Monday, October 31, 2011

Gluten Free Taste Test 2

Even though I'm a good baker and love to be in the kitchen, I still love the ease of a ready-made gluten free kit.  Many of my friends who want to go gluten-free complain about the high costs of buying several different types of flours, starches, along with xanthum gum, and they're right, it's a pain in the butt to keep up. Half the time I go into my cupboard, it seemed like I was missing one of the four key ingredients. 

So over the past year I've been taste-testing some goodies around the country and have some to share for those who have recently decided to go off wheat/gluten, or for those who, like me, get tired of making everything from scratch. When the temps drop, I love to start baking again, and these mixes have made it into my cabinet, and will surely repeat themselves soon!

Purely Elizabeth Apple Spice Muffin Mix
Whole Foods
I'm not vegan, so I went with the egg over the applesauce and went with the coconut oil over the veggie oil. Truly delicious alternative to wheat muffins, sure, but several other benefits: Vegan, flax seeds, real apples (you add), sea salt, organic and non-gmo. Hats off to Elizabeth Stein, Certified Holistic Nutrition Counselor, if I lived in NY I'd call you for a consult for sure. PE also gives 1% back to the planet, and if you've read any of my sustainability posts, this means a lot to me.

This one just came out of the oven, so if you're in the neighborhood, come on by before I eat them all. :)

King Arthur's Pizza Crust Mix vs. Udi's Pizza Crust
Depending on whether you want to roll out your own or just bake it, these two made the top of my list for pizza. Beau Jo's (a Colorado chain) was my first gluten free pizza so I thought it all had to taste like cardboard. Luckily that's not true.  In a hands down taste test, I think Udi's has the leg up, but both are good, and both, of course, are thin style. Both have a whole Gluten Free section on their sites and in stores that carry them, and both hold themselves to very high standards. Try King Arthur's chocolate cake if you've been missing out on that at weddings lately. Mmm. And Udi's bagels have topped Joan's just because they're easier and cheaper to get out here.

Betty Crocker??
Speaking of cake, because I LOVE it, Betty Crocker has stepped up. They've got a separate facility now and sponsor the Celiac Foundation. Way to go Betty.  Holding to her standards, this cake is light and fluffy and relatively easy to find now, most mainstream stores carry it, and it's price is comparable. But it's not just Betty Crocker, General Mills now boasts over 300 gluten free products in their line, so it's finally time we can say Gluten Free is Mainstream. Awesome.

I found one last gem in San Fran when I was there in September, and might have to order from their online store again soon.
Mariposa Almond Biscotti

Artisan-Crafted Gluten-Free
You can NOT tell the difference on these favorites. I thought I'd never find biscotti again. So when I saw these guys at the Fisherman's Wharf Market, I jumped out of my shoes.  They aren't suitable for people with nut allergies of course, but if you are just avoiding wheat, the ingredients are purely natural, unrefined, and organic!
Mariposa also made a doughnut we tried, but it was too dense to become a true favorite!

More of Andy's posts on Gluten Free

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