Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gluten-Free Product Reviews And A Giveaway!

I was recently contacted by Mambo Sprouts, a great website that sends out coupon books for natural and organic foods. The first time I saw one of their coupon books, I was surprised at all the great products! More often than not, I find coupons for products I would never buy myself, but Mambo Sprouts coupon books are filled with foods I love. This month, they're teaming up with a variety of gluten-free merchants to support Celiac Awareness Month. They offered to send me some products to review, and I'm never one to turn down free food! Well, as long as it's gluten-free, right?

After a weekend in Ohio for a wedding, I got back to my apartment to find an empty fridge and pantry. No food, and with finals this week, no time to shop! Luckily, my Mambo Sprouts package came in the mail and saved the day. With three different cereals to choose from, breakfast bars, and crackers, this kept me going until I had time to get to the grocery store. And even better for all of you, it was such a big package that I decided I had to share the wealth. So thanks to Mambo Sprouts, I'll be sending one of you a gluten-free gift box. What will it include? First, let me tell you what I tried and what I thought:


Ian's Animal Cookies: 
These were delicious! They tasted like thin, buttery shortbread cookies, with just that hint of salt to even out the sweet flavor. And who doesn't like cookies shaped like animals? My favorite was the elephant.

Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels: 
These were quite addictive. Actually, I think anything that combines salty and sweet flavors is bound to keep you reaching for seconds. The chocolate tasted a bit more like chocolate yogurt than traditional chocolate covered pretzels, but I liked them. Mine were all stuck together, which was the only problem because they were hard to break apart. But that's just me being picky.

Barbara's Multigrain Puffins, Barbara's Honey Rice Puffins, & Barbara's Brown Rice Crisps: 
This took me back to my childhood. I think cereal is possibly my all-time favorite comfort food. I've always liked to mix my food together, and cereal is no different. I mixed all three of these so every bite was different. The rice crisps got my vote because they taste just like rice crispies (remember, with the snap, crackle, and pop), and only have 2 grams of sugar per serving. That's amazing for cereal! I also really liked the multigrain cereal and would definitely buy that too. The honey rice were a bit too sweet for me, but still tasty. I've always been a fan of Barbara's products, so it was fun to try out their new products! As a sidenote, the multigrain puffins have pure oats, so if you stay away from oats, you wouldn't want to get these. But Barbara's sent along a pamphlet explaining their gluten-free guidelines and practices to avoid cross-contamination. Like I said, this is a company I trust and I have no qualms about trying any of their gluten-free products.

Glutino Strawberry Breakfast Bars:
These were not my favorite. Glutino has become one of my go-to gluten-free brands, so I was hoping to like these better than I did. They were a bit dense and had that slight gluten-free aftertaste. They started to grow on me after the third bar, but not enough that I would buy them. However, I'm including one in my giveaway so you can make your own judgment on these!

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers:
These were great. They came in 60 calorie packets, which I really liked. It was easy to take to work and have as a snack. Nice and salty, and a small ingredient list, which is always a good sign. I would definitely buy these for traveling.

Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix: 
This mix gets 5 stars for three reasons: 1) I didn't have all the right ingredients and had to substitute, and they still came out delicious, 2) They were extremely easy to make, and 3) My boyfriend, who eats gluten, took one bite and exclaimed, "Oh my God, these are amazing!" Enough said. I had to send a bunch to work with him so I wouldn't eat them all myself!

So, what am I giving away? One reader will receive:
  • Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cake Mix
  • Gluten Free Pantry Brown Rice Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • A Glutino Strawberry Breakfast Bar
  • Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers
  • Mambo Sprouts coupon book
  • Ian's coupon for a free item
*This giveaway is now closed. 
    There are many ways to enter and you can get as many entries as you like. You can stop by the Mambo Sprouts website and tell me something you learned (they have some great gluten-free recipes posted, including my snickerdoodles), blog about the giveaway, or post it on twitter or facebook. Just leave me a comment telling me what you did so I know how many entries to give you. The giveaway will be open until 9pm May 31st.

    And don't forget to keep reading 30 Days To A Food Revolution at The W.H.O.L.E Gang. Today is Day 19 with Michelle from What's Cooking!


    Anna said...

    I've often seen (and used) the Mambo Sprouts coupon book at Whole Foods, but they've recently become scarce (replaced with the Whole Deal). I'm so glad you told me about the website for coupons, because it has so many great things from coupons to recipes - and I love that they're supporting Celiac Awareness! So, I guess I learned about all of the features they offer!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Farty Girl said...

    Have you ever tried Ian's gluten free french bread pizzas? They are awesome. I don't know if you are soy free or not, but they are some of the best frozen gf vegan pizzas I've had.

    Gotta agree about the glutino bars. They are disappointing. Espesh the chocolate ones. Sad trombone: Wahh-wahh-wahhh.

    I'm gonna twitter this, btw. Thanks! :)

    mc3000 said...

    nice that your blog is getting such recognition--it is a great site! great photos too!

    Angie said...

    I love this coupon book! I use almost all of the products listed there - FANTASTIC! I also wasn't aware that headaches can be a sign of gluten sensitivity. Thank you and have a tremendous today!

    Christina said...

    Your snickerdoodle cookies look great! I was surprised to see that Dagoba chocolate has a coupon through Mambo Sprouts. Yum!

    Jennifer said...

    GREAT reviews, thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. A said...

    Thanks for sharing, I checked out the Mambo Sprouts website and started to follow it on Twitter.

    Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

    Wubba loves Ian's Gluten Free foods. It makes being gluten-free a little bit easier for him. =)

    lynn @ the actors diet said...

    linked back:

    SudsFam said...

    I'm really surprised to see the number of items out there that support GF! My son is intolerant and having substitutes is a life saver! You mentioned Snicker doodles and I got excited! (one of my faves) But I have a question. You said that sweet white rice flour was glutinous? That confused me. And do you think I could swap out the flax for almond meal? Thanks for keeping up this blog! It's an amazing source of info!

    Iris said...


    Thanks for the compliment! :) The sweet white rice flour is essential to the snickerdoodles, but it's also called "glutinous rice flour." It's different from regular white rice flour and gives the cookies the chewiness. It doesn't have gluten though. It was hard for me to find. I had to go to Chinatown, but I know you can order it online if you can't find it.

    The flax seed meal was to replace an egg, so I think you would do better to add another egg rather than almond meal. But if you try it with almond meal and it works, let me know!


    cooperkelly4 said...

    Ok, those snickerdoodles look amazing! I think coupons are a great thing especially with gf eating!!! said...

    I have been a fan of Mambo Sprouts for a long time. I get their email newsletters which include coupons too. I just went back over there to check out some new recipes and noticed the Gluten Free Choices from Hain celestial website and clicked on through. Interesting.

    Like you, I also love the Choco Truffle brownies. My non-GF husband requests them for his birthday. And I a not a big fan of any of the Glutino bars. I don't know why. They remind me of the old Nutri-grain bars I used to eat in HS, pre-celiac, but they just don't taste "right".

    I need to look for those animal crackers and Puffins. Keep seeing the Crunchmaster crackers, at Costco even, but haven't bought any yet.

    saxifrage said...

    Yum to Puffins! And to mixing cereals ;-) I'm posting this on Facebook and if I win, I'll blog about it!

    saxifrage said...

    p.s. Those brownies sound delicious... I don't know that I've seen that brand around here, but if I can find it, I may very well end up making them in the very near future!

    Kari said...

    I added you on facebook too! That's one place I always go, so seeing updates there will be easy.
    Thanks again for the heads up about the sweet rice flour!

    Aubree Cherie said...

    Ooo, I love puffins! I've never seen the multi grain ones though, I bet they were awesome :)

    It would definitely be fun to get my hands on one of the Mambo coupon books :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

    Aubree Cherie said...

    I also scheduled a tweet :)

    Deanna said...

    I love their coupons. They always have little booklets of them at our local coop. But, I didn't realize they had printable coupons. Must go print some now!

    Deanna said...

    And, I tweeted about the giveaway, too.

    Warm n Wonderful said...

    I went to the site and learned that the 'find a store' doesn't work for Canada. I couldn't find anything regarding Canadian cities there.

    Iris said...

    @Warm n Wonderful- Sorry about that! Maybe you'll win the giveaway and you can try these things anyway!

    Cindy said...

    Love your blog, which I found at The Gluten Free Homemaker, who is participating in your adopt-a-blog. What fun!


    CupcakeCaliBride said...

    I learned that a lot of gluten symptoms can be similar to some fibromyalgia symptoms. Well that's a thought to think about!

    annalene said...

    I learned about the Mambo Go tour which is in my area right now! I definitely want to go check it out and sample some of the items they have in the sample bag. I also posted your giveaway up on my facebook page :

    Carla Spacher said...

    I posted it on Facebook to "Gluten Free Giveaways"!/pages/Gluten-Free-Give-Aways/130654173613596?ref=ts

    to Gluten Free Giveaways:!/pages/Gluten-Free-Give-Aways/130654173613596?ref=ts

    and to Gluten Free Giveaway:


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