Gluten Free Baking Mixes

Wow! Guess what appeared in our family's mailbox this past weekend (no, not email Inbox...actual black metal mailbox at curb)? A flyer advertising Wegmans new line of Gluten Free products -- with FREE COUPONS enclosed, no less! I haven't made it to the nearest Wegmans yet (seems there is now one about 25 minutes in every direction from us!), but from the looks of the flyer -- and their website -- private label "Wegmans" products include four gluten free pastas and four gluten free baking mixes (Sugar Cookie mix, Double Chocolate Brownie mix, Chocolate Cake mix, and Vanilla Cake mix). The FREE COUPONS they sent in the flyer were for a free pasta AND a free baking mix (any variety). It was also reassuring to read that, like many of their other private label products, there is a "G" icon (or, as they call it..."Wellness Key") right on the box, which means they have verified the ingredients do not contain gluten, and there is no risk of cross-contact with gluten. Whew! For gluten free recipes, new product info, and to sign up for their FREE Fresh News email for monthly gluten free updates, visit the gluten free area of Wegmans... Read more →

Just about everyone following a gluten-free diet has heard of Glutino and Gluten Free Pantry, two of the bigger manufacturers specializing in gluten-free products. Glutino has been around for decades, and in 2004 they acquired Gluten Free Pantry's line of award-winning baking mixes, founded by renowned Celiac chef Beth Hillson. All their products are tested to contain less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. We've been buying Glutino and Gluten Free Pantry products since Day One when our son was diagnosed with Celiac, before he was even two years old. Glutino has also been kind enough to send me new products to sample periodically. And some new products we discover all on our own. We have our favorites, like one new discovery I wanted to share with you...which reminds me of a popular gluten-filled product you may be missing since going gluten-free. It's Glutino's Table Crakers, and they're the closest thing in taste to those Saltines you likely remember (and maybe still crave!). I noticed them for the first time last week while shopping at Whole Foods, so I picked up a box, hoping they'd be a new cracker option for my son, who hasn't seemed particularly excited... Read more →

Gluten Free Expo in Washington, DC -- First Annual Show a Great Success

I had the opportunity to attend Washington, DC's Gluten-Free Expo last Friday at the Embassy Suites Convention Center hotel. It was a great success -- and an opportunity for me to meet new GF friends and re-connect with some old. Over 600 people attended this first-annual event, and proceeds went to the Celiac Disease Program at Children's National Medical Center. Although I didn't have the opportunity to leave my own booth for very long, I did a quick lap through the hall of 60-or-so vendors, most of whom were sampling delicious sweet and savory gluten-free treats. Amie Valpone, of The Healthy Apple blog, was handing out samples of Rudi's delicious line of gluten-free breads. Glutino was also on-hand with samples of their new sandwich bread, which looks, smells, and tastes so much like "real" bread, you can definitely be fooled. Bloggers Diane of The Whole Gang and Bernice from Wheatless and Meatless were there, as were some of my favorite local baker Marion of Marion's Smart Delights bake shop and Maureen of One Dish Cuisine (FANTASTIC gluten-free crabcakes!). In the booth beside me was Tonya's Gluten Free Kitchen, sampling their amazing gluten-free soft pretzels and pretzel bites (worthy of ballparks!).... Read more →

Fortunately for people with Celiac Disease -- and others following gluten-free diets -- restaurants offering gluten-free menus keep growing in number. But there's a difference between a restaurant offering "stripped down," bland versions of their regular offerings (often resulting in nothing more than a grilled chicken breast, baked potato and steamed veggies) and restaurants that really invest the time in creating amazing offerings especially for their gluten-free guests. Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen is an example of the later. With locations throughout Arizona, Picazzo's sets the standard for gluten free dining with their extensive gluten-free menu that includes house-made gluten-free pizza. I had the opportunity to speak with Rick Freedman, the founder, owner, and Executive Chef of Picazzo's, earlier this week. His philosophy centers around offering his guests with the healthiest food possible. The result has been a new menu unveiled in the past year that incorporates more organic, local, and gluten free ingredients. Rick explained, "I'm all about eating healthy. And I want to be able to put bona fide healthy products out to our customers." Currently, 85% of Picazzo's menu is gluten-free. In fact, if you view their menu on their website, you'll notice they don't have a separate... Read more →

The products I've tried from Glutenus Minimus gluten-free bakery in Belmont, Massachusetts are fantastic -- whether you buy them pre-made, or buy one of their many pre-packaged mixes to make yourself. Their extensive line of products include cookies and squares, muffins, cupcakes/cakes, coffee cakes, loaves, and breads. They sell their baked goods and their mixes at their bakery in Belmont, and they also have their products available at area restaurants, bakeries, and markets. You can also order their mixes on their website. Special occasion cakes and cupcakes are available via special order, too. We have tried their blueberry muffins, which were fantastic...very moist and tasted like "the real thing." The mini vanilla pound cake we purchased was also very flavorful with a good pound-cake texture. These products were indistinguishable from gluten-containing baked goods. We purchased three gluten-free mixes to make at home: the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Mix (a top seller), the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and the Vanilla Cake Mix. The coffee cake was outstanding. I'd never made a gluten-free coffee cake before, and most of the pre-made ones we'd tasted weren't all that special. I definitely know why this is one of their best sellers. And it was... Read more →

Our family traveled to Pittsburgh this past weekend. After seeing a brief review of Gluuteny gluten-free bakery on our sister website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, we decided we would have to make a stop there on our way in to town. So glad we did! It was mid-afternoon on a Saturday, and the woman working in the store at the time (Elizabeth) apologized for the lighter selection of baked goods, given the time of day. But we were still very pleased with the range of choices: brownies, iced sugar cookies, mini chocolate vanilla marbled bundt cakes, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, huge Whoopie pies, gingerbread men, huge chocolate chip cookies, mini cinnamon swirl coffee cakes, pound cakes, pumpkin loaves, and lemon loaves. YUM!! What delicious-looking treats. We seriously had to use discipline not to buy everything in the store. We finally settled on a few cupcakes, some muffins, the coffee cake, and a Whoopie pie. The great thing is that they sell the dry mixes for most of the items baked in the store, so we also bought a mix for the marbled bundt cake. (You can order these mixes, plus their cookies and croutons, to be shipped but not the other baked goods,... Read more →

I have the pleasure of being a member of the DC Celiacs support group, and through this group, I met a woman named Marion who has been working feverishly to develop a near-perfect gluten free muffin mix and lemon bar mix. After having had the opportunity to sample her treats at several group meetings -- and trying both mixes myself at home -- I can’t say enough about the quality and taste of Marion’s Smart Delights Gluten Free Cookie and Muffin Baking Mix and her Gluten Free Lemon Bar Mix. The variety of baked goods you can create with Marion's muffin mix is almost endless (she includes many delicious recipes on her website). I've personally tried the chocolate chip muffins, vegan orange chocolate chip muffins, and the shortbread cookies. The mix is not only gluten-free, but free of ALL 8 major allergens! Another thing that sets this versatile gluten-free baking mix apart from all the others is that it’s the only one that incorporates so many sources of whole grain (millet, amaranth, quinoa, and timtane), making your baked goods healthy as well as delicious. (And I don't know about you, but as much as I want to incorporate more of... Read more →