Jennifer ~ In my previous article on Go Dairy Free, I talked about some of the healthier allergy-free foods that had recently hit our store shelves. Fortunately, this product segment is still maturing, and the past year has shown that companies are really paying attention to continuing consumer demands. The majority of allergy-friendly products launched previously were baking mixes or snacks, like cookies and bars. But manufacturers are now moving beyond these “starter” categories, creating some very unique convenience-type foods for food allergy families. Here is a selection of new gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan products that I am excited to see hitting the market:
Healthy Top Whipping Crème by MimicCreme: Up until this product became available, you were only able to have a non-dairy whipping crème if you were lucky enough to have a store that carried one in the refrigerated section. This product is shelf stable so not only is it a more attractive item for retailers to carry since it doesn’t take up valuable real estate in the refrigerated section, it can also be ordered online if it’s not available locally. This whipping creme is dairy-free, vegan, and made without gluten and soy.
Gluten-Free Frosted Toaster Pastries by Eco Planet: Gluten-free pop tarts have been THE most requested item from our customers. I have asked several companies if they could develop this product and the response has always been negative due to the expense of purchasing the special machinery required for production. But at last, Eco Planet has stepped up to the plate, and will be launching three flavors (Blueberry, Strawberry, & Brown Sugar) this year (2011). This highly anticipated breakfast goodie will also be free of the top 8 food allergens and vegan, making it a viable treat for a very wide-range of consumers.
Soy-Free Vegan Mayonnaise by Follow Your Heart: There was a deep void in the market for a mayo that met certain dietary requirements. Before this product’s availability, it was easy to find an egg-free mayo that still contained soy or vice versa. Finally, Follow Your Heart answered the call and added a soy-free variety to its Vegenaise mayo line. It is gluten- and dairy-free and made from non-GMO ingredients.
Gluten-Free Ramen Noodles by King Soba: This is another item that is often requested by parents of children on a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet, who are trying to find a replacement for the traditional ramen product. These ramen noodles are in fact gluten- AND dairy-free, organic and vegan. The two varieties available are Brown Rice or Buckwheat. On the downside, it doesn’t come with a flavor packet, but the packet is usually chock full of MSG, sodium and some type of animal product so it leaves you the opportunity to create your own recipe that is suitable for your special diet. See my recipe below for one easy homemade option using this product.
There is still one valuable product that I haven’t seen on the market; I'm waiting for a company to jump on producting a gluten-free. dairy-free “Goldfish” cracker. With the rise in food allergies and others adhering to a GFCF diet, I feel that it’s just a matter of time before we see one though.
And now for the Easy Ramen Soup recipe using the King Soba Brown Rice noodles:
- 1 King Soba Brown Rice Ramen cake
- 1-1/2 cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 Carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 Scallion
- 1/2 clove Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
Start by sautéing the garlic, scallion and carrots in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and water and let simmer. While the broth is simmering, prepare the cake of ramen noodles as directed on the package. Once the noodles are done, add to the broth and simmer another five minutes. Add salt to taste. You can also finish it off with a touch of sesame oil to taste.
Article and recipe by Jennifer, founder of Navan Foods, a popular allergy-free food shop. Navan Foods ships goodies around the country from their online store. Jennifer consistently works to research and source the best quality allergy-free foods, and also shares what she learns on the Navan Foods blog and newsletter.