Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our favorite gluten-free and dairy-free products!

(I will link to each company that I post about, but only once so if you see the same company more than once in this post, only the first time is linked. Also GF=gluten free, CF=casein free, DF=dairy free)

Ashton's favorite mac & "cheeze"

Amy's Gluten Free/Non-Dairy rice macaroni w/ non-dairy cheeze
This has been a favorite since we first discovered it. We have tried "them all", quite literally. Ian's GFCF mac & no cheese, our own recipe using teese "cheeze" that recipe can be found here at: GFCF Mac & Cheese, Road's End Chreese penne & cheese, Namaste Foods Say Cheez pasta, and many others. The Amy's GFCF mac & cheese is the one that most closely resembles homemade mac & cheese. It's texture is similar (not gummy like I find some gf pastas to be) and the color of the Daiya cheese makes it looks sooo yummy. Ashton loves it and the few times that I've gotten the cheese sauce on my finger and licked it, I don't snurl my nose up in horror; so it's not all bad :)

Ashton's favorite chicken nuggets
Allergy Free Foods Chicken Breast Nuggets

Again, as with the mac & cheese, we tried many brands. Ian's GFCF chicken nuggets, Applegate Farms GFCF chicken nuggets (which were pretty tasty and we get in a pinch when we can't find the others) and then Allergy Free Foods. What I like about this brand, is the quantity of chicken nuggets you get for the price. You get a lot, and that helps when I want to bake a whole bunch and then refrigerate for future meals, as I did when we went camping earlier this summer. My only peeve with this brand is the breading does sometimes fall off easily, but Ashton doesn't seem to mind. Yes, we do bake these, and not fry them. They might be even better fried, but Ashton doesn't need the extra calories from fried foods; he's quite big enough, thankyouverymuch! :)

Ashton's favorite cheese
Daiya Foods Cheddar & Mozzarella style shreds

Yes, non-dairy cheese that looks like cheese. Non-dairy cheese that melts. Non-dairy cheese that tastes like a real dairy-full cheese. Daiya Foods knew what it was doing when it came out with these two products. It appeals to the vegan, the dairy & soy allergic, and to all those who need to be on both a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. When you can find a cheese substitute that melts like real cheese, you know you've found the holy grail. I've used the cheddar style shreds to make "cheesy" eggs (scrambled eggs w/ cheese) and to make our favorite home-made mac & cheese recipe. I've used the mozzarella style shreds on pizzas, spaghetti, and in a mixture on taco meat for my son. Now if only Daiya would come up with cheese slices, than I would be forever indebted to them. Ashton misses cheese slices on his sandwiches. I know I'm not the only one who wishes this; so get on it Daiya! ;)

Ashton's favorite donuts
Kinnikinnick Cinnamon Sugar donuts

Kinnikinnick (this link takes you to the US site) products are a huge hit in our house! Ashton particularly loves these donuts. They smell wonderful when you nuke them in the microwave "2-5-start" in our household. They taste pretty good too. He used to really love the vanilla glazed and chocolate dipped ones, but somewhere along the way, he's not that into those two varieties anymore. These do look and smell just like regular gluten-containing donuts. So that's a major plus! Ashton also likes the Kinnitoos (both the vanilla and chocolate varieties; they're very similar in taste, texture and appearance to oreos!) as well as S'moreables (graham crackers). He used the s'moreables when we made s'mores this year when we went camping - Yummy!

Ashton's favorite bread
Udi's Whole Grain Bread and White Sandwich Bread
Yes, a gluten-free white sandwich bread that rivals the real thing! We have tried both Udi's varieties and while I prefer the whole grain variety (it's healthier), Ashton enjoyed both. The white sandwich bread really does taste, smell and look like the real thing! It smells wonderful when it's been toasted lightly and well, you can't say anything nicer about a gluten-free bread. It's moist and delicious; two adjectives you hardly ever hear when you describe a gluten-free bread product. We also really like their pizza crusts and muffins.

Favorite store to shop at
Navan Foods Allergy Free Food Shop in Virginia Beach, VA

Navan Foods is a wonderful, local, allergy free food shop owned by Jennifer Elizondo. She has taken the guesswork out of figuring out what foods are safe and healthy for the food-allergic, celiacs, vegans, and specialty dieters of the area. Every product in her store is labeled with a card showing what allergens the product is free of as well as the manufacturing conditions the products are made in. (Some people are so allergic that even products made in the same plant and/or line as their allergen, could be deadly) She's a wonderful person and friend and is very knowledgeable and willing to help anybody. If you're local, I highly suggest you check out the store, IN PERSON. If not, check out her website as she does have some of her products available for purchase online.

Favorite baker of all things delicious
Unfortunately, their products are only available in store,
at Navan Foods in Virginia Beach, VA

Willow Bakery is a wonderful, local, bakery that has bridged the gap for the many tasty treats that the gluten and dairy intolerant/allergic can have. To have fresh, home-made goodies is a rare treat, and to have them taste delicious, even more so! Ashton loves the chocolate chip cookies and brownies and we recently tried the chocolate pumpkin marble cake. Quite delicious but he wasn't as big of a fan of that as I thought he might. If you follow them on Twitter, you can find out when they are bringing fresh products to Navan Foods. Get there in a hurry as the stuff sells outquickly!

I'm sure there are many other products I could blog about, but I'd be here all day in that case. These though, are our tried and true favorites. I hope they have helped you! :)

Have a good one!