Last week I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show, at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC, to check out new gluten-free products on the market. Given the plethora of gluten free vendors and my recent foot surgery I knew this would be a challenge. However, with this focus in mind, this mega show became a bit smaller to manage. So I started in one corner and the following are the memorable gluten free vendors that I came across in the short time I spent there.
As you may know by now, healthy gluten-free living is my focus, passion and interest, as well, I am a savory gal. When I am searching for ‘something sweet’ I tend to opt for a low-glycemic sweet treat. Here we go…
Nikki’s Coconut Butter: out of Jupiter FL. They are not yet certified gluten-free. Their ingredients are paleo and vegetarian, gluten and dairy free made with organic coconut and made with organic sweeteners. I had the vanilla cake batter flavor and went home after the event and made sautéed peaches and oatmeal and used this coconut butter – it was fabulous and as easy as it sounds! Comes in 5 flavors.
Cookie Sense: Another great product not yet certified. Cookie Sense is a power cookie that either comes in a 2”, 100 calorie cookie or a power bite. I love this product for many reasons. They are dairy free, and have 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. They are also sugar free with the sweetness from stevia and only 1 gram of sugar in one cookie! Comes in 4 flavors. I tried the chocolate chip and coconut almond. It has a great flavor and a chewy/crunchy texture.
Nib Mor: Not new to the market however, they have new packaging and a new product. I love the daily dose of dark. Organic, vegan and certified gluten-free by GFCO, this chocolate bar is sure to please when you need a fix! They’ve just launched their new 6-spice drinking chocolate packed with protein and fiber.
XO Baking Co: Last, but never least of the sweet treats, is XO Baking Co. With it’s founder and Chief Baking Officer, Lindsey Deitsch at it again, she continues to make our mouth water with her delicious mixes! Coming new to the market are the biscuits and scones, chocolate, vanilla, ginger and chocolate chip snaps, as well, a perfectly executed gluten free blondie. XO Baking Co has a line of about 22 products; from a cup-for-cup flour, sweet breads, pancakes…and cakes/frosting. I am always craving XO Baking Co’s product! They are all certified gluten free by GFCO, organic, kosher and non-gmo. It doesn’t get any better!
Rice Ramen by Lotus Foods: They are a small company with a big mission; sustainability being the core of their business. I first tried the Bhutan Rice – reddish-brown in color with a nutty earthy flavor. It is one of 9 organic /heirloom varieties. I loved the texture and flavor and made it with coconut oil, scallions, raisins and pumpkin seeds. Their products are made with non-gmo products and are gluten-free yet not certified. Super-impressed with all that I have mentioned they have rice ramen in 6 flavors as well as with miso soup. I have a sample of the Forbidden Rice Ramen, which is black in color, and look forward to trying it one day soon. This is a company to follow!
Earthly Choice: This company sells freekeh and faro, pastas, quinoa, powders, proteins and many more. Many of these are gluten-filled products. They have certified (with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) the next products I will be showcasing. Chia crisp, golden flax crisp and quinoa crisp. All are high in fiber, nut free, gluten free, dairy free and non-gmo. They are a snack with 9 g of sugar per bar – and three bars per pack. If one eats the whole package, which is easy to do, it will be 27g of sugar that ultimately equates to roughly 6.5 tsps of sugar. This is where one needs to be careful when reading labels. Still looks like a tasty treat in small quantities.
Halfpops: Partially popped, crunchy and fluffy – halfpops come in two varieties – aged white cheddar and butter/sea salt. Delicious new way to eat popcorn that are certified gluten-free with GFCO, nut-free and no hydrogenated oils.
An important note: Many of the new companies in the marketplace say they ‘self-test’ for gluten. They are not yet ready (most due to certification being expensive for them) to get certified. One comment that I have for all of the companies that state on their packaging that they are gluten-free yet not certified:
As of August 5, 2014, a food product regulated by the FDA may be labeled gluten-free if:
1. It does NOT contain wheat, rye, barley or their crossbred hybrids like triticale (a gluten-containing grain) OR
2. It contains a gluten-containing grain or an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
While manufacturers are not required to test for gluten in order to label a product gluten-free – - they are responsible for ensuring that the food product meets all labeling requirements. Manufacturers will need to determine how they will ensure this.