Industry watchers say the next wave of gluten-free foods is likely to be more focused on healthfulness. For some time, it seemed like a victory just to have more and more products available. But now some manufacturers are working to up the game a bit.
Bgreen Food, a San Diego company, makes five varieties of organic, gluten-free angel hair pasta: black rice, white rice, buckwheat, millet and brown rice. Each cooks in five minutes. Don’t expect the same taste and texture as wheat pasta – but they’re good on their own terms, often with a nuttier flavor.
The company has recipes on its bgreenfood.com website.
Rice is often a good choice for people who cannot eat wheat (which, along with barley and rye contain gluten). Bgreen has Extraordinary Black Rice, a beautiful, small grain from China.
A new line of frozen muffins put vegetables first. The first ingredient in all of them is a vegetable. They’re not without sugar; The zucchini banana chocolate chip variety, for example, has 120 calories, with 3 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber. They’re sold in boxes of four.
Garden Lites muffins are sold frozen and individually wrapped. They come in five flavors: blueberry oat, zucchini banana chocolate chip, zucchini chocolate, carrot berry and golden corn. I especially liked the flavor of the corn muffins, which have actual kernels in them.
Some other new gluten-free products:
Pamela’s newest products, Figgies and Jammies bar cookies, come in four flavors: mission fig, strawberry and fig, blueberry and fig, and raspberry and fig. Pamela’s is a longtime gluten-free producer, based in Ukiah, with popular flours and baking mixes sold widely.
The cookies are fairly good-sized, 100 calories apiece, with 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fat and no artificial additives. My family proclaimed them delicious, and my colleagues ate them happily.
All But Gluten is a new line of Weston Foods, of gluten-free baked goods, including granola bars, bread and other products that adds to the rapidly growing choices for consumers. Unlike many of the gluten-free breads that are sold in the freezer sections, All But Gluten is sold in supermarket baked goods departments.
”What we saw was that there was something missing in terms of the taste, the texture and the experience,” Sumit Luthra, vice president of marketing, innovation and business development. His own favorite of the new line is the blueberry muffin.