Gluten free products you will crave

My original intent with my blog was to offer healthy tips for losing weight.   I hoped that my personal experience with weight loss might help to motivate others. In my 30’s I weighed 145 at my heaviest. Not exactly overweight, but I am very small boned and the weight was never evenly distributed. I tend to accumulate fat on my hips and thighs. At one point I was a size 2 above the waist and a size 12 below the waist. Needless to say, buying a dress or suit became an exercise in frustration. I solved the problem by wearing separates, but I was always envious of women who rocked a little black dress.

I first lost weight by following the Atkins diet and eventually I switched to a modified healthier version of Atkins.  Over the years I have experimented with variations on the theme and have found that I do best when I avoid refined carbohydrates. I am now a lacto-pesce vegetarian and I try to go easy on the grains. When I do eat grains I make sure they are whole grains and not refined and I try to eat no more than a cup a day or a cookie or two a day.

I decided to incorporate into my blog my life experience with Celiac and the challenges it presents. Having Celiac can make things complicated in the grain department.  Celiacs are told to avoid wheat, rye, oats and barley. 10 years ago the gluten free products on the market were so bad they were practically inedible. A lot has changed since then and when I come upon a product I like I will share that with you.

Last week I received a free sample of Jovial’s organic brown rice pasta. There are a lot of gluten free pastas on the market. What makes Jovial’s different? Well I will let them tell it:

“Jovial brown rice pasta is as close to traditional pasta as possible because it’s made in Tuscany by master artisans who have been crafting pasta for over a century. It is pressed with bronze dies and dried at low temperatures for the most authentic flavor.”

Having survived on mostly pasta on a trip from the Cinque Terre in Italy to Sicily in my 30’s I was looking forward to trying their products.

I cooked their brown rice “caserecce” shaped pasta for about 12 minutes. I like my pasta a little on the soft side, not al dente. I put a little organic pasta sauce on it, mixed in a little sauteed kale and generously coated it with grated aged parmesan cheese. It was awesome! I am used to gluten free pasta being a little on the chewy side with zero flavor.  If I closed my eyes I would not know this pasta was made from brown rice. It had the perfect texture and flavor of a traditional wheat pasta…but it’s healthier because it is made from brown rice.  This will definitely be my pasta of choice from now on. I highly recommend it.

They also sent me a free sample of their vanilla cream filled cookies (The picture shows the chocolate variety and they also make one filled with figs). The cookies are made with rice flour and organic ingredients and are made in Italy like their pasta.  Warning: these cookies are not low carb or low calorie and they are addicting!! They are about 80 calories per cookie. I sometimes treat myself to no more than 2 a day because they do contain cane sugar and sugar for me is a trigger. But there is something about these cookies…omiGod….they are so yummy! I tried their chocolate cookie with the vanilla cream. The chocolate cookie is hard and crunchy with a hint of chocolate flavor and not cloyingly sweet. The inside is very creamy and sweet…a perfect juxtaposition with the cookie. I especially like them served right out of the freezer.  In a way they remind me of a gourmet Oreo cookie. The best compliment you can pay a gluten free product is to say that you would eat it even if it wasn’t gluten free. That applies to Jovial’s pasta and cookies. The cookies are calling my name right now…gotta go!

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