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May 2009

New Starbucks Valencia Orange Cake is a Gluten-Free Hit!

Well, it's finally happened...Starbucks has introduced a gluten-free treat in its stores, and they've hit a home run! The Valencia Orange Cake -- really more like a muffin -- is super-moist, fresh-tasting, and has just the right amount or orange flavor (subtle, not too sweet or overly orange-y). It's individually "wrapped for gluten-free goodness" (i.e. pre-packaged in plastic to avoid cross-contamination by the other gluten-filled items in their bakery case). All ingredients are listed on the packaging, eggs and valencia orange pulp being the first two, followed by almonds (slivered on top), sugar, orange peel, gluten-free baking powder, and rice flour. After buying one for my son two days ago and taking a bite, I suggested to the baristas that they should talk it up to all their customers -- not just those eating gluten-free. It's seriously that good...better than most other baked goods they sell. Hear how the cakes are made from Chris Charles, lead product developer of the Valencia Orange Cake on Starbuck's site. Read more →

Uno's Gluten Free Pizza

We finally had a chance to try Uno's new gluten-free pizza last night, which they rolled out nationwide ahead of schedule few months ago after a successful test period in the Northeast region. I'm happy to report that the pizza is great tasting -- and perfect for one very hungry person -- or two with lighter appetites to share. It's a thin crust, but not as thin as their regular flatbread pizza. We ordered the regular cheese, but it's also available in pepperoni and veggie. There was a generous portion of cheese, and the crust was very good (reminded me of one of the make-your-own g-f pizza crusts we've made at home). I would have preferred if the crust had been crisper. It was hard to tell if it's always like that or if maybe it was just pulled out of the oven a minute or two early. Our server didn't really know...and frankly, our son seemed pleased and ate most of the pizza, parting only with a small slice for mom and dad to taste! I would definitely recommend trying it, and any leftovers would probably be good warmed in a toaster oven at home. You can see their... Read more →

One of our Favorite Gluten Free Snacks for On-The-Go

Several months ago, I discovered a new brand of snack bar popping up in most of the stores where we shop. The bars are called KIND Fruit and Nut, and they're made in Australia. Yes, they are kind to Celiacs, and kind to the tastebuds! Thank you to whomever started importing them! They are a breath of fresh air compared to many other gluten-free (and even gluten-containing) snack bars. They are mainly fruit and nut, but quite different from LaraBars. The nuts are whole, and they are "held together" by things like chewy apricot paste, honey, and coconut. My personal favorites are the Macadamia and Apricot and the Almond and Coconut varieties. These aren't your "low fat" bars, however. For example, the Macadamia and Apricot variety contains 22% of a day's supply of fat (and 27% of your daily allowed saturated fat intake). But they have a low glycemic value, are a good source of fiber, are all natural, are also dairy free, and are low in sodium and contain no trans fat. A home run in my book -- and my son's. They're great for keeping in a purse or backpack and perfect for travel since they don't melt... Read more →