Gluten Free Groceries

Every so often, a company sends me samples of a gluten free product to try. Recently, I was contacted by My Dad's Cookies, a company I wasn't familiar with and whose products I'd never seen. I agreed to try them, and WOW...was I glad I did! These are the closest thing to traditional Italian bakery cookies I've seen (and they're gluten free, of course). The box arrived, and inside were small boxes of many of their gluten free cookie varieties: Raspberry Linser, Chocolatta, Black and White, Chocolate Sandwich, Vanilla Graham, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Lemon Drop, and Chocolate Chip. I was so excited to put them all on a big platter to show my son (actually, both my sons...I knew the non-GF son would be just as excited about sampling as my Celiac son!). Needless to say, they passed our taste tests with flying colors! My favorite were the Raspberry Linzer, and my sons liked the Lemon Drop and Chocolatta (which reminded us of a small, round version of Pepperidge Farm's Milano cookies). My Dad's Cookies was started by Elan Malina to give children with Celiac the same cookie treats they see their friends enjoying. Because these cookies look and taste... Read more →

If you're like our family, you're always looking for healthy, quick, gluten free snacks to grab when you're running from one activity to the next...something that holds up well in a purse or backpack -- or even in the car. Gluten free snack bars -- be they fruit and nut bars, protein bars, or traditional granola bars -- are a popular choice, and you probably remember me reviewing many brands here on this blog over the years. Our family likes most gluten free varieties we've tried, and fortunately, there seem to be new ones introduced all the time. One of the latest product introductions is the line from Annie's, also known for their delicious mac-n-cheese, both in gluten free and gluten varieties. (Another Annie's favoite of ours are their Cocoa and Vanilla bunny-shaped cookies. They have a great flavor and are perfect for the Easter season! They also come in Ginger Snap flavor, which we haven't yet tried.) But back to the Granola Bars... These are true "granola bars," as you remember them (the chewy, oat-based snack bars). There are two varieties -- Double Chocolate Chip, made with real mini chocolate chips, and Oatmeal Cookie, which has a cinnamon flavor... Read more →

Our Celiac college student blogger Julie Bourne shares her favorite Denver-area grocery stores for shopping for GF staples -- and what she likes to stock in her kitchen for quick, easy meals. With cafes and restaurants continually coming up with more and more gluten free offerings, it's getting much easier for us gluten free eaters to dine out. However, there's still no substitute for a safe, homemade meal! If you're a college student like me, it can be difficult deciding what foods to keep around, as meals need to be prepared quickly and easily. With our limited living (and cooking) space -- and limited funds -- I've found that it's best to enter the grocery store with at least a rough game plan. My strategy is to keep a regular collection of basic foods around so that I can make a variety of meals. I also make sure to frequent the most "gluten free friendly" grocery stores and markets that stock the majority of my favorite gluten free staples. As we know, the average student doesn't have a ton of time to be making extensive meals on a daily basis. (That's why many non-GF students rely on ramen noodles as... Read more →

When people first get diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity, one of the things they mourn most is having to give up "regular" wheat-based pasta. That's certainly what happened with our family over eight years ago when our not-quite-two-year-old was diagnosed with Celiac. We thought, "Will he -- or we -- ever eat lasagna or Penne Bolognese again?" Fortunately, as you, too, have probably discovered, there's quite a selection of gluten free pastas on the shelves of grocery stores, and with each passing year, the choices get even better. Now even "mainstream," non-specialty stores typically offer at least a few varieties. Tinkyada, Schar, and Bionaturae are some of the easiest ones to find, and there's even a quinoa-based one called Ancient Harvest. And just yesterday I noticed one of the coupons given to me upon checkout at my local Giant grocery store was for Barilla's new gluten free pasta! Really? That's pretty huge...a big mainstream company like that offering gluten free pasta. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given that Ronzoni also came out with a gluten free pasta a couple months ago. While our family enjoyed it -- and looks forward to trying Barilla's, too -- we've... Read more →

I've always enjoyed shopping at Wegmans, especially for meat and specialty items. However, the closest one is 20 minutes from my home, so I don't typically shop there on a weekly basis. But two exciting things have happened lately: 1.) Wegmans has a new dedicated area for gluten free products -- shelf stable as well as frozen -- in the center of their store. We've been able to find the majority of our favorite brands and products here, which helps reduce the need for shopping at multiple stores to find the gluten free items our family likes. 2.) I've discovered that many of Wegmans' mouth-watering recipes in their Menu magazine are gluten free -- or can very easily be tailored to be gluten free with some simple substitutions. (Menu magazines are mailed free to you when you sign up for a Wegmans shoppers club loyalty card. Their recipes are also available free online.) As those of you who shop at Wegmans and use their Menu magazine know, their recipes contain many private label products that you can only find at Wegmans -- things like pre-made sauces, marinades, or dressings (one of my favorites is their Lemon and Caper Sauce, which... Read more →

Do you like KIND snack bars as much as our family does? Gluten free or not, I think they are hands-down some of the best snack bars on the market. In fact, I published a Blog post not too long ago about their different types of bars -- all of which are incredibly delicious. I love their wide range of flavors, and they keep introducing NEW ones all the time. Hitting stores this week are two new varieties from their popular Nuts & Spices line of bars, which is their line of naturally low sugar bars (5 g or less per bar). One of the new flavors is Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt, a sweet and salty combination of pecans, almonds, and peanuts covered in maple syrup with a touch of sea salt. It contains 5 g of fiber and 6 g of protein. The other new variety -- for all you advernturous chocoholics -- is Dark Chocolate Chili Almond, a sweet and spicy blend of mixed nuts drizzled in chocolate with a trio of cascabel, ancho, and habanero chilies. It provides 7 g of fiber and 6 g of protein -- all with only 5 g of sugar.... Read more →

With Memorial Day weekend -- and the unofficial start of Summer just days away -- we're all beginning to think of cool treats like popsicles and ice cream to cool us down as the mercury rises. Until recently, gluten free folks had to forgo ice cream cones -- settling for ice cream in a bowl. Now that isn't much fun, is it?! But here again, a gluten free friendly company has come to the rescue! Goldbaums, "the name in tasty gluten free food," introduced their five types of gluten free ice cream cones a while back, but I saw it fitting to remind everyone of this great find now that we're officially in ice-cream season! Goldbaums makes several varieties of the traditional Sugar Cones as well as an Ice Cream "Cup" style cone. They even have Cocoa Sugar Cones (our family's favorite) and Jumbo Cones (like the large "waffle cones" you find in many ice cream stores). You can make them even more like these gourmet waffle cones you find elsewhere by dipping them in chocolate and then coating with other confections like coconut, sprinkles, or nuts! No one would ever guess these cones are gluten free! Goldbaums has other... Read more →

Every so often a gluten free product comes along that fills a much-needed void. Take for example, the line of ready-to-eat snacks/meals from GoPicnic. Available in 10 different Gluten Free varieties, they're perfect for kids' lunch boxes, your own lunch box, field trips, road trips, and as a take-along snack for the plane. They're also great for gluten free college students who need to pack a safe, gluten free snack to eat between classes. Whenever and wherever you need a "grab and go" gluten free snack, this is a great option! Similar to Oscar Mayer Lunchables in size and concept, they're much healthier and require no refrigeration. Each box is filled with 5 individually wrapped items -- usually a cracker or healthy chip with some sort of protein or spread, a fruit or nut mix and other snack, and a "treat" like a gluten free cookie. Many of the varieties are not only gluten free, but vegan as well. Just be sure to look closely when selecting a GoPicnic product, because they also have a non-GF line of products. Fortunately, the "Gluten Free" phrase is prominent on the packaging. Here are the Gluten Free varieties available now: Turkey Stick and... Read more →

I've been a fan of KIND bars since I first tried them a couple years ago. My favorite varieties have always been from their "original" Fruit and Nut line: the moist and chewy Almond Coconut and Almond and Apricot bars. These "whole food" fruit and nut bars are amazingly tasty and also give you plenty of protein, fiber, healthy fats, calcium, and iron. They''re non-GMO and ALL varieties are gluten free. And now they've launched several new lines of bars -- as well as a line of six gluten free granola "clusters." First, a run-down of the various varieites of KIND snack bars... KIND NUTS AND SPICES includes tasty varieites such as Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt (both my favorites), Cashew Ginger and Spice, and Madagascar Vanilla Almond (good, but not much vanilla flavor, in my opinion). There's also a line of KIND PLUS bars, which are packed with an extra "nutritional boost" of things like flax, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and in some cases...extra protein. Flavors include Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein (10 g of it and loaded with 50% of your daily value of vitamins A, C, and E, too!), Almond Cashew + Flax... Read more →

Have you stuggled to find a way to thicken sauces, gravies, or soups without using flour or a flour-based thickener? This can be one of the biggest challenges when cooking gluten free. Enter Shirley J, a company that's got a fantastic and unique product called Whisk Bliss. This "universal cooking base" makes quick and delicious sauces, soups, and other savory dishes. It's healthy (no trans fats, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, or MSG), versatile, and easy to use. Best of all, it's entirely gluten free and tastes great. Simply measure 1 part Whisk Bliss with 4 parts water and whisk lightly. Bring the sauce, soup, or gravy to a slow boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Voila! The thick, creamy consistency you're looking for -- without flour or gluten! There are three recipes right on the package: for Pasta Alfredo, Old-Fashioned Sausage Gravy, and Broccoli & Cheddar Soup. And better yet, you can go to for more recipes (just click on Whisk Bliss Gluten Free in the left column of their Home page)! Whisk Bliss is not the easiest product to find in stores -- unless you live in Utah, where they're based. So this is a great opportunity... Read more →

This month, our gluten free college blogger Julie Bourne shares a few tips for fellow college students -- and anyone with limited time or funds -- about how to prepare quick and healthy gluten free meals with a handful of versatile ingredients. As I creep closer to my final year of college (where did the time go?!), I find myself experiencing more adult-like realities along the lines of paying rent, commuting on an everyday basis, socializing at friends’ houses rather than dorm rooms, and being forced to go to grocery store nearly three times a week. The convenience of being able to trudge downstairs to the dorm dining hall in my pajamas for every meal is now a memory of the past, and I have been getting used to packing lunches and attempting to cook healthy yet tasty dinners, along with making a detailed game plan before going food shopping to save time and money. In order to reduce the stress that can come with being increasingly responsible for feeding oneself, it can be helpful to stick to a general routine that can still be alterable to avoid monotony. For example, a staple food that I always have in the... Read more →

Julie Bourne, a gluten free Blogger and college student studying in Rome this semester, joins us once again for her regular monthly column to share her thoughts on shopping for gluten free food in Rome -- and fixing healthy, easy, and affordable gluten free meals. Italy, being the mecca of all that is good in the eye of a foodie, encourages visitors to partake in the authentic Italian cuisine offered up at the abundant selection of restaurants. During my first few weeks in Rome, I took part in this vacationer ritual, going out to several Rick-Steves-approved restaurants to fill my tummy with classic Italian food (and I'll be sharing these -- and some of my other favorite dining spots -- in my post next month). However, this “honeymoon” phase of my time in Italy has come and gone as I am settling into life here as a temporary local. Whether I am navigating the Italian grocery store shelves, cooking a meal in my small and communal kitchen space, or preparing for a weekend excursion, I am discovering something new about eating gluten free in Italy every day. When it comes to grocery shopping, I’ve been doing it the Italian way.... Read more →