Product Review: Glenny’s Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats

Glenny’s Marshmallow Treats come in 4different flavors: Peanut Caramel,  Raspberry Jubilee, Vanilla & Chocolate.  The bars are organic & vegan in addition to being gluten-free.  The bars are only 100 calories per bar, making them nice to keep in your purse or gym bag for on-the-go snacks. 

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I have tried the vanilla & peanut caramel bars.  The bars are both good, but almost too crispy.  Maybe I am just used to eating the Envirokidz Crispy Rice Bars, which are more chewy.  I guess it depends on personal preference.  Jon likes both brands equally as well.  The cons of Glenny’s?  Over $5/box for 5 bars.  Envirokidz are typically $3.49 for a box of 5.  I happened to find the Glenny’s on sale for $2.49, so I decided to give them a try. 

Have you tried these?  What were your thoughts?

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Make sure to check out my latest Examiner posts on gluten-free turkeys for Thanksgiving and a recent recall on undeclared wheat in some snack products.

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The Ohio State Buckeyes are playing the game of the year tomorrow against Michigan – GO BUCKS!!

 

 

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cake – Gluten-free

My wonderful mother-in-law, Mary, made this amazing cake for the kids last weekend.  I just had to sneak some when the leftovers came home.  WOW!  This cake was awesome!  Thanks, Mary!

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The original recipe came from Kraft Foods, but Mary modified it to be gluten-free.  Here are her instructions & substitutions.

OREO Cake

1 pkg. devil’s food chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker’s Gluten-free Devil’s Food Cake)

4 squares  BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed (Use KinniTOOS, or omit)

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

PREPARE cake batter and bake in 2 (8-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert cakes onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.

MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 min.

MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP and crushed cookies. Stack cake layers on plate, spreading cream cheese mixture between layers. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand until firm. Keep refrigerated.

The kids devoured this!  I am glad I got my share before they finished it off!  LOL!

I’ll leave you with one more picture…..drool!

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Product Review: Glutino Pretzels

One of the big things I missed when going gluten-free was pretzels.  I love pretzels.  Small & crunchy, warm, soft & hot.  I don’t think I have met a pretzel that I didn’t like.  Oh yeah, that is because they are purely carbs!  HA! 

There are a couple of companies that make gluten-free pretzels.  Ener-G makes some good pretzels.  Glutino is the latest on my list for review. 

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The Glutino pretzels are awesome.  They are crunchy & crispy, with just the right amount of salt.  I loved pairing these twists with my sandwiches for lunch. 

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If you made me choose between these 2 brands of pretzels, I would have to go with the Glutino as the better pretzel.  :)  Now, if you will excuse me.  I need to go get some water.  These pretzels are making me thirsty. ;)  LOL!  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. 

If you are looking for a gluten-free hot soft pretzel, there are some at my local health food store, but I can’t bring myself to pay $17+ for them.  I have made bagels from Pamela’s Bread Mix before and topped with sea salt & they were very reminiscent of hot soft pretzels. 

 

 

NuVal, Meijer & Gluten-free

What do those 3 things have in common?  I am going to tell you.  NuVal is a company that makes choosing healthy foods at the grocery store a little easier.  NuVal scores food based on a combination of nutritional factors and comes up with a number.  The numbers range from 1 to 100 – the higher the number, but more nutritious the food choice.  You can find out more about how NuVal works and the science of it here. 

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Now, moving on.  Last week Tina from Carrots’N’Cake asked for volunteers who shopped at Meijer to check out the NuVal program at their local store.  I volunteered and thought it would be fun to see the gluten-free side of it as well.  Sometimes the gluten-free replacement foods aren’t as nutritious as the traditional version due to the removal of the whole wheat, rye, barley & oats.  This makes trading-up, as NuVal calls it, even more important.  If you are trying to choose between vegetables or fruits, choose with one with the higher number.  Spinach is rated with a 99! 

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Apples?  Rated a 96.  :)  My favorite!

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Want to trade-up for a healthier sandwich?  Forgo the cheese and add a slice or 2 of avocado.

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You can even choose a healthier cooking oil.

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As you can see, the Canola Oil is the healthier choice. 

Cereals?  Sometimes it is hard to find mainstream gluten-free cereal, but you can even make healthier trade-ups there.

Strawberry Chex- 26

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Honey Cinnamon Puffins (the only gluten-free puffins) – 25

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Kix Cereal – 29

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I checked the gluten-free product aisle and there were no scores on the gluten-free foods there.  It would be great to see the NuVal scores there eventually, too, to help make even more great trade-ups. 

You can see if there is a store that has NuVal in your area here.  You can check the scores of some of your favorite foods here.

 

 

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Reminder: Always Double Check Labels

An email that I received this morning from Amazon inspired me to write this post today.  The email was about Gluten-free items on Amazon being up to 40% off.  The one item in particular that caught my eye was the Dr. Kracker Flatbread Krackers – Sunflower Cheddar.   Not only were these listed in the email ad as gluten-free items, but on the item description page, “Great for gluten-free diets”, is highlighted.  Then you scroll down to the ingredients:

Ingredients
Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour, Filtered Water, Organic Cheddar Cheese (Organic Pasteurized Milk, Hannilase Enzyme, Salt, Cultures), Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Flaxseeds, Sea Salt, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Spelt Bran, Yeast, Organic Barley Malt Syrup.

And then safety information:

Safety Information
Contains milk and wheat.

And then, the CYA disclaimer:

Legal Disclaimer
Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on our website. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. Please
see our full disclaimer below.

Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves & the food we put into our mouths.  If the product is labeled correctly, the information is there for use to protect ourselves, even if a company is calling the product “gluten-free” by putting it in an ad or on a shelf that says so. 

This is just a reminder to read labels every.single.time. you buy/eat a product.  I know how easy it is to become complacent when buying and eating the same products over & over.  I am very loyal to the brands I know I can trust, however, I always double check.  You never know when a recipe or a supplier has changed. 

On another note, Hannah said something today to me regarding my having to follow a gluten-free diet.  She said “Mom, I am so sorry that you have to eat gluten-free.”  I looked at her and smiled and then said “Thank you, but I am thankful for being able to eat gluten-free.”  I went on, “I feel better than I used to feel and I am thankful that if I have to have a disease, that it is Celiac Disease and not something more serious, like Cancer.”  I think that too often, when the going gets tough, we start to feel sorry for ourselves & mourn the loss of what we thought was our beloved gluten-filled foods.  Little did we know that those foods were damaging our bodies and all we had to do to change that, is change our diet. 

Have a wonderful, gluten-free day!

 

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A Day of Eats

I have done a few days like this in the past where I capture all the gluten-free food that I eat in a day.  I chose last Friday, a day that I ran 8 miles, to show you how I refuel after a longer run.  Before my run I had a pack of Sharkies and during my run I drank watered down powdered Gatorade.

Breakfast consisted of 2 Van’s Blueberry GF Waffles topped with Trader Joe’s Almond Butter, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter, cinnamon & raisins.  I also had a cut up Macintosh apple on the side.  I ran out of my beloved Honeycrisp, so Macintosh had to do.  I also had an unpictured cup of decaf with cinnamon & vanilla almond breeze.

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Days like this are hard for me to gauge food wise.  Some days when I run longer (usually 8+ miles), I have no appetite whatsoever and have to watch the clock to make sure that I am eating every 3 hours or so.  Other days I can’t get enough.  This day fell into the “can’t get enough” category.

Snack, not even 3 hours after breakfast, was a bowl of Glutenfreeda’s Instant Apple Cinnamon & Flax Oatmeal.

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Lunch was a Baby Spinach Salad + grape tomatoes & Kraft Fat Free French Dressing, chicken, pear & sriracha sandwich on Pamela’s Bread, cut up pear & Glutino Pretzels.

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Dessert, a must have after lunch, a mini Heath bar.

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Snack time couldn’t come soon enough!  LOL!  I had a bowl of cereal, which included Rice Chex, Peanut Butter Panda Puffs & Barbara’s Honey Cinnamon Puffins with a cut up Macintosh apple.  Yes, I like my fruit. ;)

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Friday was homemade pizza night.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix.  I made mine with Trader Joe’s Tomato Chutney as the sauce base & topped it with roasted eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese & pine nuts.  Kalamata olives would have really finished this off nicely, but I didn’t have any. :(  I also had a large mixed greens salad on the side.

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I ate half of the pizza and all of the salad.  For dessert, which I forgot to photograph, I had a small helping of Edy’s Pumpkin Ice cream & some dark chocolate chocolate chips on top.

It was a good day and I felt refueled enough to run 5 miles the next AM and finished my last mile in 8 min. 24 seconds.  Love runs like that!

Hope you all had a a great weekend!

Weekly Menu Plan – November 15, 2009

I don’t know what the weather has been like by you, but it has been glorious here the past few days.  I have been taking full advantage of that before we enter into the land of the frozen tundra for the next several months.

In My Box is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap with the them of “Dutch Ovens”.  I don’t have anything on this week’s menu that would utilize my dutch oven, but I do occasionally use mine to make pot roast with potatoes & carrots.  With the weather getting colder, it may be time to break it out & cook up a great roast!

Sunday – Rotisserie Chicken, sweet potato hash browns, steamed veggies & salad

Monday – Chicken/Eggplant Parmesan, brown rice/quinoa pasta, broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Honey Baked Lentils & spaghetti squash & salad

Wednesday – Filet mignon, baked potatoes w/Oikos, roasted asparagus & salad

Thursday – Bourbon Chicken, coconut brown rice, zucchini & salad

Friday – Breakfast for dinner

Saturday – Leftovers

Baked Goods

Bread

Bagels

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits

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Last night Aaron & I went out to celebrate our anniversary at Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse.  What an amazing dinner.  The chef was extremely helpful & knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet.  We both ordered off the Sea & Shore 3-Course Menu.  My dinner included a beefsteak tomato & onion salad (sans onion) with hard smoked mozzarella cheese & balsamic vinaigrette, 7 oz medium rare filet mignon, Colossal Sea Scallops with lemon citrus sauce, broccolini and creme brulee for dessert.  I also had a nice glass of pinot noir & syrah.  Aaron had the same thing, but had a Caesar salad & crab cakes for his salad & seafood.  He opted for the cheesecake for dessert.   We came home & watched Orphan.  Talk about a freaky movie!  Yikes!

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Don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for more menu ideas.

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Another fun blogging event to check out this week: Gluten-free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party.  For more details, please see The Whole Gang.

Have a great week!

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