General Mills rolled out their gluten-free website, Live Gluten Freely, a couple of months ago. At that time, there were 200 products on the gluten-free list including, but not limited to, the gluten-free Betty Crocker mixes, some Progresso soups and Larabars. The company recently added several items to the gluten-free list, bringing the total to over 250 products!
The fact that Betty Crocker introduced gluten-free baking mixes might be the most exciting news since the introduction of gluten-free Chex cereals. However, the fact that 20 different flavors of Betty Crocker frostings are now labeled gluten-free is pretty great news for people that are not interested in making frosting from scratch. There are both “Rich & Creamy” and “Whipped” frosting versions available. Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I never made homemade frosting or baked much. When I found out that most canned frostings contained gluten in the form of wheat, I had a hard time believing it. Wheat in frosting?
So far, I’ve seen at least 10 flavors of the gluten-free labeled frostings on store shelves in my area. The Coconut Pecan version is much tastier than I expected it to be. Actually, since I had no choice for several years but to make my own frosting, I not only got used to making frostings, I actually enjoy it now. Nothing from a can is going to compete with homemade frostings, of course. Still, it’s nice to know that there are so many safe choices for ready-made frostings these days. From lemon to chocolate to strawberry to cream cheese – they’re all available gluten-free now!
Other additions to the General Mills line up are Valley Fresh Steamers from Green Giant and over 20 new flavors of Yoplait yogurt. That brings the total number of gluten-free yogurts to over 100. Remember when it was hard to get an answer about what yogurts were gluten-free? Unless it’s frozen and chocolate flavored, I don’t really care for yogurt, but I think I’m going to try something like “Key Lime Pie” or “Strawberry Shortcake” yogurt from Yoplait just for the heck of it. Oh the times they certainly are changing – indeed!
Some broths and soups were added to the Progresso gluten-free list, including “Chicken Rice with Vegetables” and “New England Clam Chowder”. There is no added MSG in the newly formulated soups and every type I’ve tried has been wonderful! The only item that is no longer on the General Mills gluten-free list is Strawberry Chex, which were discontinued due to poor sales. Some people in our area reported finding that cereal flavor but I never found it at any grocery or big box store. Personally, I think it hurts sales from mainstream consumers when companies splash “‘gluten-free” on the front of the box as was done with the Chex cereals. I know people that will not buy the cereal now, due to that term being in bold on the front of the box. Unfortunately, the misconception that gluten-free equals taste free is alive and well and probably will be for a while.
Don’t forget about the gluten-free recipe page on the Live Gluten Freely website. They are always adding new recipes to use with their gluten-free Betty Crocker mixes and Chex cereals! Try this gluten-free turtle brownie recipe (made with the Betty Crocker Brownie Mix) for a truly decadent treat!
Special thanks to all the readers who left a comment on Kay’s post about the Live gluten Freely website, to encourage General Mills’ efforts to cater to our market!