Category Archives: Shopping

Fresh Jax: Gluten Free Goodness

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxI was recently contacted by Jason at FreshJax to stop by and see their almost one year old store. I have known about FreshJax for a few years now through their strong presence at the Riverside Arts Market and just hadn’t had the time to make it to their store. Prior to opening their store they invited me to a wonderful gluten-free dairy free meal that was delicious.  Fresh Jax is the brain child of one of the sweetest couples you will meet, Jason and Hilary.

As I walked in I was kindly greeted by one of 2 staff working at the counter. I asked for Jason and was asked if I would like a tour while I waited.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxAs I approached the cafe counter I could quickly see chili, broccoli soup, donuts, kale wraps, yoga bars, a TON of amazing spices and a nice menu of fresh to order food options. The thing that is so hard to believe is that their entire menu is clean and the ENTIRE STORE IS GMO-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE. No joke! Staff are not even allowed to come in with gluten-containing foods.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

How do they do it?? They use a ton of locally sources fruits and vegetables and use a variety of replacement options such as organic coconut milk and organic maple syrup.  They also have a vast array of spices that they create in house.  A sample of their amazing spices include:

  • Bold Bayou perfect for pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob or as a marinade. It is made from Ancho Peppers so it is not too spicy but has a nice flavor.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Grill Master: one of their most popular seasonings this time of year as people start firing up their grills. Great on burgers!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Their signature coconut bacon that tastes just like bacon.  Great to add to on saladsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Thai Coconut Curry includes real coconut and thai spices
  • Himalayan Sea Saltgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Italian Herb Blendgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • A tofu scramble spice that makes tofu taste just like scrambled eggsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They also have an entire case full of Kambucha and turmeric drinks. Turmeric is all the rage right now for its ability to decrease inflammation in the body which is very helpful for those of us living with Celiac Disease and other gluten-related illnesses.

They support a ton of local products such as 5 Points Candle Co. – they are organic soybean food grade essential oil with wood wick and a 60 hour burn. They are colorless so you are not breathing artificial coloring as they burn.

I tried their sushi bowl which is made of home made pickled veggies, carrots, ginger, seasoned rice with wasabi and cashew cream, black sesame seeds and guacamole. The flavors of the pickled veggies and the cream and guacamole make you forget that there isn’t ahi tuna in it. It was delicious and so fresh!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

In addition to the cafe, spices and local products they also have a yoga studio attached. They have thought of everything! They offer 40 classes a month and they pride themselves on providing restorative yoga for every body! It is a beautiful space and you can purchase a class pass or a regular membership. They also host cooking classes and movie nights.gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They recently started catering office lunches to provide a healthy option during work meetings.  They are now offering boxed lunches for $15 per person that includes a kale wrap, yoga bar, cashew cheese and healthy chips, clean pickle and a pass for a free yoga class!  Here is an example of the yoga wrap they use for their wraps.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

I love this place! Not only is it a really nice environment, it is nice to support a business that is owned by passionate people who love what they do and believe and live out the mission of their organization. As I left I tried the chocolate donut with blueberry jelly.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxOMG! I was just thinking about how much I miss Dunkin Donuts chocolate donuts and this hit the spot and tasted just like it and yes it is organic, gluten-free and dairy free (I seriously asked 3 or 4 times because I couldn’t believe it).gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

If you are in the area- they are near 2-95 and Gate Parkway- I suggest you stop by.  Not only is it delicious but you are supporting this great couple who are truly following their dream.  gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

Update: As of June 30th Fresh Jax has announced that they will be closing their store. However, you can still find all of their delicious spices and food at the Riverside Arts Market each Saturday.

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More Gluten-Free Coming to Jacksonville Beach

Lots of exciting things happening and coming soon in the Gluten-Free World in Jax Beach!!!!

Native Sun is Coming September 4th!
native sun coming september 4,. 2015 gluten free jacksonville

Whole Foods is coming in Early 2021 to Pablo Plaza, 1822 S. Third St.

Do you  know of any other gluten-free openings soon?  I for one am happy that I can get my gluten-free/Dairy-free oatmeal cream pie from Native Sun very soon!

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Earth fare NOW OPEN- Gluten-Free Goodies Galore!

earth fare jacksonville gluten-free
With much anticipation, Earth Fare is now open in Jacksonville, FL.   A cross between Whole Foods, Native Sun and Grassroots Natural Market, this Asheville North Carolina native is FULL of gluten-free options.  Here are some of my highlights:
Meat and Seafood: They provide humane meats and keep smaller quantities on hand and order more frequently so that meats and seafood stay fresh.  They source their meats and sea food from all over the world but are looking to reach out to local seafood and meat sources.
gluten free jacksonville earth fare Family Meal Night: Every Thursday from 4-8pm up to six kids eat free with one adult dinner purchase (only $5) and they will prepare gluten-free meals for your family.

Gluten free Goods: They have distributed gluten-free goods throughout the store rather than having all gluten-free items in one aisle. Look for wood grained shelves and the gluten-free signs.  These shelves are HUGE, it is not just one column and one row of gluten-free goods it is rows and columns of gluten-free goodness.  They even have some local gluten-free items such as FreshJax hot sauce and Sweet Pete’s.  The prices for gluten-free items vary.  gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare

gluten free jacksonville earth fareLocal 100: Look for the signs that say Local 100 this means that the produce came within 100 miles.

gluten free make up jacksonville earth fareGfree makeup: They have two different brands of  gluten-free make up that are also vegan.

gluten free jacksonville earth fare

Specializing in REAL FOOD, we think Earth Fare is going to be a huge hit.  They do their best to avoid foods that contain antibiotics; artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, fats; high fructose corn syrup and bromated or bleached flour.  We can’t wait to make this a part of our regular shopping routine.

GIVEAWAY: Thank you for your comments about  your favorite gluten-free brand.  We have picked a winner and will announce soon.

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Freshfields Farm – EVERYTHING IS GLUTEN-FREE

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Through word of mouth, on multiple occasions, I had to try Freshfields Farm. A 7 days a week farmers market style grocery store, Freshfields Farm is a gluten-free dairy-free oasis. There are no labels to decider, no prepackaged goods to worry about cross contamination, the prices are reasonable and the colors are fantastic. Freshfields Farm has vegetables, fruits, meats and some dairy. They do a lot to highlight their organic and local produce but you will find almost any and every vegetable you could imagine.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

I purchased two packs of strawberries for $4, two large bags of spinach for $4 and two large chicken breasts for $2. While not all of their fruits are organic and not all of their meat sustainable, they do have some grass fed beef options and other sustainable meats which are still quite reasonably priced.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

In addition to strawberries, spinach and chicken breasts, I got grapes, sweet potatoes, organic apples, a pineapple, and swiss chard; I loaded up. I got a great deal and everything I bought was fresh and flavorful.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

The only problem with going to a place like Freshfields Farm is it forces you to cook. There are no precooked convenience foods like chicken nuggets, lean cuisines, frozen burritos, or cereal. Shopping here will require chopping, sauteing, grilling, roasting, cutting, blending, juicing… you get the point.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Freshfields Farm is located in the oddest space across the street from University Christian High School near the intersection Of University Boulevard and I-95. It is on my way home so I can’t complain too much.

5555 University Blvd W
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 652-2810

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My Gluten-Free Trip to Target

gluten free items at target

I am hesitant to write this post, for fear the shelves will be emptied, but it is my duty to share this with you. Today during a quick trip to Target off Marsh Landing Parkway I found some very reasonably priced gluten-free items. I typically like to make everything myself, but occasionally I need a quick option. Here is what I got and how much I spent.

gluten free jacksonille evol burritos

I found evol. burritos (Love backwards, how cute) in the frozen foods section and each individually wrapped burrito was only $2. These are delicious. However, they are best paired with a little salsa because they can come out a little dry.

gluten free jacksonville belgian style cider wood chuck
I found a Belgian White cider by WoodChuck. This is the first I have seen of this cider and with Labor Day approaching, I had to try it. This is not a deal, a six pack was $9.49.

gluten free jacksonville vans gluten free waffles
It is hard to find Van’s Waffles for under $3.50 but I found them for $2.99. I love these waffles; they are the closest to the real thing I have found.

gluten free jacksonville vans gluten free waffles
Thai Kitchen noodle dishes are so delicious for a quick lunch option. Occasionally I will add extra veges or some chicken to it for an extra kick. I usually see these in the $4 range. At Target only $2.34.

Thank you Target! I hope this is just the beginning!

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Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach Gluten-Free Offerings

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market

Living with Celiac disease, or any gluten allergy, can get frustrating.  It is often tricky to know what to eat and eating the same things over and over can get boring.  Much of my frustration stems from the fact not all things that say they are gluten-free are actually safe for people with Celiac and severe gluten allergies.  When I feel bored, frustrated and overwhelmed I know I can always rely on fresh vegetables.  We are so lucky to live in a climate and region where you can get fresh produce that is grown locally and tastes delicious.

I have really tried to make an increased effort to eat produce that is in season and take advantage of the freshness and lower cost.

Last Saturday I checked out the Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach for the first time.  I have driven by many times but have never had a chance to stop in.

The Beaches Green Market is from 2-5pm every Saturday at Jarboe Park.  It was a super hot day but the place was bustling.  In addition to produce and unique prepared foods there were a few vendors serving fresh iced tea, lemonade and popsicles to keep everyone cool.

When I walked in there was quite a line around the produce tents. I got to the market around 2:15 and I could easily see how many of the items could sell out.  There was quite a demand for fresh produce so I recommend getting there relatively early.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market ugly cupcake muffinryI decided to walk around and see what my options were and wait until close to the time I wanted to leave to purchase my produce, since it was so warm.  The first place I noticed was the Ugly Cupcake Muffinry.  They had a few signs that they had gluten-free muffins, they were over-sized and looked delicious.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market short and sweet cupcakes

Around the corner I saw Short and Sweet.  They did not have any gluten-free cupcakes available but they can take special orders.  The gentleman manning the booth did let me know that there is some cross contamination so these were not safe for those with Celiac.  They are made using all natural fresh ingredients.  They had quite a selection of unique flavors.  In addition to their booth they also have a store front off of University that is shaped like a giant cupcake!

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce fullwood farms grits

My favorite discovery of the day was finding all natural, gluten-free, Celiac safe grits from Fullwood Farms out of South Carolina.  I have had the hardest time finding grits that are safe for me to eat.  Most grits, which are made of corn, are ground on the same equipment as wheat and flour.  I was happy to know that they only mill corn products.  It is not cheap, but for $7 I was able to get a big bag that should last me quite a while.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce fullwood farms gritsgluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce alvarez farms okra

I then headed over to the booth featuring produce from Alvarez Farms and loaded up on some goodies:

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce alvarez farms jalapenos

 

gluten free jacksonville green market produce alvarez farms tomatoesgluten free jacksonville green market produce alvarez farms okra

gluten free jacksonville green market produce

Here I am with my loot!  In addition to the okra, grits, tomatoes and jalapenos I also got eggs, a cucumber and a butternut squash.  The whole thing came out to $19.50.  If you take out the specialty items grits ($7) and eggs ($4) all of that produce was only 8.50.  Not too bad and I am sure much cheaper than in the grocery store!

Have you been to the Beaches Green Market?  Who is your favorite vendor?

Remember- share your favorite gluten-free food pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #glutenfreejacksonville!

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Let the Voting Begin: Best of 2011

Rather than always telling you what I think- I want to hear what you think about gluten-free resources in Jacksonville. Send me an email by January 6th with your vote for the following:

Best gluten-free chain restaurant
Best gluten-free locally owned restaurant
Best gluten-free pizza
Best gluten-free grocery store
Best gluten-free bakery
Best gluten-free beer
Worst attempt at gluten-free dining

Note: only one entry per person and these must be found locally in and around Jacksonville. 

Email your entry to jgornto_6(at)yahoo.com by January 6th.  Vote now to let your voice be heard and help us encourage gluten-free dining in our great city!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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