Stopping by Food Lion the other day we found Care Bear Fruit Snacks by Betty Crocker. Like the other Betty Crocker fruit snacks, they clearly label these as gluten free. Thankfully another option for lunches, travel, and snacks. I think we sometimes forget how important it was as kids to have the foods tied to cartoon characters. Glad to see a variety of character fruit snacks out there that are gluten free.
We always said that gluten free eating would arrive when you could get gluten free nuggets that tasted like regular nuggets. Well, I guess we’ve arrived! We recently picked up Applegate Farms gluten-free chicken nuggets at Earth Fare. One word-yum! You really cannot at all tell these are gluten free. No gritty taste from the coating. Whole white meat chicken. And you can dip them in a gluten free barbecue sauce. Our girls loved them, as they scarfed down the whole box. A great find!
So you remember a few posts ago (http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=1255) when we reviewed Carnation Instant Breakfast? The powdered drink mix that you could give your Celiac to help make up some vitamins and minerals? Well, we need to check again. Melinda posted that on her box of Milk Chocolate (which we originally found as safe):
I bought the powder packets today – rich milk chocolate flavor. And I didn’t read every single ingredient until I got home. The very last ingredient at the end of a very long list of ingredients (due to the added vitamins) is wheat starch.
This is not the chocolate malt flavor. It’s the plain milk chocolate flavor.
Only one month has passed since your email to Nestle. So I think I’m going to give them a call to see what the right answer is!
So I had sent off an email, and now, it appears, they put wheat starch into the ingredients. Ugg! I look forward to Melinda sharing what she finds, but this is another reason why you take any resource, including our Raleigh Cel-Kids Blog with a grain of salt. I look at sites like ours as a reference, not a final resource before purchasing a product. You should ALWAYS check the labels, check with the manufacturer, and only purchase things you feel comfortable with.
There are times you make a judgment call. We faced that in taking our girls to Baskin Robbins. Others, I expect, cringed at my post about us allowing ice cream, even though the flavors were labeled gluten free, the chance for contamination was there. We monitor our girls for symptoms, and there will probably be times they get ‘glutened,’ but looking at the labels will always help us, even when we ‘think’ things are gluten free.
We recently went to the new Baskin Robbins on Capital at Durant (the old Hardees–click here for Raleigh Cel Kids Map). In the past we checked their website, and they listed some flavors that were made without gluten. So we figured we would try again.
When we got there, it appeared like they stepped up the labeling. Besides the one you see to the left, EACH flavor label showed which top allergens were included. Now obviously this does not including possible contamination, it just lists allergens from the original flavor. Obviously, you will need to decide on your own whether or not to try this. Contamination CAN occur. We asked that they wash the scoopers, but there could have been contamination already in the flavors from previous scoops. Anytime that can occur, whether in shared situations like this, including on buffet/salad bar lines, you definitely risk contamination. We do like what Baskin Robbins did though, stepping up their labeling.
We recently found another option for gluten free frozen pizzas, Against the Grain. Pretty catchy name. We found them at the Raleigh Earth Fare. The one we picked up was a three cheese variety.
So, how were they? The first thing we noticed was a more ‘pastry’ like, flaky crust. Good texture and good taste. Sauce and cheese also a good taste. The girls like the pizza–not their favorite, but they each ate a few slices, so we knew they liked it. So nice to have all these options out there. Remember just a few years ago when you could only get the frozen crusts? Now all these frozen pizzas.
Do you ever stop to think about things like soup broth and dressings when making dinner for your Celiacs? Yes, you definitely need to consider those such things, as many will contain wheat.
We did find a gluten free liquid broth recently at Kroger. Savory Choice does a nice job labeling the lack of gluten and also MSG, which is another good thing. You can find a variety of flavors of broth, but always check the label, even though most are gluten free.
You would think all yogurts would be without gluten. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Lots of yogurt adds crunchy pieces, or granola, which a Celiac should not eat. Thankfully, though, you can purchase a variety of Yoplait yogurt, which, if gluten free, they clearly mark.
We recently found Yoplait Splitz, in three yummy flavors, Rainbow Sherbet, Strawberry Banana Split, and Strawberry Sundae. And the best news, sure enough, all 3 flavors are gluten free. I love the Betty Crocker website (http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/products/default.aspx), as they list ALL their products and flavors.
So like all parents, we struggle to get our girls to eat enough vegetables. My wife decided to try something different this time. The girls like chocolate chips, so, let’s put them in a zucchini bread. Sure enough, the girls LOVE it. We decided to make a few with a small bread pan, and freeze a bunch of them. An easy recipe follows.
We also want to try to make these using muffin pans. We can see these easily in a school lunch or traveling on a trip. The best of both worlds–healthy zucchini and yummy chocolate chips. All can be happy.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour
- 3/4cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix well.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-line muffin cups two thirds full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until muffins/bread test done.
Yield about 1 dozen.
Could it be true? Could one of the largest, if not the largest cereal manufacturers finally be releasing some gluten free options? Appears true. I could not find anything about it on Kellogg’s site, but a blog post from Gluten Free Appetite (http://www.glutenfreeappetite.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=428&Itemid=54) shows the box. Unfortunately they did not just reformulate their existing Rice Krispies (malt flavoring), but made a new variety with Brown Rice and Molasses. So…what does that mean? Probably a higher cost for a box of cereal. Like usual, Celiacs will pay more for something that could be made cheaper. But, I suppose, we should just be happy to have another mainstream cereal choice. First the Chex from General Mills. Then the Pebbles from Post. And now some Brown Rice Krispies from Kelloggs. Hopefully we’ll see even more varieties.
Wow! Every so often we try a new gf product that blows our minds, or at least our taste buds. This happened with our first taste of Van’s French Toast Sticks. We picked up the cinnamon variety. They are a dense product, but a delicious taste, even better with syrup, but actually pretty good without.
It is rare that we find something that all four of us enjoy. Van’s brought this to us, something for a quick breakfast, a snack, or for breakfast-at-dinner. And, we even tricked them in to eating some eggs with them. Find them at the usual places, we found ours at Kroger’s. Another plus, being able to pick them up on our usual shopping trips, not needing to make a special trip to Earth Fare or Whole Foods.