Rave Review!! Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers: Also Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/Nut-Free(not tree nut)/Corn-Free

So let’s get one thing straight – I love veggie burgers. I am not a vegetarian but veggie burgers are my favorite type of burgers. I use to eat them a lot as a kid as I did not like beef burgers at all, the taste of them just disgusted me. While I do like beef burgers now, they  just don’t compare to veggie burgers. While it took some time, my Mom and I found some pretty good veggie burgers over the years that were gf/df. However, recently, we made a discovery that took our taste buds to veggie burger heaven. It’s called Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers. The burgers come in four varieties – World’s Best Veggie Burger (your basic veggie burger pretty much), Adzuki Bean Burger, Hemp and Greens Burger, and the Root Veggie Burger. However, I’ve only tried the World’s Best Veggie Burger and the Adzuki Bean Burger as that is all that my local natural food store that carries them has. They are both equally delicious but have two very distinct flavors so I will be reviewing them separately.

World’s Best Veggie Burger:

The best thing about Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers is that they are made with the purest ingredients. They’re free of ingredients and/or allergens that are common in gluten-free products such as corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, soybean oil,  soy protein, or soy flour. Alternatively, the World’s Best Veggie Burger is made of less common gluten-free flours such as millet and quiona. The burger also oozes of fresh flavor from wholesome and nourishing vegetables such as sweet potato and spinach. In addition, since coconut oil is one of the first ingredients on the ingredient list, the burger is full of coconut flavor when coming fresh and warm out of the toaster oven. However, the coconut flavor does not overpower the whole taste of the burger. Oh, and as icing on the cake, this burger uses apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar which is MUCH better for your system and actually has some beneficial health  properties (would you guys like me to do a post on the health properties of apple cider vinegar?!) to it. I highly recommend this burger!

Adzuki Burger:

The minute you taste the Adzuki burger you will find that it burst of spices that gives it a unique flavor.  The Adzuki burger taste like a combination of chana masala and a Mexican burrito; I’m not exaggerating in the least!  This is probably due to the Adzuki burger being flavored with black beans and spices such as cumin, chili, and chipotle powder. It is also perfect to eat if you have a winter cold in order to clear out your nostrils! Like the “World Best Veggie Burger”, the Adzuki also has an abundance of coconut oil which makes for a delectable taste and has apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar.

Conclusively, these are both superb veggie burgers and I would not only recommend this burger to those who have food allergies, but to anybody! I hope you guys will try this burger and love it as much as I do.

Have any of you had Hillary’s Eat Well Burgers before? What are some other allergy-free veggie burgers that you guys like?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Rave Review!! Udi’s Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/Nut-Free Muffin Tops

As a kid I use to love muffin tops. We use to get these amazing chocolate chip muffin tops from Whole Foods Market and whenever we brought them home from the store, they’d be gone within two hours of  purchase. Also, let me add that my Dad will only eat the tops of muffins and not the bottom. He says that the top of the muffin is the tastiest part. So as a little kid, I use to follow suit and only eat the tops of muffins. I guess his eating habits kind of rubbed off on me. When I learned I had to go gluten-free I knew that I would have to give up eating muffin tops.  While my mom was able to find some delicious gf/df muffins, I still missed my muffin tops. However, that problem was solved recently.  A few months ago when my Mom and I were shopping at Hannaford’s, we spotted a new Udi’s product which were the allergy-free muffin tops! I was sooo happy! I got so excited it was ridiculous! Not only were they the first gf/df muffin tops I’d ever seen but tasted delectable as well. They are extremely chewy, moist, flavorful, non-gluten-free tasting, and pretty much anything else you’d ever want in a muffin top. They also do not fall apart and they hold together well, which is important to me in finding good gf/df products.  These muffin tops come in two different flavors; chocolate chia and blueberry oat. Are you salivating yet? I know I am :P.

These are super delicious and I highly recommend that you give them a try! Udi’s did an amazing job with the formulation of these muffin tops and in my opinion, are one of Udi’s best products. If anyone reading this happens to know a chef over at Udi’s,  give my accolades to the chef  ;D.

Have any of you tried these muffin tops before? What are some of your favorite products of Udi’s?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Secret Awesome Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Artisan Breads – Where to Find Them

I love bread. That is an understatement. When I first learned that I was having to go gluten-free permanently, I thought I would be basically committing food suicide and having to eat bread that tasted like cardboard for the rest of my life. This was probably due to the fact of me having to go temporarily wheat-free when I was very young and not having a lot of options back then and hence, having to eat bread that crumbled into pieces and was tasteless.  However, the times have changed and with that came MUCH better bread without gluten. Many people have heard of brands like Udi’s, Rudi’s, and Glutino that put out gluten-free breads and other products, but don’t know about smaller local companies that put out GF and allergy-free products. Now don’t get me wrong, these brands are great!! Their breads work perfectly for sandwiches and have a pleasant taste to them. They also have other really great products such as muffins (Udi’s. Oh my goodness they taste heavenly!!!!) and tortilla wraps (Rudi’s. These are awesome. They even have spinach flavored wraps. ), but sometimes it is nice to switch it up and purchase breads that have more of an artisan taste to them. Over the course of the  five years I’ve been 100% gluten-free, I have found some fantabulous brands that have breads and other products that burst with flavor and texture! Many of the following brands mentioned below will be from the New England area, but you can order products through the mail from these bakeries. Here we go!

Abigail’s Bakery – Warner, New Hampshire

Abigail’s Bakery makes a variety of products, but I have so far only tried their bread. They make their bread out of their millet and rice and oh my God it’s delish!!!! The texture is extremely chewy and is definitely not dry or crumbly like some other gluten-free breads. Also, their bread is yeast-free which is really rare for breads. So it’s perfect to use if you are going on a yeast detox but without having to sacrifice the taste.

If you go on their website and want to find the bread that I’m talking about it’s the whole millet and brown rice loaf.

Just to let you know, this is not a dedicated gluten-free bakery so if you are Celiac or sensitive, I would contact the company about cross-contamination before purchasing.

Little Stream Bakery – Perth, Ontario, Canada

The bread from Little Stream Bakery might actually be not just some of my favorite gluten-free bread, but bread in general of all time. Little Stream Bakery is an organic, green energy,  (they are powered by bull frogs) company that makes breads out of three varieties; Rice, Quinoa, and Buckwheat. I have only tried the Buckwheat and Quinoa breads due to rice already being in so many gluten-free breads. My verdict on these two breads is that they are TO DIE FOR!!!!!!! They  taste like artisan breads and have an incredibly nice earthy taste. You would never know its gluten-free, I swear! They taste soooo good toasted 😛 :P. My mouth is salivating right now just thinking about them. Also, might I add that Quinoa and Buckwheat varieties are actually primarily made of these two ingredients and are not just at the bottom of the list like some other brands (By the way, don’t you hate that. Like once, I saw that there were Quinoa waffles and I got all excited only to see that it was mainly made out corn and Quinoa was at the bottom of the ingredient list :(. Oh, what companies will do for advertising *sigh*) so it actually tastes like Quinoa and Buckwheat. To put the icing on the cake, the breads are also yeast-free.

Just to let you know, this is not a dedicated gluten-free facility. If you are Celiac or sensitive, I would recommend contacting the company for information about cross-contamination before purchasing.

P.S. – They also sell cookies 😛 :P. Quick note though that most of them have dairy in them, but it is only butter and the smallest amount. I personally do not react to butter, but for those trying to avoid it, I wouldn’t purchase the cookies. :(.

Hootin Gluten-Free Bakery- Darmariscotta , Maine

I discovered this absolutely incredible seeded bread while I was eating for the first time with my family at the 1912 Cafe at L.L. Bean. When I first tasted this bread, I swear, I thought that they put the gluten bread on my sandwich. But nope, it was 100% gluten-free. This bread has a delightful earthy, artisan-bread texture and has nuts and seeds in it 😛 :P. It tastes  AMAZING toasted and I highly recommend that you try it. Like ASAP, it’s that good. Just call the owner and she will mail it to you. Her number is (207) 380-2745. She is incredibly nice.  She also bakes other gluten-free baked goods (she makes UH-MAZING apple fritters!) but they are not all dairy-free.

Good For Life Foods- Sales Office: Worcester, MA & Baking Office: Northborough, MA

I have recently tried bread rolls from this company in both plain and caraway varieties (or otherwise known as the Rye-Less Rye Roll) at Rein’s Deli in CT and these are seriously the best things ever!! I especially love the Caraway roll. It taste EXACTLY like rye and has a very chewy, earthy but yet sweet at the same time taste to it. I highly recommend that you try these rolls. You can contact them at 508 – 451 – 5373 to order. This is a dedicated gluten-free facility.

So my advice to those that are just starting to go gluten-free is to look for local allergy-free companies in addition to mainstream ones. I feel that there is room for both kinds of gluten-free companies in the allergy world, but it is nice to spice up your food life by trying different brands. Now let me ask you, if you don’t live in New England, do you have local allergy-free companies near you? Which ones are your favorites?

P.S. – I will maybe take some pictures of these breads so you can see what they actually look like. Would you guys like that?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Celebrities With Food Allergies

Hi everyone!

Since the primary focus of this blog will be about living with allergies, I thought it’d be fun to kick this blog off with a post about celebrities who have food allergies. I did some research and here is what I came up with.

Zooey Deschanel – This New Girl leading lady is allergic to dairy, gluten, and eggs. She tried to go vegan for awhile but had to stop due to her already severe food limitations. I think people (including me) with multiple food sensitives can totally relate to her.

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Keith Olberman – TV political broadcast host Keith Olberman has Celiac disease.

2008 Summer TCA Tour - Day 14

Clay Aiken – The American Idol star is allergic to tree nuts, a very common allergen, but also has some allergens that most people don’t hear about such as mint, chocolate, and coffee.

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Beverly Mitchell – The former actress who played the dramatic but yet adorable Lucy Camden from 7th Heaven use to be allergic to eggs, yogurt, and cheese. However, these allergens disappeared when she became pregnant. I have never heard of that happen before!

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Chelsea Clinton – The daughter of former President Bill Clinton has Celiac disease.

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I personally find it very cool when I learn about celebrities that have food allergies as it makes me feel like I’m not the only one that has to work with them. I hope you all enjoyed this post and happy new year!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

About Me Facts

Hi everyone!

I thought it would be fun to start off this blog with some  facts about myself.  So here we go!

1. I am a female who is currently sixteen years old but will be turning seventeen real soon!

2. I will not be giving out my exact location due to privacy reasons since I’m a minor, but the region I live in is New England, USA (it’s wicked cool ;D).

3. Hence the privacy reasons, I will not be putting up pictures of myself on this blog until I turn eighteen. The following will be the only two pictures you’ll see of me on this blog for now.

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Me and my true love  my camera (or at least my old camera, I own a Cannon T3 now)

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Attempting to be Rose from the Titanic

4. I have had chronic food and environmental/chemical allergies for as long as I can remember. It is not easy but I’ve learned to accept it and find foods that are more than purely palatable that I can eat (in fact, many of them taste even better than the foods that contain my allergens in them). I am allergic to gluten, dairy, and msg. I also have to limit the amount of soy and artificial colors/flavors that I consume. The main focus of this blog for now will be about allergy-free living and helping making the lives of those whom have allergies easier. I have found that I have gained a wealth of  information from reading other food allergy/green beauty blogs, so I want to help those whom like me, are navigating the sometimes confusing world of allergies we live in.

5. I loveeeee photography!!! You can always hear my camera making the sound, “click, click, click…” I own a Cannon T3 and it is my prized possession! I also equally love digital imaging as much as taking photographs. I plan on sharing some photography I’ve done and maybe even giving some photo tutorials! There is nothing better than photography to catch the essence of a moment.

6.  I love to read and I have an eclectic taste in books. While I do read books in the young adult and adult section, I will admit that I still adore reading children’s literature.

7.  I am a thespian(a lover of theater)! ! I have always loved doing acting but have really gotten into it over the past two years. I especially love comedic acting.

8. I love comedy in general. Some of my favorite TV shows are Ugly Betty, The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne, and Parenthood.

9. I am a person who has periods where I become obsessed with certain television shows. When I was eight years old, I had an obsession with Full House. I am pretty sure I have seen every single episode.

10. I am as speedy as a honey badger when it comes to typing (80+ words a minute!).

11. I can be as loud as a moving freight train or as quiet as the calmness of the sea on a balmy day.

12. I am a fashionista whose sense of style is feminine but edgy with a southwestern flair.

13.  I am a lover of the idea of winter, but when I actually have to bundle up, it becomes kind of a drag.

14. I am good at exactly four sports; biking, ice skating, skiing, and gymnastics. Other than that, you would not want to pick me as a member on your team.

15.  I am a creative writer. I love how you can make your world on paper and even make foot notes creative (I was inspired to use foot notes in my fictional writing from the author John Green).

16. . I am a song-bird although when I sing, it sounds like the bird is dying.

17. Not really a fact, but I am really, really excited to blog!

Hope you enjoyed those factoids about me and I can’t wait to be sharing with you all in 2014! 🙂

xoxo

Alex