I consider myself to be a long-time gluten free almost expert. I don’t know everything about being gluten free and I still have a lot to learn, but when it comes to taking care of myself and finding things to eat at home, when travellling and at restaurants, I consider myself to be pretty good. The hardest task when it comes to being gluten free, in my opinion, is trying to find good gluten free breakfast choices that keep you full until lunchtime. My go-to morning meal tends to be cereal, but recently Udi’s UK sent me a box of (mostly) breakfast alternatives to try – and I really enjoyed some of them!
The first package that got opened was one that reminded me of my past. My father has an evening routine that has been the same for as long as I remember. He comes home from work, sits and watches tv. At 7 pm he yells out “NEWS” so that everyone in the house knows it’s time for news, just in case they want to watch….During the news he eats dinner and then after news he continues to watch his regularly scheduled programs which have changed over the years from local shows on TTT (Channel 2) to Charmed on Cable (seriously – he’s a huge Charmed fan) to whatever movie happens to be showing. At some point during the evening he will get up, wander to the kitchen and look for snacks. He is not gluten free (yet – we are trying to work on him) so he will eat whatever snacks are around. My Mom has had a “snack cupboard” in the kitchen for the family since we were small. It was originally formed to store snacks that she put in our lunchkits or that we would eat when we were playing after school. Now that we’ve all moved on and out (for the most part), it’s my Dad’s cupboard (although he may deny that). The snacks in the cupboard have changed over the years from corn curls to tortilla chips to cashews…but one thing that she has avoided buying for years are wafers.
The first package I opened from my present from Udi’s was the gluten free lemon wafers. Now I will officially announce that lemon has overtaken chocolate as my favourite flavour….and that wafers is possibly the easiest and most enjoyable thing to eat gluten free. I believe these have potato starch in them (I am guessing – I didn’t actually look) and they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. In fact, I bet if I served these to my Father, he would do the same thing I did. That is,
eat the entire pack in one sitting almost sinfully enjoy them. They are one of his favourite snacks, and one of mine, but they are dangerous for us because they are “more-ish”, really easy to eat and too damn good for our own good. So, it is no wonder that these were the first of the Udi’s package that got consumed and the one product I will try to prevent myself from buying again because I’m supposed to be losing weight for my sister’s wedding come November.
The product that was my second favourite was the gluten free almond vanilla flavour granola. I miss granola and although I do cook and sometimes experiment with foods, I’m too lazy to go through the trouble of making my own granola (although I’ve been told it’s incredibly easy and simple). I am partially nervous about making really nasty granola, just in case that’s possible, and ending up with a whole lot of it that little old me would HAVE to consume (because God knows the Luv Luv won’t) and hate. I guess that’s a bit of my anxiety flaring up – stopping me from doing something I long to do in fear of failure. Anyway, so when I opened this granola, it replaced my regular morning gluten free cereal and regular snacks because it was amazing. Again, this product is so good that my Father (and the Luv Luv) would probably eat it and not guess it was gluten free – and if I find it in the grocery, it will definitely become one of my gluten free breakfast choices on a daily basis.
When I first went gluten free I went nuts buying gluten free bars. I think it was part of the “OMG WHAT CAN I EAT?!?!” panic that sets in when you first go gluten free and before you realize that it’s a much better idea to concentrate on what you CAN eat than what you CAN’T. I had a cupboard full of Larabars and even schmoozed them on Twitter to see if I could get some sort of stockpile of them for cheaper for me. Every time we went to the grocery (Ambrosia in North York, Canada) I stocked up on at least 12 of these bars weekly – and would eat them all by the next grocery visit too! If I was going on holiday I went crazy, stocking up on up to 30 bars at a time, especially if I were going to Trinidad which (especially at that time) was not gluten free friendly. It took me a LONG time to decide that Larabar were my bar of choice in Toronto, because most of the bars I picked up were “high protein” and tasted like chalk or included loads and loads of chocolate or included dairy in their product. I really wish that I had tried the Udi’s Soft and Chewy Apple Flavoured Bars back then – because it would have helped me a lot with my bar addiction – or then again, I’d probably have ended up having these for breakfast instead of cereals. Anyway, that’s exactly what happened. I put the box of bars near my “snack” area (yes I have one in my kitchen) and once it was opened, the bars disappeared quite quickly. These bars are amazing – if you like fig newtons, they have a similar sort of texture in your mouth, but with a sweet apple-ey taste rather than the fig taste, and a bar instead of the single fig newton. They are fillling and full of energy and will keep you satisfied all morning till lunch – not something you can say about that many gluten free products these days!
Finally, I tried the tiger bloomer. I’m not much of a bread person. My Mom used to send us to school with stewed chicken, stir fries, noodles etc. etc. rather than sandwiches and as much as pre-gluten-free one of my favourite things to do in the world were scarfing down plain white bread, rotis, “hops” bread (Trini type of bread) and indulging in my Mom’s world-famous bread pudding, I haven’t had much bread in the last few years. So, I am no longer a bread lover and I have not finished it yet, but was still impressed with it. I think that if gluten free bread is a big part of your diet, this is a great option. The texture of this bread is really similar to what I remember white bread to be like – and certainly looks the part – soft white interior with crunchy crust….I may try to make a bread pudding with the remainder of this loaf!I love this bread toasted with my dairy free spread as a snack – and have always loved toast. There’s something familial and comforting about it – the smell of bread toasting, the way my spread melts into the warm toast, the crunch when I first bite in…..mmm … it’s probably more an experiential thing than anything else. If you are a bread lover and toast fanatic, this is definitely a must-try product.
In the end, any of these products would be a welcome product in my daily breakfast (yes, even the wafers, although I’d have to have them under lock and key!) and I think would definitely be helpful to anyone on a gluten free diet searching for breakfast options. So Udi’s have done it again….have you discovered any other Udi’s products I should try for breakfast?
***I was compensated for this post by way of product, but regardless of compensation or not, the opinions expressed in this post, as in all posts on Bewildered Bug, are honest and my own. ***