Eating is truly one of my favorite past times. I have been known to say "I eat therefore I exercise." However, there is one small glitch, I have Celiac's disease. It has taken me many years to find the balance between my love for wheat and the chaos it creates in my gut.
I am always in search of new food items to add to my gluten-sensitive diet. Although more and more people are eating gluten free, tasty bakery options are surprisingly limited in the local Atlanta area; particularly in the suburbs. I have noticed several allergy sensitive bakeries and popping up on Facebook but I've been hesitant to place an order. My fear? Getting geared up for a treat, waiting for it to be delivered and then taking a bite; only to wonder how I managed to eat a piece of the box.
Recently I was contacted by a Gluten-Free bakery out of Pennsylvania offering to send me some of their goodies. After checking out their website, I was cautiously optimistic. Cream puffs, pizza, cheesecake...for real? I excitedly called Jane (the owner of the bakery) to get the history behind her brainchild. As it turns out, the bakery was created as a way to address her own Celiac diagnosis. One thing you realize very early into such diagnosis is that most baked goods are off limits. Jane was raised by bakers and her husband was head baker of her family's bakery, Minooka Pastry Shop. A life without bread was devastating. Jane's husband began baking tasty treats for her and The Grainless Baker was born.
Here are the items I sampled:
Cheddar Snackers: I expected these to taste like Cheez-Its, of which I am not a huge fan. Man was I surprised to find that they actually taste like cheese straws! I took serious restraint to limit my consumption; after all, they are gluten free...right?
Stuffing Cubes:This was a welcomed addition to dinner. I so appreciated having something other than rice and vegetables as a side dish. I felt normal. Well, sort of.
Graham Crackers: I am not a huge cracker fan but I do love graham. I found these crackers to be a tad bit gritty (often a casualty of going wheat-less). The flavor was good but texture is huge for me. I noticed on the website that they offer graham cracker crumbs. I bet they would taste better as a foundation for let's say...cheesecake?
TwiStix:I really like these but I must admit, I really want a plate of lasagna to go along with them. Pasta cooked Italian style has been very difficult for me to do without. I have a few of these left; I'm going to work on my attitude!
Cream Puffs: As Cam on "Modern Family" recently said, "Sweet Lady Gaga that is good!" Jane told me that these are one of their latest additions. First of all, they are HUGE. You can feel satisfied after eating one but good luck with that! Jane also mentioned that could drizzle chocolate or powdered sugar atop... a fact I remembered halfway through my second puff. Never happened. No regrets.
I really want to share one with my husband to get a 'normal' person's perspective. I simply can't bring myself to share my little clouds from heaven!
There is one more thing I'd like to mention. The Grainless Baker does not try to be all things to all people. There are many bakeries that address multiple allergies in one chocolate cake. This isn't one of them. This can be disappointing to some as food allergies seem to travel in packs. I found it refreshing. When I have sampled gluten free baked products in the past, I have also had to give up eggs, soy, nuts, etc... I
Another consideration is that this is not diet food. These baked goods are not made with junky ingredients that are impossible to pronounce but taste does supersede calorie counting. I believe that there is room for high quality treats in any eating plan. Moderation is key. As for me, the cream puffs have earned permanent place in my freezer!