108_0101In our gluten eating days, we ate Nature’s Own whole wheat bread. It was soft, had a decent amount of fiber and didn’t contain any preservatives. To say I was blown away when I found out that Nature’s Own was introducing a gluten-free bread – two of them in fact – is quite an understatement. Even though this bread is not available anywhere except the Metro Atlanta area right now, I thought our readers might want to know how this new bread stacks up against other gluten-free options.

My sample breads from Nature’s Own arrived last week and right away I noticed that the feel of the loaf was not as soft or light as the breads 108_0111from Udi’s. First up, I tried the Extra Fiber White bread with peanut butter on it. The bread was soft in the middle, but tough around the edge. However, the taste was incredible! It reminded me of the bread I ate growing up. Next, I tried a piece of the Multi-Grain bread for a cold open faced sandwich. Being able to see the seeds in the bread was a negative for me, but I tried to keep an open mind about the bread before tasting it. The taste was actually better than expected considering I don’t like seeds in my bread. For some reason, I could not really taste the seeds. Again, the middle of the bread was soft and the edges were tough. The bottom line for these breads for cold sandwiches for us is that they don’t compare to Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse breads. If the edge of the bread was as soft as the middle, it would be a completely different story.

108_0115Obviously, most gluten-free bread tastes best when heated in some way and the same is true for the Nature’s Own gluten-free breads. In fact, the Extra Fiber White bread makes the best toast I’ve had in over four years. Taste is relative and again, this bread reminded me of the toast I ate growing up. Since we got several loaves of the Healthy Multi-Grain bread for our test taste, I used it to make cheese toast one day. In a word, the toast was incredible! As you can see in the photo, my cheese toast is more like cheese bread – just the way I like it.

108_0114Over the weekend, I whipped up a batch of French toast and without question, the Extra Fiber White bread made the best French toast we’ve had at home since going gluten-free. It is better than many gluten versions I’ve had as well. Due to the egg coating, the edges of the bread softened up quite a bit. It was not tough in any way.

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Last but not least, the bread makes exceptional garlic bread. We took it into a restaurant here to do a little test and see how it fared in a super hot oven. I almost cried when I tasted it. Nature’s Own is sending the new breads to select Atlanta stores and each location only gets a few loaves each. At Kroger stores, it’s been found near the nut bin aisle and in the Nature’s Market section. The bread is fresh –  not refrigerated or frozen. The shelf life isn’t very long since the breads don’t contain preservatives. The loaves put out on May 10th had a  date of May 20th. That means if someone bought the bread on the 18th, they’d need to eat or freeze it within two days. Freezing the bread did not change the taste at all. Once it thawed out, it was exactly as it had been before freezing.

You can find the full nutritional information for the breads on the Nature’s Own website. The Extra Fiber White bread has more fiber then the gluten bread we use to eat from Nature’s Own – 11% of the RDA of fiber in one slice – 13% in the Healthy Multi-Grain. The introduction of these new breads could be a game changer in the world of gluten-free products. The R&D group wants to make the bread better – they want it to be softer around the edges just like we do. The bread is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility in GA and ships to the Atlanta stores at least weekly for now. They retail for $5.99 and being able to buy them in a regular grocery store makes it worth every cent for us. They may not have hit stores in your area yet, though, but there are nine more brands that sell-gluten free bread, several of which are in your town’s grocery store, in the Grocery Guide.

Let us know if you’ve tried the breads and if so, what you think of them. The comments will be sent to Nature’s Own in an effort to help them help us. The company’s goal is to roll out the bread nationwide eventually, but that will only happen if the test market in Atlanta is successful. That means the gluten-free set in Atlanta holds the fate of the rest of the (U.S.) gluten-free set in their hands – literally. Let’s show everyone how powerful the gluten-free market in Atlanta really is!