One of the problems of having a gluten allergy, especially when people are first diagnosed, is finding food and resources. After all, most gluten-free items cost more than their regular counterparts. I used to wonder why it cost more when they were leaving items out. When I began preparing gluten-free recipes I learned why; they have to add a lot of different flours and ingredients to get the same results. This week, we’re sharing some new products we’ve discovered to help you on your Gluten Free journey. Even, if you’re not gluten-free, these are some good finds!
1. Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good – There’s nothing better than having a hot meal waiting for us when we come home. Since most of us don’t have a personal chef, the next best thing is having a crockpot meal waiting for us. That’s where the new Stock the Crock Cookbook comes into play. Written by Phyllis Good, author of the Fix-It and Forget-It Series, this book contains 100 Slow Cooker Recipes ranging from soups, sides, main dishes, and desserts. The recipes range from simple 5 ingredient recipes like Sesame Green Beans to more complex recipes like Veggie Pot Pie with biscuits. I recommend checking the ingredients of each recipe to make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. Some recipes call for spices that beginning cooks might now have on hand like fresh chopped mint or cumin.
The beauty of this book is with enclosed tip section at the bottom of each recipe. Most recipes have a “Make It Gluten Free” option, while other options found on some of the recipes include “Make it Paleo-Friendly,” “Make it For The Picky Eater,” and “Make it Vegetarian/Vegan.” Another feature I liked is the “Simple Swaps,” which provides substitutions for some of the ingredients you might not have on hand. The beginning cook will appreciate the “Tips” sections for recipe prep. Each recipe has been submitted by home cooks so you’ll have a selection of family-tested recipes.
2. American Heritage Historic Chocolate– Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s been a treasured favorite of our history for years. American Heritage Chocolate is a taste of the past, using a recipe from the 1750’s and only using ingredients available in the 18th century. All the products are Kosher, have all-natural ingredients, and no preservatives. Available products include Chocolate Drink, Chocolate Sticks, Chocolate Blocks and Chocolate Bites.
There’s a huge difference in this chocolate than the classic chocolates of today. It has the subtle taste of spices, the tang of dark chocolate, and a smooth, creamy texture. This chocolate will give all your favorite recipes a deliciously different taste, especially if you are a dark chocolate fan. I think this would also be a perfect addition to a little girl’s tea party. If you’d like to try the chocolate in a gluten-free recipe, try this Chocolate Mousse recipe available on their site.
3. Ian’s Natural Foods– I love the story behind Ian’s Natural Foods. In 2001, a father wanted to find simple and nutritious foods for his son. He created his own non-GMO allergy friendly product line and named it “Ian’s” after his son. Today they sell 35 products across the US and Canada. He offers products that cater to no eggs, no milk/casein, no peanuts or tree nuts, no soy, no wheat/gluten, and non-GMO.
We tried the Fish Sticks, Popcorn Turkey Corn Dogs, Organic Chicken Nuggets and French Toast Sticks. The Corn Dogs were a hit with Brittany who was so excited to discover she could actually have corn dogs again. “I’ve missed these,” she exclaimed. We were thrilled to discover the baby could eat the Fish Sticks, Chicken Nuggets, and French Toast Sticks. With her extensive food allergies, it is hard to find any convenience foods she is able to eat. We’re keeping these in the freezer at all times now for times when we need to prepare a quick meal for the baby that she will actually eat. We did have a little trouble finding the products and the selection in our area was limited, but the products can also be purchased online.
4. T-Fal Cooking Accessories– I am a sucker for cooking accessories. My motto is “Anything that makes my life easier.” That’s why I love trying new kitchen gadgets like these from T-Fal. In our kitchen, we use a lot of garlic. A LOT of garlic. Bryan often asked if I am trying to keep vampires at bay with my garlic usage. The only problem with garlic is dicing it. I hate that. I switched to jars of minced garlic, but that is more expensive. Having the T-fal Ingenio Garlic Presshas made my life easier. Just insert the garlic, press and voila! It’s ready to pour into my dishes. This garlic press is sturdy, easy to clean, and simple to use.
Lately, since I have to do so much vegetarian cooking, I have discovered the joy of “zoodles,” or zucchini noodles. The T-Fal Ingenio Peeler makes it possible for me to turn almost any type of firm vegetable into a noodle, although I usually use squash (especially butternut squash for Fall). T-fal Ingenio Peeler has a micro-etched blade for easy peeling, a potato eye remover, and, my personal favorite, is dishwasher safe.
One thing I seem to spend a lot of time doing in my kitchen is using a strainer. It’s almost impossible to hold a strainer in one hand and pour the ingredients into the strainer using the other hand. That’s where the T-Fal Ingenio Tripod Strainer comes in handy. It’s designed to work two ways; the traditional way of holding the strainer or using the drop-down support that allows it to stand in place. Because of the freestanding base, the strainer itself never touches the sink. It’s a convenient size for smaller dishes and is dishwasher safe. All of these products are reasonably priced too. Most have a price point of around $11 or less.
5. Pantry Perks– Finding gluten-free and other allergy-friendly items can be difficult. We live in the suburb of a medium-sized city and most of the stores that sell a variety of allergy-friendly items are 30 to 45 minutes away. That can be a problem when I need something in a hurry. And don’t get me started on the area where the family farm is located. If you need any type of specialty item you are out of luck unless you want to drive for at least an hour and a half. Pantry Perks is a new service designed to fill this void.
This is an online marketplace specializing in purchasing bulk natural, organic and specialty brands and having them delivered directly to your door. Not only do they offer groceries, they provide wellness and essential products. They feature all of our favorite name brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Ghirardelli, and more. Shipping is free on orders of $75 or more and they offer daily deals and sale items. One of my favorite features is their referral program. Share your referral link with friends and family. Then when you purchase $60 or more of items each month you earn 7% back on your purchase, plus 6% of your friends’ purchases. What could be better than saving on groceries?
Do you have any food allergies? What are your favorite tips for making life with food allergies easier?