For awhile there, we were giving you recommendations here, of foods we like and products that arrived at the house that we would buy again. You can see the tab up there, the one that says RECOMMENDATIONS. However, we sort of tailed off eventually. This morning, I was trying to figure out why. Then it hit me: Twitter. Facebook. The days when all I wrote was in this space feel sort of quaint to me now. Danny and I are always sharing our recommendations and enthusiasms in those other spaces. We love recommending our friends’ work and good food.
However, thinking about it — and particularly after your wonderful suggestions on the airport post — we decided it was time for some more recommendations here.
(Each of these products was sent to us by the manufacturer. We made no promise of recommending them. In fact, we don’t discuss about 90% of the foods we receive, since we only talk about the ones we truly love.)
So let’s start with Two Degrees Food bars. Not only do these taste good but they do good.
These delicious bars — and I don’t like most bars — are packed with quinoa, millet, cherries, almonds, apples, pecans, and even some chocolate. They are pliable instead of stiff and taste like real food. Danny, Lu, and I truly loved them. We’re buying them again.
Buying these bars does more than give you a great gluten-free snack. For every bar you buy, Two Degrees donates a nutrition pack to a hungry child. In fact, their goal is to feed 200 million hungry people.
Really, how could you not buy one?
These Zip Chips disappeared fast in our house. Lu loved them. Danny made the sad face when he realized all the packages were gone.
Mostly available in Washington, Oregon, and parts of California, Zip Chips are also available online. Fuji apples, almonds, and flaxseed. Done.
Yes, we could pull out our dehydrator and do this ourselves. Do we? No. These we would definitely buy again too.
These are some of the best fruit leathers I have ever tasted. They actually taste like fruit. Most commercial fruit leathers seem to be strawberry or cherry — flavors I love — but these are made mostly of mango, banana, and other tropical fruits. There’s a chocolate one that was sort of dangerous — I wanted another and another.
Matt’s Munchies are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and organic. Lu approved.
I adore this Gallo Lea pizza making kit.
We make our own pizza crust pretty regularly. However, we know that most folks, especially those of you who are new to this, would like a quicker path to dinner. Instead of frozen pizza, why not make whole-grain organic pizza in 30 minutes?
This pizza crust uses almost all whole grain flours — brown rice, buckwheat, and teff — with just a bit of sweet rice for the starchiness. It’s pretty similar to our pizza crust, actually. The sauce that comes with the kit uses only tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, sugar, basil, oregano, and other spices. No un-recognizeable ingredients. And they’re all organic.
And good. Lu devoured the pizzas we made with this kit, equally happy with this as our crust.
Most teriyaki sauces have gluten in them (that pesky soy sauce). There are a few gluten-free teriyaki sauces on the market but no other like Wildeberryaki.
If you have been to the Pacific Northwest, you’ll know that blackberry bushes grow here like.…well, there isn’t an analogy. Most weeds don’t grow as fast as blackberry bushes. They are lush green, filled with thorns, and worth all the hacking and scratches in August when they yield fat black berries that sing of summer. There’s something darkly sweet about blackberries. Until I saw Wildeberryaki, I would never have thought of pairing them with gluten-free soy sauce. Now it makes sense.
Get yourself a thick piece of salmon, slather it in this, and throw it on the grill. Dinner.
This is the most refined, beautiful-tasting almond paste I have ever found.
If you like the taste of almonds in your cookies, pastries, and other confections, you should try Mandelin almond paste. (It’s available on the Mandelin website, as well as Chef Shop, one of our favorite places to find great food.)
Salame. We have no problems admitting that we love salame around here. Lu knows how to say this word and ask for it specifically.
Columbus Salame is gluten-free. (Many others are as well. The best ones don’t use gluten as a filler.) They were kind enough to send us this salame tasting package and we’re slowly working our way through it. Everything has been a hit so far. Danny and I also like that these are generally available in grocery stores across the country, so you can find them pretty easily.
Let’s follow the cured meat with a raw vegan treat, shall we?
Hail Merry makes healthful, delicious snacks that we’re taking with us on our airport journey tomorrow. I’m a big fan of the chimayo chile pecans, while Danny prefers the rosemary orange. Lu likes the macaroons best. I have to admit that those took some growing used to — they don’t taste or look like my conception of macaroons. However, after I let go of that pre-conception, I started to really enjoy the clean taste of these little one-bite treats. If you’re vegan, raw, and gluten-free, I don’t see how you could resist these!
(Plus, someone from Hail Merry left a comment on the airport post to say these will be available at airports nationwide soon. They’re already at Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston and Newark!)
There’s no shortage of good gluten-free foods. Isn’t it amazing the choices we have? Even those of us who want gluten-free packaged foods that are made without preservatives, food dyes, gums, or un-pronounceable ingredients have more choices these days.
Feels pretty darned good.
Please leave a comment extoling the virtues of some of your favorite new gluten-free foods and brands. There are plenty more out there than we could cover in one post!
GLUTEN-FREE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES, adapted from BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles
Here is another recommendation for you, a whole-hearted excited one: BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles We’re big fans of Babycakes around here. We stop into the darling little bakery every time we go to New York. Their doughnuts, back in September, made us swoon. And I truly respect and adore Erin McKenna, who has somehow made gluten-free and vegan sexy to people who might otherwise sneer at both ways of life. She rocks.
We liked her first book. But this second book, the one with snickerdoodles, doughnuts, and chocolate egg creams? This one is already food stained and well loved. Whoopie pies!
(Erin’s recipes call for xanthan gum. However, I found it easy to adapt them with just a touch more of our whole-grain flour than her recipes called for. If you want to make them without xanthan gum, you’ll have to use your instincts. I’m still trying to figure out a ratio for converting recipes with xanthan. Erin and I have been talking about how to bake without it. Who knows? Maybe Babycakes will be gum free someday too.)
A few years ago, you could not have told me that a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free chocolate chip cookie would make the best ice cream sandwich I had ever eaten. Remember It’s It bars? I grew up on them. In fact, when I was in high school, I think I might have eaten one nearly every day of the week. (The cafeteria food was wretched. That was lunch, sadly.) Erin has a recipe for gluten-free vegan It’s It bars in her book. She calls for peppermint extract and dips them in chocolate. We decided not to, and replaced her flours with our whole-grain mix, and that’s why I’m not calling them It’s It bars. But if you ate them, you will remember them through this.
Making these gave Lu the chance to eat her first ice cream sandwich. “Ice cream! Sandwich!” she kept chanting as I made them. Generally, you want to use enough ice cream to fill the sandwich to the edges. But she didn’t need that much ice cream. Nor did she finish this. However, as you can see, she approved.
420 grams whole-grain flour mix
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup melted coconut oil (we used Kelapo virgin coconut oil)
6 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons almond extract
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (we used the Food for Life chocolate chunks)
ice cream of your choice
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
Combining the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Combining the liquids. Stir together the coconut oil, applesauce, and almond and vanilla extracts with a rubber spatula until they are well combined.
Making the dough. Turn the stand mixer on low. Pour the coconut oil mixture into the dry ingredients, slowly, while the mixer runs. When the dough has formed a soft ball around the paddle attachment, turn off the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Baking the cookies. Grab a ball of dough about the size of a golf ball (about 1 ½ ounce) and form it into a ball between your hands. Put it on the baking sheet and smoosh it into a disk with the palm of your hand. Smooth the edges. Finish until the baking sheet is filled, leaving 1 inch between each cookie.
Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake the cookies until they are slightly firm to the touch but still soft, about 4 to 6 minutes more.
Remove the cookies from the oven. Let them stand on the baking sheet for 30 minutes before you attempt to remove them. At that point, carefully, use a spatula to remove them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Ignore the cookies completely. Walk away. Don’t touch them until they have completely cooled.
Making the ice cream sandwiches. Ten minutes before you are planning to make the ice cream sandwiches, put the cookies into the freezer and take out the ice cream. When the ice cream has softened enough that you can scoop it out, remove the cookies from the freezer. Flip one upside down. Scoop about ¼ cup of ice cream (or more, if you like) onto the cookie. Put the second cookie on top and gently, ever so gently, press down until the ice cream has spread to the edges of the cookies and you have an ice cream sandwich. Continue with the rest of the cookies and ice cream.
We like to put the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer at this point, for at least 30 minutes. (You can also keep them in the freezer all evening or overnight, individually wrapped in plastic wrap.) You want these to be a completely frozen treat.
Makes 12 to 15 ice cream sandwiches, depending on how big you make the cookies.