Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Lentil Chips: A Healthy Gluten Free Snack

January 12th, 2013
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Plentils by Enjoy Life

Lentil Chips by Enjoy Life

Are you looking for a healthier snack option this new year? Of course fruits and vegetables are always a good gluten free option, but what can you do to satisfy that craving for a crunchy potato chip? Besides being a fatty food, many flavored potato chips contain seasoning that has MSG, and other additives or preservatives. While walking the aisle of my local health food store, searching for a new snack to fill my crunch addiction I came across a fairly new product by Enjoy Life. Plentils!

Enjoy Life Plentils Garlic Parmesan Flavor

Enjoy Life Plentils Garlic Parmesan Flavor

Plentils come in four yummy flavors including light sea salt, dill and sour cream, garlic and parmesan and margherita pizza. The first sample I tasted was the dill and sour cream variety. I found the flavor to be quite tasty and the texture airy and crunchy. They reminded me a bit of Funyuns without the grease. Of course Funyuns are gluten free, but they contain MSG, soy flour and ferrous sulfate. I have bad reactions to those three ingredients, but I can happily eat Plentils. They are free of the top 8 allergens including gluten, corn & soy.

A thinner, slightly denser snack option is made by Mediterranean Snacks. Available flavors include cucumber dill, parmesan garlic, sea salt, rosemary, cracked pepper, and roasted pepper. With 110 calories per serving and 70% less fat than potato chips, these lentil chips make for a healthy snack option.

Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Chips

Mediterranean Snacks Baked Lentil Chips
Cucumber Dill Flavor

Lentils are a superfood. Not only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but they can also help lower your cholesterol. They are a complex carbohydrate that provides a slow burning energy source to fuel your body. They are also a great source of iron, which is often found to be deficient in Lupus patients that have developed anemia1. So power up and eat your lentil crisps!

When comparing flavor, I preferred the seasoning of the Mediterranean Snacks lentil chip brand slightly better than the Enjoy Life Plentils. However the texture of the Enjoy Life brand makes them nice crunchy, airy crisp that is fun to eat. If you were looking for a crisp to dip, I would go with the Mediterranean Snacks brand. Give them a try.

Mediterranean Lentil Chips

Mediterranean Lentil Chips

Download Enjoy Life Plentils Coupon

Download Mediterranean Snacks Coupon

  1. Why Eat Lentils? []

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Udi’s New Hamburger and Hotdog Buns

May 14th, 2011
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While running to the store to pick up some last minute items for a cook-out on Mother’s Day, I happened to spot the latest products by Udi’s. I picked up a couple of packs of the whole grain hamburger buns and the classic hotdog buns. These buns have a great texture and a nice flavor.

Udi's Hamburger and Hot dog buns

Udi's Hamburger and Hot dog buns

I decided to make just a good old fashioned hamburger on the grill, accompanied by some brats. I also grilled up some squash and zucchini for my Mother’s Day feast. While these buns are soft and delicious and do not need toasted, I did warm them up for a few minutes on the grill. Everything tasted so great I ended up stuffing myself.

While these buns are definitely tasty, I’m a bit concerned about a couple of the ingredients in them. The whole grain hamburger buns have Molasses in them, which can contain Sulfur. Udi’s doesn’t list on the packaging whether or not they use unsulfured Molasses. I have a sulfur allergy and I ate one of these buns before realizing this. I think this is why I might have suffered some digestive upset from eating them. Or I could possibly be reacting to the resistant corn starch. I’ve suspected a sensitivity to corn for a while now, but when I eat corn on the cob I don’t seem to have a problem. Why would I react to corn starch or corn syrup and not whole kernel corn?

When reading about the processing of Molasses, I came across an article that describes sulfur and sulfite content in syrups (Read more about corn syrup, molasses, and maple syrup). I have always thought that I reacted badly to corn syrup because of the corn, but maybe it is a problem with sulfur or sulfite intolerance instead. Apparently, corn syrup and molasses are both usually processed with sulfur dioxide. Whole Foods has a great article about the processing of molasses. Learn more about molasses processing here. Even though the classic buns by Udi’s don’t have molasses, perhaps the cultured corn syrup could be a problem to those with sulfur or sulfite intolerance. Sulfite intolerance symptoms can include headaches, joint pain, heart palpitations, asthma, and hives.

So what is “resistant corn starch” anyway?

Nutrition Diva explains a resistant starch as being any starch that does not break down into sugar. The benefits of using resistant starch can include improved bowel function, appetite control, regulated blood sugar, and reduced calories. There are apparently four types of resistant starch, ranging on a scale RS1 to RS4.1 Anything in the RS4 category would be chemically modified. I am also wondering if the resistant corn starch in Udi’s buns comes from genetically modified corn? The food label doesn’t answer this question.

Udi's Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

Delicious summer BBQ made easy thanks to Udi's

I have had a problem with extreme bloating after eating these buns. This could be a simple matter of the resistant starch increasing my fiber intake to an amount that is higher than what my digestive tract is use to processing. Or perhaps I am having some type of reaction to sulfur/sulfites. I have not had a problem with my tongue and throat swelling like when I take sulfa drugs, so I am thinking it is probably just too much fiber.

Even though I am worried about reacting to a couple of the ingredients in the new buns by Udi’s, I cannot deny that they are delicious. My Mother’s Day celebration was complete as I could dine on the tastiest hamburger I have had in a long time. I hope that I will be able to enjoy these for the duration of the summer BBQ season; however if my intestinal bloating does not subside I may have to give these buns up for good, which is rather unfortunate. If you haven’t already tried this product, I do highly recommend them.

  1. Resistant Starch []

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Shabtai Gourmet, Sweet Treats Allergen Free

February 22nd, 2011

As someone that has multiple food intolerances, I was delighted to find out about Shabtai Gourmet. They specialize in providing sweet treats to individuals following restricted diets that must exclude gluten, lactose, soy, casein, peanuts and dairy. The pictures on their website look very enticing and I was excited to sample their products.

Shabtai Gourmet Bon Bons

Shabtai Gourmet Bon Bons

The first product that I sampled was the Shabtai Gourmet Bon Bons. The box that the bon bons came in was cute, and they were shrink wrapped in plastic to preserve freshness. The chocolate was rich with a creamy marshmallow filling. What I didn’t expect was the crunchy cookie center. I think I expected more of a soft cake center than the crunchy cookie. The creamy filling combined with the smooth chocolate contrasts too much with the crunchy cookie, in my opinion. One of these was enough to feed my chocolate craving for the week. They are good, but oh so decadent.

Shabtai Gourmet Bon Bons

Shabtai Gourmet Bon Bons

I thought that these bon bons would be great to serve up at a party. They truly are a gourmet dessert; however the smooth chocolate seemed to stick to the Styrofoam tray they arrived on inside the box. I had a terrible time plating these treats, but I thoroughly enjoyed scraping the chocolate off of the Styrofoam tray. I had some of my co-workers sample the bon bons, and everyone agreed that the creamy filling was delicious. Although a handful said that the cookie center was too crunchy, one person thought that was the best part. I bet those that were hoping for more of a cake would prefer the ring tings instead.

Shabtai Gourmet Swiss Cake Roll

Although the bon bons were good, my personal favorite so far has been Shabtai Gourmet’s Swiss cake roll. What a sinfully delightful treat that reminds me so much of my youth. My grandma always had a brown paper bag in her pantry full of Little Debbie snack cakes, and in that bag I would always grab a swiss cake roll. So reminiscent of the comfort food from my youth, this gourmet chocolate cake with a cream filling has been rolled and dipped in chocolate. I can see myself serving this up at Christmas time, but I think that they would sell better if they looked more like the snack cakes from my youth. Call it comfort food, or call it junk food – people with allergies like to enjoy their favorites too!

I also think the swiss cake roll might sell better as a snack cake because of a problem I encountered when slicing into the cake. The smooth, rich chocolate kept crumbling and falling off the cake when I went to cut a slice. I found this somewhat annoying, but enjoyed eating the bits of broken chocolate anyway. When I would eat those Little Debbie Snack Cakes growing up, I would bite the chocolate off first anyway before I bit into the cake itself. So this isn’t really a big deal, unless you are serving this cake up to impress someone.

Due to a suspected almond allergy, I will not purchase the bon bons again. However I plan to order some ring tings and another Swiss cake roll in the near future. Shabtai Gourmet has some great treats for those of us with multiple allergies. We definitely benefit the most from their mission to provide gourmet treats to people with multiple allergies, but no one would ever know that these products are without allergens.  My husband and coworkers also enjoyed these products and the only thing that gave away that they were gluten-free was that I was eating them.

NOTE: Shabtai Gourmet provided samples for these reviews.

UPDATE (4/17/11): Shabtai Gourmet is now selling Baby Swiss Rolls, AKA “Devils Stix”. I imagine they get their name from tasting so sinfully delicious. I can’t wait to order a bunch on pay day.

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Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

February 20th, 2011

Our winter warm-up this past week made me realize that spring is just around the corner. Soon grilling season will commence in full force and I don’t want to suffer through another summer season eating hamburgers and hot dogs sans bun because the alternative, gluten-free buns, taste worse than eating sawdust. Over the past year I have tried a variety of gluten-free buns, and many a time I have pulled the meat off and pitched the bun in the trash bin because they are often that gross.

Does this look anything like the picture?

I recently tried Chebe Sandwich Buns, which I think their bread dough might make good calzones, but it isn’t ideal for a hamburger bun. I’m not sure if I was suppose to let the bun completely cool, but I ended up eating a stringy cheesy gooey mess. It didn’t exactly taste bad, but the texture just wasn’t right for a hamburger bun.

Kinnikinnick has some decent products, and they were amongst the first buns I taste tested when I first went gluten-free. I found their buns to always be dry, crumbly and hard, even when lightly toasted or grilled with butter. The taste could be compared to cardboard. I think that recently they have attempted to improve their recipe, but I don’t think I will ever go back to eating their buns.

Another bun I used for a while is made by Against the Grain, the makers of one of my favorite pizza crusts. They also make a french style baguette that makes a great chicken Parmesan sandwich. Up until recently they made my favorite hamburger bun. Their bread products have a tendency to get too crunchy because of the cheese, which is fine for a french style baguette, but not so great when you are craving a soft hamburger bun.

Katz Hamburger Bun Grilled to Perfection!

Thanks to Katz Gluten-Free I won’t have to suffer another summer without a tasty bun for my burgers. I lightly toasted my Katz Gluten-Free hamburger bun in my toaster oven, then sliced it open. I lightly buttered the bun then popped it back in my toaster oven. I wanted a slightly golden bun, and the toaster oven wasn’t cooperating so I ended up putting my bun down in a frying pan for a minute just to slightly brown the inside. This bun was so delicious and soft, slightly sweet, with no after taste. I felt like I was eating a real hamburger again. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. The only downside to this bun is that it tastes so good I might be tempted to go back to eating more hamburgers! That would be bad for my waistline and my arteries.

Katz Gluten Free Hamburger Bun

The Ultimate Gluten Free Burger on Katz Hamburger Buns

Your guests to your backyard cookouts this summer will not even know these buns are gluten free, so you might as well stock up now. To promote their new buns, Katz Gluten Free is running a deal, buy 3 packs of buns, get one free. Use Coupon Code BBQ. They are so sure that you will love their buns, that they are offering a 100% money back guarantee. So what do you have to lose?

Now if Mrs. Katz could only help me with my hot dog problem. Since Kinnikinnick is the only baker of hot dog buns available for purchase in my area, and I’ve already established how horrible those taste, I’ve resorted to eating my hot dogs on Udi’s slices of bread. I’ve tried following the suggestion on The Gluten Free Survivor’s blog about using an Udi’s bagel, but I find it too messy. Katz Gluten Free should be releasing what they are calling their “Frank Buns” sometime in the near future. I can hardly wait!

NOTE: Katz Gluten Free provided samples for review purposes.

Udi's Hamburger BunsUPDATE (04/17/11): Udi’s should be releasing their gluten-free buns sometime in May. I can hardly wait for them to be in stores. Some online vendors are selling them:
Gluten Free Palace
Linda’s Diet Delights

By the Case:
NEW Udi’s Gluten Free Classic Hotdog Buns 12.9 oz. – case of 8
NEW Udi’s Gluten Free Hamburger Buns 10.4 oz. – case of 6

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