My Favorite Gluten-Free Products

Posted on February 18th, 2017 by Alison | Posted in Products | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

I get asked quite often for my recommendations of gluten-free products. Since my celiac diagnosis in 2002, I have tried hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of different brands. Gluten-free food has come a long way since then, but it still can be hit or miss in terms of taste and texture. Of course, the healthiest way to be gluten-free is to eat naturally gluten-free foods (meat, vegetables, fruit, etc), but I still enjoy pasta, breads, cookies, pizza and other normally gluten-filled foods, in moderation.

Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order. While there are many other products I have enjoyed, these are the foods I come back to regularly, the ones I feed my family, the ones I offer to my guests, the ones I bring to a potluck. This is just a start. I will continue to update this list over time, and feel free to leave your opinions/favorites/questions in the comments – I would love to hear what you like and I’m sure others would appreciate the information also.

(Note: this list contains only gluten-free foods – it does not address other food allergies)

Jovial-Foods-GF-Brown-Rice-Pasta-CapelliniPasta

Jovial – I love the Capellini. The trick is to not overcook and to rinse the pasta right after draining it.

Tinkyada – Lots of great shapes and good texture. Do not overcook. Rinse pasta.

Packaged Cookies

Pamela’s SimpleBites – Chocolate Chip and Ginger Snapz are my favorite flavors of these mini cookies. Great for lunchbox treats too.

Allergen-Free Cookies:

Baking-MixesCybele’s Free to Eat Cookies – a softer texture

Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies

HomeFree Mini Cookies – a crunchy texture

Baking Mixes

Pamela’s – you can’t go wrong with these baking mixes for everything

Namaste Foods Blondie Mix – I am a Blondie person more than a Brownie person!

All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

NamastePerfectFlourBlend2Namaste Foods Organic Perfect Flour Blend

Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour

canyon-bakehouse-everything-bagelsPackaged Bread

Loaves: Canyon Bakehouse – Mountain White and 7 Grain (and they have introduced a new larger loaf called Heritage Style!)

Hamburger Buns: Canyon Bakehouse

Bagels: Canyon Bakehouse Plain Bagels and Everything Bagels

Crackers

Milton’s – not a rice cracker, more like a wheat cracker

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers

Whole Foods 365 Sesame Rice Crackers

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers

Jilz Crackerz Almond Flour Crackers

Homemade Bread:

Pamela’s Bread Mix

Homemade Pizza:

Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix

Packaged Pizza:

Amy’s Rice Crust Pizza – I add extra cheese and my own toppings

Against the Grain Three Cheese Pizza and Pesto Pizza – rich tasting, with eggs and cheese in the crust

Asian Food:

Feel Good Foods – I like the Chicken Dumplings and Chicken Egg Rolls more than the veggie ones

Bars (I don’t eat bars with soy flour or soy protein in them):

Edward and Sons Ice Cream ConesKind Bars – I prefer the not-so-sweet ones

Pamela’s Whenever Bars and Oat Up Bars – both made with GF oats

Ice Cream Cones

Edward & Sons Let’s Do Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

Ice Cream with GF inclusions

So Delicious Cookie Dough

Strauss Cookies & Cream

Coconut Bliss Ginger Cookie Caramel


Orgain Nutrition Shake, a healthy alternative to Ensure

Posted on May 14th, 2015 by Alison | Posted in Products | Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

OrgainMy younger daughter (8 years old) recently had a piece of food get stuck in her throat. She was shaken by the event more than I realized, and she had trouble eating. I thought that her anxiety would pass more quickly than it did and that she would begin eating normally, but a day turned into three, and the doctors found ketones in her urine.

I learned that ketones in urine can indicate that a person isn’t getting enough calories or nutrition. I knew she needed more calories, but she was refusing to eat foods with any texture at all. The doctor recommended that she drink Ensure, the most popular brand of nutrition shakes. I headed to the pharmacy, read the ingredients on the cans of Ensure, and thought to myself, “I am not putting this crap in my baby.”

A trip to Whole Foods and a talk with the employee in the vitamin aisle led me to Orgain, a brand of a nutrition shakes with all natural, organic ingredients. I was so relieved to find this product and over the next few days, these shakes were a life-saver for my daughter. These got her through the psychological hump from only being able to drink liquids and eat soft foods, to introducing foods with texture back into her diet. It has been three weeks since she choked, and she is still not back to eating all the foods she used to. She still likes to occasionally drink the “chocolate milk” (Orgain Creamy Chocolate Fudge nutritional shake) and now I use the vanilla Orgain as a base in smoothies for both of my children.

I have no personal stake in this brand — I just thought I would share this information in case someone else is ever advised to drink Ensure. There is a healthier alternative! Once I read about the founder, a cancer survivor and doctor, I felt even better about my choice.

Compare the ingredients…

Ensure Original Milk Chocolate:

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Oil, Soy Protein Isolate, Sucromalt, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Canola Oil. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Corn Oil, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Cellulose Gel, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gum, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Potassium Hydroxide, Liquid Sucralose, Ferric Orthophosphate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3.

Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake Creamy Chocolate Fudge:

Water, Orgain Organic Protein Blend (Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Grass Fed Milk Protein Concentrate), Orgain Organic Carbohydrate Blend (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rice Syrup Solids), Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cocoa, Organic Inulin, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Arabic Gum, Xanthan Gum, Organic Rice Bran Extract, Sodium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan Gum, Sea Salt, Organic Stevia
Orgain Vitamin Blend: Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Ascorbate, Zinc Gluconate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Cholecacalciferol, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Sulfate
Orgain Organic Veggie Blend: (Organic Kale, Organic Beet, Organic Spinach, Organic Carrot, Organic Tomato) 50mg.
Orgain Organic Fruit Blend: (Organic Blueberry, Organic Banana, Organic Acai, Organic Apple, Organic Raspberry) 50mg.

All Orgain products are gluten-free, soy-free, organic, and non-GMO. The regular shakes have dairy, but there is a line of vegan shakes also.


NEW cheese alternatives (vegan, dairy-free, soy-free) that taste good

Posted on March 19th, 2015 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Products | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Do you miss cheese? In my opinion, cheese is the hardest thing to replace if you are on a dairy-free or vegan diet. There are good non-dairy ice creams, yogurts, milk and butter replacements, but cheese is a challenge. I recently tried to two dairy-free and soy-free “cheeses” that I feel are worthy enough to write about.

Follow Your Heart ProvoloneFollow Your Heart

Follow Your Heart’s new soy-free vegan cheese in slices and blocks is so good that I ate a whole sandwich made with their Provolone slices at a recent Vegan Sandwichevent. (The sandwich was made with a new gluten-free and vegan brioche bread that they are coming out with also!) This cheese has a great texture, whether melted or not, and does not have a strange aftertaste that I have found in other dairy-free cheeses. In fact, it actually tasted good!

The ingredients are not yet available on the web as of this writing (I will update when I have them), but the cheese is a coconut oil base. Four flavors will be available: Provolone, American, Mozzarella and Garden Herb.

Follow Your Heart is a brand that is available nationwide, so look for this new cheese in natural foods stores soon. You can also check their Store Locator to see which stores near you carry the brand.

Miyoko’s Kitchen

Regular cheese is hard enough to replace, so who would think a dairy-free person could ever enjoy fancy cheese again? Miyoko’s Kitchen, based in Fairfax, CA is changing people’s minds about vegan cheese. Their “cultured nut product” flavors include Double Cream Garlic Sundried Tomato, Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash and several more. All the cheeses have cashews as the base. The Aged English Farmhouse cheese ingredients are: Organic Cashews, Filtered Water, Organic Chickpea Miso (Organic Chickpeas, Organic Rice Koji, Sea Salt, Water, Koji Spores), Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt, Cultures.

This cheese is pricey, and for now only available in stores in the San Francisco Bay Area or via mail-order, but remember, this is fancy cheese! I tried several flavors and each one was unique and delicious. I could imagine spreading it on a gluten-free cracker or a gluten-free baguette! These cheeses will definitely fill the void and would also make a great gift for a dairy-free or vegan friend!

Miyoko Farmhouse Cheddar

Smile, and say “Cheese!”


Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Products | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

When you are gluten-free, you generally no longer get to have ice cream flavors with cookies in them — like cookie dough, cookies ‘n cream, or brownie flavors. But there are a few companies out there that are making these flavors gluten-free! Here are the ones I could find (and have mostly tasted). For you dairy-intolerant people out there, you will happy to know that all but one is dairy-free also.
*Note – I obtained these ingredients from the companies’ websites for your quick reference. Ingredients can change at any time, so please read all labels before consuming.

COCONUT BLISS
“We take the issues of cross-contamination very seriously and we do everything within our power to ensure that our products are free of undeclared allergens.”

Coconut Bliss Ginger Cookie CaramelGinger Cookie Caramel

“Spicy cookies & creamy caramel in rich vanilla.” All ingredients are organic! Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum)
Organic Agave Syrup
Organic Coconut Extract
Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
Organic Caramel Sauce (Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Guar Gum, Salt)
Organic Ginger Cookies (Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Rice Base [Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Sweet Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch, Xanthan Gum], Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Ginger, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cloves)

Coconut Bliss Chocolate Walnut BrownieChocolate Walnut Brownie

“A divine treat for chocolate lovers.” All ingredients are organic! Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free.
Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum)
Organic Agave Syrup
Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali]
Organic Chocolate Brownies (Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Rice Base [Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Sweet Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch, Xanthan Gum], Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali], Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Sea Salt)
Organic Walnuts

SO DELICIOUS
“So Delicious Dairy Free applies strict quality control measures in an effort to prevent contamination by undeclared food allergens.”

So Delicious Coconut Cookie DoughCoconut Milk Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Bits of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla coconut milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, contains soy lecithin.
Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, COOKIE DOUGH {DARK BROWN CANE SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, CHOCOLATE CHIPS [CANE SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, DEXTROSE, COCOA BUTTER, SOYA LECITHIN (AN EMULSIFIER), VANILLA EXTRACT], NATURAL OIL BLEND [PALM FRUIT, CANOLA OIL, OLIVE OIL, WATER, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, LACTIC ACID, ANNATTO EXTRACT], POTATO FLOUR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, VANILLA EXTRACT, GUAR GUM, BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, POWDERED CANE SUGAR}, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, CHOCOLATE FLAKE (DRIED CANE SYRUP, COCONUT OIL, COOCA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, VANILLA), CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR.

So Delicious Coconut Cookies n CreamCoconut Milk Cookies ‘N Cream

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla coconut milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CREÌ€ME COOKIE (TAPICOA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR , COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN GUM, SALT), CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVOR, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM.

So Delicious Almond Cookies n CreamAlmond Milk Cookies ‘N Cream

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla almond milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free.
Ingredients: ALMOND MILK (WATER, ALMONDS), ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CREÌ€ME COOKIE (TAPIOCA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR, COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN, SALT), CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, ERYTHRITOL, PEA PROTEIN, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR, MONK FRUIT.

So Delicious Soymilk Cookie DoughSoy Milk Cookie Dough

Bits of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla soy milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: WATER, ORGANIC SOYMILK (WATER, ORGANIC SOYBEANS), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, COOKIE DOUGH {DARK BROWN CANE SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, CHOCOLATE CHIPS [CANE SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, DEXTROSE, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT], NATURAL OIL BLEND [PALM FRUIT, CANOLA OIL, OLIVE OIL, WATER, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, LACTIC ACID, ANNATTO EXTRACT], POTATO FLOUR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, VANILLA EXTRACT, GUAR GUM, BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, POWDERED CANE SUGAR}, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CHOCOLATE FLAKE (CANE SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, VANILLA), ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVORS, CAROB BEAN GUM, TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, GUAR GUM, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), YUCCA EXTRACT, SEA SALT, GELLANGUM, ANNATTO.

So Delicious Soymilk Cookie AvalancheSoy Milk Cookie Avalanche

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla soy milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: WATER, ORGANIC SOYMILK (WATER, ORGANIC SOYBEANS), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CREÌ€ME COOKIE (TAPIOCA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR, COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN, SALT), ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVOR, CAROB BEAN GUM, TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, GUAR GUM, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), YUCCA EXTRACT, GELLAN GUM.

STRAUS

Straus Cookies 'N CreamCookies & Cream

Big pieces of rich, organic chocolate cookies in organic vanilla ice cream. Gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: PASTEURIZED ORGANIC CREAM AND ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES (ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC NON-HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, ORGANIC DUTCH COCOA POWDER, ORGANIC RICE FLOUR BASE, [ORGANIC BROWN RICE FLOUR, ORGANIC RICE FLOUR, ORGANIC TAPIOCA STARCH, XANTHAN GUM], ORGANIC EGGS, ORGANIC VANILLA, NATURAL CHOCOLATE FLAVORING, BAKING POWDER, SEA SALT, AMMONIUM BICARBONATE), ORGANIC EGG YOLK, ORGANIC VANILLA EXTRACT.