I Review The Bushman’s Bar

Staring at the product I’m going to review today and thinking ‘The Bushman’s Bar actually sounds kind of dirty’.

I was really curious about what The Bushman’s Bar was all about (more HERE). It’s an independent Canadian company that makes these natural bars. Manitoba is not a place you’d expect to find something like this, and the official/unofficial mascot for the company is a the bushman himself JoJo. How could I pass up something like that? A gluten-free food that is made and based on wild and natural food found in the northern parts of Canada, I’m all over that.

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I first came across The Bushman’s Bar at the Gluten Free Expo in Toronto, it was a busy booth that I wasn’t able to get close to. I listened to others talk about the food and was able to sneak a tiny sample for myself. At the time I wasn’t sold. Of course it was a small sample and could have been sitting out for a while, but I really wanted to get my hands on more more MORE!!!

Boreal Berry Bar Inc was more than happy to send me some proper wrapped samples to give a try, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This bar is made of wild rice and all natural ingredients that make a flavour pop in your mouth. This dense bar is a purple colour that reminds me of a fancy bar of soap, but the taste is no where near that. It’s sweet. It’s denseness means you need to give the chewing power an extra munch and chomp, but it’s worth it. This is a great gluten-free bar. Jeff Willerton author of Fix Canada have one quote on the Boreal Berry Bar Inc website which sums up what I think of this product: “All I want is one bar a day for the rest of my life. Is that too much to ask?” and I couldn’t agree more.

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I’ve been eating these bars for breakfast, with my breakfast, as an after work snack and a decoration on the counter. There is a place in my life for these bars, and now that I know they are available for purchase online, I might just be getting a few more, take them camping, and then everyone else might be getting some for Christmas.

I Review Tiger Nuts

Of all the gluten-free food I have reviewed, Tiger Nuts are by far the best named. Here’s the messed up thing, this gluten-free healthy snack isn’t even a nut, its a small tuber. A root vegetable that grows like a potato or a carrot (I wrote this and then realized that’s pretty much what it says on the Tiger Nuts package).

Tiger Nuts asked if I wanted to review their supreme peeled, seriously healthy snack food, and I am never one to turn down that offer, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on something I’ve never seen before. Especially a gluten-free snack coupled with a list like: lactose free, nut free, natural, and low calorie.

A quaint brown package reminds me of an independent company and the small plastic window reminds me of the small plastic window in an envelop to show your address. Getting mail is supposed to get us all excited, so I am sure when marketing devised the plan to put a small window in their Tiger Nuts bag they though the same thing.

Before I get to taste, lets look at the product.

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With only a few in my hands it felt like air. No real weigh to them. So how could this food pack all the nutritional benefits that are claimed to be inside if it’s so light? Eat a healthy homemade granola bar, that shit weighs a quarter tonne and would just stick to your insides. The Tiger Nuts are like drops of snacks air. The look of them remind me of what Sugar Crisp cereal looks like, or maybe what popcorn looks like after you run it under water.

My wife did not like these at all. She ate one. Then none.

Me. Initially I was on the fence about how they tasted. There is this small sweetness to them, its subtle, but it’s there, but yes I did like this little food. They are tough to chew, and if you put a handful in your mouth it’s like attempting to eat wet paper, but the snacks taste good. Tiger Nuts do have some sweetness to them, but still maintain the dull texture and background flavour of a boring ass potato. They’re different than late night snacks, but they’re good tasting. Tiger Nuts are marketed to you as a healthy snack packed with fiber, iron and high levels of vitamin E, it’s supposed to have a dull taste. That’s the curse of healthy food.

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Go to the Tiger Nuts webpage HERE and buy a bag and try it. I would recommend this for something different. I’ve never had quite such an original food. A tuber as a snack is interesting. I liked the dull/sweet taste, and I like that they’re marked to me as ‘supreme peeled’ as in, they peeled the outer shell off for me, like that would be a selling point.

Tiger Nuts. My word that’s a pretty awesome name.

I Review O’Dough’s Gluten-Free Hot Dog Buns

There are a lot of hot dog buns out there in the gluten-free market place, almost all of them are good. Celiac Disease has come a long way in the years since I was diagnosed in 2008 and while there is a good chance the gluten-free fad will die out, the gluten-free food needs to stick around to help and support us 1 in 133 people diagnosed with an incurable disease.

Now that that’s out of the way: HOT DOG BUNS.

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When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease gluten-free hot dog buns were hard to come by, and even then, when you found them then were always freezer burned in that particular section of the grocery store, and the worst part is; they tasted horrible. I always just ended up eating the dogs without a bun. Dipping it in ketchup or mustard like an idiot. That is when you can spot a Celiac at a BBQ, the dummy dipping his hot dogs.

O’Doughs (click HERE for their site) has always been one of my favourite GF breads, and they make a real boss cake too. So when I was just recently able to get my hands on their gluten-free hot dogs buns, I jumped at the chance. I took into account that I actually hadn’t had a hot dog bun in probably three years. Find the O’Doughs buns were a score since I already like two other products of theirs.

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You have to remember that with any gluten-free bread product you never really know what to expect; holes, mis-cut slices, mould? I dunno, O’Doughs has always been consistent with their products, so when I opened the packages and pulled out a bun; it was flat. Not due to shipping or squishing, its made flat. Okay I get it, so how do I get a dog in there? Well, it’s a big bun which is a plus, so you have to put two hot dogs in the bun. You have to use two to get more bang for your buck.

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So are they worth it? If you need gluten-free hot dogs buns for a family BBQ, yes the O’Doughs buns are worth it. Do they taste good? I found them dry. They had an almost corn bread like taste/texture to them which was good, but they were dry, and I’m glad I put in two hot dogs in the bun because if I had to eat extra dog-less portions of the gluten-free hot dog bun, I would have just thrown it out. Those uneaten pieces would have sat on my plate alone, much like those girls at the 50s high school dance in Grease.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels

As a Celiac who has to eat 100% gluten-free you know that those special treats are hard to come by, and by special treats I mean candy bars and potato chips and all the little things we can indulge on. But thanks to Celiac Disease a lot of our past cravings have to take a back seat to healthier options like carrots or chia seeds (I don’t have a problem with any health food as a snack alternative, but that’s not what I’m here for today).

The two greatest words in the world are GLUTEN-FREE and when you slap those two words on chocolate covered pretzels you’ve probably got the most amazing this ever. As a Celiacateer finding chocolate covered pretzels is actually a lot tougher than you think. A local baker or an independent grocer might be able to make them, and at a premium price (add in the money making words like gluten-free, then you’ll be paying extra on top of extra). The accessibility of Glutino chocolate covered pretzels is pretty awesome, they’re right there in the GF aisle at my local grocer and while they pack a hefty price, they are excellent. Glutino makes the best, THE BEST chocolate covered gluten-free pretzels.

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You can fight me on this all you want. I’m not backing down. To be honest, I’m not ever sure if there is another brand of GF choco pretz (I gotta admit I’ve said chocolate covered pretzel a lot in this blog, and from the looks of it, I’m going to be saying it a whole whack more), because Glutino is just a dominant force for pretzels, how could there be another brand (in retrospect, I never looked for another brand)

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Usually we can always remember what our favourite food is and where we had the best part of our favourite food. Like the name of the restaurant where we had the greatest burger or the first bite of strawberry shortcake that melted in your mouth. I remember when I had the greatest chocolate covered pretzels, it was my honeymoon in 2005, Disney World. They made these chocolate covered pretzels and sold them at the Goofy Candy Shop, damn they were good. But that dream is gone, and is now replaced with weekly injections of Glutino gluten-free chocolate covered pretzels.

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While I have you here, make sure to click on the CONTACT ME section of my site to see fun ways to get a hold of me or peek into my social life with all the social apps and sites I use. I’d like to think I lead a pretty awesome life, that and I have Celiac, which is awesome.

I Review Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Mix

Can you name five things you have in your food pantry that have just always been there? I bet it’s probably: a can of soup, old gravy packets, a half-opened-hard bag of brown sugar, food colouring and possibly hot BBQ sauce. All the things that just get moved around and hidden in the back of the cupboard. It’s not a big deal, everyone has these items. I had a bag of XO BAKING COMPANY pumpkin bread mix sitting in the cupboard for a year. I got it as a Christmas gift (if you read back at some of my posts, I get a lot of gluten-free food for Christmas).

When you have Celiac Disease like I do, and you like baked goods like I do, and you can’t bake worth shit, like I do. It’s important to find a great gluten-free company that does lot of the work for you and you know I love XO Baking and it should come as no surprise that this Gluten-Free Food Review is a positive one, so I’ll just get right to all the awesome stuff about the pumpkin bread mix. It’s moist when you make it, it’s not dry or crumbly, even after baking it and having it sit in the fridge for a few days, still moist.

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No nuts. I’m not sure where this all started where bakers started putting nuts in their food, but it needs to end. XO Baking has it figured out, no nuts in the pumpkin bread mix.

This stuff tastes good. No matter what way you say it or spin it, XO Baking Company has a solid product with this pumpkin bread mix. It cooked nice and crusty on the top and held together when it was sliced. I probably could have put bacon and tomato on it and eaten it like a sammich…. I’m curious how that would taste now (Maybe a video is in my future? My own personal Gluten-Free Epic Meal Time).

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I make one thing: PANCAKES and I’m not the greatest at making anything else, so when it came time to make the pumpkin bread my wife and three year old daughter took the reigns and did all the work. I just did all the eating. It’s a pretty rad exchange. You’ve already got the milk and eggs in the house, all we had to do was go to the store to get the pumpkin puree. Simple as pie. Mix it, slap it in a bread try and bake the shit out of it. XO Baking makes it easy for all of us to be like gourmet cooks, plus they use premium coconut flour and that stuff is the tits.

When you have Celiac Disease it’s really nice to know that because you have to eat 100% gluten-free, there is a company that makes great tasting food. And you can buy this online. Not every great company you find is available everywhere, but much like big brother, the internet os everywhere and you can just order some XO Baking products online (I suggest you do).

Seriously, XO Baking Company. They have great stuff.

I Review Matcha Marketplace Gluten-Free Oatmeal

Everyone likes breakfast food, if you don’t then there is something terribly wrong with you, but what breakfast food do you like most? Me? I like bacon. Today though I’m getting down and dirty with this gluten-free oatmeal from Matcha Marketplace (click HERE for their website). Since I have Celiac Disease and I have to eat gluten-free food, and I like and/or love breakfast plus oatmeal, I am all over this.

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MATCHA!? MATCHA? Yeah I didn’t know what it was either until I looked it up; dried and edible green tea. Could you believe it? Then Matcha Marketplace gets a handle on it and puts it in their food, notably the gluten-free oatmeal. My mother-in-law picked up a little bag for me while she was on a six week trip from Ontario to Arizona (it’s always nice to get free food. I’d rather get gluten-free food that a t-shirt).

Most instant type oatmeal asks for water when it comes time to making it, not Matcha, they ask for milk. A fine ingredient to make a robust breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised. I was also surprised that they had chocolate chips in the mix, already this gluten-free oatmeal is climbing the ladder to be the best. Milk and chocolate chips, that’s a boss breakfast.

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I preferred to make my breakfast in the microwave (which was an acceptable way to cook as per the package) because I’m all about getting my food fast and the less clanging of pots at five in the morning the better.

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So my review? You don’t need to rush out to get Matcha Marketplace gluten-free oatmeal. Even with the apparent health benefits of dried green tea leaves thrown into the mix, this is just oatmeal. You or I could just buy the same food, or make our own. Matcha Marketplace wasn’t anything special. Then again, I was thinking, they are just THAT much better, they had chocolate chips in it. So it’s not a complete loss.

I’m no chef/baker/cook but if you add chocolate to anything you’ve got an occasion. Think about the person who added it to milk. Truth.

I Review Gluten-Free Snack Cakes

I do love my snack cakes, so let’s do a Gluten-Free Food Review about them.

There was a time when I lived with my Mom and in the corner of the kitchen in the corner cupboard she had hidden a treasure trove of lunchtime snacks: Flakies, Ah Caramels and Jos. Louis. Since I have been diagnosed, of course I haven’t been able to feast on these treats since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and all the gluten-free goodies that have come out will never NEVER be as good as those snacks. Well, as you might have guessed it, I was able to find and eat and love a snack cake that tastes so close to a Jos. Louis, you might slap my face and tell me otherwise.

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All But Gluten (click HERE for the website) is a Canadian company that you can find in Walmart and they sell the usual bad for you food like cookies and coconut macaroons, they have bread too, so don’t think they’re all bad. This one time I was walking past the All But Gluten section at the local Wallymart I saw this box and I had to have it. I had to taste it. I had to know if they in fact tasted like my old favourite: the Jos. Louis.

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Traditional Jos. Louis are chocolate cakes with a vanilla cream frosting. I opted for the vanilla cake/cream combo. I was not disappointed. The dipped chocolate was good, of course. The cake itself isn’t super moist, but it was the closest thing to a Jos. Louis us diagnosed Celiacs will ever get. They even come wrapped individually in clear plastic.

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The explosion of flavour was enough for me to buy another box and try out the chocolate version. There were two things I noticed about it; 1) it doesn’t taste as good and 2) the top and bottom halves of the cakes kept sliding around using the cream as a weird slip and slide. In a world where poorly made gluten-free bread might crumble in your hands, having a snack cake try to escape my mouth wasn’t cool.

Having Celiac sometimes means that we need to choose healthier items when having dessert after  lunch. I really don’t want to eat baby carrots every day after my sandwich. It’s nice to see that All That Gluten is expanding it’s line to include these snack cakes. I feel it’s just for me. While you might think the 1 out of 133 people diagnosed with Celiac might have something to do with it, you don’t. It’s all me. I want them, so I get them.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if that was the case? You just want a GF alternative to something and then it happens? Yeah, and unicorns are real.

Hope I didn’t kill anyone’s dreams with that realization?

I Review Gluten-Free Biscotti

You have Celiac Disease? Do you have NCGS? Are you a person that doesn’t want to eat gluten because it’s awesome and so good for you? What if you’re on a plane and want to eat something? Guess what, airlines haven’t jumped on the bandwagon with the gluten-free stuff, not all the way yet.

You have to love a Gluten-Free Food Review when it’s about a product that could be available to us at times when we (as in Celiacateers) didn’t think we could get it. This sentence made no sense. Carry on….

I’ve been able to get my hands on an ‘in testing’ phase of a GF biscotti from a local bakery named Marcelle’s Kitchen. You may have heard about this place because I have blogged about them twice,  and you can click HERE and HERE to read them; and both times they have been positive. Well, brace yourselves, I might have to break that streak.

PSYCHE!

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My mom was recently at the completely gluten-free bakery with zero cross contamination, Marcelle’s Kitchen and found out some wonderful news; an airline (name undisclosed as of yet) has contacted the all gluten-free bakery to create a GF food product to use on their planes. So while my Mom was there I was able to get myself a free sample of what Marcelle’s Kitchen has decided to make: Biscotti.

From the get go, I am the worst person to taste test or review biscotti. The very simple reason of that is because I hate biscotti. I can only assume the gluten-free biscotti tastes only worse that regular. I opened the package right there at Mom’s place and I said “No”.

Then I was schooled.

Dude, you have to eat biscotti with coffee.

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I don’t know that. But I do know coffee. So, then next day I sat down, and like Sheldon Cooper testing eggs, I dipped my biscotti then bit my biscotti, then revelled in the awesome taste of this biscotti. I have been eating biscotti wrong for years. It was an explosion of flavour. I detected hints of cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg and best of all no gluten.

If this is the product that Marcelle’s Kitchen is going with to provide gluten-free options on in-flight meals and snacks, I say thee yes. If you’re on a plane and you get the option of muffin or Marcelle’s Bakery biscotti (while I’m a muffin man, and if the muffins were GF I personally would go for the muffin) You go for the biscotti. I only say that because you at least need to know how I feel about these little fingers of taste.

If you don’t live anywhere near Port Parry, Ontario and can’t get to Marcelle’s Kitchen, just be thankful that this place has the greatest gluten-free goods on the planet. So please support them (I am in no way influenced by this company, I just really like their food).

Whatever the airline it is that’s gets these bad boys; good job.

And good job Marcelle’s Kitchen.

I Review WOW Baking Company

I’m not a huge lemon lover. Lemon tarts or cakes or cookies, but at Christmas time, my mother in law bought me a package of WOW Baking Company’s Lemon Burst cookies and holy crap they’re awesome. Soft and moist and they do not kid when they say “lemon burst”, it’s like taking the smell of Pledge and putting it in cookie form (that may seem like a bad idea but really it’s not).

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look at all that awesome food

I got my hands on a whole line-up of gluten-free WOW Baking Company cookies and I gotta tell you, all of them are good.

WOW Baking Company cookies aren’t available to me locally in the supermarkets so I had to get my hand on the whole line-up of cookies to review, and what a line up: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Ginger Molasses, Lemon Burst and Snickerdoodle. ??? Now, I’ve never had a Snickerdoodle before, and I always thought it was some kind of American tradition (plus the cookie’s origins are both US and German related) and being a Canadian and never had a Snickerdoodle available to me I was both confused and curious about the whole thing, then of course I found out, a Snickerdoodle is just a cookie rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

So, WOW Baking Company cookies. Pass or fail?

Pass. I’ve never had a more chewy mass produced big company gluten-free cookie EVER.

I always let my daughter taste test the food that comes my way, and she gives them a passing grade of good. Or some other word she mumbled through a mouthful of chocolate chip cookie.

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this kid kills me

Gluten-free cookies are often hard, taste a little stale and crumble like they’re under interrogation, but not the WOW Baking Company gluten-free cookies. It says right on the front of the bag; moist, chewy, delicious. Never, in regards to gluten-free cookies, has a statement been more true.

Do you have Celiac? Are you 100% gluten-free? I ask because at some point before you were diagnosed you must have eaten Chewy Chips Ahoy and if you miss those cookies. If you miss dining them in milk and eating them while watching Saturday morning cartoons on FOX, then you need to get your mitts on the WOW Baking Company’s Chocolate Chip cookies. They taste so close to Chips Ahoy it breaks your heart.

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If you can find a WOW Baking Company product, give them a try. I like them. Click HERE to go to their website and learn more about the food they make and practices they use.

If you really know what a Snickerdoodle is, tell me. I’m still unclear about it.

An extra special treat. And by that I mean I got an extra special treat. The Ginger Molasses cookies were really good and the day I was tasting them and figuring out if I liked them or not, I realized I was in fact walking around the house with the bag, and that yes, I do like them. Plus I ate the whole bag, and anyone else that wanted to try them was fat out of luck. I ate them like a boss. Here is my story.

ginger1here they are right out of the cupboard and walking around the kitchen

ginger3into my room to fold…wait a second I still have cookies, eh whatever. Hope you like crumbs in your underwear while I put them away. Ha ha best husband ever.

ginger2Yeah, no one else gets cookies, you think I’m letting this little guy get any? Look at him stare at me. That look in his eyes is just a look of death. Like a tiger looks at his prey. I’m not to worried, my cat is a jerk anyway. 

My Sister Review’s Chēbē Bread

Around here, I’m not the only gluten-free guy. I’m also not the only diagnosed Celiac on the planet. I’m sure people know people and then know people, but I got to tell you, I’m the only guy I know around here that has his own website and is the greatest Gluten-Free blogger in the world. I’m also they guy that get’s asked about what GF food is good and what’s not, and if you know me, I don’t hold back. I give 100% honest food reviews. That’s what I do here with my Gluten-Free Food Reviews (GFFR).

Sometimes I get people telling me that I HAVE to try this product or that product and usually I do. My sister Katrina is no different, since she has gone Gluten-Free she is trying all kinds of food now and passing the ideas to try on to me. Well, she was all about this Chēbē Bread pizza dough product.

Here, let her tell you. So here is Katrina:

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Sitting at home with a bronchial infection I couldn’t think of what I wanted to eat.

I walk to the pantry and I notice the box of Chēbē pizza crust sitting there waiting for me to make & eat.

The unmade product wasn’t very appealing. It just looked like a bag of baking soda.

I went to the kitchen & I grabbed all the ingredients. They crazy thing is, it asks for a cup of shredded cheese in the crust….how amazing is that?

So as I preparing the dough my mouth is watering. The smell of onion & dough fill my nose. Oh gosh. Delicious.

So I did the kneading, flipping & thinning out on the ungreased pan.

Now, I used what is in the house for toppings, which isn’t much.

I spread garlic on the crust then pasta sauce.

I put green olives & pineapple as the toppings. Sweet & salty. Then I added the cheese. I debated it, but I put in a little bit.

I was very impatient while it baked. I get that from my father. I even took it out when the timer was at 15 mins. I put it back in for 3 more mins. 18 in total.

I pulled the sweet looking pizza pie out of the oven and instantly drooled.

I poured a glass of water. Grabbed some sweet Thai chili sauce to dip my pizza in and went right to my living room to devour it.

My first bite. Was amazing. I didn’t know whether I should cry with excitement or just smile and keep eating… I kept eating.

So my end result of Chēbē pizza crust is a 10/10. I’m in love.

Now, I need to find out where it is sold. I picked up this box at Homesense and they don’t usually get repeats on stock.

So Chēbē send me over more of your product. I need to get my fingers and mouth on it.

Aaaaaand scene.

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I’m back. But I gotta tell you this. Katrina was texting me to try this pizza dough, so I did. She ended up giving me half the pizza, and after the first bite I was hooked. Katrina didn’t steer me wrong. I was driving while I was eating and each piece was gone by the time I left the road she lives on. I have NEVER had a pizza crust that tastes so close to the regular pizza you see all the other non-diagnosed Celiacs eating.

You have to get Chēbē Bread and you have to eat the shit out of it.

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