- Tweet your favourite food duo (ie – honey + mustard, chocolate + salt, etc) to @gutgazette with #GFPretzelLove for your chance to win a bag of your own!
- For an additional entry, follow @gutgazette and comment below saying you did (if you’re already a follower, simply comment below about your favourite food duo).
There’s no doubt about it, we all love to snack. A bowl of salty, crunchy chips with some salsa in front of the TV is a great way to be mindless. Too bad potato chips aren’t very healthy though….
Until now! Have you heard of Way Better Snacks? They are sprouted ingredient chips and are a wonderful alternative to plain-Jane potato chips. When ingredients are sprouted (or germinated), the vitamins and minerals become more bio-available to the body. Sprouted ingredients increase the amount of vitamins and minerals, increase digestibility and they increase nutrient absorption. Sounds a little too healthy for a snack food, doesn’t it?
I was very happy to be able to review these healthy chips. Some chip companies claim to be a healthy alternative, but they have no real nutrients to them. Way Better Snacks contain ingredients such as flax, quinoa, radish seeds, black beans, brown rice, broccoli seeds and chia seeds. With all of these healthy seeds, beens and sprouts, you would think they would make a better salad than a chip. Wrong. They are a delicious chip and have the flavour of both corn tortillas and SunChips. Each serving contains 420mg of omega 3 fatty acids, which is almost half of the daily requirements for omega 3s/day, according to the Dieticians of Canada website.
I would highly recommend these chips if you’re in the mood for a snack. Although they are super healthy, they won’t make you feel guilty if you “indulge” a bit. If you are in the mood for a lazy day, grab a bag and be a “healthy” couch potato!
Don’t you just love the fall? I do. I love the smells, sights, tastes and coziness of autumn. It’s just a great season. Pumpkin pie, knit sweaters, comfy scarves, spicy chai lattes, the colours of the changing leaves, crisp air, long walks, Thanksgiving & Halloween…it just doesn’t get any better than that. I should also include the fact that autumn also marks the start of football season. I’m not much of a football fan (although I do have a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt), but I do love the tasty treats that football is associated with…especially sweets.
When Glutino asked me to become part of their VIGFBC (very important gluten free blogging community), I was honoured! I am a huge fan of Glutino products, they really know how to make gluten-free taste good. To begin my journey as a regular Glutino blogger, I thought I would put a spin on their brownie mix. I also thought these jacked up brownies would be a great addition to any football tailgating party, or just a normal Sunday afternoon watching the game.
All you need is:
1 box of Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
1 cup of butterscotch chips
1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut
Follow the directions on the brownie mix box and once everything is combined, mix in the butterscotch chips and coconut. Bake as directed, let cool and serve.
These brownies are delicious. Moist, decadent and chewy…you would never believe they were gluten free. These brownies didn’t last very long in my house, and I doubt they will in yours either!
Bake them up this weekend, they’re perfect for a football tailgating party.
As I have mentioned before, shopping in specialty grocery stores or markets gives me the same thrill that a child gets when they are in a toy store. I could easily spend a couple hours wandering around a new grocery store, or taking my time at each booth at a market. I simply just love food.
Did you know that maple syrup is rich in the trace mineral manganese? It is an important mineral that helps with antioxidant defences. Zinc is also found in maple syrup, which helps in immune system functions. It is full of great properties, and is actually written up in the website and book The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Upper Spice: I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods, but I do love spices that add a punch of flavour. I have also recently taken a taste for jerk spices. I love the variety of flavours that fuse together to make such a distinctive taste.
I discovered Upper Spice at a local market, they were sampling their Medium Jamaican Jerk on slow cooked chicken. It was delicious, it had a cinnamon-y spicy flavour and the heat warmed up my whole body. I found the medium to be a bit too hot for me, so I opted for the mild. The great thing about this line of spices is that they are all 100% gluten free and homemade! Upper Spice is owned by a mother/daughter duo from Burlington, Ontario who created the spice mixture after getting a taste of authentic Jamaican jerk on a trip to Jamaica. This jerk spice is nothing like I have ever tried – so fresh, flavourful and although I have never been to Jamaica, it definitely tastes authentic. I am excited to try it as a rub on ribs, and as a spice for sautéed chicken fajitas.
You can buy Upper Spice online, 3 packs for $15. Or, keep your eyes peeled this summer at local Toronto markets…that’s where I bought mine!
Hawberry Farms: Every year, The University of Guelph has an annual artisanal sale called Fair November. The first year I went, I visited the Hawberry Farms booth, which had an extensive variety of jams, oils, dips and relish. Every product is so unique and unlike anything you would find at a grocery store, such as Apple Pie Jam, Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, Banana Spread and a lot more – including the famous Hawberry Jelly, which is a berry found on Manitoulin Island (the same largest freshwater island in the world that Drip is harvested). I had ended up purchasing the Carrot Cake Jam, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It honestly tastes like carrot cake and it goes well with so many things; such as muffins, slices of a loaf, toast and even mixed into vanilla ice-cream or greek yogurt. Year after year I would attend Fair November and pick up my jar of Carrot Cake Jam. Luckily it would also last me a few months – as it is pretty rich and a small amount goes a long way. It’s been two years now since I’ve had this delicious creation, until last weekend when I picked it up at the Harbourfront Artisanal Market. I was so happy to have found it there. I wasn’t aware that they had a website in which you could order from, I will definitely be doing this from now on when I need my fix of Carrot Cake Jam. Trust me, I don’t think they have one product that isn’t delicious, so take your pick, you won’t be risking anything!
ChocoSol: This chocolate company isn’t just about making delicious chocolate; it seems that they are all about dignity, positive relationships, respect and love. Maybe that’s why I felt so great after sampling a piece of their chocolate the other weekend at a farmer’s market. ChocoSol is a small Toronto based company, run by a few staff and volunteers, who believe that their chocolate is “good for mind, body and soil”. They say on their website that ‘sol’ in Spanish means the sun, which refers to the fact that their first 1000 kilos of cacao were rosted with solar power in Mexico. Sol in french means soil, and in English ‘sol’ sounds like ‘soul’ and reminds them of doing good hearted things in a learning community. After reading and learning about their product, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to not like this chocolate. I should also mention that the chocolate is fair trade, sweetened with agave syrup, and free of gluten (bonus), nuts, dairy, soy and it is vegan. I tried the ‘Choco-Latte’ drinking chocolate at the market and wow was it good. Not a typical chocolate milk though, as it is water based and only sweetened with agave syrup. It was bitter, but it felt like a super healthy cocoa drink – I actually loved it. The Coconut Chocolate was the other product I tried. The sweetness of the coconut sprinkled on top almost helped sweeten the dark, natural, earthy chocolate. What I love about this chocolate is that you do feel like you are having a treat, but you don’t feel high on sugar afterwards, it just feels healthy. All in all, this tasty chocolate company seems to exhibit all things good – good chocolate, good people and good souls. You can look at the locations of where ChocoSol sells on their website. I will definitely be searching this one out again soon.
My family and I just came back from a wonderful two-week trip to London, England and Paris. We did so much walking and saw so many touristy attractions, it was great! When we first decided we were going, I was hesitant to whether there would be many gluten free options, or if I would just have to eat grilled chicken, veggies and salad for two weeks. However, once I started researching, I found so many restaurants that were either strictly gluten free, or that had gluten free alternatives. It relieved my stress that I had about finding gluten free friendly food.
I had read a lot of different gluten free travel sites to get ideas on where to eat here and there, however I found a lot of places on my own, and discovered new and helpful tips on how to travel abroad with a gluten allergy.
Gluten free on the plane: We flew with Air Canada, and when we purchased our tickets we were able to specify whether we had any allergies. Fortunately I was able to check off ‘Gluten-Free’! To be honest though, I do not get hungry the slightest bit when I fly, so I didn’t really have an appetite once my gluten free meal arrived. I was impressed though. It was chicken chimichurri with herb roasted potatoes, a cookie and bun from Patsy Pie and a little thing of coleslaw. I tucked the Patsy Pie cookie and bun for later as a snack, it was delicious. Once we got across the Atlantic Ocean, and it was now breakfast time in London, they came around and gave us all muffins, carrot for the non-gluten-free’ers and an Apple Cinnamon Patsy Pie muffin. It was actually very delicious and so moist! It didn’t even really taste gluten free. On our way back to Canada, the meal was pretty similar, but the bun was a no-name gluten free brand that tasted like saw dust…I wasn’t too impressed.
Gluten free on the go: Lots of walking and sightseeing definitely makes you hungry, and it wasn’t very easy to find an easy gluten free snack everywhere we went. So, I had packed Enerjive Skinny crackers in my suitcase to bring with me from Toronto. They are healthy quinoa crackers with a low glycemic index and filled with good seeds and grains (they are also free of refined sugars and low in sodium)!. I found that eating a couple (with a cup of tea) mid morning and mid afternoon helped me stay satiated until lunch or dinner came around. I would just stick a couple in a plastic baggy and tuck them away in my purse. They are flat, so they take up the least bit of room.
Gluten free lunches: In both London and Paris, it was pretty easy to eat a gluten free lunch, as a protein packed salad is almost always gluten free and on most menus. In London I had a Cobb salad once, with olive oil as the dressing, and in Paris I had a lot of Parisian Salads, which consists of country ham (prociutto), emmetnal or swiss cheese, tomato, onion and the odd cucumber (with lettuce of course). In Paris there was one exclusively gluten free restaurant, called NoGlu. It was really cool to be able to pick anything off the menu without any hesitation. The restauarant has only been in operation for 7 months, and there were many delicious meals on the menu, including items such as a quinoa salad, salmon with a potato dish, and a Parisian club sandwich – which consisted of procuitto, swiss cheese and caramelized onions…it was declicious. They also had cookies, muffins, and other pastries on their menu – I was much too full to indulge though. I should also mention that the bread is homemade and they even bring a gluten free bread basket, it was so fun!
On days where I knew that gluten free options would be hard to come by (ie – museums/castles) I would pack a couple slices of gf bread or gf oatmeal to go. When we went to The Tower of London, I picked up a banana, yogurt and then hot water for my gf oatmeal. It wasn’t the most delicious lunch, but it kept me satisfied until afternoon tea or dinner came around. Same went for Hampton Court – there were no options that I could eat – luckily I had a couple slices of bread in my purse, so I bought some cheese and a banana, which accompanied my bread.
In London we ate at Pizza Express, which had gluten free crust! Although the gluten free pizza sounded delicious, the antipasto plate caught my eye, and it too was gluten free. At Pizza Express they list beside each item what is gluten free, vegetarian and what items contain nuts. In Covent Gardens there was a restaurant near the theatre district called PJs Grill, it also offered gluten free options, like bunless burgers, steaks and salads. I had a COBB Salad, it was delicious!
Gluten free snacks: In a lot of the art galleries and museums in London, there were a few gluten free options for treats. Such as the National Art Gallery which had a gluten free chocolate cake. You can also go for high tea at Fortnum & Masons, Browns Hotel, Claridges Hotel, and the British Museum. That was one thing I really wanted to do, but it costs around £50 for tea, tea sandwiches and cakes…which I found very pricey! The grocery stores, such as Waitrose, had a ‘free from’ section, which had gluten free breads, cereals and even tea cookies (like custard filled and digestive cookies)! I tried Genius bread when I was there and I honestly almost cried – it tasted exactly like “regular” gluten bread. The slices were huge and the consistency was soft and chewy…it was so amazing. Genius…come to Canada!!! Wimbledon was my favourite spot in London, I am a huge tennis fan and have wanted to go for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately the tournament isn’t until late June, but seeing Centre Court and the museum was just as awesome. We even had strawberries and cream there – and those are most definitely gluten free.
Gluten free dinners: In both London and Paris we rented flats, which were both equipped with kitchens. Some days we would pick up a roast chicken and salads so that we could just eat in. It was great after a long day of touring, and also a secure way of knowing that what I was eating was gluten free.
My favourite dinner in London would have to be the gluten free fish and chips! I was so excited to find a restaurant that had that gluten free option. It was my first fish and chips in a very long time, about 7 years! The restaruant is called The Grill on Leicester Square. It had a few gluten free options, but obviously the fish and chips grabbed my interest. It was absolutely delicious – crunchy, flaky, and oh so good! The mushy peas were good too! In Paris, steak and frites (fries) is always an option, except you really can’t eat it too many times, it’s so heavy. Just make sure that the fries are fried in a separate deep fryer, avoiding cross contamination. In London they also have the restaurant Wagamama, which is an international Japanese restaurant chain. They are able to make most items gluten free, and some of the menu items are naturally gluten free. It’s a tasty restaurant but extremely casual and more of a lunch place than dinner place.
Healthy chips? That sounds a bit like an oxymoron, however Beanitos chips are actually healthy!