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.
Every year Natural Products Expo East attracts the top natural foods producers from around the U.S. and the world. With over 1,350 exhibitors showing off their newest products, finding great gluten-free goodies at this trade show can be a bit of a delicious treasure hunt. Here are some of the best new gluten-free products I discovered at Expo East, most of which you’ll find for sale in stores or online this fall or winter.
If you’re a fan of Bakery on Main’s instant oatmeal, you’ll want to start your morning with the new Hot Breakfast line. This hot cereal is made with brown rice, cornmeal, amaranth, and flax, so it’s a great breakfast for oat-intolerant celiacs. Grab the coffee flavored Hot Breakfast to give your morning an extra boost.
When you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, it’s hard to top a hot bowl of oatmeal. The new Oatmeal Cups from Bob’s Red Mill are made with gluten-free oats and have a healthy amount of fiber and protein. Even better, they’re available in flavors like apple cinnamon and blueberry hazelnut, and are ready in just a few minutes.
Whether you have kids or you’re a kid at heart, sometimes you just want a toaster pastry for breakfast. Glutino has taken their original toaster pastries to the next level by adding icing to the top, making them even more delicious. Fortunately the blueberry and strawberry Frosted Toaster Pastries are packaged individually so you won’t be too tempted to dig into more than one at a time.
Lunch & Dinner
If you’ve given up on ever finding a palatable frozen gluten-free pizza, rest assured that Cappello’s grain-free crust completely changes the pizza game. Together, the chewy yet crisp crust, sweet and spicy sauce, and sheep’s or cow’s milk cheese make what will soon be the tastiest gluten-free pizza on the market.
If you’re looking for a new grain to add to your cooking repertoire, get ready to discover gluten-free certified oat groats. Similar to brown or wild rice, protein- and fiber-packed oat groats easily substitute into risotto, salads, and any other grain-focused recipe.
If you miss the taste and convenience of ramen, Lotus Foods has a great tasting and much healthier alternative. The new Rice Ramen varieties include purple potato and buckwheat mushroom, and they’re great on their own or dressed up with your favorite protein and veggies.
Whether you’re looking for a quick after school snack or a fun treat to share at a party, the Cheeseburger Bites from GeeFree hit the spot. These little cheeseburger morsels are wrapped in GeeFree’s flaky gluten-free puff pastry dough and are great with or without ketchup and mustard.
The world of jerky is expanding quickly, and the new certified gluten-free Meat Sticks from The New Primal are a welcome addition to gluten-free lunches and snack packs everywhere. Look for these in turkey and original or spicy beef.
When you want a healthy cracker for snacking or appetizers, the new Almond Protein Crackers from Two Moms in the Raw are a smart choice. With flavors like chive & onion and spicy chipotle, the topping options for these raw and organic crackers are endless.
Gluten-free doughnuts keep getting better and better, and the new Soft Donuts from Kinnikinnick taste as great as any fresh doughnut. Buy them frozen, heat them up for a few seconds, and drizzle on as much icing as you like. These doughnuts are best enjoyed warm.
Gluten-free pies aren’t always easy to find, but the Maine Pie Co. has all of your pie needs covered with a line of about a dozen types of gluten-free pie. With everything from lemon curd to wild blueberry to classic apple and pumpkin, you’ll never have to bake pies from scratch again.
Granola from the Toasted Oat is wonderfully sweet, soft, and addictive, completely unlike any other I’ve tried. The new Dark Chocolate & Cherry Granola is divine on its own, on top of Greek yogurt, or sprinkled on ice cream.
I’ve been stuck in the salad-for-lunch rut for the past few weeks and needed to change it up a bit. So, I traded my salad for a tuna with broccoli slaw wrap on Mission Gluten-Free Soft Taco Tortillas. I mentioned to my coworkers that I was trying out the Mission wraps for a product review. When Claire Baker, Director of Communications and New Media asked me, “Isn’t that a flour tortilla?”, I knew I found the next great “hot product.”
Mission tortillas are not made with corn flour. They are actually made with a gluten-free “tortilla blend,” which doesn’t include corn at all. (Heads up for those of you that can’t tolerate corn – there is still some corn in the product, just not in the tortilla blend.) The result is a soft, chewy tortilla that is extremely close to a gluten-containing tortilla wrap.
I learned a new trick when talking about the Mission tortillas with my coworkers. You can get a semi-soft tortilla effect if you put it on a plate, cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave it for 8-10 seconds. This is apparently a really common trick, but it’s the first time I’ve heard about it. If you’re one of the folks that uses this tactic, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not necessary at all for the Mission tortillas. They are already soft and easy to roll. There’s nothing worse than rolling up a delicious tortilla, only to have it come spilling through the middle of the tortilla. This won’t happen with the sturdy Mission tortilla (unless, of course, you really over-stuff it).
NFCA’s Director of Finance, Sue Gardner, took the wraps with her to visit a friend who is on a gluten-free diet. She said the wraps were a total hit. Everyone loved them!
Visit Mission’s website to learn more about their gluten-free taco wraps. Not every Mission product is gluten-free, so be sure to double check the label and ingredients before purchasing.
By Alicia Carango, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Web & Social Media Manager
We’re big fans of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Not only is Rudi’s a sponsor of NFCA and a supporter of the gluten-free community, but their gluten-free breads are simply delicious.’
A few days ago, I found myself at the office super hungry and without my typical bagged lunch. Luckily, we had just received a shipment of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread and there was a jar of Nutella in the kitchen with my name on it. I toasted the Gluten-Free Cinnamon and Raisin Bread and topped it with some Nutella and apple slices. It was super tasty and smelled amazing – and much more fun than my typical salads with grilled chicken! The Cinnamon and Raisin Bread held up to the weight of the Nutella and apple slices. I couldn’t help but think that this would make for a lunchbox-friendly meal for kids heading back to school. (If you’re looking for gluten-free lunchbox recipes, download NFCA’s free Back to School Toolkit. It’s packed with amazing resources and recipes from Rudi’s).
The NFCA team also dug into Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread. It disappeared in a flash – always a good sign! Rudi’s recently updated the recipe for the Multigrain Bread and it is tastier than ever before. Even better, it now boasts four grams of healthy fiber per slice.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Original Gluten-Free Bread. It is basically the gluten-free version of traditional white bread. Just like the Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread, the Original also contains four grams of fiber per slice. It is equally as delicious and the perfect go-to bread for old favorites like toast and jam, peanut butter and jelly, and the traditional turkey sandwich.
To see all of Rudi’s products, visit www.RudisGlutenFree.com. (Don’t miss the coupon at the bottom of the site!)
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.
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.
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
By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications and New Media
A few facts:
- I was a girl scout and I did a lot of camping as a kid. Campfire cooking and the whole bit.
- I’ve been a vegetarian for 23 years.
- Most marshmallows contain gelatin, an animal product that I don’t eat.
- I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, so I haven’t had graham crackers in at least 5 years.
- I thought I would never eat another s’more. So sad, right?
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.
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.