Wednesday, October 8, 2014

TLC's (and LL's!) Top Ten Favourite Gluten-Free Goodies

Since Little Leighton's (LL) Celiac diagnosis, and with the help and research of My Sweet Mom and Dad, we have become quite the gluten-free (GF) connoisseurs. If there is any blessing out of what has been quite the hellacious summer, it's that LL is young enough to not notice the difference between gluten-full and gluten-free. It also helps that GF foods have come along way--not just in taste but availability, too. (We now just need the price of these items to come WAY down. Gosh, they are expensive!)

For my first "Top Ten," I thought I would list our current favourite GF staples/snacks! This list is in no particular order, and it's important to note that I would honestly eat every single one of these products, even if we didn't have to--they are THAT GOOD.

1. Tate's Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have found these at my local Market Street grocery store, but Trader Joe's has one that is practically identical. They are buttery and crispy and delicious.

2. Annie's Cocoa & Vanilla Gluten-Free Bunny Cookies. These are LL's snack staple--she takes them to Sunday School and Preschool, since she can't have the snacks they provide.

3. Pirate's Booty. We CRAVE this stuff!

4. Justin's Maple Almond Butter. It is definitely pricey but worth every dollar. We love the texture and flavor. LL's Preschool is peanut-free, so she takes an almond butter sandwich (on GF bread).

5. Boulder Canyon Hummus Chips. This is my latest and greatest Costco discovery. We are obsessed with these! They are light and crunchy.

6. Earth's Best Gluten-Free Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets. I had actually purchased these before LL's diagnosis (without realizing they were GF) as a tasty way to sneak in extra veggies. She wouldn't touch them then, but, lo and behold, she truly likes them now. However, I am careful with these because we have to watch LL's lactose intake. Many, many Celiacs need to also be dairy-free, too. LL currently drinks lactose-free milk which has helped tremendously. (We are beyond grateful to our GI doctor who helped me figure this out!)

7. Trader Joe's Soft-Baked Snickerdoodle. This is an ELC and My Sweet Dad (MSD) discovery. In the first few weeks after being released from the hospital, LL requested these 24-7. Because we desperately needed her to gain weight, we let her eat them whenever she wanted. Yes, even at 5:00 in the morning. They are fluffy, pillow-like cookies! Delightful.

8. Katz Gluten-Free Powdered Donuts. (The Glazed variety are just as scrumptious!) Dare I say better than Mrs. Baird's? Quite possibly. We have "Donut Tuesdays" at our house every week. I count down the days! ELC and MSD have found these at Central Market. I located them at my local Sprout's. They're in the freezer-section.

9. Udi's Cinnamon Raisin Bread. An excellent breakfast option, but I also made LL's almond butter sandwich using this bread today to slightly "mix-up" her school lunch.  She really enjoyed it! (We've also found that the Udi's brand of breads--all varieties-- is our favourite.)

10. Sabra Classic Hummus. LL cherishes "dips!" Ranch (Hidden Valley is GF). Guacamole. She especially loves dipping red bell peppers into hummus--an excellent way to sneak in a little extra protein, fiber and Vitamin C!

Even if you don't need to eat GF, I hope you'll give some of these a try! I think you'll truly be pleasantly surprised at how yummy they are...trust me on this.