Fall has become one of my favorite seasons. I used to be a real sucker for spring, and in a way I still am. But as much as I love flowering trees and the promise of summer, I feel a special kinship to the spicy warmth of autumn. I like the idea of hunkering down, cozying up, slowing down. Winter bums me out, but fall, with all its crackling fire smells, flame red leaves, and pumpkin recipes, is my kind of season.
So, in honor of fall (at least on this side of the hemisphere!) here is a round-up of my family’s favorite gluten free foods, which of course can be enjoyed any time of year.
First up, is this: (please pay special attention to the box on the bottom)
The other week my husband asked me to please buy some gluten free waffles that were NOT Van’s brand. No offense to Van’s, but we are a wee bit tired of their waffles. I blame it on my husband who introduced our kids to HOMEMADE waffle-maker waffles and frankly, Little Guy has never been the same since. Unfortunately, our waffle maker broke, and so we have been in a bit of of a waffle funk. Until now.
Nature’s Path Homestyle and Pumpkin Spice Waffles
Bring it on Nature’s Path! You rock! Pumpkin Spice Waffles, be still my heart, because you are THAT good. Try a couple with some almond butter smeared in between, and if you live in Pennsylvania, as I now do, use the local syrup. It’s mighty good.
The Homestyle ones are good, too. Not that I would know since I am a pumpkin addict.
Next up, Little Guy’s breakfast of champions, Enjoy LIfe Cocoa Loco Bars
Is it bad to admit that he eats one EVERY MORNING, and sometimes again after nap?! Because they are fortified and stuff. It’s not actually dessert even though it looks and smells and tastes like dessert. I swear. Little Guy calls them Chocky Bars. Those are the first words he says every morning. No joke.
As grateful as I am to these bars, my true heart belongs to Van’s (see? my loyalty hadn’t been marred by waffle fatigue). Because after three long years, I have FINALLY found a soft and (vaguely) healthy gluten free granola bar for BOTH of my kids. WHA?! No, srsly.
Introducing, Little Guy’s fave, Van’s Peanut Butter Chocolate bars:
I was buying another brand for a while, but they had big chunks of almonds in them and LG kept eating around them (i.e. spitting them out). Since we drive a lot here in PA, it’s not exactly easy for me to catch spit up almonds while zooming by corn fields.
But even more shocking is that I found a bar for Bunky! Even though the kid will not touch peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a ten foot pole (sigh), she loves these bars. Says the jelly tastes like chocolate. Go figure.
FYI one of the other flavors, Cranberry Almond, is also delicious. I only know this because I bought them by accident (and I may do so again).
Now, you know as much as I prefer (in a perfect universe where children amuse themselves for hours at a time and gluten free flours abound in my pantry) to bake from SCRATCH, I have a soft spot for box mixes, such as Betty Crocker and Cherrybrook Farm, I recently tried a new mix: Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Brownie Mix
And WOW, so good! It was a gift from our lovely real estate agent who gave us an ENTIRE gift basket filled with gluten free goodies when we closed on our new place. (I seriously almost cried it was so nice.)
Well, we didn’t waste much time trying it out.
The consensus is THUMB’S UP. All of them.
Also in the gift basket were several other goodies new to us, such as these RAD and healthy Orchard Bars.
They are similar in style and texture to Lara Bars, but I have to say, I liked these more. I tried Cherry Almond Crunch – delish and hearty – as well as the very sweet and delightful Pineapple Coconut Macadamia, which was kind of like eating a Pina Colada. Awesome.
According to their website, they are GMO free, all natural, protein packed as well as gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and kosher. My kids didn’t have any (um, because I ate them all) but I suspect once Little Guy gets over his nut chunk issue, he will enjoy these, too.
Another grown up winner? 180 Snacks Pistachio Trail Mix
This is basically like candy for adults (or kids with superior taste) but healthy(ish). It tastes like fancy nut brittle. I love that it only has 4 ingredients: nuts, cane sugar, rice syrup, salt. 180 Snacks also carries other kinds of wholesome snacks like nutty fruity clusters and bars. I’d definitely give those a try based on my love of this sticky yum trail mix.
One of the other things in the gift basket was a (not so) secret obsession of mine:
Late July Mild Green Mojo Multigrain Snack Chips (OMG)
Have you tried these yet? If not, I highly recommend doing so NOW. They have a wonderful slow burn spice factor that grows with each bite which adds to their addictive quality. I highly recommend. Just beware, you WILL eat the whole bag in one sitting if not careful. I did.
I have to say, after many years of buying groceries from bodegas and the occasional narrow cavernous grocery store, I’m reallly enjoying the Giant suburban grocery store. Not even kidding, it’s called Giant. They have a huge gluten free aisle, so I’m sure we’ll have more favorites soon.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what your current favorites are. Bring it on in comments. My pantry always has room for more (wow, that sounds all WRONG but you know what I mean).
All of the shown products you made look amazing! Those waffles look stunning & that Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Brownie Mix sounds ideal! yum yum!
Thanks Sophie! It was super tasty.
I bet! 😉
Dana they look good those waffles I hope life is going well and you are settling in? I wish I could buy gluten free waffles here, in time, everything takes time.
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super helpful post–thank you!
Thanks so much, I’m glad!
Ok, I haven’t seen the GF Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffles! Yum!
They are great! My husband still prefers the homestyle flavor for some crazy reason, but I’m hooked 🙂
Cocoa Locos!! My son is addicted to those too. I must admit that they aren’t one of my favorite foods (something about the texture), but he sure does, and I support his habit since as you said….they’re fortified!! As parents of gluten-free kids we know how cool that is! Thanks for sharing your list! Hope you’re doing well. Fall must be so nice where you live. Yay for seasons!
Oh my gosh, another fan of the Cocoa Loco! I love that! It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones 🙂 My son literally asks for one EVERY MORNING. He’d eat them all day if he could. My daughter actually went through a similar phase at the exact same age. She liked those EnviroKids chocolate crispy bars and ate up to 3 a day (!) which I allowed because she was newly diagnosed with celiac and needed whatever food she could take.
Fall here is incredible… I am in awe of all the colors on the trees. In Brooklyn we didn’t have so much variety, though there was this patch of amazing trees in our nearby park which was the most beautiful shade of red orange. Yay for seasons indeed! Can’t wait to make your pumpkin cookies 🙂