Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

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I was recently lucky enough to spend some quality time with two of my favorite people on Earth: my grandparents.

They’re both incredibly special people, and in the past few years, they have taught me important lessons about love, loyalty, family and thoughtfulness.

One of the ways that I’ve noticed them actively display their thoughtfulness is through food. It means a lot to remember someone’s favorite things, food or otherwise, and it’s pretty simple to make that person’s day with the knowledge. (I’ve felt this time and time again.)

Every time I visit my grandparents, they have my favorite meal simmering on the stove , a bottle of my favorite wine open, and favorite snack laid out in the family room to get my through the 30 minutes before dinner is ready. It makes me feel so special.

This time, my Grandma really out did herself by making on of my favorite deserts, angel food cake, GLUTEN FREE!

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The mix is make by Kinnikinnick Foods, and it tastes exactly like its gluten-y counterpart! It was fluffy, light and absolutely delectable. It’s sold at under $4 a box, and extremely easy to make! All you need are 12 large egg whites, your mix  and some vanilla extract. Add on from fresh berries and you have a perfect summer treat!

I’m already planning to make this treat for my mom (whose favorite dessert also happens be Angel Food Cake) next time I see her. Thanks, Grandma Jean for introducing my to this wonderful desert. You can count on me passing on the foodie-love!

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Beer, beer, every where, Nor any drop to drink…. Hard Cider: a Gluten-Free Beer Alternative

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The beer section at Constantino’s Market in Cleveland, Ohio.

I think most  of my gluten-free friends would agree, beer to someone who is gluten intolerant (has celiac, or is GF by choice) is like ice-cream to someone who is lactose intolerant. You know, you know, you shouldn’t have it, but when your group of friends invite you out for some, you feel yourself start to waiver… It sounds so good and refreshing, doesn’t it?

Well, no fear! Increasingly bars, brew houses, liquor stores and local grocers are starting to carry gluten-free beer alternatives, including a wide variety of delicious hard ciders.

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Hard ciders have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and breweries across the country seem to be taking notice. Sales increased an average of 27.5 percent annually during the last five years (according to an estimate by IBISWorld), and I can only imagine a good chunk of this can be attributed to the growing gluten-free population! With the growth in demand has come and influx of choices, so how does one navigate the cider section? Below, I’ve created a little reference chart of some of the most popular cider brands (and included my own description of each)!

Cider Brand Alc Content Calories per serving Description
Hornsby’s 5.5% 200 has a bright, sweet apple flavor
Redds 5% 150 has good balance to the apple’s sweetness, more of a beer-like experience
Angry Orchard 5.5% 190 literally tastes like alcoholic apple juice
Original Sin 6% 143 very light in color, almost a champagne-like taste
Ace 8% 135 golden color, more on the tart side of the cider family
Strongbow Cider 5% 140 a very dry cider, a wine-like experience
Crispin 6.9% 140 has a bold and fresh apple taste
Woodchuck (Amber) 5% 154 smooth, sweet and crisp–a very popular choice

Hopefully this helps give you a starting point to base your upcoming cider purchase upon! Happy tasting! (And let me know what you think!)

Lo

For more fun facts about hard cider, check out this article from Food Republic!

The quest to find the best gluten-free products…

scampi

Shrimp Scampi made with Heartland gluten and wheat free spaghetti, fresh shrimp, olive oil, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice

It’s not like gluten-free products are ridiculously expensive, but when each product is marked up 50 cents to a dollar, that difference can easily add up. It takes time to build up a new catalog of favorite, trusted brands. And there’s a lot of trial and error involved because, trust me, there are a lot of less-than-savory gluten free substitutes. So I’m here to be a taste-testing guinea pig, and hopefully save others from buying products that don’t fulfill our high GF expectations! I’m on a mission to find the best products–pastas, breads, flour, granola–all the carbs that a new GF individual feels that they can’t live without.

Yesterday, I branched out from my normal, go-to brand for gluten free pasta to try something new. As I browsed the specialty diet section of my local Giant Eagle, I noticed a brand I had never tried, Heartland.  I liked the packaging as was interested in it’s claim of “Traditional Pasta Taste!” So I snatched up a package of the corn and rice blend spaghetti and headed home to make a scampi.

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Product:

Heartland Gluten Free Spaghetti

Serving size:

  • Dry Pasta: 2 1/8″ (circumference)
  • Cooked Pasta: 1 cup

Nutritional Information:

  • 200 calories per serving
  • 0g Saturated Fats
  • 0mg Sodium
  • 0g Sugars

Cook Time:

9-11 minutes

Rating:

★★★★☆

Cook time for the pasta was pretty true to what was directed–about 11 minutes boiling until it reached the perfect texture. As usual, I used a tablespoon of olive oil to help keep the pasta separated–a trick I learned from my childhood best friend’s chef father. Like most gluten free pastas, this one caused the water to become cloudy and starchy as it cooked, but no worries, this is normal! If you use oil too, it will help keep the pasta from sticking to itself.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the taste of the pasta and how it held up once cooked. Many gluten-free pastas fall apart once you try to toss them with sauces, veggies or protein, but these noodles remained intact. I would highly recommend this brand to anyone who wants the same pasta eating experience as before they went gluten free. You can barely tell the difference! Good work, Heartland!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating