Archive for Food
Gluten-Free Corn Dogs are a Treat at my house. A treat for the kids because they love them. A treat for me, too, if they are pre-made and frozen, so I can offer them for a quick meal at my house. 😉
I have made my own gluten-free corn dogs. They turned out very tasty, but took some time and effort to get them just right. It seems simple enough: You dip and coat hot dogs with cornbread batter, then deep fry. But, sometimes it takes a little practice at getting the batter to stay on the hot dog, the hot dog to stay on the stick, and frying it with the stick. Anyway, that’s another story. This story is about the new Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs you can find in the freezers of your local grocery stores.
I was recently contacted to try the new Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs. In case it isn’t clear by the Foster Farms brand name, these corn dogs are made with chicken franks. The chicken franks are “double-dipped in a honey-crunchy” cornbread batter. And, Yes!, they are as good as they sound. I baked them according to the directions on the box. From frozen, 18 minutes at 350º F. (For faster results, you can microwave in 40 seconds or deep fry for 9 minutes. Those are times for cooking from frozen. If thawed, cooking times are even faster.)
How did they taste? Great! The hot dog was tender, not too chewy, and had a good flavor. The cornbread coating was lightly crunchy on the outside but still soft on the inside. The cornbread coating is also lightly sweetened. Really yummy. My daughter was a little hesitant to try it, but once she did she wanted another one. So did my son. They had to stop at two corn dogs each because I didn’t cook the whole box, which contains 12 corn dogs.
Now for the ingredients. Like I mentioned, these corn dogs are made of chicken. There are no added hormones or steroids. No trans fats. And, each corn dog contains 7 grams of protein and 180 calories. Each corn dog also contains 530 mg of sodium (22% of the recommended daily value). You’ll find sodium phosphate, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, and the dreaded sodium nitrite on the ingredients label. Also contains soy and egg.
Would I buy them for my family? Yes, on occasion. I’m not going to go looking for them to add to our menus on a regular basis. However, it would be nice to have in the freezer for those crazy nights when I really need something quick and easy for dinner. Something my kids could fix for themselves. And, wouldn’t this be an easy item to cook for a kids’ birthday party or a play date? Something everyone could enjoy. You don’t even need to tell your guests that it’s gluten-free because they won’t know the difference.
It is important to note that these are Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Foster Farms also makes Gluten-Free Breasts Strips and Gluten-Free Breast Nuggets now, too. If you’ve tried any of them, I’d love to know what you think.***The Foster Farms Corn Dogs were sent to me free of charge to share my honest opinion with CeliacFamily.com readers.***
Since writing about Gluten-Free Breakfasts a few weeks ago, I’ve had a couple more ideas I wanted to share with you.
Don’t forget to take your vitamins!
I’m surprised I didn’t even think about vitamins when writing about Back-to-School Breakfast ideas. So many people take supplements or vitamins in the mornings, especially kids! I neglected to mention it, probably because we haven’t been taking vitamins at my house until recently. With my kids getting so busy in sports, I realize that I really need to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need.
I was intrigued by Hakuna Matata, a chewable multivitamin and natural fruit and veggie supplement. Healthy Pride Supplements was nice enough to send me some samples to try out on my kids. (I hate paying big bucks for vitamins, just to find out the kids won’t eat them!) I tried the vitamins, too. I prefer the chewable vitamins because I think they’re easier on my tummy.
The great thing about these vitamins is that they are gluten-free, wheat-free, and egg-free, with no artificial colors or sweeteners. They also do not contain meat, yeast, starch, or preservatives. And, check out the natural sources of all the vitamins and minerals:
- FRUITS AND BERRIES: strawberry, banana, raspberry, melon, pineapple, black currant, apricot, cherry, tagerine, kiwi, grape, apple, tomato, peach, papaya, guava, and mango.
- VEGATABLES: broccoli, carrot, spinach, beet greens, asparagus, onion, garlic, alfalfa, barley grass, artichoke, peas, and summer squash.
- ALGAE: spiralina blue-green algae, klmath blue-green algae, chlorella, kombu green algae, and cytoseira green algae.
- Other ingredients: Dextrose, orange juice flavored crystals, natural flavors, stearic acid, turmeric color, magnesium stearate, silica, citric acid, alfalfa juice and carmine color.
So what was our final analysis? We like them! They aren’t bitter, and don’t upset our tummies. I LOVE all the natural ingredients. I like to think that my family is eating healthy, but sometimes I worry that we aren’t getting enough of the good stuff.
Where can you buy them? You can order the vitamins online or through a select group of stores and pharmacies. For more vitamin options, check out the list of the Top 100 Children’s Vitamins, as reported by Vitamin-One.com.
Chex Gluten-Free Oatmeal
I happened to notice in the grocery store this month, a new arrival — Chex Gluten-Free Oatmeal. I grabbed a box to check it out, then noticed another shopper grabbing a box. She said it was really sweet and her kids loved it. So, I bought it, and took it home. My kids never did get to try it. My husband and I ate all of it.
The shopper was right: It is sweet. Maple Brown Sugar sweet. Just like the packages of instant oatmeal we used to eat when we were kids. Each box contains 6 individual packages. You simply pour the cereal into a bowl, add 2/3 cup water or milk, and microwave for 90 seconds. Yum!
I have only seen the Maple Brown Sugar variety in the stores. However, I found Apple Cinnamon and Original flavored varieties at Amazon, if you’re interested. You may find them in the cereal aisles at your store. I’ll be watching ours to see if they arrive. A variety pack might be nice.
Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavor. Each pouch/serving: 170 calories, 0.5 g saturated fat, 180 mg sodium, 12 g sugars.
I love eating popcorn for snacks in the fall (or anytime of year, actually). We know that popcorn is naturally gluten-free, so it’s also great to serve to friends and family who aren’t on a gluten-free diet. Isn’t nice when we can all eat the same things? Unfortunately, we do still need to be cautious because some popcorn products have added flavorings that have gluten, or become contaminated due to processing.
Here are some yummy popcorn products we’ve safely eaten at home lately. Some of the products were purchased by me, some were given to us, and one (Cosmos) was sent to us by the company to sample. All of the products clearly state “Gluten Free” on the packaging. Love that! It makes it so nice for people who are not gluten free, but want to buy something gluten-free to offer friends and family who are. (Sometimes I think reading nutrition labels can be a difficult skill to learn.)
Angie’s is a great popcorn product. I first saw Angie’s kettle corn at Target. You can buy it in a large bag, or a package of single-serving size bags. I think it’s a nice combination of salty and sweet. Angie’s also makes other flavors: Salted Caramel, Movie Pop, White Cheddar, Sweet & Spicy, Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt, as well as some seasonal flavors. My son loves the cinnamon flavor we bought to give out at Halloween. “Ingredients: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Evaporated Cane Crystals, Sea Salt. Vegan. Certified Gluten-Free”
Cosmos is not actually popcorn. It’s a puffy, baked corn product. So, there are no kernels or hulls to worry about getting stuck in your teeth. I tried the sea salt and butter, and loved the strong buttery flavor. However, it doesn’t have the crunchy popcorn texture I like. The Salted Caramel flavor definitely has the crunch I was missing. The wonderful sweet, buttery caramel coating gave it a delicious crunch and a wonderful aroma. My kids were not as crazy about the Salted Caramel, but it was my husband’s favorite. Since it is made with dairy, I only took a small sample and let him enjoy the rest with his co-workers, who also loved it. My son preferred the Cinnamon Crunch, and my daughter preferred the Sea Salt & Butter. Salted Caramel Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Butter (cream, milk, salt), Corn Syrup, Degerminated Yellow Corn Meal, Sea Salt, Molasses, Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda.”
There is nothing fancy about Skinny Pop, but that’s what I like about it. Nothing added but oil and salt. Free of gluten, dairy, and nuts. I can buy a big bag at Sam’s or find individual-sized bags at Sprouts. I like to pop my own popcorn at home, but this is really convenient when I need to grab a quick snack for the kids. Great for after-school snacks and to pack in lunches. No need to add lots of butter, my kids love as it is. However, it would also work great in some of the recipes listed below. “Ingredients: All Natural Popcorn Sunflower Oil and Salt.”
This Orville Redenbacher product is a lightly sweetened kettle corn. A nice snack as is, or with other snacks stirred in: chocolate candies, nuts, etc. Just what you would expect from a kettle corn. Other OR popcorn flavors available: Sharp White Cheddar, Farmhouse Cheddar, and BBQ. “Ingredients for the Kettle Corn: Popcorn, Sugar, Sunflower Oil, contains less that 2% of: Salt, Soy Lecithin. Contains: Soy. Gluten Free”
Looking for Recipes to Make Your Own Popcorn Snacks?
Use some of the products above, or simply pop your own at home to make these snacks.
- Bacon Popcorn at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
- Caramel Corn Balls at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
- Caramel Corn Puffs at Celiac Family
- Cheesy Cauliflower Popcorn by Hallie Klecker at The Balanced Platter
- Cherry Almond Popcorn Balls by Patricia at She Knows Food & Recipes
- Homemade Popcorn (including Kettle Corn and Maple Sweetened Carmel) at She Let Them Eat Cake
- Make-Your-Own Chocolate and Candy-topped Popcorn Treat at Simply Living Healthy
A 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.
My 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.
Everyone 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?
And 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.
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.
Now, 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!
Gluten-Free Peach Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe
- Pillsbury® Gluten-Free Pie Crust Dough, 1 tub (15.8 oz.)
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the peaches by removing the pits, peeling off the skin, and slicing.
- Remove 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.
- 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.
- For 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.
- 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.
- Place 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:
- There 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:
- Pillsbury® already has some great gluten-free recipes to offer using this gluten-free pie and pastry dough. Check them all out: Bacon Cheese Appetizers, Spinach Mini-Quiches, Cherry Hand Pies, Apple Caramel Pie, and Chocolate Tarts.
- Try Lindsay’s Baked Banana and Bacon Pastry Cups with Maple Syrup and Mini GF Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutzo Pies at Cotter Crunch
- Gluten-Free Mini Cherry Pies at Mom Spark
- Healthy Basil-Bacon Quiche at Oatmeal in My Bowl
- Gluten-Free Strawberry Pie at Jo Lynne Shane’s Musings of a Housewife
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pie at Gluten Is My Bitch
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!
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.