When Earth Balance, a company once known only for producing vegan buttery spreads, announced that it was expanding its product line into the unlikely realm of snack food, it was impossible not to be curious. How would expertise in spreadable condiments (and now non-dairy milks) translate to munchable morsels? Hunting down these new offerings has been hit and miss, so I'm thankful that company representatives kindly stepped in and sent me a complete collection.
Two weeks spent eating an unthinkable amount of pub food of
fish burgers and chips in Ireland and London had me craving fresh fruit. This recipe combines a fruit salsa of strawberries, apples, kiwis, and raspberries with homemade cinnamon tortilla chips. Although the addition of white and brown sugar decreases the healthiness of the fruit it truly enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Who doesn’t like bread?? Not me! I would eat it all day long if I could. So I was very happy to sample some bread my sister bought from Sami’s Bakery in Florida. So here are some suggestions if you would like to try this place. These are all gluten, yeast, corn, egg and dairy free.
Millet and Flax Cinnamon Chips, very, very good! Only had a few but could easily have eaten the whole thing! This is my first favorite!
Millet and Flax Onion Bagel, another yummy! We toasted it and put some fish ceviche (that my husband brought home) and made it into bruschetta. This is not for the faint-of-heart, it has a strong onion flavor so don’t forget your breath mints! This is my second favorite!
Millet & Flax Bread, good sandwich bread. Not the best I have had but very light for being egg-less!
Millet Sourdough Bread, don’t have this out of the bag! Toasting this bread makes it come alive. Not very sour, more like regular bread. Not my favorite but toasted with butter (Vegan) I liked it.
Millet Sourdough Bagels, same flavor as the Sourdough bread. Wasn’t great cold so I toasted it! Butter (Vegan butter) is always a good addition! It would be good for quick mornings but don’t forget to toast it or you will be eating Styrofoam.
Millet Flax Pumpkin Bread, not great. Had it cold and warm and it didn’t have much flavor. It was very light though, which surprised me.
Millet and Flax Cinnamon Bagel, not great. I was really hoping it would be like eating gluten-full ones. They used to be my favorite and hoped this would give me that taste but couldn’t even eat it cold. Toasted it didn’t even pass.
Hope you enjoyed reading this review. Was it helpful? Have you tried anything else that you liked from Sami’s? Please let me know!
Go ahead and eat the bread! Take care!
We were watching one of my favorite movies tonight, Julie & Julia and it inspired me to pour my soul out. Sorry this is such a long post but I was given good advise once from a blogger to just be yourself so here I am. They were both themselves, real and I want my blog to be real. Not what, “most women” or the, “average person” deals with but what I have dealt with throughout my life.
What came first the chicken or the egg (I laugh at this because I’m allergic to both!)
As you know I have Celiac’s and it’s effects are too many to count. What you don’t know is that I also have Endometriosis and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which are all auto-immune diseases. So I ask myself which one came first?
Growing up, the youngest of four children, we had a normal life on a farm (apricot orchards) in California. We moved around a lot but the years on the farm are the most memorable for my immune system. Especially because I was always sick with strep throat that would last for months. Ok not a big deal. They also sprayed pesticides around our house at least once a week in the early 80′s and they were still using really bad ones. (not like there are good ones!) These were my pre-teen years which makes me question did the pesticides cause the Endo and then later to follow the PCOS? Or was it the Celiac’s that made me prone to getting Endo and PCOS? From my very first period, which by the way needed help to start at 15 1/2, was horrible! I remember the pain, screaming to my mom just to make it stop! She rushed me to the doctor and he gave me my first of many ultrasounds and said a cyst burst. She will be fine he said and I wanted to strangle him. She will be fine! Well after that everything was not fine. The pain was horrible with every period. I went to doctors after doctors and finally the last one said it was all in my head and to stop asking for pain killers. After one emergency room visit one doctor suspected Endo and the next day I went in for surgery. When my surgeon came out he said he had never seen a case that bad! Finally someone believed me. I wasn’t crazy!
I started researching everything about Endo I could get my hands on. Western and Eastern medicine. For Western, my choices were the pill, forced menopause or hysterectomy. For Eastern there were many including of course diet, exercise, message, acupuncture and a long list of other things. I made a list and tried everything. I am a big believer in natural remedies as much as possible to heal your body but I was desperate to stop the pain. Some things worked, like diet. That’s when I found out about going gluten free. Again my doctor looked at me, just looked at me and said you don’t have that! I thought scientists used tests to determine if you have a disease and not just looking at a person. Fired that doctor and found a good one that works with food allergies. What a box I was about to open, I had no idea!
It’s strange to think that I have spent the last 20 1/2 years in chronic pain. The PCOS started about five years ago and causes extreme pain throughout the entire month. My last surgery my surgeon said he tried to stick a needle in my ovary and it bounced back. He wasn’t kidding. They were so full a needle couldn’t even get through.
This brings me to my latest decision, total hysterectomy. Complete, ovaries, cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. This has taken many years to come to this decision. If you just look at me I don’t look sick, or in pain its really quite the opposite I look pretty healthy. I don’t even like to talk about it with my friends but it’s so hard to live in pain everyday that I was ready for it to stop. I can’t imagine a life without pain and pain killers. It was a big step, especially because we really wanted children, but my husband and I were ready to take that step.
We found a wonderful surgeon, Dr. Camran Nezhat. He asked me if I had tried everything because there is no going back from this and I said yes with confidence. This was it. The surgery went well at O’Connor Surgery Center. When I woke up I was so glad it was over. When they took the catheter out it was hard to pee and I was in pain when they sent me home. When we go home the pain was so bad we went to Stanford’s emergency dept where they admitted me. As soon as the put the catheter back in I had instant relief! I was admitted Thursday night and left Saturday afternoon. Pain was managed, I could eat solid food and could pee!!!!! Stanford was actually pretty good with all of my food allergies. I gave them my allergy list was surprised when they brought me more than just fruit! That’s a first for me in any hospital.
They say 6-8 weeks recovery and I’m well on my way! It was last Saturday I was released and today we went to the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Jose. It’s amazing what one week will do!
I’m curious to see if my food allergies improve as I get healthier. We have a trip to Mexico planned this summer and to think that it will be pain free makes me cry:)
Thank you to my hubby, who sees me at my very worst and still thinks I’m beautiful. Thank you to my family and friends who always have a party in the waiting room during my surgeries (hope this is the last!) and who make us food and do all the things we can’t. We love you all so much! And a special thanks to my doctor, you are a very kind and skilled surgeon.
I would love to hear your stories if you would like to share them:)
We have all been there. I haven’t gone grocery shopping in awhile and the pantry is slim. And yet I’m craving cookies, peanut butter cookies. So I love raw foods and at the moment that’s a really good thing because my ovens broken. Even on warm it heats up to over 600! That’s a whole other story.
So these came out of a mix and match from my oh-so-slim pantry. Raw, gluten free, peanut butter cookies to say smile to the world! It’s almost Friday!!!!
I threw out the measuring spoons and threw in chunky peanut butter, dates, raisins, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla an shredded coconut. Rolled them into balls and there finished. They are perfect and not too sweet!
There are so many gluten free choices out there for bread. If you’re like me, not just allergic to gluten, this is a great alternative to sliced bread. Think tortilla with flavor minus the corn. It’s also raw so you get the nutrients without it raising your blood sugar like processed flour does. You don’t want to sleep after eating a sandwich with this bread. I pair it with cucumbers, avocados and chipotle cashew cheese. Yummy!
The step-by-step instructions are below. This recipe is easy to change up, so try different things to get the right flavor for you.
Onion Flat Bread:
One of the cookies we grew up with, Russian Tea Cakes. It warms my heart just to see them. I have to contain myself because I can’t eat just one! Here is the recipe, make some new traditions in your family and try these!
Gluten Free & Vegan Russian Tea Cakes (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies)
2 sticks or 1 C butter or butter substitute such as Earth Balance
1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 C gluten free all purpose baking mix (if it doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum add 1 tsp)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 C walnuts, chopped
Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar together until soft and well blended. Add vanilla and flour then blend well. Add nuts and combine.
Using about 1 Tbsp of dough, roll into small balls. Cookies will expand a little in the oven. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown on the bottom. These cookies do better baking at a lower temperature for a longer time. Let rest for 5 minutes And then roll in a bowl of confectioner’s sugar, coating completely.
Adapted from Mary Capone’s Italian Butter Balls
Oh I couldn’t wait for Saturday! On the menu (all vegan and gluten free) was Chocolate Cream Pie, Onion Bread, and Pumpkin Cheesecake! It was my very first cooking (I use the word cooking loosely because the two pies were raw and the onion bread was dehydrated) demo and I was so nervous! But I was among friends. Thank you Angela, Veronica and Jean. They were great, letting me take pictures every five minutes and providing all the ingredients! We had a ball and made some really good food. This is the first one I’ll feature because I have already posted the recipe but it helps with step-by-step instructions:) The other two will follow so stay tuned….
Tell me this doesn’t look good! I have never thought of myself as a chef or even a good cook. That place in my family always went to, first my mom and then to my older sister. Everything they touched turned to yummy goodness! I couldn’t hold a candle to them. But I have to say with the help of some really good recipes from 118 degrees owner Jenny Ross in The Art of Raw Living Food, I am very happy to say these were a hit! We tasted them at her restaurant and they melted in our mouths!
The stuffed mushrooms with pesto and sun dried tomatoes are paired with Roma tomato slices and organic mixed greens tossed with her Caesar dressing. The best part is, there’s no guilt going back for seconds!
When I took a newly diagnosed client grocery shopping she had no idea her beloved beer was now off limits. Do you miss beer? I really do! But there are some good gluten free options out there. Take for example New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale. My first thought when I saw it at the GFAF Expo was yuck! Beer and raspberry, why would they put that together??? Then I tried it and much to my surprise it was really good. There was just a hint of raspberry I’m really glad I tired it because I would have never bought it at the store.
Thank you New Planet:)