Not that long ago, I hosted my first gluten-free extreme—another meaning of gfe—cookbook review and giveaway. It was extreme because eight cookbooks were being given away at once. That extreme giveaway was so well received that there will definitely be more book/cookbook giveaways, but this time, I’m looking at products. Quality products made from whole foods (and not tons of ingredients that make you scratch your head or worse run in the opposite direction) definitely are part of the gluten free easily (gfe) approach. The gfe approach is real, whole foods first, then mainstream, healthier processed foods, and last, a few gluten-free specialty products. I’m sharing reviews of eight products that fit into the last two categories today. There will be 14 winners in total.
A quick word about giveaways … I’ve debated from time to time on whether or not to do them from time to time and to be honest, I turn down a lot of offers to share products with you. However, the reason I continue to do them here on gfe—if the products meet my gfe approach—is that each time I share, many of you state that you were not aware of the products. With living gluten free, it’s important to know about all the resources that are available to us whether they are food products, skin care products, resource books, cookbooks, etc. Sometimes one healthy food product can make our lives easier, one resource book may allow us to expedite our healing, or one cookbook may be the one that makes our family love eating gluten free. You get the picture. On to my reviews and today’s giveaways, which I hope you’ll find worthwhile.
~ Jones Dairy Farm (Facebook)
Despite the name, the sausage and most of the other products like ham, bacon, liverwurst, and Canadian bacon from the Wisconsin-based Jones Dairy Farm are both gluten free (certified by the GFCO) and dairy free. Per the company’s website, only one of their products (scrapple) contains gluten. There is no information on the dairy-free status of their products, but a number of products that I checked did not contain dairy. Read labels if you’re both gluten free and dairy free to ensure these are safe for you to eat.
Mr. GFE and I love sausage and it was easy to say yes to this product because it’s a real food, mainstream product that fits the gfe approach. My local upscale store carried only the All-Natural Pork Sausage, Little Links, so I picked up a few packages courtesy of Jones Dairy Farm. I loved that the ingredients read: pork, water, salt, spices, in a natural lamb casing. (Note that not all of their products contain such simple, natural ingredients. For example, there are nitrates in the liverwurst and bacon products.) I stuck the sausage in the freezer with nothing specific in mind, but when Irene came through town this sausage came in handy! Mr. GFE and I were on the way to the airport for our Bermuda trip when we got the call that our flight had been cancelled. So we turned around and headed home to stay put until Irene passed. Of course, I had mostly cleared out the refrigerator in preparation for being away a week. But I found a zucchini that had been left behind there, plus potatoes and coconut milk in the pantry, and I pulled a package of this sausage out of the freezer. With some coconut oil and just a few spices/seasonings added (as the sausage itself has lots of flavor) to the other ingredients, everything came together pretty quickly for a delicious skillet supper. It was definitely a comfort enjoying it for dinner as Irene raged around us. (Incidentally, we did get to fly out for our vacation a few days later, and I’ll be sharing my gluten-free Bermuda experience soon.)
There will be two winners of Jones Dairy Farm products. Each will receive five coupons for free products (up to $4.99 value). Total value of each prize is $24.95.
When I received an email from the owner of MadeOn Skin Care, Renee Harris, my interest was piqued immediately. Renee stated that her company specifically targeted people with dry skin. With our “woodstove season” about to start, that factor sounded really good. But I was even more smitten when I read about the ingredients in these products. She stated, “Our flagship product, the Beesilk Hard Lotion Bar, contains only 3 ingredients (coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter) and relieves dry skin and many cases of eczema. Because the ingredient list is short, it’s easy for people with allergies to identify quickly any ingredients that their skin might react to.” As one who often picks up skin care products and immediately puts them back on the shelf after a quick scan of a long listing of chemicals (even when they are gluten free), I was thrilled with the ingredients in MadeOn Skin Care products. I loved that the company used beeswax as one of their ingredients. In fact, it’s a very key ingredient. If you’re a long-time reader, you know about our love of honey. While we extract our honey in such a way that almost all the wax is left so that the bees do not have to work to recap honey, I still love products that are made from beeswax. Using beeswax as a natural, truly non-chemical way to keep moisture in the skin is both simple and brilliant in my opinion. It worked wonderfully for the MadeOn hard lotions and lip balms that I tried. I was pleased with each and every product, but I have to admit the Au Chocolat hard lotion was especially appealing. Hard lotion means the product is in a solid state until it’s rubbed on the skin and is softened into lotion by one’s body temperature. I admit that a chocolate skin care product does sound a bit odd, but spreading chocolate-scented lotion on ones legs is not a bad deal. The intoxicating aroma wears off after a short while, but it’s certainly delicious during application and for a short time after. (By the way, I may or may not have eaten a handful of chocolate chips after applying said lotion.) Finally, in addition to the standard sized hard lotions (about the size of a deck of cards), there are also travel-sized containers, which I love.
One winner will receive a $25 gift MadeOn Skin Care certificate (and free shipping, of course), so she/he gets to choose the products they’d like best.
Yes, before you, my veggie-loving friends, got super excited, I had to indicate that this review and giveaway is another one for the dogs. Hopefully, that still excites some of you though. If you’re like me, a treat for your beloved pooch makes you just as happy if you’d been handed something tasty yourself! When Sonny and I did our joint review praising Loving Pets gluten-free Barksters a while back where I shared the benefits of feeding one’s dog grain free/gluten free, I mentioned that we’d also been promised some of the gluten-free vegetarian dog treats. Well, the folks from Loving Pets sent us some Vegetopia treats and a beautiful Dolce serving dish.
Sonny has never been one to fancy fruit (like his “dad,” Mr. GFE, he is more of a carnivore) and to be honest, he turned his nose up at the Vegetopia treats. They looked great though. They are simply dried fruits: apple, banana, carrot, pineapple, and sweet potato. So I passed the Vegetopia treats on to a friend who has a very cute, super energetic beagle named Snickers who loves fruit (and verboten chocolate chip scones, I might add, but that’s a discussion for another day). My friend reported that Snickers was a bit of unsure of the texture at first (after all, dried pineapple is pretty dissimilar to fresh pineapple), but he’s been enjoying the treats ever since. Maybe your dog is a fruit lover and needs a sporty new dish. These are treats that you won’t mind handling as they are free of everything except their only ingredient—fruit! Here’s a closing thought on one reason that we love our dogs so much: “The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” – Anonymous
Loving Pets is giving away three bags of Vegetopia treats and one of these spiffy new dog dishes to one winner. (You get to select the color and size of your dog’s dish.) Retail value is about $25.
Hard cider. Amazingly delicious, smooth, and organic hard cider. Made from two single ingredients …apples and yeast. Yes, that’s it. Nothing else added. I have to admit that it was Son who introduced me to JK’s Scrumpy organic Orchard Gate Gold cider. Son is super sensitive to gluten and other ingredients like I am. He stated that JK’s Scrumpy is the only hard cider on the market that he loves drinking, which does not leaving him feeling “wonky” the next day. When we were shopping at his favorite local store, I picked up some for both of us. The day after drinking JK’s Scrumpy hard cider, I also felt great, with no wonkiness. And, no, I’m not taking about hangover wonkiness for either of us. Other ciders have much added to them that can contribute to those “off” feelings. The’re’s also J.K’s Solstice Hard Cider that also includes their own maple syrup and is usually available in November.
Hard cider has kept the Almar family farm in Flushing, Michigan going throughout its history—since the 1800s and through four generations—so this product is a win-win for all of us! There is so much great info on the company website including details on the style of cider and how it’s processed and even a recipe for mulled hot cider, but I especially loved reading this statement from owner Jim Koan: “Our cider is not only natural, it is truly organic. It always has been. It’s simply a fact of what we do – and how we do it. We use no insecticides in the farm orchards. Rather, I do what my grandfather did. I have a large flock of guinea fowl that wander about and eat the bugs. Fallen apples that have hit the ground are always a food source for pests, so I let my Berkshire pigs wander the orchard and eat the fallen apples. In a fast-paced, instant gratification society all this may seem a little old fashioned, or not “cost-effective.” But, we have a cider that is not like any other, and the idea of playing around with what makes that happen… well, it just ain’t part of the plan.”
You can also read an explanation of the cider’s name here and see the distributors here (note that there are two pages of distributors so be sure to go to the next page if you don’t see your location). While the folks at JK’s Scrumpy cannot ship their beverages through the mail (due to alcohol laws), they are sharing some of their t-shirts with gfe readers. I don’t know about you, but I love unique t-shirts that feature products I love. Plus, even if the company is unknown to you right now, who doesn’t want to promote a company doing business this way? I don’t have a photo of the t-shirts but they feature the logo shown here and the slogan “Delicious to the Core.”
Six winners will receive JK’s Scrumpy t-shirts (with an approximate value of $15 each). If you’re one of the winners, hopefully, by the time your t-shirt arrives, you will have found a local store that carries JK’s Scrumpy hard cider and been able to sip on some.
I had never heard of Foods Alive before its representative contacted me, but now I’m a true fan. He told me that Foods Alive cold presses flax oil and makes it into salad dressings and offers a full line of super foods like chia seed, hemp seed, flaxseed, goji berries, and more. Their website shares: “Food to nourish your body, mind & soul … Foods Alive is a family-owned company dedicated to creating the healthiest foods. Just like you, we care deeply about the food we put in our bodies, so we only use the highest quality Organic, Vegan, Kosher, & Gluten Free ingredients in the foods we make.” Foods Alive sent me and my support group several flavors of their crackers and a few bottles of flax oil and salad dressings. I especially love their flax crackers. I did not expect that, but if you’re looking for a healthy crunch, Foods Alive offers that in its flax crackers, which come in several different flavors. They sort of look like a nut brittle because they are somewhat randomly shaped small sheet crackers. We sampled all varieties of Food Alive’s products at our two most recent support group meetings and they were a hit with everyone! While we sampled the salad dressings for their original purpose, the folks at Foods Alive suggested that these can be used for dipping cut veggies or using on a wrap as well. You can read additional reviews of their products from their customers on their website.
One winner will receive the following from Foods Alive: one 16-ounce bottle of Mike’s Special Flax Oil Dressing, one 4-ounce bag of Italian Flax Crackers, and one 4-ounce bag of Mexican Flax Crackers. Total value is $29.
I’d been reading about HALFPOPS on other blogs long before the company asked me if I wanted to do a review and giveaway. Many folks love these snacks that are naturally gluten free. “HALFPOPS are partially popped popcorn kernels reminiscent of those found at the bottom of the bowl. Compared to normal popcorn, HALFPOPS are crunchier in texture and pack loads of flavor into each kernel, making for a uniquely satisfying experience. HALFPOPS are all-natural, gluten-free, and air-popped resulting in fewer fat calories than most salty snacks. HALFPOPS are currently available in two flavors: Natural Butter & Pure Ocean™ Sea Salt and Natural Aged White Cheddar. With the recent opening of its online store, HALFPOPS are now available with free shipping anywhere in the continental U.S.” Based right outside Seattle, HALFPOPS “intends to do for popcorn lovers what other innovative brands have done for potato, tortilla chip and granola addicts.” One additional note … HALFPOPS donates 1% of its revenue to charitable organizations that help kids with learning disabilities. I always appreciate companies that “give back.”
We received two complimentary cases of HALFPOPS—one of each flavor—for my support group … more than enough for everyone to get to try them and take some home. If you like your treats super crunchy, HALFPOPS might be the perfect snack option. My group and I thought they tasted and crunched similar to corn nuts.
There will be two winners. Each will receive a case of HALFPOPS (a mix of both flavors), an approximate $24 value.
While I, many of my friends and support group members, and Crunchmaster’s many other fans—both gluten free and gluten-full—have enjoyed Crunchmaster Crackers for quite some time, I’m excited about some of their new varieties. The primary reason is that some of the new flavors don’t contain soy. So there’s now a certified gluten-free, soy-free cracker that is often just right for snacks, appetizers, or as part of one’s lunch. If you are not familiar with Crunchmaster crackers, they are crackers that are heavy on the seeds and grains, providing a better nutritional experience than most crackers. And as I said, they taste terrific, too. Both the 7 Ancient Grains Cracked Pepper and Herb and 7 Ancient Grains Hint of Sea Salt (the latter is also vegan and dairy free) varieties make a fantastic base for tuna salad! Really, I haven’t tried a Crunchmaster cracker that I didn’t like yet, but I appreciate some flavors more than others, and again, I like that Crunchmaster is listening to its fans and offering more flavor option that are free of other allergens. All 11 flavors can be seen here.
Crunchmaster is giving away a 12-pack sampler to one of my gfe readers. It includes three packages of each of the following: White Cheddar Multi-Grain, Roasted Vegetable Multi-Grain, 7 Ancient Grains Hint of Sea Salt and 7 Ancient Grains Cracked Pepper & Herb. The approximate retail value is $40.
~ Goldbaum Products (Ice Cream Cones and Pasta)
Back in the summer, I introduced Free From Gluten as a new sponsor, hosted a giveaway, and then as a consolation prize, ice cream cones were offered at an incredible discount. I ordered several boxes of these cones, which were the Goldbaum brand. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how good they tasted, what great texture they had, and how they did not fall apart. They were far better than the gluten-full cones I remembered from over 8 years ago. I’ve heard that even folks who eat gluten prefer Goldbaum’s ice cream cones. Many of you also got to sample Goldbaum cones through the Free From Gluten discount, and I heard great feedback from you, too. Fast forward a few months, and now Goldbaum has offered to do a giveaway of their cones and their pasta. While I haven’t tried Goldbaum’s pasta yet, I’m anxious to as I’ve read good reviews. But back to the ice cream cones for a moment … I’m always ready for ice cream, even when it’s cold outside. In fact, it was fairly chilly when our last support group meeting was held, but nobody turned away ice cream cones for dessert. Oh, and they all think the cones are wonderful, too.
You should also know that you can use ice cream cones for more than just as a delicious delivery system for ice cream. They’re actually great for holiday fun and creativity. Check out these Hocus Pocus Hats (aka Witches’ Hats) that Katie Chalmers (Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?) shared on her Facebook page. Aren’t they great? Or how about planning ahead for the holidays and turning them into Christmas Trees like Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) did in her review post on Goldbaum? If you put Katie’s and Heidi’s ideas together, you could end up with an inverted ice cream cone decorated on a frosted cookie. I’m thinking a large cookie. The tree could be the tree in Rockefeller Center and the cookie could be frosted to be an ice skating rink. What do you think? Hmm, what could we use for the skaters? In case you are wondering where that inspiration came from, I did recently visit New York City and hung out with some really great folks in the gluten-free community: Jules (of Jules Gluten Free Flour and Jules Speaks Gluten Free), Nancy (The Sensitive Pantry), Stephanie (Gluten Free By Nature), Amie (of The Healthy Appleand Easy Eats), Erin (Gluten-Free Fun), and Jill (Glow Gluten Free). I had a marvelous time with these lovely ladies and a few more wonderful folks, but I didn’t make it to Rockefeller Center. It’s long been on my “to do” list though. Next time for sure.
One winner will win three boxes of Goldbaum’s Cocoa Cones, two boxes of Goldbaum’s Sugar Cones, and one package of Goldbaum’s Brown Rice Spirals Pasta for a total value of $29.00.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced in a separate post.
To enter the giveaway, you must at least leave a comment stating the product(s) that interests you most. If you’d like to share your review of any of these products, that would be great as well! You can get additional entries as shown below, being sure to leave a comment for each one.
–Leave a comment here on gfe stating the product(s) that you would most like to win. (Required.)
–Tweet about the giveaway and use @Shirleygfe in your tweet. Leave a comment here. (e.g.,“I tweeted!”)
–Share the giveaway on your Facebook page and tag gfe—gluten free easily. Leave a comment here. (e.g., “I shared on Facebook.”)
–Share the giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment here with the link. (e.g., “I shared the giveaway on my blog. Here’s the link: …”)
This Gluten Free Extreme Product Giveaway ends Monday, October 31, at midnight, Eastern. Good luck to all!
This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.
Full disclosure: All products cited in this giveaway were provided free of charge by the companies listed below. However, this is not a paid post and all the opinions expressed are strictly my own.