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 :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Homemade Almond Milk

The last couple weeks I've been experimenting with some homemade non-dairy "milks". So far I've tried coconut and almond, and plan on trying rice in the near future.

In the past I've bought almond and coconut milks, and while they are good, sometimes they contain some ingredients that I would rather not eat if given a choice. Hence the experiments with homemade milks!

Making your own milk is really easy and you just need a blender and a milk/nut bag or cheesecloth (for straining).

Below are the steps to make Almond Milk - once you have tasted this stuff - you will never want to go back to store bought! It lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator and you need to shake before using as it separates without the use of stabilizers.

Your yield will be close to the water amount you add to your nuts to blend. You could also add some maple syrup or honey to sweeten, but I find it great as is :)

Almond Milk 

1 Cup whole almonds (soak overnight in 2-3 cups of water)
3-4 cups of fresh water (for blending) 

Rinse your soaked almonds and combine with 3-4 cups of fresh water (the more water you add, the thicker the milk). Blend for 1-2 minutes in your blender. 

Strain your mixture through cheese cloth or milk/nut bag. 

You can dry out the remains in the oven - and you have almond flour :) 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Wow , things have been busy! Last night I had time to make these awesome little macaroons. They literally take 10 minutes to make and not much clean-up required!

Everything goes in the one bowl, let set in the fridge for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to work with), roll into balls (or any other shape) and keep in the fridge!

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp of coconut oil melted
5-6 Tbsp of pure Maple Syrup
6 Tbsp of Cocoa Powder
2 Cups of unsweetened Shredded Coconut (plus more if you wish to decorate)
2 Tbsp of Arrowroot Flour
2 tsp vanilla extract


Mix everything together, let set and roll into balls!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Brenton Gluten Free Crackers

It's great to see more mainstream companies making gluten free foods. A couple weeks ago I picked up a box of gluten free Brenton crackers at Costco.

There are 4 boxes in a package and it sells for $7.59. The two varieties are Original with Flax and Herb and Garlic. I have to be honest - the Herb and Garlic are not quite my cup of tea. It has a little grassy taste for me. I'm pretty sure the rest of the package will be relegated to "soup" crackers!

The Original with Flax tastes like a normal cracker (I had non-GF tasters at work and home). It has a light, airy taste, and they almost melt in your mouth. Compared to other GF crackers like Mary's Gone Crackers or Crunchmaster - they definitely have a softer and more subtle taste.

The price is great, the crackers are tasty but I'm not a huge fan of the fact the number one ingredient is corn starch. Corn starch is pretty heavily processed - there are lots of opinions out there on how much you should eat! I understand it's hard to make GF foods taste the regular stuff - but I really think there might be a better solution than corn starch?

Either way - the crackers are good - great for a party (as non-GF eaters won't be able to tell the difference) and very affordable.

Anyone else have thoughts on these?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Gluten Free Shopping in St. John's - Where to Buy

I figured I'd do a post on where I like to buy products and generally what is available. I did a previous post on Costco here, but there are lots of other places as well - mind you Costco is still my favorite so I'll give a short update on that as well!

1. Natural Health Shop - This store is located on Stavanger Drive in the strip mall across from Montana's. It has practically any type of gluten free flour that you would need, as well as lots of other great natural health products. The prices for the gluten free flours are very reasonable as well.

2. Sobeys Stores - I usually shop at the Sobeys at Howley Estates. They have a great gluten free selection of cereals, cake and cookie mixes, pastas, chicken stock and freezer items. Most Sobeys around the city have similar selections but there may be small differences between individual stores. I find Sobeys can be expensive at times, but when there is a sale - it's a great chance to stock up!

3. Dominion Stores - Stavanger Drive has the best gluten free selection in my opinion. It is well stocked with cereals, mixes, pastas, cookies and a good frozen selection. Like Sobeys, the items can be expensive if they are not on sale. I do however find the prices are slightly lower than Sobeys on most things.

4. Real Food Market - Located behind the Needs store on Logy Bay Road, they carry a variety of gluten free and organic products. Delivery is an option as well. The store also carries a variety of organic and humanely raised meats that you won't find anywhere else. The prices tend to be on the higher side.

5. Wal Mart - the newly renovated Wal Marts have a labelled gluten free section as well as some flours located in the baking goods section. The store on Stavanger has cookies, crackers, a few mixes, granola bars and cereal. The selection is not huge, but the prices are a little lower than the supermarkets and if you are already shopping at Wal Mart - it will save you a trip to another store! You can also purchase items on walmart.ca and shipping is free!

6. Costco - I have to say, in the last 6 months Costco has really ramped up their gluten free selections. Currently at my store there is gluten free pizza, a couple types of cereal and pasta, deli selections, 3 types of "granola bars", baking mix, 2 types of cookies (go go quinoa and glutino), pretzels, bagel crisps, 2 types of crackers, tortilla chips, healthy planet soups, dips such as salsa, hummus, guacamole and organic gluten free chicken stock. Plus, there are meats, veggies, fruits etc. that are naturally gluten free. If you happen to like the brand/variety that Costco carries it's usually a 1/4-1/2 the price you would have to pay at the supermarket. Also, many of these items go on coupon, and it's an even better deal! Here's a hint though - like everything at Costco, it could be there one day and gone the next - so stock up if you really like it!

7. NEW! Shoppers Drug Mart - I just noticed Shoppers Drug Mart on Torbay Road has a new gluten free section with signage and all! They carry some Glutino, Nature's Path, Kellogg's and Catelli products so far. It is also featured in their new flyers. Awesome!

Where do you like to shop?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I love these muffins - they have a great chocolate taste, and the only added sugar is the chocolate chips as the recipe uses dates as a sweetener!

If you don't like buckwheat flour (it has a little stronger taste) you could sub in a millet, chickpea or quinoa flour as these are considered heavier gluten free flours.

Ingredients: 

1.5 cups of non-dairy beverage (I used Almond Fresh Original) - unsweetened is fine as well
1.5 cups of dates
3/4 cup of brown rice flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup coconut cream (this is the top part of the can of coconut milk after it is refrigerated)
4 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of vegan chocolate chips/chunks - I use Enjoy Life 

Method:

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees and line 12 muffin holders

2. In a large mixing bowl combine and mix all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips

3. Put the coconut cream, dates, vanilla, and 1 cup of non-dairy beverage in a food processors and blend until smooth. Stir this with the dry ingredients and slowly add the other 1/2 cup liquid.

4. Mix until you have a cake-like batter and stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way and bake for 18-22 minutes. Depending on your muffin size - check to ensure they do not over bake.