My love affair with coconut water

I’m having a love affair with coconut water.  There…I’ve said it. 

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Top Five Gluten Free Resources of 2010

2010 was my first full year of being gluten free.  There are countless resources that helped me get through the year, but here are the top five that I referenced on a regular basis…

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Bakery on Main Soft & Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars

Bakery on Main has just upped the ante in the gluten free granola bar category! I love their new line of Soft & Chewy granola bars.

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2011 Food Trends

The experts’ predictions for 2011 food and restaurant trends are out…and it’s looking good for those of us who have to eat gluten free.  Read on for a summary of the various trends we gluten avoiders can look forward to in the coming year.

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Gluten Free Holiday Cookies

With cookie swaps on the calendar every day, I thought I’d share two of my favorite gluten free cookie recipes.  The cupcake cookies are great for an afternoon of cooking fun with the kids and the ChocoCocoNut cookies are a healthy indulgence for kids of all ages.


Holiday Cupcake Cookies

These soft cookies with vanilla frosting are perfect for decorating for the holidays.  Sprinkles, colored sugar crystals and natural food coloring (for frosting) will get your kids into the kitchen in no time.

Cookie Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 ¼ cups almond flour

 Frosting Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet.  Mix all of the cookie ingredients together in a bowl.  Roll the dough into ½-inch balls and place them onto the cookie sheet.  Press down to flatten.  To make holiday shapes, roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper and use your favorite cookie cutters. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.  Allow to cool.

While the cookies are in the oven, beat (with a mixer) the frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread frosting over and to edge of cookies.  Decorate as you desire.

Makes 15-20 cookies.  

ChocoCocoNut Cookies

These cookies are gloriously rich and satisfying without containing any grains, gluten, dairy or refined sugar. An indulgent treat you can feel good about eating.  


2 cups walnut pieces

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 egg whites, whisked until frothy

1/8 cup plus 3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup coconut flakes

½ cup large semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet. Grind the walnut pieces and cinnamon in a small food processor to a flour-like consistency.  Mix the walnut cinnamon mixture with the eggs, honey and vanilla extract to make a batter. Mix in the coconut flakes.  Batter should thicken.  Toss in chocolate chips. Drop equal-sized portions of batter onto cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

Makes 12 cookies.

the Gluten Free Bar – Review and FREE giveaway

There is a new gluten free bar in town…and, sensibly enough, it is called The Gluten Free Bar.

I am not a big fan of energy bars and only eat the brands that are made with real ingredients, so when the founders contacted me to send samples for me to try, I have to admit I was skeptical about whether I would like this new gluten free bar.   

To my surprise, I do like this new player in the gluten-free category.  The Gluten Free Bar comes in two flavors, peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate.  Organic dry roasted peanuts is the first ingredient in both.  Followed by organic brown rice syrup, dates, organic agave nectar, soy protein, semi-sweet chocolate (only for the peanut butter chocolate flavor), organic brown rice, whole flax seeds, vanilla and sea salt.

I wish brown rice syrup wasn’t second on the list, but overall it’s a nice ingredient statement.

The taste and texture is of real crushed peanuts, a refreshing change from the many airy, empty-calorie options out there.  And it is a dense, satisfying bar.  The healthy fats, vegetarian protein and fiber really filled me up.

The nutrient contents of the two bars range from:

  • 235 – 240 calories
  • 9.5 – 10 grams of total fat; 1.5 – 2.5 grams of which are saturated fat
  • 2 – 2.5 grams of fiber
  • 13 – 14.5 grams of sugar
  • 12 – 13 grams of protein

There are a few things I’d be remiss not to mention.  The bar is a little sweet for my taste, but by no means overly sweet.  Both from a taste and nutrition perspective, I’d like to see some of the brown rice syrup and agave nectar taken out.  I think it would still be be very tasty and the sugar content would be lowered (note that the “sugars” content on the nutrition facts panel includes both natural and added sugars, so some of the sugar content is coming from the peanuts, flax and brown rice).

One last thing.  While I love the rich peanut butter taste, I didn’t recognize much chocolate in the peanut butter chocolate flavor.  So, to save myself the additional 5 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat and 1.5 grams of sugar that are in the peanut butter chocolate variety, I will probably stick to buying the peanut butter flavor only.

Overall, I do like this product and will incorporate it into my gluten-free bar repertoire when I want a bar with a little more treat to it.

The first two people to comment on this blog post will receive free samples of The Gluten Free Bar, so please make sure to include your email.

We welcome all comments, but would like to see you share the characteristics (i.e., taste, texture, high protein, high fiber, low fat, etc.) you look for when purchasing a gluten free bar.  With this feedback the founders can incorporate your preferences as they improve and make new products. 

For purchasing information, go to

Tomorrow, December 4th – Win Two FREE Nutrition Consultations

Every day in the month of December, “Silvana’s Gluten Free Holiday Cookie Countdown” will feature  a different baker’s gluten-free cookie recipe and their FREE giveaway product or service. 

My gluten-free cookie recipe and giveaway will be featured TOMMORROW.  If you want to win TWO FREE NUTRITION CONSULTATIONS, all you have to do is click here.  On the home page of Silvana’s blog, Dish Towel Diaries, you will see a banner on the right hand margin for the Holiday Cookie Countdown and a link to my name and cookie.  Click and it will take you to my recipe, where you can submit a comment for entry to win my giveaway, two free nutrition consultations.

Good luck and enjoy the recipe!