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

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Wellaby’s Gluten Free Cheese Ups

wellabys-gluten-free-cheese-snacks-closeI’m not really sure what to say about these. Even though they clearly have the image of what they are on the outside of the package, I wasn’t expecting crunchy, hollow triangles. Now the low calorie count (only 110 per serving) and only 15 carbs makes sense.

The ingredients are certainly natural: potato starch, gouda cheese, egg, yeast extract, salt, natural flavoring, paprika. So I have no complaints about those. But I have to say, and you all know by now my sensitivity to flavors – these crackers just don’t have a lot of “oomph.” If I am going to choose a cheese cracker snack, I’m going to go for the Van’s Say Cheese! snack crackers.

I love that these Wellaby’s crackers are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility, and I find it pretty neat that they are made in Greece, but I can’t give these two thumbs up. The best I can do is a “meh.” Sorry, Wellaby’s. That’s all I got.

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Betty Lou’s Energy Balls

img_20161115_161246083-nuts-over-chocolate-energy-ballI’m becoming an enormous fan of Betty Lou’s. Her energy balls are just great. I’ve tried three different flavors so far:  Paleo Java with cacao, coffee and pumpkin seeds, Coconut Macadamia, and the Vegan Protein Plus Chocolate Hazelnut. I have also had something which now confuses me since I can’t find it in the store again; it was like an energy ball but it was filled with creamy hazelnut butter. That was TO DIE FOR. I looked for it again in the store tonight, but unfortunately couldn’t find it. The Sprouts I shop at is a little smaller than some of the others I’ve been to, where I found that absolutely delicious piece of chocolatey heaven.

Okay, enough drooling. Here is my take on the three I tried this week: Continue reading

Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares

gluten free matzo“A Unique Matzo-Style Cracker” is written right on the box under the picture that looks more like matzo than the actual product, which I found funny.

These matzo-style squares are actually not at all like matzo, in my book. If you’re expecting matzo, you’re going to be disappointed. That said – I liked them. They are more like a sweet saltine cracker than a matzo, and actually more fragile, if you can believe that. If you eat them around other people, make sure they are wearing safety goggles, because there will be shrapnel.

While yes, I’m being snarky, I did like these. Being wheat-free, I’m very limited in what I can eat to calm my stomach. So far, the only thing that seems to help is an Udi’s Blueberry Muffin. But I think these matzo-style squares may work just as well, and if you want something light, with less than half the calories of one of those muffins, this would be a good bet.

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These gluten-free matzo-style crackers are very photogenic!

These crackers are made in Israel and are gluten- and soy-free. No soy is a big thing for me. They contain Tapioca Starch, Water, Potato Starch, Potato Flakes, Palm Oil, Natural Vinegar, Honey, Egg Yolks, and Salt. Ah, honey – hence the sweetness. The nutritional facts are as follows: 125 calories; 3.5 grams of fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 120 mg sodium; 22 grams carbs; 1.2 g of fiber; and 2 grams of protein.

I enjoyed mine with some Land O Lakes Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt spread. But I bet it would be good with all kinds of SOFT spreads. Make sure they’re soft, or you will end up with a load of splintery crumbs! Although, you could probably use those as crackers in your soup, so it may not be a bad thing.

If you see a box, grab one. (Believe it or not, I found these in a Walmart!) Try them out. I think you’ll like them.

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.

Easy Gluten-Free Onion Dip Recipe

GF onion dip ingredients IMG_2481 This simple, quick, and easy gluten-free onion dip recipe is a great way to ensure that you will have something safe to eat at pot luck parties, office events, etc. The only catch is – make sure to throw it together the night before. It really needs to sit overnight so the onion flavor can permeate.

Remember those extra onions we sauteed? Grab those, your favorite plain yogurt, and your Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. That is a gluten-free staple in my house! There’s really no “recipe”here – the quantities all depend upon your personal taste. Want it with more bite? Use more Lea & Perrins. Want it more oniony? You know what I’m getting at.

Mix it in a nice container, let it sit overnight, stir, and boom – you’ve got a great tasting, healthy, and gluten-free onion dip. Serve with your favorite gluten-free dipping chips.

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Gluten-Free Guacamole Dip

Guacamole dip yogurt IMG_20150309Have you seen the price of avocados lately? Ey carumba! But you’ve been invited to a party and you need to bring something gluten-free. You wanted to bring guacamole, but…. the sticker shock is just too much for more than a few servings. Well, don’t worry: here’s a way to stretch your guacamole, whether at home or as a party dish.

Use your favorite gluten-free guacamole recipe, or try mine. If you can, make it the night before your event so that the ingredients have time for their flavors to mingle. Right before the party or event or meal, mix in an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt. Of course you can also use sour cream, but the yogurt is healthier and higher in protein.

Money-saving tip: check the “quick sale” or clearance area of your dairy section. Sometimes you will find items marked down 50% because they are approaching their expiration date. The yogurt cup pictured here was 44 cents – vs. $1.39 for the sale price sour cream. If I’m eating this at home, I only mix together as much as I plan on eating and keep the guacamole protected from the air the rest of the time so it doesn’t brown.

Mix well, then serve with your favorite gluten-free tortilla chips (Juanita’s is my absolute favorite brand!).

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