Nov 30, 2009

Udi’s Review: The Best Gluten-Free Bread and Muffins

Most Udi’s Gluten Free products are soy-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. They are made in a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Denver, Colorado and sold in Udi’s cafes. While several of their products can be ordered online, Udi’s Gluten Free is also sold in some Whole Foods. Their gluten-free bagels are sold at three Einstein Bros bagels in Denver!

Udi’s sent me five products to review: white sandwich bread, whole grain bread, lemon streusel muffins, blueberry muffins, and pizza crusts. When I opened the box, the smell of the products was wonderful. The products are shipped frozen and intended to thaw during shipping.

They are good for 5-7 days on the counter, 21 days in the fridge, and 6 months in the freezer. The pizza crusts have directions to cook from frozen, so I froze them. I stored the muffins on the counter and in the refrigerator. The label on the breads said that they dry out in the refrigerator, so it is recommended to keep them in the freezer and then thaw on the counter as needed. No microwaving or toasting is needed to eat this bread! I kept the white sandwich bread on the counter and froze the whole grain bread.

Both muffin flavors are fantastic. They are surprisingly soft and fluffy. The air pockets throughout the muffins create the great springy consistency. The muffins are large and filling. Fortunately, the lemon flavor is not too strong. The blueberry muffin has 240 calories and 8 grams of fat. The lemon muffin has 280 calories and 11 grams of fat. They are made from a blend of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. After storing the muffins for one week in the refrigerator, they tasted very fresh when warmed in the microwave.

My daughter, who can eat gluten, loved the muffins and the white sandwich bread. In fact, she loved the white sandwich bread more than Wonder bread and ate many slices, including every last bit of crust. On the fifth day of keeping the bread on the counter in a Ziploc bag, she ate it for her school lunch. It was still soft, but not as soft as a few days earlier. She did not like the pizza crust because of the extra flour dusted on the bottom, but I liked it. The thin pizza crust had a nice crisp on the bottom and was doughy too. It is low in calories and fat.

I tried the whole grain bread last, and was extremely impressed. The whole grain bread is the best gluten-free bread I ever ate! I do not make my own bread, so I am comparing it to other store bought brands. Udi’s white sandwich bread is also good, but I liked the whole grain one better. My second favorite bread is Mr. Ritt’s Quinoa bread. So, what makes Udi's Gluten Free whole grain bread so good?

· soft and fluffy
· thick slices
· stays soft on the counter for days after thawing, which makes it great for travel and lunches
· no toasting or microwaving needed
· soft crust
· no crumbs
· stays together well, even for spreading and overstuffed sandwiches
· good mild taste
· tastes like gluten, similar to Roman Meal wheat bread
· contains teff flour and flax seed meal (also contains brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch)
· cost is only $5.00, which is cheaper than a loaf of Kinnikinnick bread.

The products are shipped via FedEx second day and currently a 35% shipping discount will be applied at checkout. To see videos of Udi’s gluten-free products and more glowing reviews, watch these videos.

Emotional Response To Udi’s Gluten Free Line

GFree TV: 3 videos - white sandwich bread, muffins, and pizza crust

Nov 25, 2009

Amy’s Kitchen: New Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Products

Amy’s Kitchen has several exciting new gluten-free products. The following new products are gluten-free and also non-dairy: Chocolate Cake, Mac and Cheeze, and Roasted Vegetable Pizza. Look for the large green strip on the front of the packages - “Gluten-Free Non-Dairy”.

The cake will be in stores in February, and the macaroni and cheese and pizza will be shipping out to stores in January. Amy’s Mom wrote in the winter newsletter that “these have been some of our most requested items” and gluten-free burritos are coming soon! Amy’s is also looking for gluten-free slogans for the slogan contest, so submit your ideas here.

Nov 21, 2009

100th Post: Top 10 Gluten-Free Products, News, and Events in 2009

My 100th post is the perfect time to reflect on the last year. I started this blog in December 2008, which seems like a lifetime ago with all the gluten-free advances this year. In addition to my blog, I started writing as the DC Gluten Free Examiner in March 2009, which now has 87 articles. At the time there were only three gluten-free Examiners, and now there are gluten-free Examiners in many cities and even Canada.

What were the hottest gluten-free products, news, and events in 2009? Here is my Top 10 list.

1. Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes
2. Research news from the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Fasano, and the University of Chicago
3. Gluten-free pizza crusts at many restaurants
4. General Mills Chex – five new varieties
5. Gluten-free concession stands
6. More media coverage of celiac disease, including morning news shows, newspapers, magazines, article, ABC articles, WebMD, and NPR
7. Primetime TV shows: celiac disease on the Celebrity Apprentice and Last Restaurant Standing, gluten-free episode of Top Chef, and Soy-Yer Dough on Shark Tank
8. Dramatic growth in gluten-free blogs, websites, and social networking
9. Publicity surrounding Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book
10. Babycakes cookbook and viral videos

For many who cook gluten-free, the new gluten-free cornmeal, corn flour, and corn grits from Bob's Red Mill was very exciting. For those who eat gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, Earth Balance's new soy-free buttery spread was life changing. For me the biggest change in the last year that has meant the most in my daily life is Giant carrying Kinnikinnnick products. It still brings a smile to my face each time I buy bread, bagels, buns, or donuts at my local grocery store!

Nov 20, 2009

USA Today Celiac Disease Supplement

Today, the USA Today has a 12 page supplement about celiac disease. The supplement, Celiac Disease: Your Guide to Living Gluten-Free, contains excellent information and is truly amazing awareness! There is great information from the Celiac Disease Foundation and Shelley Case, many advertisements, and even an Amy's coupon.

One of the best parts of the supplement is the following printed in bold on page four.

"CAUTION: If you suspect that you might be one of
the 3 million Americans suffering from celiac disease,
DO NOT remove gluten from your diet before
being tested. Doing so can lead to inaccurate test
results and misdiagnosis."

There is also a terrific section of celiac disease myths on page four, and one myth is that "celiac disease is an allergy to wheat". Thank you Media Planet!

Nov 18, 2009

New Gluten Free Options at Ithaca College

Susannah Faulkner, a junior politics major and SGA senator at Ithaca College, is working hard to improve celiac disease awareness on campus. As a result of her efforts, students at Ithaca College have some safe gluten-free dining options. Below is a quote from the article she wrote in The Ithacan newspaper.

"Starting this past week, the Campus Center Dining Hall installed a 'gluten-free pantry,' which includes main gluten-free staples such as bread, wraps, pasta, bagels and cereal. Also, there is a toaster and a microwave exclusively for gluten-free products along with individually portioned peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese and butter."

She also intends to start a club on campus for students with special dietary needs.

Nov 16, 2009

Jean Duane's Press Release: Goal is the Ellen Show

This is a very unusual press release. Following Ellen's strategy to land herself on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine, Jean Duane is attempting to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote her gluten-free and dairy-free cookbook.

The press release mentions that Ellen said on her show in June that she had been eating gluten-free for two weeks and felt better. Jean is publicly declaring her goal to appear on the show. If this bold and humorous approach works, hopefully Jean will talk about celiac disease!

Nov 15, 2009

Review: Balance Pure Chocolate Cashew

I tried many energy bars sold at Whole Foods (LARABAR, Thinkthin, Kind, and PranaBar) and Balance Pure chocolate cashew is by far my favorite. Recently, I finally found one flavor of Larabar that I like, the new peanut butter and jelly, but it is higher in fat and calories and only six grams of protein. The Balance Pure price is good at only 99 cents each.

Only Balance Pure bars are gluten-free, not the other Balance bars. They are available in three flavors: cherry pecan, chocolate cashew, and berry chia. The website lists banana cashew, but that flavor is not in stores, not sold on the Balance website, and Whole Foods was unable to order it, despite having that flavor on their list. Perhaps, it is a new flavor? I certainly hope so because it sounds wonderful. I did try to contact Balance about it, but even the customer service representative did not know if the banana was new or old.

The chocolate cashew has 170 calories, six grams of fat, nine grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and only eight ingredients. Compared to the high protein bars that I like, PureFit and ANDI, these are not as wide and not as filling. They are probably about the width of an Enjoy Life bar, but much longer and denser. For a quick snack on the go or at home with a very chocolate taste and some cashew crunch, Balance Pure is a great choice!

Nov 11, 2009

Gluten free Mentioned on the Good Wife on CBS

Last night on the new CBS drama The Good Wife, the episode called unorthodox had a sentence about gluten free. The gluten free sentence can be viewed at 10:20 in the full episode video on the CBS website. When the lady was questioned about why she walked to the grocery store that is 1/2 mile from her home, not one of the five closer grocery stores, she said the following statement.

"My daughter needs gluten free foods and this grocery store, the kosher grocery store, had more options."

Alicia then said to her coworker "great answer".

Nov 10, 2009

Depression and Celiac Disease: Psychology Today Article

The informative November newsletter from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) mentions an article about celiac disease posted on the Psychology Today website. This interesting article, Gluten: The Secret Stalker, discusses depression as well as ADHD and lists many symptoms of celiac disease. It is great awareness for mental health professionals, except it does not provide information about how to be tested for celiac disease.

Nov 5, 2009

A Great Celiac Disease Video

This great video provides a brief and accurate overview of celiac disease. It was part of the recent General Mills gluten-free Chex press release done by MultiVu. The General Mills website now contains many gluten-free Chex recipes.