Product Review: New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola

New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola

New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola

Product: New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola – $6.49+

I don’t know why…but I have turned into a granola freak over the past couple of years.  I absolutely love the stuff.  And it can be eaten on its own, on top of Greek yogurt, put over ice cream, mixed with fruit, etc.  I love granola and love trying new versions that I find out in the markets.  When it comes to the gluten-free options available in my area, I think I’ve pretty much tackled them all.  Every brand.  Every flavor.  I’ve got it covered.

So, when I take a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit my family, one of the required stops I make is to a natural foods market called Organic Harvest.  It was on one such trip that I stopped in and spotted some gluten-free granola I was unfamiliar with on one of the shelves.  Therefore, I put it into the “Organic Harvest Budget” and made it one of the items I brought home with me.  I try to aim for things I don’t see in my area…so this fell right into that category.

The brand was New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola.  There were a few flavor options on the shelf from New England Naturals…but this had a few things working for it…the word unsweetened…the word coconut…and the word berry.  I happily snagged the white and pink package off the shelf and dropped it into my basket.  After a little more shopping…it was time to check out.  And, when I left Alabama, this bag of granola made the journey with me.

And then sat, dormant, as I wasn’t doing anything in the mornings with granola.  Until recently.  Because I’m really changing up not only workout plans, but also the diet.  And some mornings…a fruit, yogurt and granola parfait are on the menu.  YAY!  Finally getting things back on track.  And I have been working my way through the packs of granola that I have acquired over the past few months.  Some I have liked more than others.  But now…it was time for the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Coconut Granola to either wow me or underwhelm me.

Yesterday…was the first chance it had to shine.  I had picked up some strawberries at the grocery store over the weekend, along with some Greek yogurt.  So, I began building the parfait…starting with a small hit of the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola…then yogurt…honey…fruit…repeat…top with a handful of granola…drizzle honey…enjoy!  Simple.  And one heck of a breakfast if you ask me.  Nutritious, filled with great nutrients, and hearty thanks to the granola.

I loved quite a few things about this granola.  For one thing, the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola wasn’t clumpy.  No large clusters to break apart.  It was just every little piece stood on its own.  Which means to me that this is not loaded with sticky sugars and syrups that would cause things to bind together.  YAY!  Second of all…because it is unsweetened, the flavors that are in the bag are what you get.  If a granola can’t stand on its own when it comes to flavor…then…I feel it is failing to do its duty.  The freeze dried blueberries and raspberries really bring out the tangy nature of this granola.  The coconut chips add a depth of flavor.  And the oats…they bring the texture.  I felt all the components really worked well together and when put into one bite did make for…a perfect bite.  Subtle flavors…but just enough to accentuate, not detract from the rest of the dish.

What I love about New England Naturals is that they believe that gluten free products should be delicious and have nutritional value.  What a concept!!  So often, a gluten free product is a calorie and fat laden mess, making up for the lack of gluten in the product.  It is great to see a company striving for better health in gluten free goods.  This is something I can totally get behind.

With that being said, let’s go ahead and take a look at the ingredients that go into the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola, shall we?  This granola includes organic gluten free oats, organic expeller pressed canola oil, organic coconut, organic raisin puree, organic corn meal, organic flax seed, organic freeze dried raspberries, organic freeze dried blueberries, organic vanilla flavor, and salt.  This granola is non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free trans fat free, and cholesterol free.  It is a great source of iron as well!

As far as nutrition information goes, a serving of the New England Naturals Organic Gluten Free Unsweetened Berry Granola is 1/2 cup.  That’s a lot of granola.  I use half of that in each parfait.  But, if you were to eat an entire serving, that would provide you with 250 calories and 12 grams of fat.  Much of that fat count is going to be provided by the oils, seeds, and the coconut.  With the exception of the oil, the rest of it is a healthy fat.  A serving of this granola will also dish up 60 mg sodium and 3 grams of sugar.  How amazing is that?  So often, granola is just laden with sugar and I have to really pay attention to it as I’m trying to cut back on processed sugars.  But with this being left unsweetened, that sugar count stays low.  Love that.  And, finally, you will be taking in 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, making this not only nutritious, but also filling.  I love eating a gluten-free food and not feeling famished only an hour or so later.  No artificial fillers here either.  This is naturally filling and it lasted me through the morning for sure.

If you like granola, but are tired of the sugar-fests out there, I highly recommend the New England Naturals brand.  With less sugar and still packed with flavor, you really can’t go wrong.  I am definitely enjoying using it this week on various morning dishes.  Breakfast is definitely being done right.  I hope I can locate some of this granola in my area…or else I’m stocking up next time I’m down visiting my family!  Without a doubt…one of the best low sugar options out there.

Product Review: Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats

Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats

Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats

Product: Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats – $1.50+

Another day has dawned, and in true fashion, I am having oatmeal for lunch.  Like I said, not a workday goes by where I don’t enjoy oats in some way, shape or form for my lunch.  Normally it’s in the form of overnight oats, but I’m working on a strict budget while I pay off the holidays…and I have plenty of goodies stashed in my pantry that have been just…waiting…and waiting for their turn to be consumed.

That week has arrived as I’m not only on a tight budget, but I’m heading out of town.  Therefore…it’s the perfect week to try new things, yes?  Because nothing adds stress to preparing for a trip like…loading up the blog!  HA!

Ah…in the end, it’s worth it.  I’m just hoping I can maintain the momentum and stay caught up.  We shall see.

All of that being said, it’s Wednesday…and it’s lunch time.  Instead of a package of my usual Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal (hey…it is always on sale!), I’m pulling out the other options from the top shelf of the pantry.  And up today…none other than Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats.

I’m not going to lie…I sort of wish I had saved the Peach Almond Vanilla version I hate yesterday for today…because it has become my absolute favorite oatmeal…ever…of any brand…of any type…as of yesterday.  I was beyond impressed and wowed by it.  But, I also love berries, so I’m holding the Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats to live up to it’s predecessor.  I have no doubt it will wow me.  I have yet to find something from Love Grown Foods that hasn’t done just that.

Preparation is super easy.  Everything I did yesterday, I repeated today.  At lunch, I pulled out the little container of oatmeal and removed the lid and the seal.  I then added water up to the fill line (which…is located on the outside of the container, not the inside, which means I do a lot of guessing…but it’s worked out thus far) and gave it a stir.  Into the microwave it went for 70 seconds.  It says to microwave for a minute and then add on 10-20 seconds for a thicker oatmeal.  I split the difference.  Another stir and then I let it stand for…about a minute.  It absorbs everything in the 1-2 minutes it sits…and believe me…I wanted to let it sit for 2 minutes, but I was hungry and it smelled so good.

Berries and oatmeal are BFFs.  Seriously.  I have never turned my nose up at any oatmeal that included either dried or fresh fruits.  The hit of sweetness just meshes beautifully with the savory, rich oats.  And, for that reason, I know that this little container was going to be amazing.  I was right.  I sort of wish I had saved the Peach Almond Vanilla one for today though…because this one just doesn’t quite equal the one I devoured yesterday for breakfast.  But now I’m comparing different flavors and that’s not fair.  Because this is a classic (and highly) delicious paring.  I love how sweet the berries are…strawberries and raspberries offer up a natural sweetness and then…this little hint of cinnamon follows up each spoonful.  It’s refreshing and warm and hearty and filling and just…perfection.  Seriously.  I loved how thick this oatmeal is because it does fill me up.  I don’t feel hungry for much of the rest of the day.  It’s amazing.  Most oatmeal doesn’t come close to accomplishing that at all.  I have nothing but love for Love Grown Foods and their little containers of Hot Oats.  If you love fruit and berries as much as me…then this one is totally for you!

Let’s discuss ingredients, shall we?  The Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats are made from gluten-free oats, brown sugar, freeze-dried raspberries, freeze-dried strawberries, and cinnamon.  Loving the small ingredient list for sure.  These oats are also cholesterol free, gluten free and non-GMO.

As for nutrition, a serving of the Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats is one container.  This serving will dish up 230 calories and 3.5 grams of fat.  This is actually higher than most the the oatmeal I consume, calorie-wise, but it really isn’t bad for the amount of oats you actually cook up.  A serving will also give you 0 mg sodium and 12 grams of sugar.  Much of the sugar seems to be due to the dried fruits, which is fine.  And, trust me, these hot oats will fill you up because they pack a whopping 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein!  Talk about loving it!

One thing I love about Love Grown Foods is not only their passion for their ingredients and their products, but their mission to create delicious foods that are packed with nutritional benefits and available to everyone.  They have made it a point to educate not only children, but also parents and teachers on the importance of eating healthy.  That’s why, Love Grown Foods keeps ingredients simple, flavors elevated, and their products healthy.  They have a fantastic line of granola (or oat clusters…which I LOVE…and, yes, I have tried them all!), Super Oats (I haven’t tried these yet…but want to!), and Power O’s (breakfast cereals…which I also haven’t tried yet, but certainly want to!).  With all of these options, it’s hard to make excuses for not having a filling, healthy breakfast (or lunch…or dinner!).

Love Grown Foods is definitely doing something right.  It’s rare for me to LOVE everything that I try from a company, but, seriously, they keep hitting it out of the park.  Not only do their products fill me up physically, but they are nutritious and healthy, and I love that.  I love feeling good about the food I am eating.  I can’t wait to try the products I either haven’t purchased yet or discovered yet.  And…I still have one more flavor of the Hot Oats to try (Apple Cinnamon), as soon as I pick it up from the grocery store!

And trust me…that’s happening for sure!!  DELICIOUS!

Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats

Love Grown Foods Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats (prepared)

Product Review: Love Grown Foods Peach Vanilla Almond Hot Oats

Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats

Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats

Product: Love Grown Foods Peach Vanilla Almond Hot Oats – $1.50+

Gluten-Free oatmeal is a way of life for me.  I know this sounds really over-the-top and dramatic, but it’s true.  Every single work day, I have something that is comprised of gluten-free oats.  Be it a package of gluten-free oatmeal or some version of overnight oats…lunch has been oatmeal (and oatmeal only) for the past two to three years.  With all the varieties out there, and all the ways oats can be dressed up and flavored, I really don’t get tired of it.  Besides, it is filling and nutritious too.

One of my favorite gluten-free companies came out with little tubs of gluten-free oatmeal awhile back. Once I was able to find them at my local stores, I tried the one that appealed to me the most: the Blueberry Banana Walnut Hot Oats.  I fell in love with them.  And then I vowed to get more.  I just…never did.

Until recently, when I found a couple of flavors on the Manager’s Special shelf at my local grocery store.  Gluten-free products on Manager’s Special means…they come home with me.  Especially when it’s from a brand I already love and trust.

My relationship with Love Grown Foods began with their granola.  OH. MY. GOD.  Their granola (every single flavor of it!) is some of the best gluten-free granola out on the market.  Then, they began expanding their line of products to include hot oats, then super oats, and finally a line of cereal as well.  They are growing and expanding…and this is only a good thing.  Because Love Grown Foods prides itself on putting out quality and healthy products.

They also have a huge focus on breakfast…healthy breakfasts.  The products they have out on the market definitely promote this passion they share.

The Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats are so easy to prepare.  Simply remove the lid and seal and fill with water to the fill line.  Give it a stir and then microwave it for 60 seconds.  Add an additional 10-20 seconds if you like a thicker consistency.  Then, let it sit for 1-2 minutes.  That’s it.  Then you can dive in.  So easy.

So I let it sit for 1 minute because the added 10 seconds I gave the cook time seemed to take away most of the water anyway.  And it was sheer oat perfection.  Seriously.  The Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats cook up into a smooth, rich, and thick bowl of oatmeal.  It was heaven on a spoon and warm going down. Perfect for these cold days.  Even more, there was a nice balance of flavor.  I had actually hesitated on purchasing the peach one, because, so often, the peach flavor dominates.  I love peaches…but I don’t want it to overtake everything else in my meal.  The vanilla and flavor of almonds balances out the sweetness of the peaches.  And it makes for the ultimate, warming, hearty bite…all the way to the very end.  There is just the right hit of sweetness thanks to the brown sugar and, so that it isn’t bland either.  And the little chunks of almonds just give it a little depth in the texture to keep it interesting.  It is amazing.  Pure and simple.  It is love.  This little unassuming microwave bowl exceeded every expectation I had for my lunch today.  And it made me really reconsider shunning peach flavored things in the near future.  I should have known never to doubt products put out by Love Grown Foods.  This one was a total win!

Let’s talk ingredients, shall we?  The Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats are made from gluten-free oats, brown sugar, freeze-dried peaches, almonds, vanilla, and cinnamon.  That’s it.  Simple.  Nutritious.  Healthy.  Amazing.  These are gluten-free and dairy free and also non-GMO.

As for nutrition, a serving is one tub of the Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats.  This little basin of goodness will deliver 240 calories and 4 grams of fat.  These oats contain no cholesterol or sodium.  LOVE it.  In addition, a serving gives you 12 mg of sugar, of which some of it comes from the fruit that is inside.  You also get 5 grams of filling fiber and 7 grams of protein.  You will definitely feel full upon eating this little tub of oat-y goodness.

I was beyond elated to spoon up each bite of this amazing little dish today.  I have to applaud Love Grown Foods for their dedication to quality products.  It’s for this reason I continue to stock my pantry with their oats and their granola.  Honestly…they have yet to let me down and I’m starting to believe it won’t happen.  It comes down to this…food is love…and I love these oats.  Total win with the Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats.  Now…to go stock up on more!

Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats (prepared)

Love Grown Foods Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats (prepared)

Product Review: Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal

Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal

Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal

Product: Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal – $4.99+

So, recently, Envirokidz (owned by Nature’s Path) put out two brand new gluten-free cereals in the Envirokidz line of cold cereals.  And yes, I have no shame in eating a “kids” cereal.  I mean, come on, my parents send me Freedom Foods Tropico’s in the mail so I can get my “Froot Loop” fix.  Yeah…kids cereals are often more delicious than the grown up versions anyway.  And who puts an age limit on which cereals you eat?  My dad could polish off a box of Coco Puffs on his own…and did on numerous times…even though the cereal was bought for the three kids in my family.

Go figure.

Let it be said that when I saw that one that had the word “cinnamon” attached to it…I immediately knew that I needed to try it.  Honestly.  I mean, my favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle…cinnamon and I are, like, BFFs…or something.  Sure, the other one was chocolate…but my eye was drawn to the box with the happy elephant on the cover.  Cinnamon Jungle Munch.

I first spotted this cereal while out of town…and not in a place where I could just bring it home with me.  So, when it turned up soon after at one of my local natural food stores, I added some wiggle room to the food budget and picked it up.  It’s been a couple of weeks, but I needed to get caught up on blogs before opening a new cereal.

That happened…Monday.

My anticipation was high as I popped open the box and tore into the little plastic bag thingie that keeps everything fresh.  I measured out a serving, dumped on some almond milk, and took a bite.

And hated it.  I mean, seriously hated it.  Not enough to spit it out or not polish off the rest of the box (although it’s really hard to convince myself to eat it now).  I don’t know…it’s lacking a bit of sweetness.  The cinnamon just sort of overwhelms everything.  It’s more spicy than sweet.  The little corn puffs are coated in this and it just doesn’t work for me.  It just tastes…off. And I am, sadly, not a fan.  I love the crunch, but the flavor is just…eh…not right.  Too much cinnamon, not enough to balance it out.  So…I’m stuck with cereal for at least a week that I dislike.  Yay.

The Nature’s Path Web site describes Envirokidz Jungle Munch as a cereal with the “delicate sweetness of cinnamon.”  They also claim kids will love it.  Maybe kids will.  But this adult is giving it a hefty and loud…NO!

Let’s talk about ingredients!  Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal is made from organic whole grain corn meal, organic corn meal, organic brown sugar, organic molasses, organic cinnamon and sea salt.  That’s it.  It is gluten-free, cholesterol free, vegan, non-GMO, and made with whole grains.

As far as nutrition goes…a serving of Envirokidz Cinnamon Jungle Munch Cereal is 3/4 cup.  In this serving, you are taking in 120 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.  A serving also gives you 80 mg sodium and 9 grams of sugar.  I admit, that’s good for sugars in a cold cereal.  And you will be consuming 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.  So, you won’t feel full, but you won’t feel like you haven’t eaten either.

Cereals are not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing.  What I dislike, others may think is the greatest thing.  But this cereal really failed to impress me.  Which is too bad, because I was practically bouncing off the walls wanting to try it, once I was aware that it existed.  So, if you like cinnamon, you may or may not like it.  This cinnamon lover…definitely didn’t like it.  Maybe next time I’ll stick with the chocolate one.

Product Review: Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Mesa Sunrise Cereal

Nature's Path Organic Gluten Free Mesa Sunrise Cereal

Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Mesa Sunrise Cereal

Product: Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Mesa Sunrise Cereal – $4.39+

Okay…here’s the awful truth.  The moment I pulled this box down from my pantry this morning and looked at the cover I said a silent prayer.  Seriously.  I had to.  I was really concerned that, sort of like the last flaky cereal I ate (sorry Freedom Foods…I love you but…NO!), these would taste like cardboard.  There is nothing worse, especially in this day and age, than getting a gluten-free product and having it taste like…a box.  It just shouldn’t happen.

So, with much trepidation, I opened up the box and scooped out a serving of the cereal.  I snagged a couple of the flakes…just ready to get angry at myself for risking my morning cereal tradition with a new flavor, despite being made by a company I trust.  It didn’t work out for me with Freedom Foods (and I love all the other stuff I tried of theirs…just not that one cereal!)…so I begin to doubt ALL the brand names now.

This…is the life of a Celiac…who is still taking risks and trying new stuff.  I mean, hey, I can’t just stick with the classics.  Well, I could, but what fun would that be.

Nature’s Path has an entire line of organic cereals and a good number of them are gluten-free.  I’ve treated myself to many of their Envirokidz cereals in the past, as well as these “adult” cereals…you know…the ones with actual flakes from ancient grains and no cute animals on the box.  I guess sometimes I do need to act my age.  HA!  Anyway…this was one of the ones that was on sale when I was out shopping for cereal…and it intrigued me at the time.  The sale price, I guess…more than anything.  I am a girl on a tight budget…sometimes I see gluten-free and a sale sticker and that’s what goes in my shopping basket.

The Mesa Sunrise Flakes cereal is a naturally sweetened ceral of crunchy, golden flakes that are made from a blend of Indian corn, flax, and amaranth. Completely gluten-free.  They look like speckled corn flakes, honestly.  And, perhaps, that’s exactly what they are.  But…upon first appearance I had that initial thought:

“Oh…these are going to taste like cardboard…and for the next week…I’ll have to choke them down.”

So, those couple of flakes I snagged from the serving I dished up in my cereal bowl were the primary test.  And…

They were not just good, but really good.

First of all, the texture is great.  You get this perfect crunch with each bite…so you feel like you’re eating something substantial that won’t go soggy in 30 seconds once you top off your cereal with almond milk…or whatever you like to put on your cereal.  That was a huge plus.  But the most surprising thing was the flavor.  I thought these would be bland and dry, but they weren’t.  In fact, they had this nice touch of sweetness to them, the result of sweet corn and the addition of evaporated cane juice, I’m sure.  But it had this great flavor and I could tell that it would stick with me after I ate it…unlike most gluten-free cereals, which tend to be laden with sugar and less protein and fiber.  I burn through those.  This actually felt substantial.  And healthy.  And good!  And being made from some great whole grains does help make this a well rounded and delicious breakfast.

Let’s talk about these ingredients for a moment, shall we?  The Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes are made with organic corn meal, organic yellow corn flower, organic evaporated cane juice, organic flax, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa, organic amaranth, sea salt, and tocopherols (natural vitamin E).  These flakes are gluten-free and cholesterol free.

As far as nutrition goes, the Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise Flakes are a great way to start your day.  Very healthy.  A serving size is 3/4 cup.  In this serving, you will be taking in 120 calories and only 1 gram of fat.  This serving provides you with 125 mg sodium and only 4 grams of sugar.  And you will be consuming 3 grams of filling fiber and 3 grams of protein.  It’s a substantial and hearty cereal that is low in sugar (LOVE that!) and healthy thanks to being made from whole grains.  I am in love with this cereal.

Nature’s Path has become a reliable and easy-to-find brand when I’m searching for some gluten-free options.  Every cereal I have tried, both in their grown-up line and their Envirokidz line, have been outstanding.  No wonder this company is thriving.  If you need a healthy breakfast, I highly recommend trying the Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise Flakes.  Great cereal and a great way to start your day!

Product Review: Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes Cereal

Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes

Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes

Product: Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes Cereal – $5.99+

It’s no secret how much I have latched onto and been supportive and vocally outspoken about how the natural and naturally delicious products from Freedom Foods are surprisingly nutritious and packed with nutritious goodness.  So many cereals out there are loaded down with sugars and artificial ingredients.  But Freedom Foods prides itself on using only natural ingredients…yes…even for those wild colors in my much loved Tropicos.  So…yeah.  There is a lot of love here.

Last month, I went to the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Indianapolis, and one of the vendors in attendance was none other than Freedom Foods.  After buying them out of Smudge (their nut-free and dairy-free Nutella), I decided I would try one of the cereals in their lineup that I don’t see at any of my stores.  Right now, only Kroger carries some of their products, and very few of their cereals.  After a little bit of pondering…I finally decided to try the Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes.

This cereal is a blend of sorghum and buckwheat, creating a cereal that is a good source of fiber and also low in salt.  What sets this cereal apart from others on the market, Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes are a true super food.  Why?  Because they grains that they rely on are those that were consumed around the world for thousands of years.  The Aztecs relied heavily on these superfoods for both strength and endurance.

Strength…and…endurance.

This runner definitely perks up hearing that!  So, I gave it a try.  And on the morning before I attempted my first double-digit run since I was injured…I ate a serving and went to meet up with some friends for my run.  As I poured my bowl of cereal, the flakes reminded me of those that would be in, say, Raisin Bran.  They were that dark flake without a coating of heavy sugar.  Very nutritious looking.  No raisins in sight.  None needed, apparently.  Right?

Well…mostly.

I love the nutritious aspects of this cereal.  I really do.  But…the flavor, on their own…was not good.  Really dry and sort of like…cardboard.  Not to be deterred though, I went ahead and poured some almond milk over the flakes themselves…and that actually helped.  It wasn’t…say…my favorite…but…it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t great…but I didn’t want to just pour it into the sink and start the garbage disposal either.  It definitely is my least favorite product I have tried from Freedom Foods to date…I mean…cardboard is not a good taste at all.  But…it is packed with a lot of nutrition, which does my body good.  And with the almond milk…it was consumable.  So, there is that.

This cereal is made from rice flour, yellow corn flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, psylliam husk, cane sugar, apple juice concentrate, and less than 2% salt and sunflower oil.  This cereal is preservative free, a great source of fiber, non-GMO certified, low in salt, and also gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and egg-free.

Nutritionally speaking, this cereal is definitely higher in calories than I would like…especially since it’s not knock-me-over delicious…but it still has some great things going for it.  One serving is a cup of the Freedom Foods Ancient Grains Flakes cereal is 1 cup.  In this serving, you are dished up 220 calories and only 1 gram of fat.  This serving also provides 60 mg sodium and 5 grams of sugar.  You also get 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.  Filling…for sure.

So, while I wouldn’t personally purchase this cereal again, it isn’t so bad.  Nutrition wise it is a powerhouse.  And if you like bran flakes or something similar, perhaps this is for you.  For me, it lacked something…but…it’s edible.  I’ll polish off the box.  Maybe it will at least bring me some added strength and endurance…

Product Review: Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins

Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins

Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins

Product: Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins – $5.29+

Some mornings, it’s easy to decide what to make for breakfast.  Other mornings, I have way too much going on to make something great and elaborate.  These are the mornings that the gluten-free toast and gluten-free bagels usually rear their heads.  And yes, I am certainly aware of the “good carbs vs. bad carbs” argument when it comes to breakfast foods and how you start your day.  But…with a strict budget and, honestly, the need for something quick that doesn’t take a lot of time some mornings…I have to do what fits into my mornings.

I don’t feel guilty about it.  An egg scramble isn’t hard, but to not overcook the eggs, it can take awhile.  Where as something like a gluten-free bagel or a couple slices of gluten-free toast can toast up while I take a quick shower, having just returned home from my early morning spin class or from doing laps in the pool.  Regardless…some mornings, it’s what has to be done.

So, this morning, despite having some gluten-free bagels in my freezer, I reached for something that I had been wanting to try for a very long time.

And if you read the subject of this post, you already know that I’m talking about Glutino’s Gluten Free Original English Muffins.

After my local Whole Foods stopped carrying the LivWell brand of English Muffins that I fell in love with…and since Katz Gluten Free requires an online order…it was nice to be able to duck into one of my local grocery stores/natural food stores and pick these up out of the freezer section.  I did a bit of a double-take, I admit, when I first purchased them, as they are a bit of a yellow-orange color in the packaging.  Odd.  But, it didn’t deter me from buying them.  Nope.  So, purchase made, they found their way to my freezer, I found myself out of town and using up other products that needed using…until this morning.

After that morning spin class I previously mentioned, I drove home, turned on the oven and put the two Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins onto a baking sheet.  I had left them in a Ziploc bag to thaw while I was gone.  I handed my roommate her bowl of cereal, put the English Muffins into the oven and went to take a quick shower.  They could cook without me needing to babysit them.  I was all about that for sure!  Makes for an easy breakfast that can be done while I am doing something else.  I love to be able to multitask.

So, after I was dressed and ready for work, I made my way back out to the kitchen, where the Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins were still happily toasting away.  I pulled down some plates and got out the Earth Balance spread and some blueberry jam (made from real fruit only!).  I checked on the English muffins and they were almost to that perfect golden toasty color.  So, I got out the butter knife and then grabbed the hot pad holder to remove them from the oven.  They looked perfect.  I slathered each half of the Glutino Original English Muffins with Earth Balance spread and then…topped that with the most perfect schmear of blueberry jam.  It looked heavenly and I was already anticipating my very first bite.

I picked up my plate and settled in for breakfast.  I lifted the English muffin and took my very first bite.

I was anticipating something that was heavy and dense and just…not what an English muffin should be.  But I was wrong.  I was definitely wrong.  The Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins actually were quite light.  The toasted areas had this nice crispiness to them, but the inner layer was soft and light.  I loved that it wasn’t dense.  I loved that it felt like I was eating a normal English muffin.  In fact, the powdery cornmeal dusted on top helped add to that illusion too.  I was loving every bite.  And it paired so well with the classic toppings of butter and jam.  It was pure breakfast perfection.  And now that they were toasted, that strange color didn’t look so scary anymore.  I happily noshed away on my entire English muffin, wanting to savor, but not wanting it to get cold either.  I found the perfect balance, enjoying every bite and commenting on just how surprised I was by the taste and texture.  These were, for sure, a winner!

The Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins are made from water, corn starch, tapioca starch, skim milk powder, corn flour, egg whites, can sugar, canola oil, salt, cellulose gum, yeast, baking powder, gluconon-delta-lactone, pectin, sodium bicarbonate, sodium alginate, modified cellulose, corn meal, iron, nacin, tracalcium phosphate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, and riboflavin.  Yes…I am aware of how chemically some of those ingredients sound.  And that word modified is a bit of a bother.  It’s sad…because, if you’re like me and actually care about that sort of thing…it sort of lessens my excitement for these breakfast treats.

A serving of the Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins is one English muffin.  This one English muffin will provide your body with 170 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.  I think that’s freakin’ fantastic.  A serving also provides 440 mg sodium and 7 grams of sugar.  Not bad for a bready breakfast item.  These English muffins are also cholesterol free.  And, finally, this serving will give you less than 1 gram of filling fiber and only 4 grams of protein.  So, this is why I paired it with a bowl of cereal…because otherwise, I’d be starving within an hour.  It will not leave you feeling full for very long, that’s for sure.

Regardless, I am a huge fan of the Glutino Gluten Free Original English Muffins.  Great flavor, great taste, great texture…which means I’ll treat myself to them every now and again.  Because, on some mornings, sometimes the only thing you want is an English muffin.  And when, normally, due to Celiac or gluten intolerance, this isn’t something that can happen on a regular basis…this is a nice treat indeed.  I highly recommend these English muffins.  In fact, I even think people who can eat Thomas’ English Muffins would appreciate these as well.  There…I said it.

Put it to the test.  For me…no need.  I’m in love.  I’m in love all over again with breakfast.  Thank you, once more, for another fantastic product, Glutino.  Thank you.