Tag Archives: gluten-free groceries

Native Sun Jacksonville

gluten free jacksonville native sunThis past month, I had the opportunity to meet with Native Sun Natural Foods Market to discuss their celiac safe bakery, gluten-free product vetting, and more. As background, Native Sun opened its first grocery store in Jacksonville over twenty years ago. Since then, it has grown to three neighborhood stores and is known around town for its all organic produce selection, health minded and organic deli, delicious juice and smoothie bar, and the best celiac friendly bakery in town. They are truly Jacksonville’s neighborhood grocer!

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native Sun

Whether you were recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease or are trying to prepare a gluten free meal for a friend or family member, I highly recommend making a trip to Native Sun. After meeting with their team, I really believe that they are the number one resource in the JAX community for products and tips on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Ginny Nehring, who is Native Sun’s Manager of Research and Education, is just one of the many resources available to you when shopping at Native Sun. Ever since her middle son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease twenty years ago, Ginny has been researching gluten-free products and spearheading Celiac Disease community education around Jacksonville. I admire Ginny for her dedication to our community and the 1:1 time she spends with newly diagnosed gluten-free families. One of the services she offers at Native Sun is hosting tours to those newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Tours can include education on Native Sun’s color coded in-store labeling, recommending some of her favorite products, and can provide much needed comfort to those who are trying to navigate a new lifestyle and diet. Ginny shared with me that people often hear, “Celiac Disease” and fear that they can never eat their favorite foods again like pizza, pasta, or cake. When she walks them through the aisles and shows them donuts, fritters, muffins, pizza crust, pasta and breads that are celiac safe, it can open a whole new world of enjoyable options!

Native Sun’s new product vetting process is also impressive. As the Manager of Research and Education, Ginny contacts every single gluten-free product manufacturer and researches their cross-contamination practices. As a result, Native Sun will not label a product gluten-free unless it has passed a rigorous process that ensures it is Celiac safe. Ginny shared that some products will be labeled by the manufacturer as “gluten-free” but after researching cross contamination practices, Native Sun will discover that they do not meet their gluten-free labeling standards.

It was Ginny’s idea to create the dedicated gluten-free bakery at Native Sun. She had perfected many of the recipes in her home for her son and wanted to share them with the community. It’s important to mention that when I say, “gluten-free bakery,” I mean 100% gluten free Celiac safe bakery—it’s dedicated gluten-free. Their bakery items include my favorite oatmeal cream pie made with purity protocol oatmeal, carrot cake, banana bread, and even a pecan pie.

In addition to what we put in our body, I had the opportunity to talk to Ginny about the cosmetics and skincare products that we often use. Ginny shared with me that we need to be concerned about the cosmetics we put on our skin and in our hair. One of her favorite products is a skincare line called Derma E—all items are gluten free. After our meeting, I tried one of the Derma-E face serums and absolutely loved it! I had to get used to the sunscreen type consistency, but it has done wonders for smoothing out my skin! Ginny assured me that not all their products share that consistency!

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native SunSome of the items Ginny shared with me that I really want to highlight are these new Udi’s bread you do not need to toast! This is a game changer!

Lastly, I compiled some of my favorite gluten-free items that are available at Native Sun! If you are looking to set up a meeting with Ginny you can contact the store by phone and request a store tour or stop by and complete a Product Knowledge Enhancement Tour form and she will contact you, usually within 24 hours to set up a time to meet with you at your convenience.

Italian night! This gluten-free pasta tastes just like the real thing and the recipe for Manicotti is already on the box! The pasta is made in Italy. I also suggest pairing the cheesy bites. You might even trick your gluten eating friends.

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native SunMexican is the easiest to eat gluten-free and you can feel safe doing it at Native Sun even this margarita mix is safe!

Have you been to Native Sun? Have you ever taken one of Ginny’s tours?

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Front Porch Pickings – Veggie Delivery Service

About 3 years ago I subscribed to a veggie home delivery program called Front Porch Pickings.  Every two weeks a box of vegetables grown within Florida is delivered directly to my doorstep for only $26 a delivery.  I love vegetables and am not picky at all.  Even my husband enjoys the veggie creations I come up with.  My goal every two weeks is to use everything in the box even if I have no idea what it is.  I have grown to love turnips and kohlrabi, vegetables I never would have purchased on my own at the supermarket.  I even became hooked on my eggplant parmesan recipe because I had no idea what to do with the gorgeous eggplants I got in my delivery box.

What I really love is they send you what you will be receiving the Sunday before they deliver so you can make changes and take out items you don’t like.  For instance sometimes there an abundance of salad bunches in the box and my husband usually purchases tons of spinach for our salads so I may substitute for more of one thing or add on something different that may be available.  In addition to vegetables you can add in local coffee, bread, soaps, and more.

Because everything is from Florida the vegetables usually arrive ripe and full of nutrients.  Another nice thing is if I run out of something that is especially delicious I know it is going to be available at the local farmers market or grocery store so I can go and get more.  I feel like I am on top of whatever is in season based on what is in my box.  Here are a few of my finds from my local deliveries:

Oyster Mushrooms, sweet potatoes, green beans, eggplant, peaches, tomatoes, muscadine grapes and sweet potato greens.

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Here are a few of the meals and sides I have made with items from my Front Porch Picking bin:

gluten free jacksonville front porch pickings

Locally grown black eyed peas with fresh sauted green peppers

gluten free jacksonville front porch pickings

Locally grown green peppers and mushrooms in a chicken stir fry

gluten free jacksonville front porch pickings

Locally grown arugula, peppers and cucumbers in a yummy salad

gluten free jacksonville front porch pickings

Locally grown roasted zucchini

Do you subscribe to a local veggie delivery service ? What is your favorite vegetable?

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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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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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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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Good-Bye 2013, Hello Gluten-Free 2014

Thank you for a great 2013, I am so excited about 2014.  More new restaurants, more new gluten-free foods and the new gluten-free labeling standards starting in August 2014.

As we enter 2014 I thought I would share some of the greatest hits of 2014. Some are oldies some are goodies.

Sweet Theory Baking Company

Sweet Theory Baking Company

Restaurants that get it, restaurants that don't

Restaurants that get it, restaurants that don’t

 

publix gluten free section jacksonville, FL

Publix: Where Gluten-Free Shopping is a Pleasure

gluten free j william culinary

Product Review: J. William Culinary Prepared Meals

 

gluten free french fries epik burger

Epik Burger: Worth the Splurge

While it is nice to look back every once in a while, it is time to charge forward to 2014.  Here is to a year filled with healthy and nutritious foods.  What are you looking forward to in 2014?

 

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New Sponsor J. William Cullinary

I am excited to announce a new sponsor: J. William Culinary.  I love this product, finally something convenient for those of us with celiac and other gluten intolerances.  Almost all of his dishes are gluten-free and dairy-free and they are high in protein and low in fat, salt and sugar.  They are the perfect portion.

gluten free j william culinary

The owner Jay truly believes in his product and has grown his business primarily through his good attitude and kind words from his customers who he calls friends.

j william culinary gluten free jacksonville

The prices are reasonable and they deliver.  Check them out at JWilliamCulinary.com.

j william culinary gluten free jacksonville

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