | Jul 23, 2015

By Valerie Stearns, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Communications Intern

My longtime childhood friend used to invite me over to her house for dinner all the time. After we were finished with the main course, we always had some type of dessert because my friend said she needed to satisfy her sweet tooth after eating something salty. It was a ritual that I had become accustomed to after a few meals there. Ever since then, I have been the same way, and I certainly always remind her of it.

Pamela's gluten-free cupcakes

These disappeared from the NFCA kitchen fast!

So, it comes as no surprise that I’m always excited to eat a baked good. However, after being diagnosed with celiac disease two years ago, it has been difficult to find gluten-free cookies, cakes, and muffins that don’t taste like cardboard – and that are actually worth the calories. I’ve tried plenty – some are tolerable, and some need to be thrown out after the first bite. Fortunately, ever since I have been interning at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), I have become aware of more tasty gluten-free products on the market.

This week, Claire Baker, NFCA’s Director of Communications and New Media, baked gluten-free cupcakes for the office using Pamela’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix. Let’s just say that it was a difficult task avoiding the kitchen to grab another. They were simply delicious. In lieu of icing, we sprinkled confectionery sugar on top of them – would have been even better with icing added, but they still tasted great.

It melted right in my mouth, with a soft, moist texture and a rich, savory flavor. Any chocolate or cupcake enthusiast would love these without a doubt.

If you’re on a quest to find a sweet gluten-free treat, give these a try! In addition to being gluten-free, they are dairy-free, non-GMO, and are sure to make your taste buds happy!

If you prefer vanilla rather than chocolate, there is also a vanilla cake mix available. Pamela’s makes several other baking mixes, too. Check them out here: www.pamelasproducts.com/products/baking-mixes.

Lucy’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisps

By | Jul 2, 2015

By Rachel Rieger, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager

If you haven’t already read my review of NoGii Protein D’Lites Cookies and Crème Dream bars, let me recap for you: I love sweets. When hunger strikes, some people might reach for a bag of potato chips or pretzels, but I reach for something to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Dr. Lucy’s new gluten-free Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisps seem to have been made for me. In these bite-sized snacks, Dr. Lucy’s has perfectly captured what everyone knows is the best part of a pan of brownies – the edges. Each bite is perfectly light and crispy, not “break your teeth” crunchy. But the best part of these brownie crisps is the chocolate. Made with a mix of 72 percent dark chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, cocoa, and organic Madagascar vanilla, chocolate lovers will certainly rejoice just from the knock-out smell alone. If you didn’t have a sweet tooth before, I guarantee you’ll have one after trying these brownie crisps.

Lucy’s products gives an added layer of comfort because they are certified gluten-free. Plus, Lucy’s products are vegan, non-GMO, peanut and tree nut free and it’s made in a dedicated facility using tested ingredients. Learn more about Lucy’s at www.drlucys.com.

NoGii Protein D’Lites Cookies and Crème Dream

By | Jul 1, 2015

By Rachel Rieger, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager

I will confess: I have a major sweet tooth. One of my favorite gluten-free treats are chocolate crème sandwich cookies. I love indulging in a few cookies dipped in ice cold milk. But then I feel guilty. I should have had something a little more filling and a little less guilt-inducing – something with a little more protein or fiber, perhaps.

Well, packed with protein and fiber, the new NoGii Protein D’Lites, Cookies and Crème Dream flavor really hit the bulls eye. With the perfect mix of soy crisps and crunchy cookie on the inside, and a creamy, decadent yogurt coating on the outside, these bars are the perfect fix for when a craving hits. In portable, snack-sized portions, these bars are truly a “d’lite” to take with you on-the-go.

 

The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard E. Mullin, MD

By | Jun 19, 2015

Until I started working at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), I never really thought about gut health and what that meant.  To be perfectly honest, I never had a strong interest in science, either. Working at NFCA has changed my views on many things (and, the NFCA gals have introduced me to more delicious, naturally gluten-free foods than you can imagine!). They also inspired an interest in science, the gut’s role in health and the mysterious microbiome.

The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard E. Mullin, MD

The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard E. Mullin, MD

Dr. Gerard E. Mullin is a member of NFCA’s Scientific/Medical Advisory Council. He recently released a new book, The Gut Balance Revolution, and asked us to take a look at it. It’s pretty fascinating. While his book does focus on weight loss, it’s refreshing to see that he does not push a gluten-free diet for everyone; he acknowledges that some people have difficulties with gluten and others do not. In fact, he specifically says, “…Gluten isn’t the one and only cause of chronic illness and weight gain in America. Not everyone is sensitive to it. And there are no data proving hat going off wheat or gluten itself for the long term will assist with weight loss. Going off cookies, crackers, bread and pasta – yes, this is associated with weight loss. Going off gluten, not so much.”

The premise of Dr. Mullin’s book focuses on shifting your gut bacteria to work for you, not against you. It’s a very interesting concept and one that is different from the many weight loss conversations and messages that pepper the media. The Gut Balance Revolution features phase by phase instructions for getting started on the program, recipes (always double check ingredients!), exercises and more.

To learn more about The Gut Balance Revolution, visit Dr. Mullin’s website at www.thefoodmd.com. I think many people may be interested in his “food is medicine” approach to managing gut health. As with all weight loss programs, make sure you talk to your doctor to determine what’s best for you and your specific needs.

“Healthier Gluten-Free” by Lisa Howard

By | Jun 3, 2015

By Rachel Rieger, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager

"Healthier Gluten-Free" by Lisa Howard

“Healthier Gluten-Free” by Lisa Howard

If you’re looking for healthy foods you can add to your repertoire, check out the new cookbook, “Healthier Gluten­-Free,” by Lisa Howard. This cookbook is brimming with delicious and nutritious gluten-­free recipes. Whip up an open­-faced BLT on a savory pancake for a new twist
on an old favorite, or try the Korean-­style pork and cabbage romaine boats for something a little more exotic. A personal favorite are the double chocolate crunch cookies, which will  definitely satisfy the sweet tooth! With so many recipes that make healthy, gluten­free eating seem easy, this cookbook isn’t one to miss out on!

Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Frozen Bars

By | Jun 3, 2015
Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss frozen bars

Delicious!

By Rachel Rieger, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager

Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Frozen Bars make a great treat when you’re lounging by the pool in the midst of hot (almost) summer weather (and they’re a nice pick-­me­-up when you’re stuck inside during a gloomy spring rainstorm, too!). The coconut chocolate in almond variety features creamy coconut milk ice cream, surrounded by an indulgent chocolate shell, sprinkled with crunchy almond pieces. For even more of a “yum factor,” try the salted caramel in chocolate version, which has a rich, gooey caramel swirl with a hint of sea salt in each bite. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, a lover of all things coconut, or an ice cream aficionado, you’ll be hooked by the first bite.

Learn more about these yummy frozen bars at www.coconutbliss.com.

Russo’s NY Pizzeria Gluten-Free Pizza

By | Apr 29, 2015

By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications and New Media

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago, the one thing I missed most was pizza. I quickly learned that there is some really good gluten-free pizza out there, and some not-so-good. Before I couldn’t have it anymore, I don’t think I realized how much I depended on my pizza crusts to be a little chewy, a little bendy, a decent and tasty holder-of-ingredients. I wasn’t a big deep dish pizza fan back then, which now works in my favor, since most (all?) prefab and restaurant pizzas I’ve enjoyed in the last five years have definitely not been of the thick variety.

In addition to being thin, another thing I noticed was that gluten-free pizza crusts, especially those made with rice flour, tended to burn on the edges. My memory of a toasty regular crust is actually pretty pleasant. Burnt rice flour crust? Not so much. Okay… not at all. Which means that there is a very fine line between undercooked and ruined.

Russo's NY Pizzeria - Gluten-Free Pizzas

The gluten-free Mulberry pizza (left) and the Chicken Rustica from Russo’s NY Pizzeria.

That’s the reason I was so pleased with Russo’s. At first I was skeptical, since the crust is primarily rice and tapioca flour and an invitation to burnt edges. But then I saw that the crust is actually pre-cooked and they offered very explicit directions about how to not burn the crust, all a bit different than other gluten-free pizza baking instructions. Preheat the oven to 450. Let the pizza thaw for exactly 10 minutes before baking. Cook it on a tray, not the rack. Check the pizza at the early end of the time range and keep an eye on it after that. No burned edges!

And what’s more, it’s bendy. And chewy. And a good holder of tasty ingredients. The sauce is slightly sweet. The crust is on par or better than other crusts. I fully enjoyed my Russo’s pizza and would get it again (and will follow the baking instructions to the letter.)

NFCA’s office manager, Mary Buhring, also tried out two of the pizza varieties with her son, who also has celiac disease. They were huge fans of the Mulberry variety (Italian sausage, beef, Canadian bacon and pepperoni) and the Chicken Rustica (grilled chicken, tomatoes spinach, feta and mozzarella cheeses). I am a vegetarian, so I stuck with the plain cheese variety. We both agreed that the crust had an amazing crunch to it. Mary and her son loved the combination of the flavors and thought both pizzas tasted like they were made in a high end pizzeria. Ironically, she mentioned that without knowing that these pizzas are from Chef Anthony Russo, owner of Russo’s NY Pizzeria.

You can learn more about the pizzas by heading to www.nypizzeria.com/retail.

 

Breton Gluten-Free Black Bean & White Bean Crackers

By | Apr 29, 2015

I’ve written before about how much I enjoyed gluten-free Breton crackers. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m also a fan of their new Black Bean Crackers with Onion & Garlic and White Bean Crackers with Salt & Pepper.

Gluten-Free Breton Crackers: White Bean with Salt & Pepper and Black Bean with Onion & Garlic

No matter which gluten-free variety you try, you can’t go wrong!

The biggest plus about gluten-free Breton crackers is probably their size; they are much larger than any other gluten-free cracker I’ve tried, making them ideal for stacking with toppings. Even though they are larger in diameter, Breton crackers are still thin, light and airy, and so they won’t be overly filling like gluten-containing thick crackers can be.

Aside from the color of the crackers, I couldn’t tell much of a difference between the Black Bean and the White Bean crackers (aside from their respective Garlic & Onion and Salt & Pepper flavors). I enjoyed both and would definitely recommend them. You can rest easy knowing that these crackers are safe for people with celiac disease too; they are certified gluten-free through the NFCA-endorsed Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP). That means the products go through a rigorous audit process before they’re awarded NFCA’s seal of approval. You can learn more about it at www.gf-cert.org.

Visit www.darefoods.com to learn more about the Breton crackers. Heads up – not every Breton product is gluten-free, so be sure to look for the gluten-free label before purchasing and eating.

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