The Perfect Lunch Bag Cookie

Vegetables in cookies…not the typical ingredient, is it? I’ve heard of parents sneaking veggies in mac & cheese or fruit smoothies for their kids, but veggies in cookies was a first for me.
I first learned about Hidden Garden Foods last year in an article by The Globe and Mail: Lawyer leaves practice to launch gluten-free cookies with hidden vegetables. Not only was I curious about what a ‘vegetable’ cookie tasted like, but I loved the fact that they were Canadian made and of course gluten free.


Catherine Anderson founded Hidden Garden Foods in 2012, in Horseshoe Bay, B.C., when she was struggling to figure out creative ways to sneak veggies into her children’s diet. She was kind enough to send me a variety of her cookies to test out and share with you. Hidden Garden Foods cookies are all gluten and nut free (which make the perfect school-safe snack), made of high quality ingredients, and are free of preservatives, artificial flavours and colours. 

I must admit, I was a bit hesitant at first. I didn’t think a chocolate chip cookie would taste as good with pumpkin added into the mix and I thought the overpowering taste of beets would surely ‘beat’ out the flavour of chocolate.

Beets + Cocoa
Red Velvet Bites

Each 40 gram serving of the Red Velvet Bites have 1/4 cup of beets. The flavour is amazing. You can definitely taste the cocoa flavour and there is a slight undertone of the sweetness from the beets – but not noticeable if you weren’t aware of the secret ingredient. I really enjoyed them. I love the fact that the rich red beets bring out the red velvet colour in the cookies without the addition of artificial colours.

 

Squash + Ginger 
Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps are probably one of my favourite cookies, they also remind me of the autumn and winter seasons. A serving of cookies is about four, which are each the size of a ping-pong ball. A serving includes 1/4 cup of squash. Trust me, you would never know there was squash in these sweet, spiced-ginger cookies. I loved these!

Pumpkin + Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just like the above cookies, each 40 grams have 1/4 cup of pumpkin. Again, there was no inkling of any pumpkin flavour, just sweet chocolate. These were delicious and made a great accompaniment to my afternoon tea.

I’ve been able to find Hidden Garden cookies in a variety of health food stores, including Nature’s Emporium and Whole Foods. I would highly recommend trying these, they are a healthier alternative to your typical cookie and make a great snack or easy dessert.

Not only are these kid friendly but adult approved!

*Photos supplied by Hidden Garden Foods 

Hello September!

It’s amazing how quick summer flies by. Warm summer nights, fresh produce and swimming in the lake are all coming to a close with ‘back-to-school’ and ‘cozy sweater’ season around the corner.

The last couple months were fairly busy for me. I tried to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, which meant limited time on my computer. Little blogging meant more golfing, yoga, reading, painting, cooking, wedding planning and enjoying time with family and friends. It was a beautiful time spent!

One of my favourite recipes I made this summer was ‘Lemon Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting’. The sweet blueberries and tart lemon create a perfect contrast of taste and the cream cheese frosting is a creamy, flavourful finish. It was a hit in my house and a recipe that can be made well into the winter months to give your tastebuds a hit of summer flavours.

Lemon Blueberry Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting 

1 box of gluten free yellow cake mix
2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup butter (softened)
4 cups of icing sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Follow the cake mix directions. Add in the vanilla extract, blueberries and lemon zest. Pop in the oven and bake according to the instructions listed on the mix.

While the cake is baking, whip up the cream cheese frosting.

Ensure the cream cheese and butter are soft. Cream together the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer or blender until fluffy. Slowly mix in the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts.

Once the cake is baked, let rest to completely cool.

I liked the ‘naked’ sandwich look of the cake by “smooshing” the two pieces together with the frosting in between, but feel free to frost however you like.

It’s a super easy recipe and the perfect dessert!

Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Crackers

Crunchy, sweet and salty – three wonderful adjectives.

One of the easiest recipes out there is ‘Saltine Cracker Toffee’ (chocolate, caramel crackers). I remember enjoying the treat when I used to be able to eat Premium Plus crackers, but until recently I wasn’t able to find a gluten free cracker that lived up to the salty, buttery crunch of saltines. Until I was introduced to Glutino Original Table Crackers, sent to me for review. Although not as salty as the traditional Premium Plus, they are three times the size and offer the perfect crunch (with no crunchy seeds or grains that many gluten free crackers contain).
One of my favourite toppings for Glutino Table Crackers – which may sound awful (but isn’t) – is to spread the crackers with a thin layer of butter and top it off with Marmite (known as Vegemite in Australia). For many North Americans, Marmite is not a common jar found in the pantry, nor is it commonly enjoyed. My mom, sister and I love this stuff though! It’s super salty and simply tastes like yeast, mmmm. At least give it a try if you haven’t already, you may really love it.
What is your favourite topping for crackers? Other than cheese?
 
The below gluten free ‘Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Crackers’ (aka addictive) recipe is the easiest dessert to whip up and a great gift to take as a hostess gift. Break it up, stick it in a large mason jar and tie with a bow!
Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Crackers (Gluten Free)
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 8 oz package of milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Arrange the Glutino Table Crackers in a single layer along the pan.
Place 2 cups Glutino Pretzel Sticks in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to crunch into small pieces.
In a small pot, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until the colour becomes a golden caramel. Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers – covering evenly.
Stick the sheet into the oven and bake for 6-8  minutes until the sugar, butter mixture becomes bubbly (ensure to watch carefully). Once bubbly, remove from the oven and spread the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers – use a knife to smooth out the chunks. While the chocolate is still warm, crumble the pretzels over top.
Transfer the sheet to the freezer for around 20 minutes until completely chilled. The chocolate, cracker sheet will now be formed. Simply break off pieces and enjoy!
I warn you though, it’s highly addictive! It’s best to keep in the fridge to ensure the chocolate doesn’t get too soft…the crunchier the better.

It was a Feast!

As I sit down to write this blog post, my stomach has started to rumble and I am salivating just thinking about what I’m about to share.

           

Almost after a year FEAST opened its doors, I finally made it down to load up on their delicious food.

FEAST is located at 881 Queen St. W and is heaven on earth for those with various food allergies/intolerances. Wendy and Neil opened their shop in summer 2014 after they were both challenged with having to adapt to food allergies and sensitivities. Wendy and Neil said “love at first bite was very hard to find, so we set out to change that for ourselves.” Thank goodness they did because after savouring their meet pies and donuts, I couldn’t believe I was eating something that was free from all common allergens, including gluten, nuts and dairy.

Photo credit: The Toronto Star, Michele Henry
FEAST ensures all of their ingredients and products have not been cross contaminated with the distributor or manufacturer, they also train their staff on BASICS Allergen Training for the Foodservice and Food Retail Industry program, which was developed by Anaphylaxis Canada and TrainCan INc. Staff have to sign an agreement stating they won’t bring any gluten or the top eight allergens into the store for consumption. All they do and practice is very reassuring for those will allergies – whether severe or mild.
I loved how every item on display was paired with an ingredient card and Wendy was able to verify if any other ingredients had been used or not. My mom came along with me to FEAST after we were at a wedding show downtown (yup, I’m getting married!) and she is very allergic to garlic. Fortunately there were a few items that were totally garlic free – it made my mom’s experience just as tasty as mine.
Since I had been waiting to try FEAST for months, I stocked up on a few items to try later. There was no way I could have picked between the three donuts! I’m glad I did, because each one was just as good as the next.
For lunch, my mom and I both had The Beefeater pocket pie pastry and the Tropical Caramel chocolate. I was so happy with what I was eating that I didn’t even want to socialize. I hadn’t had a pastry in years! The pocket pie was warm and savoury with the perfect crisp around the edges. The meat wasn’t an overpowering taste, as I was able to taste the parsnips and tarragon as well. Mmm, so delicious! I enjoyed the Jerk Chicken pocket pie pastry the next day and it was just as good. It wasn’t spicy and I could taste all of the various spices…so delicious. A few weeks later I went back and tried the Vegan Curried Black Bean. These are the best gluten-free creations…my stomach is rumbling thinking about them! My mom, who can eat gluten loved them just as much as I. She couldn’t tell it was gluten-free and she usually can taste the difference…now that says a lot!

For dessert I had a couple of the chocolates. The Tropical Caramel, which tasted exactly as it sounds and I ate the Cherry Bomb later on in the day. Both chocolates were decadent and satisfying. Not too sweet and the flavours within the chocolates were very easy to taste.
FEAST doesn’t just sell their in-house baked goods, they also carry a wide variety of allergen-friendly products. Most notably, my favourite granola bars (which are very difficult to find) – ‘No Nuttin’ by Libre Naturals. They remind me of Quaker Oat Chewy Bars.
 
Enjoying lunch on a beautiful day. The seating looks out onto Trinity Bellwoods Park. 

 

Look at all of FEAST’s acknowledgements and features. Zoomer, Toronto Star, Toronto Life – very exciting! 

 

Last, but certainly not least, the donut trio. Mmmm. The picture says enough doesn’t it? Can you believe these are gluten-free, dairy and nut free?
OK – top to bottom: 
On Top of Coconut Mountain Donut: Vanilla cake donut with chocolate glaze and toasted organic coconut chips. YUM. 
Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle Donut: Vanilla cake donut with organic cane sugar and cinnamon. Although hard to choose…this was my favourite out of them all. 
Triple Chocolate Love Donut: Chocolate cake donut with salted chocolate glaze and raw organic cocoa nibs. I certainly fell in love. 
 
If you live in Toronto (or the GTA) and haven’t yet been to FEAST…go! It’s unbelievably good (you’ll have to taste it to understand) and also reasonably priced. Whether you have allergies or not, this is the place to check out in the Queen West area. I can’t wait to go back, if only FEAST was closer!

The Marilyn Denis Show

I’m excited to share some fun news – on Tuesday, May 26th (yesterday), I appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show sharing my favourite organization tips for the ‘morning rush’. It was pretty neat to go through all of the motions, from sitting in the green room, getting whisked away to the make-up chair and getting clipped with mics before I met Marilyn. The whole experience was very quick and I loved every minute of it.

Photo credit: The Marilyn Denis Show

I’m not sure if it’s a first child thing or what, but I’ve always enjoyed organizing. I may have not always been great at keeping my room tidy when I was young (or even in my mid-20s), but I’ve always felt comfort in having things in their place. When I was seven/eight I got my first digital organizer, a “Dear Diary”. I loved it. I’m not sure what the heck I had to organize at that age, but I appreciated the categories. When I was 13, I labeled my closet drawers (shirts, pants, underwear, etc…) – didn’t every teen girl do this? Around the age of 15, I would take time to re-organize the kitchen pantries and fridge. I know my parents appreciated the kitchen clean-out, but I also loved having a super organized fridge!

I believe organization is a bit of an art. It’s a practice. If you don’t practice it, it doesn’t come easy. Just like everything in life. There have been stretches in my life when I certainly was not organized…such as a couple years during university – however, once I would do the big room clean and get back on my organized track, it would be easier to stay on track.

Trying to stay organized may be easier for certain people, but it’s just part of personality. For me, I find organization easy, but that’s me. Trust me – as much as I love keeping organized, I am envious of those who can get ready in 15 minutes and run out the door with a bagel – especially a “regular”, non-gluten-free bagel. 

If I don’t have my routines, I find it harder to stay on track.

Weekday mornings are the time I’m most organized. If I don’t have everything figured out before I go to bed, I feel rushed and fuzzy-minded. I like having my morning routine, I know exactly how long I have in the morning before I leave for work and once I walk out the door, I don’t feel like I had to run around like a chicken without it’s head (because that’s how I feel when I do)!

Before Bed:

On weeknights after dinner, I take 15-20 minutes to pack my lunch and think about what I’m going to have for breakfast the next morning. One of my favourite go-to breakfasts for the next morning are overnight oats. It takes five minutes to throw everything into a jar or bowl and in the morning, once all the oats have absorbed the liquid, it’s a delicious breakfast. You can find a recipe here.

Photo credit: The Marilyn Denis Show

I then plan my outfit for the next day. I’m sure I’m not the only one who dislikes picking out what they’re going to wear for the day – sometimes it turns into a bit of a dilemma…don’t you agree??? If I have my clothing dilemma the night before, it doesn’t create as much stress as it would in the morning. Question for the men: are us ladies the only ones with outfit predicaments?

Sometimes I even take it to the next level and plan out three or four outfits on Sunday afternoon before the week ahead. If I know I have any ironing to do for the upcoming week, I’ll ensure to get it all done so I don’t have to worry about it the evening before work – trust me, it saves so much time.

I used to colour-coat my closet – it made it very visually appealing to open my closet and see a beautiful colour spectrum…I just didn’t find it very efficient. Soooo, I began clumping my clothes into various categories. Jackets in one section, blouses in another…pants in one drawer, skirts on a different rack. Much easier! If you want to make it every more organized, you could colour-coat your categorized sections.

Rise and Shine

I usually give myself just over an hour to get ready in the morning. I start my day off with a little morning yoga routine (supposedly it works better than caffeine…) and then I get dressed in my chosen outfit. I’ll eat my breakfast and my lunch is all ready to go.

At Work: 
Once I get to work, I take 10-15 minutes to plan out my day and I make my to-do list(s)…I love lists. If I don’t do this, I find it difficult to stay on track. I’m so visual, I like to see exactly what it is I have to do. 
Last year I learned about the kanban organization method. It was an exciting day friends – and I’m not being sarcastic. 

To give you a bit of background context, ‘kanban’ translates to ‘sign’ or ‘board’ in Japanese. It was a process that was initially implemented at Toyota to plan processes and since then the idea has erupted. Some organizations have huge kanban boards (check out this one) – tracking employee ‘to-do’ items and what’s in progress. It’s a way to keep people on track by having visual cues. Like I mentioned on the show, as humans we like to see what we’re doing. I also meant to mention that although we all multi-task daily, our brains aren’t actually wired to multi-task. We may do it, but we’re obviously not as efficient as when we take one step at a time and put our full focus into one task. The kanban board lets us see exactly what we have to do and we can focus our attention on the one task as we go through our day. It lets us see what we have on the go and once we’re finished it, the ‘done’ column gives us a sense of accomplishment. Feelings of accomplishment motivate us to move on to the next to-do task.
There are so many ways of implementing the board and you can really create it however way you want. There are lots of websites explaining different methods, you just have to find the one that works best for you. 
It may seem like a drag to plan for the next day once you get home from work, but it only takes around 30 minutes and it saves a lot of time in the morning…which means extra sleep
Maybe you like the rush or maybe you don’t need to practice organization to feel ready for the day, but for me, I need to practice organization to feel relaxed and prepared. 
I loved sharing my tips on The Marilyn Denis Show and I hope I’ll be able to share more in the future! Thanks for watching! 

The Balance of Life

Wake up, commute, work, commute, sleep. Repeat. There are times during life where we all find ourselves stuck in a routine that feels cumbersome and foggy. Days don’t feel all too fun and it feels like we are constantly looking forward to special events or holidays – just to escape from the daily rut. We all go through times like this in life and it takes these moments to step back and realize what exactly it is you want in life, what exactly you need to do to get out of that rut; how to create a healthy balance.

Everything in life – in our world – is balanced to a certain extent. We all hear about “work-life balance” and we usually wonder if anybody can actually achieve this state – does it actually exist??? It isn’t until we step back and evaluate the current condition and make a change until we can truly understand that work-life balance can be achieved.

I’ve recently taken a few steps back to reflect on how to create a better balance and I’m happy to say that after a few months of hard work, I believe I’m slowly learning what it’s all about.

I no longer have the “Monday blues” (yahoo!) and feel inspirited on Sundays before the work week. I enjoy a fresh, new work week and enjoy the career I’m in – it’s not a “job” because I actually like it. I’ve remembered how great yoga feels and I make sure to start my day (and try to end my day) with some time on my mat. I don’t worry about indulging in foods that don’t grow from the ground, if I feel like eating them, I enjoy them. I also enjoy salads and fruit without feeling like I need to eat them! I remember how nice it is to read books that aren’t work related and I’ve recently begun listening to audiobooks on my commute (why not kill two birds with one stone?). I’ve been able to spend more time with my fiance (yup, I’m planning a wedding!!!), family, and friends without worrying about what I have to accomplish at work and I absolutely love it.

If you asked me six months ago if there was such a thing as “work-life balance”, I would have said no. I didn’t think it could truly be achievable. I was wrong…

There’s no one saying you can’t take a step back to re-evaluate where you are in life and what you want to achieve. Everything in life involves baby steps, and learning about balance takes time. I’m no where near completely balanced, but I feel a lot more grounded then I did and it feels amazing.

A few things that have helped change my perspective on life and create a new-found balance are the following (to name a few):

1. Yoga. It’s been a huge game changer. When I’m on my mat, I try to leave any to-do lists or negativity on the side, it doesn’t get to accompany me during my practice. I started practicing yoga (after taking a few years off) by doing online classes, on BrettLarkin.com – a great site for beginners and anyone who needs the motivation to start back practicing. I do Brett’s ‘Get Fired Up’ yoga class every morning, it’s 10 minutes long and wakes me up better than any tea or coffee would.

DoYogaWithMe.com is also a fantastic site. I use this site for longer practices and I love the fact that they’re all filmed in Vancouver.

When I’m not practicing at home, I attend a studio that I’ve fallen in love with. I leave feeling extremely relaxed.

2. Journaling. I don’t journal all the time, but whenever I feel I need to, it really helps. Writing down thoughts, or better yet, talking about them make a huge difference for the mind and spirit. Getting things off the chest really lightens the load! *Buy a pretty journal though…you’ll have more motivation to write in it!

3. Meditation. I’m slowly learning what meditation is all about. One thing I’ve realized with meditation is that you don’t need to be in a state of silence for the whole 15, 30, 45 minutes you’re practicing. As long as you’re taking the time for yourself to sit and reflect, whether using a mantra, visualization or complete silence, you’re taking the step to better understand your mind and body. If your mind wanders during meditation, let it. Acknowledge the thought and bring it back to whatever your focus is on.

4. Eat, Pray, Love and Wild. I never thought a book could actually help change my perspective on life…but two (so far) have. I read Wild by Cheryl Strayd first and didn’t want it to end. I really connected with her take on life and how she took time to re-discover herself. I wasn’t inclined to take six months to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, but I loved her new outlook on life – so inspiring.

Eat, Pray, Love seems like such a cliche “self-discovery” book, and if it is, I don’t have any qualms because I fell in love with Liz Gilbert’s yogic/meditative journey. I won’t go into the details but if you need to figure out balance, I would highly recommend this book…skip the movie though (it’s a snoozer).

 

5. No. Learn to say ‘no’. Don’t have time to do something? Don’t commit. The past couple years have taught me that I’m not one to usually say no, which resulted in a bit of a burnout. Figure out how to distribute your time and don’t over commit.

6. Smile. Smiling takes less effort than frowning. Did you know it takes more muscles to frown??? I realize this sounds corny, but smile in your heart and mean it. It works.

It’s been an experiential past few months and I’m excited to continue on this path. Balance is real and anyone can take the time to figure it out. It just takes time and most importantly, patience.

I’m looking forward to begin blogging again and to add it to my “balance wheel”, because it sure has been a while.

Pretzel Love

February 14th: the day of pink, red, chocolates, roses and love. Happy valentine’s day!

It’s a chilly February 14th in Canada, lots of snow on the ground and frosty air – it makes a great excuse to cozy up with your loved ones, sip on hot chocolate and eat Glutino Pretzels. Glutino kindly sent me their new pretzel flavours to try and they are definitely a treat. I have a huge sweet tooth, so if I had to choose my favourites out of the bunch, I’d have to pick the Fudge and Salted Caramel (yum!). Although theses pretzels are flavoured, they are very versatile. You don’t just have to snack on them from the bag, you can incorporate them into various recipes.

Try the following pretzel incorporations to jazz up your next snack or meal.

Honey Mustard
Notes: lightly dusted with a sweet honey flavour and a zest of mustard.
Try crunching them up and coating chicken or fish with them before baking.

Fudge
Notes: creamy, milk chocolate goodness surrounding a salty crunchy pretzel – the perfect combination of sweet and salty!
Try chopping them up and topping greek yogurt with berries – a healthy dessert parfait.

Buffalo Style 
Notes: Have you had buffalo wings? You know the flavour I’m talking about then – a little bit of heat with a lot of flavour!
Try dipping them in hummus or guacamole.

Salted Caramel
Notes: crunchy, sweet, caramelized and salty – the best flavour combination you will ever try!
Try pairing these gems with the Fudge variety, it makes for a tasty salted-caramel-chocolate treat. They’re also delicious crumbled on top of apple sauce.

There are so many delicious pretzel variations, but the easiest is by far snacking straight out of the bag! What is your favourite way to eat pretzels?

Friday Flash-Contest – Gluten Free Garage!

Trying to blog with a new full-time job has proven to be a bit difficult – as you may notice my last post was three months ago!

To get the ball rolling again, I’m going to make my first post back short and sweet. I’m going to kick it off with a contest (see below)! 
If you haven’t heard about the Gluten Free Garage, you’re going to wonder why you never had in the first place. 
Inspired by her daughter Lily, 8, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2009, Gluten Free Garage (GFG) founder RonniLyn created the event to give people a taste of gluten-free options in Toronto (that are actually good) by bringing over 60 artisanal vendors under one roof. The idea behind GFG is to promote and provide better access to top-quality local gluten-free food, create awareness about celiac disease and prove that gluten-free fare can be super tasty.
Marking its fourth consecutive year, GFG showcases the best of the best in gluten free eats and lifestyle, including food trucks, guest speakers and for the first time, beer and cider tasting. This year’s guest speakers include gluten-free expert and author, Kathy Smart, Bunner’s Bake Shop co-owner Ashley Wittig and holistic culinary nutritionist Marni Wasserman. 

I’ve been the past couple of years and I just love the intimate setting that it’s in (Wychwood Barns). Everyone is so friendly and you leave feeling full and happy. It’s true tummy love! 
Do you and a guest want to attend for FREE this year? You have three ways of winning:
1. Comment below 
2. Follow @gutgazette on Twitter
3. Tweet: “I would love to win two tickets to @Glu10FreeGarage via @gutgazette” 
This is a flash contest – you have until tomorrow (Nov 8) at noon to enter! Good luck! 

A ‘Free-From’ Gum

I would have never known that gum could contain gluten…or animal by-products, nuts and/or dairy. To my surprise, some gum does, which can make it tricky for those who are gluten free, vegan, etc. Many of us know that a variety of gums don’t contain sugar, but their artificial counterpart aspartame. Aspartame may be harmless to our teeth (according to our dentists who sneak us sugar-free gum after dental appointments), but aspartame may also be causing harm to other parts of our body (such as causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc.).

It’s tough to find gum that is allergen free, but it’s harder to find gum free of aspartame. Fortunately there is PUR Gum, the world’s #1 selling aspartame-free gum that is also vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free and non-gmo. The alternative sweetener they use is xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from corn fibres. 



To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of most natural gums because they get stuck in my teeth and lose flavour within seconds. However, PUR Gum is nice because it has the same consistency of any other mainstream gum and the flavour lasts longer than other natural brands. If you’re looking for something to quickly freshen your breath, I would recommend PUR Gum, but if you want something to chew on for a while, I wouldn’t recommend it. The one downside to PUR Gum is that the flavour only lasts five to eight minutes. I like popping a piece of PUR Gum after a meal or if I feel like chewing on something for a couple of minutes, but it doesn’t deliver a long lasting fresh taste.

As the name indicates, PUR Gum is truly very pure and only includes a few ingredients, such as xylitol (natural sweetener), gum base, natural flavours (spearmint, peppermint, etc.), gum arabic, caranuba wax and tocopherols. The gum comes in a variety of flavours, including wintergreen, peppermint, spearmint, pomegranate mint and their two new flavours, which I got to review, cinnamon and cool mint.

The cinnamon flavour reminds me a lot of Valentine’s day cinnamon hearts. The cinnamon is very strong and is a tad bit spicy. There aren’t many natural cinnamon flavoured candies or gum, so this is a welcome addition to the world of natural, allergen-friendly products.

I didn’t love the cool mint flavour. It’s not very flavourful and doesn’t last as long as their other mint flavours. It’s nice if you want a subdued mint flavour, but I wouldn’t choose this as my first choice.  

My favourite PUR Gum flavour is the spearmint. It’s not overpowering but offers a kick of freshness after a meal.

Have you tried PUR Gum? What is your favourite flavour? 

Potato Chip Crusted Sole

Fish and chips are one of those foods that I just don’t get enough of. Merely because most restaurants don’t have the gluten free option and frozen GF breaded fish isn’t the same. I will always remember the amazing GF fish and chips I had when I was in London last year…the fish had the perfect ‘batter to fish’ ratio and it was fried to a golden crisp.

The amazing gluten free fish and chips from Grill on the Square in London

When Glutino sent me their Baked Potato Crisps with the idea to use them to coat meat, I couldn’t resist the thought of crunchy, salted, potato coated fish. The end result didn’t mimic the taste of fried, battered fish, but it did create a welcome, crunchy taste to a relatively bland white fish.

I really enjoyed cooking and snacking on Glutino’s Baked Chips. They are very similar to Lay’s Baked Potato Chips, but of course Glutino’s BBQ flavoured ones are gluten free (whereas Lay’s are not). I thought that the Simply Salted chips were very salty, but when used to coat the fish, the saltiness wasn’t as noticeable.

This recipe is super simple and is perfect for a quick meal when you don’t really feel like putting much effort into cooking (i.e. – after a summer afternoon on the dock or in the park).

Potato Chip Crusted Sole

1 bag of Glutino Gluten Free Simply Salted Potato Crisps (or any other type of chips)
4 tbsp mayonnaise
4 large pieces of firm white fish (sole, cod, halibut)

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-size bowl, crush the chips with a large spoon or fork. Crush to a desired size (I crushed mine until they were about 1/2 an inch). Coat the top of each piece of fish with a tablespoon of mayo and dip the mayo side into the crushed bowl of chips. You could opt to coat both sides of the fish with the mayo and chips, but the side facing down on the baking sheet could become soggy. 

Once all of the pieces are coated, place them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the chips are golden and the fish is thoroughly cooked through.