Archive for Holidays

Feb
02

Gluten-Free Valentine Candy

Posted by: | Comments (38)

Last update Feb. 2012

I’ve updated the Valentine Candy List. I made some changes to the list, as I did to the Halloween Candy list last October.

How I created my list. First of all, you should know that the category I put the candy in is determined by me, a concerned parent, based on reading the ingredients, allergy statements, and cross-contamination warnings on candy packages I find in the stores in our area. I also review websites for product information and contact companies if necessary. If you see a date after the product, then that is the last date I actually read the label. If there is no date, then I reviewed and/or updated the information last month. If you see any statements in quotation marks, that means I have taken the wording directly from the packaging. If, while I’m shopping, I read allergy statements that refer to other allergens, I may include them in my list for people avoiding them. But, since I am concerned solely with gluten, I don’t always list all of the allergens. It’s always best if you can check the ingredients of the candy yourself because it can vary if they were packaged or manufactured in different facilities or on different dates. But let’s face it, there is a lot of different candy out there. So, I hope this helps some of you.

I’ve reorganized the Valentine Candy List like the Halloween Candy List. The first, green section is candy that I believe to be safe for people avoiding gluten. I didn’t find any questionable ingredients on the labels, nor did I find cross-contamination warnings. Or, I was able to confirm with the company through their website or emails that the candy is safe. The second section I created is for questionable candies. These are candies that appear to have no gluten in the ingredients. However, I feel uncertain about its gluten status, or the candy packaging may include a statement that warns of possible cross-contamination with gluten. Whatever the case, I have listed the reason for being in this section so you can determine what you are comfortable eating. I personally do not eat any candy unless it is in the safe, green section. The last, red section is for the Unsafe Candy. This is the candy that I would tell anyone on a gluten-free diet to avoid. The packaging labels clearly state that the candy has gluten in the ingredients.

Now, my disclosure statement: I’m not a doctor, nor an expert about candy or gluten. I’m simply someone who has been trying to keep gluten out of my family’s diet for 5+ years. I hope that the information I’ve provided helps other families, too. If you find additions or corrections to make to the list, please put them in the comments so that others may benefit from the information. Thanks. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day Candy!

Gluten-Free (Safe) Candy and Treats

  • 3 Musketeers cherry with dark chocolate mini’s (Feb. 2011)
  • Andes creme de menthe Valentine Sweet Heart Assortment (Feb. 2011)
  • Albert’s Luv Pops, Sweet Swirl Suckers, and Heart Blossoms (Feb. 2011)
  • Almond Joy snack size (Feb. 2011)
  • Animal Planet fruit-flavored lollipops (Jan. 2010)
  • Baby Ruth (Feb. 2011)
  • Betty Crocker Valentine Fruit by the Foot – “Gluten Free” (Jan. 2010)
  • Bottle Caps Wonka (Feb. 2011)
  • Butterfinger hearts – contains peanuts. “Made on equipment that also processes nuts.” (Feb. 2011)
  • Cella’s Cherries, milk chocolate covered cherries (Feb. 2011)
  • Charms Blow Pops and Valentine Pops (Feb. 2011)
  • Charms Zip-a-dee mini pops (Feb. 2011)
  • DeMets Turtles – “Contains pecan, milk and soy ingredients. Made on equipment that also processes other nuts and peanuts.” (Feb. 2011)
  • Disney Lollipop Rings -Flix Candy (Jan. 2010)
  • Disney lollipops packaged with Valentine cards (including Tinkerbell, Cars, and Toy Story characters) The ones I found this year did not have any warning of gluten. (Feb. 2011) Last year’s packages had the following statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat and egg products.”
  • Dots - including Valentine Dots (Feb. 2011)
  • Dove Heart Promises, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, dark chocolate and cherry swirl, and caramel candy (Feb. 2011)
  • Dum-Dums lollipops “Gluten Free” (Feb. 2011)
  • Everlasting Gobstopper Heartbreakers – Wonka (Feb. 2011)
  • Florida’s Natural Au’some Sour String, Nuggets, and Stiks (Feb. 2011)
  • Fun Dips – Wonka (Feb. 2011)
  • Galerie Candy Jewelry Making Kit (Jan. 2010)
  • Galerie Diamond Ring with candy treats (Jan. 2010)
  • Galerie Marshmallow Cupcake lollipops (Feb. 2011)
  • Ghirardelli chocolate squares, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel and dark chocolate with raspberry (Feb. 2011)
  • Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers Fruit Chews (Nov. 2013)
  • Hershey Bliss chocolates including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, milk chocolate with meltaway centers, and milk chocolate with raspberry meltaway centers “Manufactured on the same equipment that processes peanuts and tree nuts.” (Feb. 2011)
  • Hershey Kisses (includes milk chocolate, filled with caramel, cherry cordial creme, with almonds, Hugs, Hugs raspberry, and Valentine Card Kits) – These appear to be gluten-free, and my family has never noticed a reaction to eating them. However, I have gotten emails and comments from several people who say they have had reactions from eating them. (Feb. 2011)
  • Hot Tamales – “Gluten Free” (Feb. 2011)
  • Hershey’s Pot of Gold, including Premium Chocolates, Pecan Caramel Clusters, and Truffles (Feb. 2011)
  • Hubba Bubba Max bubble gum, and bubble tape (Jan. 2010)
  • iCarly Valentine Candy Card Kit – cards and lollipops (Feb. 2011)
  • Jelly Belly conversation beans (Feb. 2011)
  • Jolly Rancher candy – including heart-shaped lollipops (Feb. 2011)
  • Juicee Gummee Baby Bears (Feb. 2009)
  • Junior Mints Heart-Shaped (Feb. 2011)
  • Laffy Taffy, small and long sticks – Wonka (Feb. 2011)
  • Life Savers hard candy and lollipops, including Candy and Card Valentine Pack (Feb. 2011)
  • Life Savers gummy candy, including Gummies, Big Ring Gummies, Candy and Card Valentine Pack (Feb. 2011)
  • The Madelaine Chocolate Company milk chocolate hearts (Feb. 2011)
  • Market Pantry’s Valentine Fruit Snacks distributed by Target (Feb. 2011)
  • Marvel lollipops (as found Feb. 2009)
  • M&Ms – fun size and mini’s packages, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter. Do not eat the M&M Pretzel variety. (Feb. 2011)
  • Melster Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Hearts – “Manufactured on equipment that produces peanut and milk products.” (Feb. 2012)
  • Mounds snack size (Feb. 2011)
  • Palmer foil-wrapped chocolate hearts (Feb. 2011)
  • Peeps marshmallow shapes, hearts and I?U, including Vanilla Crème, Raspberry, Dark or Milk Chocolate Covered, and Sugar-Free – “Gluten Free” (Feb. 2011)
  • PEZ (Feb. 2011)
  • Pixy Stix – Wonka (Feb. 2011)
  • Pop Rocks popping candy (Jan. 2010)
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups, snack-size treats, miniatures, and peanut butter hearts, but not the individually, foil-wrapped small hearts or the unwrapped mini cups (Feb. 2012)
  • Reese’s Pieces (Feb. 2011)
  • Skittles, including Candy ‘n Stickers Valentine Exchange Packs – “Gluten Free” (Feb. 2011)
  • Smarties Valentine Love Hearts candy rolls “Contains none of the following: gluten (from wheat, barley, oats and rye), milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts or soybeans.” (Feb. 2011)
  • Snickers fun-size and mini’s (Feb. 2011)
  • Starburst - Original Gummibursts and Sweet Fiesta Fruit Chews are labeled “Gluten-Free” on their website. Other products and flavors do not list any gluten-conatining ingredients. (Feb. 2012)
  • Sunny Seed Drops candy chocolate covered sunflower seeds – “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts/nuts.” (Feb. 2011)
  • Surf Sweets Gummy candy – “Gluten Free” (Feb. 2011)
  • Sweetheart Conversation Hearts including chocolate flavored hearts, large hearts, Dazzled Tarts, Twilight Saga New Moon Forbidden Fruits heart packages, and heart bracelet packages (Necco) [The large packages I found looked fine. However, I found some small boxes of these that had cross-contamination warnings.] (Feb. 2011)
  • Toblerone (Feb. 2011)
  • Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops, including snack bars, and vanilla and cherry fruit rolls (Feb. 2011)
  • Warheads Extreme Sour candy (Feb. 2011)
  • York Peppermint Pattie Hearts (Feb. 2011)
  • Zachary Valentine Corn - nutritional information – “Contains Egg. Manufactured in a facility that processes products containing soy, milk, coconut, and peanut/tree nut ingredients.” (Feb. 2012)

 


Use Caution with the following treats. (May contain traces of gluten.)

  • Air Heads “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour.”
  • All Brach’s candy I found, including conversation hearts, state “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Bubblicious Bites “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat and eggs.”
  • Choxie chocolate candy “May contain tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and egg.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Disney lollipops packaged with Valentine cards (including Tinkerbell, Cars, and Toy Story characters) The ones I found this year did not have any warning of gluten. Last year’s packages had the following statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat and egg products.”
  • Dove milk chocolate Rose on a stick – no gluten listed in ingredients; however, it does state “Allergy Information: May contain peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat.”
  • Dove dark chocolate raspberry Truffle Hearts – no gluten listed in ingredients; however, it does state “Allergy Information: May contain peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and eggs.”
  • Godiva chocolates including the Gems – All Godiva packaged products I have found, as well as the chocolates displayed in their stores, have a warning: “May contain tree nuts, peanuts and wheat.”
  • Guylian chocolates – “May contain traces of nuts and gluten.”
  • Hershey’s Hearts Assortment, including milk chocolate, special dark, and extra creamy milk chocolate seem to be gluten-free. However, the Reese’s peanut butter hearts that may be in the same package with these, are NOT gluten-free.
  • Hershey Kisses (includes milk chocolate, filled with caramel, cherry cordial creme, with almonds, Hugs, Hugs raspberry, and Valentine Card Kits) – These appear to be gluten-free, and my family has never noticed a reaction to eating them. However, I have gotten emails and comments from several people who say they have had reactions from eating them.
  • Hollow Milk Chocolate Bear (http://www.barry-callebaut.com/) “Contains milk and soy. Made in a facility which also processes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs.”
  • Jube Jel Cherry Hearts (Brach’s cinnamon jelly hearts) – “Allergen Information: “Milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
  • Littlest Pet Shop lollipops “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat (Jan. 2010)
  • Love Duck with conversation heart candy (found at Target) “May contain milk, soy, peanut, tree nuts, wheat and egg.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Nerds, boxes and ropes (Wonka) “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.”
  • Russel Stover chocolates – Every package I found had a cross contamination warning, whether it had gluten or not in the ingredients. “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”
  • Sassy Hearts treat packs (Brach’s) – “Allergen Information: Milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and fish may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
  • Spongebob Squarepants Heart Shaped Gummy Krabby Patties – “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, wheat and eggs.”
  • Spongebob Squarepants lollipops “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat and egg products.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Sweetheart Conversation Hearts including chocolate flavored hearts, large hearts, Dazzled Tarts, Twilight Saga New Moon Forbidden Fruits heart packages, and heart bracelet packages (Necco) [The large packages I found looked fine. However, I found some small boxes of these that had cross-contamination warnings.]
  • SweeTart Hearts (Wonka) “Made in a facility that also processes egg and wheat.”
  • Treat Street Google Critters – “Processed in a facility which also processes milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy protein, eggs.”
  • Whitman’s Chocolates – “Products have been produced on shared equipment with tree nuts, eggs, and wheat.”
  • Wonka Valentine Mix Ups – Bottle Caps and Laffy Taffy seem to be gluten-free, however the Nerds in these packages have a cross-contamination statement that states “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.”
  • Wild About You Chocolate Decorative Hearts – “Made in a facility which also processes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and egg.”

 


Unsafe Candy and Treats (Do not eat the following treats if you cannot tolerate gluten in your diet.)

  • Any chocolate candy with crisps is likely to have wheat flour or barley malt, so check carefully.
  • Crunch (Nestle) snack-size and hearts contains “barley malt“; “Made on equipment that also processes peanuts, nuts and wheat.”
  • Disney Princesses Crispy Chocolaty Hearts contains “malt extract“; “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and wheat.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Dora and Diego Crispy Chocolaty Hearts contains “malt extract“; “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and wheat.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Ferrero Rocher contains “wheat flour.”
  • Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Premium Assorted Chocolates in a heart box – contains “barley malt
  • Harry London assorted chocolates – Contains “wheat flour, gluten
  • Hershey’s Miniatures “Contains malt.”
  • Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Crème snack size treats – contains “wheat flour
  • Kit Kat contains “wheat flour
  • Lindt chocolate candy contains “barley malt powder
  • Reese’s peanut butter filled chocolate hearts (this refers only to the small, individually foil-wrapped hearts) Contains “wheat flour.”
  • M&M’s pretzel candies contain “wheat flour, malt
  • Spongebob Squarepants Crispy Chocolaty Hearts contains “malt extract“; “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and wheat.”
  • SweeTart Hearts Gummies contains “wheat
  • Transformer Crispy Chocolaty Hearts contains “malt extract“; “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and wheat.” (Jan. 2010)
  • Twix contains “wheat flour
  • Twizzlers cherry pull ‘n peel candy – contains “wheat flour
  • Whoppers contain “barley malt and wheat flour” and egg products.”

Didn’t find a candy on the list? I can’t possibly be prepared to know the gluten content for every candy my kids might get. When something new comes home with no ingredient label, I go to the Internet and try to look up the manufacturer online. Many will list the ingredients of their products online. But if you can’t find the list of ingredients, be sure to check out their FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) page. I often find that companies will address the gluten-free question there. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a phone number for the company, give them a call. If they can’t answer your question, then don’t eat it. Better safe than sorry, don’t you think?

Try my lists for Halloween Candy or Easter Candy.

Comments (38)

This is a fairly simple, traditional recipe that I put together for our Thanksgiving family gathering this year. I always enjoy sweet potato casserole for the holidays. I usually prefer a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping, but decided to change it up a little this year. I know some people always look forward to the toasted marshmallows on top. So, this year, I did both. This is now my favorite way to eat them. I’d like to think of this as a vegetable side dish, but really it’s sweet enough to call it dessert. This is the picture I took before baking. Sorry, I forgot to take the “after” shot.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Ingredients:

Main Ingredients:
4 large Sweet Potatoes or Yams, peeled, cooked and mashed (about 4 lbs or 8 cups)
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (I used vanilla flavored.)

Topping Ingredients:
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/3 Cup Butter, melted
1 Cup Small Marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Cook and peel the sweet potatoes, or yams. I like to score the skin on the yams both around the middle and lengthwise. Then I put them into boiling water and simmer until they are fork tender (about 20-30 min.).
  2. While the yams are cooking, combine the first four topping ingredients with a fork and set aside.
  3. When the yams are done, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Cover with cold water to cool down. If the skin hasn’t come off already, gently pull the skin off.
  4. Mash the yams and add the rest of the main ingredients. Combine thoroughly. You may want to beat the ingredients together for a smoother, fluffier texture.
  5. Spread the yams/sweet potato mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. (You can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at this point, if you are saving for the next day.)
  6. Then top the yams with the mini marshmallows and pecan mixture in alternating diagonal stripes.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes, or until the yams are bubbly hot and the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Additional Notes:

  • To make ahead: I made this the day before Thanksgiving, skipping step 2 and ending at step 5 the first day. On the morning of Thanksgiving, I took the dish out of the refrigerator and let set on the counter while I worked on step 2 of the directions and preheated the oven. I then finished the baking with steps 6 and 7.
  • If the marshmallows don’t brown after 40 minutes, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. But watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Notable Links:

Apr
24

Tropical Mimosas

Posted by: | Comments (8)

This month, Naomi at Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried, is hosting Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! It’s a fun roundup of gluten-free recipes. The theme this month is Breakfast In Bed. How appropriate. It’s just in time to find some great ideas for Mother’s Day (May 9th in the US this year). I’m not exactly a “Breakfast in Bed” kind of girl, but I did think of a new recipe to share for breakfast. My mom made a great punch to go with our Easter brunch this year, and my dad decided to add it to some champagne. It was so wonderful, it inspired me to create my own champagne punch.

I knew I’d have to modify my mom’s recipe because I didn’t want a whole punch bowl filled with enough to serve a large party. (Without the champagne, this recipe makes a tropical juice punch that fills a 2-quart pitcher.) And while I was changing the recipe, I decided to change up some of the flavors, too. I think I’ll serve these Tropical Mimosas with my Banana Coffee Cake (regular and dairy-free) and Berry Fruit Salad. What an exquisite way to start the morning on Mother’s Day!

Tropical Mimosas

Ingredients:

2 very ripe bananas
24 oz. (3 Cups) pineapple juice
16 oz. (2 Cups) orange juice
12 oz. (1-1/2 Cups) mango nectar/juice
2 bottles of champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the champagne, to a 2-quart pitcher. Using an immersible blender, thoroughly blend the bananas and juice until frothy. (If you don’t have an immersible blender, just pour it all into a regular blender to mix it.)
  2. Fill a champagne flute half-way with champagne, then top with the juice.
  3. To garnish, try a fresh pineapple or mango slice. Enjoy!

Additional Notes:

  • For a non-alcoholic version, add the punch to Ginger Ale instead of champagne.
  • Or, for a smoothie, add a cup of yogurt to the juice and give it a whirl in the blender.

Notable Links:

Comments (8)
Mar
24

Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

Posted by: | Comments (9)

img_1995xThis is one of my favorite Easter treats to make for the kids. OK, it’s really a treat for me, but don’t tell them that. :o) Chocolate eggs in a “basket” made of chocolate chip cookie dough — what could be better? You will need an Individual Tart Baking Pan (also known as a tartlette pan). You may also be able to use a Mini Muffin Pan or muffin-top pan, but I’ve always used my non-stick tart baking pan. I think it makes just the right shape for the basket.

.

Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.)
Candy-coated chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury Mini Eggs, but you can use M&M’s Chocolate Eggs, too.)

Directions:

  1. img_1985xxMix up chocolate chip cookie dough according to directions, and drop a large mounded tablespoon of dough into each tart impression in the pan.
  2. Bake cookies in the tart pan according to the recipe directions.
  3. When cooking is done, remove pan of cookies from the oven and press chocolate eggs into the center of each cookie tart. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, gently remove the cookies from the pan by grabbing the edges of the cookies and pulling out with a slight twisting motion. The pan will still be hot, so be careful not to touch it with your fingers!

Additional Notes:

  • If the cookies start to come apart while trying to remove, they are probably too soft and warm. Let them cool down for a few more minutes. If the cookies won’t move at all, they are probably too cool. Set them back in the oven for a couple minutes to warm them up. They should now release easily from the pan. (I’ve never had to spray my non-stick pan, but if yours isn’t a non-stick type, you may want to use a non-stick spray before dropping the cookie dough onto the pan.)
  • If you can’t get the chocolate eggs, or want to make these for another occasion, try using a different chocolate candy. These are really good with Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups or Hershey’s Kisses, too!
  • One batch makes about 24.

Notable Links:

Mar
17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted by: | Comments (3)

Hope you are enjoying this day with plenty of gluten-free Irish (or at least green) food and beer. Still looking for some recipes or ideas for celebrating the day? I’ve gathered the links below for inspiration.

Irish-inspired Gluten-Free Recipes:

Gluten-Free Beer Reviews:

Comments (3)