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Friday, June 29, 2012

Way Better Snacks product review...

Sever weeks ago I received all six varieties of Way Better snacks chips to try. Wow! The bags were all full size and I was wondering how I was going to review these products from this generous company. I didn't want to open each bag to sample just a few and take a chance of them going stale, so they set on my pantry shelf for awhile.
Then last week I came up with the idea for a "Snack Party". I invited a few friends over to ask their opinion and made sure I got to sample each and every snack chip myself.
I set the table with guacamole, salsa, and hummus, along with all varieties of the chips and a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad and some homemade lemonade.
The party was a big hit and not only did I get to visit with all my friends, but I also got a few added opinions on the product. Everyone really enjoyed all varieties and there was not a chip left!
I really like the fact that these snacks are all natural, vegan, gluten free, kosher and have no MSO's, are low in sodium and a excellent source of fiber.
Although the chips are  first baked in a special oven to reduce moisture and then fried for a short time in Sunflower Oil, there is no greasy taste here.They all had a crisp delicious corn tortilla taste.

Although the chips are not totally organic, most of the ingredients used are certified organic such as the blue Corn, golden flax, quinoa. daikon radish seed, and the chia seeds. The company also first sprouts the grains and seeds which increases their nutrients and allows the body to better absorb them, and each chip was loaded with seeds!.

The large bag of chips sells for $3.49 on their web site and a single serving bag sell for $1.19. I feel that in comparison to chips found on the shelves of your local grocery store this is a great value for your money, and a healthier life choice.

The Muti-grain is the closest to a regular tortilla chip and my all time favorite. It tasted great with hummus as well as the salsa. It had a light salty taste and was crunchy. These are even good alone.

Rated 5 Stars (my all time favorite)

The Sweet Potato chip was nicely salted and tasted like a lightly buttered baked sweet potato to me. I especially enjoyed these with Hummus.

Rated 5 Stars 

The Sweet Chili had a kick to it and I highly recommend a tall glass of lemonade or water to help keep the heat at bay. I am somewhat of a sissy when it comes to spicy...so if you like the "heat" then go for it!

Rated 4 Stars   (just a little to spicy for this girls taste buds)

Unbeatable Blues tasted similar to the blue tortilla chips you find on the grocery shelves and go well with corn salsa.

Rated 4 1/2 Stars

Black Bean Tortillas were lightly salted and these could be used in place of crackers with a nice bowl of turkey chili, or dipped in hummus.

Rated 5 Stars

The Naked Blues have no salt added and therefore was a little bland all alone but great with salsa.

Rated  4 Stars  (only because I like salt on my chips)

The company even sent me a book with information about the products wrapped in recycled paper full of wildflower seeds that will sprout when planted. Now this is a company that knows about "sprouting"...

You can visit their site at http://www.gowaybetter.com to order products or to view nutritional information.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Double Chocolate Crunch Granola product review

Enjoy Life FoodsThis morning I woke knowing I was going to have quite a busy day ahead of me. It is my Stepson's birthday this weekend and we are going for a visit so I had a million things to do. Run errands, pack suitcases, fill the car up with gas, well you know the rest...
I decided on a quick breakfast of granola and decided to give the Double Chocolate Crunch from Enjoy Life a try. It is a Nut & Gluten free Granola, and we all know I love chocolate, so why not for breakfast too!
A 1/2 cup serving has 200 calories, and I added milk which gives it a few more calories, but I do like my granolas with a little added milk to them. It is now almost 3:00 in the afternoon and I must admit I just now had my lunch, so the granola left me full for quite some time.
It has a sweet chocolaty taste and stayed quite firm in the milk while eating. I could taste the tiny semi sweet chocolate chips in each bite, and the rice flakes were sweet and crunchy.
I can imagine this would make a great topping for vanilla ice cream or sprinkled into some plain yogurt to add flavor, or alone as a snack. The ideas are limitless!
All Enjoy Life's products are free of wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shell fish. They are also casein, potato, sesame and sulfite free.
The granola comes in a resealable stay fresh package. There are seven servings per container and it sells for $5.99 on their site.
Enjoy life also offers cookies, chewy bars, seed and fruit mixes, chocolate for baking, chocolate bars, plentils and cereals. On their site you will also find lots of tips and recipes for their products. They even have printable coupons !!!


Ingredients:
Brown Rice Flakes, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Natural Chocolate Liquor (Non-Alcoholic), Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter), Evaporated Cane Juice, Brown Rice Syrup, Rice Bran, Rice Crisps (Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt), Natural Process Cocoa Powder, Inulin (Chicory Root Fiber), Ground Flaxseed, Natural Chocolate Flavor, Honey, Vanilla, Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil), Salt, Rosemary Extract

I really enjoyed this granola and am anxious to try their other flavors as well. I am off to print some coupons, so till next post...Have a great wheat free day! To view their products or to order go to their site at http://www.enjoylifefoods.com

Rating: 5 Stars



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breads from Anna... Banana Bread Mix Review...

Yesterday I tried the Banana Bread mix by Breads from Anna. I had previously tried her Classic Herb Bread mix and was quite pleased with it so I was excited to give the Banana bread mix a try.
I was also in the mood for a good warm sweet bread, as I wanted to wind down after a busy day with a cup of tea and a warm slice of  something sweet.
The directions are as simple as can be, 1/3 cup oil, 2 large eggs well beaten, 3 medium bananas purred, and 2/3 cup chopped walnuts and the mix, all of which I had on hand.
I mixed the ingredients according to directions and baked the full hour called for. I even let it cool for the full hour specified, even though I wanted to cheat and dive in. The smell of bananas and walnuts filled the room as it baked, and my mouth was watering with anticipation.
While cooling the top sank slightly. Also when cutting the bread it seemed slightly tough on the outside, although moist on the inside. The first bite set me back a little, as the taste of the flours seemed to have slightly a little more control over the taste than that of the banana's.
Although the bread was quite moist it was not as light and fluffy as I had hoped, probably because of the density of the flours used. The flavor that showed through the greatest was actually that of the walnuts.
It seems to taste slightly better the next day which left me a little disappointed as I had truly been looking forward to a nice warm slice lathered in butter.
I do however give the company kudos for using flours that are healthier for you in this mix and even thought it was not one of my favorite mixes I look forward to trying the other mixes in their line.

Ingredients:
Crystallized honey, tapioca starch, arrowroot, millet flour, potato starch, chia flour, pinto bean flour, navy bean flour, sea salt, cream of tarter, baking soda, xanthan gum.

I must admit this is the only Banana bread mix I have sampled so far on my wheat free journey, so therefore I have no other banana bread mixes to compare it to.Yet based on my own personal taste test, and that is what this review is all about....I would have to give it a a lower rating than their Classic Herb bread (which was definitely at the top of my scale).

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

You can visit their site at http://www.breadsfromanna.com for more products and information.




Gardening day...

Hi everyone. It is beautiful today and so I thought I would take a break and do a little gardening, or should I say weeding!
A few years back I planted a beautiful pink flower in the garden that is suppose to attract butterflies and humming birds. The first year I did indeed see a few humming birds, and once a butterfly, but as of late all they have only been attracting are bee's and dragonfly's.
I don't mind I guess, as bees need pollen, and the dragonfly's are a beautiful illuminating blue in color. What I do mind it that the flowers have virtually taken over!
From what started as three small plants has multiplied into a mass that now surrounds the other flowers and shrubs in the garden and has drifted into my yard and rooted there.
I have pulled them out roots and all several times now, but they keep reappearing at a alarming rate. Who ever said I don't have a green thumb?????
I even saw a neighbor enter the yard one day, which is only about 10' x 6' in size, and pluck a few, possibly in the hopes of replanting them. I hope she has better luck controlling them than I have.
I know this post has nothing to do with my wheat free journey other than gardening is the form of exercise I opted for today instead of my usual walk around the lake. The sun is still shining and I still have a few flowers on the rampage that need to be plucked, so till next post.....Have a great wheat free day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Everything breakfast bake...

Sometimes I just want something different for breakfast other than a cold bowl of cereal, fried eggs and toast, or pancakes. Today was that day. I have been known to be an adventurer in the kitchen even though my culinary skills are limited to my years of Home Economics in High School, so lets face it, a Chef I am not. Yet on those rare occasions I do sometimes hit the mark when it comes to my experimentation's in the kitchen, and today just happened to be one of those days.
Since starting on this adventure months ago, I have found that eating wheat/gluten free can have a few draw backs to it, if you let it that is. And since I am not much of a red meat eater these days figuring out where to get my protein throughout the day can be challenging. You can only eat so much PB or eggs.
I decided to make a "bake" this morning, throwing in pretty much everything I had in in the kitchen minus the kitchen sink.
Okay, I had a can of garbanzo beans...loaded with protein and fiber, great starter.  Canned tomatoes, low in calories yet high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Canned diced potatoes. Although these contain carbs they area good source of fiber and have 0 grams of fat. A raw onion which contain sulfides known to lower blood lipid levels and reduce blood pressure. Last but not least were eggs. Although these have brought great debate over the years as to whether they are indeed good for you or not, they do contain almost all vitamins with the exception of Vitamin C.
As you can see I was quite hungry, and although I did not awake with the  intention to create a "healthy" Breakfast, I have been stocking my pantry a little more wisely as of late.
I found this new creation to be rather tasty. It has been a few hours now and I am still feeling quite full and  satisfied. Mmmmm, wonder what it would have tasted like with some frozen spinach and a small can of Salmon??? Maybe next time!
Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did. Until next post, have a great wheat free day....


Everything Bake Recipe:

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1  16 oz can Garbanzo beans drained
1 14 1/2 oz can Diced potatoes drained
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 small sweet onion diced
1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 medium eggs beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste
Salsa

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a 8" square glass pan.

In a large skillet lightly saute the onion in the olive oil until tender firm. Add drained potatoes and cook over med high heat until potatoes are lightly browned. Toss in the drained garbanzo bean until heated. Lower heat to medium. Stir in the canned tomatoes and cook until most of liquid is absorbed.
Pour cooked mixture into oiled baking dish. Pour beaten eggs evenly over top of potato, bean mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Serve with Salsa on the side.
Serves 4-6

Tip: Stock up on canned items when they are on sale. Also, don't be afraid to email companies and ask for coupons. You might just be surprised at the response you get!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Surf Sweets review...


Recently I received some samples from Surf Sweet. I had missed my jelly beans at Easter and was so glad to receive several samples to review from this company. Surf Sweet candy is made with all natural organic fruit juice and sweeteners. The flavors as well as the colors, are all natural, with no artificial ingredients. The snacks are also fortified with vitamin C which is helpful if your kids or grand kid's don't eat their fruits and veggies like they should.
They are also free of corn syrups and GMO's, and are gluten, and allergy friendly. They are made in a nut-free facility and are great if you are living a Vegan lifestyle also.
I first tried the jelly beans they sent and was surprised at the softness of them, not hard and rubbery like so many on the market. The flavors of each were distinct, but not over powering. They didn't stick to my teeth and made a nice light treat. A serving size is about 31 pieces at a mere 140 calories and 0 fat calories.
I would definitely add there to my Easter baskets and keep on hand for a nice fruity treat.

Rating: 5 Stars

The Gummy bears were soft and sweet with a creamy texture and just the right amount of chewiness to them. They were a big hit with the grand kid's who wanted more.They are 130 calories for for a serving of 16 pieces.

Rating 5 Stars

Next to try was the Sugared gummy bears. The taste was the same as the regular fruity bears with the exception of a light coating of sugar. I must admit that next to the jelly beans this was my next favorite.

Rating 5 Stars

Gummy Worms....this was my Grandson's all time favorite as he is all "BOY" and loves anything that resembles a critter. I had trouble prying even 1 off him to try, but by the looks of it he certainly seemed to enjoy them as there was not one left in the pack.

Rating 5 Stars

I like the fact they come in snack size bags also so they can be tossed in with lunches as a quick pick me up. To view Surf Sweets products or to get nutritional information visit them at http://surfsweets.com

Food Should Taste Good product review...and "LET'S SUMMER" contest!

Most everyone loves a good Tortilla chip and my family is no exception. Food Should Taste Good was kind enough to send me five of their flavors to sample and I have been in Tortilla chip heaven! These chips are All natural, have no MSG, low in sodium, no trans fat, gluten free, Kosher, lactose free, have No preservatives, cholesterol free, and supply a good source of dietary fiber. They make a great snack, go well with sandwiches, taco's, or use as desserts (chocolate variety, kettle corn)

The first variety I tried was the Kettle Corn. This variety had a sweet and salty taste just like the kettle corn you find at fairs, the only difference is it is more crunchy than regular popcorn. I found it hard to put the bag down!
Ingredients: Stone ground corn, High Oleic Sunflower oil, and/or Safflower oil, and/or Canola oil, toasted corn gum, evaporated cane juice, corn bran, sea salt. A serving is 12 chips at 140 calories.

Rating: 5 Stars

Next I sampled the Lime flavor. This was definitely a tart chip which reminded me of a Lime Martguerita from days gone by. I teamed this up with some plain guacamole and a taco for lunch. Great mixture! A serving is 140 calories  for 12 chips.
Ingredients; Stone ground corn, High Oleic Sunflower oil and/ or Safflower oil, corn bran, lime juice, sea salt.

Rating: 5 Stars

Cantina chips: These chips remind me of the tortilla chips most Mexican restaurants serve except they lack all the loaded oils and they are actually GOOD for you. I loved the flavor with some mild salsa. A serving of 9 chips is 140 calories.
Ingredients: Stone ground corn, High Oleic Sunflower and/or Safflower oil, and/or Canola oil, sea salt/

Rating 5 Stars

Toasted Sesame chips: These chips are mild in flavor and lightly salted. You can see whole sesame seeds in each chip, and although they taste good by themselves, I liked them dipped in peanut butter. These would be good also with hummus or salsa.
Serving size is 11 chips at 150 calories.
Ingredients: Stone ground corn, High Oleic Sunflower oil and/or Safflower oil, sesame seeds, corn bran, sea salt.

Rating 4 1/2 Stars

The last variety I sampled was the Chocolate style chips. You all know from my posts by now that I LOVE chocolate. Maybe it is the added saltiness of the chip, or the fact that I like my chocolate to be creamy in texture, but this was my least favorite of the varieties I tried. Although it does definitely have a good chocolaty taste I found this chip more to my liking when crushed over some vanilla ice cream or topped with sliced bananas. It is 140 calories for a 10 chip serving.
Ingredients;  Stone ground corn, High Oleic Sunflower oil, and/or safflower oil, Semi -sweet chocolate powder (sugar-chocolate) Evaporated cane juice, corn bran, Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sea salt.

Rating: 4 Stars

Food Should Taste Good offers 23 varieties in all, all in healthy versions. There are also recipes to make on the site ranging from dips, salsas, spreads, and pesto for which to accompany the chips.

The company is also sponsoring a "LET'S SUMMER" contest right now in which they are giving away 100 prizes every day so be sure to stop by and enter...No purchase necessary to enter.
You can order from their site at http://foodshouldtastegood.com although you are also likely to find their products in stores in your area.

Until next post...Have a wheat free day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Better Batter chocolate cake mix review...

Today I have been in a baking mode and made a chocolate cake compliments of Better Batter. The instructions were as easy as any cake mix you will find on the shelves of your local store. I just added
1-1/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup oil and 2 eggs. The recipe calls for 3 eggs but since I always purchase large eggs I only used two in the batter.
There are also recipe instructions on the box for a lower fat vegan version of the cake for those of you who are also Vegan.
The cake came out moist, rich in taste, and delicious. I used two 9 inch cake pans and lined the bottoms with parchment paper. The cake came out of the pans easily and held up to icing very well. 
Now I have always been a Duncan Hines kind of women, and surprisingly this cake mix is head to head in the race in my opinion.
The batter does thicken as you beat it, and becomes similar to a thick chocolate pudding, so if you want a smooth top be sure you spread it very evenly in the pan. Although the top wasn't completely smooth it made no difference as it was not noticeable when iced. 
I chose a Betty Crocker gluten free icing from my local store and the results were something I would be proud to serve guests. I feel I could serve this cake to anyone and they would not have any idea it was gluten free. 
The cake sells for $7.50 and can be found at their site http://www.betterbatter.org or your local grocery store. The mix will make 2-8" cakes, 2-9" cakes, 13x9" cake, bundt pan or 24 cupcakes.
I loved this cake and it is going fast as I type....Oh by the way, there are strawberry muffins in the oven, gotta run...


Rating: 5 Stars

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crunchies product review...

Yesterday I tried two products compliments of Crunchies Food company, their Roasted Veggies and the Mixed fruit.
I love veggies and fruit, but sometimes I just get tired of chewing!!! Crunchies has solved that dilemma for me it seems, with their freeze dried products. A  2.25 oz bag of roasted veggies actually has 2 ears of corn, 1/4 cup of peas, 1 carrot, 2/3 of a pepper and 2/3 of a tomato. All this and only 100 calories per 1/2 cup!  They can be eaten straight from the  convenient resealable bag that’s great for kids lunches, hiking, school, work, or any in-between meal snack on-the-go, or used in cooking or baking. The 2.25 oz bag sells for $4.99 on their site and contains 2 servings.
I made homemade vegetable soup and added the pack of roasted veggies in place of the canned vegetables I usually use. The taste was great. I could actually taste the "roasting" of the veggies. The veggies stayed firm in the broth and were slightly chewy as fresh vegetables should be. The roasted taste was a welcome change to the soup.
                                                                                 
The second product I tried was their Freeze-Dried Mixed Fruit which is 100 % real fruit with a great-tasting mix of peach, blueberry, raspberry, mango, strawberry, and apple. It sells on their sits for $4.99 for a 1.5 oz bag. The fruit bag has 6- 1/2 cup servings. I tried this mixed in with my breakfast cereal and thoroughly enjoyed it. The fruit softened slightly in the milk and I felt as I was eating fresh fruit from the tree. I especially enjoyed the flavors of the berries in the mix.


Crunchies unique freeze drying process is where water is removed in a refrigerated vacuum leaves only the essence of the veggie or fruit with a crunchy texture. Nothing else is added and it is manufactured in the USA.


These products are wheat and gluten free. And while all of the fruits
are considered raw, all frozen vegetables are flash-blanched within a
few hours after picking. This stops the deterioration of the enzymes
and nutrients (and it preserves color) so they are not considered raw.
As you probably already know, unless fruits and vegetables are eaten
shortly after picking, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are typically
more nutritious than fresh produce.

I would recommend Crunchies to anyone, and especially for those who
have children who are picky eaters. They offer assorted veggies,
fruits and corn snacks. What a great way to get all your servings
of fruits and veggies!
You can purchase their products at http://crunchiesfood.com

Rating for Veggies   5 Stars
Rating for Mixed Fruit   5 Stars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Namaste bread mix product review...


I have been looking for that special gluten free bread mix to meet all my needs or a great gluten free recipe, which I have yet to find,  to make in my recently purchased bread maker. The fact is I have tried quite a few bread mixes and although most have supplied many of my needs, they have not quite hit the "mark". I thought I would give Namaste's bread mix a try since they were so kind to supply me with a free mix.
I followed my bread makers directions to the "T", adding all the wet ingredients first, then the dry. The bread filled the room with a warm aroma while baking.
After it finished baking, I let the bread cool completely and cut it in uniform slices on my Presto bread slicing system. I was excited to see how easy the bread was to slice. I noticed very little crumbling or breakage. It was very soft and moist,  with a crisp crunchy crust. So far so good, now on to the taste test.
I made a egg salad sandwich with sliced tomato and lettuce. My mistake was I didn't toast the bread first. I found the bread to be almost too moist, because it seemed almost as soft and gooey as the egg salad itself, although the texture seemed fairly smooth with lots of nooks and crannies.  On a brighter note, the flavor seemed very much like a traditional white bread and held its own a little better when toasted. 
I would rate this bread mix 3- 1/4 Stars

Ingredients:
Brown Rice Flour
Sorghum Flour
Tapioca Flour
Arrowroot Flour
Rice Milk Powder
Evaporated Cane Juice
Millet Flour
Salt
Xanthun Gum
Yeast
To order this and other Namaste products visit http://www.namastefoods.com

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe

2- 1/4 cups (Better Batter) All Purpose Flour
1 teas Baking soda
1 teas Salt
1 cup Margarine
3/4 cup firmly packed Splenda brown sugar blend
1 teas Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 bag (Enjoy Life) Mega Chunks
1 cup roughly chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat margarine, Splenda brown sugar blend and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in nuts and mega chunks by hand. Drop by well rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper flattening slightly with a fork.
Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for approx. 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely. These are a quick easy cookie loaded with flavor, but not to sweet. They are quick to disappear!

The best of two worlds...


Hi all. I apologize for being so slow in posting reviews lately...I have been having computer problems as of late and it keeps kicking me off the web.
Now down to business...Today I figured I would combine two products in one recipe for a review.  I used a All Purpose Flour from one company and Mega Chunks from another to make Chocolate chunk cookies and the results were phenomenal!

Better Batter sent me a All Purpose Flour Mix which I used to make the basic cookie dough and I then added Mega Chunks from Enjoy Life in place of regular chocolate chips. I will post the recipe separately and you will not be disappointed if you give it a try.

First the review for the all purpose flour from Better Batter: 

Better Batter Gluten Free Flour is a truly a cup for cup substitute for regular flour in most regular recipes. It sells for $7.50 on their home site for a 20 oz box, although they also offer other sizes as well, for those who need larger quantities.
I found it to be just as easy to work with as a regular wheat flour would be, only difference is, it is gluten free. The cookie dough seemed slightly softer than a regular chocolate chip cookie dough might be, but it was very easy to work with. The cookies themselves were moist, tender, almost like eating air, and I had a hard time eating just two....well okay four, but who's counting?
I was pleasantly surprised at the texture and taste, they browned evenly and were definitely worth making from scratch. I know this is going to be a cookie that will disappear quickly in our house. Since my husband is a diabetic I did use Splenda sugar mix in the recipe in place of regular sugar so I had to press the cookie dough down slightly before placing in oven, but it was because of the added Splenda blend, not the flour itself. I am anxious to try this flour in other recipes as well.

I would rate this product based on the quality of the cookies it produced 5 Stars.

Better Batter offers several other mixes which include a Chocolate cake mix, Yellow cake mix, Fudge brownie mix, Pancake and Biscuit mix, and a Seasoned flour mix. You can visit their site at http://www.betterbatter.org/

Ingredients for the All Purpose Flour:
Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, pectin (lemon derivative)
 
Enjoy Life Mega Chunks review:



I LOVED the rich, smooth texture of the Mega Chunks in the cookie recipe. Not only are the Mega Chunks and all of Enjoy Life's products gluten free but they are also free of dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shell fish.

I used the whole bag of chunks for my recipe and there was not a bite that wasn't filled with the rich chocolaty taste of chunks.

I would give this product 5 Stars and it will definitely be a added addition to my pantry.

Enjoy Life has quite a variety of gluten free products which include cookies, granolas, chewy bars, seed and fruit mixes, chocolate for baking, chocolate bars, plentils and cereals.
To view what they have to offer or make a purchase visit their site at http://www.enjoylifefoods.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I apologize...

Hi everyone! I apologize for not posting this past week as I was away visiting family once again. I would have been home sooner and posted, but my youngest daughter "FINALLY" found a new place to live after months and months of looking, how as a mother could I say no and leave her stranded moving alone?
This has been a week of proving to myself that at even at the age of 62 I am still able to pretty much keep up to those younger than myself, even though I am both physically and emotionally drained at the moment. I believe allot of it is that we were never actually able to sit down and eat, so most of our meals, if that is even what you could call it, were basically fast foods and ladened with wheat and gluten! I personally do not have Celiac disease so it wasn't to big of an issue for me, although I definitely noticed a change health wise almost immediately. I think I even gained a few pounds, ugh, so this week it is back to the grind, and I will definitely be eating more fruits and veggies to get back on track!
When I got home I found products for reviews from several  more companies on my door steps, so I will be pretty busy the next few months sharing my taste test results with you.
I hope you all had a better wheat free week than I did, and I will be posting again very soon. Till next post, have a wheat free kind of day!.....Sharon

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bella Lucia gluten free Italian Pizzelles....review...

Our ad
This week my husband and I sampled Italian Pizzelles, courtesy of Bella Lucia. Although we only sampled the Vanilla and Saigon Cinnamon flavors the company also makes a Anise flavor as well.
They come in approximately a 10 count package, and although they are gluten free, they are made in a facility that also contains wheat, so the company go beyond industry standards by using ELISA Technology to ensure a gluten free result.
 Although they tended to be slightly thicker in nature than that of pizzells I have tasted  in the past, and I have tasted many, they still maintained that outer crispness of the basic pizzelles nature.
There are no extra additives or preservatives added, and the  pizzelles are made with the finest gluten free ingredients, and the taste proves this to be so.
The Vanilla had a soft vanilla flavor that did not over power the pizzelle, but left a smooth taste in your mouth. The Saigon cinnamon pizzelle had a sweet Cinnamon taste but not overpoweringly sweet. This was my favorite.
All the pizzelle flavors have the same basic ingredients except for the flavoring itself.

Ingredient list:  White rice and brown rice flours, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, pectin, sugar, canola oil, eggs, flavoring.
*Contain eggs

I found the pizzelle was sturdy enough to dip in a cup of tea or coffee as well as with a cold glass of milk. However you eat them you will be sure to enjoy.
Although a few of the top pizzelles were broken upon arrival, most were not harmed and they are a nice size also.
You can purchase the pizelles online at http://bellaluciaglutenfree.com/ in 3 packs for around $20.99 plus S&H. That's about $6.99 for a 6 oz package. You can also purchase them Half case (6 boxes) and Full case (12 boxes).
If you are lucky enough to live in AZ, CA, CT, FL, IL, MD, MA, NJ, PA you might find them on the shelves of a few select stores in your area. If you  local to a Wegman's store check there first.

I would rate this treat:

Vanilla Pizzelles 5 Stars
Saigon Cinnamon Pizzelles 5 Stars

 Nutrition facts:  Serving size 1 cookie (17g); Servings per container 10; Calories 100; Fat calories 38; Total Fat 4.26g; Trans fat 0%; Saturated fat 7g; Cholesterol, 28.78mg; Sodium 9.53mg; Total Carbs 13.65g; Dietary Fiber <1g; Sugars 6.24g; Protein 1.34g; Vitamin A, 1%* Vitamin C, 0%*; Calcium 0%*; Iron <1%* ; Percent daily values are bases on a 2,000 calorie diet





WOW Baking Company review...

WOW Baking company sent me several products to sample and I am so glad they did. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I LOVE my sweets, and this company did not leave me disappointed.
Over the weekend I had family visit from Pa. and used WOW's chocolate cake mix to make a cake for dessert. WOW....is all I can say. The cake was moist and flavorful and was enjoyed by everyone. I even saw a few relatives go back for seconds. I did not tell anyone it was gluten free and the question was never asked. As the saying goes..."What you don't know, can't hurt you"...
I loved the rich chocolate taste and the moistness of this cake. Although it does use quite a few eggs to bake, 6 to be exact, it can stand up to any other cake mix on the shelves of the supermarket, and definitely wins my approval. It was easy to make and iced well also.
This cake mix contains: Organic crystallized cane sugar, gluten free flour (brown rice, sweet rice, tapioca), cocoa, corn starch, potato starch, salt, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), xanthan gum.

* may contain traces of nuts

Nutritional Facts:

Servings per container 15
Serving Size 1 Slice
Calories 239
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 66g
Sodium 375mg
Total Carbohydrates 39g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 22g
Protein 3g

Rating: 5 Stars

The second product they sent me was a bag of their Lemon Burst cookies. These cookies are pre-made so this saved me lots of time in the kitchen. Second to chocolate, Lemon is my second all time favorite flavor. I love it in tea, I love it on seafood, I love it in baked goods, heck, I even love the smell of Lemon!
Once again I was not disappointed. The light lemony taste of these cookies was so satisfying I had trouble putting the bag down! It's a good thing there are only 4 servings per bag so I didn't go too overboard. Well I guess that depends on your own personal version of what you might consider overboard to mean.
The cookies had just enough lemon flavor to satisfy, but not to much to overwhelm. They were moist and chewy with just a hint of sugar sprinkled on top. These are a definite must have in my pantry.

Ingredients:
Gluten free flour (brown rice, sweet rice, tapioca), sugar, butter (milk), eggs, cornstarch, potato starch, vanilla, lemon oil, cream of tartar, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt.

Contains: eggs, milk
*may contain traces of nuts

Rating: 5 Stars

Nutritional Facts:
Servings per container 4
Calories 260
Total fat 12g
Saturated fat 7g
Trans fat 0g
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 220mg
Total Carbohydrates 36g
Dietary Fifer 1g
Sugars 14g

The next 3 products they sent me were all individually wrapped baked goods. A Chocolate Chip Cookie, Oregon Oatmeal cookie, and a Chocolate brownie. All these products are not only all natural with No trans fats, and were wheat and gluten free, but were also delicious.

The Chocolate chip cookie was soft and loaded with chips. The Oregon Oatmeal was loaded with cranberries and apricots, a combination I would never have thought to try, but was so moist and chewy with just the right amount of spices it made me wish I had more! Well, do I dare say that the cookies are such a generous size that I would have been making a pig of myself  if I had indeed eaten more!
The brownie was so moist and chewy that I savored every last crumb!
I am not going to list the ingredients of these items for the sake of time, but you can check them out at WOW's home site at http://wowbaking.com/ along with all their other wheat and gluten free products that they offer. Chocolate and yellow cake mixes, bakery tubs of fresh baked mini cookies, individually baked wrapped cookies, bagged baked cookies, and for those more adventurous their cookie dough that you can bake yourself, when needed.

I would rate these products:

Chocolate Chip Cookie:
 4 1/2 Stars ...only because I like my Chocolate chip cookies a little more chewy, although the flavor is excellent.
Oregon Oatmeal Cookie:
5 Stars It was sooooo moist and flavorful.
Chocolate brownie:
5+ Stars....You know I love my brownies!!!

Till next time, have a great wheat free day!!!