Posts Tagged ‘ingredients’

Gluten Free Brown Rice Pancakes VIDEO RECIPE

Eating Safely: Gluten, Celiac, and Allergy Watchwords

Those of us who deal with food allergies or who have been diagnosed with celiac know to watch out for the big-time offenders like wheat, dairy, gluten, or whatever else we may be allergic or sensitive to. But not all ingredient listings or menus use such straight-forward terms, and we need to outsmart the tricky terminology.

To help us, the good people at Enjoy Life (who make my absolute favorite chocolate chips and chunks) have put out an extremely helpful chart of common allergens and the terms associated with them. I got one of these at the gluten-free picnic I went to this summer, and I’ve taken pictures to share it with you (below the full chart are closeups so you can read it more easily). Hope this helps!

enjoy life chart 1enjoy life chart 2enjoy life chart 3enjoy life chart 4

REVIEW: Real Deal Veggie Chips

Starting August 3, LWF will hold a giveaway of a package of 12+ gluten free snacks, desserts, and foods every week in August (that’s 4 giveaways!). I will provide a list of all the products included so you can see what you’re winning. I’ll use Rafflecopter, and if you’ve already followed me on Twitter, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enter the giveaway by telling me what you’d like to see on this site. I’ll have a different question every week.

On with the review!

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Health Values: Certified gluten free, non-GMO verified, vegan, baked, low fat, kosher.

Confession: I miss potato chips. For the past two years that I’ve been on an anti-inflammatory diet – which doesn’t allow me to have regular potatoes and certainly nothing fried – I’ve missed that crunchy, snacky goodness that only potato chips delivered.

Until now.

Real Deal Veggie Chips

Real Deal Veggie Chips filled that void in my snack world, but in a much healthier way. They’re very light but have a satisfying crunch and don’t leave you feeling weighed down, nor is there an oily taste or feel since they’re baked and not fried. The lightly salty taste mixed with a mild sweet pea flavor makes for a wonderful combination.

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The veggies used in Real Deal snacks are grown in Pennsylvania and made in a Pennsylvania Certified Organic facility, which makes me feel even better about them. They’re great as a snack by themselves or as a side for lunch or a barbecue.

GF veggie chips

I’m beyond thrilled with Real Deal Veggie Chips; I highly recommend them to any other crunch-loving snackers.

5-okays

REVIEW: Good Health Kettle Chips Sweet Potato with Sea Salt

Starting August 3, LWF will hold a giveaway of a package of 12+ gluten free snacks, desserts, and foods every week in August (that’s 4 giveaways!). I will provide a list of all the products included so you can see what you’re winning. I’ll use Rafflecopter, and if you’ve already followed me on Twitter, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enter the giveaway by telling me what you’d like to see on this site. I’ll have a different question every week.

On with the review!

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There has been a huge uptick in sweet potatoes eats over the past few years, and the list of sweet potato products has grown continually. Good Health Snacks has a few different kinds of snacks, but I tried their sweet potato sea salt chips.

Good Health Sweet Potato Chips

These were a wonderful surprise to someone that loves sweet potatoes in any form. Their aroma is natural and subtle when you first open the bag, but the treat is when you bite into the first chip and experience the pure, unadulterated sweet potato flavor. They’re v crisp and crunchy with just the right level of salt to bring out their flavor. What a great standalone snack that can be enjoyed anytime without the guilt associated with traditional chips!

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I highly recommend these chips to anyone who is interested in a healthy potato chip alternative that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor.

5-okays

REVIEW: Snacks 101 The First Baked Popcorn (Smokey Chipotle)

Starting August 3, LWF will hold a giveaway of a package of 12+ gluten free snacks, desserts, and foods every week in August (that’s 4 giveaways!). I will provide a list of all the products included so you can see what you’re winning. I’ll use Rafflecopter, and if you’ve already followed me on Twitter, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enter the giveaway by telling me what you’d like to see on this site. I’ll have a different question every week.

On with the review!

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Its brand name says it all: Snacks 101. The name is fitting because is made simply, through baking with coconut oil. You can choose from four flavors, and I got a sample of Smokey Chipotle.

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These were a real delight to snack on. The popcorn was very light in texture and dry to the touch but loaded with a nice flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. The chipotle makes itself known quickly, but in a subtle manner, and it isn’t overwhelming, which complements the other flavors. This is a great alternative to the microwave popcorns and others that are so loaded with artificial ingredients. Granted, it does have ingredients like maltodextrin and smoke flavor, but the ingredients are still better than other mostly artificial snacks.

4-okays

REVIEW: Gluten Free Go Raw Chocolate Super Cookies

Health Values: Gluten free, organic, wheat free, nut free, vegan, no added sugar, GMO free, handmade in USA.

No sugar or sugar substitutes in a gluten-free chocolate snack? I’m in!

gf go raw choc cookie front of bag

My local Whole Foods had a few flavors of Go Raw Super Cookies (they recently changed their packaging and product names, as you’ll notice on the website), so naturally I decided to try chocolate first. The ingredients are proudly displayed in large print right on the front of the bag – that coupled with the fact that there were very few ingredients was a good sign. Here is the simple list:

  • Organic Unsulphured Coconut
  • Sprouted Organic Sesame Seeds
  • Organic Dates
  • Organic Cacao

gf go raw choc cookie back of bag

I couldn’t wait to try them as soon as I got home. I have one suggestion for anyone trying these for the first time: don’t think of them as traditional “cookies”. Instead, think of them as snack wafers; if you’re expecting a traditional cookie, your taste buds won’t give them a fair chance.

Once I got past the cookie expectation, I loved them. To be able to satisfy my chocolate craving while eating a raw, live, healthful snack is more than I ever expected. These are not what I would call sweet, but they have just enough sweetness to do the trick.

gf go raw chocolate cookie

They’re also a very convenient little snack – each hand made “cookie” is about the size of a quarter, so you can easily pop them into your mouth without making a mess or leaving a trail of crumbs. Very good as an on-the-go option or as an office snack.

They’re a little pricey – $4.79 for a 3 oz. bag – but they’re definitely worth it when you consider the wonderful taste coupled with the health values. I’ll be trying the Ginger Snaps next and then I’ll hunt down their lemon Super Cookie, which wasn’t at my Whole Foods. But you can bet that I’ll find them!

5-okays

 

Keep on living the wheat free life!

What is it: Extract, Flavor, and “Type” Flavor

We commonly see extracts in baking, like vanilla extract and almond extract. I always check the label very carefully to see what exactly the extract is made of, and I’ve been extremely disappointed with some of them, especially coconut extract. I’ve found gluten free vanilla and almond extracts from McCormick and Simply Organic (respectively) with only two to three ingredients, but coconut extract still evades me because it always has at least one strange ingredient that is either a preservative or something seemingly unnecessary that I really don’t want to ingest.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot at a local grocery store when I saw this:

 

wall of flavors and extracts

 

I was sure there would be a coconut extract I could have in this large assortment. Well, I didn’t find what I wanted, but I did discover a whole new frightening distinction in baking flavorings that I never knew existed: extracts, flavors, and “type” flavors. Examples: vanilla extract, butter flavor, and açai type flavor.

butter flavor

 

So what do these distinctions mean?

Extract: Merriam-Webster defines flavor extracts like vanilla and almond as, “a product (as an essence or concentrate) prepared by extracting; especially: a solution (as in alcohol) of essential constituents of a complex material (as meat or an aromatic plant)”. In other words, you take real vanilla and take the flavor right out of it through a process. The point here is that you’re using the real thing: vanilla bean.

Flavor: This is something that needs extra help to taste like whatever flavor is chosen and cannot just be extracted, which is why most flavors have “natural flavor” as an ingredient. In other words, flavors depend heavily on additives, artificial flavors, and natural flavors (watch out, these can all have gluten) to taste like what their labels suggest. However, they do include the ingredient itself in some form most of the time. For example, butter flavor has “butter oil clarified” in it.

“Type” Flavor: This is a completely artificial substance that doesn’t include any of the ingredient itself but rather is “characteristic” of the flavor. For example, açai type flavor is a berry type of taste as opposed to something that actually tastes of açai berries themselves. “Type” flavors are more like things that are reminiscent of or similar to the flavor of something natural.

Here’s a final example to connect all these definitions. Coconut extract has actual coconut milk in it. Coconut flavor has no coconut, but it does specifically have natural flavor that includes coconut in it, meaning not any part of the physical coconut itself but flavoring of it. Coconut type flavor has no coconut and won’t taste exactly like coconut. Instead, it’s generally similar to coconut or has a coconutty sort of flavor.

Although the differences may seem negligible between these three flavorings, there is a huge difference not only in the flavor itself but in the ingredients used to produce that flavor. The most important thing to realize is the more fake something is, the more likely it is to have trace amounts of gluten, if not full on gluten (or any allergen, for that matter). This happens because the further something is processed and the fewer whole and natural ingredients there are, the easier it is for companies to not really know what exactly is in their own product. Such is the case with lactic acid. Some lactic acid has no dairy in it while some does. It completely depends on what the original bacteria feeds on to become lactic acid, but companies are just now realizing they may need to look that far into lactic acid to find out if it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to it.

Always check the ingredients, and a good rule of thumb is if you can’t identify an ingredient, don’t eat it. It could be anything and could have come from anywhere – almost literally anything from anywhere. So be careful out there. Food shopping is an art form, and if you learn and stay consistent with positive habits, your body will benefit greatly.

Keep on living the wheat free life!