Delightfully Gluten Free (TM)

Nuts Online

Shortly after moving into our new house, the children and I came home one day to find a box on the doorstep.  We love boxes on our doorstep.  They generally mean there is something fun or tasty waiting for us.

In that instance, it was a Gluten-Free Sampler Pack sent to me from Nuts Online. We were really excited as we sifted through the contents of the box (yes, new foods greatly excite us).  We were a little saddened by the poor chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  They suffered from a near-death experience in this Texas heat.  It is quite common, actually, and Braden complained the other day that he was going to die, even in the shade.  He has become slightly more dramatic lately.

You know what’s extra-great about Nuts Online?  The have soooo many products certified gluten-free through the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.  Their gluten-free are marked online with the GFCO symbol, so you can readily see that they are certified gluten-free.

The gluten-free sampler pack includes the following:

  • Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds
  • Veggie Chips
  • Chili Lime Pistachios
  • Raw Organic Walnuts
  • Simply Fruit Cocktail
  • Acai Blueberry Superfood Cereal
  • Organic Quinoa
  • Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats
  • Organic Raw White Buckwheat
  • Organic Golden Flaxseed

We decided to test these one afternoon when we were all suffering from a case of the munchies.  Grandma had stopped by for a few minutes to see us, but had fallen asleep in the recliner after a hard day at work (how anyone can sleep with children playing around them is beyond me).

Carter and I cracked open the Veggie Chips, which Carter referred to as the “Veggie Tales Chips”.

I did not eat Bob or Larry.

Ingredients: Sweet potato, squash, carrot, green bean, taro, blue sweet potato(Fried in)non-hydrogenated canola oil, dextrin, salt.

They are a bit like really good potato chips, in that they are fried slices of veggies (or whole green beans, or taro sticks).  The veggies all end up a little sweet and a little salty.  Even though they have distinct flavors, you don’t really notice when you first bite into them (it takes a second to “find” it).  They are crispy and crunchy, and just pretty darn awesome.  All three of the children loved them – even the green beans!

Our next package was the Simply Fruit Cocktail. This is a mix of freeze dried fruits.

Ingredients: Apples, bananas, peaches, pears, strawberries, red grapes.

Some freeze dried fruit turns into a powder as you touch it.  This is a little heartier than that – it didn’t fall apart that easily.  It’s a tasty mix of fruit.

I left the table for a few minutes, and gave Braden instructions to write down his thoughts.  I returned to find this: “The grapes are not pruned (a nice surprise!).”  The grapes are really dried, not mostly dry like raisins.  There’s just enough moisture to keep it intact.  It’s definitely a new and fun twist on a grape.

Grandma woke up when she heard the word “blueberry” (but not with the screaming from the bathroom?).  We tried the Acai Blueberry Superfood Cereal.

Ingredients: Organic Buckwheat Sprouts, Organic Coconut, Local Raw Blackberry Honey, Organic Currants, Raw Brown Rice Bran & Germ (grain-free), Organic Sunflower Sprouts, Berry Antioxidant Blend (Organic Blueberry Powder, Sambazon Organic Acai Powder, Organic Bilberry Powder, Camu Camu Fruit Powder, Elderberry Powder and Amla Berry Powder), Organic Banana and Himalayan Crystal Salt.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of Bilberry, Camu Camu Fruit, or Amla Berry – sounds exotic to me!  Grandma’s first reaction was “this is sweet.”  I thought she needed to go finish her nap.  It was sweet enough, but it’s not like a sugar-sweet taste, and definitely not sweet like most “sweet” cereals.  Totally different.

It’s a lot like a granola – little crunchy clusters of goodness.  This would make a great breakfast cereal or snack.  It received an “mmmmmm” from Braden.

Next in the lineup was the Chili Lime Pistachios.  Braden absolutely refused to try them.

Ingredients: Pistachios, spices, sea salt, onion powder, citric acid, paprika, dextrin, tomato powder, garlic powder, yeast, silicon dioxide, and natural flavors.

I can be a pretty persuasive mom, though.  :)  I’m sad to say, Braden was not impressed by them.  He thought they were way too spicy.

But, really, they’re not – just a little spicy.

I found them to be a very interesting combination of flavors…interesting in a good way.  Corice, Grandma, and I loved them.

Then came the Raw Organic Walnuts.  Ingredients: walnuts.  Tastes: like walnuts (imagine that).  Braden thought it was important for me to include these in the review.

We saved the chocolate for last – Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds.

Ingredients: Compound Chocolate (Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Lactose, Cocoa Powder, Reduced Mineral Whey Powder, Nonfat Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier), Vanillin and Artificial Flavors); Sunflower Kernel; Sugar; Titanium Dioxide (FoodGrade); Gum Arabic; Tapioca Dextrin;Carnauba Wax; FD&C Yellow # 5; FD&C Yellow #6; FD&C Red #3; FD&C Red #40; FD&C Blue # 1.

Well, not the healthiest item on the menu…

They do look like great fun, don’t they?  And they are.  Watch out.  I had to peel the kids off them.

Braden exclaimed “these are good!”

I asked Carter what he wanted to say about them.  “Umm…good. Gluten-free good!”

Corice screamed “choc-late!”  Boy, does that girl love her chocolate.

Both flavors are very distinct, but blend well together.  The children loved the little tiny candies…when they could find them.  Remember that near-death experience I mentioned?  See how pretty that picture is that I borrowed from the Nuts Online website (like all of the other pictures today)?  Yeah, mine didn’t quite look like that.  It’s been over 105°F here everyday for awhile now.  Apparently it’s pretty hot in the shipping warehouses and trucks, too.  They were still really good, though, even in clumps.  Oh, look, there’s one by itself…

When taking stock of everyone’s favorite, we found that Braden best loved the walnuts, Grandma’s jonesin’ for the pistachios, I dig the cereal, and Carter’s addicted to the sunflower seeds.  If I had to guess, Corice’s favorite would be the sunflower seeds, too, since they are covered in chocolate (it’s one of her favorite words).

On a side note, I’m learning to use Photoshop, and I think it’s pretty awesome, too (even though I really have no idea what I’m doing).  But now I really really want a nice digital SLR camera.  It’s going to be tough, lol.