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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Gluten-Free

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Angel Food Cake Day

 

Calling all cake lovers: October 10th is National Angel Food Cake.

An angel food cake is a light, flourless affair made with sugar, a dozen or so egg whites, cream of tartar (which increases the heat tolerance and volume of the egg whites) plus vanilla or almond extract and salt.

It is also a gluten-free cake.

Angel food cake is generally made in a tube pan and served with berries and whipped cream. But Martha Stewart makes a much more elaborate creation, perhaps the best angel food cake recipe concept.

Watch her prepare it in this video: a two-layer angel food cake filled and iced with whipped cream and berries.

For a variation, you can substitute banana slices or pineapple for the berries. For a lemony angel food cake, substitute lemon extract for the vanilla/almond extract and add lemon zest to the whipped cream.

   

   

Find more of our favorite cakes and recipes.

See all the different cake types in our Cake Glossary.

Try this recipe for grilled angel food cake.

Comments

COOKING VIDEO: Make Homemade Crackers

 

Impress your family and friends with these homemade crackers.

This easy recipe produces a gourmet cracker, fragrant with rosemary. Made with almond flour instead of wheat flour, the crackers are also gluten free.

Serve them with cheese, hummus or other favorite dip or spread, salad or soup.

Most people don’t think of baking their own crackers. But these tasty bites may just be the start of a creative cracker-baking hobby.

   

   

Find more of our favorite crackers and bread recipes.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Garden Lites Vegetable Soufflés

It’s always exciting to discover a new “favorite food” that’s good for you. When we received a generous shipment of Garden Lites frozen vegetable soufflés from the manufacturer, we liked them.

But as we ate soufflé after veggie soufflé, we grew to really like them. We became so accustomed to eating one a day as a snack or as part of a light lunch, that we laid in a new supply when the original shipment was exhausted.

While we relish the vegetable soufflés as casual fare, we wouldn’t hesitate to serve them as a first course at a fancy dinner. Assuming, of course, that we’d be willing to share our stash.

The soufflés are made in nine varieties: broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, cauliflower, pizza (cauliflower topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella), roasted vegetable (mixed veggies), southwestern (mixed veggies with southwestern seasonings), spinach and zucchini.

There are also two julienned vegetable dishes that satisfy: zucchini marinara and zucchini portabella.

 

Our new favorite snack, first course or light lunch. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

Each single serve is equivalent to two portions of vegetables. Look in your grocer’s freezer case and bring them home: You’re in for a treat!

The line is certified kosher.
 
Read the full review.

Find more of our favorite vegetable products and recipes.

  

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Thousand Layer Cake

Do Euforia thousand layer cakes really have 1,000 layers? No, but that doesn’t take away the enchantment of these twelve-layer cakes.

Each thin, delicious, gluten-free layer is individually baked by artisans in Tucson, delivering moist texture and excellent lemon, spice or vanilla flavor.

This is “anytime” cake: Enjoy a slice with coffee, tea, Madeira, Port, Sherry or a favorite dessert wine. To make a more elaborate dessert, add custard sauce, whipped cream or ice cream, berries or berry purée.

The cakes are made in three formats:

  • Party Cake, a large, 60-ounce cake that makes a great impression.
  • Cake Roll, a 15-ounce log.
  • Individually-Wrapped Slices for portioning out daily treats.
  •  

    A thousand layer cake delivers an exciting visual presentation. Photo courtesy Euforia Confections.

     

    Treat yourself or give them as gifts: You’ll be euphoric over Euforia.
     
    Read the full review.

    Or, buy some now.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones

    We’ve been enjoying more than a few ice cream cones this month, National Ice Cream Month.

    But what if you have gluten sensitivities. Where’s your cone?

    Goldbaum’s, a natural food company based in Brooklyn, New York, is at the ready with two different cones that crunch as nicely as the “real thing.”

    In the shape of waffle/cake cones, their texture is more like the lighter style wafer/cake cones (here’s the difference between the two types).

    So what’s in a gluten-free cone? Instead of wheat, there’s a mix of potato starch and tapioca starch, plus other ingredients including sugar, salt and vanilla.

    The gluten-free cones don’t have the flavor of wheat-based cones, but when ice cream is added, you won’t notice the difference—you’ll just enjoy the crunch.

    The regular Goldbaum’s cones have just 11 calories apiece, so they’re a boon for calorie counters as well. The sugar cones have 41 calories, are an inch or so taller, and weigh in at 41 calories. Conventional ice cream cones have up to 20% more calories.

    The line is certified kosher by OU. Find out more at Goldbaums.com.

     

    Gluten-free fun. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Ice cream was invented many centuries before the ice cream cone. Check out the history of ice cream cones.

      

     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Try Flavored Kefir Instead Of A Smoothie

    You can blend your own smoothie or pour it
    ready-to-drink from a bottle of flavored
    kefir. Photo courtesy RevivalSoy.com.

     

    Many people think that kefir is the same as drinkable yogurt. That’s close, but not exact. Kefir is even healthier than yogurt. In fact, kefir is often called a “super yogurt,” since it is up to 36 times more probiotic than yogurt.

    While the recipes are similar, kefie has even more live and active cultures (naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts) and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It contains easily digestible, complete proteins, and is recommended for those with digestive issues, including colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS and lactose intolerance.

    The once-exotic drink is now available in supermarkets nationwide. It’s available in luscious fruit flavors in addition to plain.

    The addition of fruit creates what we think of as a kefir smoothie (to differentiate it from a conventional yogurt smoothie). It’s just as delicious and better for you. And it’s more drinkable—less thick—than smoothies made with non-drinkable yogurt.

     

    Our favorite flavored kefir, from Green Valley Organics, is made with lactose-free milk that is Certified Humane® plus a probiotic-rich combination of 10 live and active cultures. A blend of strawberry, pomegranate and açaí, It has less added sugar than many flavored kefirs. Also available in plain, the kefir is kosher-certified, organic and gluten free.

    It is so delicious, an eight-ounce serving (150 calories, 20 from fat) satisfies our craving for ice cream or frozen yogurt, which has more than twice the calories and typically, none of the healthy components.

    Another brand, Lifeway Kefir, makes Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pomegranate/Açaí, Raspberry and Strawberry kefir flavors, in addition to plain.

     

    You can make your own kefir smoothie by blending two cups of kefir with a cup of fruit (frozen fruit is just fine) and 2 tablespoons of sweetener (you can use noncaloric sweetener or lower-glycemic such as agave nectar, honey or maple syrup).

    More Kefir Magic

  • The health benefits of kefir.
  • Another way to enjoy kefir: frozen kefir, like frozen yogurt.
  • Check out all the different types of yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary.
  •  

    Just remove cap and pour yourself a delicious strawberry-pomegranate-açaí “smoothie.” Photo courtesy GreenValleyOrganics.com.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Pizza From Bold Organics & Mozzarelli’s

    With the increased consumer interest in gluten-free products, we find ourselves tasting more of them. Our rule of thumb with any special-diet product is: It’s got to be so good that anyone would enjoy it, and not notice that it’s meant for people on a restricted diet.

    Last week our Top Pick was My Dad’s gluten-free cookies. Now we have two new items to add to our gluten-free roster: delicious pizzas.

    Frozen Gluten-Free Pizzas From Bold Organics

    The Bold Organics pizza line is not just gluten-free: It’s milk-free (no lactose, casein or whey), egg-free, peanut- and treenut-free.

    It not only tastes like conventional pizza; it’s better than many of the other frozen choices in the supermarket, even the ones made with traditional wheat and dairy.

     

    All of the flavor, none of the gluten (or other
    allergens). Photo courtesy Bold Organics.

     

    These are individual pies, approximately eight inches in diameter. The number of servings is listed as two—for two five-year-olds, perhaps, but you’ll know that when you see the size of the box. Just count on one pizza per adult.

  • The crust has a nice texture, only slightly softer than the crispy thin-crust style we’re used to in New York City. If you like it extra crispy (we do), you’ll want to cook it a bit longer than instructed.
  • The cheese, largely made of soy, is also impressive. It tastes like authentic cheese and has a nice melty, stretchy texture, like regular pizza cheese.
  • In addition to good basics of crust and cheese, obvious care is taken with all the other ingredients. The sauce, made with organic tomatoes, spices and herbs, is flavorful and has just a touch of heat. Organic vegetables and nitrite/nitrate-free meats are used on the topped varieties.
  •  
    These tasty pizzas are available in four different flavors:

  • Vegan Cheese (plain—we like to buy this one and add our own toppings)
  • Veggie Lovers (onions, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms)
  • Meat Lovers (uncured pepperoni and sausage)
  • Deluxe (all the meat and vegetables above)
  •  
    Bold Organics pizzas retail from $6.99 to $10.29. They’re being rolled out at retail locations around the country this month, with representation in Whole Foods and increased presence overall expected later this year. See the company website to view a store locator.

    The line is certified by Organic Certifiers, the Non GMO Project and the Celiac Sprue Association.

     

    Put your favorite toppings on a great
    gluten-free crust. Photo courtesy
    KingArthurFlour.com.

     

    Fresh Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts

    If you want the crust only, we highly recommend the ones made by Mozzarelli’s. These are the same folks who make My Dad’s gluten-free cookies.

    Mozzarelli’s is a gourmet pizza emporium in New York City. Conventional and gluten-free pizzas are available. We’ve been there and really enjoyed it.

    The crust is made from rice flour, corn starch, potato starch, potato flour and tapioca flour. Unlike Bold Organics, it does contain nonfat dry milk and eggs, so it’s not a vegan product.

    It is, however, delicious. Each crust comes in a disposable/recyclable pan.

     

    The company also sells Better Crumbs, gluten-free bread crumbs.
     
    Pizza Party Idea

    Ask each guest to bring a different topping to share. Then set up a pizza-making table and let guests create their own combinations before you pop the pizzas into the oven.

      

    Comments

    PASSOVER: Gluten-Free Matzo

    Millions of Jews will celebrate a week of Passover beginning Friday, April 6th. The holiday commemorates the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, after God inflicted the ten plagues upon the Egyptians.

    As the story goes, the Jews had to leave Egypt immediately. They gathered up possessions and livestock but could not wait for the bread dough to rise, resulting in matzo, an unleavened flatbread. Thus, during the week of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten; only matzo (also spelled matzoh, matza and other variations).

    So what if you want to celebrate Passover with matzo, but have gluten sensitivities?

    Two brands are at the ready:

  • Yehuda Matza, imported from Israel, is certified gluten-free. It’s made from tapioca flour, potato starch, potato flour and egg yolks. It looks and crunches like conventional matzo, and the flavor is more than satisfactory. In fact, it has a bit of salt and even more flavor than wheat matzo, which is famously bland. The only nit: It’s more fragile and the boards break too easily. It has a two-year shelf life. Buy it online.
  •  

    Gluten-free matzo. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • Shemura Oat Matzo is made by a London rabbi, from gluten-free oat flour and water. We haven’t tasted it. It too is available online.
  •  
    Seder Idea

    The Passover seder, the ritual feast celebrated on the first two nights of the holiday, is accompanied from beginning to end by a reading of the Haggadah (“telling”).

    This year, participants at our seder are coming as witnesses of the Exodus. Each of us will provide a few minutes of insight into the desires, hopes, frustrations, fears and domestic lives of our characters. Participating will be will be Moses, Pharaoh, a nameless Jewish slave and an Egyptian, along with Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, a first century scholar who appears giving commentary in the Hagadah.

    We are going as a baker, faced with feeding the exodus masses without the time to leaven the bread. The result: matzo.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: My Dad’s Gluten-Free Cookies

    Can’t have gluten? Or, like a growing number of Americans, are you choosing to avoid it?

    You can still enjoy bakery-style cookies, thanks to My Dad’s gluten-free cookie line.

    A broad selection of tasty cookies awaits—cookies so well crafted that most people will never know they’re gluten-free. We couldn’t tell when we first tasted the cookies!

    Read the full review, and treat yourself or a gluten-free loved one to some lovely nibbles.

    Find more of our favorite gluten-free products.

    How many different types of cookies are there?
    See our Cookie Glossary.

     

    Delicious and gluten-free! Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

      

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

     

    This recipe converts America’s favorite cookie, the chocolate chip cookie, into a gluten-free version.

    More and more Americans are discovering they have a sensitivity to gluten, a protein in wheat and other popular grains such as barley and rye. A more serious manifestation is celiac disease.

    Some of the best brands of gluten-free cookies we’ve tried are the result of a family member seeking to make the tastiest treats for a relative with gluten sensitivity. If you have a loved one who needs to avoid gluten, bake a batch of these as a gift.

    There are more than 20 gluten-free or low-gluten alternatives to wheat flour, from familiar ingredients such as cornmeal and potato flour to amaranth and teff flours. They’re more expensive than wheat flour, which is why gluten-free baked goods, pasta, etc. are costlier than conventional products.

    The substitutes vary widely in their flavor and texture contribution. People working on gluten-free recipes do a lot of experimenting to find the ingredients and proportions they like best.

    TRIVIA: “Gluten” is the Latin word for glue. The protein acts as a binder to give elasticity to dough and a chewy texture to the final product.

    Find more of our favorite gluten-free products.

       

       

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