I Ate These So You Wouldn’t Have To

That’s right. And you’re welcome.

Here’s a round-up of some foods I can’t recommend. In fact, I shudder to think of them. Here you go:

gluten-free-seaweed1

Okay, I’ve had seaweed before, and I like it, honestly. But this… I don’t know what this was. It was everything I could do to choke one of those cellophane-thin wafers down. I really thought it tasted and smelled like raw sewage. Conversely, I gave them to a friend who absolutely loved them and asked me to buy out every package they had in the store. So, go figure. Continue reading

Bear Naked’s Gluten-Free Cacao & Cashew Butter Granola

bear-naked-granolaThere are very few good and affordable gluten-free granolas out there, for some bizarre reason. Let me tell you, though, this granola isn’t just good. It’s FREAKING AWESOME. It’s so good, in fact, you can eat it straight out of the bag.

Please note, not ALL Bear Naked granolas are gluten-free. This one is clearly labeled as such (see the upper left-hand corner of the package).

Bear Naked is generous with the chocolate bits in this granola. It’s not too sweet, but has great flavor. And the consistency is just the right amount of chewy and crunchy. This granola is basically perfect! The crunch comes from the rice crisps and the cashews. The chew comes from the whole-grain oats and the pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Add in the chocolate chunks and man, it is one absolutely delicious treat.

You should be able to find this bag of awesomeness at WalMart, Sprouts, and occasionally I find it at Fry’s (Phoenix area). Hopefully more stores will be getting it soon. Are you listening, Bear Naked? To find a store near you, or to get more information on the Cacao + Cashew Butter awesomeness, check out this page.

HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

bear-naked-granola-2

Chex Gluten Free Granola Mix

gluten free chex granola comp IMG_20150323_112207Finally. Affordable gluten-free granola you can find in a regular store that doesn’t have all sorts of weird, supposed-to-be-healthy for you, rock-hard, nasty grain-like junk in it. Thank you, Chex. It has a lovely aroma when you open the package, and you don’t need to use much to enjoy the flavor. Just the right amount of chewiness, and just the right amount of crunch. I tried the mixed berry almond (even though I wanted to try the honey nut flavor) because I had a coupon for a free bag and didn’t want it to go to waste. That would be blasphemy. Normally, I would not go for anything with dried fruit it in because I’m a meatatarian. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised; I didn’t hate it – and in fact, liked it quite a bit.

Here are the stats, good people:

Serving size: 2/3 cup. (I think I may have used 2-3 tablespoons, so I didn’t come close to that.)

270 calories, 9g fat, 0 cholesterol, 75mg sodium, 43g cards (yikes!), 5g protein. It is loaded with a bunch of other vitamins and minerals as well, including 20% of your RDV of iron.

The carb and fat content are pretty crazy high, but I think I’ll still put this in rotation with my other granolas since I don’t tend to use a lot at once. And change is good.

Cole’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Coles Cinnamon Roll IMG_20150416_142237587OMGFG (Oh My Gluten-Free God – and frankly, I can’t believe I even had to explain that), this cinnamon roll from Cole’s Fine Foods needs to be eaten slowly and savored.

Jeanine at Cole’s told me this cinnamon roll might be a little dry because it had been frozen. Whether it was or not isn’t really pertinent. What is? To think of how dreamy these must be fresh out of the Cole’s oven. The icing is delicious, the cinnamon tucked into each crease perfect, and the bottom is gooey with awesomeness like regular wheat cinnamon rolls. And the center? Tender, moist, and laden with spice and sugar and everything that makes the Pillsbury DoughBoy go running because he knows this cinnamon roll will kick his ass with one hand tied behind its back. That final, last bite is a burst of cinnamony awesomeness. (Yes, I can make up words, I’m a writer!)

Wowza. If you miss feeling like a kid enjoying big, gooey cinnamon rolls, give Cole’s a call. You can always ask them to ship them to you if you don’t live near Spokane. Now,  pardon me whilst I go lick my plate.

RECOMMENDED

Cole’s Fine Foods
521 E. Holland, Suite 20
Spokane, WA 99218
Place an order: 509-419-1739
www.colesfinefoods.com

Udi’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

udis gluten free muffins IMG_20150313_072038474It is a good morning when you wake up to have an Udi’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin. It says on the package “Moist & Tasty” and they really are. They are also dairy, soy, and nut FREE.

These muffins are very light with a very pleasant flavor. There is no need to put butter on them – or even to toast them. I warmed them up from their frozen state – in the microwave – it took less than 30 seconds, and did not rubberize them. They are moist enough that they do not need butter. (And I love any excuse to slather anything in butter, so these must be pretty darn good.)

And here are the stats for one muffin: 270 calories, 10 g fat, 36 carbs, 3 g protein. Learn more at http://udisglutenfree.com. These are not as big as the usual glutenous muffin, and run just over $1.00 per muffin in a four-pack.

Light and fluffy on the inside, with big crunchy sugar crystals on top  makes for a nice, homemade muffin experience. These are great for getting something into an upset stomach. Udi’s, you’ve done it again. Good job.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Gluten Free Chex Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Chex Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal gluten FreeI am in love love love with Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal. You know those times when your stomach is just a little off and you need something comforting? Or those cold winter days when you want something hot and hearty for breakfast? Well, Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal to the rescue!

I found this gem by accident while looking for the gluten-free granola bars at Wal-Mart. Talk about luck!

For $2.98 you get 2 packets each of three flavors (in the variety box which is what I purchased): maple brown sugar, apple cinnamon, and original. The ingredients are all natural – I can pronounce everything. Oats, sugar, salt, flavor, dried apples, etc. No multi-syllabic, chemical-type stuff.

Calories: 130-170; Total fat: 2-2.5g; Carbs: 24-35; Protein: 4-5g

Today I tried the Apple Cinnamon. I used the packet to measure the liquid and microwaved it for 1-1/2 minutes, stirred, and then 30 more seconds. I don’t like my oatmeal too gloopy. They say you can use 2/3 a cup of water or milk – I used half water and half half-and-half. Very creamy, soothing, and yummy. Unlike Cream of Rice, this didn’t boil over. Yay – no cleanup.

Don’t care for plain oatmeal? They sell boxes of each flavor as well, or you can try my Nutella recipe for plain oatmeal.

I will make certain to always have some of this in the cabinet. So very glad I found this.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Chobani Greek Yogurt with Steel-Cut Oats – Apple Cinnamon

Chobani Greek Yogurt with Steel Cut Oats Gluten Free!How many times do you walk by the yogurt section and see all those cups with granola and chocolate crunchies on top and think “Those jerks! Why don’t they make those gluten-free?” Okay, it’s just me then? Really? Ha! I didn’t think so. Well…Chobani to the rescue.

Chobani has introduced a line of Greek yogurts with GLUTEN-FREE steel-cut oats in them. Yessuh!

I tried the apple-cinnamon flavor – and man, is it good! It’s thick and creamy, and doesn’t have that nasty yogurt tang – so even people who don’t like yogurt will probably enjoy this. The oats have an excellent consistency to them, hearty, not mushy. (And we all know how violently I despise mushy food.) The apples are actual fresh apples, diced up into juicy, crispy bits. And not just a few apples or a couple of oats. There’s plenty of each in every bite. Don’t go expecting some sugary-sweet treat, like those gross syrupy fruit-on-the-bottom type yogurts. This tastes like a homemade, all natural, delicious breakfast.

This little puppy has 160 calories, 2g fat, 28g carbs, and 10g protein. It contains probiotics and live active cultures. AND, Chobani gives 10% of their profits to charity. I’m sold. You can learn more at www.chobani.com.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Van’s Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Waffles

IMG_1019 gluten free waffles compI figured I’d try these Van’s Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Waffles because sometimes it’s nice to have something hot that’s quick and easy to prepare. I got them on sale at Safeway for a very decent price (can’t recall exactly, sorry).

These waffles are gluten-free, Kosher, all natural, no artificial colors or preservatives, egg-free, dairy-free, and corn-free. Wow. Is there anything left? Two waffles are considered a serving, and they have 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein. Not hideous. I do like that they are made with canola oil and not soy. That’s a plus for me.

While they’re toasting, they smell awesome, I’ll give them that. Granted, my toaster oven is a piece of junk, but these guys were not very crispy after one cycle. so I put them back for a second. It could be my oven, or, it just could be that they were a bit old and that’s why they were on sale. Even after the second toasting, they weren’t as crispy on the outside as I was expecting. No big deal.

Because of the lovely aroma coming from the toaster, I expected these to be chock full of apple cinnamon flavor. They weren’t. It was quite muted. I was hoping to just be able to eat these without syrup – just with butter – but there was just not enough flavor to do that. That’s okay, I was just hoping to cut back on my sugar consumption a little. The maple syrup really did complement the flavor, however, and bring out that apple a bit more.

In general, I do like the Van’s brand, and they have an incredibly amazing granola that I’ll write about at a later time. Meanwhile, you can check them out at http://www.vansfoods.com/.

Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal

IMG_4618 chex oatmeal nutella styleChex, we love you. Gluten-free instant oatmeal is here. Quaker Oats, why didn’t you guys think of this? Sheesh!

In a variety box of Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, you get 2 packets each of 3 flavors: apple cinnamon, maple brown sugar, and plain. It’s super easy to make in the microwave in less than 2 minutes, and each packet comes with a convenient fill-line for milk or water (I always use milk for creamier oatmeal) so you don’t have to dirty a measuring cup.

Great flavor, great consistency, awesome job, Chex!

But now, I bet you’re wondering why Nutella is in the picture. Okay, I’ll tell you. How many kids do you know (young OR old) who like plain oatmeal? That’s one drawback of variety packs of any kind – there’s always one flavor no one wants. Why do they do that? In any case, here’s a quick, easy, and delicious solution to the plain oatmeal issue. When you’re done heating the oatmeal, stir in up to 2 tablespoons (1 serving) of Nutella until it’s thoroughly mixed. You will end up with one delicious bowl of oatmeal! Yes, I know, I’m a genius. You’re welcome.

You can learn more about the most awesome Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal at http://www.chex.com/products/gluten-free-oatmeal-multipack-variety-pack I got mine at WalMart for under $3.00. Enjoy!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

KIND Oats & Honey Clusters

144 kind oat and honey granolaThis 11 ounce bag of gluten-free, non-GMO, low glycemic granola was $4.99 (on sale for $4.49) at Safeway. It’s loaded with “super grains” including oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. Ah, the “Q” word. Loved by so many. Me, not so much. I just do not care for the funky, punky taste of quinoa. Nor do I care for the pronunciation of the word. That’s another story, though.

The overall taste of this granola is good. I do not taste any of the toasted coconut mentioned on the front of the package, probably because it is overpowered by the quinoa. Otherwise, I do get the occasional burst of honey flavor. The cereal is very hard, and needs to soak for a while in the yogurt before you eat it unless you want to be crunching on rock-like chunks. My jaw is tired.

So, I can see this being a favorite of health-food folks who enjoy that kind of flavor. Me, not so much. It will get me by until I can get back to WalMart and get the most excellent Van’s Natural Foods Cranberry Almond granola for $3.98.

RECOMMENDED? Eh. It’s a matter of personal taste.