Browsing Tag

gluten free bread

Gluten Free on the Beach

By June 5, 2013 Gluten Free Vacation, Gluten-Free Experiences

I’m no stranger to the beach. I spend just about every weekend during the summertime sitting in a beach chair, soaking up the sun and sipping on a cocktail, so I know a thing or two about packing a beach bag. From snacks to beverages, below are my tips to ensure you will have fun in the sun!

Pack beach-friendly snacks

Spending your day on the beach means that you need to pack the appropriate food. You will want gluten-free finger-food and snacks that are easy to throw in a bag or cooler. My favorite beach-friendly snack is pistachios. They won’t get crushed in your bag, and you won’t feel that guilty eating them. I love eating pistachios on the beach because I’m able to throw my shells in the sand! No mess, no stress!

Some of the other gluten-free snacks I like to pack for the beach include rice chips (RiceWorks Sweet Chili rice chips are my absolute favorite), gluten-free pretzels, and popcorn (like Skinny Pop). Other easy snacks to pack are Crunchmaster Gluten-Free Crackers and Wellaby’s products. They’re all sure to be a hit among the other beach bums in your company!

RiceWorks Sweet Chili Rice Chips

Go the Sandwich Route

If you think you’ll want something more substantial to eat while on the beach, you can easily pack a gluten-free sandwich, contrary to what you may believe. Although a lot of gluten-free breads require a toaster to taste good, there are certain brands that would work for the beach setting. Try Canyon Bakehouse bread – pack a loaf in your bag, or even keep one cold in the cooler. The slices taste “real” and will go perfect with your favorite gluten-free deli meat. Another good brand of beach-worthy bread is Udi’s bread (Millet-Chia is my personal favorite). If you are looking to go the sub sandwich route, you can easily pack a few packages of Schar’s Sub Sandwich Rolls. Each roll comes in an individually sealed package making it ideal for the beach bag. There’s also no toasting or heating up required for these sub rolls to taste edible, so enjoy!

Schar GF Sub Rolls

Have a Large Bowl of Fruit in the Cooler

Just because you’re on the beach all day doesn’t mean your diet has to completely be derailed. My family often has a large bowl filled with mixed fruit that we can enjoy while on the beach. Whether it’s watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, or a variety of fruit, you can easily make this healthy snack beach friendly. Pack a few plastic forks and some smaller bowls for individual servings, along with a plastic baggie to put the garbage or dirty dishes in after (we don’t want to litter our beaches).

Come with a Full Cooler

You’re going to want to make sure you have all of the beverages you’ll need. You’ll want to pack bottles of water, Gatorade (for the REALLY hot days that you’ll be playing beach volleyball or Frisbee), and other hydrating liquids. Don’t make the mistake of only filling the cooler with soda because when you’re baking in the sun all day, you’re going to want healthy and hydrating options to drink as well.

If you’re going to be drinking adult beverages while on the beach, there are quite a few gluten-free options you can choose from. If you’re a gluten-free beer drinker (which I am admittedly not), you can enjoy brands like New Planet Beer or Bard’s Gluten-Free. I opt for a six-pack of Woodchuck Hard Cider (either the Summer or Crisp flavor) in my beach cooler.

Woodchuck

I also like to enjoy a mixed drink on the beach as well, so I’m always sure to bring a Tervis Tumbler cup to pour my creation into. I usually pack gluten-free rum, like Malibu, or gluten-free vodka. Stoli is my personal favorite, so I tend to mix that with light cranberry juice, lemonade, or diet soda. It’s not that hard to pack everything you need for a classy adult beverage. I prefer to pack small bottles of mixers so I’m not hauling a 50 pound bag through the sand.

Stoli is my favorite!

Protect Yourself

This is not food related, but it’s always imperative to protect your skin when out in the sun. Wear sunblock and make sure you reapply so you don’t end the day as a lobster. I always pack a hat to wear as well because no one wants the face of G-Free Laura to get all wrinkly!

G-Free Laura

If you’re planning a day at the beach, the most important thing is to pack accordingly so you don’t end up as a hungry, thirsty, and grumpy lobster. The extra 10-20 minutes spent packing is worth it when you’re enjoying  a relaxing day in your beach chair!

beach bumming

What do you pack for a day at the beach? Do you have a preferred adult beverage to sip on throughout the day?

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Luce’s Gluten-Free Artisan Bread

By February 16, 2013 Gluten-Free Products

I’ll admit it; I’m not much of a gluten-free chef or baker. I usually leave it up to the professionals and just buy their products.

My family attempted to make homemade gluten-free bread once, and it ended badly, very badly. We are just not made to be “from scratch” creators in the kitchen. We like to take the direction of the professionals in the form of step-by-step product instructions. So when I found Luce’s Artisan Bread I got REALLY excited because it looks like homemade bread, it tastes like homemade bread, but it is the simplest thing to make.

The first type of Luce’s bread I made was the Classic Sourdough. Most of the time when I try a new gluten-free product, I end up comparing it in my mind to an old favorite to see if it measures up. I knew that wouldn’t be happening with this bread since I couldn’t even remember the last time I had sourdough bread…like, ever. It would be a brand new experience for my taste-buds.

Luce's Gluten-Free SourdoughBread

I followed the directions: add 1 cup of water to the flour, stir for 50 strokes, form the dough into a loaf, and place into the provided baking bag. The hard part about this super easy baking process was the fact that I had to wait 85 minutes for it to bake. The even harder part was the last 30 minutes when all I could smell was fresh bread coming from the kitchen. I wanted that bread in my mouth ASAP.

When the timer beeped I was on top of it like none other, and I got the bread out of the oven as soon as I could. I cut my first piece off of the loaf, buttered it up, and then as I was chewing, I cut a second slice because I had realized just how amazing the bread tasted.

The second type of Luce’s bread I have had the pleasure of baking was the New Italian. Let me tell you…it’s amazing. I think I ate half the loaf in a matter of ten minutes. When it comes right out of the oven, and the butter melts on top, it tastes like heaven in your mouth.

Luce's Gluten-Free Italian Bread

Just one taste of this bread and you’ll be hooked. You wouldn’t even guess that it is gluten-free. If you’re one of those people that hasn’t found a gluten-free bread that’s for you, this could be it. Visit the Luce’s Artisan Gluten-Free Bread website,check out the bread blends, and order those gluten-free taste buds something special! You can also follow the company on Facebook for updates!

 

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Have you tried Rudi’s new soft & fluffy gluten-free bread yet?

By January 13, 2013 Gluten-Free Products

Being that I am a creature of habit, I am 100% serious when I say that I eat a slice of Rudi’s multi-grain bread every day.

My routine: Wake up. Make omelette. Toast Rudi’s. Enjoy.

So, when I started seeing promotions for Rudi’s new ‘soft & fluffy’ recipe, I was very intrigued and excited for my daily routine to get THAT much better.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Rudi’s old formula, and loved nothing more than a toasted piece paired with either my eggs, peanut butter, or better yet….a turkey sandwich at lunch time. But, after seeing the promotions, I was sure to keep my eye out at the grocery store. I wondered when this ‘new’ bread would make its way to my freezer section at Kroger. When it had arrived, I purchased my loaf and looked forward to my next breakfast.

How is it different?

I know that you see companies improve their products all the time, but you can never really tell.

You can tell with this bread.

When I opened up the bag and took the loaf out, I noticed at first touch (even when frozen), that this bread was different from before. Then, when the toaster popped up and my bread was ready, the touch was just as Rudi’s described…fluffy.

Bring soft & fluffy back to your life.

If you are an avid Rudi’s eater, I’m sure you are enjoying this new formula. If you aren’t an avid Rudi’s eater, why don’t you give the bread another chance? Toast it. Top it. Make it into a sandwich.

Win a little somethin’ somethin’.

Rudi’s has decided to do a little giveaway to help promote their new recipe. You can enter on their Facebook page, and have a shot at winning $1,000. I don’t know about you, but I could do A LOT with $1,000.

You don’t even have to win the $1,000 reward to benefit either. By entering, you get a $2 off coupon for Rudi’s gluten-free bread!

It doesn’t even stop there either! I am doing a giveaway on my Facebook! Between the dates of January 14th and January 18th, by simply writing on my Facebook page, you are entered to win some Rudi’s goodies!

Just finish this sentence, “My favorite thing to make with Rudi’s gluten-free bread is  _____________. “ and the below goodies could be yours!

Soft & Fluffy Giveaway

  • Reusable sandwich bags
  • Sandwich press
  • Gluten-free cookbook with sandwich recipes
  • Colorful ceramic plates

 

Giveaway!

 

Enjoy the new fluffy bread, I know I am!

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Udi’s Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls

By November 16, 2012 Gluten-Free Products

Dinner rolls – one of the MOST difficult things to successfully replicate in gluten-free form. It’s been attempted many times, but there’s a fine line between a delicious, fluffy dinner roll and a dense, rock-like dinner roll. BUT, I am happy to inform you all that Udi’s Gluten-Free Bakery has achieved something very special with their new Classic French and Whole Grain Seeded gluten-free dinner rolls.

With the help of my step-dad this past weekend, I (a.k.a. he) made a token Sunday Night Dinner: Breaded chicken (with gluten-free Bisquick), mashed potatoes, gravy…AND DINNER ROLLS. Bring out the butter!

For the sake of my Instagram profile, I got the nice(r) dishes out and set the table. The smell of the food was teasing my tummy, and I couldn’t wait to enjoy the fruits of my stepdad’s labor.

One of the reasons I was MOST excited about eating Udi’s gluten-free dinner rolls was the fact that, back in the pre-GF days, I would ALWAYS eat rolls with dinner. ALWAYS. One of my all-time favorite things to do was to make a sandwich with the roll, in which I stuffed mashed potatoes and gravy inside for a warm, inviting treat for the taste buds.

Words can’t describe how much I was looking forward to doing that with these gluten-free rolls.

Once dinner was served, we all dug in. I filled my plate with (the biggest piece of) chicken, a hearty spoonful of mashed potatoes, and poured copious amounts of gravy onto my plate. I was ready.

The first dinner roll I went for was the whole-grain version and it was awesome! Not dense. Not hollow. It tasted…real! I used I can’t believe it’s not butter on my rolls, and didn’t even need to completely load it up to make it taste good. How exciting is that?!

After I inhaled the whole grain roll in approximately 0.2 seconds, I moved onto the Classic French dinner rolls. Now this one really blew me out of the water. It seriously took me back to the days when I ate Pillsbury this and Pillsbury that.

The gluten-free roll was soft and actually ‘roll-like’ inside. I proceeded to load mashed potatoes and gravy inside and had a magical moment with my taste buds.

These rolls are just what the gluten-free community needs! They’re the perfect addition to any gluten-free meal, and I fully intend on living it up with them on Thanksgiving. I haven’t had a roll with my Thanksgiving turkey in 4 years! I’m so excited!

Thank you Udi’s for making such a wonderful product! Now everyone needs to run to your grocer to see if they stock the product, or order online!

You can follow Udi’s on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, and visit their website.

I hope you are able to enjoy these wonderful products soon. They are sure to make your holiday meals that much more fantastic!

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Celiac Specialties Gluten Free Bakery

By June 11, 2012 Gluten-Free Products
burger

Celiac Specialties, a bakery that has been around since 2003, is definitely a gluten free treasure. Owner, Michell Fuller, has got the magic touch, and all of the Celiac Specialties products reflect that. Located just over an hour away from my hometown, my family often plans day trips to Farmington, MI to stock up on gluten free goodies.

I was recently sent a Celiac specialties package, containing croissants, hamburger buns, Italian bread, donuts, and noodles. After my initial jump for joy at the gluten free jackpot I had just struck, I opened the Italian bread and made myself a sandwich – no toasting, no condiments, just the deli meat and bread. It tasted fantastic, no denseness, aftertaste, or dry mouth was associated with the product. I was impressed.

A few days later, I pulled the croissants out of the fridge and decided to make a sandwich on one. Once again, the croissant had a great texture, and was nice and fluffy, unlike many gluten free products I have had before. I don’t even think I have ever had a croissant that was gluten free, so that made the experience even better! The flavor I sampled was plain, but the croissants are also available in Onion Poppy [sounds fantastic], Multi Grain, Parmesan Herb [yes, please!], Cheddar Herb, Brioche, and Dairy Free. Those sound like some bangin’ sandwich possibilities if you ask me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the items in the package I was most excited to taste was the gluten free hamburger buns. The moment I lifted them out of the box, I was in awe of their gluten-like features. I wanted to test the buns out and see if their taste measured up to their look.

The votes are in, and the buns are the definition of awesome’! Just after placing the bun on my plate and cutting it in half, I was so excited to see that the bun was not a rock [like some other brands]. As soon as I placed my burger on it, I stepped back and admired the greatness that lay on the plate before me. I then stepped forward and scarfed it down. Ladylike, I know.

Another exciting item to try was the gluten free donuts. I had sampled the Celiac Specialties donuts awhile back, and we even have a box in the freezer from our last trip to the store! Being that I try to keep my physique somewhat slim, I do not buy or look for gluten free donuts on the regular, but of course it is nice to treat yourself once in a while. So, these donuts are the perfect treat morning, noon, or night. I personally love the cinnamon flavor, but I will gladly eat powdered sugar as well. The vanilla dipped donuts were pretty much heavenly, so I must forget about the five left in the freezer or I’ll be mistaken for a beach ball instead of a bum next time I’m lounging in the sun. These of course do not have an after-taste, and also are not heavy/dense. There are a variety of other flavors listed on the Celiac Specialties website, including jelly-filled donuts – now that is something I have NOT had since going gf! [mental note: order jelly filled donuts ASAP]

I have yet to test out the gluten free egg noodles that were sent to me, so stay tuned for part deux of this review! I’m sure they’ll come in handy soon when we make a last-minute, “what do we have in the cupboard” kind of meal!

To order the above products, browse the wide selection, or just share your g-free love, visit the Celiac Specialties website, and follow them on Twitter – @CeliacSpecialts!

 

 

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Gluten-Free at Grumpy’s

By June 6, 2012 Gluten Free in Toledo, Gluten-Free Restaurants
Image

It’s pretty much common knowledge that local, home-town restaurants always beat the stuff of chains. For being a native of the Toledo, OH area since the age of 6, I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not experiencing the gloriousness of local lunch-time hot spot, Grumpy’s, until just recently.

Having heard about the restaurant from a few people here and there, then realizing they had gluten-free selections after visiting Gluten-Free Glass City, the time had come for me to schedule myself a lunch date.Being that my mom works in downtown Toledo, would appreciate the gluten-free options, AND would foot the bill, she was obviously the perfect candidate.

[[Disclaimer: If you choose to dine at Grumpy’s, which I highly recommend, they are only open Monday – Friday between the hours of 8am-2pm.]]

The first thing that rubbed me the right way about Grumpy’s was the abundant parking [if there before the lunch rush]. There is a parking lot alongside the building, making the stress and anxiety I get from having to park on the streets nonexistent. Once my mom and I arrived, we walked in and were immediately seated at a table for two. I told the server that we were gluten-free and she then explained to us that they had a selection of gluten-free bread, buns, and pizza crusts that are all homemade each morning. We were instantly ecstatic.

There were many things I was thankful for as we geared up to order our lunch – the gluten-free selections, the handmade bread, the friendly staff, my mom eventually paying for my meal…BUT the number one thing I was thankful for – the fact that I am NOT on a diet. HOLY MOLY we ended up ordering a lot of food!!!!

My mom and I started off by sharing the soup of the day [chicken & rice] as we tried to strategize the rest of our meal. Wanting to have a little taste of everything, we decided to alternate selections and share bites with one another. Being that Grumpy’s is known for their Garbage Salad, my mom decided to order the size small, telling me I would be able to try a bite. This was kind of “whatever” to me since you all know I am not a salad kind of gal. BUT, when the plate came out containing the mixed greens, grilled chicken, onions, raisins, four cheeses, and homemade poppy-seed dressing, I kinda-sorta decided I had to at least try it. After one bite I immediately alerted the media [by tweeting and instagramming] that I officially like salad now!!! The poppy-seed dressing Grumpy’s makes is to DIE for!

After being impressed by a salad [which is very rare for me], I couldn’t wait to experience the rest of the meal. For maximum gluten-free meal optimization, I ordered a hamburger [because I wanted a big yummy gluten-free bun], and my mom ordered the Jennifer’s Special sandwich. Once the plates came out, I was awestruck. There was NO way that the bun on that hamburger was gluten-free, because I had never seen a gluten-free bun that looked so light, puffy, warm, and inviting [to my taste buds]!!!! I was honestly telling my mom that I was afraid they mixed up my order with a regular person’s because the bun tasted too good to be true!

My mom’s Jennifer’s Special sandwich was just that – SPECIAL. Made with Grumpy’s Veggie gluten-free bread, it was unlike anything I have ever tasted. You could tell by looking at it that it would taste amazing…not to mention the yumminess that was between the slices of bread! We started cutting off portions of our sandwiches for one another, with countless “oh my gosh this is good” and “I can’t believe this” comments coming from our table.

After cleaning my plate, and helping my mom to clean hers, we were greeted by our server. Seeing that the words “self-control” do not exist in my vocabulary, I promptly asked what gluten-free desserts they had. We were then happily informed that the chocolate cheesecake along with the chocolate chip cookies were gluten free, so of course we ordered both.

When the cheesecake was set on the table, we were speechless. Had I not been in public, I would have unbuttoned my pants right then & there to make room for my food baby. After taking one bite the only words coming out of my mouth were “Oh my gosh, this is amazing“. I also devoured my gluten-free chocolate chip cookie as well. Part of me is not proud of this moment, but the other part of me is perfectly fine with the way I behaved, because this was honestly the best gluten-free lunch I have ever had.

I fully plan on returning to Grumpy’s to report my findings on their gluten-free pizza, as well as a variety of other sandwiches on the menu. I will do so for the sake of this blog, not for my taste buds. I am a selfless human being as you can see.

For those of you that may be in awe of the sounds and sights of these gluten-free bread products, Grumpy’s does sell by the 1/2 loaf [$5], as well as by the bun [$2]. The pizza crusts, which will be reviewed after my next visit, are sold in packs of 3 [$9]. Visit the Grumpy’s website, or call (419) 241-6728 for more information.

Now go plan your lunch date at Grumpy’s so you can give your taste buds the gluten-free ride of their life.

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