Archive for Food
Have you seen them yet? Kellogg’s® has finally taken the plunge into the gluten-free food market with their new gluten-free version of the classic Rice Krispies® cereal. We found it at our local grocery store this week. It was located in the regular breakfast cereal aisle, nestled right between the regular gluten-containing Rice Krispies cereals. We’ve been avoiding all Kellogg’s cereals since going gluten free because they all have malt flavoring made from barley in them. (I’m sure you already know that, but for anyone who may be new to the diet: Barley Malt is off-limits for anyone with celiac disease.)
I received a couple complimentary boxes of the new Rice Krispies Gluten Free to try this spring. I was excited to try it (partially because it’s always nice to get free gluten-free food in the mail), but I didn’t really think eating it would give me too much thrill. I mean it’s just a plain cereal, right? Well, I have to tell you when I heard the familiar “snap, crackle, and pop,” I did get a little excited. Maybe I was just being nostalgic, but it really did take me back to when I used to eat them as a child. You know…before the kids’ cereals all got added sweeteners, artificial colors, and a prize in the box. These were just how I remembered them. Including the fact that you have to eat them quickly or they will get mushy and soggy! So, I am enjoying them again — quickly, with almond milk and a little fruit.
Nutrition. My kids liked it, but weren’t as excited about it as I was. They probably thought it needed a little more sugar. I like the fact that it’s not so high in sugar! (Sugar is listed as less than 1 gram per 1-Cup serving.) More good news on the cereal box: simple ingredients and added vitamins and minerals. I’m not a dietitian or nutritionist, but look at the ingredients: “whole grain brown rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, BHT for freshness.” And remember when the big cereal companies started using flours enriched with all kinds of vitamins and minerals? Well, they added those vitamins and minerals to this cereal, too. Check out the Nutrition Facts label on the Rice Krispies web page for the details. I was also happy to see that it says right on the box that it is produced in a gluten-free facility, so I didn’t have to worry about cross-contamination. (That was on the sample boxes I received. It did not have that statement on the box I purchased in the grocery store. A mistake by Kellogg’s, if you ask me.)
Rice Krispies® Gluten Free Treats®. Since they sent me two boxes, I decided to make Rice Krispies Treats, too. I used Kellogg’s classic recipe with a couple modifications. I’ve made crispy rice treats in the past with other brands of gluten-free crisped rice, but my kids never liked them. This time, they devoured them. I, personally, didn’t notice a big change in taste or texture, but my husband and the kids said they were crispier and better. If you are new to making Rice Krispies Treats, I offer a few tips:
- Always use fresh marshmallows. Old ones take longer to melt, and over-cooked marshmallows get really tough and difficult to stir.
- I prefer to use the mini marshmallows because they melt faster and are easier to work with.
- Instead of buttering or spraying the 9×13 pan, use parchment paper to line the pan.
- If you are adding chocolate chips, freeze them for a couple hours first. They will be less likely to melt while you’re adding them in. Work quickly! I find it easiest to just press the chips on top of the treats after pressing them into the pan.
- You can make these dairy-free. The recipe says not to use any butter substitutes, but I did it anyway using Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks. It worked great. I also used the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips which are dairy-free.
Where Can You Buy Rice Krispies Gluten Free? There is a product locator on the Kellogg’s website, but it didn’t work for me. I kept checking to see where I could buy the gluten-free Rice Krispies, but it still says it isn’t in my area. However, I did indeed find it at our local Wegman’s. I suspect it’s available at other grocery stores in my area as well. So, check it out at your local grocery store in the regular cereal aisle. And let me know what you think. You can also buy a case of 4 boxes on Amazon, if you can’t find it locally.
I hope everyone (in the US) had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. I know we did. I may go out later this weekend to shop for holiday gifts, but for now I am avoiding Black Friday shopping. For those of you who have decided to brave the crowds at the shopping centers this weekend, you may want to try Orgain meal replacement drinks. I was sent some samples of the Creamy Chocolate Fudge and Sweet Vanilla Bean, and they were certainly filling enough to give me energy for shopping.
I don’t usually use these types of drinks. I really would rather eat a nutritious meal. But, I have to admit that this time of year is so busy, I will often go for the quick and easy meals or snacks just so I can fit more activities (like shopping) into my day. For me, this is great for lunches. I can eat breakfast with the kids and dinner with the whole family. But for lunch I’m often on my own, so it’s a perfect time to get things done. Grabbing one of these Orgain drinks and heading out the door is very convenient. It’s much better than grabbing a sugar-filled soda, and more filling than a bottle of water. Since it’s high in protein (16 grams) and low in sugar (13 grams), I know it’s going to keep me going longer, so that after shopping I still have the energy to come home, help the kids with homework, and get a nutritious, home-cooked dinner on the table.
What are these drinks? The Orgain website describes it best as an “organic, ready-to-drink nutritional shake.” They have 255 calories (60 fat calories) and are full of vitamins and minerals. It is comprised of a protein blend, complex carbohydrate blend, vitamin blend, vegetable blend, fruit blend, and an antioxidant blend. The protein blend relies heavily on whey and milk proteins, so this is not for those who have trouble with milk products. It uses brown rice components for the carbohydrate blend. And just look at all the fruits and vegetables that were combined for these drinks: blueberry, banana, acai, apple, raspberry, kale, beet, spinach, carrot, tomato. Pomegranate and green tea extracts were added for antioxidant benefits. I’m impressed by all the organic nutritious ingredients used in these drinks because it just tasted like a thick chocolate milk to me.
How did they taste? They were good. The Creamy Chocolate Fudge was my favorite (no surprise there). It has a nice smooth chocolate taste, with just a slight grainy texture at the end. (I guess I didn’t shake it up good enough.) The Sweet Vanilla Bean was even smoother, but my husband and I both agreed the flavor of the chocolate was better. (Oops! We drank up the Creamy Chocolate Fudge before I got a chance to take a picture.) They really were very filling. I have trouble finishing an 8 oz. glass of water in one sitting, so an 11 oz. energy shake was more than sufficient to fill me up.
Will I buy Orgain? Yes, on occasion. However, milk is not always my friend, so I would not drink these on a regular basis. My husband, on the other hand, enjoyed taking these to work. Perhaps the real drawback is the cost. You can buy a case of 12 of these online at Orgain for $42 or at Amazon for $45. I guess $3.50 isn’t too much to pay for a meal, but still seems like a lot to add to the grocery bill. I will buy ours at Wegmans, where I can get them for $2.89 each. If you’re interested, you may want to check Orgain’s website for other local retailers, so you don’t have to worry about shipping.
I had seen the new Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix at the grocery stores, but didn’t buy a box. I checked the price ($4.49 at my grocery store), the size of the box (16 oz.), and decided to wait until I needed a gluten-free baking mix. (I usually keep my pantry stocked with Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix.) Then, I received an email offering me a free sample of the Gluten-Free Bisquick mailed to me with a fun prize pack from Bisquick. I was happy to try the baking mix, but was impressed with the prize pack that came with it, too.The cast iron Swedish pancake pan looked interesting, but I haven’t actually tried it yet.
Instead we had fun making a variety of fun shapes with the Tovolo Pancake Pen. This is a great kitchen gadget for letting the kids join in on the fun. It really makes it so easy to create any shape you want. Since it was close to Halloween, we decided to make fun jack-o-lanterns. We used chocolate chips on some and cut bacon pieces for others. It was an instant hit! My husband got in on the act, too, and made ghosts, spiders, letters, etc. I can’t tell you how many pancakes it made because they were all so oddly sized and shaped. I made a double batch using 2 cups of the mix, and it was enough to feed my family of four.
The Bisquick is certainly different from the usual mix we use, as you would expect just by looking at the ingredients [Rice Flour, Sugar, Leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Modified Potato Starch, Salt, Xanthan Gum. May Contain Soy Ingredients.]. The Bisquick is sweeter and has a finer texture. My kids were so excited about the shapes, they didn’t even seem to notice a difference in taste. The one drawback of the Bisquick pancakes is that it didn’t seem to brown very easily. We increased the temperature on our electric skillet to 400° F and it still took a while for it to turn golden brown. My husband did find that using butter to grease the skillet helped with the taste and browning.
Would I buy the product? Probably on occasion. Bisquick is easy to use and tastes good. My only hesitation is the price. I might overlook the price if I felt that it had better nutritional quality or better taste than other options. No matter what, it’s nice to know there are numerous options for gluten-free baking mixes. I’ll probably buy some more so I can try some of the recipes they have on the Bisquick Gluten Free website. I found a couple that would be nice for the holidays: Mushroom-Pecan appetizers and Russian Tea Cakes for dessert.
Giveaway. So how about you? Have you tried the new Bisquick Gluten Free? Would you like to try it? Bisquick has offered to give away the same sample prize pack I received to one eligible CeliacFamily.com reader (legal residents of the US who are 18 years or older). The prize pack includes a 16 oz. box of Bisquick Gluten Free, a Pancake Pen, a cast iron Swedish pancake pan, and a silicone spatula.
How to Enter.
- Leave a comment letting me know what you’d like to try making with the gluten-free Bisquick. Check out the recipes on their website, if you need ideas.
- You can receive bonus entries for letting your friends know about the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Just be sure to come back and leave an additional comment below letting us know where you mentioned it.
- Make sure when you’re leaving a comment, that you put your email address in the appropriate box so that I can contact you if you win.
The giveaway will run from now until Nov. 10, 2010; 10 pm EST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org. The winner should respond within 48 hours after being contacted by email. If I’m unable to contact the winner, another winner will be chosen. We’d love for the winner to receive the prize before Thanksgiving, so it can be used to make breakfast for guests, appetizers, or biscuits for Thanksgiving dinner.
Find more product reviews of Bisquick Gluten Free online:
- Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker tried out the pancakes on the cast iron skillet.
- Kim at Gluten Free Is Life made delicious-looking Blueberry Scones with the Bisquick, yogurt and blueberries.
- Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom modified the mix by adding shortening and made a variety of exciting recipes, including Strawberry Shortcake, Coffee Cake, and Chicken Nuggets.
The good folks at POM Wonderful sent me a case of Blueberry Pomegranate juice in the mail last month. It’s very good, and very strong on the blueberry flavor. I can’t drink too much of it straight, but that’s OK because even a small bottle of it is full of antioxidants. That makes this a healthy drink, right?
When I first received the juice, I thought of lots of different ways to use it: sorbets, dressings, sauces, etc. And for some reason (fast and easy, perhaps?), the only way I’ve used it so far is in drinks. I’ve added it to lemonade, other juices, iced tea, even champagne. It added a nice flavor to all of them.
Then, I got this crazy idea to use it in a Cosmopolitan drink. I don’t even drink Cosmos. Anyway, I gave my husband some ideas on the ingredients, and he tried mixing a couple versions. I think we came up with a very yummy recipe. It’s really very good, and very blueberry, despite the red color. So, if you’re looking for a fruity, fun drink for happy hour or girl’s night out, give it a try.
Blue POM Cosmo Recipe
2 oz. vodka, chilled
1 oz. Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 oz. POM Blueberry juice
Blueberries for garnish (optional)
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
- Add a few ice cubes, cover and shake the cocktail.
- Pour the cocktail, straining out the ice, into a martini glass.
- If desired, garnish with a few blueberries.
- As you can see, I used blueberries for garnish. To keep the swizzle stick from falling out of the glass, put some blueberries on the end of the stick in the glass, too. Or, just lay it across the rim of the glass.
- There are lots of good-looking recipes at POM Wonderful.
- The origins of the Cosmopolitan Cocktail, according to Wikipedia.
- Pomegranate-Blueberry Albacore Skewers recipe is posted at The Gluten-Free Hippie.
- Reindeer Antlers, an pomegranate alcoholic punch is posted at Gluten Free Easily.
- Recipes for Pomegranate Popsicles and Pomegranate Sorbet are at Gluten Free Gidget.
- POM Glazed Chicken Salad can be found at Gluten Free Expedition.
- Pork Chops with Pomegranate-Mushroom Sauce is posted at Gluten Free Works.
- Pomegranate Marinade for lamb and salmon can be found at Gluten Free Portland Oregon.