Wow, what a year! We started this little project in March of 2012, and we’ve grown so much in the past year. Obviously, this couldn’t have happened without you, so – thank you! Thank you helping us grow into what we are today and what we will become in the future with your support. Big virtual hug to all of you! Or maybe the cat will just give you a kiss…
Be careful, he’s not gluten free…
I used to do a recap on my personal social media accounts with my favorite highlights of the year, but it’s way more fun when we’re talking about food!I got together with Non-GFBF and brainstormed about our favorite parts about this year – as told through food.
Favorite Vacation Nominees: Nominees excluded wedding vacations
Sundance Festival 2012 – Park City, UT
Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo 2012 – Chicago, IL
Gluten Intolerance Group Expo – Portland/Lake Oswego, OR and Seattle, WA
Winner: PORTLAND, OREGON!
Oregon was AMAZING – made better by gluten-free heaven (aka Crave Bakery). On top of Crave, we found some amazing places to eat at in Oregon – like Hopworks Urban Brewery, and Jade Tea House, I would move to Oregon in a heartbeat!
Erica’s Top 10 Product Finds:
This year we saw a lot of subscription boxes pop up. Now, I know that some of them have been out before 2012, but they were new to me, and therefore totally count in my book! I’ve written about many of them – including Gfreely, Tasterie, and Healthy Surprise. In fact, Santa got me a 6-month subscription of Gfreely for Christmas. I love that they’re finding new products for us so we don’t have to – because don’t we have enough to worry about?
Erewhon Strawberry Crisp Cereal
One of my favorite new cereals of the year was the Strawberry Crisp cereal from Erewhon. It’s not a cheap cereal, but man, is it tasty. I love love love this cereal and am so happy I found it in 2012!
Pacific Foods’ Hemp Milk
A great complement to the Erewhon cereal, Pacific Foods sent me some new nut milk to try this year. I had a sample of their hemp milk for the first time ever at the GFAF Expo in Chicago earlier in the year. I was scared and nervous for what hemp tasted like! But, then I realized it was creamy and delicious like milk, but without all the lactose and shenanigans in dairy! I adore hemp milk and use it for baking everything and use it in a treat in cereal. I think Pacific Foods has the BEST hemp milk available on the market today. It comes in Vanilla, Original, and Chocolate (non-GMO to boot!).
Chocolate: Endangered Species Chocolate and Enjoy Life chocolate chips
This year I really tried to make sure that my shelf-stable food was gluten-free the right way. Before this year, I really half-assed my choices and bought a lot of food at Trader Joe’s (where “no gluten ingredients used” is a poor substitute for gluten-free. I was eating a lot of food that was manufactured in the same facilities and on the same equipment of wheat. This included the chocolate! Endangered Species Chocolate is certified gluten-free and made on shared equipment only with nuts (luckily something I don’t have a problem with). Enjoy Life chocolate is incredibly allergy-friendly – free of the 8 common allergens and made in a safe facility. I reviewed their Mega Chunks a few months ago on my site.
I feel pretty, oh so pretty: Red Apple Lipstick
By far some of my favorite products that I’ve discovered this year have been from Red Apple Lipstick. I recently ditched all of Clinque products and really wanted to choose a brand that was confirmed gluten-free and really cared about the GF consumer (as opposed to Clinique that claimed they were allergy friendly but never confirmed what products were safe despite corporate calls, messages, and emails). RAL is fantastic, and on top of being rad people with a mission – their products are great. I showcased their products in several posts this year – with new lipsticks (part II) and eyeshadows.
Microwave Perfection: Organic Bistro Chicken Citron
I reviewed one of Organic Bistro’s gluten-free microwave meals earlier this year with their Turkey Cheddar Bake. Although I hate the idea of highly recommending a frozen dinner – Organic Bistro is REAL food, just frozen. It’s organic, gluten-free, and sustainably sourced. I love Organic Bistro, and if you haven’t shelled out the money for this excellent microwave dinner, you should. They are a lifesaver for quick work lunches dinners! One of my favorites is the Chicken Citron complete with thyme-scented quinoa edamame and sun-dried tomato salad.
Vegan and Gluten Free: Wholesome Chow
I love Wholesome Chow – if you couldn’t tell from all of my posts about them this year (like here and here). I was so happy tof find a vegan gluten-free product (even though I’m not vegan), that tasted so damn good! All of the cupcakes turned out amazing – moist and delicious. No one could tell they were GF, let alone vegan. And they come in gourmet flavors like lavender and spice. Ironically enough, I tried to find some Wholesome Chow at our Whole Foods for tonight’s NYE party at a vegan household and they didn’t stock it. Touche, Whole Foods. Prior Planning….
Liquid Gold: Wellesse Liquid Vitamins
Although Wellesse is an expensive way to take vitamins (these aren’t your local CVS dollar-bin multivitamins), I really feel like they have helped me get on track with my health this year. Although a full review is yet to come, I adore these vitamins – and for someone with a broken digestive tract and sensitive tummy like me – I’m happy to have quick-absorbing vitamins available to make me feel tip-top shape. I love their Digestive 3-in-1 and feel like it really helps my stomach on tough days. I feel like 2012 was the year to turn my health around and Wellesse was part of this.
The Other Half’s Choices:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabars
Sometimes I think that if I wasn’t around for a week to decide what restaurants we go to or what we make for dinner, that he would just eat these Larabars for literally every meal. I’m kind of weirded out by how many of these he can consume in a day.
Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams
Although I wrote about Dark Chocolate Dreams here, he practically lives off this stuff now. We might need an intervention.
Glutino Pretzel Sticks
Enough said – we can’t eat enough Glutino Pretzel sticks. Again, an intervention.
Beanitos / Way Better Snacks / Pop Chips
We’ve found some great chips this year – including Pop Chips (who doesn’t love a chip found literally everywhere that we can eat), Way Better Snacks (that we reviewed and loved here), and Beanitos (that thankfully our local Safeway carries).
Rudi’s Pizza Crusts
This year, we found out that I was getting sick every time we went to our local favorite pizza joint that served GF pizza. Although we have yet to figure out if it was actually the pizza or the 10 million other things we eat there (shamelessly) – we tried to make our own pizza a lot this year. We tried many different crusts, but the non-GFBF settled on the Rudi’s GF Pizza Crusts as his favorite choice.
What were your favorites this year? Did you discover a new product?
What still needs to be created for our community?