New Gluten-Free Goodies for Carbophiles
But I’m back now, and we ‘ve got lots to catch up on.
Starting with a host of new gluten-free products I’ve tried out recently that represent a sea change in GF products for two reasons: Texture and Fiber.
I figured it was just a matter of time before food companies figured out they could make a lot more money if their gluten free breads and pastas actually had appealing textures. And I was hopeful that the next generation of GF products would be made with less white rice flour and tapioca starch and more whole grains and seeds; after all, gluten-free breads and cereals are notoriously higher in carbs and lower in fiber than their conventional counterparts. While I have yet to come across products that I would consider high-fiber by conventional standards (5g or more per serving), there are a growing number of products featuring a respectable 3g of fiber per serving, which is a vast improvement over the typical <1g for such items. Progress!
So without further ado… here are some great new gluten-free products sure to please my fellow carbophiles:
This is the first time I’d seen fresh GF pastas sold in the refrigerated section of my grocery store (with the exception of a pretty unimpressive gnocchi, now that I think about it), and I wasn’t so keen on trying it. After all, there are plenty of very good dry GF pastas made from brown rice, and I didn’t see how a more expensive fresh pasta could really be that much better. Still, my husband decided to splurge on it, and boy am I happy he did! We tried the fusili, since it was destined to be the base for a pesto-and-asparagus dish (and the pesto gets stuck in all the little spiral crevices; yum!). It cooked in 2 minutes, and when finished, the texture was so plump and creamy that it reminded me of dining out in trattatorias during my pre-celiac days. *Sigh*. Better still, each serving contains 3g of fiber, which is more than that 1g typically found in a dry, GF brown rice-based pasta.
I’ve blogged previously about Teff flour, and privately bemoaned the fact that this super-nutritious grain was not yet available in mainstream products. As luck would have it, the clairvoyant people at La Tortilla Factory read my mind and developed a fabulous GF wrap made from whole grain millet and whole grain teff (and, admittedly, some tapioca starch as well), each of which contains 3g of fiber, which is roughly equivalent to the fiber content of a similarly-sized Whole Wheat tortilla. These have a much better texture than the GF Brown rice wraps I’d been buying from other brands, which tended to have a rubbery/plastic texture when defrosted. The company also sells a similar product under the Sonoma brand name. Look for them in the frozen section of your grocery store.
I’ve written previously about Udi’s Gluten-free breads, but in an apparent case of one-upmanship, Rudi attempted to outmaneuver Udi, both by virtue of having an additional letter in his/her name as well as by having an even better, softer, fluffier, gluten-free bread. While neither variety wins any medals for fiber content (1g per serving), at least each slice contains a respectable 90 calories, which is on par with most conventional breads. Currently, Rudi’s has my vote for the best-textured, packaged, gluten-free bread. (Mariposa bakery still wins for best-textured fresh GF bread, but San Francisco is an awfully long way for me to travel for a sandwich).
Hooray! This summer, I no longer have to eat my grilled veggie burgers on toasted GF bread, as Udi’s has finally launched a soft and completely functional hamburger bun. (I use these descriptors deliberately, as I once attempted to use a tapioca-starch based burger bun by a competitive brand that shall remain nameless, and it was a gluey, crumbly mess). I road-tested Udi’s new Whole Grain Hamburger Buns last night at dinner, nuking a frozen one for 45 seconds, and was delighted at its moist, soft texture and appropriate size. Each bun also has 6g of fiber, which is among the highest I’ve seen out there.
Okay, okay. So dumplings are not exactly health food, but given the tremendous popularity of my previous Gluten-free Guide to Chinese Food, I suspect there are throngs of you out there who have been jonesing for a dumpling for quite some time now. If you fall into this camp, your prayers have been answered by the husband-and-wife team behind Friedman’s Deli in NYC’s Chelsea market (where, incidentally, all sandwiches are available on GF bread). As a bonus, each of the four dumpling varieties is accompanied by a GF dipping sauce. (Classy!) Each dumpling has about 75 calories (before you fry it) and 11-12g of carbohydrate; adding the dipping sauce packet tacks on another 45 calories, so budget accordingly.Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.