Monthly Archives: October 2009

Blogger of the Month: A Gluten-Free Guide

A Gluten Free Guide dining out

A Gluten Free Guide dining out

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago I struggled to find a gluten-free blogger writing about eating out and traveling. There were plenty of great sites offering incredible recipes and tips on which products were good and which ones should be avoided – but gluten-free dining posts were almost non existent. And those that I did find talked about boring chains with gluten-free menus. Since I’d done a pretty good job of avoiding chains when I ate gluten, I was not  thrilled to find out that those were the best places for me to eat out at.

I simply did not believe all the people on online message boards that told me my life of eating out and traveling were over, now that I was gluten-free. One evening, shortly after my diagnosis, I did a Google search for “gluten-free dining Atlanta” and three comforting links came up – the Triumph Dining site, The Atlanta Gluten-Free Dinner Club site and A Gluten-Free Guide’s blog. As it turns out, back then, Catherine who writes that blog, actually worked for a company that had business in Atlanta on occasion. Therefore, Catherine had to find out where to eat gluten-free when in town for work.

For the first time since my diagnosis, I felt like there was a tasty and adventurous gluten-free journey in my future. Catherine’s blog was a large part of making me feel that way. You see, she is kind of a “foodie” and like me, is not content to order plain chicken, rice and veggies when dining out for the rest of her days. When you read Catherine’s restaurant reviews, you feel as though you sat next to her and enjoyed the incredible food yourself!

It was Catherine who turned me on to a French gluten-free bakery, Valpi-Form (rarely found on Amazon) that makes croissants, though they are all but impossible to buy in the U.S. at present. I didn’t love the croissants that much anyway, but the Madelienes from the line are not to be believed! Catherine also posted a killer recipe for garlic bread, using Everybody Eats French baguettes.

Catherine doesn’t have to visit Atlanta as often as she used to, and I miss reading about her adventures here. In the past, I’d always go directly to the places she wrote about, after reading her Atlanta posts. But I still love reading about her adventures in NYC, Italy and anywhere else she goes. She travels a lot for work these days and has gluten-free travel planning down to a science!

Catherine is an inspiration to all of us to remember that gluten-free does not mean taste free, period. If you believe people that tell you to order a boring meal when dining out to be “safe”, you’re drinking some toxic Kool-Aid. And even if it’s gluten-free - it’s definitely not good for you!

Thanks Catherine – for always reminding us that living gluten-free can be as delicious as we venture to make it!

Incredible Gluten-free Waffles from Florida Bakery

IMG_0305There is a new waffle on the gluten-free scene. Island Gluten Free Bakery in Sarasota, FL recently began making gluten-free waffles and they are ‘out of this world’ delicious! My order arrived in two days, for UPS ground service. I left one waffle on the counter to have the following day and the others went into the freezer for later.

The bakery uses healthier flours than some companies that make gluten-free baked goods. The owners feel that offering nutritious products is very important. As someone who eats too many things that aren’t that nutritious, I appreciate their efforts greatly!

Waffle Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Millet Flour, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Egg, Arrowroot Flour, Canola Oil, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Coconut Flour, Potato Starch Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Xanthan Gum, Sea Salt

We defrosted some waffles to enjoy last weekend. They take about six minutes in a 350 degree toaster oven to heat up and toast perfectly! Like many other products at this fabulous bakery, the waffles are “free” of more than just gluten. They do not contain dairy or nuts either. I tend to be wary of foods that are ‘free’ of so many things but I’m getting used to accepting that you can make great food, without things you think are needed for it. Island Gluten Fee Bakery continues to prove this point over and over again!

We visited a gluten-free/dairy-free bakery in Austin once and the cookies, bread, brownies and breakfast breads were what I expected from products made without dairy or gluten. Almost everything we bought was dry and not good in any way. My husband had to pick the blueberries out of the breakfast bread – I mean it was bad. Luckily, of the five things we bought, the pumpkin muffins were outstanding and that’s what I’d picked for a quick breakfast at the hotel. Thank goodness I didn’t let that less than optimal experience keep me from trying gluten-free, dairy-free products from this wonderful bakery in FL!

If the new Island Gluten Free Bakery creation was comparable to any other gluten-free waffle, I’d do a comparison review. However, these waffles are unlike any I’ve had before, with or without gluten. They are what you’d expect to be served in a restaurant actually. Now I have a waffle that is both incredible tasting and ‘good for me’ – at least as good as a waffle with butter and maple syrup on it can be!

Island Gluten Free Bakery will ship UPS ground, 2-day and overnight service. Atlanta  is a 2-day service for ground usually. If you decide to place an order, consider trying the cinnamon raisin bread, buns and French bread in addition to the amazing waffles. If you are so inclined and have a waffle maker, the bakery also sells their mixes online. I bet pancakes made with their mix are fabulous too!

Thanks to the gang at Island Gluten Free Bakery for rocking my gluten-free world yet again!

Custom Made Gluten-free Cereal Now Available!

bnr-logoWhen my new custom made cereal arrived from Custom Choice Cereal, I had to open it right away to taste it. The company contacted me to offer me a discount bag of cereal to create my own custom blend and review it.

Cinnamon Granola

Cinnamon Granola

Whoever thought the concept up is a genius. You pick your cereal base and choose from a long list of add-ins to come up with your own unique blend of gluten-free cereal! The add-in item categories include nuts/seeds and dried fruits. Beside each add-in on the website, there is a tidbit of information about the nut, fruit or seed.

The price is directly related to what you choose to add to the base, and there are two prices for the three bases as well. The Cinnamon Granola is the most expensive and the Corn Flakes and Good Morning Flakes (highest nutritional value) are priced the same and are slightly less than the granola.

Tiffany’s Raisin Nut Delight cereal (you even get to name your creation!) is a blend of cinnamon granola, coconut, pecans and raisins. When I tried the cereal dry I thought it was very good but when I had it the next morning with milk, I thought it was incredible! I’m assuming the fact that the cereal was made with my choice of ingredients, is directly related to the fact that I love it!

Gluten-free cereals are generally expensive, excluding the five Chex cereals that are gluten-free. Making your own cereal at Custom Choice Cereal is really quite reasonable, but paying to ship it is a little expensive. The good news is that once you get your perfect ‘custom choice’ down, you can order a lot of it and get a discount on the shipping of every bag after the first one.

Cranberries

Cranberries

If your budget allows for a splurge, think about creating your own perfect gluten-free cereal. The products are made in a gluten-free facility and the number of tasty combinations one can create are almost limitless. The allergen statement on my bag states “Mixed in a facility that contains traces of soy, tree nuts and/or peanuts”.

Almonds

Almonds

My personal blend of cereal turned out to be fairly healthy, though I was not thinking about nutrition when I chose my cereal base and add-ins. I just chose things I like, that I assumed would go well together. There are 108 calories in a 2/3 cup serving of the dry cereal and 5% of the RDA of fiber. Even though my blend contains both pecans and coconut, the fat content was only 5% of the RDA per serving.

Let us know if you’re made your own custom choice cereal before and how your creation turned out!

Custom Made Gluten-free Cereal Now Available!

bnr-logoWhen my new custom made cereal arrived from Custom Choice Cereal, I had to open it right away to taste it. The company contacted me to offer me a discount bag of cereal to create my own custom blend and review it.

Cinnamon Granola

Cinnamon Granola

Whoever thought the concept up is a genius. You pick your cereal base and choose from a long list of add-ins to come up with your own unique blend of gluten-free cereal! The add-in item categories include nuts/seeds and dried fruits. Beside each add-in on the website, there is a tidbit of information about the nut, fruit or seed.

The price is directly related to what you choose to add to the base, and there are two prices for the three bases as well. The Cinnamon Granola is the most expensive and the Corn Flakes and Good Morning Flakes (highest nutritional value) are priced the same and are slightly less than the granola.

Tiffany’s Raisin Nut Delight cereal (you even get to name your creation!) is a blend of cinnamon granola, coconut, pecans and raisins. When I tried the cereal dry I thought it was very good but when I had it the next morning with milk, I thought it was incredible! I’m assuming the fact that the cereal was made with my choice of ingredients, is directly related to the fact that I love it!

Gluten-free cereals are generally expensive, excluding the five Chex cereals that are gluten-free. Making your own cereal at Custom Choice Cereal is really quite reasonable, but paying to ship it is a little expensive. The good news is that once you get your perfect ‘custom choice’ down, you can order a lot of it and get a discount on the shipping of every bag after the first one.

Cranberries

Cranberries

If your budget allows for a splurge, think about creating your own perfect gluten-free cereal. The products are made in a gluten-free facility and the number of tasty combinations one can create are almost limitless. The allergen statement on my bag states “Mixed in a facility that contains traces of soy, tree nuts and/or peanuts”.

Almonds

Almonds

My personal blend of cereal turned out to be fairly healthy, though I was not thinking about nutrition when I chose my cereal base and add-ins. I just chose things I like, that I assumed would go well together. There are 108 calories in a 2/3 cup serving of the dry cereal and 5% of the RDA of fiber. Even though my blend contains both pecans and coconut, the fat content was only 5% of the RDA per serving.

Let us know if you’re made your own custom choice cereal before and how your creation turned out!

Celiac Athlete Competing in Ironman Competition!

KHalfIronBikesmallOne of our readers (who was diagnosed with celiac earlier this year) is participating in the Ironman Florida Triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2) in less than three weeks. Kendra is raising funds for the NFCA, an organization committed to raising awareness about celiac disease and helping people with it, live full and delicious lives!

Kendra’s efforts are truly inspiring! Here is the information she shared with us about her goals related to this big event.

“Sponsored by Janus, the Janus Charity Challenge was designed to motivate Ironman athletes to use participation in any of the U.S. full distance Ironman races to increase awareness and raise money for charity.  The program is unique in that there is no designated beneficiary and athletes can choose to raise funds for the charity that they are most passionate about.

To inspire athletes to participate, Janus makes additional contributions to the beneficiaries of the top fundraisers at each of the seven U.S. Ironman races, up $10,000. Every dollar counts. The time cut off for Ironman Florida is 17 hours (I’m hoping I can finish in time!), so I’m asking for donations of $17, but even $5 would really help.”

Though we are very familiar with the wonderful work of the NFCA, Kendra does a great job explaining why she personally chose that organization to raise funds for.

“The NFCA’s Gluten-free Resource Education and Training program (GREAT) is helping educate food service professionals in a way that I think will make it easier for celiacs to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and feel like a normal person. The Gluten-Free Cooking Sprees hosted by NFCA furthers those goals. Similarly, the GREAT program geared towards health care professionals is shortening the length of time for a diagnosis. Because celiac disease can cause so many other problems when left untreated, it’s important for people to get diagnosed as soon as possible. I believe the NFCA’s work is helping with quicker diagnosis’. I’m hoping that by raising money for the NFCA through my Ironman race, I can help NFCA continue to increase awareness.”

Thank you so much Kendra. I couldn’t have said it better myself! As someone who personally attended a Gluten-Free Cooking Spree hosted by the NFCA, I know first hand the power of us all working together to promote change in our community!

Though the economy is tight these days and everyone is watching their pennies, I hope those that have a few dollars (or more) to spare will join Kendra’s campaign and donate to this great cause. You can  follow Kendra’s training blog here, and read more about her story here. I’m betting that together, we can help Kendra’s exceed her fundraising goals!

Favorite Chili Mix is Now Gluten-free!

8serv_DarnChili 07While browsing through my new copy of The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide, I was shocked to find out that one of my old favorite soups is now gluten-free. I remember reading the package of “Darn Good” Chili mix from Bear Creek shortly after my celiac diagnosis. It clearly listed wheat right in the ingredients. So, we haven’t had that chili in almost four years.

People without any food intolerances can’t understand why we get so excited when we find out we can once again eat something we used to enjoy, but had to give up when we started the gluten-free diet. Remember when gluten-free Rice Chex first became available? People (including me) were dancing in the supermarket aisles when they first saw the bold GLUTEN-FREE on the front of the reformulated Chex cereal.

There is no way to explain why we get so excited about foods we can eat, especially when we were never that attached to food when we ate gluten. I really don’t understand my own reactions regarding food some times. Something just happens when you have to give up most everything you grew up eating and learn to stay gluten-free. Shortly after my celiac diagnosis, I remember feeling like an alien had invaded my body.

It was such a shock that everything I knew about food was turned upside down on a dime. The alien feeling passed after a couple of months, but still today I occasionally get the two headed alien look from people who never heard of gluten. If you’ve mentioned gluten or gluten-free to glutenoids who don’t know what those terms mean, you know the look I’m talking about.

This weekend we’ll be making “Darn Good” (turkey) Chili from Bear Creek, along with some gluten-free cornbread. I’m so excited to have one of my old favorite things again! It seems like every time we turn around these days that gluten is being replaced in countless mainstream products and that is a very good thing indeed. OK – maybe it’s not so good for glutenoids, but they might not realize what’s happening anyway!

The following soups from by Bear Creek are gluten-free:

  • “Darn Good” Chili
  • Creamy Wild Rice
  • Cheddar Broccoli
  • Cheddar Potato
  • Clam Chowder
  • Creamy Potato
  • Navy Bean
  • Split Pea
  • Tortilla

Please let us know if one of your old favorite foods that used to contain gluten is now gluten-free.

Enjoy Halloween and Fall Traditions Gluten-free Style

Ooey-Gooey Rocky Road Bars

Ooey-Gooey Rocky Road Bars

October brings cooler weather and gorgeous Fall colors for most of us. It also brings worry to many parents of gluten-free kids. The simple act of Trick-or-Treating can be a mine field for kids who can’t eat gluten. If you or your kids need to avoid gluten or other allergens, check out this comprehensive allergen candy list from Alison at Sure Foods Living. It appears from this extensive list, that most of my favorite candy (from my own Trick-or-Treating days) is actually gluten-free!

Caramel apples are a definite Fall treat and they’re actually pretty easy to make. Here is a recipe that looks delicious and simple enough for the kids to help with. I prefer candied apples and they are also gluten-free. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve had one of these so maybe I’ll buy a candy thermometer and make my own one fo these days. When you find candied apples in specialty stores, they might be gluten-free but they are generally full of things I can’t pronounce.

If making old fashioned popcorn balls is a part of your Fall traditions, this recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free! In my Trick-or-Treat years, popcorn balls were a special Halloween treat we looked forward to each year from a family friend of ours. We lived in a tiny town in the panhandle of Florida but for some reason, we drove around to  friends homes instead of walking around our own neighborhood. Now that I think about it, that wasn’t a very “green” way to Trick-or-treat.

At our house we give out only gluten-free candy just in case some of the kids that get it can’t have gluten. We also give out a gluten-free, nut free and dairy free item. We’re not sure why, but some years we almost run out of candy and others we have only five or so groups of costumed goblins stop by. In those cases we have to give the candy away at my husband’s office.  Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean I need to eat it all myself!

Over the weekend we attended a party where hot mulled cider was served. It was wonderful and naturally gluten-free. Here is a recipe to make your own from Recipe Zaar. They actually have over 25 gluten-free Halloween recipes over there! That website never disappoints and it even has a gluten-free funnel cake recipe – did you every try making them? They are much easier to make than you’d think!

Carol over at Harris Whole Health has some great Halloween tips and the NFCA has a wonderful downloadable form for parents to print, fill in the blanks and hand out to teachers or other adults that might be in a position to feed their kids during this festive time of year.

Everyone knows that Betty Crocker introduced four gluten-free dessert mixes this summer but did you know that the company is creating quite the gluten-free dessert recipe collection on their website? These Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Bars look sinfully good! For a holiday twist on cookies, try this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

Special thanks to Allison and Carol and the rest of the gluten-free bloggers, for helping us all enjoy the Fall season and Halloween treats in gluten-free style!

Enjoy Halloween and Fall Traditions Gluten-Free Style

Ooey-Gooey Rocky Road Bars

Ooey-Gooey Rocky Road Bars

October brings cooler weather and gorgeous Fall colors for most of us. It also brings worry to many parents of gluten-free kids. The simple act of Trick-or-Treating can be a mine field for kids who can’t eat gluten. If you or your kids need to avoid gluten or other allergens, check out this comprehensive allergen candy list from Alison at Sure Foods Living. It appears from this extensive list, that most of my favorite candy (from my own Trick-or-Treating days) is actually gluten-free!

Caramel apples are a definite Fall treat and they’re actually pretty easy to make. Here is a recipe that looks delicious and simple enough for the kids to help with. I prefer candied apples and they are also gluten-free. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve had one of these so maybe I’ll buy a candy thermometer and make my own one fo these days. When you find candied apples in specialty stores, they might be gluten-free but they are generally full of things I can’t pronounce.

If making old fashioned popcorn balls is a part of your Fall traditions, this recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free! In my Trick-or-Treat years, popcorn balls were a special Halloween treat we looked forward to each year from a family friend of ours. We lived in a tiny town in the panhandle of Florida but for some reason, we drove around to  friends homes instead of walking around our own neighborhood. Now that I think about it, that wasn’t a very “green” way to Trick-or-treat.

At our house we give out only gluten-free candy just in case some of the kids that get it can’t have gluten. We also give out a gluten-free, nut free and dairy free item. We’re not sure why, but some years we almost run out of candy and others we have only five or so groups of costumed goblins stop by. In those cases we have to give the candy away at my husband’s office.  Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean I need to eat it all myself!

Over the weekend we attended a party where hot mulled cider was served. It was wonderful and naturally gluten-free. Here is a recipe to make your own from Recipe Zaar. They actually have over 25 gluten-free Halloween recipes over there! That website never disappoints and it even has a gluten-free funnel cake recipe – did you every try making them? They are much easier to make than you’d think!

Carol over at Harris Whole Health has some great Halloween tips and the NFCA has a wonderful downloadable form for parents to print, fill in the blanks and hand out to teachers or other adults that might be in a position to feed their kids during this festive time of year.

Everyone knows that Betty Crocker introduced four gluten-free dessert mixes this summer but did you know that the company is creating quite the gluten-free dessert recipe collection on their website? These Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Bars look sinfully good! For a holiday twist on cookies, try this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

Special thanks to Allison and Carol and the rest of the gluten-free bloggers, for helping us all enjoy the Fall season and Halloween treats in gluten-free style!

Asheville has a 100% Gluten-free Restaurant!

IMG_0292Recently we took a short trip to Asheville, NC, for the sole purpose of eating at an entirely gluten-free restaurant. Though we had some wonderful dining experiences in Texas last year at two 100% gluten-free places, nothing could have prepared us for what we found on the main square in Asheville. In the best restaurant location downtown lies a chic, modern restaurant that actually reminded me of  places in L.A. or NYC. I’m speaking of the decor and ambiance only – the prices at Posana Cafe don’t come close to those in the other cities. You can read my review of our lunch experience here.

We made dinner reservations for 7:30 since the symphony crowd was dining early that evening. It was busy when we arrived but not hysterically so. Dining out on Saturday nights is something we rarely do unless we’re out of town. Ask any Chef and he’ll tell you the one time that special needs diners complicate their lives the most is during the Saturday night dinner rush. Therefore, we prefer to avoid Saturday night dining unless we go really early or rather late. But if you go late most of the specials are sold out so we just usually don’t go at all on Saturday night unless we’re traveling.

Once we were seated, I checked out the drink menu and ordered a Posanarita – or something like that. It was excellent, huge and quite a bargain compared to what we’re used to in Atlanta. Bruschetta (above photo) was our natural choice for an appetizer. I’m not sure I’ve had any gluten-free bruschetta at a restaurant ever. The French bread used in this dish had a soft center and crispy crust – perfect for bruchetta! I assume the fact that they make the bread in house is what allows them to charge the same as one would find in a gluten restaurant. If they were buying expensive gluten-free bread, they would likely have to charge quite a bit more for anything made with the bread.

IMG_0294For dinner I was set on seared scallops but in fact, they had already sold out by the time my order was placed. I switched to the salmon, asking that it be cooked all the way through. Truthfully, I rarely order salmon out anymore because several years ago Chefs started sending it out rare or medium rare and I want my fish done, period. The problem is that if you order salmon at most places here, you’re probably going to be served some fairly tough salmon. This was not the case at Posana Cafe. The salmon was perfectly cooked through and the most tender piece of salmon I’ve had in years. It was absolutely incredible! The fresh green beans and potatoes served with it was all perfectly cooked and seasoned as well.

The blackened scallops served over polenta that my husband ordered was very good, but he said it could have been a bit spicier for him. I only tasted the polenta which was good but a little more like grits in texture. Polenta is something that every place makes differently. If you are not dining in a gluten-free restaurant, don’t assume the polenta is gluten-free. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals and ate everything on our plates, even though we knew we were not leaving without dessert.

IMG_0297Most of the night we’d seen this spectacular looking dessert being taken to various tables in and outside. The treat turned out to be the special dessert of the day – Pumpkin Remoulade. It was a very thin layer of soft pumpkin cake rolled around some specialty sweet cheese type mixture. It was not like cheesecake at all, but it was one of the best dessert creations we’ve ever had. It looked like a piece of art and tasted even better than it looked. It came with toasted pumpkin seeds and some special honey type sauce drizzled on the plate. We decided it easily made our Top 10 list of desserts of all time. We have been eating dessert together for over 23 years and 19 of them involved gluten desserts. In order words, words can’t really describe how fabulous we both thought this masterpiece was!

IMG_0298The following morning we headed over to Posana Cafe for the last time (this trip anyway). Unfortunately it was a Saturday and their incredible brunch menu is only offered on Sunday. Still, we had more than enough delectable dishes to choose from. We even had appetizers at breakfast – a Sticky Bun and piece of Coffee Cake. My husband really loved the bun I ordered and I loved his cake so we swapped our treats.

IMG_0300The bacon and cheese omelet with potatoes was extremely good and the pancakes were unlike any gluten-free version we’ve had before. They are not made from a mix and they are extremely light and airy, something I’m not used to with pancakes these days. They had a pretty strong nut flavor and I found out the batter contains almond flour. The texture was extremely fluffy and I know they would make killer blueberry pancakes!

The meats served are Jones Dairy Farm certified gluten-free bacon, ham and sausage. There are no nitrates or MSG in the products, just excellent quality ingredients. You can find this brand in your grocers freezer and sometimes I find them on sale at Publix. The “lite” sausage links are our favorite. I first noticed this product line when I bought the Canadian bacon and ham at Publix. I love seeing GLUTEN FREE right on the front of the box. You don’t even have to turn it over!

We took a piece of the Orange Walnut Cake and the Pumpkin Remoulade “to go” after breakfast. The latter stayed fresh until I finally finished it off on Sunday night. I was trying to drag out the delicious-ness for as long as possible. They need to see if they can freeze the pumpkin dessert and sell it nationwide, no doubt! If you can get to Posana Cafe for a meal (or three) you will not be disappointed. We are already thinking about when we might slip another trip up there. Without question, the next time I will not be missing brunch!

Special thanks to Martha, Peter and all the staff members we met during our three visits to Posana Cafe. You made our trip worth the effort – even though we could only stay for a day!

To learn more about over 5,000 other gluten free restaurants, don’t forget to check out our gluten free restaurant guide.

NEW Gluten-free Kid Snacks Give-Away!

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

Being part of General Mills My Blog Spark program has its perks. Participating bloggers receive samples of new products to review online. I missed getting the new Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes because I signed up after those were offered in the My Blog Spark program.

Last week I received a My Blog Spark box from Betty Crocker. Inside was a Pick’em up sticks game, a lighted yo-yo and a plastic flyer (like a Frisbee). The theme of this promotion is Simple Joys- hence the old fashioned toys. OK – so yo-yos didn’t light up when I was a kid, but you get the picture.

Also in the Simple Joys box were two new products from Betty Crocker - Create-A BUG and Variety Pack fruit flavored snacks. Both products are labeled gluten-free right on the front of the box. With no kids in the house, I had to to test taste some of these treats geared towards kids myself.

The Create-A BUG snacks are somewhat like Gummy Bears. They are shaped like parts of bugs, and you have to put them together to form said bug. There is a diagram on the box which offers hints on what bugs you can create with the pieces. I think this game will be a lot of fun for kids and will especially appeal to little boys who love bugs! The taste of bug pieces was also similar to Gummy Bears. It was a bit sweet for my taste, but of course I am not their target customer for this product.

In the Variety Pack were Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers. All three of these were as you’d expect them to be, meaning that kids that like this type of candy will love these treats! The fun textures of the candy is an added bonus but watch out for those gushers. I’m not sure they could not be used as a candy weapon!

The slogan for this new snack line is “All the fun – None of the Gluten!” How cute is that?! First came the reformulated Chex cereals, then the fabulous gluten-free baking mixes from Betty Crocker and now these snacks. I wonder what else they have up their sleeve for us over at General Mills. One thing is certain, they are just getting started in our rapidly expanding market. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for us next!

These products are on the shelves in some stores already and will continue rolling out nationwide this Fall. If you find them in your area, they will make perfect Halloween treats for the gluten-free goblins in your life!

One of our readers is going to recieve the new Simple Pleasures gluten-free samples box, complete with the toys! All you have to do is post a comment below. If you have time and are so inclined, please list one of your “simple pleasures” in life as well. The lucky winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 20th. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Stacey who is the winner of the ‘Simple Pleasures’ gift pack from Betty Crocker!