Month: February 2016

Disappearing Muffins – Simple Mills Review + GIVEAWAY!

 

I guarantee you know the feeling of attending a meeting where there is not a single darn thing you can eat. All day, the meeting drags on, you run out of snacks, and well, that’s that. In college, meetings and organization events are almost always inclusive of some “fun” food element, perhaps Pizza House or NYPD (top pizza places in Ann Arbor) or Insomnia Cookies (served warm with milk).

Well, you better believe that I do my best to do one of the following:

a) If I have a leadership position in the organization–always provide a free-from option.

b) If I’m attending an event I know is serving food–email the leader ahead of the event to ask what is being served so I can try to coordinate my meal/snacks.

c) See if I can’t convince everyone in a small group to let me provide something Brianna-safe to share.

I am finally, finally finished with midterms and happily riding the Amtrak back into Chicago this afternoon. The long week of blood sugar rollercoasters and fairly sleepless nights (inclusive of a scary hypo situation and outrageously loud, recurring Dexcom alarms–for which I am forever grateful) is behind me. However, last Saturday, my engineering capstone design project team had planned an all day meeting. Our team has worked hard to maintain a strong group dynamic–and, not unexpectedly, such a task seems to inevitably involve food.

So, at 8am before our meeting began, I grabbed a new-to-me brand mix for chocolate muffins– Simple Mills. What all began as a kitchen attempt to develop “food that is simple, healthy, and delicious” in North Carolina has now become a growing company based in Chicago currently creating 8 mixes:

  • Artisan Bread Mix
  • Banana Muffin Mix
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix
  • Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • Pizza Dough Mix
  • Pumpkin Muffin Mix
  • Vanilla Cake Mix

Every single mix is free of grain, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, and peanuts. Every. Single. One.

And it gets better–they’re in a 100% gluten-free AND peanut-free facility.

Oh, and even paleo-friendly. Yes, a chocolate muffin.

One of my favorite parts of the Simple Mills website is the full page dedicated to the ingredients. The almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut flour, and cocoa are all listed with their place of origin (always a fun fact to know!) and why they have decided to use them as ingredients as a part of their special brand.

And to all my D-friends reading, almond flour treats the BG very nicely (*I am not a medical professional and of course, #YDMV). They are, indeed, low carb!

Anyhow, these muffins were a quick mix that were perfectly timed to come out warm for the start of the meeting. I put them in an open tupperware (yay for not having serving dishes when you’re a college kid in a tiny apartment eating alone!) and set them on our work table with the other 4 team members. I ran back to my apartment to grab the rest of my stuff and by the time I came back–my muffin count was had already gone from 11 (oops, didn’t get the full 12!) to 6. I took my muffin, devoured it with my piping hot black coffee, and within another 30 minutes, the entirety of my quick morning baking was polished off.

The muffins had the perfect amount of cocoa to have a non-overwhelming chocolate taste in the morning, in addition to not tasting like I was biting into a sugar-filled nightmare. I’d never worked with almond flour on my own, nor in baking mixes before, and I absolutely love it. The muffins were light and airy, and all around delectable. Just ask the 4 non-gluten free team members who each ate 2-3 and were asking for more.

Plus, an unexpectedly simple expression of the few ingredients on the box made me know I was eating things that were good for my body.Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix

I mean, really! Look at that ingredient list. Refreshingly simple.

Have I planted the seed that these mixes are a must-have in your gluten-free/free-from lifestyle? Well, guess what! I’ve partnered with Simple Mills to run a giveaway for all of you lovely ADSG readers! They have generously offered to send pizza dough mix and pancake/waffle mix to one lucky individual, so you have a chance to fall in love like I did.

{enter via RaffleCopter below}
Simple Mills Giveaway!

Take it easy, but take it. [If I made it through this last week, short on groceries/sleep and high on stress/blood sugar levels, something tells me you can too].

Brianna

PS- Each mix even has fun recipes on their site! Get creative with their help, or on your own!

 

Smart Decisions with Smart Flour Foods + Giveaway!

When a huge box was at my door last Friday, before this Valentine’s Day weekend, I knew my true love had arrived–pizza. Rapid consumption of a Smart Flour Foods pizza with my Galentine this weekend was absolutely a smart decision.

Smart Flour Foods motto is “Delicious. Nutritious. Always GLUTEN-FREE.” and boy, does the motto fit the product. After polishing off one of the chicken sausage pizzas as someone who knows the gluten free pizza market well, alongside a friend who knows the gluten-filled pizza market well, we both decided that this product was one of the most delicious thin crust pizzas we’d ever had. Mind you, that’s even coming from a gluten eater. Now I know why this company has won many awards over the last few years–they deserve every single one!

The pizzas come in Uncured Pepperoni, Garden Margherita, Classic Cheese, Tuscan Inspired Uncured Two Meat, Chicken Sausage, and as a stand alone crust. They even come in family sizes!

This multiple food allergy eater was thrilled to see that the only allergen in these pizzas is milk, which I am able to take a Lactaid pill for and carry on with my day. However, the plain crusts have no allergens! Make your own pizza with these delightful crusts!

Additionally, because they are made with ancient grains like sorghum, teff, and amaranth, I was pleasantly surprised to see how nicely my blood sugars cooperated with one of the hardest foods for this T1D! So easy that I’d consider eating one of these pizzas daily.

Finally, these pizzas have no rice flour, which I believe is why I had such a great blood sugar response, but additionally, for all those GF eaters who cannot eat rice–I HAVE FOUND YOUR PIZZA. IT IS CALLING YOUR NAME. IT IS DELICIOUS.

My contact at Smart Flour has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and he’s as invested in proving the deliciousness of these products to you as I am! Smart Flour Foods has decided to sponsor a fantastic giveaway, complete with Smart Flour Swag, copupons, and free products!

{Enter below via RaffleCopter}

What are your favorite pizza toppings–what should be Smart Flour’s next creation? I vote for chicken and broccoli.

Smart Flour Foods Rafflecopter giveaway

Take it easy, but take it. These delicious pizzas will make your day!

Brianna

Beloved Products for My Beloved Readers – Enjoy Life Foods Giveaway!

Dearest ADSG readers-

I want to take a moment to express my extraordinary gratitude for all of you as readers, as we get closer to the holiday of hearts and love! Without you as readers, and the friends you refer to my posts, I’d simply be writing for myself–I now know that I’ve begun to develop a real community of people here. Plus, I would not have nearly as many companies interested in reviews (have you all noticed the increase in product reviews lately?! So exciting!)

So, with all of that love-dovey mush in mind, I am proud to finally sponsor a giveaway for all of you!

Enjoy Life Foods was kind enough to sponsor this Valentine’s Day giveaway, as part of their Sweet Freely campaign. One of my lucky readers will receive a love-filled box complete with ELF Pancake+Waffle Mix, Dark Chocolate Morsel,s a *free* product coupon (your choice!) and a heart-shaped pancake stencil! 

Now, what could be more love-filled than that free-from box?!

To enter my giveaway, you have a few options:

  1. Follow me on Twitter (@briwolin) and post your favorite allergy-friendly Valentine’s Day treat. Tag both me and @enjoylifefoods with the hashtag #SweetFreely.
  2. Follow me on Instagram (trying to increase my presence there! breezygltnfreezy) and find the post of the picture below. Follow the instructions there!
  3. Comment on this post with the story of the moment you felt most loved!
  4. Refer a friend to this post (and the above entry methods) and have them post their favorite friendship story with you! Valentine’s Day is absolutely about the most important of all love–that between friends! Ensure they mention your full name, so I know you referred them!

Can’t wait to see your treat ideas, love stories, and friend comments!

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Take it easy, but take it.

Sending lots and lots of love to all of you!

Brianna

Holy Crepe!

This past weekend, breakfast was forever changed for this 20-something type 1 diabetic/celiac/multiple food allergy breakfast lover.

Usually, I stick with the items I’ve made standard–gluten free, allergy safe, and an insulin dose I know works every single time (okay, let’s be real, that’s NEVER true–but it’s pretty darn close with these items). Things like gluten free oatmeal, Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt, berries, clementines, eggs, cheese sticks, turkey bacon–you catch my drift.

However, when a glorious package arrived at my door from Whole Note Baking Mixes, compelte with crepe mix, I think I did a literal happy dance. I’ve never I had never been able to eat a crepe before–simply saw them as enticing little skinny pancakes (which meant I recognized it was essentially a low carb pancake and goodness knows what havoc pancakes normally wreak on the Dexcom graph).

Of course, I immediately invited my best friends over for a delicious Sunday brunch little crepe bar last weekend. One of my best friends has a twin sister who eats gluten free for her arthtritis, so she’s become more and more exposed to the GF world in our friendship. My other best friend stretches the limits of my food creativity, as she is vegetarian and thus I’ve learned to make lots of fun Brianna-safe veggie meals with her. Sunday at 10:30am rolled around, and we were rearing to go with a fun morning of gluten free crepes!

The little “bar” I put together consisted of sliced banana, chocolate chips, sugar free syrup, Melt margarine, and a little pack of Big Slice kettle cooked apple (boysenberry+chocolate flavor). We were set. I added the eggs, canola oil, and unsweetened almond milk to the mix (per instructions, but could use any milk you want), whipped it with my little hand mixer, and heated some butter in the pan.

Now, you don’t need to have a special crepe pan or skill to make these! All I did was put 1/4 cup in the pan and immediately swirl the pan around to let the batter become a wide circle. Tah-dah! Crepe master over here. [see photos below for evidence!]

I warned the girls that gluten free baking/cooking doesn’t exactly result in pliable goodies, so folding these up wasn’t likely going to be an option (they’d informed me that usually crepes are folded around the toppings, rather than just sticking them all on top, as I had done). BUT GUESS WHAT?! They folded. Perfectly, easily, beautifully. [again, see photos below for evidence!]

And not only did they fold, they tasted absolutely incredible. I honeslty have not found a gluten free mix I have loved this much in a very long time. Did I eat a few too many with too many toppings? Absolutely I did. But the occasional spike on the Dexcom is absolutely worth it–living with T1D does not ever mean not living. And gosh darn it, I needed/wanted/loved that 3rd crepe.

Though they’re only sold in Texas stores, all the Whole Note Mixes are available online. I cannot wait to try the other mixes they so graciously sent me in exchange for this honest review–and if the crepe mix is any indication, I’ll be hooked.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna

PS- The crepe mix box comes with two smaller mix packets inside! Which means I still have a whole other batch that awaits me–let’s see how long it takes me to make them 🙂

 

The fun photo evidence of a crepe-filled morning!

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Beautiful batter with all that red kitchen gear 🙂
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And off we go! Crepe Chef Extraordinaire!
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The crepe bar! AKA coffee table.
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Light and thin!

 

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HOLY CREPE, THEY FOLD! AND ROLL UP!

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One of my best friends with her creation!

No Carbs on the Moon

I am always, always, always skeptical of salads as full meals. When I was little, salads were simply a big bowl of lettuce meant for a pet bunny, not for human consumption. However, as I’ve aged (to a ripe 20-something), my salad expertise has increased and I now know, with 100% certainty, that I can make a huge loaded salad—100% carb free meal—and be undoubtedly full and satisfied at the end.

A few nights ago, I made the most glorious salad after a long day and in the middle of a pile of work that looked like it was going to take all night. To top it off with a crunch, I used a new-to-me product—Moon Cheese! These beautiful crunchy tidbits are 100% cheese. That’s right, even the packaging says so: “INGREDIENTS: JUST CHEESE” [Of course the full cheese ingredients are on the back, but let’s not get overly intricate here].

Currently, Moon Cheese comes in 3 flavors—cheddar, pepper jack, and gouda. I was in a super cheesy mood, so I went for the typical cheddar. Let me tell you—these were not only the ideal complement to my salad, but a seriously fun snack to munch over the last few days! Not to mention, the simplest ingredient label makes life easy and there isn’t a single carbohydrate. That’s right, fellow diabetics, we have landed on the moon and apparently there are no carbs up there. [ps- book me on the next shuttle]

So, here’s what I threw in my huge salad—for those of you who are interested:

-iceberg lettuce

-hearts of palm (perfect can to stick in your cabinet and pull out when in need of a fun veggie)

-bell pepper

-Tribe Classic Hummus

-shredded mozzarella cheese (okay, my cheese addiction is now public)

-sliced grilled chicken (Tyson frozen, ready-to-go strips!)

-olive oil and balsamic vinegar

-MOON CHEESE.

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Got my little bites of the moon!

 

Now, the real trick will be preventing myself from eating my remaining packages over the next 3 days. I already tried to hide them from myself—doesn’t work very well.

 

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna