Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Confessions Of A Former Gluten-Free Hoarder


The beginning of my gluten-free journey was marred with often out of stock and usually overpriced product. I endured frustrating travel throughout the GTA (greater Toronto area) just to obtain a variety of items. Sometimes I would snap up new products by the dozen for fear of never seeing them again. This was a very real possibility back then.

Living a few hours from the United States gave new meaning to cross-border shopping. Instead of getting excited about deals on clothing and electronics, I focused solely on gluten-free food. I would visit 4 or 5 American grocery stores every trip. Each visit to the US brought home a haul of food that just wasn't (and sometimes still isn't) available in Canada. 

And so began a gluten-free hoarding problem




Sale? I'll take 7 

New product? Give me 3

Not many left? I'll take the rest

Out of town shopping? Fills a suitcase

Believe it or not, there is a certain kind of stress that comes with gluten-free food hoarding. Products sometimes expired before I could use them. I would get bored of eating the same things repeatedly. Sometimes I ended up not enjoying something which I bought in bulk. Not wanting to be wasteful, I would try finding a new owner for these items. A difficult task which usually resulted in food being tossed in the bin.

I have a petite kitchen at best. Putting an excessive amount of groceries away was like playing a well-organized game of Tetris. I got so creative with my storage that I often forgot about these items. Other times, I would grab a box of gluten-free cereal and half the pantry would tumble onto the floor. It was like these poor boxes were screaming to be acknowledged.

Another drawback was that I lost sight of what is naturally gluten-free, like fruits and vegetables. I developed a need for pre-packaged food and lost sight of food prep. Super unhealthy. It was also questionable financially as the gluten-free label goes hand in hand with an often inflated price.


Over time, I eventually realised that gluten-free isn't going anywhere and have thus drawn a line between stocking up and hoarding. In fact, it's getting better. Almost every supermarket has a decent gluten-free selection. Stores are also far better at consistently ensuring these items are on shelves. Companies are also clearly labeling their gluten-free goods so that they are easy to spot. This is such a win!

As things are different now. I no longer stock up en masse. I feel healthier, happier and no longer stressed out.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Product Review: Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread






When the folks at Robin Hood sent me a box of their Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix to review, I was a little skeptical. Like most people, I've had my ups and downs with boxed mixes over the years. Unlike most people, I have the added challenge of needing to eat gluten-free. This makes finding a great boxed mix even more of a feat.




Let's Talk FAQ's

  • Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix is certified by the Canadian Celiac Association



  • You will be pleasantly surprised with how simple it is to make. Just add water, oil, and eggs to the mix. Give it a good stir with a spoon, pour into a loaf pan and pop into the oven for 45 minutes. No fuss, no worries. 



  • Bananas are not required, as dried banana is already incorporated into the mix. This is pretty great because, mashing bananas can get a little messy. Plus, who wants to wait around for bananas to go brown when they want banana bread now? Not me!




Taste Test


As with all my gluten-free adventures, I shared this creation with the gluten eaters in my home. Their thoughts and taste buds are always appreciated. We quickly agreed that Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix gets two thumbs up. 

Robin Hood really gets it right with this mix. It is packed full of banana flavour and smells divine. The texture of the loaf is soft and light. No crumbling mess here!

While we enjoyed the mix plain, you can customise with the addition of fruit, nuts, and chocolate. You can also get creative and create muffins, pancakes, cookies and much more.




/// DISCLOSURE: I was sent a complimentary box of Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix for review purposes. All opinions are my own. ///




Saturday, December 5, 2015

7 Tips For A Stress Free Gluten-Free Christmas



Hey, everyone! Christmas is just around the corner and I'm super excited! With my gift shopping complete, I am working on a menu for our holiday dinner. If you are worried about hosting a meal for your loved ones, have no fear! I've put together a few tips to help keep you calm and on track. 
Remember to read all labels and when in doubt, go without.





Saturday, November 7, 2015

Look No Further For a Great Gluten-Free Lip Balm



Did you know that eos lip balm spheres are gluten-free?! 

These adorable little gems are also free of:
paraben 
petrolatum
and
phthalate

Evolution of Smooth, aka eos, is top notch if you ask me! I'm ordering this eos Limited Edition Lip Balm Trio. It comes with DIY Decorative Jeweled Stickers which I can't wait to play around with. Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself!
Can't find these in a store near you? Visit well.ca to get your hands on this set before it sells out.



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Let's Talk About Bread




Gluten-free bread has come a long way since I had my first slice, over ten years ago. No longer does it require cringing and toasting. Better yet, gone are the days of tasteless crumbs. Unfortunately, gluten-free bread continues to be haunted by its cardboard-like predecessor.

I know what you're thinking - there is no comparing gluten-free bread to the soft lusciousness of "regular" bread. To put it simply, you're right. Gluten-free bread will never be exactly like its wheat-filled counterpart because well, science. What I can tell you, is that although there will always be room for improvement, the overall taste, quality and texture has improved immensely!

Let's talk about some of the fantastic gluten-free bread options available across Canada.



All But Gluten

Canyon Bakehouse 

Compliments (Sobeys store brand)

Genius by Glutino

Gluten Zero

Kinnikinnick Soft Breads 

Promise Gluten Free

Rudis

Schar

Udis


I have had the opportunity to try all of the above brands over the years. While they are all good in my opinion, some are more easily found than others. Also worth noting, prices vary widely. No longer do you have to pay $6.99+ for gluten-free bread!

Kinnikinnick is tops in my book! No toasting necessary and it holds up pretty darn well. Promise Gluten Free is a staple in my home for hamburger buns and chicken sandwiches. All But Gluten offers wonderful buns as well. The Compliments brand via Sobeys is pretty impressive as well. They make really great rolls that can be used for hot dogs and subs.

Canyon Bakehouse is a recent addition to stores in my area and I am enjoying their products thus far. I would like to see Schar and Rudis more widely available. As they are so difficult to obtain, I don't get to enjoy them often and that really bums me out.

Remember that it's okay to have a preference that differs from other gluten-free bread eaters out there. We all have individual pallets and likes. While one brand may be great toasted, it may miss the mark for sandwich making. Gluten-free bread also varies in size for a variety of reasons, mostly likely due to varied ingredients. 


The gluten-free bread industry is massive and full of competition. I'm confident that future innovations will hold impressive improvements! I'm always on the hunt for new and great gluten-free products so I can't wait to see what the future has to offer!


What are some of YOUR favourite gluten-free bread's?! Let me know in the comments below.