About Me

Welcome to my blog - my ramblings about trying to find healthy, affordable gluten free food in St. John's, NL.
Despite being gluten free, I love to try new products and am always interested to hear about new places to eat.
I try to help the environment and purchase organic products where possible.

Enjoy :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Review

Pizza is a special treat that I don’t get very often. I’ve written about one of my favorite gluten free crusts before, but I am always up to trying something new!

Bob’s Red Mill sells a gluten free crust mix that bakes two 12 inch pizzas, or one larger 16 inch pizza. You can find the mix in Sobeys or Dominion and it usually runs about $5 a bag (it’s $2.50 on vitacost if you order online).

The mix is easy to make. Add ingredients to the stand mixer – yeast, oil, water and egg (I used a “flax egg”), mix together and let sit for 20 minutes. Then spread the dough on a greased pizza pan and bake as directed (about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven/crispy factor). I did find the dough a little tough to spread evenly, but eventually I got it all worked around the pan - the picture to the left is after it baked it's first round in the oven.

Take out the pizza, add your toppings and bake again for 15 minutes (or longer if you like it crispy or you need the cheese to melt).

Overall, the crust was pretty good. It was a little more “doughy” than the Namaste one, but if you like a softer crust – this one is great! My DH, had a piece and said it was good – so from a gluten eater this is high praise for GF products!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Two Moms in the Raw Granola Bar Review

I don’t consider airports to be the easiest place to find gluten free eats. In fact, my number one rule when travelling is to pack enough snacks to last at least 2 days.  So yes, I’m the crazy traveler with a carry on full of snacks. That being said, I always scout out possible places to eat, or buy snacks.

Recently, I was in the Charlotte Airport in North Carolina. Wow that is a busy spot! They had lots of places to eat, and everything was super packed. I did pop to Starbucks to get a coffee and noticed they had gluten free granola squares by Two Moms in the Raw 

I picked one up to try of course! You can read up on their story online, but basically they are an organic, non-GMO and gluten free company – can’t beat that!
I tried the blueberry square  which had 13 ingredients including agave, gluten free groats, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, millet, apples, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pecans, almonds, cinnamon and sea salt. Pretty simple!  Each bar was 200 calories with 18 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber.

The bars tasted great – a wonderful snack, keeps you filling full, and has a nice texture/crunch. They are also available at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Alfalfa’s. You can also buy online, but shipping to Canada is EXPENSIVE!

Anyone try any other Moms in the Raw Products?   

Monday, 27 May 2013

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Review

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! While I was in Myrtle Beach, SC a few weeks ago, I stopped into Bay Naturals Healthy Market andKitchen.  I always love to check out new products, and this place had lots to choose from!

One item I picked up was Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza. Against the Grain  is a Vermont based company and they have breads, rolls, pizza shells, bagels and frozen ready-to-eat pizzas.

I picked up a pepperoni pizza (12 inch) to try. Once I got over the sticker shock ($14.49), all was good. The poor check out guy couldn’t figure out why the pizza was so expensive – he felt so bad, he gave me the store discount of 10% if you have their loyalty card. Considering the little Glutino pizzas go for $7-$8 in NL, it actually wasn’t a horrible price.

The pizza just cooks like any other frozen pizza, and after 20 minutes in the oven, it was ready to eat! As you can tell from the picture, it had a nice crust, and a good number of pepperoni pieces. (I added the bigger pieces because we had them around).

This pizza was delicious, and worth every penny. The crust was soft, and almost pastry like, the cheese and sauce were also perfect. The left over pieces kept well in the fridge for next-day snacking, and overall, I loved this product.

The next question is – when will they arrive in Canada?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Orgran Spaghetti Review

During the winter I ordered some products from Vitacost. One item that has always intrigued me is can spaghetti. Growing up, canned foods were an occasional treat, and thus the FrancoAmerican Spaghetti’os and Spaghetti always remind me of special treat times growing up. I’d seen the Orgran product browsing sites before, and decided to try it.

Orgran is an Australian company, and all their products are gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, yeast, and GMO free. They are also vegan.

The can is pretty small, but enough for one person for a lunch or snack. I tried these at work, so I microwaved them – I prefer using pans, but sometimes I have to resort to the microwave.

The sauce did taste good, it had that sweet tomato taste, and not too much of a “can” after-taste. The noodles however were a little hard. In my head I was imagining the nice soft spaghetti pasta taste, and that wasn’t what I got! Perhaps they would be better if cooked on the stove for a little longer, and the noodles could absorb more sauce?

Either way, they were ok – if you were really hungry they would make a quick snack! 

You can order these from Vitacost, and the Specialty Food Shop (Toronto Sick Kids) usually has them as well. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

PaneRiso Cinnamon Cookies Review

A little while back, a co-worker brought in some PaneRiso Cinnamon Gluten free cookies for me to try. I’d never tried these before, so it was a great opportunity to test out a new product!

PaneRiso has been around the gluten free world for a while, and honestly, some of their products do not look that appetizing (think the unrefrigerated gluten free bread on the shelf) – but I haven’t tried it, so it might taste great? (thoughts?)  

Back to the cookies, these are made with corn starch as the main ingredient. The rest of the ingredients (taken from website) are brown sugar, vegetable oil margarine (soya/canola)*, caramel colour (<25ppm sulphites) cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. So they don’t win the healthiest cookie of the year; especially with all the corn starch!

The cookies themselves have a bizarre texture (I am guessing because of the corn starch) and they literally melt in your mouth. The cookies are low protein as well, which is good for other conditions in which individuals must limit protein.

The cinnamon flavor comes out when you eat the cookies, and they have a good crunch. They are also low in calories (I think about 30-40 per cookie), so if you are watching your calorie intake they might be good for you!

The closest website I can find with the PaneRiso products is here - it lists all their products, and I think you can buy them online as well.

I don’t think these cookies would be a re-purchase for me; the texture combined with copious amounts of corn starch would leave these to an occasional treat item.
Anyone have any favourite PaneRiso products to share?

Monday, 6 May 2013

Home made Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

A few weeks ago, I undertook the project of home made bagels - the recipe is adapted from the book Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer. While the process was slightly time consuming, there was enough time in between stages to do clean up, and prep for the next stage.

Don't let the ingredients scare you - these bagels are worth it :)

1 Tbsp of active dry yeast
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup warm water
1/2 organic unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 Tbsp of warm water (this is 3 flax "eggs")
3/4 cup of raisins (or any dried fruit)

1.5 cups buckwheat flour (you could use some brown rice in here as well)
1/2 cup teff flour (I used brown rice because I couldn't find this that weekend)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch (I know this is alot of cornstarch - next time I might try a substitution)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 additional sorghum or buckwheat flour
Cornmeal for dusting baking sheet
Cane sugar for dusting

WET INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water and proof until foamy (About 10 minutes). Add the apple sauce, olive oil, vinegar, prepared flaxseed meal and raisins. Mix well (I used a mixer)

DRY INGREDIENTS: In a separate (but large) bowl, sift together the flours, starches, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, about 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated. Mix until the dough is sticky, and gather into a large bowl.

Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the additional sorghum/rice flour into the dough to make it workable, knead the dough briefly and add as much as needed of the remaining 1/4 cup flour until the dough is easy to handle. *I only needed about 1/4 cup to make it workable*

Divide the dough into 8 equal balls, and flatten with floured hands to about 1 3/4 inches thick. Using your finger, poke a hole in the center to form a bagel shape. Repeat until all dough is shaped.

Smooth the tops and sides of the bagels with wet fingers to make a uniform shape and let rest for 25 minutes. (you can clean up your massive mess at this point)

Preheat the oven to 375 and sprinkle a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if desired) with cornmeal. * You actually don't need too much cornmeal, the bagels didn't stick to the paper - I went a little overboard with the first few, then easier on the last couple *

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop 2 bagels at a time to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on wire rack until nearly dry * about 10 minutes *

Transfer the bagels to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the tops of the barely wet bagels with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool, slice and serve. I also froze a bunch of mine and have them ready to go for quick snacks or lunches :)

These bagels were awesome! Chewy, not too dense, and had a nice outside crunch. I'll be making these again!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Homemade Gluten Free Bread - Bread Machine!

My bread maker arrived J, so last weekend I had to test out a recipe! The bread maker has a gluten free cycle, and 2 specific GF bread recipes supplied by Bob’s Red Mill. The recipe calls for eggs which I used, however, next time I will try a “flax egg” substitute.

The recipe is really simple and easy to follow. I found there was a little bit of crusty unmixed dough on the sides, so next time I’ll give it a little help on the mixing cycle and make sure the sides are clean.

Gluten free bread takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes on my bread machine - it's hard waiting! 

The finished product was soft, moist, had good height and was super yummy! :D

3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 cup Potato Starch (I used arrowroot)
1/2 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
1-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 cups Hot Water (150 degrees)
1 tsp Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Canola Oil
4-1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
3 Tb Sugar
3 Tb Non-dairy Creamer
2-1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
2 cups Brown Rice Flour

Stir together in a bowl: rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cup garbanzo bean flour, sea salt, xanthan gum, non-dairy creamer and sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot water, eggs, vinegar and oil. Place the wet ingredients in the baking pan. Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet. Make a small well on the top middle of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.

Set the bread machine according to the bread machine directions and press start.

Remove from bread machine when bake cycle is complete. Invert pan and gently shake to remove bread. Cool upright on a rack before slicing.  Makes one 1-1/2 lb loaf (16 slices).