By 12-year-old Beyond Celiac volunteer Sophia Kagan
Since 2009, Canyon Bakehouse has been helping their gluten-free friends “Love Bread Again.” In their gluten-free dedicated Loveland, Colorado bakery, they have been baking bread with 100% whole grains and non-GMO ingredients. The bakery is also free of nuts, soy and casein.
I taste-tested eight of nine Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free products and they were ALL delicious. While I don’t remember what gluten-containing bread tastes or feels like, I can say Canyon Bakehouse products were the softest and chewiest of the gluten-free breads I have tasted!
Let me run through my taste testing. First, I tried the Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia. My dad warmed it in a cast iron skillet with butter and olive oil. It was great! It had a lot of flavor and was really soft and chewy. Next, I tried the Mountain White bread. Plain and with peanut butter, it was delicious, soft and yummy. It was unlike white breads I had tasted before. Then, because I love chocolate, I tried the Brownie Bites, which were soft and like little flourless chocolate cakes. I could eat many packages of these! Next, I tried the Plain Bagels. Toasted, they were both chewy and crunchy and one of the best gluten-free bagels I have tried. The Hamburger Buns, like much of the sliced breads, were soft and “squishy,” perfect for my favorite cheeseburger.
I tried the Cinnamon Raisin bread, which was firmer than the other breads but was really sweet and good, with raisins and agave syrup. I also tried the 7-Grain bread which was chewy, soft, and nutty, similar to white bread, but it had even more flavor. Lastly, I tried the Deli Rye Style. I had never tried rye bread before, but it was spicy and soft. I would eat a deli sandwich on this any day.
Thank you Canyon Bakehouse for all the wonderful samples! I have already found you in my local supermarket and your Mountain White has been in my lunchbox a lot!
That’s it from me! I will see you in my May “Ask Sophia” blog and my next Hot Products blog!
When was the last time you had rye bread? Multi-grain? Did you ever think you would be able to eat bread made with ancient grains? You can again with Three Bakers Gluten-Free Bread.
We’ve been snacking on this bread at the Beyond Celiac office for about a month. Some of the people in the office have celiac disease and others don’t. Regardless of gluten-free diet status, we all love Three Bakers.
Three Bakers comes in a bunch of gluten-free varieties:
- 7 Ancient Grains
- Great Seed
- Rye Style
- Cinnamon Raisin
You pretty much have your pick of styles with Three Bakers. I tried the 7 Ancient Grains, White and Rye Style Breads. I saw a bag of Cinnamon Raisin in the freezer, but it was gone before I had a chance to taste it (obviously a sign of a truly tasty product).
My favorite was the 7 Ancient Grains. When toasted, it had this crunchy, wholesome taste to it. Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President, agreed that this variety was a top choice. She spread peanut butter on two slices of the 7 Ancient Grains and told me she loved how fulfilling it was. Sure, the protein made it a snack that knocked the edge off her hunger and it was filling. But, what she loved was the crunchiness of the peanut butter mixed with the crunchy, earthy texture of the bread; it was just what she wanted.
The white and rye breads were reminiscent of traditional gluten-containing bread. I think the white will be especially great for kids who bring their lunches to school, but worry about seeming different than their friends. Their gluten-free sandwich will look just the same as their peers’ lunches.
Three Bakers gluten-free breads should be kept frozen, but I don’t think this impacts taste or texture. This bread toasts so well, you really won’t even know it was ever frozen.
Have you ever tried Three Bakers? Tell us what you think of it in the comments – we’d love to hear from you! If you’ve never given it a try, check out the Three Bakers website to learn more and find where you can buy the products. You’ll be glad you did!
By Sophia Kagan, 12-year-old Beyond Celiac volunteer
Hi! Today I am going to review for you Snack Factory’s Gluten-Free Pretzel Crisps! These are a great mix between a pretzel and cracker. There are a few flavors – one salty and 4 sweet versions. The original pretzels come in two sizes: deli-size (larger) and mini. The original pretzels are the only ones available in the larger size and the Snack Factory website has a lot of great recipe ideas to top them with!
Lets get down to the details: these amazing pretzel snacks come in the original pretzel version and also in salted caramel, vanilla yogurt and dark chocolate coated! The original mini pretzels allow you 35 pretzels for 110 calories. The sweet varieties come in only the mini size but my mom says that is just fine – you get 25 to 30 of the sweet treats for about 120 to 130 calories. Yes, my parents are addicted now and yes, you may have to hide these from your family members. My innocent taste test, which included my friend who is also strictly gluten-free, left me with five empty bags of these great treats. They are really THAT good!
Snack Factory pretzel crisps have been around in a gluten-containing version since 2004. They distributed the first pretzel-shaped cracker and have been winning over the hearts and the taste buds of the snackers who try their pretzel crisps. They are made without any trans fats, cholesterol, or saturated fat! Snack Factory introduced the gluten-free line in 2015 enabling gluten-free snackers to enjoy their delicious pretzel-crisps.
The original deli-size ones are delicious. They are salty and crunchy. Other pretzels can taste “bready,” what my family said is typical of regular gluten-containing pretzels, but these pretzels are lighter and crunchier, which made them even better. The mini originals are the same flavor as the deli-size originals but smaller. They are just as yummy. The salted caramel ones were just like candy. They are super sweet and good for dessert. The dark chocolate ones are delicious. They are the perfect mix of salty and sweet. The vanilla yogurt ones tasted just like ice cream. They are creamy and sweet. I loved all of the flavors and they are without a doubt some of the best pretzels I have ever tasted.
That’s it from me! I hope that you too try these delicious pretzel crisps! You can check them out on the Snack Factory website.
“The Adventures of Celia Kaye” by Kaitlin Puccio is one of the latest gluten-free kids’ books to hit the shelves. Quick and to the point, “The Adventures of Celia Kaye” has a clear message for the kiddos: Don’t be embarrassed about celiac disease. Just be honest instead.
The book follows Celia Kaye through her first day at school after getting diagnosed with celiac disease. With gorgeous illustrations by Sarah Lanarch, your child is sure to relate to Celia as she struggles how to tell her friends that she can’t eat what they eat anymore.
If your child was recently diagnosed with celiac disease or is struggling at school, then “The Adventures of Celia Kaye” is a must read! You can check it out for yourself at www.CeliaKaye.com/Childrens-Book.
It’s the season of gifting chocolate! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s important to make sure you grab a safe chocolate for the gluten-free love in your life. Rather than play gluten roulette with a traditional box of chocolates, you can play it safe and reach for gluten-free Dagoba Orange Dark Chocolate Bars.
Dagoba chocolate stands out in the chocolate world because of their unique flavors. The orange bar is a unique blend of flavors. It is made from a slightly bitter dark chocolate, which is completely balanced out by the sweet and citrusy taste of orange zest.
Yes, you could give your Valentine a bar of this tasty orange chocolate bar, but why not get creative? Here are quick ways you can add some zest to your Valentine’s Day:
- Make s’mores for a tasty, easy and reminiscent dessert.
Simply grab some Dagoba chocolate, gluten-free graham crackers, marshmallows and voila! You have a simple twist on a traditional favorite.
- S’mores too messy? Make a chocolate orange drizzle marshmallow pop.
All you need to do is melt some Dagoba orange chocolate, roll a marshmallow through the chocolate. Put it on a stick and enjoy!
- Use pieces of Dagoba chocolate to top a gluten-free brownie.
Make your gluten-free brownies, then snap off pieces to make an orange-y, crunchy top.
- Use as a garnish on your gluten-free cupcakes.
Skip the frosting on that cupcake and instead push a piece of orange chocolate into the cupcake top for a burst of orange flavor.
If you’re new to gluten-free baking, don’t worry! Beyond Celiac has a web section dedicated to helping people navigate gluten-free baking. You can check it out at www.BeyondCeliac.org/baking. The Dagoba and Hershey websites have lots of ideas for using their chocolate in fun and creative ways, like the ones listed above.
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.