Archive for Recipes
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)
- 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?
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
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.)
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/3 Cup Butter, melted
1 Cup Small Marshmallows
- 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.).
- While the yams are cooking, combine the first four topping ingredients with a fork and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Then top the yams with the mini marshmallows and pecan mixture in alternating diagonal stripes.
- Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes, or until the yams are bubbly hot and the marshmallows are lightly browned.
- 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.
It was such a busy summer that I never got around to sharing this birthday cake idea with you. My son loves Hot Wheels! His love of cars started at a very early age, and by the time he was three years old could tell me which cars were Hot Wheels as opposed to any other brand of toy car. I created a Hot Wheels monster truck cake for him when he turned 5, so I wasn’t expecting to make another Hot Wheels cake for him this year. But, two days before his birthday, he insisted on a Hot Wheels cake. And not just a Hot Wheels cake, but a Hot Wheels race track cake. Huh? Has he been watching Ace of Cakes when I wasn’t around? I loved the creative challenge, but with only two days to figure it out, I figured he’d have to accept whatever I could come up with.
I started going through his Hot Wheels tracks for ideas. I found a fun little track that I thought would be fun to incorporate with it. But, I couldn’t remove all the track pieces from the base and support structure. As I discussed the idea with my husband, he suggested that we just use the regular flexible Hot Wheels track pieces to make our own race track. Well, they seemed a little big for it, but he convinced me he could make a support structure for it. OK. But to be a Hot Wheels track it has to have a loop, right? And wouldn’t it be fun if it went through a tunnel in the cake? So, that’s how the thoughts flowed to come up with this idea. Crazy, I know. But the kids loved it!
I didn’t get pictures of the building process. I was too busy trying to figure out what to do to stop and take a picture. And, I’m really sorry I never got a video of it working. We had to enlarge the tunnel a little, and find the right, low-profile car to make it through the tunnel. The kids at the party all enjoyed giving it a try before we cut the cake. It worked most of the time, though the car got stuck in the frosting a couple times.
I baked two round 9″ cakes. I used Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mixes and followed the baking directions.
For the top layer cake, I cut out another path for the tunnel. Then, I placed the cake on top of the bottom layer. I had to make some adjustments for the tunnel, by cutting a little more here and there so that the cake becomes like a ramp down the middle. After testing it with the track, I frosted the top, sides and inside the tunnel.
For the side of the cake, I tried to keep the decoration simple. I used a plastic chop stick to make indentions along the side of the frosted cake to resemble tire tread.
For the flames: I used simple icing made with powdered sugar and water. (I start with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp water and adjust as necessary.) Then I separated it into three small bowls and used food dye to create red, orange and yellow frosting. I used Wilton’s small round #3 decorating tip to outline the flames. Then, filled in with the different colors as shown in the picture. I used a small knife to spread the frosting to fill in the flames.
For the support of the track, my husband used a yard stick and a dowel rod secured with a nail. The track and clamp are all Hot Wheels pieces I drug out of the toy bin at home. The track had to be high enough to make the loop successfully. It also needed a little support in the middle of the track, so we used a straw taped to the underside of the track and top of the yard stick.
More Great Birthday Cake Ideas:
- Heidi made a show-stopping Monster Truck birthday cake at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom.
- Heidi also made a fabulous Star Wars Clone Trooper Helmet cake you should check out.
- And, don’t miss Andrea Meyer’s Lego Star Wars Stormtropper Cake at Andrea’s Recipes.
- If you’re looking for a Cars cake, Andrea also built a great Lightning McQueen cake.
I’m also linking this post to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker, where you’ll find lots of wonderful gluten-free recipes, reviews and ideas.
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.