Gluten-free fig cookies – new from Pamela’s! Enter to win!

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Giveaways, Products | Read 150 Comments - Add Your Own »

Did you grow up eating Fig Newtons? I did. They are one of those nostalgic cookies for me, like Nutter Butters and Circus Animal Cookies. I never did look at the ingredients panel until recently, and… yuck. Besides the fact that Fig Newtons are gluten-ous, they also contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, soybean oil (GMO) and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Not what I want to be putting in my body or my children’s bodies!

But I have exciting news! Pamela’s Products has created a gluten-free version of fig cookies that is better-tasting and healthier than the original. They are called Figgies & Jammies and come in four flavors: Blueberry & Fig, Mission Fig, Strawberry & Fig, and Raspberry & Fig. If you miss the taste of those good ol’ fig cookies because you are now gluten-free, or if you want better ingredients, you will be happy to have these.Pamela's Figgies & Jammies

I like these cookies much better than the original — they are soft and full of flavor. And, they have no corn syrup, no artificial flavors or additives, and no hydrogenated oils or trans fats. I tested them on my kids, who have never had a Fig Newton in their lives and think the concept of fig in a cookie is disgusting… and they loved them! They will make a great lunchbox or after-school treat.

FIGGIES & JAMMIES GIVEAWAY!
They are not yet on store shelves, but will be soon. In the meantime, would you like to be one of the first to try them? Pamela’s has agreed to give away the new Figgies & Jammies to three of my lucky readers! All you have to do is make a comment on this post answering the following two questions:

  • What type of cookie was your childhood favorite?
  • Which TWO flavors of Figgies & Jammies would you like to win? (Yes, you will win two packages of cookies!)

Contest will remain open until March 12, 2014 at 5:00 PST (I extended it). You may add extra comments for extra chances to win, telling me you shared the contest on Facebook or Twitter. Three winners will be randomly selected and I will contact you via email. Good luck!


Allergen-Free Chocolate Chips

Posted on December 15th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Candy, Dairy Allergy, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products, Soy Allergy | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Enjoy Life MorselsIf you are looking for an allergen-free chocolate chip, I recommend Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels. Enjoy Life already has its Mini Chips and Mega Chunks, and the Morsels are a new addition.

All of these products are gluten, dairy, nut and soy-free — allergens that could be found in other chocolates. While I love the size of the Mini Chips and have been using them for years, I like the flavor of the new Morsels much better. They have a richer chocolate taste (69% cacao).

There are only two ingredients in the Morsels: Unsweetened Chocolate and Cane Sugar. The package states “Made in a dedicated nut and gluten-free facility.” It has a Gluten-Free Certification, and its allergen statement says, “The facility also processes dairy and soy; however, this products is produced on a dedicated dairy- and soy-free line. Ingredients have been additionally tested to ensure strict allergen control standards are met.”

So if you are looking for safe chocolate chips, try these! If you can’t yet find them in stores, you can buy them online at Enjoy Life Foods.


SuperSeedz Pumpkin Seeds (a Giveaway!)

Posted on July 13th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products | Read 20 Comments - Add Your Own »

Pumpkin seeds are delicious and packed with nutrition, having one of the highest protein contents of any seed or nut. They are also a good source of minerals, fiber and healthy omega-3 oils. Though most nut-allergic individuals can tolerate seeds, the seeds are often made in a facility with nuts, presenting the risk of cross-contamination.

I like to make my own pumpkin seeds when I carve pumpkins in October, and if I’m cooking a butternut squash, I’ll toast those seeds too, but I was looking for some safe pumpkin seeds for the rest of the year for my daughter who is allergic to nuts.

In my search, I came across SuperSeedz by Kathie’s Kitchen. I love the taste of these pumpkin seeds! I am addicted to the Sea Salt ones, but all of the flavors are fun and delicious: Coco Joe, Curry, Really Naked, Super Spicy, Somewhat Spicy, Sugar & Cinnamon, Tomato Italiano. All flavors are naturally vegan, gluten free, tree nut free, peanut free, dairy free, MSG free and soy free!

I used SuperSeedz for two recipes in an article I wrote for Gluten-Free Living magazine called Aw, Nuts: Balancing a Nut-Free, Gluten-Free Diet.

So, would you like to win some seeds? Kathie has agreed to give away four 6-ounce packages of pumpkin seeds PLUS a limited edition SuperSeedz pumpkin seed shaker to one lucky winner! If you would like to enter, simply leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win! Contest ends on Thursday, July 18 at 5:00 pm PST. Good luck!


Laughing Glass Margaritas: all-natural and delicious!

Posted on June 17th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Alcohol, Products | ADD A COMMENT »

I like a good margarita, and by that I mean a real, fresh margarita, not one made from a corn-syrup-sodium-benzoate-yellow-5 mixer. Besides the fact that the ingredients of most commercial mixers are ones I don’t want to put in my body, they simply don’t taste good to me. The downside to preferring a fresh margarita is not having a personal bartender to squeeze limes and mix my drink for me one on command — I need to add one to my staff, right after I hire a maid, butler and driver. ;)

Laughing Glass Cocktails is a new company that creates a read-to-drink margarita. It has all the ingredients of a fresh margie already mixed, so all you do is pour over ice. I recently brought it on a girls weekend (see photo), and we all loved it!

Laughing Glass Margaritas

Regarding ingredients, the company states:

  • We begin with a proprietary, super premium blanco tequila they developed (Blanco tequila is not aged in the oak casks that can cause allergic reactions in some people).
  • We source only the best organic Agave plants (or pinas) from the lowlands of Mexico.  After being picked at the peak of their maturity, they are slowly steam cooked, mashed and fermented, then distilled in stainless steel barrels for a concentrated, pure and clean spirit.
  • We add delicate all-natural citrus flavors and add their own unique twist, a hint of carbonation.
  • Nothing artificial is ever considered.

Laughing Glass is currently available in northern California, but a nationwide launch is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

For more information, you can follow them on Facebook.


Cybele’s Free-to-Eat™ Cookies are Allergen-Free

Posted on May 2nd, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Products | Read 23 Comments - Add Your Own »

It seems everyone is coming out with a gluten-free cookie these days. But for those of us who have multiple food allergies, or whose kids do, a gluten-free cookie isn’t enough — it needs to be free of other allergens as well. And don’t forget about taste… even kids with food allergies can be picky!

Cybele Pascal learned about allergen-free cooking when her son was diagnosed with severe food allergies. She has since written three cookbooks and has most recently launched her line of allergen-free cookies, called Cybele’s Free-to-Eat™ cookies. The cookies are gluten-free and free of the top 8 allergens: dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Cybele’s Free-to-Eat™ packaging features colorful icons that illustrates “Free of the Top 8 Allergens”. The cookies are also non-GMO, vegan and kosher.

I have had a chance to sample these cookies on many occasions, and the best news of all is that they taste great! The cookies come in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chunk Brownie, and Oatmeal Raisin. Kids will love them, and grown-ups will probably sneak a few. ;) Cybele's Free to Eat Cookies

Would you like to try them? Enter this giveaway!

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Gluten-Free Nut-Free Kettel Krakkers

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products | ADD A COMMENT »

Kettel Krakkers gluten-free crackersI recently attended the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo, put on by the wonderful Jen Cafferty. It was the first time it was held in San Francisco and it was great to reconnect with some of my gluten-free peeps! There were many food vendors of course, and one that was new to me was Kettel Krakkers, based in San Francisco. If you are gluten-free, you know that good gluten-free crackers aren’t plentiful. Most are very hard and crunchy, which I actually like (or I’ve gotten used to!), but I was happy to find a cracker that is softer, but still has some crunch from the seeds added in.

According to the company, the crackers are “handmade at our dedicated gluten-free facility using organic, locally-sourced ingredients of the highest quality.”

They are:

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So Delicious debuts Almond Milk products

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Products, Soy Allergy | ADD A COMMENT »

Every year in March I attend Natural Products Expo West, which is a trade show featuring the foods, beauty care and lifestyle products in the natural foods industry (all the brands you see in So Delicious Almond Milk ice creamWhole Foods and other natural foods stores and the companies that are trying to get their products in to those stores). It is a really fun time seeing people I know and getting to try all the new foods that my favorite brands, and new brands, are showcasing. I am on the hunt at these shows, looking for gluten-free and other foods that cater to special diets. I will be posting about some of the new products I sampled, and first up is one for you dairy-free folks out there…

So Delicious is a brand known for its milk-alternative products, such as soy and coconut beverages, yogurts and desserts. They have added another dairy-free option to their line with Almond Milk products, which they say are lower in calories, fat, sodium and sugar. They are dairy, soy and gluten-free (with the exception of Cookies n Cream ice cream and the ice cream sandwich).

So Delicious Almond Milk BarHere are the new products I saw and tasted at the show:

  • Greek-Style Cultured Almond Milk in Blueberry, Chocolate, Plain, Strawberry and Vanilla
  • Ice Creams – Butter Pecan, Cherry Amaretto, Chocolate, Cookies n Cream, Mint Chip, Mocha Almond Fudge, Vanilla
  • Frozen Dessert Novelties, including chocolate covered Vanilla Bar, Mocha Almond Fudge Bar and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich

They were all so delicious! :)

Now, as a mother of a child with a nut allergy, I was concerned that the coconut milk products we normally eat might be contaminated now that almonds are part of the line. We LOVE So Delicious coconut milk products and would be sad to have to give them up. From the email I received from the company, it looks like we won’t have to:

Like all other non-dairy beverages, our almond milk products are produced in some of the same facilities where dairy, soymilk, and our coconut milk are produced. With this in mind, our team takes the cleanliness of the production facility, prevention from cross-contamination, and validation of the allergen-free status of our products extremely seriously.

Many of our customers have food sensitivities and food allergies, and they have come to rely upon us for more than two decades to provide safe and delicious food options for their families. So Delicious® Dairy Free is a market leader in allergen testing and a world-class benchmark for food integrity. We apply strict quality-control measures, which are noted as the most stringent in the industry, in an effort to prevent contamination by undeclared food allergens. To assure our preventative measures are effective, we sample test our products for the presence of allergens using state-of-the-art testing methods.

Our allergen testing is trusted by allergen organizations and thousands and thousands of households, because we have a documented and regimented program that is instituted at every facility where we produce So Delicious® Dairy Free. It involves some of the most rigorous testing in the world, and that testing is conducted at various stages of production–from testing the raw materials and ingredients to the manufacturing lines to the final product. We ensure that the product that is shipped into stores is safe and of the highest quality. And we test all of our allergen ingredients down to 5 parts per million. Just to give you some perspective, the FDA allows companies to declare they are gluten-free if they test to 20 parts per million. But we are committed to testing that is four times as sensitive.

To learn more about our allergen-prevention program visit us at: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/allergen-information

If you are dairy-free, and even if you aren’t, this new product line will be a welcome addition to your diet!


Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011

Posted on October 4th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Candy, Holidays/Special Events, Products | Read 14 Comments - Add Your Own »

THIS INFORMATION MAY BE OUTDATED. PLEASE SEE THE NEW 2013 LIST.

This is a quick list of allergen-free Halloween candy for 2011. This list includes candies that do not contain gluten or the top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish or shellfish) as an ingredient. I have included the allergen statement if it mentions any of these.For the complete listing of allergens and statements see the Halloween Candy List Gluten-Free Allergen-Free 2011. For a quick list of candies that are gluten-free, see the Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011.

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only.

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NOTE for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

ANGIE’S ARTISAN TREATS

  • Kettle Corn

 

BAZOOKA (located in New York, NY 800-489-9149)

  • Ring Pops, Push Pops, Baby Bottle Pops

CE DE CANDY (located in New Jersey 908-964-0660)

  • Smarties (only USA, not Canada), Giant Smarties, Mega Smarties, Candy Money, Love Hearts, Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, X-TREME Sour Smarties, Easter Smarties, Smarties Parties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Pops, Giant Smarties Pops, Candy Necklace
    • Check if it has been re-bagged for allergen info. If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206″, you can be assured that the product was packaged in one of Ce De Candy’s manufacturing facilities, and is allergen-free

FARLEY’S AND SATHERS (located in Minnesota 888-247-9855)

  • Brach’s Candy Corn and Gummi Candy Corn(not flavored candy corns)
    • “Packaged on equipment that processes milk, egg, and soy. Milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
  • Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins
    • “Packaged on equipment that processes milk, egg, and soy. Milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
  • Heide candies – Jujyfruits, Jujubes, Red Raspberry Dollars, Red Hot Dollars Wild Cherry, Heide Gummi Bears
  • Jujyfruits, Jujubes
    • “Packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Super Bubble and Super Bubble Blast
    • “Manufactured in a facility that manufactures products containing traces of eggs.”
  • Trolli Gummi Bears, Trolli Sour Brite (Frite) Crawlers
    • “Packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”

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Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011

Posted on October 4th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Candy, Holidays/Special Events, Products | Read 15 Comments - Add Your Own »

THIS INFORMATION MAY BE OUTDATED. PLEASE SEE THE NEW 2013 LIST.

This is a quick list of gluten-free Halloween candy for 2011. This list includes candies that do not contain wheat or gluten as an ingredient. I have included the allergen statement if it mentions wheat or gluten. For the complete listing of allergens and statements see the Halloween Candy List Gluten-Free Allergen-Free 2011. For a quick list of candies that are free of the top allergens, see the Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011.

sick-pumpkin1

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only.

NOTE for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

Gluten-Free Candy:

AIRHEADS (parent company: Perfetti Van Melle headquartered in Italy and Netherlands)

  • Airheads Bars
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour”

ANGIE’S ARTISAN TREATS

  • Kettle Corn

 

ANNABELLE’S (located in Hayward, CA 510-783-2900)

  • Abba Zabba
    • There is the possibility of contamination from flour that is used on the belts
  • Big Hunk
    • Regular size (2 oz) is guaranteed gluten-free. Other sizes have the possibility of contamination from flour that is used on the belts
  • U-No
    • There is the possibility of contamination from flour that is used on the belts

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Halloween Candy List Gluten-Free Allergen-Free 2011

Posted on October 4th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Candy, Holidays/Special Events, Products | Read 35 Comments - Add Your Own »

THIS INFORMATION MAY BE OUTDATED. PLEASE SEE THE NEW 2013 GUIDE.

The gluten-free allergen-free Halloween candy list is here! I’ve updated the list to reflect ingredient changes, current manufacturers statements by web/phone, and I added some phone numbers so you don’t have to search them yourself if you have a question.

witchywoman21Each candy shows if the ingredients contain wheat/gluten, milk (represents all dairy), soy, egg, nuts, or peanuts (6 of the top 8 allergens — fish and shellfish are not included since I have not found this to be a concern with candy). I do not include coconut as a tree nut and have not listed coconut as an allergen.  To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. (If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.)

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients and also check with the child’s parents before giving them any candy or allowing them to eat anything! I will not be held liable for any accident occurring due to the use of this list. It is meant as a guide only.

Need a short list? Check out these:
Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011
Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011

NOTE for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

AIRHEADS (parent company: Perfetti Van Melle headquartered in Italy and Netherlands)

  • Airheads Bars
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten
    • Ingredients contain: soybean oil
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour”
  • Airheads Xtremes Belts
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: wheat flour, wheat starch

Gluten-Free info (via web Sept 2011): Airheads Bars do not contain gluten; however, they are processed in a facility that uses wheat flour in other items, so Perfetti Van Melle [the parent company] does not claim that Airheads Bars are gluten free.

Allergen info (via web Sept 2011): Airheads do not contain peanuts, tree nuts, pine nuts, sesame, eggs or dairy; however, since it would not be typical for these items to be found in our products, we perform no specific test for them. Please keep in mind that due to the fact that most of the ingredients are agricultural products and could be processed on equipment that may also handle products containing these items, we cannot make the claim that our products are free of said items.

AMERICAN LICORICE CO. (located in Union City, CA 866-442-2783)

  • Sour Punch Twists, Bits, Bites, Straws, Sip n Chews
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: wheat/gluten
  • Red Vines – all varieties, including Black, Natural and Fruit Vines
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: wheat/gluten

Allergen Info (via web Sept 2011): American Licorice products do not contain peanuts, tree nuts or sesame and peanut oil is not used in the manufacture any of our products. Red Vines® products do not contain peanuts. Peanut and/or peanut oil is not used to manufacture any of our products.

ANGIE’S ARTISAN TREATS

  • Kettle Corn
    • Ingredients free of: wheat/gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: none of the top 8 allergens
    • Package statement: “Certified gluten-free”

 

ANNABELLE’S (located in Hayward, CA 510-783-2900)

  • Abba Zabba
    • Ingredients free of: tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: peanuts, soybean oil and soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Big Hunk
    • Ingredients free of: wheat/gluten, milk, tree nuts (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: peanuts, eggs, soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “made in a facility that uses milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Look
    • Ingredients free of: tree nuts, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: milk, peanuts, soy lecithin, eggs
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Rocky Road, Rocky Road Mint, Rocky Road Dark
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts
    • Ingredients contain: milk, tree nuts (cashews), wheat/gluten (barley malt and wheat flour), soybean oil
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses egg, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts.”
  • U-No
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, eggs, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: milk, almonds, soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts”

Gluten-Free info (via phone Sept 2011): The only guaranteed gluten-free candy is the 2 oz. (regular size) Big Hunk. For all other candies, including the mini Big Hunks, there is the possibility of contamination from flour that is used on the belts. While there is no flour used specifically for the Big Hunk minis, there is flour used on the belts for the manufacture of the Look bars.

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