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Cinnamon Buns

I just finished making and eating the most amazing Gluten Free Cinnamon buns.  I’d love to take credit for the recipe, but that would be stealing and very wrong.  So, instead, I’d like to introduce you to another Canadian gluten free blogger who should be crowned for sainthood, just for discovering and sharing this most amazing cinnamon bun.

People, these are incredible fresh.  They are awesome reheated from frozen.  They are not hard to make and they taste as good or better than their wheaty counterpart.  How do I know this?  Well, I cheated.  I ate a “real” cinnamon bun after making several dozen for my whiny family.  And, my thumb got rashy and my tummy hurt. So, there you go, learn from my stupidity, these GF cinnamon buns are the real thing.

Please, allow me to introduce you to The Baking Beauties and her Cinnamon Bun recipe.  You could thank me, but first, swallow the last bite and wash your hands.  Keyboards and cinnamon sugar just don’t mix…

Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops

Time for another product review – Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops

These are so amazing – no artifical flavours or colours, gluten free, corn free,organic, Kosher Parve, made with fruit extracts and they taste awesome.

I ordered these for my boys because I wanted something gluten free but also without all the crap that normal lollipops (candy in general) seem to have.  Since then, I’ve re-ordered for my office.  I feel really good about sharing these with other people’s children (with permission, of course) because they are a high quality treat.  We have lots of kids through here & I’ve never had a complaint about the flavour yet.  With the “old” kind, we’d find the kids would take about 2 licks and hand it back.

I get mine from www.iherb.com in a bag of 50 for $6.00.  They have packages of assorted flavours, which I recommend until you know which one is your favorite.  Me, I’m partial to Mango Tango and Pomegranate Pucker (don’t you just love the names) but truly, any flavour will do.

For the more “grown-up” kid in your office, Yummy Earth also has individually wrapped candy drops.  So, if you’re a little too old (professional) to have a sucker stick in your mouth, these drops are just as good.  They even look nice in a candy dish on your desk.

As always, first time customers can save $5.00 on their first order by using coupon code MEN348 at check0ut.  (Which would make the first bag $1.00 – just in case I haven’t convinced you to try it yet!)

 

Kinni-Kwik Bread & Bun Mix

As with all Kinnikinnick products, this mix is a high quality, great tasting product. It is truly my favorite GFCF mix.

The mix has directions to allow you to make as few buns as you want – it is 3 parts mix to 2 parts liquid (water, milk or milk alternative). 3 cups to 2 cups makes 6-8 buns in muffin tins. For us, that’s enough for a week without anything going moldy or stale.

The buns are light, tasty and have a good mouth feel. They take only 3 minutes to mix and 20 minutes to bake, so there’s no excuse for having no bread alternative for your GF kiddo.

Nathan just loves these plain, with peanut butter or as a sandwich. He ate 6 the first time I made them! Poor me, I was SURE I made 8, but when I counted them into the bread bag, there was only 6 left….Hmmmm…

Later on, I noticed him into the bread bag. I asked him what he thought of the buns and his response:

“This is bun 3 mom. I love these. When are you making more?”

Really, do you need any more reason to try it?

Go to www.kinnikinnick.com to purchase or find a retailer near you.

Where To Buy LaraBars in Canada

Do you know what the #3 all time most searched item in my stat counter is?

Some version of: Where can I find LaraBars in Canada?

Well, I know three places to buy LaraBars so I am going to tell you.

1.  Two Farm Kids Natural Foods (Brandon, MB)

2. Eat it (Winnipeg, MB)

3. iherb.com (US based website, cheap shipping charges) *Use coupon code MEN348 to save $5.00 off your first order! *

Don’t live in Manitoba?  Well….all three stores will ship it to you.  (Or you could move here.  It’s true what they say about us.  Our winters are brutal but the opportunities, cost of living and friendly people completely make up for it!)

I personally love LaraBars.  They are filling.  They taste wonderful.  They are 100% gluten free.  And, just in case you are the only person who hasn’t heard of them, here’s a link to the LaraBars site.

Kinnikinnick Donuts

Move over Tim.  There’s a gluten free donut that is better than yours.  I’m not sure why I am telling you all this because the more people who know this secret, the less there is for me…….

But, in the interest of sharing my “finds”, here goes.

We love our donuts and have even tried making a GF one at home.  Total bust.  Worse than awful.  So I reluctantly bought a package of Kinnikinnick Vanilla Dipped Donuts.  They were “packaged”.  In donut world, that means gross. But I was desperate for a fix and Kinnikinnick hadn’t let me down yet.

The instructions say to heat the donut in the microwave for 10-15 seconds (because they are frozen & because that makes them yummy soft).  So, I did.  The glaze melted just a little, the donut was warm, think fresh from the oven temperature.

I hesitated, braced for a bad taste and took a bite.

I won’t lie.  The heavens opened up & angels sang Hallelujah.  It really was that good.  Warm, soft, flavourful, no hint of gluten-free grit.  In fact, I’d challenge you to know it was a gluten free item.

So, I bought the Maple Dipped ones, the cinnamon ones and the chocolate ones.  Each bite better than the last.  They come 6 to a package, last forever in the chest freezer and thaw well for the lunchbox.

Overall, the kids like them in this order: Chocolate glazed, Cinnamon, Vanilla glazed.

I prefer the Maple glazed.  (I am Canadian after all!) And, I’d guess the kids would too, if only I’d let them have one.

Do try them immediately.  But don’t tell anyone how good they are.  If word gets out about this stuff…….well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Tinkyada White Rice Spaghetti

Who doesn’t love spaghetti? My guys ask for it at least once a week. We eat a lot of corn & quinoa macaroni noodles and brown rice noodles, but they really wanted the “long skinny noodles”.

I heard great things about Tinkyada so as soon as I found it, I had to try it. Well, everything you’ve heard is true. It is good. No, it is amazing! No, it isn’t wheat pasta, there is a different texture & taste, but different doesn’t have to mean Bad.

The pasta does take longer to cook – about 15 minutes, so that is the only downside. It will take a fair amount of “over cooking” but does tend to clump together. This is easily solved by tossing a little olive oil on the pasta, is breaks apart easily.

You can also cook the pasta by tossing it in boiling water for 2 minutes, turn off the heat & let stand for 20. This works really well too, especially if you are afraid of boiling your pot dry!

The ingredients are: stone-ground rice & water. Well, can’t argue with that! It’s 200 calories per cup (cooked), essentially no fat, no sugar & 4 grams of protein.

We generally pair our pasta with meat sauce, heavy on the ground beef. It’s a great way to get extra beef in the children. They often eat 2 plates each!

I recommend this pasta 100% We paid 3.99 for 454 g, so not toooo much more than a wheat pasta, so that’s pretty nice too. We eat almost a full package for our family of 4, just in case you are wondering.

Lara Bar – Peanut butter cookie

I keep hearing, whispers, about this thing called a “Lara Bar”.  It is supposed to be one of the all-time greatest treats in the GFCF diet.  So, when I finally found some, I had to give it a try.  (should have bought more than 1 flavour, I think, but that’s another story)

I bought Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bar because those are my all-time favorite cookies.  The ingredients are: Dates, Peanuts, Salt.

That’s it.  No artificials. States right on the label: No added sugar, Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, Kosher.  So, clearly, unless you have a nut allergy/intollerance, this should be a “safe” product.

It is very heavy and a substantial snack.  At 210 calories & 13 grams of fat (only 2g are saturated, no trans fats), it might almost be a meal-replacement bar.  You definately aren’t going to eat two of them in a sitting anyways!

The flavour – well, it is peanutty.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it replaces my PB Cookies though.  It has small chips of peanuts through the bar which provides some texture.  It is a chewy bar & the peanut flecks add a little more crunch.  I really like it but I don’t think it is one my kids will like.  The peanut bits would annoy them and it isn’t “sweet” so wouldn’t replace a cookie as nicely.

For myself, this Lara Bar is a good snack.  I paid around $2.00 for it, so it is pricey compared to say a Chocolate Bar (which wouldn’t be GFCF, ok…) but as an occasional treat, is not too much.  I think I would stock up on these for loooooong car trips as an alternative to the junk food at the convenience store but not for kids lunch boxes.  My vote is: buy it for yourself, don’t waste it on the kids!

So Good “Ice Cream”

Warning  – this is a Soy product, if you avoid that.

Ok having gotten that out of the way – So Good Chocolate Supreme is my new guilty pleasure.    110 Calories per 1/2 cup serving & 6 grams of fat make this an oh-so-good treat.  It is labeled as a “non-dairy frozen dessert”, sold in the ice cream area of our grocery store.  It is definitely dairy free, because I can’t eat ice cream & I can eat this!

The chocolate flavour is strong, the product is very smooth and creamy and it lasts for a long time once opened.  (Assuming you don’t eat it every night!)  I had a 946 ml container in my freezer for over 4 months & it had almost no ice crystals.  Ice cream that sits that long is usually nasty & full of crystals.  The product also scoops similarly to ice cream so could probably be passed off pretty easily for a “dariy eater”.

I fed the chocolate and strawberry versions to my extraordinarily picky nieces and they asked for seconds, so I think that helps to prove how good it is. 

My boys love this ice cream although I think they like it even more if I’d let them eat it more than once per month!  I recommend it too!

Kinnikinnick Tapicoa Rice Bread

Kinnikinnick is a Canadian company based out of Edmonton, Alberta. They have a line of both ready-made baked goods as well as mixes. While I can’t get every single product they make locally, I haven’t had any trouble sourcing at least a few at several major grocery stores.

I was told by our Celiac cousin that Tapioca Rice Bread is his all-time favorite bread so when I saw it at Safeway, I had to try it. It was in the freezer and was about $6.99 per loaf, so that was a little ouchy. However, bread recipes and I have not been getting along, so I figured it was better to try expensive bread than waste any more expensive flour.

This is GOOD bread. Not only does it taste more like wheat bread than anything else we’ve tried, it behaves more like wheat bread. The slices are very thin but surprisingly filling. You need to warm it in the microwave or toaster as this seems to open up the “pores” of the bread to accept whatever you are spreading on it. Once warmed slighly, fillings spread easily & soak in just a bit, which is crucial to bread in my opinion.

The bread is soft and does not get nasty from repeated freezing and thawing. I have had a loaf in our fridge freezer for 3 weeks and because it thawed a bit on the way home, all the pieces are completely frozen solid together. In the interest of reviewing, I have defrosted, frozen and defrosted this bread at least 5 times and the last piece was still as yummy as the first.

Kinnikinnick is available at many grocery and health food stores including Sobey’s and Safeway. Or, you can buy online from Kinnikinnick. They have a nifty store finder as well. I haven’t ordered online from them yet, but intend to soon. (review pending) They ship throughout Canada and the US.

Conclusion – this is bread worth buying, eating and hoarding. It is a little pricey but since going GF we don’t crave bread anymore and don’t eat a loaf a week! (One loaf is lasting about 2.5 weeks) Give it a try at your house & let me know what you think.