Thursday, December 29, 2011

Udi's - Healthy Foods that Happen to Be Gluten Free

I just had the opportunity to review some all-natural, gluten free breakfast foods by Udi's, a wonderful little natural foods company that has recently been getting its products into bigger chains such as Walmart and Ralph's Super Markets. An important move, in my opinion, since not all of us are lucky enough to have a Whole Foods Market in our town.
PERSONAL REVEAL: I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 9 years ago and have been gluten free ever since. Honestly, it really hasn't been a huge struggle. Gluten had made me nauseous and malnourished my entire life. By the time I was finally diagnosed in my thirties I was already eating organic and living a green lifestyle - so one more healthy change wasn't a big deal. That said, there have been a few things I missed that I simply could not find a decent replacement for in the gluten-free world. So when Udi's sent me a package of their products, I was thrilled to find it actually contained many of  those items: muffins, bagels and real granola.

So - let's start with the muffins. Udi's sent a pack of their Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins which were good, for sure, but nothing earth shattering. If you ask me, it's hard to go wrong with chocolate muffins, but it's also hard to impress with them. The Udi's Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins, on the other hand, were outstanding. I hadn't had a blueberry muffin in 10 years. Sad, I know. But the ones I recall from my gluten days tasted like fake cake stuffed with colored sweet tarts. Blech! I honestly never met a blueberry muffin I even half-way liked. Then came Udi's Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins  - which do not taste artificial at all. More like spongy, light, blueberry scones - if you will - topped with just the right amount amount of sugary crunch (check out the sugar crystals on this one - yum!)
Gluten Free Muffins by Udi
Next - I just had to indulge in the Udi's Plain Gluten Free Bagels. It was Christmas morning - and my family decided to help me. My two daughters LOVE plain bagels with cream cheese, but they are not on a gluten free diet, so I thought they might baulk at the density of the Udi's bagels. Once warmed, however, the Udi's Gluten Free Bagels took on a light, chewy texture that we didn't expect and my gluten-eating girls loved them! My mother-in-law, who was dressing a turkey for our family dinner later that night, decided to add some fresh chopped turkey liver to her bagel. The liver was a real hit with the grown ups - not so much with the kids.

Gluten Free Bagels by Udi
Lastly, Udi's sent me a bag of their gluten-free Cranberry Granola to try, which magically tastes like the 1970s. I'd given up on gluten-free granola, as all the other brands I'd tried tasted like carnival treats and nothing like a hearty, breakfast food that would stay in your stomach and not give you a sugar rush. I paired the Udi's Cranberry Granola with organic, plain lowfat yogurt and a squirt of organic raw agave and the combination powered me through the entire morning.
If you're looking for light, delicious, all-natural foods that just happen to be wheat, soy, dairy AND gluten free, then the Udi's products are definitely worth a try. Check out their complete array of gluten free products at