Friday, March 14, 2008

Bakery on Main Apple Raisin Walnut Granola

This morning with my yogurt I tried a new gluten free granola from the Bakery on Main. The Apple Raisin Walnut Granola is exactly that. The first bite was a burst of apple cinnamon flavor. I love cinnamon, and this had enough, even for me.

The granola is a mix of seeds, nuts, fruits, crisp rice and cereal like pieces. These cereal things are like concave discs that seem to collect all the flax and sesame seeds. This makes for a great crunchy-chewy combination. The walnuts, raisins and dried apple pieces are very visible; whole walnuts and large pieces of apple.

As she tapped away on her computer my coworker absently tried them when I put them in front of her. She stopped and declared them delicious. I had visitors in my office throughout the day; I could hardly keep the bag closed.

The Bakery on Main makes these granolas in small batches, and they’re right: great things come in small batches.

****A special thanks to the Bakery on Main for providing these samples****

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gluten-Free Pantry Old Fashioned Cake and Cookie Mix

Since it was my first time preparing the Gluten-Free Pantry’s Old Fashioned Cake & Cookies Mix I decided to follow the directions on the box, as written. Since I don’t have a cookie sheet I made it as a cake, besides the one on the box looked so good, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had real cake.

The directions were easy enough to follow; I guess that’s the point of a cake mix to begin with. I am a chronic batter taster and an unabashed bowl liker, and this batter looked and tasted delicious. I managed to leave enough to fill my spring form pan and put it in the oven to bake.

Now, my oven is a little shifty, it doesn’t have any numbers on the dial and I have to rely on an oven thermometer and monitor it constantly. Even with the temperature variations the cake baked beautifully. I think it rose in the middle a little more than it was supposed to, but who cares? It looked so good I had trouble leaving it to cool over night.

Soft and moist this cake tasted like heaven to me. My memory may be a bit foggy but I would say this is one of the best cakes I’ve had, gluten free or not. It was a big hit in this house; always curious of my cooking my boyfriend’s mother tried a sliver. She declared she liked it, “mas rico” and not to sweet. Since everything in this household is share and share alike, she gave our two gerbils some of the treat as well.

My boyfriend and his brother and father are planning to have some for breakfast tomorrow. I don’t know if cake for breakfast is such a good idea, but this one is so good I just might have some too. If I don’t, I might not get another piece!

I prepared a sugar free chai spiced glaze for the cake, but it didn’t need it. I think it would also go very well with a cream cheese frosting or a chocolate glaze. This is a great base for whenever you need a yellow cake, it can stand up to some spice or to fruit, like a coffee cake or an upside down cake.

***I would like to give special thanks to Glutino and the Gluten-Free Mall for providing samples for me to try***

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brown Cow Yogurt

I’m always eager to find anything that is labeled gluten free. It’s surprising how many yogurts I’ve had problems with. One doesn’t usually think yogurt would contain gluten, but many of us know better.

When I found out that Brown Cow yogurts are gluten free, I was excited. They sent me some coupons and I rushed out to get some. All I could find was the cream top version, which has more fat that I would normally choose to have, but I was so eager I got it.

I selected three flavors for my taste testing, raspberry, cherry vanilla and plain. I was surprised at how much sugar there was in the two with fruit on the bottom. The first one I tried, raspberry, was so thick and creamy it felt like I was eating melted ice cream. The fruit tasted like raspberries, but it was more of a syrup than fruit. Altogether too rich and too sweet.

After the raspberry I was prepared for the texture of the cherry vanilla which was also thick and rich. This one was not as sweet, and I think I tasted a small piece of cherry in the fruit syrup on the bottom. Neither of these was really a satisfactory breakfast, but with the amount of calories and sugar in each I didn’t want to have anything else.

The last one I tried was the plain, this one was just as rich and creamy, but it didn’t have the bite I have come to expect from the fresh yogurts I have now. I mixed it with gluten free granola and it was pretty good. Not like the first two, which reminded me of eating melted ice cream. The one nice thing about the more mellow taste is that I didn’t feel the need to add any sweetness when I mixed it with my granola.

I’m very pleased that Brown Cow is making all of their yogurts, with the exception of the Fruit & Whole Grains, gluten free. I’m certainly not giving up on Brown Cow, it’s great to know that there’s a yogurt out there that I can safely eat, especially when I’m traveling. Next time I’m going to hold out and try the low fat or fat free version.