Who loves Coffee? Kelly Loves Coffee. I do, I do, I do-ooo!

Some people have their ‘food musts.’ Anyone remember Kel of ‘Kenan and Kel’ fame and his love for orange soda? Is that just me? Well I think if I had to pick my food must, it would be coffee. I used to do the sugar-pumped brew, but I’ve since graduated to a black cup of joe each morning with a dollop of low-fat milk, mostly to cool it down. I suppose the pump of caffeine each breakfast isn’t the healthiest, but when you pull those late nights and still have to get up bright and early the next day, than it definitely qualifies for food must classification.

This love of coffee (and an equally strong love of cookies) made be buy Pamela’s Products’ Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies. The espresso is a pop of flavor when you take your first bite. While this extreme flavor is the first thing to jump out at you, you’ll quickly recall the second part of product name: chocolate chunk. The chunks of chocolate in these cookies are sweet and melty, as if freshly baked. Is texture important to you? I’d classify it as crumbly-in-a-good-way: these aren’t soft baked cookies, but neither are they a semi-edible rock, like others. I personally enjoyed the texture because when I first saw them I figured they would be rock-eque but they easily break at each bite.

What I find enjoyable about many gluten-free products are the other health conscious elements that seem to accompany them. While don’t get me wrong, Pamela’s espresso cookie is a cookie, I’m giving it a healthy nod for its ‘made with over 70% organic ingredients.’ So my recommendation for you concerning this organic-conscious, coffee-flavored treat? Grab an Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookie and a cool glass of milk and go to town. If your food must is a cookie but you want to make it yourself, take a look at what Deliciously Gluten Free Products had to say about Pamela’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix.

Sick of the FDA? Try the GFCO

As you may have read in blog posts and updates on support group websites recently, the decision to define the term ‘gluten-free’ for labeling is potentially delayed.  Check out the American Celiac Disease Alliance for more information on this.  For now, gluten-free is still not an agree upon labeling term.  While celiacs wait for the decision to be passed down by the FDA, the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Certification Organization is working to make shopping a bit easier for the gluten-free consumer.  If you’ve seen the GFCO’s mark on products, here’s some information about their certification process that might be useful as you continue to eat gluten-free while awaiting the FDA’s ruling.

GFCO’s certification involves inspections on-site, product tests, and ingredient reviews.  The inspections and reviews are done by representatives from Orthodox Union (OU), a kosher certification company.  (The GFCO was made in cooperation with the Food Services Inc, which is an auxiliary of OU.)  Products certified as gluten-free by the GFCO contain less than 10-ppm gluten and like proteins found in rye and barley; right now, there isn’t a method for measuring to zero.

The GFCO is not planning to change their standards after the FDA’s conclusion on ‘gluten-free,’ saying they will meet or go beyond the decision.  “As a global program, the GFCO uses the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and a safe processing environment based on a continual review of the current scientific and testing methodologies, existing global standards such as Codex, WHO, and Canada, balanced by reasonable application by the manufacturer,” the GFCO explains on their website.

While I mentioned in the past that Stonyfield Farm makes some products that are certified as gluten-free by the GFCO, some other companies that have certified items are Country Life and Gluten Free Creations.  All the information here was found on the GFCO’s website and if you’d like more info on the GFCO’s certification, it can be found there as well.  So don’t get too discouraged while the FDA continues to mull over their gluten-free labeling decision.  The GFCO is picking up the slack.

$10K Challenge Progress Report

We’ve had over 270 FREE American Dining Cards ordered through our online store so far, and counting. The interesting thing is that the first batch of mail orders arrived on Friday, and it was a big one (we haven’t had a chance to count them yet). If I would have guessed before we started this campaign, I would have expected most of the card orders to come online (it’s actually a bit cheaper and much easier than filling out a SASE — at least for me). But, it looks like many folks are opting for the snail mail route. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a count of mail orders later this week to add to the overall report. In the meantime, please keep spreading the word – we’ve got quite a bit of distance to go to get to 15,000.

Triumph Gluten-Free! Blogger of the Month #2

(I hope you’re all getting jazzed about our new Celiac Awareness campaign! Keep spreading the word!)

So I’m feeling a little guilty about my baked good-obsessed blog posts lately. I am actually trying to lose a few pounds this summer so what I really should be concentrating on is healthy living, not sugar, fat and gluten-less gluttony. Therefore I went in search of a healthy gf blog, and up popped Eat’n Veg’n, a vegan blog with some great looking gluten-free recipes.

Eat’n Veg’n is both a calorie counter, and a lover of food: two critical qualities that go into the creation of delicious, nutritious meals. You don’t want low calories and no taste, now do you? So whether you are a weight watcher or a food aficionado, you can find something here that will meet your dietary and taste needs. However, celiacs will want to note which recipes are labeled gluten-free because not all are. So keep your eyes pealed and your kitchen utensils out.

Personally what I appreciate most about this healthy blogger is her healthy desserts! Some health-conscious treat recipes allow you to indulge without the scale-related downside. And Eat’n Veg’n will not only let you know what’s good to eat, but how to serve it. Check out her latest entry on how to turn your salad bowl into a work of art.

Don’t want to take my word for Eat’n Veg’n’s top blogger worthiness? She’s also received the Brillante Weblog award from fellow bloggers plus been listed as one of the top 100 health-inspiring blogs. So exactly what are you waiting for? Check her blog out for yourself and find something low fat and fabulous to snack on.