Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Cookies Review

Crunchy cookies from Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life was kind enough to send me some of their new gluten-free crunchy cookies to review. I received the 4 flavours: Double Chocolate, Vanilla Honey Graham, Chocolate Chip and Sugar Shortbread (also known as Sugar Crisp on their website). I expected to favour the chocolate, but I actually preferred the sugar shortbread and graham cookies. Altough I am a big chocolate fan, I loved the simplicity and familiar taste of the graham and sugar cookies. I also tend to prefer my chocolate chip cookies chewy rather than crispy. I found the general texture of the crunchy cookies to be a tad on the gritty side (they all use roughly the same flour blend), but I really enjoyed their flavour.

A box of 14 crunchy cookies retails for about $4.29 (179-198 grams per box depending on flavour). I think this is quite reasonable for a nice, easy and very portable snack. I would definitely buy these to take on a vacation or a long road trip.

I am pleased with the quality of this product in comparison to other gluten free boxed cookies that I've tried. As an added bonus, these cookies are also free of milk, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, sulfites, egg, soy, fish, crustaceans, shellfish and sesame.

(I will leave out a health rating, because these are not really meant to be healthy and it would only bring the rating down)

Double Chocolate and Vanilla Honey Graham

Double Chocolate Cookies

These cookies weren't as flavourful as I expected them to be, but they were still good. As mentioned before, I didn't enjoy the slightly gritty texture and prefer my chocolate chip cookies soft and chewy. I think this cookie would make great ice cream sandwiches or blizzard type milkshakes if crushed up (similar to Oreo). This wasn't my favourite flavour, but I will still enjoy eating them!

Cost: 4.5 stars
Taste: 3 stars
Texture: 2.5 stars

Overall Rating: 3.3 stars

Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies

The flavour of these cookies really surprised me. I had completely forgotten what a graham cracker tasted like, and enjoyed revisiting this taste of childhood (I didn't eat gluten free until the age of 12). While the gritty texture was still present in this cookie, I didn't mind it as much because that is sort of how I would expect a graham cracker to be. These cookies would make great crusts for individual servings of pie or pudding. They could also be crushed up and formed into a graham cracker crumbs in many dessert recipes. They are also great dipped in a simple glass of cold milk.

Cost: 4.5 stars
Taste: 4.5 stars
Texture: 3.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.2 stars

Sugar Shortbread and Chocolate Chip

Sugar Shortbread Cookies

I loved the light, crunchy, buttery taste of these cookies. I would have to say these are my favourite. They taste like sugar cookies and are even topped off with a little sprinkle of sugar. I still found the texture to be a little gritty, but I like my sugar cookies crunchy.
If you wanted to get creative, these cookies could be decorated with a little icing or even dipped in chocolate. I thought they were perfect eaten plain alongside my afternoon coffee.

Cost: 4.5 stars
Taste: 5 stars
Texture: 3.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.3 stars

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were similar to the double chocolate, but without the extra cocoa in the dough. I usually prefer my chocolate chip cookies chewy, so I wasn't a huge fan of the gritty, crunchy texture, but the taste was good. Like the double chocolate flavour, I think these would make great ice cream sandwiches. They are also good with a glass of cold milk.

Cost: 4.5 stars
Taste: 3.5
Texture: 2.5

Overall Rating: 3.5

Thank you Enjoy Life for providing free samples for me to review!

All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Breakfast Casserole

gluten free breakfast casserole

This is a super easy recipe for a brunch or even supper. It's filling and tasty and goes a long way when paired with some gluten free pumpkin cream cheese muffins or ginger peach coffee cake and fruit! The leftovers are great too.

You can get a little creative with this recipe if you like. Swap the bacon for ham or chopped up breakfast sausage or add some peppers and mushrooms to the onions. Just make sure the frozen hash browns (and sausage if you're using it) are gluten free, and you should be good to go!

(makes one square baking pan. double the recipe for a larger dish)

4-6 strips of Chopped Bacon (or sausage, ham, etc)
1/4 cup Diced Onion
6 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
2 1/2 cups Frozen Hash Browns
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Dill Weed (optional)


Cook bacon or other meat in a frying pan.
Saute onions in drippings or microwave until translucent.
In a bowl, beat eggs with milk and spices.
Spread the frozen hash browns around on the bottom of the dish.
Sprinkle bacon and onions evenly over hash browns.
Pour egg mixture over hash browns (it should just barely cover them)
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for about 1 hour (until knife inserted in the centre comes out clean)

place hash browns in baking dish
sprinkle sauteed onions and bacon evenly over hash browns
beat eggs with milk and spices
pour egg mixture over hash browns and sprinkle with cheese
bake at 350 for 1 hr
serve with fruit and muffins or coffee cake

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Review

Enjoy Life Foods
Recently, I received the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola and Chocolate Mega Chunks to review from Enjoy Life Foods. I have never tried any products from this company, and was excited to check them out. The great thing about Enjoy Life Foods is that their products are not only gluten free, but also free of peanuts, dairy, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish (and some are free of even more common allergens). This is great company for people with multiple allergies.

Mega Chunks (for baking)

I know these are for baking, but I couldn't help but pop a few chocolaty morsels in my mouth when I received the package. They were very dark and rich. I couldn't wait to try them in a recipe. I was planning to make some peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins (as you can see, I'm not allergic to nuts...) so I used the mega chunks in place of my regular semi-sweet chocolate chips. At first I was sceptical about the size of these things, but the muffins turned out great. They were nice and chocolaty, even though I only used 1/2 cup in 16 muffins. I'm sure these would also be great in cookies or blondies (like pictured on the package).

Gluten Free Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Muffins
The Mega Chunks range in cost from $4.50 to $5.00 online (http://enjoylifefoods.elsstore.com/ and others). I'm not sure about in-store prices. This is roughly $1-2 higher than similar, non allergy-friendly products. I would call it expensive, but good quality and reliable when it comes to allergies.
Cost        2.5 stars
Taste       5 stars
Texture    5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.2 Stars

Double Chocolate Crunch Granola

When I first tasted this granola dry, I found the texture way too crunchy (hard on the teeth). It was better with milk and even better with warm milk. It was very chocolaty, as the name suggests, and fairly sweet. If you like chocolate cereal, this granola is for you. It's nice to have a granola that is free of wheat, oats and nuts for people with multiple allergies.
There are 4 grams of fibre per serving and lots of added vitamins and minerals, making it a fairly healthy snack or breakfast option.
The online costs for this product ranges from $5.99 to $6.49. For granola, this is a fairly reasonable price.
Health      4.5 stars
Cost         3.5 stars
Taste        3.5  stars
Texture    2  stars
Overall Rating: 3.4 Stars

Thanks Enjoy Life Foods for providing these free samples for me to review. All opinions are my own.