Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gluten-Free Product Review: Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix by Enjoy Life

Gluten-Free Product Review: Not Nuts!  Seed  and Fruit Mix

[by Kate — guest gluten-free blog author
I’m a fan of Enjoy Life’s brand of Gluten-Free products, which also happen to be free not only of wheat & gluten, but of many other allergens that plague gluten-free eaters including nuts, dairy, egg, soy, casein, and sulfites.  Enjoy Life also get big points for producing products that are sans-trans fat, contain no artificial ingredients, and which can appease both Kosher and vegan eaters.  Let’s just say that the Enjoy Life brand makes a whole of people disingenuously considered “picky” eaters by the larger population of allergen-free and celiac/gluten-free people very, very happy!

As consistent readers might recall, I’ve recently tested out and written reviews here on the Gluten-Free Blog for Enjoy Life’s line of GF crunchy cookies (see: Gluten-Free Cookies Review) and their crunchy flax cereal (see: Gluten-Free Crunchy-Flax Cereal Review).  And, now, I’ve tried their rather interesting take on a fruit and nut mix…without the nuts!

Instead of using nuts in their mix given high incidences of nut allergies in GF populations and the more general food-consuming public, Enjoy Life has substituted seeds—sunflower kernels and pumpkin seeds—for nuts to deliver up a product whimsically named, Not Nuts!  Seed and Fruit Mix.

Currently there are two varieties of the Not Nuts! Product:
  • Mountain Mambo — with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples, chocolate chips, and cranberries
  • Beach Bash — with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, pineapple, cranberries, and apricots
As you’ve likely noticed, the ingredients of the two varieties are quite similar, the seed content in both instances being composed of sunflower kernels and pumpkin seeds.  Now, I don’t know much about seeds or, more importantly, about edible seeds, but it seems to me that there must be a vaster variety of seeds out there to incorporate into these products in order to offer a comparable diversity of taste comparable to very distinctly flavorful varieties of mixed fruit and nut products.

In fact, I did a bit of searching on the web, and came across the blog of a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto which offered a blog post about the most ubiquitous edible seeds, charmingly titled: “Not Just for Squirrels: Edible Seeds.  After taking a quick peek at the post, I found myself wondering “where are the cardamom seeds in Enjoy Life’s Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix?”  And, alternatively,  "Where are the Pine Seeds (aka Pine Nuts) or Poppy Seeds?Let’s get a bit adventurous and break out of the sunflower and pumpkin seed mold, here!

GF Product Review: Conclusion

That critique about seed-variety aside, I like the product and plan to eat much of it when I go out of town in a few weeks to present a paper at an academic conference (wish me luck!).  This gluten-free fruit and seeds blend is really an incredibly convenient, healthy, and filling on-the-go snack and manages to be that while also tasting quite good!

And, if I can digress from review-mode and sneak my way into personal story-telling mode, I can’t help but think of Bath, England every time I take a bite of Enjoy Life’s Seed and Fruit Mix.  It conjures up memories for me of sitting on the steps of an old, beautiful church in Bath eating a yogurt parfait from a local Starbucks and discovering that the parfait contained yogurt, fruit, and SEEDS!  It was the best yogurt parfait I ever had, and I plan to re-create it with my Enjoy Life Seed and Fruit Mix, some frozen blueberries, and my much beloved Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.  Bath, England here I come…

Images are the courtesy of Enjoy Life Food's web site [NOTE: A couple years after this article was written, the image-links were no longer valid, so, sorry, no pictures remain].

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information.

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