Happy Easter everyone! Hope your day is full of springtime fun, reflection, and of course, lots of gluten free ham, potatoes, and CANDY!
So Van’s is focusing on the gluten free market in a big way these days. We always enjoyed their gluten free waffles , but now we see they are making cereals and some new crackers. My mother-in-law picked these crackers up at the Raleigh Fresh Market on Falls of Neuse recently. Wow! Great, great, great crackers! They have gotten the recipe down to exactly like other crackers, reminiscent of Goldfish and Cheez-Its. Very crunchy with the powdery cheese spread all over them. It is rare to find a cracker that both my girls like, as they both have their favorites, but they both eat many servings of these. Definitely some good snacks!
Spring, at least by the calendar, has sprung in Raleigh. So we’re in a cold snap right now, but soon it will warm up to get us all in the mood to grill more. We found the ideal grilling partner recently at Kroger–individually wrapped and marinaded chicken breasts. We bought a pack, and the only problem or advice, would be to open them BEFORE you take them to the grill. Other than that, you lose the mess and time needed to marinade, and can just through them on the grill. Since they marinade a lot longer than we tend to marinade, you will find these very moist and delicious. We picked up the Italian style, and both my girls liked it. And of course, Perdue clearly marked it gluten free on the back!
In my family, each of us are chip junkies. Makes no difference if potato, tortilla, or anything else–we like them all. Luckily, the majority of chips out there do not contain gluten. In a quick search of ‘chips’ on the blog, I found many, many tagged posts over the years: http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?s=chips. Unfortunately, though, I could not share my favorite chip of all time, Nacho Cheese Doritos with my girls. Frito Lay does a good job labeling their packaging, and at the bottom of Nacho Cheese, along with Sweet Chili and some other flavors, they had wheat ingredients. We picked up a bag recently, and I noticed right away that only Milk was shown as an included allergen. So…to the internets…where I found this link:
In it, they say that a change in recipe resulted in not using wheat ingredients. Woohoo!
Today’s post comes more as a Public Service Announcement reminding us that while gluten free labeling, news, and awareness has come a long way, we still need to show caution going forward. Way back in 2009 (do you believe this blog has been around that long–I cannot!), we posted the good news about all the ‘retro’ candy available from Ferrara Pan as being gluten free: http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=233. Fireballs, Lemonheads, small Jawbreakers–all gluten free! Great news! I recently wanted to get an update from them, as we were checking a label on some candy, and did not see GF posted. I sent a letter to the company when I could not find anything on their website. This is the response I received:
Thank you for writing Ferrara Candy Company regarding our candy. Hearing from our consumers better enables us to continue to provide quality products and services. Consumer feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.
Due to constant changes in manufacturing and packaging, Ferrara Candy Company is not able to offer a list of gluten free items. Please refer to the packaging, as the packaging contains the most current ingredient and allergen statements. Packaging is updated anytime a change is made to the production location of any item. Ferrara Candy Company maintains several manufacturing and packaging facilities.
Thank you for contacting Ferrara Candy Company with your request for information on our allergens.
Terrible news or not? I guess this is just an example of a corporation playing it safe. A little sad, as they did a great job in notifying us via their website. I truly hope that other companies do not take this easy way out to avoid potential litigation and other issues down the road.
Lots of gluten free granola reviews lately…We found Love Grown Foods brand recently at the Kroger on Strickland and Falls of Neuse. Most of the Krogers around have remodeled, and this one in particular has a great section for gluten free (and organic) products. I believe we can get up to 3-4 gluten free granola brands now. This one was a little unique. You can see in the picture it comes with a Certified GF logo. So definite bonus points there. It also comes in a variety of flavors. We picked up the cranberry. My youngest daughter asked if she could have it with milk, as cereal, and since this came in little chunks, I figured sure. After two bowls, I think we can safely say she liked it.
If you visit their website at http://lovegrownfoods.com/, you will see other flavors, but also their hot oats. Hot oats come in individual containers and are made with certified gluten-free oats. Definitely a nice option for quick breakfasts on school mornings, or to throw in a travel sack.
Ok, I will admit right away I do not like lentils. But I still tried these crackers. I am quite glad I did, as they really just taste like a rice cracker or reminiscent of a pita chip, with less salt. Mediterranean Snacks (http://www.mediterraneansnackfoods.com/products/lentil-crackers-sea-salt/) make these crackers, which we found recently at Earth Fare out in Brier Creek. The produce these and a hummus flavor, which are both certified as gluten free. On their website, they discuss how other products, like their chips, do not contain gluten ingredients but are made on the same equipment as gluten products. So definitely bravo to them for explaining their production status.
We all definitely like these crackers, me just plain, which my wife and one daughter like them with hummus. Unlike some of the other crackers we found, these were pretty light and airy, not dense and thick like others. I can definitely see these in a lunch bag or travelling. Or even for some party snacks. A good find!
Awhile back we stopped at Sheetz, looking for some gluten free bars. We found Kind brand bars and reviewed them here: http://www.raleighcelkids.com/?p=2563. On a recent trip to Kroger, we now found Kind brand gluten free granola. We picked the Cinnamon clusters flavor, but you can find others. And clusters they were–we usually like to put some granola in our yogurt, which we did, but my youngest wanted it with milk as cereal. As there were clusters, she was easily able to do that, and enjoyed a bowl of granola cereal. Yum! I would venture to say we will be seeing more from Kind in the future. Good snacks!
Went on another BJs trip and we found another another gluten free snack. This time, similar to Veggie Straws, we found Skinny Sticks. Once again, small straw-like sticks made of a variety of vegetables and tortillas. Pretty good, although these come covered in some kind of powder that get all over your fingers. I really also like the labeling on the package–‘No Gluten Ingredients.’ Of course that does not talk to whether they are made in a factory that may also make gluten products, but we’ll assume they do not.
Who doesn’t remember Sixlets growing up? Little round chocolate balls with a candy coating. Similar to M&Ms, but a taste all their own. We always wondered about them and their gluten content. We looked at the ingredients list and did not see any gluten ingredients, but we were still not sure. Until we picked up some recently. You can see, even on these small packs, the ‘Gluten Free’ image on each. Yeaaaa!