Archive for Food

Oct
19

Van’s New Gluten-Free Products

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VansGFA while back I was sent a box of gluten-free food items from Van’s Natural Foods. They don’t just make gluten-free frozen waffles anymore! (That was one of the first items we were able to buy in the stores over eight years ago when my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.) Van’s has really expanded their gluten-free line of products. Maybe you’ve already seen some of these products in the stores and wondered what they taste like. If you haven’t seen them in the stores and want to try them for yourself, you can check out the Store Locator on their site. You may also want to check out the Coupons and Specials page on their site. I found them available at Walmart stores. If you’ve already tried some of the Van’s gluten-free products, please add your thoughts about them in the comments below, so we can all benefit from your opinions, too.

vanbarMy favorite product in the box was the Cranberry Almond Snack Bars. I bought these this summer for a quick snack while out running errands. I didn’t want to stop for a meal, and this was just what I needed. Even before the weather started cooling down around here, I didn’t have to worry about it melting in my car or purse. They aren’t overly sweet, and are great to refuel for after-school sports and activities, too. They are a soft, chewy bar, so if you’re looking for some crunch, this isn’t the one for you. They have some other flavors, too  – Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate — but this one is my favorite.

VansCrackersEveryone will enjoy these crackers whether they follow a gluten-free diet or not. If you’ve been gluten-free for several years, you may remember how difficult it was to find crispy snack crackers. Well, not anymore. Van’s crackers are very light and crispy. The Fire-Roasted Veggie crackers paired with my Corn and Black Bean Salad made a delicious, quick lunch.

My husband got to try the cheddar crackers. He’s the only one in our house who eats cheese anymore. He said they were good and really appreciated the individual packaging so he could pack it in a suitcase for traveling or simply grab it for a quick snack at work. Kids’ lunches, anyone?

CinnHeavenSpoonAnd finally, we tried Van’s new gluten-free cereals. My son loves cinnamon, so he was anxious to try the Cinnamon Heaven cereal. He thought it was great. It was a good crunchy cereal, but I personally prefer a crispier texture. I also bought the Honey Nut flavored cereal to try. The texture was the same, and the consensus was that we liked the cinnamon flavor better.

Overall, I’d say I was pleasantly surprised by the crackers and will buy these for entertaining this holiday season. And, the snack bars will also have a place in my pantry and purse.

So, what do you think? Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
Comments (14)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.
Giveaway details listed below.
If you missed the first two reviews I wrote of the Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Doughs, you may want to read them, too:  Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Pillsbury® Gltuen-Free Pizza Dough.

peachpieslicepeachpieNow, for the last of their current doughs available — Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Pie and Pastry Dough.

Earlier this year, my son discovered the joy of my mother’s apple crumb pie. He raves about it every time apple pie, or any pie, is mentioned. So, when I received Pillsbury pie dough in the mail, apple pie was immediately requested (perhaps demanded).

However, when shopping at the farmers’ market last week, I just couldn’t resist the fresh peaches. And, when the vendor offered me a flat of bruised peaches to me for a big discount, I knew I was going to make a Peach Crumb Pie instead. My son was a little disappointed that it wasn’t “Grandma’s Apple Pie,” but he seemed to enjoy the peach pie just the same. And, then I made him an Apple Crumb Pie, too. :)

When, I first opened the tub of pie crust dough, it looked dry and crumbly. Don’t let that discourage you. It only takes a little kneading to get the dough to a smooth consistency. When I made the apple pie, I rolled out the dough using parchment paper on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top. The crust tore a little when transferring to the pie tin, but it was easily fixed by pressing the dough together again with my fingers. For the Peach Pie, I didn’t even roll out the dough. Just pressing the dough into the pie tin works just as well, and I think it’s faster and easier. The results? We’ll, it isn’t a buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust. It is made with oil, and behaves like an oil pie crust. That didn’t bother us a bit. We all loved the taste and texture of the crust as it was — rolled or pressed out, it was very tasty and had a nice tender crumb to it.

Each tub of pie and pastry dough makes two 9″ pie crusts. So, I used half the dough for the crust and the other half for the crumb topping. What a time saver! This really is the easiest gluten-free crumb pie I’ve ever made. With the dough already made, preparing the peaches takes the most time. But if you’ve got farm fresh peaches, the pit and skin remove very easily. Easy peasy!

piedoughpiecrustPillsburyPie

Gluten-Free Peach Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 7-9 Fresh Peaches – sliced, peeled and pit removed
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Starch or Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 Cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the peaches by removing the pits, peeling off the skin, and slicing.
  2. piepeachesRemove the gluten-free pie dough from the tub and cut in half. You’ll use one half for the bottom crust and the other half for the crumb topping.
  3. For the crust: Dump 1/2 of the pie dough into a pie tin. Knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Now flatten and push the dough into the pie tin until it evenly covers the entire inside of the tin and becomes the crust. I like to push a little extra dough to the edge of the tin, so that I can pinch the edges of the dough with my fingers to create a decorative edge.
  4. piecinnamonFor the filling: Place the peach slices into the pie crust and arrange so that you get the most fruit in as possible. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Then, sprinkle it evenly over the top of the peaches in the pie tin.
  5. Using the same small bowl, use a fork to mix together the 1/4 Cup sugar and remaining pie crust dough. Just combine (and fluff?) until crumbly. Now pour the crumb mixture on top of the pie, carefully covering the entire pie.
  6. piecrumbPlace the pie in the oven and bake at 400º for 40 min. I used a Pie Crust Shield to keep the edges of the crust from burning. You could use strips of foil instead, as Pillsbury’s baking directions suggest.

 

 

Additional notes about the pie dough:

  • pieedgeThere was no need to grease the pie tin. I didn’t have problems with the pie crust sticking to the tin.
  • The directions for baking the crust says to bake at 425° F. I opted to bake a little longer at 400° instead.
  • “Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Water, Corn Starch, Modified Potato Starch, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Rice Flour, Whole Sorghum Flour, Fructose. Contains 2% or less of: Sugar, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (preservatives), Guar Gum, Citric Acid.
  • I paid $4.99 in the grocery store.  (Pillsbury® sent me one tub to try, but I bought another tub myself to make an apple pie, too.)
  • I thought the crust tasted great, and I loved the ease of working with the dough. Now I am thinking about trying some of the ideas below as well as a few new ideas of my own. :)

More recipe inspiration:

Giveaway Details:
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.

Pillsbury® has agreed to let one of Celiac Family’s readers try the new products, too!

PillsburyPrizeSet
What: Premium Baking Set with a Cookie Sheet, Pie Tin, and Pizza Cutter, and coupons for free Pillsbury® gluten-free dough.

When: Beginning now and continuing through Aug. 23, 2013. One winner will be announced on Aug. 26, 2016.

How to Enter: Do you want to try the Pillsbury® gluten-free dough? Enter the giveaway by simply leaving a comment on this post or the other two CeliacFamily posts about Pillsbury’s® Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Pillsbury’s® Pizza Dough. Tell me why you’re excited to try the new Pillsbury® gluten-free products, and how it will make your life better.

Additional Details: Although you are welcome to and encouraged to comment on each post about the new Gluten-Free Pillsbury® dough products, only one winner will be chosen from CeliacFamily.com.

 Thanks to Pillsbury® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway. All opinions are my own. :)

Comments (10)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.
Giveaway details listed below.

I hope you saw the first article I wrote, introducing the new line of Pillsbury® gluten-free doughs and reviewing the Chocolate Chip Cookies. But, if you didn’t, feel free to follow this link to read it. Now on to the pizza dough….

PillsburyPizzapizzabites

pizzacook
We’ve been making gluten-free pizza at my house for many years now. I’ve tried so many different recipes and mixes. This is the first time I’ve tried a pre-made gluten-free pizza dough. To my knowledge, it’s the only one available in stores. Thank you Pillsbury®!

It was so simple and easy to make, and saved me a lot of time. However, our family has really come to like the thick crust pizza I’ve been making lately. So, to be honest, it wasn’t our favorite. I noticed that the crust had an almost buttery flavor to it, which got me thinking that it would be perfect to use for appetizers and snacks. I decided to try making some gluten-free pizza bites for an after-school snack, and it turned out great! How fun it was to have these for my kids on their first week back to school.

Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Pizza Bites Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Place the dough in the middle of a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap. Roll out the dough into almost a square shape about 12″x 12″.
  3. pizzaSpread the pizza sauce onto the crust. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into two equal halves.
  4. Then add your choice of fillings to one half of the pizza. To make neatly sealed bites, it’s best to cut the pieces of dough before you add the toppings. I didn’t do that with all of mine, so some were a little sloppy looking. Still tasted the same, though. :)
  5. pizzacutFold the dough without filling on top of the other. Cut the dough into about 1.5″ squares. Then seal and crimp the edges of the dough with a fork.
  6. Brush the top of the pizza bites with a little olive oil.
  7. Place the pizza bites on a baking sheet (mine were on a silicone baking mat). Bake at 400° F for 8-10 min.
  8. These get hot, so let them cool 5-10 minutes before you let the kids dig in.

More recipe inspiration:

  • Cheese Bites! I can’t eat dairy anymore, but just rolling up dough around a cube of mozzarella or havarti dill sounds really good to me.
  • Taco Bites! Use your leftover taco meat to make these.
  • Use the dough to make Pigs in a Blanket, or as I like to call them, Party Dogs!
  • Want to save even more time? Cut strips or triangles of dough, and simply roll up the dough around the filling.
  • Angela at Angela’s Kitchen made Pizza Twists with the new Pillsbury® Pizza Dough
  • Gina at Kleinworth & Co. made Gluten-Free Garlic Bread in the Slow Cooker
  • Lacy and Meg made Apple Pie Dessert Pizza
  • Pillsbury’s recipe for Barbecue Chicken Mini Pizzas

My notes about the pizza dough:

  • Just like the cookie dough, the pizza dough was so quick and easy to make that I didn’t wait for the dough to come to room temperature. I simply dumped the dough out on to a sheet of parchment paper. I covered the top of the dough with plastic wrap, and started rolling it out with a rolling pin.
  • There was no need to grease the pan, though I did use a silicone mat on the baking sheet.
  • “Ingredients: Water, Modified Tapioca Starch, Whole Sorghum Flour, Whole Millet Flour, Rice Flour, Fructose, Egg Whites, Brown Sugar, Soybean Oil. Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Xanthan Gum, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate), Guar Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Yeast, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Enzyme.”
  • And Allergens: “Contains Egg Ingredients.”
  • I paid $4.99 in the grocery store.
  • I did not like this Pizza Crust as much as I like the Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I would buy the pizza dough again on occasion to make fun snacks like these Pizza Bites. :) And I can’t wait to try Gina’s Garlic Bread!

Giveaway Details:
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.

Pillsbury® has agreed to let one of Celiac Family’s readers try the new products, too!

PillsburyPrizeSet
What: Premium Baking Set with a Cookie Sheet, Pie Tin, and Pizza Cutter, and coupons for free Pillsbury® gluten-free dough.

When: Beginning now and continuing through Aug. 23, 2013. One winner will be announced on Aug. 26, 2016.

How to Enter: Do you want to try the Pillsbury® gluten-free dough? Enter the giveaway by simply leaving a comment on this post or the post about Pillsbury’s® Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Tell me why you’re excited to try the new Pillsbury® gluten-free products, and how it will make your life better.

Additional Details: Although you are welcome to and encouraged to comment on each post about the new Gluten-Free Pillsbury® dough products, only one winner will be chosen from CeliacFamily.com.

 Thanks to Pillsbury® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway.

Comments (14)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.
Giveaway details listed below.

It seems every year, we get more and more companies finally joining the gluten-free community. I am grateful to the pioneers in the gluten-free food industry, and still enjoy many of the gluten-free food products that have been available for years. But, well-known food manufacturers like Pillsbury® are able to get their products into the mainstream grocery stores faster and are more widespread throughout the country. I am so happy to help spread the word that Pillsbury® has three new gluten-free doughs that you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery stores with the usual refrigerated biscuits, etc.

PillsburycookiePillsburyPizzaPillsburyPie

I was so excited when I was contacted to participate in a paid promotion for the Pillsbury® gluten-free products. I was told I would be sent samples of each of the three doughs to try. Great! But I couldn’t wait to get the samples, so I picked some up at the grocery store on my next shopping day. I had no trouble finding the dough where other refrigerated Pillsbury® products are usually found.

PillsburyCookieDoughI was so glad to see that the tubs of dough were already at the grocery stores! I couldn’t wait to try the chocolate chip cookies. But, I was also a little worried that the cookies wouldn’t be like the Pillsbury® cookies I remember from childhood. Guess what? This gluten-free variety surprisingly tastes so much like the original, it’s amazing! They were soft and chewy, with just a little crispiness on the edges. It was hard not to eat them all at once. However, I did place limits on how many my family was allowed to eat the first day. I wanted to see how the cookies would be after sitting out, so I managed to save a few for the next two days. And, I have to say, they were just as good on day three.

My notes about the cookies:

  • PillsburyCookieScoopsSo quick and easy to make that I didn’t even wait for the dough to come to room temperature. I dug right in and began scooping out the dough and putting on a cookie sheet. I had it all ready to go into the oven by the time the oven was preheated.
  • Makes about 16 cookies, larger than I expected.
  • The cookies also didn’t spread as much as I expected.
  • No need to grease the cookie sheet.
    No need for parchment paper nor silicone baking mat either. The cookies bake nicely, and easily come off the cookie sheet with a spatula.
  • PillsburyCookiesNo trouble cooking at high altitude. Since moving to the Denver, CO area, I’ve had trouble with some cookie recipes. These baked up great using the directions printed on the package:  Bake at 350°F for 11-13 min.
  • Stayed fresh in a container on the counter for a few days.
  • Convenient Packaging. I love the plastic tubs they come in. It makes it so easy to scoop out a few cookies to bake at a time (that is, if you can restrict yourself to a few). I actually found that it was also great for making Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Ice Cream. (Though the package does say: “Please do not eat raw dough.” oops!)
  • PillsburyCookies2“Ingredients: Brown Sugar, Rice Flour, Semisweet Chocolate Chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural flavor),Water, palm Oil, Canola Oil, Sugar, Corn Starch, Modified Potato Starch, Contains 2% or Less of: Eggs, Modified Tapioca Starch, Salt, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor.”
  • And Allergens: “Contains Egg, Soy and Milk Ingredients.”
  • I paid about $4.50 in the grocery store.
  • Yes, I would buy again for special treats.

Notable Links:

Giveaway Details:
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN A POST ON AUG. 26, 2013.

Pillsbury® has agreed to let one of Celiac Family’s readers try the new products, too!

PillsburyPrizeSet
What: Premium Baking Set with a Cookie Sheet, Pie Tin, and Pizza Cutter, and coupons for Pillsbury® gluten-free dough.

When: Beginning now and continuing through Aug. 23, 2013. One winner will be announced on Aug. 26, 2016.

How to Enter: Do you want try the Pillsbury® gluten-free dough? Enter the giveaway by simply leaving a comment on this post telling me why you’re excited to try the new Pillsbury® gluten-free products, and how it will make your life better.

 Thanks to Pillsbury® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway.

Comments (57)

You’ve probably tried Pepper Jelly over Cream Cheese with crackers, right? When we get together with my husband’s family, we almost always have it for an appetizer. My mother-in-law makes a wonderful pepper jelly every year. Sorry, I don’t have that recipe to share with you. Simply Recipes has a good recipe for it. But you can also find it in the stores or on Amazon. Just be sure to check the labels to make sure they’re gluten-free.

Here’s the very simple non-recipe: Place your cream cheese on a plate or serving dish and pour the jelly over the top. Then, spread gluten-free chips or crackers around it, for a nice presentation. How easy is that?! Now check out my notes and my new twist on it below.

Additional Notes and Ideas:

  • I like to use whipped cream cheese (or whip it myself) because it’s a little easier to dig into with crackers.
  • If you’re like me, and don’t tolerate dairy well, then try Toffutti’s non-dairy cream cheese. I buy the Non-Hydrogenated Plain variety in the yellow tub. With the jelly on top, you won’t notice the difference. OK, maybe you will, but it still tastes really good. :)
  • Another fun option is to buy the blocks of cream cheese (Tofutti’s works, too) and cut them into holiday shapes with cookie cutters. You can make a whole tray of cream cheese Christmas trees, stars, holly leaves, etc.
  • Use any favorite gluten-free crackers or chips that don’t break too easily. Gluten-free rice crackers, Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers, and FoodShouldTasteGood Multigrain Tortilla Chips (in the photo above) are my favorites for this.
  • Sometimes I get jelly or jam that is too solid, and doesn’t want to pour or spread easily. In this case, I usually just put the jelly  into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir well. Then, pour/spread it over the cream cheese.
  • For a festive holiday look, use both green and red pepper jelly. Add sweet pepper slices, cranberries, or raspberries for garnish.
  • Use any kind of jelly. Pepper jellies have a nice spice and flavor that complements the cream cheese, but you can use any favorite jelly. In fact, that’s just what I did by combining two flavors that always taste good together: chocolate and raspberry.

Chocolate and Raspberry Variation. When I received a sample of FoodShouldTasteGood’s Chocolate Tortilla Chips, I knew what I wanted to try: Cream Cheese and Raspberry Jelly served with the Chocolate Tortilla Chips. Delicious treat! (It looks nice with a couple fresh raspberries on top, but I didn’t have the raspberries or the raspberry jam for the photo. Fortunately, the triple-berry jam I used in the photo turned out just as tasty.)

If you haven’t tried the Chocolate tortilla chips, you really should. They have a rich cocoa flavor, and are just lightly sweetened. The flavor really works well with the creaminess of Tofutti, and the tart, sweetness of the jelly.

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