Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gluten Free Choices on the Rise

Having a family member who has recently gone gluten free for health reasons has had me keeping an eye out for edible foods as I shop. There are some really bad selections sitting on the shelf according to Megan! She still hasn't found a waffle worth biting into, and some of the choices are not only bad but exceptionally tiny in portion for the price. The other day she bought a box of gluten free chocolate bars. She pulled out the first packet, which was "normal" sized and the little bit of a bar inside slid from end to end. Truly two-bites for the price of three regular bars! It was awful and ended up in the trash anyway.

Gluten free does not mean low in calories or fat. If you're dieting and think gluten-free might be the ticket, be sure to check labels. It may be good for dieters though. If you can only afford to buy half the food you used to and you can only handle two bites instead of half a carton, weight loss is inevitable!

There are some fantastic products making their way to our grocery shelves though. Sunday I had a Betty Crocker Gluten Free brownie that was excellent. I had to slap my hand to keep from gobbling them all up. There's a Bisquick gluten free variety, too. The box is smaller than the regular and the cost is higher, but given the company I'd bet it's a viable option for making those waffles Megan has been craving.

Here are a few places in Georgia that I've found that offer a fairly wide selection of gluten free products:

- The Dekalb Farmers Market - seems like I saw something every time I turned around while shopping there yesterday
- Kroger - especially if the store is one of those that has a large 'health food' section. Be sure to look on the regular shelves, too as that's where I found the Bisquick mix and some other items.
- Wal-Mart - surprised at that one? Our super Wal-Mart in Peachtree City has a fairly large area devoted to gluten-free products plus they have 'name brand' items on the shelves with regular items. I'm not sure if it's area specific or across the board at all Wal-Marts though. The Peachtree City Wal-Mart is one of their test stores, or so I've been told.
- Harry's Market - the one downtown recently had a special gluten-free tasting event. Wish we could have gone! 

I'm sure there are other stores that stock a lot of gluten free. If you have a favorite, let us know and we'll update the list with your comments. Of course, as always, you're going to find a lot of gluten-free in local health food stores. I'd bet that Publix would have a lot, too. I shopped there last night but was on the run and didn't pay much attention.

Check your local restaurants, too. Most of us would expect to find gluten-free choices at most of the Buckhead / Midtown restaurants. If you go on-line you'll find that many of the chain restaurants also have a gluten free listing of items. Megan's favorite place lately is Ruby Tuesdays. Be sure to ask wherever you go, which I know you will if you're gluten free... Even some of the non-chain smaller venues in the most unlikely places are now starting to carry gluten free items, which tells me that "gluten free" is our next low-carb diet, sugar-free diet, type fad that will soon become the norm.

Have a favorite product? Let us know and we'll share the brand and where to buy it. We won't share the brands of items that you don't like, we try to be nice.

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