Going Gluten-FreeApril 4, 2012

New Gluten-Free Bread and Pizza!

There’s hardly anything more exciting to those living gluten-free than news about new gluten-free staples like bread and pizza. Living Without contributor Jules Shepard scouted out the best new products at this year’s Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, California. Here’s her second report on the delicious and exciting new products about to appear in grocery stores near you.

Canyon Bakehouse®

Canyon's place on the gluten-free bread scene is solidified with the release of a mock rye bread. Their new Colorado Caraway Bread is a winner. By using caraway seeds with sourdough starter, you can now enjoy a ready-made gluten-free soft mock rye. This bread boasts an impressive 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber with only 70 calories per slice. Canyon's dedicated, certified GF facility produces only gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free breads, muffins, focaccia and buns. Their unique use of whole millet to reproduce a nutty taste and texture is a notable and delicious aspect of their muffins.

Kinnikinnick®

“Toss your Toaster” was the theme at Canada’s Kinnikinick booth this year. The release of their new “soft” bread line was definitely a draw. The company has now added a hotdog bun, hamburger bun, white loaf and multi-grain loaf to their massive product lineup. Not only are these all “regular”-size buns and loaves (their website shows the loaf size comparison to another major GF bread company’s bread), but they also are more nutritionally robust. Each product offers at least 5 grams of fiber per serving (2 slices) and is fortified with other nutrients, as well. All these breads are gluten-, dairy- and nut-free, as well as certified Kosher. A definite improvement over many of the existing gluten-free breads in your grocer’s freezer section.

Glutino® / Genius® Breads (PHOTO)

The well-known North American gluten-free company, Glutino, has had a stroke of genius. Breads, that is. Across the pond, the staff of life that has taken the UK by storm is Genius Bread – developed by a mom of a child with gluten intolerance, her company was the first to bring good gluten-free bread back to the British table.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, Glutino is spreading the bread love by bringing these popular breads to the United States and Canada. A light white and a multi-grain are the first to be introduced and both are gluten and dairy-free (they do contain eggs). The loaf sizes are akin to “regular bread,” so they are true sandwich breads. 

While at Expo, I had the chance to spend some time with the lovely Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, the mother and founder of Genius UK, and her story is truly inspiring. We all want our kids to live “normal” lives and Lucinda was no exception. She worked for years to develop a bread that would bring the “simple pleasure of dunking toast soldiers into a runny boiled egg or tucking into favourite homemade sandwiches” back to her son. And now Glutino helps bring it to us.

Rudi’s® Gluten-Free

Rudi’s got its start in organic but has branched out to produce a wildly popular gluten-free line. While walking the show floor, I received a direct message from Rudi’s that they had a “big announcement” at their booth at 2:00 pm, so I added it to my schedule and headed over. What’s the latest? Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Flour Tortillas!

Beginning in May, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Plain, Spinach and Fiesta Tortillas will be available nationwide in select retailers. Each variety has 5 grams of fiber per serving and is made with whole grain gluten-free flours. The tortillas are gluten-free and dairy-free vegan (certified GF).

Pizzas

Better 4U Pizza™

This booth was actually my first stop on the show floor … and I knew it was going to be a great show with a start like this! A new player in the United States, Better 4U has just branched out from its all natural line to launch a gluten-free line as well. With five gluten-free choices (and one vegan), there is something for everyone here.

Another nice benefit to these pizzas is that the crusts are made with whole gluten-free grains like buckwheat and flaxseed. No soggy crusts, and just the right amount of vegan (Daiya® Mozarella Style Shreds) on top, plus roasted veggies – quite well done for vegan toppings, too.

Solterra® Foods

I first sampled these pizzas at last year’s Natural Products Expo East and was impressed enough to stop by their booth again to test one more time … just to be sure. Yep. Their pizza is indeed very good! They offer two choices at this point: Margherita Cheese Pizza (gluten-free and soy-free) and Vegan Cheese Pizza made with Daiya® Cheese (gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free).  The crisp thin crust and yummy sauce make this pizza one you will want to put on your short list.

The most interesting and impressive thing about these pizzas to me though, was their packaging. Yes, you heard me right – their packaging! These 8-inch pizzas come in individual boxes with sealed paper bags inside containing the pizza. So all one has to do is take the frozen bagged pizza and put it in the oven to bake (still inside the bag). Remove the cooked pizza from the bag when hot, and plate. Voila! No cross-contamination issues, even if your friend’s gluten pizza is cooking in the same oven at the same time.

As revolutionary as this will be for all of us folks at home, think of how much more relieved you would be to order a pizza at a restaurant if it was cooked in a sealed bag like this? Hey restaurants, are you listening???

Russo’s New York Pizza

Another gluten-free pizza causing a lot of buzz at Expo this year was out of Texas, but it boasts a NY Style. The frozen line includes six different varieties: Greek; New York Style; Chicken Rustica; Pepperoni & Italian Mozzarella, Mulberry and Margherita.

The frozen line is an offshoot from its successful restaurant franchise, and although the pizzas are currently only available in Texas, the company has expanded distribution plans. All pizzas contain dairy. The pizzas are certified gluten-free by CSA.

Bella Monica Gluten-Free Pizza

Another company that started with a restaurant and branched out into frozen gluten-free pizzas, Bella Monica Flatbreads, is the product of two brothers-in-law who had a passion for Italian food and wanted to make sure even those eating gluten-free could enjoy it, too.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, restaurant enjoys a fantastic reputation as THE place to go for safe, delicious gluten-free foods like Eggplant Parmagiana, and now grocery stores around the country are stocking their authentic gluten-free Italian flatbreads. “Everyone to the table. Mangia! Mangia!”

*(To hear more about the Bella Monica story, listen to the free podcast of Jules’ interview with their founders on The Gluten-Free Voice).

Bold Organics

This new gluten-free company has launched in a big way this year, turning heads and prompting smiles. I met the duo behind this brand at their pizza release party at Fancy Foods earlier this year: Chef Erik Brenner and entrepreneur Aaron Greenwald are certainly passionate about their pizza. They’ve racked up as many certifications as possible: CSA certified GF, NFCA “GREAT” certified, Non-GMO certified, Organic … all their pizzas are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and contain no preservatives, nitrites, nitrates or trans-fats. Two of their varieties are also vegan.

GlutenFreeda® Pizza Wraps

While not technically pizza, these frozen hand-held wraps from Glutenfreeda have all the familiar pizza flavor rolled up into a convenient single-serving, hand-held version that’s ready in just minutes from the microwave. In three different flavors: Three Cheese; Italian Sausage; and Pesto Chicken. All varieties contain dairy.

Jules Shepard (julesglutenfree.com) is a regular Living Without contributor. She is author of several special-diet books, including Free for All Cooking (Da Capo Press), and is creator of Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.