Boonville Cider House | Triumph Dining Product Review

2db6ff_0fd37da307ab4a729c58af4a7e0e0f3e.png_srz_311_374_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzFrom the owners of California’s Boonville Hotel comes one of the newest and hardest gluten-free cider brewers, Boonville Cider House. These folks have only been making cider since 2010, but have been doing it well enough to make a name for themselves in the emerging craft cider scene. Also making them stand out, Boonville Cider House’s Bite Hard Apple Cider is one of only a few served in an aluminum can.

Their Bite Hard cider is crisp and semi-dry, slow fermented from heirloom Northern California apples in the English tradition. This cider carries a distinctive bite thanks to the tannic and full-bodied fruit that goes in it. It’s a solid cider with a light sweetness and it’s very refreshing. It’s affectionately called Autumn in a Can. And at 6.9% ABV, Bite Hard is fairly typical of full-strength hard ciders, with no perceptible harshness imparted by the alcohol. Click to continue reading »

Devoto Orchards Cider | Triumph Dining Review

Review of Devoto Cider by Triumph DiningIn the hills near Sebastopol, California, amidst all the vineyards, is a small cidery named Devoto Orchards. Devoto uses exclusively California-grown certified organic apples for their ciders and more than that, they grow more than a hundred different varieties of apples! Though they’ve only been making cider for a few of the 40 years they have had the farm, a few years is apparently all you need to make an award-winning bunch. According to the cidery, the sandy soil and coastal fog, which produces amazing wine grapes, is also very good for their heirloom and cider apples.

Devoto’s gluten-free cider is only made between the months of August to November, which are when the apples are the freshest. These apples are shaken off tree branches before being turned into one of four artisanal ciders: 1976, Cider Noir, Gravenstein and Backyard.

In 1976, the Devoto family left Berkeley to brew cider and their 1976 Cider is an homage to that beginning. 1976 is a semi-dry cider blended from the 17 original apple varieties that the family started with.

Cider Noir is a dry cider made from the last apples picked of the season. The flavors in these apples develop for seven months before being harvested in late October. Click to continue reading »

The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks | Triumph Dining Product Review

Review of Good Bean Chickpea Snacks by Triumph DiningFirst kale was the “in”healthy food, then chia seeds, and now it seems like chickpeas have stolen the throne. This nutty and buttery legume has been popping up in snacks all over the place! Not that I am one to complain, chickpeas are super healthy, gluten-free and The Good Bean’s Chickpea Snacks are currently my favorite.

Originally they had four flavors: Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, Smoky Chili & Lime, and Sweet Cinnamon, but now they have added three new flavors: Mesquite BBQ, Thai Coconut and Chocolate. According to their website, one serving of Chickpea Snacks has as much protein as almonds, as much fiber as two cups of broccoli and as much folate as three cups of spinach.”  Click to continue reading »

Garden Lites Zucchini Chocolate Muffins | Triumph Dining Review

Review of Zucchini Chocolate Muffins by Triumph DiningI am finding more and more gluten-free options at my local Costco. This week, while reaching for my huge loaf of Udi’s bread, I noticed a box of chocolate muffins right next to the bread. Upon further inspection I saw that they were gluten-free and I was intrigued.

These weren’t standard muffins. First they were in the frozen section, not the fresh bakery section. The box was a size my freezer could accommodate – if it wasn’t I wouldn’t have looked twice. Second, the brand name on the box is Garden Lites and these were Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffins. I’m thinking how do zucchini…chocolate…and veggies work together in a muffin that’s gluten free? But then I think about that awesome zucchini chocolate chip cookie recipe I have and think, maybe this could work. I see things on the box like “gluten free” “4g protein” “individually wrapped” and I’m sold.

I figured this would be something good to grab and toss in my bag for work. They are slightly high maintenance since they are frozen and either need to be microwaved for 30 seconds or allowed to thaw for a few hours before eating but I can handle that.

I ate my first one this morning. They are all individually wrapped so I took one out of the box, microwaved it in its package for 30 seconds and jumped in the car. I didn’t really know what to expect but it was wonderful: soft, warm and surprisingly light and fluffy. It was not at all dense like gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be. The muffin wasn’t large but for 120 calories of chocolate that’s understandable.

The muffins contain egg and soy but are gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. The company, Garden Lites, has a full line of minimally processed, vegetarian, all natural soufflés and zucchini “pasta” dishes. In addition to chocolate, other muffin flavors include zucchini banana chocolate chip and carrot berry veggie.

XO Baking Co Mixes | Triumph Dining Product Review

xobakingco When Lindsey Deitsch, founder and owner of XO Baking Co., was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009, she was determined to keep baking. She wanted to make gluten-free baked goods that had the same taste and texture as the goodies she grew up on.

Today, XO Baking Co. has a line of products for the gluten-free home baker including an All Purpose Flour Blend, Pancake and Waffle Mix, a Brownie Mix, and Various Cake, Cookie, Bread and Frosting Mixes.

Recently, I picked up the Banana Bread Gourmet Bread Mix to try out. The directions were very easy to follow as they just required you to mix the ingredients and then bake for roughly an hour. As a cook who prides herself on her “semi-homemade”style of baking, I really appreciated the simplicity here.

Unlike most banana bread mixes found in a grocery store, XO Baking Co.’s does not include an artificial banana flavor. Instead, you are responsible for providing your own over-ripe bananas for the mashing (approximately 4). They also offer suggestions for varying the recipe, such as adding chocolate chips or walnuts.

So after waiting an agonizing 55 minutes breathing in the fantastic banana-bread smells wafting from my oven, I was able to take the pan out to cool. I dug into a slice and the bread to be very fluffy and moist. It tasted fantastic and I never had to taste a single “fake banana”bite in the whole slice. Because the loaf was rather large, I did end up freezing a good portion of it, but found that when I defrosted it a week later, it had the same great taste and richness as when it was fresh out of the oven. Lindsey definitely kept her promise to her customers as I couldn’t even tell this was a gluten-free product.

I highly recommend the XO Baking Mixes. The ingredients were all easy to read, which is always good news as hard to pronounce words are no friend of mine or my family. This mix also lacks preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, and is certified gluten-free, and even Kosher! Furthermore, the products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and the company tests every one of their products to ensure safe consumption for consumers with celiacs. I for sure will be picking up the brownie mix to try next.

XO Baking Co. is based out of Southern California and according to their website, is the first company to use organic coconut flour in all of their products.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks | Triumph Dining Product Review

wanderingaengusciderworksDeep in Salem, Oregon is the Wandering Aengus Ciderworks distillery. Here they brew their five popular, gluten-free ciders; Bloom, Wanderlust, Oaked Dry, Golden Russet and Wickson.

Bloom is the original cider from Wandering Aegnus. It is sweet with hints of tropical fruit, and embodies everything you would expect from a delicious cider. It smells like apples and tastes like carbonated apple sauce with a little bit of tartness trapped in its golden color.

Wanderlust is a great holiday cider, thanks to its warm undertones of ginger. Out of all the different brews, it is probably the most aptly named an “apple cider.”It is semi-dry and tart with a light body and a spicy finish.

Oaked Dry lives up to its name. It is very oaky and very dry. There is a blend of bittersweet and sharp apples that are a bit spicy to the tongue and end very smoothly.

Golden Russet is bronze and dense. It’s a dry cider that smells of honey and apple, almost like an apple brandy. This varietal has a deep apple flavor with just a hint of tart. Caramel rounds out the flavors and makes you almost forget this is a 9.8% ABV.

Wickson pours into your glass clear with lots of carbonation. You can catch waft of apple, lemon, and grape while tasting a bit of honey on the palate with a hint of lime. This cider has a very clean, dry finish for a solid and smooth experience overall.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks only uses apples that originate from France, England, and pre-prohibition America, which they grow themselves in Oregon. These heirloom apple varieties, like the Golden Russet and Wickson crab apple, are what allow for depth of flavor, body, and district aromatics in their ciders, according to the company.

Wandering Aengus Ciders are brewed and bottled in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Namaste Foods Gluten Free Brownie Mix | Triumph Dining Product Review

Namaste Brownie MixNo matter what you’re allergic to or what your diet requires, Namaste Foods has a baking mix for you. Namaste Foods prides themselves on making “worry-free products”. Their facilities contain no wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts in attempts to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination. They also use no genetically modified ingredients and all of their products are Kosher Certified. From Bread Mixes to Pizza Crust, Cookies to Mac and Cheese, Cakes to Broccoli Cheddar Soup, this company has a wide variety of products that are safe and natural.

If you have not tried their Brownie Mix, I suggest pointing your browser to their website and ordering some. A simple list of ingredients (Evaporated Cane Juice, Sweet Brown Rice Flour, Dutch Cocoa, Tapioca Flour, Arrowroot Flour, Salt, and Xanthan Gum) makes these guilt-free brownies the stuff that dreams are made of: just add eggs, oil, and water! (If you don’t or can’t eat eggs, their website has a few suggestions for replacements in the FAQ section). Click to continue reading »

Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter | Triumph Dining Product Review

If I were stuck on a desert island and could only bring five foods with me, peanut butter would definitely be one of them! It’s great mixed into hot cereal in the morning, it’s delicious on toast and it’s best straight from the jar.

When Peanut Butter & Co. invited me to join their Yum Squad, I was delighted. I got to try some new and exciting flavors of peanut butter, including “The Bee’s Knees” Peanut Butter, which, not too surprisingly is made with honey.

This peanut butter is sweet. It’s creamy. It’s addictive. I’m a fan of all of their products but this is one of my new favorites. Thank you to the bees for making such delicious honey and thanks to PB&Co. for mixing it with peanut butter.

You can check out Peanut Butter and Co. on their website below. They are available for purchase online, in many grocery stores, or in their New York City sandwich shop.

Have you tried Peanut Butter & Co? What’s your favorite flavor and how to you eat it?

http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/

 

Disclaimer: Peanut Butter & Co. sent me a jar of The Bee’s Knees to taste and review but all opinions are my own.

Anthem Cider | Triumph Dining Product Review

IMG_1111With the weather warming up and BBQ season upon us, it’s natural to find your mind wandering to the thought of a “nice, cold one.” Luckily for gluten-free eaters, imbibing has never been easier thanks to the many safe craft ciders available. Anthem Cider uses local dessert apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala and Golden Delicious to craft their four gluten-free beverages: Anthem Cider, Anthem Pear, Anthem Cherry and Anthem Hops.

Their traditional Anthem Cider is exactly what is says it is: apples, pressed and fermented. Don’t expect any frills here but the taste is clean and perfect for people who want a natural tasting cider. It’s tart and a little sweet with a medium carbonation. Click to continue reading »

Sun Cups | Triumph Dining Product Review

dark-chocolate-sun-butter-cups-484In college I had a boyfriend who caused me to have nightmares. He was a great guy but his peanut allergy had me worried that I’d eat something and inadvertently cause him to go into anaphylactic shock. It was then that I realized how many of the desserts I loved were made with peanuts. This is a real concern for those of us living with severe allergies or loved ones with allergies. It means always having to avoid those tasty allergen filled goodies. Click to continue reading »