Here’s a quick video detailing a healthy, inexpensive and filling gluten-free breakfast, complete with nutritional information. Enjoy!
Date of Visit: 2-9-11
Whole Earth Center
360 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Out of bread, snacks and patience during my cross-country adventure, my face became bright with hope as the Whole Earth Center on the eastern side of Princeton came into view.
When I walked in, the store’s aromas soothed my mind, wooing me into a better mood. An oasis of healthy living, its shelves loaded with organic goods, a deli offering gluten-free options, and an entire separate area dedicated to colorful produce from local growers. As I had anticipated, the prices were a little higher than I was used to, but in the face of hunger, one has to make choices.
I chose a loaf of frozen bread for $7.19 and couldn’t resist the fresh-baked gluten-free cookies despite their $11/pound price. Their assortment was excellent – at least 6 different flavors – and the homemade consistency and flavor were exceptional – worth every penny. Even my non-gluten-free partner enjoyed them.
The staff was helpful and friendly, and the bathrooms were clean.
If you’re on the road and in need of something good to eat – stop in to the Whole Earth Center.
Ninety Nine Restaurant
149 So. Broadway
Salem, NH 03079
Well this was a fun evening. I hadn’t been to a 99 Restaurant in a very long time, and I’ll be honest with you, I was expecting it to be mediocre. We picked the restaurant because of its convenient proximity to Route 93 in Salem, NH. I didn’t realize at the time that the “Nines” even had a gluten-free menu – one of my friends who met us there told me. You can see the gluten-free menu on their website – the link is above.
To start, our waitress Connie was patient and gracious over the fact that our party arrived in spurts. Then, when I asked for a gluten-free menu, she was very responsive. That always gives me a good feeling. (On the bill, it even says “allergy alert” next to my meal.)
The food was served hot and in a timely manner. And it was really good. My 16 ounce sirloin tips were marinated and perfectly cooked until they were tender and delicious. They came with excellent mashed potatoes and broccoli for only $11.99. There was so much food I couldn’t eat it all.
Everyone at the table enjoyed their food, and Connie was even nice enough to take a photo of our group. Well done, 99!
Sorry I’ve been scarce. I’ve been writing articles for Celiac-Disease.com. If you are looking for product suggestions and/or reviews, that site is extremely thorough.
Meanwhile, I’ve tried the Brownie Mix and Spice Cake Mix by Namaste Foods. They are awesome: moist, rich, and great flavor. I didn’t even think the Spice Cake needed the gluten-free cream cheese icing I made. Check out their website at www.namastefoods.com
That’s my tip for today…eat well!
I was in the grocery store on the hunt for a Gluten-Free nosh. I was out of my usual stash of snacks, and wanted something satisfying. Trying to stay gluten-free makes that next to impossible, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. The words ‘satisfying’ and ‘gluten-free’ are seldom used to describe the same item.
Curiously, Franz Macaroon Cookies jumped out at me. I checked the package, and the ingredients: Dessicated Coconut, Sugar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Potato Starch, Dextrose, Egg Whites, Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin (Soybean), Nonfat Milk. Those ingredients certainly didn’t seem dangerous to me, so I decided to purchase the package and check the Franz web site to see if I could get further information about the gluten content.
Their web site, www.usbakery.com did not have the answers I sought, however, a spokesperson for Franz Family Bakeries did reply to my inquiry with incredible speed: “These cookies are produced in a bakery with other cookies that do contain gluten and on shared equipment. We do have an allergen washout between production of the other varieties and the macaroon cookies, but there is never a 100% guarantee that there is no gluten present. At this point, we don’t make the claim that they are gluten free.”
I do not believe I am as sensitive as most people to gluten, so I dug right in. They are chewy, loaded with coconut, moist, tasty and sweet. They are, in fact, satisfying when that quick snack urge rears its ugly head. There are none of the tell-tale drawbacks that normally accompany gluten-free cookies like dryness or grittiness. These are like the macaroons I enjoyed during my childhood.
Franz’ slogan on the package reads “The Good Cookie.” And their macaroons certainly are good!
Franz is the largest family-owned independent bakery on the West Coast. Their products are available primarily in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, please visit their web site www.usbakery.com
© K. S. Brooks – Gluten-Free Gusto
Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies Part One: The Social Dilemma
Ever have a shock that just messes you up? That happened to me last Wednesday while I was shopping at Wal-Mart. I was in the baking mix aisle looking for the Jiffy Cornbread Mix for my gluten-mongering spouse when my sight unintentionally fell on something completely unexpected: Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies.
Say what? Damn straight. You heard me right. I did a double-take. I stood frozen in the aisle behind my cart. No frikkin way…really? Gluten-free brownies by…Betty Crocker? I had to have read it wrong. So I touched the box to make sure it was real. It was, indeed. $3.79 was the price. I don’t tend to bake gluten-free brownies, but I had to try this out, so I gingerly placed it in the cart.
It was time to go to produce, but I still couldn’t move. What exactly did this mean? As mainstream as Betty Crocker, and as universal as Wal-Mart: were Celiacs finally getting the service we have been asking for? Or are the numbers of gluten-intolerant people becoming so staggering that a conglomeration as large as Betty Crocker saw a profit potential there? Part of me was incredulous on a happy level, while another part of me was stunned by the possible gravity of it.
Then I started to feel a little badly for the companies who have supported Celiacs all along, producing gluten-free cooking mixes because they cared. And now, here was Betty Crocker, jumping on the band wagon, getting prime real estate at Wal-Mart, and selling the mix for only $3.79 (compared to $5.00 and more for other brands). How are the little companies who have supported folks suffering from gluten-intolerance going to compete with this? What about Pamela’s, and Bob’s Red Mill, and all the other “little guys”? These companies started producing gluten-free foods long ago. How will they compete…and survive?
So, I will try one batch of these Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies in order to review them. I understand that many people do not have access to small health food stores which carry gluten-free products, or the internet, but do have a Wal-Mart in their town. But my heart will be with the little guys who were there for me when I was first diagnosed and didn’t know what to do.
Stay tuned for Part Two…The Product Review!
Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies Part Two: The Review
Okay, it was time to try out the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix. Part of me was reluctant, as I mentioned in Part One, because if this mix turned out to be good, that meant trouble for the “little guys” like Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill. And since I have been eating more healthily with less gooey sweets, brownies were really not on my diet. But the box had been sitting on the counter, staring at me, daring me to try it despite the horrendous stove in my apartment. I accepted the challenge.
The directions are incredibly easy. The mix requires only eggs and melted butter. Betty Crocker’s web site even offers butter-free directions for non-dairy diets. The directions state that the “batter will be thick.” That is an understatement. They offer three different size pans; don’t even THINK about doing anything larger than the smallest: the 8×8 pan. It is so thick and elastic-like that you couldn’t spread it any farther if you had to. I’m not kidding.
31 minutes later, I pulled my little square pan of brownies from the oven. I let them cool most of the way, then tasted a sample. Honestly, I have to say, these brownies were incredible. Thick, rich, moist, chocolately, and I really couldn’t tell that they were gluten-free. There was no grittiness whatsoever. They were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I covered and refrigerated them, and they lasted for about a week between myself and my gluten-mongering spouse. He actually found them to be a little too rich for his taste. I did notice that I would cut 1 inch squares for a quick snack and that would more than fulfill any food or chocolate craving. After being refrigerated for a few days, they did become somewhat fudge-like and if you don’t seal them tightly (as it instructs to right on the box), they will get pretty crispy/stale.
The three plusses are there: inexpensive (compared to other gluten-free brownie mixes), easy to prepare, and delicious.
So, that is my verdict: Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Brownie Mix is a winner.
© 2009 K. S. Brooks / Gluten-Free Gusto
On 9-22-08 I discovered a fantastic store on Route 1 in Scarborough, Maine. It’s called Lois’ Natural Marketplace and I felt like a kid in a candy store!
If you would like to read the rest of this article, please click on http://www.celiacchicks.com/maine/ – This column appeared last September as part of the ongoing CeliacChicks Around The World feature.
For other Gluten-Free food information and lifestyle tips, check out www.celiacchicks.com
K. S. Brooks is a guest blogger for CeliacChicks.com, an author and photographer. © 2008