Leading gluten-free expert and advocate Kathy Smart—she’s a TV chef, holistic nutritionist and bestselling author!—recently added GlutenFreeSmartStore.com founder to her impressive resume. Here she is presenting her “How to be a Gluten-Free Rock Star” speaker session at the Gluten Free Garage last spring.
At the recent Gluten Free Garage with Lisa Cantkier, brainchild behind online resource directory GlutenFreeFind.com. She has partnered with fellow celiac Kathy Smart and Tammie Sarra to create GlutenFreeSmartStore.com.
Allergic Solution CEO and nutritionist Tammie Sarra showcasing her premium gluten-free, allergen-friendly baking mixes at the fall 2013 Gluten Free Garage. Read her musings from the Gluten Free Garage here.
With these three gluten-free go-getters at the helm of the recently launched GlutenFreeSmartStore.com you know there’s got to be some good stuff in store! As women living with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, they’ve all been there, done that, so this is one trusted team. But what makes GFSS different from other gluten-free online stores? For starters, GFSS is the first gluten-free online store that is focused on and committed to offering healthy choices. The Gluten Free Garage shares the same goal for our pop-up marketplace, so we’re down with that! With so many unhealthy gluten-free food products available now it’s good to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. (I know, that’s not the most fitting idiom for a gluten-free website!)
Kathy Smart and her GFSS team aim to connect consumers with, ahem, smarter, healthier gluten-free options. In fact, one unique spin on GFSS is the “Smart”-approved products section featuring items that meet Kathy Smart’s strict nutrition requirements. You’ll find products here that are packed with protein and fibre, free from soy and refined sugar and flours, and low carb/glycemic. Tammie Sarra says that shopping in the ‘Smart’-approved section is “like going shopping with Kathy Smart or with your trusted nutritionist.” (If you’ve met Kathy, just imagine how fun would it be to go shopping with her in real life!) Kathy’s own line of Smart Starts gluten-free products is also available on the site.
The growing list of 100+ gluten-free products—including bread, baked goods, protein bars, pasta, cereal and skincare—that GFSS offers are:
- high quality
- safe (certified gluten free and manufactured in dedicated gluten-free facilities)
And many of the products are also:
- allergen free (great for shoppers with multiple dietary needs)
- environmentally friendly
With winter practically here, I for one am excited to have the option of having healthy gluten-free products delivered right to my door (shipping is available in Canada and the U.S.). With a click of my mouse, I can order some of my go-to gluten-free goods such as:
- Giddy Yoyo’s cacao powder
- Holy Crap’s Wild Chia and Mary Jane
- enerjive’s Quinoa Skinny Rock Salt Crave Crackers
- Italpasta’s fusilli and penne
Our neighbourhood supermarket Fiesta Farms is definitely the store to explore if you are gluten free! And it won Best Supermarket in NOW’s 2013 Best of Toronto! Here is just a sampling of the gluten-free goods this place is packing…
Founded in 1988, Neal Brothers turns 25 this year! Be sure to stop by their booth at the Gluten Free Garage to wish them happy birthday!
And while you’re there, pick up their new crunchy kettle chips (available in 4 flavour sensations). The sweet & smoky BBQ are the life of the party!
Lotus Fine Foods, enerjive and WOW Baking Co. will be joining Neal Brothers at their booth at the Gluten Free Garage!
A BIG thank you to Neal Brothers for being a sponsor of the Gluten Free Garage for the 3rd time! We love you like a brother!
This post was written along with my GFF Lisa Cantkier, the brains behind Gluten Free Find.
Last week we were invited to a gluten-free media dinner hosted by Italpasta at 7 Numbers on the Danforth in Toronto. That’s right, Italpasta—famous for its 100% pure durum semolina pasta (fancy talk for pure wheat)—now serves up pasta for the gluten-free set. Made in Italy! It’s a good thing we showed up hungry. Funnily, neither of us knew the other was attending this event, and we happened to arrive at the exact same moment. After months of attempted dinner plans, we finally got to break bread (so to speak!) courtesy of Italpasta. A GFF (gluten-free friend) reunion and a glass of red vino to kick off the night…what more could a gluten-free gal ask for?
While I’m partial to penne, my daughters are fusilli fans because it’s curly like their hair.
Italpasta has three kinds of gluten-free noodles—penne rigate, fusilli and spaghetti—made from a blend of rice and non-GMO corn. The company recently got a stamp of approval from the Canadian Celiac Association’s Gluten Free Certification Program, which will soon appear on all of its gluten-free packaging.
If only he could come over and cook dinner for my family every night…
The food was 100% vegetarian and, featuring four pasta dishes, an adventure in carbs—and we loved every bite. With the same colour and texture of “regular” pasta, you’d never guess that this pasta is gluten free. Each variety of noodle held its shape and the pasta was chewy, not gooey!
LISA: As someone who’s been following a gluten-free diet for more than three decades, I’ve seen many-a-mushy pasta come and go. But the science of gluten-free pasta has come a long way, baby! At the Italpasta dinner, I almost felt compelled to check with my server to verify the gluten-free status of the dishes! The noodles are firm and hold their own no matter what sauce is used. See below…and click on the links for recipes!
The Vegetarian Food Festival is one of our favourite happenings in the city. It’s a fantastic foodie event for our daughter Lily, who has celiac disease, because there are so many healthy and delicious gluten-free offerings—many of them made locally!—that she can indulge in (this photo is from last year’s VegTO). This year we planned on heading out on Saturday but we weren’t brave enough to brave the rain. On Sunday morning the sun was shining as we did the Parkinson’s Walk. But after that Lily was too pooped to head down to Harbourfront Centre so I picked up my aunt Anne (aka Honey, she’s not vegan!), coach and therapist extraordinaire who’s visiting from Vancouver (coachinginanutshell.com), and we headed down to VegTO—with strict instructions from Lily to get some good stuff.
Our first stop: The Simply Bar. (Note: Vendors in this blog post are in order of appearance as we walked the show.) These gluten-free bars are like a healthy rice crispy treat. Key word: “healthy”—each bar contains 12 or less ingredients. Simply Bar’s bragging rights include vegan, high protein, low sugar, non-GMO and free of gluten, casein, dairy and additives. Simply put, they’re really good for you. And, with flavours like cocoa coffee and maple pecan, they taste good too! Simply Choices also makes protein chips and a new sweet protein crunch snack.
We made a beeline to Bunner’s, where we spotted co-owner Kevin MacAllister munching down on one of their vegan, gluten-free baked goods. Who can blame him?
We bought 3 Supersonic Cookies, knowing we’d need all the energy we could get to make our way through the festival. I polished off my cookie before we made it to the next booth.
The words “gluten free” beckoned us to another one of our favourite local companies doing wonders with gluten-free baking, Sweets from the Earth. My aunt Honey couldn’t make up her mind about what to get but I knew exactly what I was after…
Hello dolly! Come to mama!
Sweets’ owner Marc Kadonoff got some words of wisdom off his chest. As long as the cookies are gluten free, we couldn’t agree more.