My Gluten Free Girlfriend

Gluten Free Recipes & Reviews

Coconut Flour Baking Guide And Comparison With Nutrition Facts

Coconut World Banana Bread Mug Cake

In September of last year I put together a coconut flour guide highlighting 7 different brands of coconut flour. I tested each brand using my Best Coconut Flour Chocolate Mug Cake Ever. Since then I have had many people email me asking if I had tried their favorite brand. Once I got enough responses like that I knew I just had to do another coconut flour roundup.

I love testing new products and sharing my results with you all. I have been making my Low Calorie Banana Muffins for breakfast most mornings, so I decided that I would test out the new brands using that recipe. These days I only make the chocolate one on occasion for dessert as it is incredibly rich and decadent.

I originally planned to test these flours using my 108 calorie banana mug muffins, but my diet has changed and I have adapted the recipe to fit my new dietary needs.  Over the past few months I have had to cut out all added sugar and sugar substitutes. Sugar has been making my heart race and then making me incredibly sleepy until 20 minutes after consumption I’m out like a light. I believe it may be reactive hypoglycemia. If any of you have experienced this I’d love to here from you in the comments. I’m still looking for answers and gave up on doctors a long time ago.

As most of you know I have had to cut out corn products and derivatives as well. I am still learning how corn affects me and what products I can and cannot tolerate. So I eliminated my favorite stevia due to it containing dextrose and eliminated vanilla extract due to possible corn as well. If anyone has a good corn free stevia recommendation I’d love to hear it.

So, I will be making these simplified added sugar free Banana Bread Mug Muffins for this test.

Here are the brands you all asked me to compare in no particular order. Coconut World, My Elixir of Life, Nuts.com, Honeyville, Shiloh Farms, Earth Circle Organics, Yankee Trader, and Mercola. I emailed all of the companies but only got responses from the first three. I didn’t want to wait to get this information out to you guys. Here are the three companies that responded. If I get responses from the other companies I will update the post with their information and a test of their flour as well. If you have a coconut flour you would like me to test, or are interested in a comparison of any other gluten free food or product please please let me know. I love doing these tests for you guys and sharing my results!

I began with a control group muffin using my go to coconut flour Nutiva. You can see my results of my last coconut flour comparison here.

I made two cute mug muffins using the Simple Banana Bread Mug Cake recipe I eat for breakfast every day. It is quick, healthy, added sugar free, and uses few ingredients. For the rest of the testing I decided to make the mug cakes as I do every morning; in a cereal bowl. They may not be as pretty, but they take less time and effort than dirtying two mugs or microwaving two separate cakes.

All of the flours in this test came in close and tasted great. Here’s how they stacked up.

Coconut World Organic Coconut Flour

Coconut World Banana Bread Mug CakeCoconut World Banana Bread Mug Cake

2 tbsp = 14 Grams

Calories: 60

Fat: 1.5 Grams

Carbs: 9 Grams

Protein: 3 Grams

Fiber: 5 Grams

Price: Between 6 and 8 dollars.

Overall out of this test I believe Coconut World Organic Coconut flour to be the best. It has a sweeter flavor than the other brands which I consider a plus for mug cakes and added sugar free baking in general. Alan is not a big coconut flour fan. He says it is gritty. He tolerated this brand well and said it was the least gritty of the  flours in this test. I found Coconut World to have the best texture, rise, and flavor. The recipe worked with no modifications to ingredients or time.

NUTS.COM Organic Coconut Flour

Nuts.com Banana Bread Mug CakeCAM00096 

2 tbsp = 14 Grams (0.5 oz)

Calories: 60

Fat: 1.5 Grams

Carbs: 10 Grams

Protein: 2 Grams

Fiber: 6 Grams

Nuts.com fared well in my testing. In fact all of the other brands came in so close that I will be listing them in no particular ranked order.

Nuts.com was the second sweetest out of the flours I tested. It was slightly gritter than the Coconut World flour but not in a way that would negatively affect baking. The nuts. com coconut flour did not need any adjustments in ingredients although I must note that it did take an additional 30 seconds in the microwave. it was not set at the three minute mark. This flour makes a denser yet still amazingly tasty bread than Coconut World or My Elixir of Life. I can see it working well in brownies or other baked goods that need a denser less fluffy result.

My Elixir Of Life Gluten Free Organic Coconut Flour

CAM00092My Elixir of Life Banana Bread Mug Cake

2 tbsp = 18 Grams

Calories: 45

Fat: 2 Grams

Carbs: 11 Grams

Protein: 4 Grams

Fiber: 8 Grams

Price: About $9

My Elixir of Life Coconut Flour was less sweet that the other brands. It would lend itself fantastically to Coconut Flour Buttermilk Biscuits or other savory coconut flour baked goods where sweetness is not as desirable. This flour produced an edible muffin with good flavor. My Elixir Of Life flour produced a muffin that was lighter in color and did not rise as much as the other flours in this test. Alan thought out of the flours tested that this one was the grittiest. I enjoy the texture of coconut flour. While this may have been slightly grittier I still quite liked it.

The Ultimate Coconut Flour Guide: Which Coconut Flour Is Best For Baking? 7 Coconut Flours Compared

Coconut Flour Mug Cake Showdown Comparison

I love coconut flour. I bake with it as often as I can and eat it at least once every day. Some people would call me obsessed. Low calorie, high protein, low carb, high fiber, this flour has amazing benefits! What’s not to love? I have tried my fair share of coconut flour recipes from other food bloggers. Most worked out fantastically, but some flopped. After reading a bajillion comments on those recipes the common consensus was that the brand of flour may be the reason for the recipe failure. Coconut flour absorbs a ton of water. Coconut flours differ in how finely they are ground and how much fat they contain as well. I really wanted to figure out which flours worked best and why.

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The “Skinny” On Dunkin Donuts Gluten Free Donut And Muffin

Dunkin Donuts Gluten Free Donut

Facebook is overflowing with stories of the new gluten free Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Sugar Donut and Blueberry Muffin that will be rolling out over the next year across the good old USA. I have done a bit of research and found out the nutrition information and ingredients on these not so skinny prepackaged sweet treats.

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Athena Greek Yogurt Bars Removing Gluten Free Label

Athena Greek Yogurt Bar

Four days ago I wrote a post titled Celiac Alert: Sprouted Wheat in Athena Gluten Free Greek Yogurt Bars. Since then it has gotten many hits and shown up on reddit. This post got many people talking about these bars and their ingredients. Many said they were going to or had emailed the company for more information on the gluten free labeling.

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Nature’s Path Envirokids Berry Blast Crispy Rice Bar Review

Envirokids Berry Blast Crispy Rice Bar

While on vacation Alan and I took an impromptu detour to the gluten free expo in Washington Dc. It was a blast. We got a ton of brochures, coupons, and samples of granola bars and cookies, and other snacks great for throwing in a bag on the go. The highlight of the event for me was the hot food samples. Mostly area restaurants that had gluten free fare. There was everything from beer, to eggplant lasagna, to gourmet soups, and gluten free decadent truffles. I still felt a bit left out due to me having to ask if there was corn in whatever sample before I tried it. I found I could eat the samples from quite a few of the tables.

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Celiac Alert: Sprouted Wheat in Athena Gluten Free Greek Yogurt Bars

Athena Bar Label

 Update: Athena will be removing the words gluten free from their packaging.

Who would have thought a bar labeled gluten free would contain wheat sprout?

I often check out the gluten free options available at gas stations and rest areas when I travel. I have found some amazing products that way. While at a Sheetz in West Virginia I came across Athena Yogurt Bars.

I spotted the words gluten free on the front of the wrapper and thought about buying one. I would have walked out with a bar in hand and quickly devoured it based on the gluten free claim on the wrapper. Thankfully my corn intolerance saved me from this fate. I read every ingredient on every wrapper to check for corn as it is not a top eight allergen and is not disclosed.

When I turned over the Athena bar many ingredients alarmed me. (I am listing these in the order they show on the wrapper not in order of level of alarm or severity. If I listed them due to highest concern I would have started with the wheat sprouts.) I first saw grain dextrins and wondered what grain they were derived from. Then I saw barley grass and wheat grass which I know the fda approves for gluten free foods as long as the items test less than 20 ppm gluten or less. I will not eat anything with barley or wheat grass as it has a high rate of cross contamination. The grass itself is gluten free if it has not been allowed to sprout or begin producing grains, but who is to say that some of the blades of wheat grass don’t sprout sooner than others? It is just too much of a grey area for me to trust.

The third ingredient I saw was the one that made my jaw drop: WHEAT SPROUT! I immediately dropped the bar and had to retrieve it from the floor. I then took a photo of the ingredients and emailed Bella makers of Athena Bars. I knew that sprouting grains can begin the process of breaking down gluten proteins to make them easier to digest in general. In no way does sprouting wheat make it anywhere even close to gluten free. I did a bunch of research before writing this post and all of it pointed out that sprouted gluten grains are not gluten free. They are not even low gluten (I hate that trendy fad diet term). So I asked in my email to bella why their Athena Yogurt Bars are labelled as gluten free but show wheat clearly on the label. I have not gotten a response and I emailed them over a day ago. I also left a comment on the Bella facebook page asking the same question today and have yet to get a response. I am slightly impatient and wanted to get this information out to you all as soon as possible in hopes to save someone from a possible glutening. I will update this post as soon as I hear any word from the manufacturers. Until then I would cautiously advise you to steer clear of Athena Yogurt Bars. I could be wrong. There could be new research that escapes me and wheat sprouts could magically be gluten free now, but in case I’m not it wouldn’t hurt to eat something else until I get a clear response.

Athena Bar label

Athena Bar label

Glutino Apple Cinnamon Toaster Pastry Review

Glutino Apple Cinnamon Toaster Pastry

I have already extensively reviewed the amazing life changing drool worthy crust for these toaster pastries in my Glutino Strawberry Toaster Pastry review. Go check it out and then immediately run to the store to buy some. I’ll skip right to the juicy filling now. I love the combination of apples and cinnamon. The flavor reminded me of a warm apple pie in a convenient toastable easy to take along anywhere form. The Glutino Apple Cinnamon Toaster Pastries gave us here at My Gluten Free Girlfriend an epic recipe idea. Alan thought it up Easy Gluten Free Apple Pie Ala Mode (pronounced Ah La Mode E) I will post the recipe as soon as I finish eating it. Nom Nom Nom 🙂

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Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal Review

Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal

Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal

I am a muffins for breakfast type of girl. Although I have eaten my fair share of cold cereals for breakfast, I prefer warm food and a hot beverage in the A.M. When I did eat more cereal, I ate Special K pre-diagnosis and Cocoa Pebbles (yes, they are gluten free) after my diagnosis. The Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal tastes very similar to Special K with Red Berries. The cereal flakes are large and crunchy. They are lightly sweetened so even a child would find them hard to resist. The dried strawberries are melt in your mouth good. The downside is there do not seem to be very many in my particular box. I put this cereal through a few highly scientific tests. 🙂 I like a cereal that can be eaten dry as a quick snack. My boyfriend has sugar issues causing him to need to eat often. That coupled with my Celiac means that we take snacks and a lunchbox with us whenever we leave the house. I could see myself portioning this into snack sized bags and grabbing it on the way out the door. I also tried this cereal with milk. It was equally delicious. I haven’t tried many gluten free cold cereals and the ones I did try were not very pleasing. Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal tasted as good as the gluten cereals I remember eating in the past. I took photos before I dug in since I am a messy eater and no one wants to see a half eaten bowl of cereal. Even after sitting for a minute the cereal was still at optimum crunch level and was not soggy at all. I ate while writing so I ate fairly slowly and even the last bite was still crunchy. This could definitely be a way for me to get a quick breakfast when I don’t feel like making my usual hot breakfast.

Rating by lclark: 5.0 stars
*****

Glutino Strawberry Toaster Pastry Review

Glutino Strawberry Gluten Free Toaster Pastry

Glutino Strawberry Toaster Pastry

Pop-tarts were a staple growing up in my house. I grew up with the frosted ones but as I got older I learned to like the unfrosted ones best. They at least “seemed” more healthy. When I found out I was Celiac 3 years ago I felt like I lost all connection with breakfast convenience foods. I was overjoyed to read the Glutino facebook announcement that they were coming out with gluten free strawberry toaster pastries. I couldn’t wait for them to come to a store near me. I lucked out in a big way. I entered a facebook contest by submitting a comment on Glutino’s facebook page. They had no knowledge that I was an aspiring food blogger. I won! I won a whole huge box of Glutino products which I will be posting reviews for in the next couple of weeks. I am not nor have I ever been endorsed by Glutino to write these reviews. I just thought this would be a good use of my blog space and a fun thing to blog about. Okay enough about me winning (Hey’ I’m excited I’ve never actually won anything before) and on to my review.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the thickness of these pastries compared to other brands, these babies are twice as thick. Glutino did not waste valuable pastry space on a dry cardboard-like edge like other companies do. The second, and most smile worthy, thing I noticed was the strawberry filling peeking out of both ends of the pastry. They filled these up to eleven with extra strawberry goodness. The Glutino Strawberry Toaster Pastry was overflowing with real strawberry flavor and was perfectly sweet without leaving me feeling like I may have developed a cavity in the process. Let me get back to that lovely crust I mentioned a few sentences ago. This crust deserves a whole sheet of shiny gold star stickers! The texture and flavor are just that amazing. The crust of Glutino’s Strawberry Toaster Pastry is thicker than a normal Pop-tart with flakey air pockets. Now you might be thinking “Air pockets in a gluten free baked good? That’s impossible!” You heard me correctly though I did indeed say air pockets. You may remove your jaws from the floor now. 🙂 The crust reminded me of a cross between a Toaster Strudel and a Pop-tart in all the right ways. It doesn’t have the Pop-tart style cardboard flavored crust or Sahara dry crunch. It doesn’t leave you with the Toaster Strudel greasy fingers and mouth feel. It it has just the right ratio of crustiness and softness. I can’t find any better words to describe it other than YUM! It is a win win in flavor and texture. Who actually drove to Walmart at 10 pm just to buy a toaster? Yup, that’s right, this girl did! A toaster may seem like a mundane kitchen appliance to most people, but I love kitchen gadgets and I was excited. The smell of toaster pastry cooking in my new toaster was almost too good to be true. I wanted to devour it before it even cooled enough to remove it. In summary, the Glutino Strawberry Toaster Pastries are excellent straight from the package for an on the go snack but are well worth the 30 seconds in the toaster for the added toasty flavor and warm flaky crust.

Rating by lclark: 5.0 stars
*****