Friday Favorite: HalfPops Curiously Crunchy Popcorn

April 24th, 2014

If you’re a lover of the half popped kernels of popcorn at the bottom of a bucket of popcorn, fret no more – you can now enjoy these little curious and crunchy nuggets of joy… handfuls at a time.

HalfPops are fun little crunchy popcorn snacks that are full of flavor. Being the traditional gal that I am I love the  Butter and Pure Ocean Sea Salt flavor, but the cheesy-ness in me loves the Aged White Cheddar variety too.

HalfPops are also gluten-free, nut-free, and contain no corn syrup, Trans fat, artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils or preservatives. So they are good for you and full of fiber, as well.

All of these curiously & crunchy reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to HalfPops! Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: “Brassicas” Cookbook by Laura B. Russell

April 22nd, 2014

Everywhere I look restaurants are featuring items made with powerhouse vegetables such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and arugula. And with good reason.

These vegetables, called brassicas, also include broccoli, mustard greens, cabbage, collard greens, radish, Bok choy and many others. They are  packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so it is no wonder that folks everywhere are enjoying them in salads, side dishes, starters and smoothies.

I personally love many brassicas. Some of my favorites include arugula, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But lately I have been using the same ho-hum method of preparation which usually consists of boringly steaming, boiling or broiling.

That is why I was so thrilled to receive a copy of Laura B. Russell’s new cookbook, “Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables”. (Laura is one of my favorite cookbook authors who also has published another one of my all-time favorite go-to cookbooks,  “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More” ).

The Brassicas cookbook is cleverly arranged by devoting a single vegetable or class of brassica – such as leafy greens, Asian brassicas (like bok choy or napa cabbage) or root brassicas (radish, turnip, rutabaga) to each chapter. Laura then touches upon key information on preparation and nutrition of each vegetable followed with tantalizing recipes (80 total) and beautiful photographs for many of the dishes. All the recipes are either gluten free or easily adapted to be gluten-free (ie substitute a gluten-free pizza crust, or gluten-free soy sauce, etc.)

Some of the single vegetables that take center stage and have a whole chapter all to themselves thankfully include some of my favorites … and the recipes are to die for.  I now have a whole new reason to love and rekindle my stand-by recipe repertoire with the addition of the gems in this cookbook. My classic favorites like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts will never, ever become boring again. Thank you, Laura!

Some of my favorite recipes include Charred Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Fig Glaze; Roasted Radish Salad with Blue Cheese; Romanesco Summer Salad and Mizuna Salad with Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower.

All these healthy and tasty reasons are why I am so happy that Laura B. Russell has offered her new cookbook “Brassica: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables” as the prizes for this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com.

A total of two BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a copy of “Brassica: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables” Cookbook. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 6, 2012 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what your favorite brassica vegetable is! (Is it broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, arugula, radish, turnip, wasabi, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, cress, Chinese broccoli, or another???)

Good luck, remember to eat your (brassicas!) vegetables… and as always,

Be Free!

Order your copy of “Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables” on Amazon.com and take advantage of FREE Shipping on orders over $35.

Friday Favorite: Color Garden Natural Food Coloring

April 17th, 2014

I know that many of you have allergies to color dyes that are included in foods that we eat. Yellow #6, Blue #1, Green #3… And even for those that don’t have an allergic reaction to these dyes, who wants them anyway?

The synthetic ingredients in these food dyes has become a major concern when it comes to health issues.

That is why I was so excited to find Color Garden Natural Food Colorings. These gluten-free food colorings are made with plant-based natural colorings (red is derived from beet juice & purple carrot juice; Yellow is derived from turmeric; Blue from red cabbage juice; and Orange from annatto, caramel color and beet juice) these food coloring are safe and easy to use.

All of these all-natural and healthy reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Color Garden Natural Food Colorings. Thanks for making the lives of those with color dye allergies (and those of us concerned about putting unnecessary ingredients into our bodies) much more colorful and fun!  Congratulations!

Follow Color Garden on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for recipe ideas, uses and more!

Friday Favorite: Pamela’s Figgies & Jammies Cookies

April 10th, 2014

If you’re looking for a good old fashioned cookie you have to check out Pamela’s Product’s Figgies and Jammies.

Fashioned after the old standby cookie – the Fig Newton – this gluten-free version will knock your socks off. But with one difference… this cookie is far, far better. I love that the “cookie” portion of the Figgies & Jammies is soft, chewy and sweet. One bite and you’ll know what I am talking about!

I also am loving the size of this cookie. An extra-large version of a traditional fig cookie, you’ll need only one to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Figgies & Jammies (I just love the name… so cute!) come in four flavors: The traditional Mission Fig, Blueberry & Fig, Strawberry & Fig, and my favorite, Raspberry & Fig.

Super-sized cookie goodness, which brings you back to days long ago, are the reasons why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Pamela’s Figgies & Jammies. Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: Cocomels – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Caramels

April 8th, 2014

YES…. Spring is finally here in New England and Easter is just around the corner, so now is the time to start thinking about CANDY! Easter is one of the times  that I allow myself to make up basketfuls of treats, and even sneak a few for myself.

But those of us that are gluten free, as well as dairy free, need to watch what candy we eat.

Why?

So many types of candy contain gluten – including most types of caramels. And many of those caramels not only include gluten, but tons of other “junk” like corn syrup, additives and preservatives too.

So if you’re looking for a gluten-free and dairy-free caramel that tastes delicious, check out, Cocomels, a “melt-in-your-mouth-you-can’t have-just-one” caramel that I recently discovered at a trade show.

Cocomels are made by JJ’s Sweets, a Boulder, Colorado based company that is dedicated to new ideas in the world of treats.  They create their coconut milk caramels using sustainable practices and artisan quality ingredients. Cocomels are batch-cooked in copper kettles with dairy-free ingredients to create delicious, smooth and creamy caramels, which are also vegan, non-GMO and USDA certified organic. How good can you get?!

I love the smooth, creamy coconut milk that makes Cocomels like no other caramel. And take your pick, because they come in four flavors: The traditional Original; my favorite, the Sea Salt; the coffee-lovers dream come true, Java: and also the aromatic Vanilla.

After one bite you can see that inspiration, creativity and love go into each blissfully delicious treat!

All of these melt-in-your-mouth reasons are why I am so excited that Cocomels is sponsoring this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com!

Four (Yes…4!) lucky winners will each win a prize pack containing a 3.75 ounce boxes of the Sea Salt Caramels and a 3.75 ounce boxes of the Vanilla Caramels.

Two (2) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST, and two (2) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:59PM EST. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us how you know springtime is here. (Me? The street sweepers come out to get ready for the Boston Marathon runners! The first sure sign around Boston!)

Good luck, always keep a spring in your step, a sweetness in your soul … and as always,

Be Free!

Want to hear more about Cocomels contest, coupons, giveaways and more? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday Favorite: Eatrageous… the new spin on chips

April 3rd, 2014

Want to try a new spin on chips? Try Eatrageous baked chip! This all-natural, extra crunchy gluten-free snack is like no other.

How do I love these chips? Let me count the ways.

I love the shape of Eatrageous chips… which is a penne pasta like shape. It’s tube shaped, fun, quirky and packed with a big crunch which is perfect for snacking and dipping.

I also love that that these chips are baked, all-natural, non-GMO, vegan, and of course, gluten-free.

And the flavors! I really do have a hard time choosing my favorite since they are all so original and full of flavor: Wasabi Ranch, Crunchy Mac & Cheese, Sweet & Smokey BBQ , and the all-time favorite Original Sea Salt.

And the best part? These chips are only 100 CALORIES PER SERVING!

All these reasons are why I am so thrilled that this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Eatrageous chips. Crunch away…. And Congratulations!

Friday Favorite: My Dad’s Cookies – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free & Kosher

March 27th, 2014

Sometimes you try a new product and you just know it was made with love. A product that is made for a reason.  A product that has heart, soul, and compassion as ingredients.

And when I first tried My Dad’s Cookies I felt that love.

These gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free cookies are made by a Dad (Elan) for kids with food allergies.  Starting his company in New York City in 2010, Elan’s goal was to simply create cookies that look and taste like the “real ones” that people with celiac (young & old) miss eating; and the product must be made of great ingredients, that are dairy-free, nut-free and kosher.

Well, Elan… you nailed it. Yes… You. Nailed. It.

I have tried a lot of cookies in my gluten-free days, and these cookies are at the tippity-top of my favorites list. Why? Theingredients are top-notch and the varieties are a dream come true those concerned with gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free products.

Some of my favorite cookies are the Black & White (Shhhhh… I know, I know… these cookies are are a NY thing and I’m from Boston, but I love them anyways!) Coconut Chocolate (Yup.. coconut anything is a good thing, but add in chocolate and it’s even better), Vanilla Graham (I love the chocolate drizzled on top!) , and my absolute favorite… the Raspberry Linzer (melt in your mouth raspberry love) YUM! YUM! YUM!

Thank you, Elan for making cookies full of love… without the gluten, dairy and nuts. And for this you are awarded this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com. Congrats!

Win-It-Wednesday: Teeccino Gluten-Free Dandelion Herbal Coffee Alternative & TeeChia Super Seed Cereal

March 25th, 2014

One of the best ways to start my morning is with a big bowl of Teechia Sustained Energy cereal mixed-up with some creamy yogurt alongside a piping hot Teeccino herbal dandelion coffee. Both certified gluten-free, caffeine-free and delicious.

Teechia Sustained Energy Cereal is made up of a delicious blend of six organic super seeds, plus certified gluten-free rolled oats. Then they are slightly sweetened by using fruits. It’s a bowl of heaven!

This cereal comes in two flavors: Cranberry Apple and, my favorite, Blueberry Date. The  nutrient-dense super seeds (chia, flax, quinoa, ramón, amaranth, and pumpkin) in both of the varieties paired with gluten-free oats, fruits and nuts, create a high performance cereal that keeps me energized and satisfied all morning long. The cereal is also packed with 28 grams of whole grains, 6 grams of fiber and 6-7 grams of protein and is Non-GMO Project verified and certified gluten-free. It’s cereal that you can feel good about eating!

And the Teeccino Dandelion Herbal Coffee… oh, how I love you! This herbal coffee alternative is a steaming cup of goodness for the morning, or night. I love that it satisfies my cravings for a good tasting cup of coffee, with no caffeine. With Teeccino you can have the best of both worlds – a good cup of coffee with  herbal ingredients. Pure bliss.

Teeccino’s herbal gluten-free coffee alternatives are dandelion- based and “brings the health benefits of roasted dandelion rootincluding its inulin content, antioxidants, and stimulating effects on liver function to your cup” according to the Teeccino website. The Dandelion Herbal Coffee comes in two flavors: Dandelion Dark Roast and, my favorite, Dandelion Caramel Nut. Both are certified gluten-free.

The health-benefits of the herbs, combined with the rich coffee flavor make this a perfect coffee alternative. It is also the only certified gluten-free, barley-free & caffeine-free certified organic coffee alternative on the market.

All of these wonderfully delicious reasons are why I am so excited that Teeccino’s is sponsoring this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com.

Ten (Yes…10!) lucky winners will each win a VIP Sampler prize pack of the Teeccino items. Five (5) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST, and five (5) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, April 2 and Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:59PM EST. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell which gluten-free Teeccino Super Seed Cereal and/or Herbal Coffee sounds the best to you.

Good luck, always start your mornings off full of energy and goodness… and as always,
Be Free!

Want to hear more about Teeccino’s contest, coupons, giveaways and more? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Want to buy now? Check out these links on Amazon.com and take advantage of FREE Super-Saver Shipping!

Teeccino Dandelion Caramel Nut

Teeccino Dandelion Dark Roast

Teechia Blueberry Date Sustained Energy Cereal

Teechia Cranberry Apple Sustained Energy Cereal


Friday Favorite: PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter – 85% Less Fat Calories!

March 20th, 2014

I love peanut butter. But I don’t like all the fat and calories that come along with this super spread.

That is why I was so very, very excited to find PB2.

PB2 come in two flavors: the traditional peanut butter and, my favorite, peanut butter blended with premium chocolate (can you say yum?!) Both are gluten-free.

The product is made by slow roasting superior quality peanuts and then pressing them to remove 85% of the fat and oil… which produces a fine “peanut powder”. Next they add in a bit of sugar and salt (No preservatives or artificial sweeteners).

And… magically… when you blend PB2 with water (mix 2 tablespoons of PB2 with 1 tablespoon of water) it makes a super delicious, tasty and creamy peanut butter that is only 45 calories per serving with only 1 gram of fat!  This product is perfect for those on Weight Watchers or those concerned with calories.

And if the chocolate variety is your fancy, added into the peanuts are ground cocoa beans … which produces a chocolaty peanut butter deliciousness!!

I love to whip-up a batch to dip sliced apples and pears into… or put a tablespoon or two of the powder into my smoothies, or atop my ice cream. The possibilities are limitless!

85% less calories and fat… superior taste… and endless possibilities are all the reasons why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to PB2. Congratulations!

Want to buy now? Check out this link of Amazon.com! PB2 Premium Bundle: Powdered Peanut Butter + Powdered Chocolate Peanut Butter

Friday Favorite: Fabz Snacks

March 13th, 2014

This week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to a healthy little snack with big flavor and tons of good!

Fabz Snacks are an all-natural crunchy snack made of Fava Beans. The beans are sliced super thin, and baked to perfection with canola oil and sea salt.

I love that Fabz Snacks are low in calories (only 130 calories for 2 ounces) and are gluten-free, nut-free, Non-GMO, and have no trans fats. They are also packed with iron, fiber and protein.

My new favorite snack  is a great way to get good nutrition while crunching and snacking away!

All of these Fabz-ulous reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Fabs Fava Bean Snacks. Congratulations!

Want to find out more? Follow Fabz on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


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