Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gluten-Free Doughnuts : Dunkin' Donuts on Sale Soon in USA

Gluten-Free Dunkin' Donuts 2013


Gluten-free Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts and Blueberry Muffins

Dunkin Donuts is getting into the Gluten-Free doughnut market in a big way by introducing the fast-food industry’s first gluten-free pastries nationwide (USA).  As reported in, and quoted from, a Bloomberg article:
The coffee and breakfast chain owned by Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (DNKN) will sell gluten-free cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins across its U.S. stores this year, Stan Frankenthaler, the company’s executive chef, said in an e-mail. 
“We recognize the importance of providing our guests with many options, including alternative choices for people with food and dietary restrictions,” he said. The pastries, to be sold at participating shops, are packaged separately to avoid contamination from other foods that contain wheat flour.
Very interesting news indeed, particularly if you have Celiac Disease and miss the ability to simply walk into a doughnut store, see a doughnut for sale that you want to try, but it, and eat it.  This is something so many people take for granted, but an option us wheat-free / gluten-free diet people do not typically have.

The suggested prices are $1.89 for Dunkin’s gluten-free doughnuts and $2.39 for muffins.

Gluten-free Treats Still have (substantial) Calories!

According to that Bloomberg article, Dunkin's new GF donuts actually have more calories per donut than a "normal" (glazed, gluten-containing version), whereas the new GF muffin has a bit fewer calories than its "normal" counterpart:
The new items aren’t always lower in calories than other baked goods sold by Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands. The wheat-free doughnut has 320 calories, while a glazed doughnut has 260 calories. And the gluten-free blueberry muffin has 400 calories versus 460 for the standard version and 410 for a reduced-fat one.
But hey, if we are seeking out a doughnut, I doubt we care TOO much about calories anyhow!

Will You Try Dunkin's New Gluten-Free Doughnuts?

I cannot remember the last time I even had a doughnut, but I am sure it has been at least a few years now.  And, even though I know "doughnuts are bad for you" (at least I have been so told over the years), they sure smell delicious every time I walk past a doughnut shop!  So, I will surely have to try at least one of the new Dunkin' Gluten-Free options and see how it stacks up to what I remember a "real" doughnut tasting like.  I do like cinnamon-sugar donuts! So, that sounds yummy.

With luck, Dunkin' will have developed a tasty treat that I can get once in a while if I decide I have a craving where I just "need" a doughnut.   I doubt there is much chance I will find myself craving donuts that much (given how I have made it many years without them now), but either way, it sounds like one more bit of normalcy that can be brought to those of us on a gluten-free diet.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Silver Hills Bakery Gluten-Free Bread Review

Silver Hills Bakery Gluten Free Chia / Flax Breads


Finally, GUM-FREE Gluten-Free commercial Bread options!

I have rarely eaten bread in recent years for the simple reason that nearly all commercial gluten-free breads contain various gums and thickening/binding agents that my GI tract dislikes — e.g., Xanthan Gum, Carageenan, Guar Gum, and so forth.  But, finally, I found a brand of gluten-free bread that is organic and contains no added gums and has an enjoyable taste and texture: Silver Hills Bakery!

Silver Hills Bakery Bread (courtesy of SilverHillsBakery.com website)

Gluten-Free Silver Hills Bread : Taste, Texture, Nutrtion

I have thus far tried the "Gluten-Free Chia Chia" and "Gluten-Free Omega Flax" Silver Hills Bakery varieties, and I like them both.  These breads are available frozen, Each slice of bread has 5g of fiber, 1g of fat and only 70 calories (12-13g net carbs), but I must note here that a "slice" of bread is not like a full-sized slice of bread that the masses of gluten-eaters get in a loaf of commercial bread: these are rather small slices that measure only 2.5 inches wide x 2.75 inches tall by 3/8-inch thick (17 slices per loaf, 20-ounce loaf in total).  It is thus a rather dense bread, and not a "fluffy" or "airy" bread like most commercial gluten-laden breads.

As with most gluten-free breads, I prefer mine toasted, as pictured here.
Silver Hills Bakery Gluten-Free Bread

Silver Hills Bakery Gluten-Free Bread
As I said, the bread is quite dense, but will get a nice crunch to the crust when toasted like this.  As such, it holds up nice when I eat it with a bit of olive-oil on it, or peanut-butter, or even my egg-salad.   I have tried the bread un-toasted, but I prefer the texture that toasting brings to the equation.

The non-GMO vegan gluten-free Chia Chia ingredients are: Water, organic whole sorghum, organic whole ground chia seeds, organic cane sugar, organic whole psyllium husks, yeast, organic rice flour, organic vinegar, sea salt; the gluten-free Omega Flax non-GMO vegan ingredients are: Water, organic whole sorghum, organic whole ground chia seeds, organic cane sugar, organic brown flax seeds, organic whole psyllium husks, yeast, organic rice flour, organic vinegar, sea salt.

These ingredients produce a predictable pleasant taste as imparted by the underlying core grains used in each.  Sorghum prevails as the prominent taste, but the yeast and vinegar bring forth a bit more complexity in the flavor and results in a nice balance.  Again, my preference for toasting comes into play with regards to taste, since the sugars will caramelize a bit during the toasting and further develop the overall flavor combination in a good way.

I'd say that Silver Hills has done a nice job with their gluten-free breads, especially given the fact they have taken the bold step of doing bread "right" (my opinion at least) by omitting the all-to-common gums and additives so many gluten-free breads contain.  They have created these wheat-free, vegan, gluten-free breads while remaining true baking like "homemade" and using the basic organic grains and ingredients I am looking for in a bread.  I enjoy this, and I hope others will too.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free and wheat-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gluten-Free Mug-Cake Review : Shirly J brand Chocolate Brownie MugCake

"Shirley J" (brand) Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Mug-Cake Review

[by Kate — guest gluten-free blog author] (minor edits by Mike)
Shirley J brand Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake

Overall Impression

Overall I recommend the mug cake, specifically the Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake, mix from Shirley J.

The cake is quick, it's so easy, requires no specialized equipment (except a microwave) and little to no skill to make. Even those of you who hate cooking and baking or who fear you're no good at it can make this gluten-free mug cake from Shirley J with great ease and great results. Seriously. A great, single-portion cake in a little over a minute. What's not to like about that?

I also think it's a boon to those of you out there who don't have celiac disease yourselves, but who have family or friends that do. You'll really make your family member / friend/ co-worker with celiac a happy camper if you can make or gift them their own individual, GF cake so that they can enjoy dessert along with everybody else!

Shirly J Mug Cake (gift kit)

Pros

So fast, so easy: Takes only about two minutes to open the package, whisk in the water and add the chocolate chips. Cooks in 90 seconds in the microwave.

Low energy requirements: Requires only 90 seconds in the microwave versus much longer baking time in a conventional oven. This is especially nice if you're in a hot climate and are paying to cool your home -- turning the oven on is always painful in that situation.

No special equipment required: All you need is the mix, additional chocolate chips, a fork, water, a tablespoon, a microwave, and microwaveable mug. These are all very common household items, even for people without full or well equipped kitchens (like college students).

Taste and texture: The gluten-free cake is very moist and the chocolate flavor is there.

Versatility: The flavor profile of the mix could easily be slightly varied with a dash of vanilla, cinnamon, orange oil, or espresso powder. You could also probably easily add walnuts or pecans, marshmallows, or coconut to the mix in small proportions. You can also serve the cake with frosting, ice cream, or whipped cream. Or, you can do like me and eat it with a big mug -- yes another mug -- of almond milk.

Individual Portioning: Individual portioning makes it easy to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting sucked into eating or getting rid of a multi-portion sized cake. Great

Gift Idea: The gluten-free mugging kit, which includes a microwaveable mug and 1 pack of mug-cake costs around $15. The mugging kit would make a great gift for a GF friend, co-worker, or relative and is in a good price range for moderate to low-cost gifting.

Cons

Additional Ingredients: 1/4 cup chocolate chips called for by mix is NOT included (be sure to choose a "safe" / gluten-free brand of chips).

Texture: Nice and moist, but has a grainier mouth-feel than a traditional cake. The same is true of almond-flour based cakes and some others using non-traditional flours. This is really a mild "con," as the texture is merely slightly different rather than poor or unappetizing.

Cost: If you buy 1 packet of Shirley J's gluten-free mug cake the mix runs you about $3. The more economical way to buy is to purchase a 5-pack of a single flavor for $12.95.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of wheat-free, gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Hail Merry Gluten-Free Miracle Tart Review : Fantastic! (and Costco has them)

Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Indulgence


Seriously Good Chocolate Mini-Tarts with Ingredients done Right!

We were out at Costco today and came across these fantastic little "Hail Merry" (brand) "Miracle Tart" Chocolate Minis, and I can tell you they are fantastic because within minutes of getting home, I had opened the package and sampled one.  They are simply superb!  At room temperature (served per suggestion), the centers are just buttery smooth and creamy, and there is a deep rich chocolate flavor with a hint of almond and coconut that comes through the chocolate. But, it is definitely chocolate and will satisfy a serious chocolate craving.

I admire the fact that the company has created these delicious tarts using ingredients that include just organic maple syrup, Fair Trade dark cocoa, natural raw almond flour, organic extra virgin coconut oil, and sea salt.  That's it.  Nothing else.  Thank you Hail Merry, since I constantly bypass similar dessert offerings by companies that add all sorts of preservatives, gums, and other junk I refuse to eat.  Hail Merry has done this right and with the right ingredients!

I added a few fresh raspberries to the equation (also from Costco today), and the combination was also excellent! (as pictured)

Also of note: a single tart has only 90 calories! (if you can limit your chocolate desires to one at a time)

Get them at Costco Wholesale in 2013


Hopefully Costco will continue to stock these. We discovered them today in the chilled foods aisles, and I was excited to see that not only are they a delicious chocolate gluten-free dessert, but thanks to Costco's bulk-buying and packaging, the price was reasonable enough to consider. I have seen these types of things at other stores (e.g., Whole Foods, etc.), but I refuse to pay $2.00 per tart and such!

Luckily, Costco made this delicious treat affordable with the price for a package of 12 gluten-free mini-tarts being $8.99 (or, 75 cents per tart!) Now that is more like it! Above this price, I will just make my own. I certainly appreciate being able to go to Costco and pickup a nice decadent chocolate treat instead of having to make it myself, so I sure hope they continue to carry these and keep the price reasonable enough that I don't simply walk past them.

Sadly, I took a look at the pricing on the Hail Merry website and about fell over.  They sell a 12-pack of larger (3 ounce) tarts (thus, 36 ounce total) for ... get ready... 100 DOLLARS (which does apparently include overnight shipping)!  But still,...OUCH!!!  That works out to the equivalent price of $2.77 per ounce (vs. 92-cents per ounce for these mini-tarts at Costco) : or, 3 TIMES THE PRICE TO PURCHASED DIRECT online vs buying at Costco.  So, please Costco, give this company a continued distribution channel that will make these gluten-free dessert treats an affordable luxury for the masses of gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, and Celiac Disease crowd.  thank you!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available