Posts Tagged ‘wheat free’

Gluten Free Lundberg Sea Salt Rice Chips

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, organic grains, vegan, non-GMO

Light, crisp, and flavorful, these rice chips have become one of my favorite go-to snacks.

gf lundberg rice chips

With just enough sea salt to satisfy that salty snack craving (but not so much as to make you blow up on water afterwards), these chips didn’t fill me up or make me feel bloated. What they did do was fulfill my love of light, crunchy snacks without guilt.

lundberg rice chips 2

The thing that made these a cut above was the touch of nuttiness provided by the organic sesame seeds baked into each chip.

I’d prefer it if they didn’t contain high oleic safflower/sunflower oil or caramel color, but for taste and snacky-goodness, they rate five thumbs up with me.

5-okays

Gluten Free Larabar Blueberry Muffin Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, vegan, soy free

If I had to choose one word to describe Larabars in general, that would be “inconsistent”. Incredibly inconsistent. We’ve tried all of their bars now, and they’ve ranged from excellent to barely average to literally inedible. I just don’t get it.

Anyway, the Blueberry Muffin bar ranked down there in the pits, just slightly above the horribly inedible Coconut Cream Pie bar. What a shame, because blueberries are my favorite fruit, so I was excited to try this bar.

gf larabar blueberry

Frankly, it tasted like Swiss cheese. My friend and I tried it together, and through downturned, disappointed mouths we both said, “Swiss cheese” at the same moment. This Larabar joined the Coconut Cream Pie in the garbage. We couldn’t even eat it.

gf larabar blueberry 2

I don’t understand why this company is so hugely inconsistent with their snack bars. It’s one thing for a food product not to be to a person’s liking, but it’s another thing altogether for it to be just plain bad tasting. Other companies are consistent, so what’s going on in Larabar HQ?

No “okays” on this loser. Not even one thumbs up.

Gluten Free Organic Taza Stone Ground Dark Chocolate Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, organic, dairy free, soy free. HANDMADE in USA.

It’s so hard to find a gluten free dark chocolate bar that’s also organic, so when I found this 70% dark chocolate Taza bar, I just had to give it a try. And the fact that it’s handmade in Massachusetts made it even more appealing.

gf taza stone ground choc 3

The flavor of this bar was different from any dark chocolate bar I’ve ever had – GOOD different. It had an almost fruity undertone – at first I thought I tasted a bit of raspberry, even though there’s none in it. This could be because it’s made from Dominican cacao beans, which probably taste different from the cacao beans grown in other regions.

But I have to say, I really liked it….a LOT. The dark chocolate had a wonderfully rich flavor that made me crave more.

gf taza stone ground choc 2

It’s not as hard as you’d expect a dairy-free bar to be, and that’s a good thing. When you chew it, it does crumble on your tongue – I liked that because it wasn’t a dry type of crumbling, but rather more like lots of silky little bits spreading the flavorful joy. My friend didn’t care for the crumbling part as much, but she still liked the chocolate itself. My other friend loved the bar as much as I did.

I’d buy this bar again in a second. It’s a bit more expensive – around $5 for a 3 oz. bar – but considering all the allergens that it doesn’t contain, the fact that it’s organic, the fact that it has so few ingredients (and all of them understandable and not 24-letter chemical terms!), and that it’s handmade here in the USA, I’m willing to spend a couple extra dollars on it.

5-okays

Gluten Free Larabar Chocolate Chip Brownie

Health Values: Gluten free, non-GMO, wheat free

Working our way through the Larabar taste tests….once again, for me, this Larabar was a swing and a miss.

Not nearly as nasty tasting as their Coconut Cream Pie bar – I couldn’t even swallow the first bite and we threw the rest of the bar out – but far from being as good as their Apple Pie bar, this chocolate chip brownie doesn’t even come close to tasting as yummy as the name sounds.

gf larabar brownie

It reminded me of the early days of gluten free snacks, when cookies were so far from what a cookie should taste and feel like that they weren’t even worth buying. Today, lots of gluten free/organic companies have taken the trouble to perfect their recipes so that those of us who are Gluten Free Eaters can enjoy the same wonderful tastes we did before we gave it all up for health reasons. So why can’t Larabar do the same?

gf larabar brownie (2)

I realize that everyone’s tastes are different, but two of us tried this bar and neither of us cared for it. The consistency was good, but that’s where it ended for me. To my tastebuds, there was barely the slightest hint of chocolate flavor (and I had to concentrate hard to find it); instead, it reminded me of pumpernickel sourdough bread. I know that sounds crazy for a gluten free product, but that flavor from my glutenous past jumped right out at me.

gf larabar brownie 3

So that’s my take on it, I’d be interested to hear what you thought if you’ve ever tried it!

2-okays

Gluten Free Enjoy Life Plentils Dill and Sour Cream

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, shellfish/fish free, dairy free, non-GMO

Light, crunchy, and flavorful without being overpowering, Enjoy Life hit the mark with their Plentils Dill and Sour Cream chips.

gf plentils

I’m not usually a fan of chips with sour cream flavoring, mainly because the sour cream tastes fake and is so loaded with chemicals that it gives me heartburn.

Not so with these chips. My fingers weren’t coated with oils or any residue at all, and the flavor was just a bit tangy without being overdone or fake.

gf plentils 2

I’m a big fan of dill and I would have enjoyed more dill flavor, especially since it took first billing over sour cream, but it was still a tasty snack and also would make a nice accompaniment to lunch or barbecue.

I’d recommend giving these chips a try.

4-okays

Gluten Free Larabar Cherry Pie Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO, vegan

In order to be completely honest in their labeling, Larabar should change the name of this bar from “Cherry Pie” to just plain “Sour Cherry”. It didn’t taste like any pie I’ve ever had, let alone a cherry pie. It simply tasted like a sour cherry bar.

Very sour. If you’re not into sour fruits, this isn’t the bar for you.

gf larabar cherry

The consistency was also different than other Larabars – it was stickier and softer. Neither did the bar any favors.

gf larabar cherry 2

Personally, I don’t like sour fruit snacks, so I didn’t get past the first two bites. My gluten-free friend doesn’t mind that flavor, so she ate the rest of the bar. However, she did make it a point to say she wouldn’t buy another one.

So again,  Larabar missed the mark.

2-okays

Liz Lovely Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookies

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, vegan. USA made.

Oh…my…goodness….with “goodness” being the operative word here. These Liz Lovely Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookies did the impossible – they made me believe they were anything but healthy.

But a healthier cookie from a more eco-friendly, conscientious baker there may never be.

Feast your eyes on this huge soft cookie….

gf lizlovely2

….and then find a pack that you can feast on as well, because this cookie fills every desire a ginger cookie lover could have. The texture is soft, the flavor has the right amount of ginger bite juxtaposed with just the right amount of sweetness.

They’re not cheap – a pack of two cookies costs $2.79 (and $4.79 in a small local specialty shop!) – BUT they’re thick and so large (4″ across and 1/2″ thick) that you can have way more than two servings of them. On days when my sweet tooth is screaming at me, I can put away about half a cookie. Other days, when I just want something yummy to munch on with my coffee or tea, I may only have several bites. So they can go a long way.

And they’re well worth the price, because not only are they fabulous, but Liz and her small company are real people, not corporate money gougers. They care about the environment, they care about animal welfare, and they care about their customers – for me, that’s a home run. Plus they’re about to become a certified non-GMO and certified gluten free operation, so what’s not to love?

Check out their website for their back story as well as tons of information and lots more of their goodies.

Make these “okays” golden:

5-okays

Gluten Free Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Crispy Rice Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, trans fat free, cholesterol free. USA made.

(Made in a facility that uses peanuts and tree nuts; contains soy and dairy. )

Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Crispy Rice Bar is sold under their Envrokidz label, but this snack bar isn’t just for kids. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m definitely an adult!

gf natures path crisp bar

All of the ingredients (except “natural flavor”, the last ingredient) are organic. The bar is light and crispy-chewy, similar to a Rice Krispies Treat but without the cloying stickiness. It even tasted and chewed like it was made with marshmallows, though it wasn’t.

The chocolate was a light flavor throughout the bar. As a chocolate lover, I thought I’d want more, but the amount Nature’s Path uses was just enough to add a chocolatey flavor without overpowering the rest of the bar. All the flavors truly worked in harmony with each other.

gf natures path crisp bar 2

This isn’t the type of snack you fill up on; it’s light and airy and doesn’t make you feel weighed down. It’s great for kids as well as adults, and I’d definitely buy it again.

5-okays

Gluten-Free Label Standard Set by FDA – Finally!

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has finally set labeling standards for products claiming to be gluten free.

In short, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine Michael R. Taylor explained that the FDA has now set a labeling standard with “a gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten free”.

For more information, see this New York Times article about the ruling.

Do you think this will affect many products? Do you think any major brands will lose their GF labeling because of this new standard? Let’s hope our favorites are already in compliance!

Gluten Free Larabar Coconut Cream Pie

Health Values: Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, non-GMO

Larabar has quite a number of different gluten free selections, so we’ve committed ourselves to trying each one….in the name of blog research, of course….

The first on deck is the Coconut Cream Pie bar. We love coconut, so we were excited to try it.

gf larabar coconut

The first thing we noticed was that the color was a bit odd for a coconut bar – we naturally expected it to be white or at least whitish.  But since dates are used as the sweetener, we disregarded that preconceived notion. On with the tasting!

gf larabar coconut 2

What a huge disappointment! There’s only one way to describe the taste I got from this bar, and – I hate to say it – that’s “vomit”. No exaggeration. I don’t understand how they could taste so bad since the ingredients are simple and all things we love: dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, extra virgin coconut oil. How could something filled with such goodness go so wrong? Maybe a bad batch of dates? Rancid coconut oil? Still, I’ve never tasted anything like that in any of those ingredients.

My gluten-free buddy made quite an unpleasant face when she took her first bite as well. Neither of us could even swallow it; we ended up spitting them out and tossing the entire bar. Not even good melted chocolate could save this thing.

We thought maybe this was a one-off, so we asked the opinions of other gluten free friends who had also tried it. Not one of them liked it either. Mind you, they tried totally different batches at completely different times, with months separating them, so it couldn’t just be this one batch.

But we’re committed to our taste-testing goals, so we’ll push on and try others. After all, plenty of companies have hits and misses all under the same label, so we’re hoping for better results with the next one. Fingers crossed.

No “okays” on this one.

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