Babycakes NYC Gluten-Free Cupcakes

248 Broome Street (between Orchard & Ludlow) | New York City, NY 10002
http://www.babycakesnyc.com

Happy birthday… to me! Over the weekend I visited friends in New York, and in honor of my 23rd, my best friend K took me out for a special treat. We traversed through lower Manhattan on a surprise journey to… Babycakes!

Babycakes is an adorable little bakery that specializes in treats for people with food sensitivities. Using organic, natural and health-conscious products (like agave nectar over white sugar or artificial sweeteners), they endeavor to make guilty pleasures a little less guilty and more accessible to people with restrictive diets. And so for me, Babycakes made it possible for my friend and I to enjoy cupcakes for my birthday!

I ordered a gluten-free chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and K ordered the gluten-free pumpkin cupcake. The chocolate cupcake was just okay, it didn’t taste exactly like chocolate, there was something a bit off. I prefer Betty Crocker’s mix. The pumpkin cupcake, however, was excellent. Fluffy, tasty, and not a taste betraying it’s composition being utterly unlike most cupcakes — made without gluten, dairy, soy and eggs.

While my own order was a bit less than spectacular, the novelty of a pink and white bakery specializing in gluten-free baked goods was more than enough to make up for it. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, and the place was packed the whole time we were there. I will definitely head back to try their cookies next time I am in New York. And if you find yourself in LA, you too can enjoy these gluten-free treats — Babycakes will be opening another location there soon.

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Gluten-Free Glutino Fiber Bread

Gluten-Free Premium Bread
http://www.glutino.com


You know those commercials about the fiber bars where the people just can’t believe they’re full of fiber because they don’t taste like cardboard?  And they keep coming back for more because they love them so much? Not the case for my sandwich today. Unfortunately for Glutino, their Fiber Bread is a bit reminiscent of cardboard.

This bread comes frozen, so I popped two slices in the toaster before assembling my sandwich, as I usually do.  The package encouraged me to do this, claiming that it “Tastes best when toasted!” I would hate to discover what this bread would taste like otherwise, seeing as it did not toast well. The top of the pieces browned much quicker than the rest and were difficult and unpleasant to eat. The warmed part was not much better. I could then taste the bread, which was akin to a strong cardboard. Inside of adding to or tying together my sandwich, the taste of the bread overpowered the innards with a taste that made it clear I was eating a gluten substitute.

I have found it more difficult to get enough fiber since going gluten-free, and many fiber-geared products contain gluten. Compared to WholeFoods Sandwich Bread, two slices of this bread contains 16% of your daily fiber, instead of none from the WF’s bread (this is about as much fiber as two pieces of regular, commercially-prepared whole-wheat bread). WholeFoods’ gluten-free bread contains 60 more calories and 2.5 more grams of fat per slice, as well as a whole lot more flavor (guess you gotta take the good with the bad). Nutritionally, the Fiber Bread is much more like regular bread, still, regular whole-wheat bread is better for you. I now understand why they make gluten-free bread so small…

Although, I would not recommend it as a delicious product — it quite simply is not — I will occasionally continue to eat this bread to ensure that I’m getting what I need and as a healthier alternative to other gf breads. I usually find Glutino to be a hit or miss, unfortunately this one’s a miss.

Ian’s French Bread Pizza

Wheat Free/Gluten Free Recipe
http://www.iansnaturalfoods.com

Ian's French Bread Pizza

The box of Ian’s French Bread Pizza had been sitting in my mom’s fridge for almost a month before I decided to try it. I had tried Ian’s Chicken Nuggets a few years ago and really disliked them. Seriously, how can you mess up chicken nuggets? This is America! I was very doubtful as to whether this French Bread Pizza could be any good, since it seemed far more complicated.

Had they just been pizzas, another month probably would have passed before I tried them. But they were french bread.  I used to love baguettes and I haven’t been able to find any gluten-free ones in the States. So, I asked my mom what she thought of the pizzas. She encouraged me to try them and stated that it was her second time buying them. Finally, I caved.

Ian’s, you have redeemed yourself. Despite taking longer than the package stated to cook (I chose to use the recommended conventional oven versus a microwave), it was delicious! The sauce was a bit strong and the soy cheez was a bit mild, but the french bread was excellent. I would chance to say that someone who did not keep a gf diet wouldn’t think twice about whether this were really bread when eating it. The bread was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the texture and taste did not betray the usual hints of gluten substitutes. I’m not really into soy, and I love regular cheese, but aside from the fact that the soy cheez didn’t melt like regular cheese and threw me off a bit while cooking, it did not taste overly artificial to me like Amy’s Single Serve Non-Dairy Rice Crust Cheeze Pizza sometimes does.

If you are looking for a quick, easy-to-make gluten free pizza, Ian’s French Bread Pizza is a great choice.  This is definitely among the best frozen gluten free pizzas I have tried and it earns five stars. Hmm, the back of the box recommends Gluten Free French Toast Sticks… now that my faith has been restored in Ian’s, I may have to try those…