Tag archive for "Friday’s Find"

Friday’s Find:  Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Treats

GF Product Reviews, GF Recipes

Friday’s Find: Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Treats

20 Comments 06 July 2012

Happy Friday!  I have a Friday’s Find and a bonus recipe!!  I’ve enjoyed Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice for years.  In fact, it was the first gluten-free cereal I found that actually tasted like cereal instead of sand.  Most crispy rice cereals contain barley malt, so it’s a pleasure to find one that is gluten free and tastes delicious.

I’m a big supporter of Attune Foods, because their products are made with “simple, pure ingredients that help you feel your best everyday”.  You can see my past reviews here of their Corn Flakes and Probiotic Chocolate Bars.

But this post is all about the Crispies!  Recently I had a chance to sample two of the other cereals — Rice Twice and Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice!  Do you remember the days of Cocoa Pebbles?  No, me neither (winkie face), but these are so much better.  And so much better for you.

The short list of ingredients in even the sweet, chocolately cereal doesn’t prohibit me from enjoying this treat cereal.

Ingredients:  organic brown rice, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice syrup, organic cocoa powder (processed with alkali), natural flavors, organic caramel color, sea salt, organic cocoa butter.

As soon as I opened the box and munched on the first handful, I knew that I had to make rice crispy treats.  Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats.  But in keeping with Attune Food’s philosophy, and my own personal quest to make yummy things just a little bit healthier, I had to toss out a few traditional rice crispy treat ingredients including the marshmallows. Especially the marshmallows.

Are you still here, my friendly felines?  Yes, you can make Rice Crispy Treats without corn syrup-drenched marshmallows!  See?

And you can do it with ingredients that you believe in.  Just start with the Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal of your choice and add in these simple ingredients:  SunButteragave nectar, and flaxseed meal maybe even a touch of cinnamon.  This simple recipe worked beautifully with all three Crispy Rice products.

Just mix the ingredients together by hand and press them into muffin tins.

I loved this recipe with Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal.  But if you’re looking for a treat that will knock your socks off, I’d make these with the Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal!  Pure decadence without the junk.

Ooh, and one more thing.  To top it off, add a dollop of Sunbutter.

Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Treats

by Heather



1. Prepare 12 muffin tins by lightly greasing them with coconut oil.

2. Heat SunButter and agave nectar in a large saucepan on low.  Stir until lumps have melted and set aside to cool.

3.  In a medium bowl, mix Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal and flaxseed meal.

4.  Fold the crispy rice mixture into the SunButter mixture until combined.

5.  Scoop into muffin tins and press with the back of a spatula.

6.  Let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

7.  Pop out of the muffin tins and serve with a dollop of SunButter on top.

Yields 12 treats

If your local grocers don’t carry Erewhon Cereals, you can order them through Amazon right here:

Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereals?
  • Which one is your favorite?
  • When is the last time you had a Rice Crispy Treat?
(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Attune Foods. I did receive complimentary samples sent for me to taste and review. I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)
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Friday’s Find:  Zema’s Madhouse Foods

GF Product Reviews, Healthy Living

Friday’s Find: Zema’s Madhouse Foods

3 Comments 22 June 2012

I stopped my weekly Friday’s Find posts, because I was having a difficult time finding products that met my standards for a healthy, gluten-free diet.  Gluten-free junk food is no longer something that I get excited about.  But today’s Friday’s Find really gets me meowing, because finally there’s a company that creates baking mixes that taste great and fuel the body well.

Jill Motew, founder of Zema’s Madhouse Foods, has developed a line of ancient grain, gluten-free baking mixes that have more than caught the attention of this gluten-free cat. They have me laser-pointer mesmerized.  Currently, Zema has 4 baking mixes available online, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be finding these mixes at a market near you.

I had an opportunity to sample Zema’s Rosemary-Millet Focaccia & Pizza Crust Mix, and I pounced on it.  I was happy to review it because they use ancient grains and superfoods. (Insert superhero music of choice here.  Mine is always this.)  Plus, all of the mixes are vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free.

I was prepared to go wild and design an amazing pizza for you that featured Zema’s pizza crust, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Zema’s Tomato Herb Focaccia recipe which is printed on the back of the package.  So I followed the focaccia recipe precisely, and this is what emerged from my oven.

I’m so glad that I followed the directions (which is not one of my strong suits).  The intricacies of the crust are so unique that I’m relieved that I didn’t ruin it by smothering it with a nut cheese and overpowering the flavor with olives and artichokes.  The sturdy, chewy crust had a mildly sweet taste, possibly from the millet flour.  The substantial crust would definitely support heftier toppings, but I’d go easy on the layering as the bread flavors hold their own.

What’s in Zema’s Rosemary-Millet Focaccia & Pizza Crust Mix?  And why is it so great? Just look at the seeds in the whole grain flours.

I’ve sampled and reviewed a lot of gluten-free mixes, but I’ve never found one as nutritionally sound as this one.  Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients:

  • Millet Flour – one of the most easily digestible ancient grains and a great natural source of protein B-vitamins and minerals
  • Sorghum Flour – a high protein, gluten-free flour with a wheat-like taste that’s high in soluble fiber
  • Quinoa Flakes – one of my go-to protein sources because it’s a high quality, complete protein
  • Flaxseed Meal – an incredible plant-based source of alpha-linolenic acid, which converts to heart-protective Omega-3 fatty acid. It contains fiber which promotes intestinal health and is a rich source of lignans which are phytoestrogens thought to protect against breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
  • Chia Seeds – the superfood that fueled me through my marathon training because of its concentrated energy and nutrition.  They were the featured ingredient of my Raw Energy Gel.  They contain even more Omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseeds, reduce inflammation, and decrease risks for cardiovascular disease.
  • Hemp Seeds – contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life.  Wow!  That’s why I sprinkle them on almost everything!  But have you ever had focaccia bread with hemp seeds?  If not, you’re missing out.
That’s why this mix is so unique and so incredibly good for you.  You can find the above information and more from Zema’s Ancient Grains 101.

Bottom line?  This is a delicious crust that has my full support.  Worth ordering online until they appear in your local market?  Definitely.  Here are the three other mixes that Zema currently offers:

If they’re as incredible as the Rosemary-Millet Focaccia Mix, then we all have something to look forward to!

Readers, dish!
  • Have you tried any Zema products?  What did you think?
  • Do you use gluten-free mixes?
  • What makes a gluten-free mix work for you?
  • What’s your latest gluten-free find?

(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Zema’s Madhouse Foods. I did receive a complimentary sample sent for me to taste and review. I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)

Friday’s Find:  Way Better Snacks

GF Product Reviews, Healthy Living

Friday’s Find: Way Better Snacks

8 Comments 08 June 2012

One of my greatest finds at the Gluten and Allergen-Free Expo in Chicago was Way Better Snacks.  I had the privilege of eating lunch with some food bloggers and Linda of Way Better. Linda grabbed my attention with the single word “sprouted”.  You know my love of sprouting.  Imagine my excitement when I learned that there were chips that I could purchase that were made from sprouted seeds and grains!

I explained the value of eating sprouted grains and seeds in this post.  But as a summary, when you eat sprouts, you are eating live food.  Live food has more nutrients.

Not only did Way Better Snacks make it to my Top 5 Healthy Finds at the Expo, but they have since found themselves a permanent place on my grocery list and my pantry shelf.

These snacks are amazing.  Not only are they crazy good for you, but they are simply delicious. They are WAY better than any other chips around.  Seriously.

Simply Unbeatable Blues

I no longer purchase other brands of blue corn chips, because these live up to their name. Unbeatable.  The unsalted version, Naked Blues (cute), is delicious too.  I love that you can see the sprouted seeds in every chip.  These chips contain:  Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds, Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Daikon Radish Seeds, Organic Sprouted Chia Seeds, and Sprouted Broccoli Seeds.

Way Better Snacks has 4 other flavors to tempt your taste buds.  Take a look at the wholesome ingredients in each one as well as my favorite ways to enjoy them.

Simply Beyond Black Bean

These are packed with sprouted goodness: Organic Sprouted Black Beans, Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds, and Organic Sprouted Quinoa.

We think that the Black Bean Tortilla Chips pair well with my Easy Guacamole.

Simply Sunny Multigrain Tortilla Chips

These are definitely one of my favorites.  Who doesn’t want a sunny snack that’s so incredibly good for you?  They are delicious with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus and salsa.

Just look at these sunny ingredients:  Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds, Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Flour, Organic Sprouted Daikon Radish Seeds, Organic Sprouted Chia Seeds, Sprouted Broccoli Seeds, and Pure Sea Salt.

Simply Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

I love sweet potato chips, but they tend to be on the greasy side.  Simply Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips don’t leave you feeling greasy.  In fact, they aren’t greasy at all.  They feel more like a thick baked chip or a thin cracker.

There are just 6 ingredients in these simply sensational chips:  Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Sweet Potato, Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Chia Seeds, and Pure Sea Salt.

My favorite way to eat these?

Right out of the bag.

They also make cute little Sunflower Seed Hummus sandwiches.

Simply So Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips

These take me back to they days when Doritos were in my weekly vocabulary.  Way Better Snacks have dusted the sprouted nutrients with a delicious sweet and spicy seasoning that will start your taste buds dancing.

Again, the seasoning is created from very simple ingredients: Raw Cane Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Pure Sea Salt, Native Potato Starch, Onion, Garlic, and Cayenne Pepper.

Here are three additional reasons these chips are Way Better.

1.  Each serving has 190 – 420mg of healthy Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

2.  The broccoli and radish seeds contain sulphoraphane glucosinolate, the natural antioxidant found in broccoli.

3.  Each serving contains a whopping 17 grams of whole grains!

If you love chips, try Way Better Snacks.  I think you’ll agree that they’re a Way Better option!

(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Way Better SnacksI did receive complimentary samples sent for me to taste and review. I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)

Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried Way Better Snacks?
  • What is your favorite flavor?
  • Where have you found them?
  • What is your favorite healthy prepackaged snack?
Friday’s Find:  Go Picnic Gluten-Free Ready-To-Eat Meals

GF Product Reviews, Travel

Friday’s Find: Go Picnic Gluten-Free Ready-To-Eat Meals

14 Comments 20 January 2012

Many of you have just returned from Christmas and New Year’s travels, and you may have been reminded of what a pain it is to fly when you are gluten-free.  Gluten-free or not, with new baggage fees, we’re all trying to pack minimally.  Is it possible to cram everything you’ll need for a week away into a carry on?  Not if you’re packing a cooler of gluten-free food.  And you’d better not even think of transporting anything that looks remotely like a gel or a powder or you won’t get past security.

We traveled barebones this Christmas, and when you’re packing Christmas gifts (unwrapped of course), that’s quite a challenge.  The Husband and I managed to share one checked bag that weighed in at 48.5 pounds, just under the 50 pound limit.  But thankfully we were traveling to see Gluten-Free Mom, so I didn’t have to bring the pantry.

For a quick flight, gluten-free eaters can get by with a gluten-free snack bar.  But if you have multiple flights or long layovers, it gets even harder.  Why?  Because then you need a real meal in the gluten-free desert called The Airport Terminal.  Unless you want a dry, prepackaged iceberg lettuce salad with a few carrot shavings and orange tomatoes, you’re going to arrive at your destination ravenous and cranky.

But times are changing.

I was pleasantly surprised while passing through the Atlanta Airport to find GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals in one of the convenience stores.  I had first seen GoPicnic at the Allergen and Gluten-Free Expo last Spring, so I knew that some of their snacks and meals were gluten-free.  Was it possible that these would be too?  A gluten-free oasis?  Thankfully, it was not a mirage!

We bought two, the Hummus & Crackers and Sunbutter & Crackers.  They were both all natural, gluten-free, and vegan.

Each box was $5.99, but compared to other airport food prices, and considering that the Husband would no longer have to deal with a crabby wife on the next flight, this was a good investment.  I did an iPhone photo shoot on my lap at the gate so I could share this great news with you.

GoPicnic meals come in small boxes that turn into a convenient snack tray.  I felt like a kid opening my first McDonald’s Happy Meal!  I couldn’t have cared less about the nutritional value of my cheeseburger and fries in 1979, but the packaging was ingenious.  I was thrilled to find that the GoPicnic boxes contained some of my favorite high quality food brands like Enjoy Life, Crunchmaster, Endangered Species, and SunButter.

I completely enjoyed my Hummus & Crackers box.

But it didn’t just contain hummus and crackers.  Look at the variety!  Edamame, fruit and nuts mix, and even a square of dark chocolate for dessert.

The Husband chose the SunButter & Crackers.  I love that he chooses to eat gluten-free so that we can share our meals, especially since he usually shares more than I do!

Crackers, SunButter, dried fruit, seeds and nuts, and a double chocolate cookie. (He even shared the cookie!)  Now that’s much better than a dry airport salad.

GoPicnic has created four other gluten-free ready-to-eat boxed meals:

I’m thankful to have stumbled upon GoPicnic in the airport.  I hope they’re in the next airport I’m traveling through.  Just in case, I’ll be ordering a few to keep in my pantry.  The boxes are no bigger than a novel, so it will be easy to toss one into my travel purse.  You can order them online and maybe even try this GoPicnic Gluten-Free Variety Pack!

Your turn to share:

  • Have you found other gluten-free gems at an airport?
  • What are your gluten-free travel tips?
  • Need to gripe? What’s your worst airport food experience?
  • Which airports carry gluten-free food?  Let’s start a list… Atlanta, Nashville…please add in the comments and I’ll update the list.
Friday’s Find:  GF Instant Oatmeal by Bakery on Main

GF Product Reviews

Friday’s Find: GF Instant Oatmeal by Bakery on Main

1 Comment 23 December 2011

We’ve loved Bakery on Main’s granola products for years.  See my past reviews of their granola and granola bars here.  Not only are their products gluten-free and delicious, they are convenient.  Need a quick snack? Grab a bar or a handful of granola.  At this busy time of the year, convenience often means making poor nutritional choices.  But with Bakery on Main, you can have your convenience and not have to worry about nutrition.  They’ve done it for you.

And now you can have it in a hot cereal!  In August, Bakery on Main announced their new instant multigrain hot cereal that sent me flashing back to childhood.  Do you remember the packets of instant oatmeal that we poured into a bowl, covered with hot water, and stirred into a creamy breakfast?  I loved the maple flavor!  But those packets were left in the past when I learned of my gluten intolerance.

Bakery on Main has created three flavors of instant hot cereal that I had the pleasure of testing:  Apple Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, and Maple Multigrain Muffin, my favorite!!!

And it’s as easy to make as the instant packets of childhood.

Pour the contents of the packet into a bowl.

Add boiling water.


And let this simple comfort food take you back and fill you up with goodness.

The contents of each packet contains whole grains including certified gluten-free oats, amaranth, and quinoa, plus chia and flax.  (See the list of natural ingredients below.)  They are high in fiber (5 grams), non-GMO, dairy-free, and contains between 190 and 200 calories.  If you are sugar-free, know that these cereals are sweetened with evaporated cane juice.  If you’re looking for something quick, easy, wholesome, and delicious, try this instant breakfast.  I highly recommend it!

Maple Multigrain Muffin Ingredients:  certified gluten free oats, evaporated cane juice, chia seeds, flax meal, quinoa, amaranth, natural flavors, sea salt

Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients:  certified gluten free oats, evaporated cane juice, freeze dried strawberry, chia seeds, flax meal, quinoa, amaranth, natural flavors, sea salt

Apple Pie Ingredients:  certified gluten free oats, evaporated cane juice, dried apple, chia seeds, flax meal, quinoa, amaranth, natural flavors, cinnamon, lemon juice, sea salt

You can order a box through Amazon for just $4.79:

Other Bakery on Main Products you may enjoy:

(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Bakery on Main. I did receive complimentary samples sent for me to taste and review. I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)

Please share:

  • Have you tried Bakery on Main’s Instant Hot Cereal?
  • What is your favorite instant breakfast product?
  • What is your favorite homemade convenient breakfast?
Friday’s Find:  RW Garcia Tortilla Chips

GF Product Reviews

Friday’s Find: RW Garcia Tortilla Chips

1 Comment 25 November 2011

It’s been a while since I posted a Friday’s Find. I’m a sucker for tortilla chips.  Most of them are naturally gluten-free, so it’s not a big “Wow!” when I find a gluten-free tortilla chip that I like.  But when a company strays from the essential ingredients of corn, oil, and salt, gluten can sneak into the additions. So I usually stick with the three-ingredient tortilla chips.

But every once in a while the taste buds ask for something a little different.  I was glad to stumble upon these RW Garcia Tortilla Chips that were clearly labeled “Gluten Free” when I needed that different taste.

I sampled three varieties of RW Garcia Tortilla Chips.  But all I really needed was to taste a single chip to know that these chips are now my new favorite.

The Veggie Chip bag contains three types of tortilla chips:  Spinach & Garlic, Red Beet & Onion, and Tomato & Sesame.  I LOVE these chips!  While I adore a spicy salsa, I just couldn’t dip these chips into another flavor.  They are so delicious on their own that salsa wouldn’t have been right.  And I love that they are made from organic, non GMO corn. And look at the ingredients!  Nothing but wholesomeness and natural flavors (meaning real natural flavors and not “natural flavors”…whatever that means).

Ingredients:  organic stone ground white corn, sunflower oil or corn oil, sesame seeds, tomato powder, garlic powder, onion powder, carrot powder, spinach powder, red beet powder, salt, water, and trace of lime

The Flaxseed Tortilla Chips were also delicious on their own with a subtle nutty taste, but they were much more scoopable.  I’m already a huge flaxseed fan because of their Omega-3s, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  I toss them in everything to boost nutritional value, so why not enjoy flaxseeds in a chip?

Organic corn chips dotted with flaxseeds make for pretty chips.  (I know, that’s what you look for in a chip, right?)  But they’re sturdy, crispy, and delicious as well.

Ingredients:  organic stone ground yellow corn, organic soy grits, sunflower oil or corn oil, organic brown flaxseed, sea salt, and trace of lime

The Mixt Bag is exactly that, a mixed bag.  It combines two of their all natural tortilla chips into one bag.  I chose to sample the Red & Yellow Tortilla Chips, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  Enjoy the Veggie Chips on their own at home.  Dip the Flax Chips in hummus.  But this is the party chip!  Bring on the salsa and dip to your heart’s content!

Ingredients:  stone ground white corn, stone ground yellow corn, sunflower oil or corn oil, red beet powder, sea salt, water, and trace of lime

Yellow and red tortilla chips will make any snack table look festive.

Mixt Bag also comes in Yellow & White Corn Tortilla Chips and Yellow & Blue.  But I just can’t get over the beauty of the Red & Yellow.

I’ve been looking for a new favorite tortilla chip since Garden of Eatin’ has disappointed me with too many bags of burned chips, and since I discovered that Food Should Taste Good Blue Chips contains evaporated cane juice.  (Why does anyone think that a chip needs sugar?)

RW Garcia, thanks for keeping it natural, wholesome, and completely delicious.

Other gluten-free chips made by RW Garcia:

Have you tried RW Garcia Tortilla Chips yet?  What are you waiting for?
Friday’s Find:  Rise Bar, Wake Things Up!

GF Product Reviews

Friday’s Find: Rise Bar, Wake Things Up!

2 Comments 21 October 2011

When do you need to Wake Things Up?  Are you a “don’t-bother-me-’til-I’ve-had-my-first-cup-of-coffee” kind of riser?  Do you hit an energy slump mid-morning or mid-afternoon? Do you need a jolt of protein to help steer your car towards the gym instead of toward home and the comfort of your couch?

We all hit moments in our day when we just need a little lift, and that’s where Rise Bar comes in. Rise Bar was created to give you that “rise” at various times of your day.  All Rise Bar ingredients are gluten free and produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Rise Bar proudly claims that independent testing shows that their bars contain less than 5 parts per million of gluten, which is far below the 20 ppm minimum threshold.

Usually when a vendor sends me samples to review they send one or two bars.  I was astounded to receive a total of 12 bars from Rise Bar, one of each type and flavor.  And I’m excited to share my delicious findings with you.

Rise Bar makes three different kinds of bars.

There’s the Rise Breakfast Bar for those who need a quick breakfast upon rising and shining.

There’s the Rise Energy Bar for those needing a pick-me-up between meals.

And there’s the Rise Protein Bar made of simple ingredients designed to fuel a workout.

Once you’ve chosen the time of day you need your Rise, you have wonderful flavors to choose from.

Rise Breakfast Bar

For breakfast you could choose from one of these deliciously crunchy flavors:

Every single bar is packed with hearty chunks of fruit and nuts to fuel your morning.

It was hard to choose a favorite flavor, but I couldn’t resist the Crunchy Cashew Almond with its huge chunks of nuts.  Just look at these!

With 190 calories, 12g fat, and 11 g sugar, this tasty bar has only 7 ingredients; almonds, honey, cashews, dates, amaranth, crisp rice, and salt.  I typically eat two breakfasts, one light meal before an early morning workout, and a larger breakfast to refuel afterwards.  This bar was a perfect first breakfast to eat while on my way to teach spin class.

I also loved the Crunchy Cranberry Apple, because it reminded me of a home-cooked breakfast.

I am incredibly impressed with the whole foods woven into these bars.  This 160 calorie bar contains almonds, honey, dates, apples, cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), amaranth, crisp rice, and salt.  If you’re watching your sugar intake, however, this bar might not be for you.  It does have 19 grams of sugar, but the sugar comes from honey and the sugar in the dried cranberries.

I can’t pass up a chance to brag on the Crunchy Perfect Pumpkin because of the variety of flavors and texture.  With pumpkin seeds, dates, raisins, apricots, and cranberries, this bar also made my favorite list.

Rise Protein Bar

I really like the Rise Protein Bars because they are compact and easy to digest before an intense workout.  (Okay, don’t let me fool you.  While that’s true, the real reason I like them is because they’re delicious!)

I didn’t think I’d like the Crunchy Carob Chip Bar because often carob is a sad replacement for chocolate, and the almost black color turned me off.  But the smell of carob upon opening the wrapper, and the delicious deep carob taste, quickly changed my mind.  The Rise Protein Bars are dense and chewy with little crisps of rice.

RiseBar Protein Barsare packed with simple ingredients to fuel a strong workout.  This one has 260 calories including 17 grams of protein, 13 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat. They’re made from almonds, agave, carob powder, whey protein isolate, and crisp rice. Note that Rise Protein Bars use whey protein and are not considered dairy-free, but the other bars are dairy-free.  (And if you’re afraid of the higher calories in this bar, it’s time  to ramp up your workouts!)

The Almond Honey Protein Bar was tasty as well and made with three simple ingredients: almonds, honey, and whey protein isolate.  It had similar nutritional specs (280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 13 grams of sugar).  Enjoyable, yes.  But I couldn’t get the decadent Crunchy Carob Chip Bar out of my head.

Rise Energy Bar

I have a window of exactly one hour between saying goodbye to my twenty kindergarteners and welcoming my fitness class participants at the gym.  After working with five-year-olds all day, sometimes I wonder how in the world I’m going to make it through leading a workout. This is where proper fuel comes in.  Rise Energy Bars are perfect for those afternoon lulls.

Rise Energy Bars come in the following unique flavors:

The bars range from 190-210 calories, 9-12 grams of fat, and 11-16 grams of sugar.

While they all had interesting flavors, I loved the Cherry Almond.  The dried cherries were huge, but the cherry flavor was subtle. With 200 calories, this energy bar is a perfect pick-me-up between meals.  With whole ingredients and sweeteners that don’t cause a blood sugar spike and crash, this bar works well for me.

Ingredients:  almonds, cashews, dates, cherries, brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, amaranth, and sea salt

Are your ready to Wake Things Up?  Give Rise Bar a try.  I think you’ll be more than pleased. You can order them here at Gluten-Free Cat (Yes, I’ll earn a penny or two if you do.), the Rise Bar website, or search for a vendor near you.

Rise Bar Breakfast:

Rise Bar Energy:

Rise Bar Protein:


  • Have you ever tried Rise Bars?
  • Which Rise Bar best fits your needs?
  • What is your favorite pick-me-up snack?
(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Rise Bar.  I did receive complimentary samples sent for me to taste and review.  I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)
Friday’s Find:  NuGo Slim Bars

GF Product Reviews

Friday’s Find: NuGo Slim Bars

3 Comments 30 September 2011

Friday’s Find has been a little slim lately, because I’m becoming less and less interested in consuming gluten-free products and more and more excited about creating meals and snacks that are naturally gluten-free by using whole foods.  Blending, juicing, dehydrating, and chopping take a little extra time, but my body feels so good that it’s time well spent.  I’m also having a harder time finding products that I can truly stand behind.  (I won’t get on my gluten-free junk food platform today, but to quote the GFC, “Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it should be eaten.”)

This week I’m breaking my Friday’s Find silence, because I’ve found a gluten-free product that meets all of my personal nutritional and taste requirements.  The only thing that could make this product better is if it didn’t have a wrapper, and it sprouted from a NuGo tree.

NuGo Nutrition bars caught my eye because they are “almost sugar-free”.  When “almost sugar-free” means sweetened with chicory root and real dark chocolate, and not artificial sweeteners, my ears perk up.  I quickly glanced at the nutritional facts before sampling a bar and was quite impressed by the answers I found to the four questions I always ask:

1.  Fat – Is there enough fat to keep me satisfied, yet not so much that I have to add an extra 20 minutes to my workout?  Yes.  And the fats in NuGo bars are not hydrogenated oils or trans fats.

2.  Carbohydrates – Are there enough carbs to fuel a strong workout, yet not enough to turn the nutrition bar into a dessert bar?  Yes!  With 21 grams of carbohydrate, this bar gives me the perfect amount of energy.

3.  Protein – Does it have protein for muscle repair and tummy satisfaction?  Yes, yes, and yes!  The combination of soy protein, whey protein, and rice protein packs a powerful 15 grams in one little bar.

4.  Fiber – I didn’t even have time to ask the question.  NuGo bars have NINE grams of fiber!  Great for digestion, blood sugar stability, and weight management.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  But what about the taste?  After one bite, I took another look at the package, because I couldn’t believe that a bar with only 2 grams of sugar could taste this good.  Something had to be hiding in the fine print.

I couldn’t find a thing.

NuGo claims that their bars are the best-tasting, healthiest option available, because they use REAL dark chocolate as the coating of the bars.  I definitely agree with them.  REAL Dark Chocolate has powerful antioxidants, lowers bad cholesterol, and raises good cholesterol. But the benefits don’t stop with health.  These bars are also absolutely delicious!

I’m a nut for chocolate, and I go gaa-gaa over the heavenly combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  So imagine my delight when NuGo sent me samples of their new Slim bars, and the flavors they sent were brownie crunch and roasted peanut!

Both bars were covered in the dark chocolate coating.  The bars are quite thin, only about a half inch tall.  To look at them you’d think that they would feel dense in your mouth, but they were actually quite light.  The deep chocolate taste of the brownie crunch was perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth, not too powerful, not too sweet.  Just perfect.

And the bar fueled me perfectly for teaching back to back BodyPump classes.  I was concerned that the 180 calories in the Brownie Crunch bar wouldn’t be enough for a two hour workout, but the combination of carbs, protein, and fat couldn’t have worked better.

As delicious as the Brownie Crunch bar is, the Roasted Peanut bar is even better.  Peanut butter and chocolate makes me swoon, so this bar is definitely my favorite.

NuGo makes 7 different kinds of bars for our varying dietary needs, and 4 of them are gluten-free.  The NuGo Slim bars fit my needs perfectly, but if you’re interested in their other gluten-free bars, check out:

NuGo FREE Bar – gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and vegan

NuGo 10 Raw Natural Energy Bar – gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, and made in a peanut-free facility

Crispy Cat Candy Bars – dairy free, gluten free, and vegan

In addition, one of the NuGo Dark bars is gluten-free, the Dark Mint Chocolate-Chip.

You can order NuGO Slim Brownie Crunch Bars and NuGO Slim Roasted Peanut Bars here through Amazon.  They even have a Raspberry Truffle Bar that I MUST try soon!

  • Have you tried NuGo Slim bars yet?
  • What’s your favorite pre-workout snack?

(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by NuGo NutritionI did receive complimentary samples sent for me to taste and review. I do not give positive reviews just because the product was free but will always give my honest opinion.)

7 Links – Reflecting and Remembering

GF Resources

7 Links – Reflecting and Remembering

10 Comments 15 September 2011

I am honored to have been tagged by Shirley of GFE (Gluten-Free Easily) with a 7 Links blogging challenge.  For this 7 Links event, bloggers must choose their posts that best fit the following categories: Most Beautiful PostMost Popular PostMost Controversial PostMost Helpful PostPost Whose Success Surprised MePost That Didn’t Get Attention It Deserved, and Post I Am Most Proud of. Check out Shirley’s 7 Links – Reflections on Past Posts for some incredible posts that you might have missed.  I’m not the greatest at reflection, because that actually takes being still and thinking.  I’m more of a think and drive forward at the speed of light kind of girl.  But I’ll give this a shot!

Most Beautiful Post

Gluten-Free Ravioli on Christmas Eve is beautiful to me for many reasons.  First of all, just look at the picture!  Is there anything more beautiful than gluten-free Italian food after fearing that you’ll never eat pasta again?  After years of spending Christmas vacation traveling to visit our families who are all across the country, the Husband and I spent last Christmas at home.  Our Christmas Eve was magical.  It was beautiful.  And it was delicious. We played music, sipped red wine, and made the most delicious Spinach, Mushroom, Cheese Ravioli from scratch.  This post will walk you through the process, step by step, and hopefully it will inspire you to try something you never thought was possible.

Most Popular Post

Baked French Toast with Bananas and Almond Butter.  How could that NOT be one of my most popular posts?  Just the thought of it makes me swoon!  There’s even a dusting of cocoa powder on this incredible breakfast entree.  But the amazing thing about this meal is that it’s actually healthy!  Sure, you could put it over the top by stuffing it with almond butter and chocolate chips and drenching it with maple syrup, but the recipe I came up with has the perfect combination of goodness that leaves you feeling happily satisfied.

Most Controversial Post

I’m not a controversial writer.  Nobody seems to be bothered by anything I have to say. Maybe that means I play it safe.  Maybe that means my readers and I have a lot in common. But my very first Friday’s Find hit a hot button.  I chose to review Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten-Free Pretzels.  I was thrilled to have found a regular company that offered a gluten-free version, and I jumped at the chance to rave about it.  There was quite a buzz on Twitter and Facebook about cross contamination and illness from the ingredient palm oil.  I learned very quickly to do my research!

Most Helpful Post

My most helpful post was Smoothing the GF Transition with Smoothies.  I was honored that Diane of The Whole Gang invited me to be a part of the 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living blog event.  If you haven’t read the 30 incredible entries, please do.  Because this was such a popular event, my little post about my smoothie secrets got a lot of visitors.  In this post, I shared my recipe for creating a well-balanced smoothie and gave links to some of my favorite combinations as well as links to smoothies by some of my favorite bloggers.  I’m not sure if anyone but a blogger truly understands the joy in receiving comments on her blog! But the encouraging responses for this piece had me happy dancing for a week!

Post Whose Success Surprised Me

As part of my weekly Friday’s Find, I reviewed a gluten-free tortilla produced by Maria and Ricardo’s Tortilla Factory.  I really like the tortillas, and the post inspired me to come up with vegan Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos.  This post was particularly successful because the recipe was selected as the winner of the Le Creuset Gluten-Free Recipe Contest hosted by Paul of Food, Living, and Everything Else!

Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved

I could make a very long list, ha!  But I’m a needy writer.  As a blogger, I may spend hours on a post that I feel is amazing, and it might get one comment.  From my mom.  It’s so hard to know which posts are going to be wildly popular and which will be sent into cyberspace with nary a glance.  But one recent post that I was wild about was Baked Tilapia with Sweet Cherry Salsa.  Even if you aren’t a fish fan, you will LOVE this salsa.  I promise!

Post I Am Most Proud Of

This post has almost nothing to do with gluten-free food.  It is called The Terrible, Horrible, Incredible Triathlon.  Last summer, I ran my first triathlon.  I didn’t start with a sprint tri.  I jumped in and trained for an Olympic which consisted of a mile swim, a 25 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run.  I’m most proud of this post, because it summarizes one of the most challenging feats I’ve ever conquered.  There is nothing more satisfying that crossing the finish line after pushing your body to its limit!

Thank you, Shirley for choosing me as one of your five bloggers to share my 7 Links.  Now it’s my turn to tag 5 more bloggers.  I know you’ll love hearing from these five lovely girls. You may even fall in love with a new blog!

Valerie of City Life Eats

Courtney of Gluten-Free Jesus Freak

Leanne of Healthful Pursuit

Brittany of Real Sustenance

Sunny of And Love it Too!  (read Sunny’s 7 Links Post here!)

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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