Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of 2014 - My Favorite Gluten Free Products

My first Best of 2014 blog post will focus on the best gluten free products that I have discovered this year.  I am hoping to work on a second Best of 2014 post focusing on my eating adventures at Disney World in the next couple of days.

I am going to start this list with a product that I like to start my day with during the work/school week - Chobani Indulgent Banana & Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt.  This might be the best yogurt I have ever had.  It is blended (my preference), made with whole milk (I like healthy fats), contains bananas and dark chocolate (a winning combination), and is certified gluten free.

Before I work out, I like to eat another new breakfast favorite - Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp Gluten Free Cereal.  Until this year, I was not a cereal eater, but I love this cereal with milk and bananas.  Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal doesn't get soggy in milk, it is not overly sweet, and it contains a good amount of fiber and protein.

In 2014, I discovered a gluten free bagel that actually tastes like a gluten-filled New York style bagel.  Sweet Note Bagels are not sold locally, but they are definitely worth ordering online.  Even though my husband takes my daughters to eat gluten-filled bagels once a week, my daughter Katie keeps begging me to order these bagels again.

Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix has become our favorite mix for waffles this year, and it makes pretty amazing pancakes as well.  It is easy to make, it makes the perfect amount of pancakes or waffles for our family, and it tastes great.  This fall, I started making pumpkin waffles and cinnamon banana waffles with chocolate chips with the mix.

For lunch, one of my top picks for 2014 is  Boar's Head Bianco D'Oro Italian Salame.  I love to eat it with avocado, or my favorite Italian cheeses.  All of Boar's Head's deli meats, cheeses, and condiments are gluten free.

Earlier this year, I tried Krave Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky for the first time.  I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of jerky, but this stuff is amazing!

In the chip department, my top pick for 2014 is Simply 7 Cheddar Quinoa Chips, which I purchase from The Fresh Market.  When I need an easy and quick lunch, I eat some quinoa chips with string cheese, fruit, and gluten free cookies.  

I love to bake, but when I don't have any homemade cookies on the counter or in the freezer, I know I can open a pack of Schar Hazelnut Wafers, which I just discovered this year.  If you love Nutella, you will love these cookies, which are so nice and light, and not overly sweet.  I purchase Schar Hazelnut Wafers from my local Walmart Neighborhood Market or from Vitacost.com.  

My favorite gluten free pastas of 2014 have been Le Veneziane and Barilla.  We love Le Veneziane fettuccine, penne, rigatoni and ditalini, and Barilla penne and spaghetti.  The gluten-eaters in my house tell me they are as good as the gluten-filled pastas they eat at restaurants, and neither one requires a cold rinse.   

Lately, when we have needed a really quick & easy dinner, my go-to microwave meal has been Blake's Shepherd's Pie, which is made with organic corn, organic mashed potatoes, and ground beef.  When I think comfort food, this is the meal that comes to mind.  Locally, Blake's Shepherd's Pie can be purchased at Whole Foods, Publix, and Target.    

I am going to finish my Best of 2014 list with my favorite gluten free products that are only available at the holidays.  On Sunday, I tried Glutino Gluten Free Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels for the first time.  If they hadn't been giving out free samples at Whole Foods, I would have never purchased them, because I am not a big fan of mint, pretzels, or anything covered with yogurt, but the combo of the three is just amazing!  I am now regretting that I showed restraint, and only came home with one bag.

Last weekend, I tried Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Gingerbread Spice Quick Bread Mix for the first time as well, and was so impressed with it, I called my local Williams-Sonoma to reserve two more bags.  I made gingerbread spice muffins with the mix on Saturday, and everyone in my family loved how flavorful they were.  The mix is sold out online, but you can probably still buy it on sale at your local Williams-Sonoma store.

I am finishing my Best of 2014 list with Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix for a couple of reasons.  It was the first product that popped into my head when I started to brainstorm this list, my review of the mix has been one of my most viewed blog posts this year with over 3,500 views, and my husband and I both agree that it might be the best pancake mix we have ever had, beating out both its gluten free and gluten-filled counterparts.  With some pumpkin spice honey butter and maple syrup on top, the pancakes we make with this mix are just heavenly.

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 blue.  Some of the links will take you to product reviews I have written on my blog over the course of 2014.

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

What are your favorite gluten free products of 2014?