Very Well’s GF Candy List

Very Well’s GF Candy List

Safe treating to you!
Safe treating to you!

I’m not a really big candy person, but I love my GF chewy sweets like Starburst & Skittles when I watch a movie.

VeryWell.com has a great GF candy list for this Halloween. Very comprehensive!

Very Well’s list of gluten-free candy (updated 10/16)

Happy & safe treating this Halloween!

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Nature Valley Granola Bars GF?

Nature Valley Granola Bars GF?

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My son, who isn’t a GF eater, now prefers Clif bars to be added to his lunches, instead of the dry granola bars I now have in abundance in the pantry. So, as I clear out old soon-to-expire food and move it forward in the rotation to use, this bin of Nature Valley granola bars is staring at me. BGF (before gluten-free), I loved these, but I have avoided eating them now because they don’t say GF on them. I did throw out the box months ago, so I only have the info listed on each individual bar to go by, and there is no mention about wheat, although they do have “whole grain oats” which I always question.

Not really wanting to throw them out, I decided to check online for more info about the bars. I found this blog by Gluten Free Girlfriend very helpful, but after reading the comments to her blog post, I have decided not to eat them. Thank you, GF Girlfriend!

GF Girlfriend’s blog about Nature Valley granola bars

3/28/14- Desperate times lead to desperate measures and I was at the hospital on an emergency, having not eaten, I was in a bind, literally about to pass out. I had 2 packages of these granola bars in my purse, I keep them there to hand to a homeless person if they ask for money. I thought twice but needed something to eat and ate one package (2 bars). I feel fine, although I will go prepared next time so I don’t have to be relying on this product.

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in San Mateo

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in San Mateo

Last weekend, I attended the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in San Mateo CA. I was willing to pay the $30 to go ($20 for entry, $10 for parking, + gas to get there), because I knew from the last event I attended in September, that the freebies would be plenty. I wasn’t disappointed!

I went prepared this time, with a folding crate cart to hold my stash, so my hands didn’t get overly tired from holding bags for 3+ hours like last time. At Fort Mason, there were less than 20 booths in a smaller room, but the food demonstrations and information talks were right there, easy to hear and see. In San Mateo, it was huge and the classes/talks took place in a separate room outside the main expo hall. I heard there were over 100 booths at this event and I’m not surprised by that number; compared to my first expo, the size was impressive and the people you had to maneuver through was sometimes difficult. There were many more free edible samples, although the free take-home packaged samples were much less; in September, at the Fort Mason/San Francisco event ($10 + $8 parking), my friend, Julie, and I left with whole loaves of GF bread, cans of GF boullion dry mix, and deep discounted GF pastas. Except for the Sprouts Market booth at the San Mateo expo which at the end of the weekend was handing out cases of single-serving GF popcorn, most of the goodies were single serving only. Samples to eat there included bread, crackers, pasta, and snack bars, and were in abundance. My head was swimming trying to remember what I liked best, and I left with an overly filled stomach.

At the Katz booth, I found a piece of heaven! I haven’t had a donut since August when I went GF. I’ve seen the GF packages at Sprouts in the freezer section, but was not willing to pay the price when I wasn’t sure how I’d like them. Also unsure about having the package in my house to tempt me. So, when I saw samples of the cinnamon donuts, I grabbed a bite to taste. I stood there like a crazy person, actual tears in my eyes, savoring it! The 2 women manning the booth paid little attention to me until I moaned over how good it was. I grabbed another bite and walked away, embarrassed.

Later in the week, when I shopped at Sprouts, I went straight to the freezer section to check out the donuts, and there they were. I haven’t tried them yet, they are sitting in my freezer for the perfect morning treat. I’ll give a review later.

One of the highlights of the expo was seeing Amy Fothergill of The Family Chef again. I first met her in Fort Mason where she did a talk and where I purchased her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen . I had just looked through it the previous night to see if she had any tofu recipes, and found none. She assisted me and gave the page numbers for *7* recipes that I could make with tofu! Now I can use that 4-cube package I just bought at Costco! Amy even remembered my name!

The Expo was a great afternoon of gluten-free food and fun, and I look forward to the next time it’s local.

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

I usually check the ingredients on cans and packaging before I purchase, so I didn’t look at the label before making my enchiladas. Unfortunately, the sauce was poured before I realized that its ingredients, though none showed wheat, did have a “warning” that it “contains: soy and wheat”. From the ingredients themselves (and I did check my “Glutencheck” app), this was not obvious, and rather than dumping my artichoke & chile enchiladas, I cooked and ate them, with the delusional mindset of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”.

Next day, I emailed the distributors, B&G Foods, through their Las Palmas products’ link…

Message: “I am gluten sensitive. The (sauce) can says it contains soy and wheat but I can’t tell from ingredients where the wheat is. Is it processed in a factory with wheat? Because I don’t recognize any ingredients as containing wheat.”

Their response-  “Thank you for your email and interest in one of our products. This Las Palmas sauce contains a wheat ingredient in the “spice” blend used in its formula. As a result the sauce is not gluten free.”

So, I learned a valuable lesson- continue to check labels, even if I purchased it and looked at the ingredients prior to buying…I might have missed something in my rush at the market.

Also, the Las Palmas site, in their FAQs pages, says “Las Palmas Red Chili Sauce, Las Palmas Crushed Tomatillos and Las Palmas Red Enchilada Sauce are all gluten-free.” So next time, I’ll go with the red sauce rather than the green.

Happy eats!

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