Gluten-free products dominated the new products category at Expo West this year, which saw record attendance in both the number of attendees and exhibiting vendors. Here is my second installment of my favorite picks for gluten-free candy, cookies, and mixes.
- Justin's - has turned their line of squeezable peanut/nut butters into three candy bars: Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut, and Milk Chocolate Almond. They taste like a healthy version of a snickers made with quality ingredients and packed with protein.
- Sweet Candy - makes a line of all natural candies that are free of artificial flavors, colors, corn syrup and preservatives. My daughter cannot tolerate artificial colors, so I was psyched to find a line of GFCO candies that have creative shapes and flavors. I am not a fan of gummies that are hard, so I was thrilled to find that this line is nice and soft. They are available in: Citrus Slices, Squirmy Wormy, Nummy Bears and Squishy Fishy
- Cybele's Free-to-Eat - launched their line of soft cookies that are free of: dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, but they are loaded with a great combination of flavor and texture. I am always in awe of gluten-free cookies that are free of egg and don't crumble yet they are still moist. These cookies also manage to have a great buttery flavor without any dairy. They are available in: Chocolate Chip (my favorite), Chocolate Chunk Brownie, and Oatmeal Raisin.
- Eat Pastry - has a line of GFCO certified cookie dough that is also vegan. I tried their snickerdoodle and Sugar Momma cookies and I was quite impressed with the texture and flavor of the cookies. They didn't crumble and they weren't dry, which is hard to accomplish without eggs. The edges were slightly crunchy and the center was soft and had slight rise. The dough is sold refrigerated and you scoop out the dough, so you can bake them fresh. The best part is because this dough contains no eggs you can eat it right out of the carton!
- Evetts Cookies - Steve Evetts is an Executive Pastry Chef and the mastermind behind a gluten/lactose free, gluten-free cookie. The cookie was created by Steve for his wife Carol who has Celiac Disease. Steve wanted to create a cookie that tasted great and was 'arguably the world's best gluten-free chocolate cookie'. I don't know if is the world's best, but it is definitely one of the most innovative/creative cookies I have ever had. The cookies are hand rolled and baked to order and they are loaded with high-quality chocolate. The kind of look like a mound of chocolate rolled in sugar, but they have a lovely, luscious soft texture that melts in your mouth. One bite is so loaded with chocolate that it really is all you need. Eating an entire cookie satisfied my chocolate craving for the rest of the day.
- Pamela's Products - introduced a bunch of new mixes and they were making fresh, gluten-free pizza in their booth. I really enjoyed the pizza, but the oatmeal and sugar cookies were my favorites. This is the first oatmeal cookie mix I have tried that contains gluten-free oats. The cookies were soft in the middle with a slight rise and they had crispy edges, which is the perfect texture for me.
- Nature's Earthly Choice - has a line of gluten-free Falafel with Quinoa mixes. They weren't demoing the product at the show and they have not done the leg work to get the product certified gluten free just yet, but the mixes have very few ingredients and they state that they cook up in minutes. If they gain gluten-free certification I would love to try them!
-------------------- Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com Atlanta Gluten-Free Examiner Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA