Category Archives: Product Reviews

Gluten-Free Frontier Bites

Recently I was asked to try Frontier Bites.  They are a new product coming to Publix from Boulder Colorado.  I didn’t know much about them but I am a fan of a healthy snack packed with protein so I thought I would give them a shot.  gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

I thought it would be fun to do a little taste test with my Monday night dinner crew.  I tried to make it fun and offered it as a healthy dessert after dinner (look at how seriously everyone is taking this).

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

While each of the bites differed they were all packed into nice little squares making it SO much easier than eating seeds or granola; you don’t spill crumbs all over yourself.  All of the ingredients could be pronounced and there are less than 10 ingredients in each bag.  When you live with Celiac Disease you are always on the look out for hidden gluten and these bites make it easy to see that this is a safe product.  In addition to being gluten-free these bites are vegan, soy free and non GMO-certified.

They also have options without nuts.  The Fruit and Seed variety is nut free. This worked out great because one of my friends does not eat oily nuts.

We tried:

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Fruit and Seed Frontier Bites

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Jen is showing off the cashew cranberry orange.

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Almond Blueberry Lemon- my favorite!

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Pecan, Cherry and Cinnamon – quite a surprise, flavor packed

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Macadamia, pineapple and coconut

Overall  the group thought:
“this would be great on ice cream”
“this would be great for beach volleyball, on a hike or after a workout the bag is resealable and they are easy to take with you and eat anywhere”
“I have an allergy to oily nuts, nice to see options in the form of seeds and a variety of nuts”
“These little squares are easy to eat”

The Crowd Rankings

Blueberry Lemon was ranked #1 for flavor by our mini 6 person taste test.

Pecan Cherry Cinnamon came in a close second.  This combination was a surprise to the group. Sweet yet hearty at the same time.  This one also had the highest fat and calorie content of all the flavors.

The most anticipated flavor was the Pineapple Macadamia Coconut.  It missed the mark for us; you could barely taste the coconut flavor.

Lowest calorie and lowest fat content was the Fruit and Seed.  We really loved this one too.  It was not as chewy as some of the others ones and you can eat them with your hand and not feel sticky afterwards.

All in all these are nice little snacks for someone who is on the go and needs a quick burst of protein and nourishment.  It is important to note that my taste testers are not gluten-free; they enjoyed the gluten-free treat and did not complain once -pretty impressive.  While delicious they are not too filling which could be dangerous!  Also, they run about $5ish dollars in Publix around the Jacksonville area.

Have you had these before?  What did you think?

gluten free jacksonville frontier bites

Me with my personal favorite!

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Amazing Foods For Health Pancakes and Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes and cookies

On a lazy Sunday I decided to do some gluten-free baking. Recently Amazing Foods For Health sent me gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookie mix. While I try not to eat too many carbs and processed foods, after running the Gate River Run I had a few extra calories to spare and my husband absolutely loves oatmeal raisin cookies so I had a willing assistant to help with the taste testing.
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Pancakes

I started the morning with some pancakes. The ingredients were easy and things that I almost always have on hand.  Nothing is more annoying than weird ingredients that I have to make a special trip to the grocery store for. gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

We are dairy-free as well we we used So Delicious almond milk instead of regular milk and added in some extra flax seed for added fiber.gluten free jacksonville so delicous almond milk

The pancakes batter came out thicker than I usually make so I added in some water .gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

I followed the instructions on the box and they still came out pretty thick but they cooked really nicely and were delicious! I paired it with some turkey bacon and a cup of coffee and it was a nice little breakfast!

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I had the mixing bowl out I figured I would go ahead and make the cookies too! Again the ingredients were easy and the only real pre-planning was to leave the butter out to soften.

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

I used Earth Balance instead of regular butter. gluten free jacksonville earth balance
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

While the box stated that it made 30 cookies this batch only made 18 cookies and take note they don’t get much bigger than the size they are when you put on the cookie sheet.  Also they came out a little dry, I may substitute coconut oil instead of the Earth Balance next time so they come out a little more chewy.  But they were delicious and I can honestly say that half of the plate below was gone within 10 minutes!
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

All in all they were both delicious.  I don’t think you would even notice that they are gluten-free.  They cooked easy and tasted so yummy. Looks like the only place to purchase these items in Jacksonville is the Walmart Supercenter on San Pablo Road S.

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Product Review: Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

Recently I was asked to review Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs. Let me first start off by saying I LOVE CORN DOGS! I miss them terribly. I especially miss having one at Suns Baseball games. So when I was asked to review a new brand of gluten-free corn dogs I said yes right away.

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free JacksonvilleThese are the easiest things to prepare. They only need about 40-50 seconds to heat up. Which makes them a great convenience food when you are in a hurry. They recommend you cook them for 40 seconds but I needed to heat them a little longer because it was cool in a few spots.
Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

 

These corn dogs are delicious. They are made with honey but there is a subtle sweetness and the hot dog is not too salty, rubbery or dry. The hot dog is actually chicken which makes them relatively healthy. Each corn dog is only 180 calories and 9 grams of fat. Try one with a little mustard it pairs perfectly with the honey taste in the corn dog.

I shared them with my gluten eating mom and dad. It was one of those cool winter afternoons so we paired it with some home made gluten-free chili. My advice: hide them from your gluten eating family because these babies do not taste like they are gluten-free and they will be gone quick.

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

My dad said: “Tastes like a regular corn dog to me, chewy.”

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

My mom said: “I like them, I like the consistency. Good flavor. Easy to fix and convenient.”

I am not quite sure where these can be purchased, but once I know I will update this post. I highly recommend these corn dogs based on taste and convenience.

foster farms gluten free corn dogs gluten free jacksonvilleHave you had these before? What are your thoughts?

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Sponsor Post: Naturally Smart Now Sold In (more) Stores

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Our Sponsor, Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert, is continuing to sweeten up the Jacksonville frozen dessert market.  Their founder, Mark Patterson, has really been pounding the pavement.  I see him everywhere.  Usually I run into him at the local coffee shop early in the morning where he is preparing to continue to spread the word about Naturally Smart.  Some places you may have seen Naturally Smart:

1.  At one of the many tastings they have participated in…

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2. Around town in the Naturally-Smart.com van…

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3. At Fresh Market, Winn Dixie, Grassroots Market and Whole Foods….

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gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert

4. On the news…

Naturally Smart a healthy alternative to ice cream | Gatorsports.com

The “SMART” Dessert | One Spark

Naturally Smart frozen dessert | News – Home – News4Jax

Smart People Eat Dessert

Jacksonville Business Journal

Jacksonville Magazine

We are very excited for Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert.  It is nice to see a local “passion” succeed.  Have you tried it?  What do you think?  Check out our previous sponsor post on Naturally Smart.

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Gluten-Free Made Easy Cook Book Review

gluten free jacksonville gluten free made easy

While I don’t claim to be a book critic I will say this is one book that I’ll be referring to quite a bit. When I was asked to write a review by Christi Silbaugh, author of Mom, What’s for Dinner I must say I was a little skeptical. Living with celiac disease I wondered how could she understand, truly understand, what I would need someone living with Celiac Disease.  But after flipping through the first few pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy I could tell she got it!

Gluten-Free Made Easy is a book for all the gluten-free eaters and health enthusiasts everywhere.  It is formatted very similar to other gluten-free cook books I have seen.  The book helps explain: what is gluten, where is gluten hidden, where do I find gluten ingredients and how can I fit gluten-free into my budget.  In addition there are tips and tricks all through the book such as:

    • on pg 49: “The Batter Barrier: Gluten-free batter is sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner and always different than traditional batter.  It will take time to get accustomed to the texture of gluten-free flours.  For now, trust the recipe.”
    • on pg 145: “The secret to moist fish.  An over cooked fish is a dry fish.  It is best to remove the fish from the oven when it’s jucy and has changed color….  if the fish starts to brown… it is probably overdone.”
    • on page 6: “Try restaurants with a large number of gluten-free dishes such as  Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic cuisines.”

This cookbook is very easy to understand, the directions are simple and many of the ingredients are things I already had around my house. I also like that the recipes don’t rely on hand making everything from scratch with 10-12 different steps. The recipes reference a lot of really good gluten-free products and they seem like great recipes for children on gluten-free diets.gluten free jacksonville potatoes au gratin gluten free made easy

gluten free jacksonville tilapia gluten free made easy

I made the Potatoes Au Gratin (p158) and Dry Rubbed Tilapia (p142). They were DELICIOUS! and I can’t wait to try the Homemade Baked Tater Tots (p73), Italian Sausage Lasagna Cups (p93) and the Cauliflower Pizza Crust (p99).

The pictures are beautiful; at first glance I was immediately hungry. While I love this book I do have a few critiques:

  • The calorie and fat counts are not posted and many of the items seem high in fat and calories.
  • Since many people are gluten-free and dairy-free it would have been nice to include some dairy substitute ideas.
  • It would be nice to see the overall preparation times at the top so people can pick recipes based on time allotted (It took close to 1 and a half hours to prepare the Potatoes Au Gratin).

The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Books and Things. I recommend it for you and your family.

Happy Cooking.

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Naturally Smart Gluten-Free Dessert Tasting

naturally smart gluten free jacksonvilleRecently, in honor of my boyfriend’s birthday, I shared Naturally Smart’s gluten-free frozen dessert with some of my friends.  Unfortunately, because I am gluten-free and dairy-free, I cannot indulge in this gluten-free dessert so I thought I would share some of the comments from others, many of whom are not gluten-free.   Our sponsor provided us with Chocolate and Vanilla (these are their current flavors, other flavors are coming soon).   Each pint holds 4 servings and each serving has 10 grams of protein and only 150 calories. Almost everyone was shocked that there were 10 grams of protein in each serving (that is 40 grams per pint!). After the birthday boy blew out the candles on his glutenous Oreo cake, it was time to pass out the Naturally Smart and see what the crowd thought:

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Tastes like a Fudgesicle you had as a kid but a healthy version”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Why should I stop; it’s so good for you”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Good texture”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Interesting aftertaste”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Guilt free indulgence”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Tastes like a brownie”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Awesome, delicious”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Is this expensive? Do they sell this at Publix?”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville

“The first ingredient is water; it hydrates you!”

Special thanks to our sponsor Naturally Smart for providing us with their frozen dessert.

Where can you buy Naturally Smart you ask? Here is a current list as of February 10, 2014:

Grassroots Market
Whole Foods in Mandarin
BioMax in Atlantic Beach
Dr. Capasso’s Thin Centers in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.

Look for them at the Natural Life Music Festival and OneSpark! And follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@Nat_SmartFD)

Have you tried this dessert yet?  If so, what do you think?

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Goodbye Gluten Wraps

goodbye gluten wraps gluten free jacksonvilleRecently I was asked by the makers of Goodbye Gluten Wraps to try out their plain and multigrain gluten-free wraps.  I usually just purchase corn tortillas to make wraps or tacos since they are usually pretty cheap and easy to find at any store.  However, I guess there are times you need to make a larger wrap and these would come in handy because they are very similar to regular flour tortillas.

goodbye gluten free wraps gluten free jacksonville

Unlike many gluten free baked goods, there is no need to refrigerate.  However, after a few days the tortillas became a little dry and broke apart when I tried to fold them.

goodbye gluten wraps recipe gluten free jacksonville

I decided to make a wrap with ground turkey, some fresh veggies (squash, greens, edamame and tomatoes) with an asian inspired sauce that consisted of a mixture of garlic, olive oil, gluten-free soy sauce, and ginger.

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The outcome was quite delicious, however, you can see where the wrap broke apart a little when it was folded.  The tortilla tastes great so I didn’t mind that it broke apart a bit. I began wrapping with tin foil so it helped the wrap stay together.  Each wrap was 150 calories. That is a little high considering 2 corn tortillas are around 80-90 calories for both.

I also tried the multigrain wrap and it was much less dry and easier to fold.
goodbye gluten multigrain wrapI liked the flavor of both but being able to fold the wrap and hold it in my hand with out it falling apart gave the multigrain flour tortilla an advantage. I didn’t try steaming or heating the wraps in the pan, perhaps that may have helped the plain wrap become a little more malleable. The multigrain tortillas have about 160 calories. Both have great flavor though.

*Update: These wraps can be found at Publix.

Do you have a favorite alternative to bread or tortillas?

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