Monday, January 4, 2016

Best of 2015 - My Favorite Gluten Free Products

For the last three years, I have put together a list of my favorite gluten free products.  In 2013, Cup4Cup original flour blend topped my list, and it still remains my favorite all-purpose gluten free flour.  My Best of 2014 list features favorites like Sweet Note bagels, Le Veneziane pasta, Trader Joe's pumpkin pancake mix, and Williams-Sonoma gingerbread spice quick bread mix.  This year, my top two gluten free products are Cappello's pasta and Luce's OMG Flatbread mix.  

For several years, I have wanted to try Cappello's gluten and grain free pasta, and I finally had the chance this past summer.  My family loved the gnocchi and the fettuccine, but Cappello's tops my list because of their lasagna sheets, which I have used to make beef ravioli and mafalda noodles, two of the best dinners I made in 2015.  Cappello's is not sold in any local stores, but they recently changed their online prices to include shipping.  Ordering online is still pricey, but it is cheaper than eating pasta at a restaurant, and it is worth the occasional splurge.

My family loves Italian food.  How could we not with a last name like Salerno?  When I could eat gluten, I ate a lot of ciabatta bread, something I missed for seven years after my celiac diagnosis.  Earlier this year, I discovered that I could make a ciabatta-like bread with Luce's OMG Flatbread Mix.  I love how easy it is to make, and how amazing it tastes.  My whole family of gluten-eaters loves it as much as I do.  Luce's is not sold in Orlando, but you can buy the mix on their website, and the shipping rates are very reasonable.

Before I started using Against the Grain Gourmet original rolls this year, we rarely ate hamburgers, and when we did, I almost never used a bun, because I did not like any of the brands I was buying.  I ignore the instructions on the bag for thawing Against the Grain rolls.  I defrost them in the microwave until they are easy to cut with a serrated knife.  I put them back in on defrost if they are still frozen in the middle.  I then lay each half on a baking sheet, and put them in a preheated oven for a couple of minutes until they a nice and warm.  The oven is usually set to 450 degrees, because I like to serve baked french fries with my hamburgers.  Against the Grain gourmet rolls work well for hotdogs too.  I cut two hotdogs in half, and arrange the pieces on the bun.  I purchase Against the Grain gourmet rolls at Whole Foods.

Next on my list is one of my favorite sweet treats of the year, the Donald Duck White Chocolate bar with blueberries and habanero chili from The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe in Disney Springs.  When it comes to chocolate, first and foremost I love milk chocolate.  Before I tasted this candy bar, I never liked white chocolate, unless I was baking a gluten free version of Picky Palate's double white chocolate and pretzel peanut butter cookies with sea salt, but even then, I topped them with a milk chocolate Hershey's Kiss when they came out of the oven.  Thankfully, I read a great review of the Donald Duck bar before visiting The Ganachery, or I never would have bought it.  It is creamy, and not overly sweet, and has a delightfully fruity taste from the blueberries, that is followed by a subtle heat from the habanero chili.  It is candy bar perfection.

I love Scratch & Grain Baking gluten free cookie kits, because they make it easy and fun to bake with my daughters, and their cookies are delicious.  The chocolate truffle cookies, my personal favorite, remind me of cookies my family used to buy at a bakery in Hilton Head when I was a kid.

Last year, my list of favorite gluten free products included Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix.  This year, Cup4Cup Brownie Mix made the list because of the amazing chocolate crinkle cookies you can make with it.  They have been a big hit with my gluten-eating family and friends, and they are so easy to put together.  

I have tried many gluten free cornbread mixes, but by far the best is Williams-Sonoma Honey Corn Bread Mix.  It took my family's cornbread stuffing recipe to an all new level this year at Thanksgiving.  We also love to make cornbread muffins with it.  If you are interested in trying this mix, head to your local Williams-Sonoma store soon.  I was told that it has been discontinued when I stopped at the Winter Park store, but my aunt was told that it should be back next fall when she stopped at her local store in Pittsburgh.

Bella Gluten-Free Tender Flaky Biscuit Mix is a product I look forward to experimenting with in 2016.  In November, I used the mix to make sausage biscuits with egg, and I was impressed with how easy the biscuits were to prepare, and how great they tasted.  My tips - use salted butter, and have some extra gluten free flour on hand for shaping the biscuits.  I have plans to use this mix to make cheddar bay biscuits, and desserts biscuits with strawberries and whipped cream.  Bella has some recipe ideas on their website.  I purchase the mix at Chamberlin's in Winter Park.

My favorite breakfast product of the year is Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal.  I have tried several varieties, and liked them all, but my favorite is the peaches & berry bramble.  It is great for travel, breakfast on the go, or an easy breakfast at home.  I was excited that my daughters, who have never liked oatmeal, enjoy this product.  In a year full of controversy over mechanically sorted oats, you don't need to worry when you eat Straw Propeller products, because they use purity protocol oats.

I have always loved raw cashew butter, but my NutriBullet takes a beating when I make my own, so I was excited to discover Artisana Organics Raw Cashew Nut Butter.  It is sweet and creamy, and so delicious served on top of apple or banana slices.  The only ingredient is organic raw cashews, but I do like to add a little sea salt or kosher salt.  My other favorite nut butter of 2015 is Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, which has become my snack food of choice when I find myself hungry before dinner.  My daughters love to eat it by the spoonful too, and we have been buying it in snack packs with gluten free pretzels from Target, which they pack in their lunches.

I have never been a big fan of store bought hummus, but Eat Well Embrace Life Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus changed that.  It is sweet with a hint of spice, and comes with a delicious sunflower seed and apricot topping.  No one in my family is a carrot lover, but we all love this hummus, which we eat with organic corn tortilla chips.

Over the summer, we discovered Maeda-en Mochi Ice Cream Bonbons at one of our local Asian stores.  They combine two of my favorite things, mochi and ice cream, in one delightful package.  My favorite flavors are the red bean, and the mango sherbet, which is available at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot.

When I am looking to satisfy my sweet tooth, one of my go to cookies for 2015 has been Jovial Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Filled Organic Chocolate Cookies.  The outside of the cookies are slightly crunchy, and the chocolate cream filling reminds me of Nutella.  I like that the cookies are wrapped in small packages of two, which is good for portion control, and taking food on the go.  I usually order my Jovial cookies from when I place an order for vitamins and Le Veneziane pasta, but I think I have also purchased them from Chamberlin's in Winter Park.  

My other favorite store bought cookie of the year is Nairn's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Cookies.  I think I first found them at the HomeGoods store in Winter Garden Village, but they are also available on  In the U.K., they are called Nairn's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Biscuit Breaks.  They are not overly sweet, and they have just the right amount of chocolate chips for my taste.  Like Jovial, there are snack and go packs in each box, which help to keep the cookies fresher.

For Mother's Day, my family bought me a box of Cookies con Amore Glutenetto Cookies.  I highly recommend their chocolate ricciarelli and raspberry linzer cookies, my two favorites, and their polentine, nonnine, and amaretti cookies.  My husband ordered them online, but some of my blog readers have told me that they have found Cookies con Amore Glutenetto Cookies at HomeGoods.

Since my celiac diagnosis, one of the products I have missed the most is the panettone my family would buy from Williams-Sonoma every Christmas.  I have considered making it myself, but never seemed to find the motivation in a season where I am baking Christmas cookies, so I was excited to finally find a gluten free panettone at Bottega dei Sapori in Pittsburgh International Airport when we flew back to Orlando over Thanksgiving break.  Both my husband and I liked the Trentasette gluten free Panettone served at room temperature with a little bit of butter, and next year, we hope to make french toast with it.  It wasn't as amazing as the panettone I used to buy from Williams-Sonoma pre-celiac, but it is a great option.  Trentasette gluten free panettone was available to purchase from over the holidays, and I saw someone on Instagram post that they found it at Whole Foods.

I am very blessed that my family is willing to keep a 100% gluten free household so I don't have to worry about cross contamination in my own home.  The products mentioned in this post are not only enjoyed by me, but they have also been given a big thumbs up by my gluten-eating husband and/or daughters.

There are a lot of links in this post, so if you want to know more about these products, like where to buy them, or information about ingredients, click on the words in bold.  Some of the links will take you to product reviews I have written on my blog over the course of 2015.

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

What are your favorite gluten free products of 2015?


  1. Cookies con Amore Glutenetto Cookies can also be found at TJ Maxx and Marshalls

  2. Excellent list! Great blog! Terrific products. Thank you~ Carolyn

  3. Fantastic product reviews! Which delicious option to try first?!! :)) ~ Thank you!!