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Gluten Free Extreme Fruit Granola!

Granola

Yes, Gluten Free Granola!

While most granola should be avoided by Celiacs, we see more and more gluten-free versions popping up.  Bakery on Main was probably one of the first.  They come in a variety of flavors, Extreme Fruit and Nut Granola being our personal favorite.  Some might question how granola can come gluten free, but in reading the FAQ on Bakery on Main’s page (http://www.bakeryonmain.com/about-us/faq), they explain:

We take every precaution possible to be sure our products are safe for people with Celiac disease.  Bakery On Main’s manufacturing plant is certified for gluten free production by the Gluten Free Certification Organization which means they visit our plant and audit us to be sure our products are gluten free.  Please refer to their web site at www.gfco.org for their procedure and standards.

Sounds good to us!  1/2 of our girls like it…with the one liking it wanting it in everything, including her yogurt.  Definitely a good addition to snacks!  Also, an extra bonus: if you visit their site and register, you receive a $1.50 coupon, which will help with the price.  It is a little expensive, although you can find it at regular stores like Wal*Mart and Kroger.

Welch’s Fruit Snacks

Welch's

Variety Pack for Fruit Snacks

In the past we reviewed Welch’s fruit snacks as a good, gluten-free snack for lunches and travel.  While shopping at BJs recently, we found snack packs for school lunches.  These were a little different, as you can see three different varieties of fruit snacks.  The pouches themselves are a little larger as well.  But great to see more variety out there!

GF Cheddar Fries

Snikiddy Fries

Gluten Free Cheddar Fries

Do you remember the Andy Capp Cheddar Fries and Hot Fries?  I remember eating quite a few of them.  We recently found Snikiddy baked cheddar cheese fries, with a nice, clear ‘gluten & wheat free’ posted on the top.  GREAT!  Another different snack for school lunches and traveling.  When visiting the site (snikiddy.com) you can find some additional information and flavors (not sure I would like Classic Ketchup).  It appears you can find an active community, with blogs, Facebook posts, and more.  Plus a coupon for a free bag!  We love freebies!

It surprises me at how often we find new gluten free items at BJs.  Not sure how the other warehouse clubs are (Sam’s, Costco, etc), but if you are interested in many new GF items, you can find them at BJs!

iPhone Celiac Apps

Ok, I will admit from the start my lack of Apple knowledge.  But I want to share some iPhone apps that you may find helpful, and I used a variety of sources to identify the top apps.

Is that gluten free

Is That Gluten Free App

The first that looks pretty promising, and also includes an Android app, comes from http://midlifecrisisapps.com/.  You will actually find two apps, Is That Gluten Free?  For Groceries and Is That Gluten Free?  Eating Out.  The grocery version is a listing of product categories with over 550 brands.  The list itself contains over 23,000 of manufacturer identified gluten free products.  The ‘manufacturer identified’ part leaps out to me–not independently verified.  It also lets you add your own products, which I like.  A nice, pretty plain tool.  Then the Eating Out, which appears to only come in the iPhone version, contains an ingredient listing for gf options at fast food restaurants.  It also shows comments as to possible cross contamination issues.  I think the most helpful thing with this app is the list of unverifiable restaurants, those that will not speak to gluten in their food.  Both apps serve a purpose, but are pretty pricy at 7.99 and 3.99 respectively.

Gluten Freed

Gluten Freed Maps

Gluten Freed (free, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gluten-freed-gluten-free-dining/id315937545?mt=8) was first a good website where you enter your address and it throws up a Google map of all the restaurants near you that people reviewed.  When entering in Raleigh, I received a list including Jason’s Deli, 115 Midtown, Melting Pot, Carrabba’s, and Outback.  What I like about this site, though, are the reviews from regular people.  Definitely helps.  So their iPhone app includes using the embedded location as the tool to show you gluten-free options nearby.  A handy little app.

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free

A Handy Tool for Tracking Items

Finally I wanted to share a helpful app that will allow you to create shopping lists, read alerts, and calculate tax savings.  Yes, you CAN indeed claim some savings when buying gluten free food instead of regular food.  I hope to review that in the future.

Anyway, Gluten Free Lifestyle ($2.00, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gluten-free-lifestyle/id325454749?mt=8) provides you a gluten free ‘trainer,’ if you will.  The app itself (also available for Android and Blackberry) ties in to the GF Life Coach, a huge database that you can join.  The app itself allows you to search the database, make your own grocery lists, share lists, and receive FDA food alerts and recall lists.  That last one is pretty helpful, as we recently saw Chick-Fil-A change the recipe on their previously gluten-free salad.  Will it catch all the items?  Definitely not, but this provides you with another tool.

Lots of great apps out there on both devices.  We’ve come a long way in just a year since the last time we reviewed apps.  I will be excited to see what great apps come out in the next year!

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen logo

CPK--Now With a Full GF Menu!

Yes, you can find gluten-free items at CPK! Great news since we possess three locations here in the Triangle-Triangle Town Center (Google Map link), RDU Airport (Google Map link), and in Durham at the Streets of Southpoint (Google Map Link).

What I like about their offerings is they generated an entire menu. From appetizers to soups and salads, righto pizzas and desserts, you can find many great items, even a kids menu. Overall pretty plain items, but knowing you can pick up some sweet chili shrimp, tortilla soup, bbq chicken salad, gluten free crusts, and sundaes plus many other things is a great find. Outside of a few places like Chick-Fil-A (see Kelley’s comments about some ‘non-GF’ items now on the menu on our Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/109187702444254?ap=1), we really do not go out too eat often.  Now, with these offerings, and hopefully the knowledge and training of staff to keep things from being contaminated in the kitchen, we can go out as a family.  Looking forward to a trip to CPK soon!

Celiac Smartphone Apps

How many of you go shopping and spend half the time searching the Internet to see if a product contains gluten?  We definitely do.  Awhile back we reviewed some apps for Android and Apple for your phones (Post 1)(Post 2), but we wanted to update everyone on the current status of Celiac/Allergen Apps now.   In this post we will review Android/Google apps and in the next post we will review Apple/iOS apps.

Searching through Amazon’s App Store, I only find one app related to Celiac, Gluten Free Desserts.  This $0.99 app features:

The Gluten Free Desserts! app is filled with over 25 scrumptious recipes for all your basic sweet-tooth GF goodies. Each recipe has been formulated and tested by the author, an educator and celiac disease sufferer who includes stories of culinary adventures into the gluten-free lifestyle.

So you get 25 recipes, but the description states they continue to add recipes.  For a dollar, this may be worth it if looking for some different desserts like corn bread biscotti, German apple pancakes, and chocolate marshmellow Chex bars.  That last one may be enough for me to pick up this app.

Switching over to Google’s Android Marketplace, we find quite a few more apps when searching ‘Celiac.’  The first app I found that would be useful is the $0.99 Gluten Free Ingredients.  It provides a listing of safe and unsafe ingredients that you can also search.  Sometimes we find ourselves in the grocery store and not sure about a particular ingredient.  With this, it eliminates that.  This is probably one we will pick up–an app that never will go out of use.

One app I do use is findmeglutenfree (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.fmgf.free&feature=search_result).  With this app, you can find gluten-free friendly businesses nearby.  It changed it’s interface, making it much simpler.  When you open the app, you receive 6 choices: Nearby, Near Address, Suggest, Settings, Chain Menus, About.  The main ones are Nearby and Near Address.  Nearby is used to show you resources near your phone’s current reported location.  Near Address is when you can type in an address, say a pit stop on a day of travel.  Both pretty helpful.  When using Nearby, you first are presented with two options: including chain locations and including locations that do not have dedicated gf menus.  Here in North Raleigh, when using Nearby, I receive Mellow Mushroom as my first return, then Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday, and California Pizza Kitchen (did not know they presented gf options).  One thing that would be helpful is a ratings system.  It comes with it, but all the ones I saw did not have any ratings.  Looks like it missed some things as well, like zPizza on Falls of Neuse.  Not sure how it updates.  It does possess the new Whole Foods off Strickland, but it still has Ted’s Montana Grill that closed awhile ago.  But a helpful app that we did use many times.

 

Michael Season’s Baked Snacks

Cheese Poofs

More GF Cheese Puffs

Even though we can get some regular cheese snacks, like Cheetos, we still like to try the ones marked gluten free.  We recently found Michael Season’s Baked snacks at the North Raleigh Whole Foods.

These cheese puffs come with a really cheesy taste, which we like.  We also like the fact of their being baked instead of cooked in oil or other means.  The puffs themselves, we do not like as much as Cheetos.  They are smaller in size and taste a little shriveled, almost like the puffs are over-dehydrated, which may be the case.  The girls do like these in their school lunches.

As always, we like seeing more and more

Fruit Snacks–Popular Characters

Spider Man

Spider Man...Spider Man...Comes Gluten Free...Spider Man...

So usually we pick up neutral or ‘girlish’ gf fruit snacks.  The other day, my six year old surprised me by picking out Spider Man.  Not only did she never see Spider Man movies, cartoons, action figures, or comics, but she’s a GIRL!  Didn’t matter, she wanted the Spider Mans.  I guess they are a little older than ‘Dora,’ or so thinks my first grader.

Regardless, I just continue to be happy to find mainstream snacks for our Celiacs.  You would not think that means too much, but it definitely does!  We found these at the Falls of Neuse Kroger.

THANKS BETTY CROCKER for the variety!!

More GF Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies

Found them Again!

Found them again!  This time at the Falls of Neuse Kroger.  So we can find them at numerous locations in the Triangle.  Great news!  Interesting to see them right in between two regular cereals, Honey Smacks and Raisin Bran this time.

Chicken Nuggets–Better than Gluten Style

Chicken Nuggets

GF Nuggets--Homemade Style!

Recently we picked up Tyson’s chicken nuggets for the non-Celiacs and made gluten free nuggets for the Celiacs.  We used the recipe below, using GF Bisquick.  In looking at both, we could not believe how the gf nuggets actually LOOKED like pieces of chicken.  The Tyson’s…not quite so much…

Reminded us of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution where he shows how every part of the chicken goes into the paste for chicken nuggets.  Got me thinking, that even though finding meals can be a challenge, we definitely know all the ingredients and ‘parts’ that go into our daughters’ food.  Makes you wonder how much better the gluten free diet is than a regular, processed food diet.

I actually like the homemade style better.  You know there is whole chicken breast in there and some good ingredients.  Every stop to think what you would find in your Mickey D’s or BK nuggets?  Anyway, we used the Ultimate Chicken Fingers recipe on the GF Bisquick box, cutting pieces of chicken into nuggets instead of fingers.  Otherwise, follow this recipe:

3/4 cup Bisquick GF Mix

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt

3 boneless chicken breasts cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips

2 eggs light beaten

3 Tbsp butter or margarine

HEAT over to 450 F.  Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.  MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS–nuggets do stick!

STIR Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika, and salt in shallow baking dish.  Dip chicken strips into eggs then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat.  Place chicken on cookie sheet.  Drizzle butter over chicken.

BAKE 12-14 minutes, turning after 6 min, until no long pink in center.