Hello, friends! Things have been busy around here with school starting last week and I have been trying out some new allergy-friendly treats. I went out of town to visit my sister and I hit up the Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers store and stocked up on a few things and found some new goodies to try. We don’t have a great store like that in our town, so I try to pick up new treats to try out and share with readers.
Some of these goodies are things from my Natural Grocers haul, and some are other things I have found here in my town, but most of them are healthy and allergy-friendly. I am sharing the links so you can check it out yourself and my opinion of the product – no sugar coating, just my honest opinion. Also: this post is NOT sponsored or paid for by any company: I just love trying out new things and sharing them with you! Hang on to your seats ‘cuz there is a lot of stuff in here today 😉
Raw, Soaked, Sprouted, and Dehydrated Quinoa from Organic Traditions. I bought this at TJ Maxx, they always have great organic and gluten-free items in the food section and it’s reasonably priced. Since spring and summer came, my allergies and IBS have worsened, so I have had to cut back on grains this year. But if you eat grains (or psuedograins, like quinoa), it is a good idea to soak or sprout them first.
As part of my morning routine, I have been taking the AIM barley grass juice powder every morning. I can’t tell if it works to boost my energy since I also drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning too, but I really enjoy the taste. Plus, it helps me get my greens since I am not very good about eating greens (besides leaf lettuce). I can be lazy about my greens sometimes: I hate washing lettuce leaves and I don’t like cleaning out my juicer, so this is one surefire way for me to get some green.
I whipped up a batch of grain-free coconut biscuits last night. I have made these before but this time I cut the oil and starch in half and made these smaller for better portion control. I posted the recipe here, along with a recipe for Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Scones.
I found a Clif bar that I can actually eat! I gave up eating Clif bars years ago due to the soy and gluten in them, but I found the Clif fruit and nut bars at the Natural Grocers store and had to try it. They are similar to Larabars, only chunkier in texture. They taste pretty good and they are very simple (3 ingredients or so) and this particular flavor has less fat than some of the Larabar flavors.
I decided to try the Califia Farms brand of unsweetened almond milk since it was on sale at the Natural Grocers store. I had never heard of this brand before, but I like it! It is right on par with Blue Diamond and Silk. It is not quite as thick as the Silk almond milk, but I am okay with that (the Silk almond milk is almost too thick for me since they add quite a bit of thickeners). I got on the Califia website and discovered that they make lattes with almond milk, too! I need to find these 🙂
I have seen the SO Delicious coconut milk creamer before but had never tried it, so I decided to give it a shot. It’s very good! It’s doesn’t have a strong coconut taste so if you generally don’t like coconut milk, you will probably like this. It does have sugar in it, so I use it sparingly and probably wouldn’t buy this all the time because of the sugar.
Two of our local grocery stores have started carrying the new SO Delicious Coconut milk Ice Cream that has no sugar added. I have tried the Vanilla Bean and Chocolate so far and really enjoy them! They still taste very sweet (almost too sweet), but I like these since I try not to eat too much sugar and the SO Delicious sugar free ice cream uses erythritol and stevia as sweeteners.
These coconut milk caramels (Cocomels) by JJ’s Sweets are probably the thing I am most excited about on this list!! It has been forever since I have had “real” caramel, and these hit the spot. These are made with coconut milk and brown rice syrup (so they aren’t Paleo), but they are gluten-free and vegan. They are not made with nuts, but they are made in a facility with nuts so my kids couldn’t eat these. I would love to see these made with honey, since I would prefer the taste to brown rice syrup (which has a distinct taste to me). So, I decided one of my future projects is to make some dairy free coconut milk caramels at home with honey!
I love the KIND low sugar bars, my favorite one is the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt, but I found this one and had to try it, too. Very yummy, but the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt is still my favorite, probably because they taste like chocolate covered pretzels to me. Anything with sea salt and chocolate is heavenly 🙂
I was officially diagnosed with IBS this summer and since spring and summer seasonal allergies hit, my symptoms have worsened. I started allergy shots and my symptoms got even worse…oy :/ A friend recommended Iberogast, an herbal tincture created in Germany and recommended by the Mayo clinic for managing IBS symptoms. It looks awesome, but I took it for a couple days and discovered the alcohol really bothered my stomach (go figure). I tried some again yesterday morning, this time diluting the 20 drops in an entire glass of warm water, but my stomach still did not like the alcohol. This is quite frustrating since this stuff is rather expensive. It works for some people with IBS and not others. On that note…
I do know that I fare much better when I am taking high-dose probiotics, and so far these are the best I have found. Depending on the sales and discounts from GNC, they are pretty affordable, too, compared to some other brands of high-dose probiotics (some of those can range from $60-100 per bottle). These ones are free of dairy, gluten, etc., and don’t contain yeast or the streptococcus strain that some probiotics have. Probiotics have become an expected monthly expense in our house these days and I should get my kids started on them, too.
Since I started running more, I have been using these fruit and veggie squeezes from Peter Rabbit Organics before morning runs instead since solid food makes my stomach cramp if I eat too soon before running. This one isn’t too bad, although this particular flavor is not my favorite. The carrot and squash varieties are pretty good and help me get some complex carbs before running as well so I’m not getting an overdose of sugar from gels before my long weekend runs.
Homemade cocoa puff cereal from Purely Twins. I made mine egg-free and used a blend of coconut flour, hemp protein powder, and tapioca starch to make these. They are grain-free and fun to snack on, but I am not a fan of how long it takes to roll the dough into the little balls. It’s fun to do occasionally, but I can’t imagine myself doing this very often. If you have the time, give it a shot!
My newest find: I actually found these Cybele’s Free-To-Eat cookies last week at our local Kroger store. These are created by Cybele Pascal, the author of allergy-friendly cookbooks. These cookies are really yummy and are free of the top 8 allergens (similar to Enjoy Life), but these do have quite a long list of ingredients and contain many refined ingredients so I imagine I won’t be buying these too often. They do cost more than the Enjoy Life cookies I usually buy as well (at least in this particular store). Overall, very delicious, soft cookies (just the way I like them), but I would save these for an occasional quick treat.