Thursday, February 28, 2008

Genisoy Soy Protein Shake

With such a busy schedule I used to find myself skipping meals. In an effort to avoid that I started looking for balanced, healthy protein drinks. The more I looked, the more powders I found that contained gluten. The first one that I found to be gluten free was this Genisoy Soy Protein Shake.

The chocolate flavor is still the best the shake I’ve found. It’s not too sweet and really does taste good, both with milk or water. It has 14g of soy protein per serving and is more filling than some others. And at about $13 it’s very economical. Genisoy is available in many small local stores as well as larger health food joints like Whole Foods.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nutritious Creations, Carrot Cake Cookie

This Nutritious Creation isn’t quite what I would call carrot cake. It was spicy, more like a spice cake than a carrot cake, with small pieces of walnut. The one I had was overly sweet, and addictive because of it. I had planned to eat half of the cookie, which is considered one serving, but I ended up eating the whole things when it crumbled to pieces. I ate the whole cookie, drank a whole glass of water, and ended up not being satisfied.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix

I love chocolate. Nothing draws me to a potluck table faster than heaping plate of moist brownies. I’ve never been too successful with making brownies from scratch, and before I was diagnosed Duncan Heinz was my got to mix.

Bob’s Red Mill has such a wide selection of Gluten free mixes that it’s no surprise that they have a brownie mix as well. I’ve had such success with their other mixes, and that Bob looks like such an honest guy, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The mix stayed on my shelf as was waiting for a good chance to use it so it moved with me when I moved in with my boyfriend and his family. Living in this new space with these Ecuadorian immigrants there were some things to get used to, one of them being that they keep the gas stove unplugged to save electricity and use a lighter to start the burners. For the longest time I thought that the oven simply didn’t work, because his mother stored all her pots in it.

By the time I learned that I could in fact use the oven, once all the other hardware was removed I had become impatient and caved in to my chocolate cravings. Every now and again I poured out s portion of the brownie mix, mixed it with a little milk until it was the right consistency, and satisfied myself with batter instead. I once attempted to make a brownie pancake on the stove but that just doesn’t work, don’t try it, it’ll burn and stink up the house.

Eating the batter on the sly worked out just fine, because nobody had to know about it, and I didn’t have to share. As a connoisseur of all things brownie, this batter is fantastic. It has the right flavor and consistency to make a great brownie. The next time I need to bring a "dish to share", it will be weighted down with these brownies, I may even share them.

Organic Food Bar, Belgium Chocolate Chip

Around about three o'clock I was really dragging. Lunch was behind me, dinner was at home, I was running an errand in the cold rain. I wanted a sweet pick-me-up. There are mini Snickers in my desk, but I took the high road and went for the Organic Food Bar instead.

The label read Belgium Chocolate chip, and I can taste a little chocolate. But frankly, this is so gooey good that it doesn't have to be chocolatey. Sweet and soft it has bit of nuts and little bits of chocolate. I can most definitely distinguish the dates and almonds, the first two ingredients on the label. It has a hint of wheat germ in the aftertaste. Somehow, this bar manages to taste both healthy and like desert.

These bars are certified organic, cold processed, non-GMO and 100% vegetarian. And it's delicious! None of the ingredients contain gluten, although that particular statement is not printed on the label. You could definitely eat this one for lunch, or a snack, but it sure tastes like dessert.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Raw Organic Food Bar, Chocolate Coconut flavor,

When I picked up the Organic Food Bar I was a little dubious. Organic is great, and in most cases raw is pretty good too. Famished and exhausted after a hard workout and a long week I knew I needed something that wasn’t a candy bar and I hoped that the Chocolate Coconut Raw bar would do it. When I open the package I wasn’t quite expecting the soft brown bar inside. This surprised me. Soft and moist and not to sweet, eating this was a trip back in time when I used to snitch oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough.

It was so good that I reflexively checked the label again. Sure enough, along with the organic, raw, no dairy, and no GMO certifications was gluten free. With those cute little chocolate chips and noticeable pieces of cashew, this out to hold me over till diner.

I am definitely going back to try more flavors, and to stock up for my gym bag.

NutriBiotic Vegan Rice Protein Powder

As I was trolling the shelves at Whole Foods for a protein shake mix that didn’t contain oat bran I found this NutriBiotic vegan rice protein powder. It clearly says on the label that it doesn’t contain and wheat, gluten or animal products. It’s hard enough to find a shake mix that is gluten free I decided to try it. Whole Foods has a return policy on this type of product, so I knew that if I really couldn’t stand it I could bring it back.

This stuff is packed with protein; in 1 tablespoon it has 12g of protein and 2.4g of carbohydrates. Now, it’s nutritional value saved it from being returned right away. I always choose chocolate flavor of anything to begin with and this reminded me of my torturous days in the summer camp wood shop. When mixed with water it didn’t taste like much, palatable but not anything to look forward to.

The label suggests that this powder can be added to any of your cooking, that it will mix right in and add a dose of protein. When I mix 1 scoop of this with my usual protein shake I barely notice the difference and get more protein into my stripped down diet. I expect that the plain or vanilla flavors would be especially easy to hide in other foods to add protein.

Potent Foods Maca Bars

As a busy girl in the city who chooses to ‘brown bag it’ I’m always on the lookout for tasty gluten free protein/energy bar to keep in purse/desk/gym bag. As I was perusing the labels of the energy bars at Whole Foods I found the Maca Bar. Maca is from the Andes and was a staple of the Inca diet. It is supposed to be great for all sorts of things. All the nutrition can be found on the Potent Foods website. The label claims that it is gluten free but the fine print notes that gluten is processed in the same facility. I made an inquiry to the company and received this reply:

Hi Vittoria,

I just got back from a trip.

The gluten that is done in the plant is mostly oats. It is made in a totally separate area. The line that we make the bars on is totally spotless, having undergone a kosher inspection with the Rabbi.

We have many celiac patients that eat the Organic Maca Bar on a regular basis. There have never been any reports of problems.

That said, as a doctor, I have to advise you do what you feel comfortable with.

Please let me know, if you do try the bars, how you like them.

Best regards,

Dr. BJ Adrezin
5835 SW Corbett Avenue
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: (503) 367-6763
Fax: (503) 961-9700

I tried all three flavors and found them to be very satisfactory. Not your average energy bar, soft and moist with tart and not too sweet. There are little bits of fruit and chocolate mixed in. The Maple Chunk Fudge had bits of raw maple sugar. The label notes that there might be little bits of shell, and I did find a tiny piece. I can’t say that it increased my endurance or that felt any different after eating it, but it tasted great and satisfied my hunger AND sweet tooth.


This Lifeway probiotic yogurt smoothie is a family favorite. Unlike some of the more mass-produced yogurts this one does not contain any ingredients that I flag as no-nos although it is not certified gluten free, I emailed the company and the response was: All our products are gluten free!

They come in a number of delicious flavors including cherry, blueberry, raspberry, pomegranate, strawberry and plain. They taste like fruit and yogurt, rather then sugar like some other brands. It has the bite of a natural yogurt, not the processed yogurts that are full of sugar that are so prevalent in most grocery stores.

I have not tasted a commercial yogurt smoothie that tastes more like the ones my boyfriend makes with the yogurt his mother cultures on our kitchen table. Coming in 12oz bottles they’re not as portable as smaller versions, but it fits well in the door of the refrigerator and makes a great on the go snack or late night sweet cravings.

In addition, in terms of managing my celiac disease, I find that drinking this, or other fresh probiotic cultures everyday helps to maintain my digestive systems and make my reaction and recovery to accidental gluten exposure less severe.

Ener-G Egg Replacer

The Ener-G brand is the only vegan egg replacement I have ever tried, and I have found no reason to try any other. I first tried it when I wanted to make vegan Christmas cookies that all my friends could share. The more I use it, the more versatile I find it to be. I prefer to use it in all my baking now, I get the binding of natural eggs and I control the amount of liquid that gets added to the recipe. The instructions recommend mixing the powder with warm water, but in most cases I simply mix the powder with my dry ingredients before mixing up cookies or breads.

Arrowhead Mills Blue Corn Meal

I found Arrowhead Mills Blue Corn Meal at a local grocery when I was living in Brooklyn Heights. I was looking for a mix to make my own corn bread for stuffing. I love blue corn chips, and there was a cornbread recipe on the back of the bag, so into my cart it went.

Thanksgiving of ’06 was a number of firsts; my first time preparing a gluten free Thanksgiving meal, my first time preparing a Thanksgiving meal solo, and my Ecuadorian boyfriends first turkey. I wanted everything to be perfect so I started prepping early. A few days before T-day I made a pan of cornbread following the recipe on the bag. After it was cooled I sliced it and set it on plate to dry out for the stuffing.

It tasted just like a regular corn bread; only it was a very intriguing shade of blue green, quite pretty actually. The recipe on the bag is for a real, dry, crumbly Southern corn bread, not the Northern version that is more appropriate to being a dessert.

The evening before Thanksgiving I set about chopping the vegetable and mixing up my stuffing. Reaching for the cornbread I found the plate bare, with the exception of a few wayward blue crumbs. Upon questioning, the elderly gentleman I was living with as a companion ‘fessed up to eating all of it, since it “was just so good. I couldn’t stop myself”. The second batch was just as good as the first, and even though it didn’t have a chance to get stale it still made an excellent stuffing. The one pan that I made was just enough to stuff the smallest turkey I could fins.

The recipe on the package was easy to make, and turned out just fine even though I have no idea how accurate the thermostat was on the ancient oven I was using. I’m sure that the Blue Corn Meal could be used as a substitute for yellow cornmeal in any recipe with colorful results. Arrowhead Mills offers other gluten free flours and mixes and processes the Blue Corn Meal in their gluten free facility.