Lots of GF at Aldi’s!
We opened the Aldi’s ad in yesterday’s News and Observer, and were shocked to see Aldi’s new line of gluten free products prominently displayed. It seems they had good luck with their cake mixes awhile back (click here), so they expanded their line. We do mean expanded. While we did not go to a store yet (but will race there this weekend!), just from the ad we see lots of things we want to try. Pizzas. Baked chewy bars. Pretzel sticks. Wraps. Pasta. Chicken nuggets. Cookies. Even gf frozen lasagna. So exciting! We notice the store brands coming, like all the additions to Wal*Mart (click here), which seems to be helping lower all the gf prices. Good news, and hope to see further products coming from national chains.
You can find lots of Aldi stores in the Triangle by viewing the Raleigh Cel Kids Google Map here.
GF Mixes at Aldi
You just can’t beat Aldi for some prices. We do not buy a lot there, but some things, like nuts, cereal, and snacks can real save you. Recently, we even discovered gluten free baking mixes and brownie mixes. Huge discovery. We only purchased one of each, as we did not know how the quality would be, but we definitely kicked ourselves later, as you’ll read later in this post.
So how did they stack up? Pretty well actually. They come in the same size as the Betty Crocker mixes. We used the baking mix for pancakes and biscuits. They measured out the same, cooked the same, and tasted as good, or even better, than the Bisquick mix. The brownie mix turned out as good as the Betty Crocker mix as well.
So why kick ourselves? I found the mixes in the middle of Aldi’s, where they put their temporary items. For a dollar or so less than the Betty Crocker brand, I should have picked up a couple. When we went back a few weeks later, they were gone. Hopefully, they will carry them again in the future. I checked their website, but did not see any place where I could order online. I may need to begin an email campaign! But be on the lookout!
Gluten Free Rice Cakes
Aldi’s is quickly becoming one of our go to places for gluten free products. With cereals, snacks, and even cake mixes (review coming soon!!!), we definitely appreciate the savings we get when shopping there. On a recent trip we found their Fit&Active brand caramel corn rice cakes. Like other gf items, they clearly label them as gluten free. Besides tasting just like the other named brands, these come cheaper as well. Definitely a nice thing to gain access toward. Our girls love these plain, with peanut butter and jelly, or melted cheese on them (not the caramel corn flavor, of course!). Rice cakes are a definite flexible food, as we can use them in place of bread (when we run out!), or in a car or lunchbox for travel and school lunches.
GF Fruit Strips
Aldi’s is definitely a store that surprises us sometimes. We stopped recently and found a variety of gluten-free items, many of which we reviewed in the past like taco shells, cereal, drink mix, and more (click here for Aldi posts). This time, we found Fit & Active fruit strips in a variety of flavors, all marked clearly with gluten free. Nice find, as the girls love these fruit strips, or as we called them growing up, fruit leather. A great addition to a lunch box, when travelling, or for a quick snack!
Holy Frijoles! These are Gluten Free!
We recently stopped at Aldis in Wake Forest (Raleigh Cel-Kids Google Map). Always good to go back, as their inventory does change often. We stocked up on the cheaper, generic gluten free ‘Chex’ cereals, found some gf taco shells, and some other things we will review in the future. We really started a black beans and rice kick (with salsa and cheese–mmmm!), so we liked seeing Dakota’s Pride brand with a clear gluten free logo. Definitely happy to see that on a package. We definitely appreciate Aldis, as they really do a nice job labeling their products when gluten free.
Another Clear Label
I would hope that most drink mixes these days would be gluten free. We did review Crystal Light (here), True Lemon (here), and Country Time (here), all being gluten free.
On a recent trip to Aldi’s, we found their brand of drink mixes, clearly marked gluten free. Nice style of markings as well. We found both fruit punch and classic lemonade to be gluten free. We do not buy a lot of drinks, but it is nice to know we do possess options.
We mentioned stopping by Aldi recently and finding gluten free rice cereal (here). We also found gluten free cheese puffs. While we feel comfortable about giving the girls Cheetos, both crunchy and puffs, neither clearly labels their bags.
Clancy’s brand cheese puffs, sold at Aldi’s, DO clearly mark their bag as gluten free. The puffs taste not like Cheetos brand, but like all the generic brands out there. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as the cheese flavoring does taste pretty good. The bag we got tasted fresh, so we would definitely recommend these for all your gluten-free lunches, snacks, and even travelling, as they do not make too messy of fingers.
More GF Cereals!
So unless you live under a rock, you know of General Mills’ Chex cereals (except Wheat) being gluten free. Rumor has it an Apple Cinnamon flavor will be coming soon as well.
While shopping for the first time at the Wake Forest Aldi’s (WF Aldi’s, Raleigh #1 Aldi’s, Raleigh #2 Aldi’s), we found Millville’s brand of Rice and Corn Squares that also are labeled gluten free. We got a box, and sure enough–taste is very similar to the regular Chex cereals. A lot cheaper per box too! Don’t forget your quarter–you need to ‘rent’ your cart at Aldi’s.
gluten free map
Wow! This month marks FIVE YEARS since the Raleigh Cel-Kids group began (our first post here). Almost 700 posts later, here we sit! The landscape of Celiac and gluten-free eating definitely changed. We do not need to order in bulk so much, as you can find something gluten free pretty much anywhere you go. Lots of things in regular grocery stores. Snacks in gas stations such as Sheetz. Lots of specialty stores like Earth Fare, Whole Foods, Harmony Foods, and Trader Joes. Even things at places like Wal*Mart, Aldi’s, and Target. Restaurants coming along, not as fast, but you can find things in chain and local places like Red Robin, Chick-Fil-A, Bella Monica, and Nantucket Grill.
We look forward to finding another five years (and beyond) worth of gluten free items. We’ll keep reporting, as long as you all keep reading!
We really like our fruit snacks and fruit leather in our family. Whether using it for school lunches, packing for beach trips, or just as a snack, individually wrapped snacks definitely go over big with us. While recently at Aldi’s, I found these clearly marked gluten free fruit strips from SunRype. These, we found, were a little different from the traditional fruit strips or fruit leather. While they came individually wrapped, they were actually not flat but in round pieces, almost like mini straws. And of course, our girls treated them just like straws.
We picked up the strawberry and wildberry pack. Pretty good taste, and pretty chewy. The girls loved them as well, so we will probably head out to Aldi’s again soon to pick some more up.