I was invited to the headquarters of NOW Foods a couple weeks ago to learn about even more of their allergen friendly products, something I gratefully accepted. They sent me home with an awesome NOW Foods Allergen Friendly gift basket after our cooking class and gave me a duplicate version to give away to a lucky reader. Tasting things for yourself is such a great way to prove how yummy they actually are, and I’ve been having a blast with the products they so generously gifted to me.
I’ve known about NOW Foods for awhile, partly because of Little Miss’s dairy allergy, as I’m always on the lookout for new substitutes I an use in cooking and baking. We also have friends with major allergies to just about everything who require ingredients that generally go beyond my pantry. Last year, when I used the NOW Foods mix to make chocolate chip cookies and banana bread for them, they were so over the moon that they could actually eat something at a party that I’m still hearing about it today.
Not only are the NOW Foods products allergen friendly (when you look at the major allergens out there), but they actually taste good and have a consistency that comes as close to traditional foods as I’ve seen. In the past year, NOW Foods has come out with even more items and product lines, and I’m so excited to be able to use them.
My personal favorite isn’t even out yet. NOW Foods has come up with an organic, allergen friendly pasta that actually acts like pasta. It has the same consistency as pasta and doesn’t get gummy the way traditional gluten free pasta does. With just three ingredients – amaranth, quinoa, and brown rice – it’s free of the pesky allergens that some of my friends have to common gluten replacements like chickpeas. It will be coming in August/September, with a $4.99 price for an 8 ounce package. I cannot wait to test this out!
Well, maybe that’s my second favorite. My complete, 100% favorite new item is from the Ellyndale Organics line. We cook with coconut oil all the time due to Little Miss’s dairy allergy. It’s the best substitute for most items, but there’s always that slight hint of coconut in everything we make. You get used to it, but it’s still there. Now there are Organic Coconut Infusions that come in two “flavors” – butter and garlic. Yes, the coconut oil actually tastes just like butter, yet it’s still vegan and gluten free. The garlic is perfect for cooking, sauteeing vegetables or adding to a couscous dish. Spread on bread, it is amazing. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to take a single photograph of these spreads before Little Miss opened them up and started testing. She gave them a huge thumbs up, and I immediately renewed my status as Best Mom Ever. They’re $10.99 for a 12 ounce jar, and it was amazing in the cookies we made.
That doesn’t even touch the line of oils that are perfect for every possible use in the kitchen, whether you’re doing a stir fry or making a salad dressing. The line includes organic sunflower oil, organic canola oil, rice bran oil, almond oil, avocado oil, organic coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and organic extra virgin olive oil. We did a taste test of them all, and it’s was fascinating to me how different they were and how we each had our favorites.
And of course there are the baking mixes (and the all purpose flour). They are all produced in a dedicated allergen friendly facility to ensure that they’re free of all the major allergens. And they taste amazing. The gluten free baking and pancake mix is great for a variety of uses from pancakes to muffins and more. I love how you can so easily use it to customize your favorite recipe. The chocolate fudge brownie mix is to die for (yep, we used that one up already – yum!) and the chocolate chip banana bread mix isn’t too far behind, and I already got the thumbs up from my friends for the chocolate chip cookie mix. It’s hard to believe these are all free of gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, dairy, shellfish, and more. There is definitely some magic happening here.
There are also so many other fun products from their Sugarless Sugar that is made from Better Stevia and minimizes the bitter aftertaste many people experience with stevia (I can still taste it a bit, but I’m hypersensitive to that flavor). The Better Stevia Lemon Twist interestingly doesn’t give me the same aftertaste when mixed in beverages, however. We had an amazing watermelon chiller flavored with jalapeno and the Better Stevia Lemon Twist that was a perfect complement to our dinner.
We used the black chia seed, tri-color quinoa, and more to make an absolutely amazing “burger” that was surprisingly filling for our main course. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a hands on cooking class, and it was a hoot to each have a job to prep our meal that turned out beyond delicious. None of us could stop munching on the lime drizzled baked kale chips and sriracha aoli we made before the burgers were done, and that’s definitely something I’ll be playing with to recreate at home.
Having allergies isn’t fun. For those who are living with them now, it’s heartening to see such great products available that aren’t just allergen friendly but also mostly organic and also taste the way they’re supposed to. I’m so excited to be able to offer one of you the chance to check out all this and more for yourself. The gift basket is identical to what I received and includes over $130 of Now Foods allergen friendly products. Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win! (Yes, you get ALL of that!)