Archive for March, 2012

Friday Favorite: Fruit Infusion Pitcher

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Ahhhh… there’s nothing like a tall, cold glass of water. But let’s face it… plain water can be just that… plain old boring.

That is why I snagged myself one of these pitchers on that lets you infuse your own real fruit, herbs and veggies – quickly and easily.

The concept is easy & inexpensive. You cut up your own fruit, veggies, herbs… creativeness at it’s best… and add them to the infuser section in the pitcher. Within a few hours (but it can take up to 24 hours for some fruits/veggies) you have crisp, flavored water that is super yummy, super healthy (since you have control over the ingredients you put in) and super cheap to make!

I can’t say enough about this pitcher and have been dreaming-up different flavor-concoctions since I got it. Some of my favorites so far? Apple & Mint; Basil-Cucumber; Lemon-Ginger; Strawberry-Kiwi; Green Tea & Tangerine; and Honeydew-Mint. In face, I like so many mixtures I think I might have to get a second pitchers to have two flavors going at the same time!

The fruit/veggies that I add to the infuser lasts for about 1-week, but I find it helpful to add more water to the pitcher every time I pour myself a glass, to keep the water continually infused and nicely flavored.

It’s not even the summertime yet, but I am already envisioning me and my girlfriends poolside… while they envy me and my super-cool pitcher!

This is also a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, and a great way to get kids to help in the kitchen and drink more water too!

I just checked and it is now (on 03/29/12) on sale on for $19.99 (Regular price is $25) and qualifies for free Super Saver Shipping.

It’s not too often I rave about something other than food on my Friday Favorite column, but this pitcher is must-have for anyone trying to drink more water! So this week I lift my glass of fruit infused water and congratulate Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher for being this week’s Friday Favorite on!
Want to buy on Check out this link: Prodyne Fruit Infusion 93-Ounce Natural Fruit Flavor Pitcher

Friday Favorite: Power of Fruit Frozen Bars

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

During the first week of spring here in Boston, and like many other places in the country, we had record breaking temperatures. Really? 80 degrees Fahrenheit in March… wicked crazy (said like a true Bostonian)!

But as the temperatures rose, I was skipping my way to the office freezer that housed one of my favorite products I discovered at the Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, California earlier this month.

Power of Fruit Frozen Bars.

These bars are awesome. Each bite is a bursting mouthful of refreshing fresh fruit. It’s so fitting that the tag line for Power of Fruit is “The fruit, whole fruit, and nothing but the fruit”.

But please, check out the ingredients for yourself. Each ingredient label on a Power of Fruit product not only lists what it does have in it (real fruit), but also what it does not… sugar, color, corn syrup, or preservatives.

And I’m not the only one that loves these bars… over 10,138 people like The Power of Fruit on Facebook. That’s a LOT of fans!

These frozen bars come in plenty of flavors too: Tropical, Orange Tango, Cherry Berry, Banana-Berry, and my all-time favorite, All-Fruit.

And I love, love, love that these bars have only 27 to 35 calories (that’s IT!) per bar, so you can feel good about indulging in these bars. They are perfect for kids and adults. Great for snacking or desserts.

Power of Fruit Frozen Bars are perfect any day. Any time of the year. Even the first week of spring!

~ Want to Buy Power Of Fruit Bars? Check out this link and find a store near you that carries them!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Kinnikinnick Kinni-Kritters Animal Cookies (Plus a bonus!)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Lions, and Tigers and Bears! Oh My! Animal Cookies make an appearance in many of my favorite childhood memories. I’m not real sure if it’s the taste of the cookies themselves, the surprise of seeing what animal shaped cookie I’d pull out of the box next, or the knowledge that I only was given this favorite treat only when I was extra-specially good…  but Animal Cookies bring back some warm memories.

And thanks to Kinnikinnick, kids that are on a gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free diet can still experience the flavor and allure of Animal Cookies too.

Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free Animal Cookies come in two great flavors: the original vanilla and chocolate. Another bonus is that these cookies are not only gluten-free, but also nut-free and dairy-free.

That’s why I was so excited when I discovered that Kinninkinnick Kinni-Kritters Animal Cookies were sponsoring the next two week’s WIN-It-Wednesday on

Two lucky winners will win a package of these delicious cookies, PLUS a bonus package of either the KinniKinnick Kinni-Toos Chocoalte Sandwich Crème Cookies OR Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us your favorite cookie memory (it can be about your memory of Animal Cookies, baking, a certain kind of cookie, fun cookie stories… anything!) Me? One of my fondest memories is sitting in the grocery cart eating Animal Crackers with my sisters. (Funny how I also remember us eating the heads off first! HA!) Crazy the things simple things that you sometimes remember!

One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, March 28 and Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

Good luck, When you need to bite someone’s head off reach for an Animal Cookie… and as always…
Be Free!

Note: Want to buy some Kinnikinnick Cookies for yourself? Check out these links on, have it delivered right to your door, AND get FREE SUPER SAVER SHIPPING!
Kinnikinnick Foods KinniKritters Animal Cookies, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, 8-Ounce Box (Pack of 6)
Kinnikinnick Cookie – Chocolate Animal Gluten Free, 8-Ounce (Pack of 6)
KinniToos Chocolate Sandwich Creme, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)
KinnitToos Vanilla Sandwich Creme, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)
Kinnitoos Cookie – Fudge Cream Sandwich Gluten Free, 8-Ounce (Pack of 3)

Quick & Easy Gluten-Free Tomato Soup

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Even though spring is right around the corner, there is still a bit of a chill in the air that a steamy bowl of gluten-free tomato soup can chase right off.

I set out this past weekend to make the perfect bowl of tomato soup –  with just enough tanginess, combined with a touch of sweetness. Creamy, but not too thick, and exactly spiced.

The quest for this perfect bowl of homemade gluten-free Tomato Soup was easier to come by than originally anticipated, hence the namesake, Quick & Easy Tomato Soup. I like that the ingredients are all basic kitchen staples, and the cost to make it is under $10. For a dairy-free version, or for a less- creamy version, eliminate the sour cream (or yogurt), as well as the grated Parmesan cheese garnish.

A perfect lunch? A cup of this soup, paired with a perfectly toasted, ooey and gooey grilled cheese sandwich.

Quick & Easy Tomato Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
28-ounce can of 100% pureed tomato
2  5.5-ounce cans of V-8 juice (I used the spicy variety, but you can use regular too)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves (dried or fresh)
¾ cup of sour cream or plain yogurt (omit for dairy free)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, as garnish (omit for dairy free)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic and the red pepper flakes. Cook, while stirring constantly, until the garlic starts to lightly brown.

Add the pureed tomatoes, V-8 juice, sugar and the chopped basil.  Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the sour cream or yogurt (if using), stir until blended. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Ladle into individual bowls and top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy free).

Serves 4-6.

Friday Favorite: Enjoy Life’s Seeds & Fruit

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

This week’s Friday Favorite on is awarded to Enjoy Life Foods, Not Nuts! …Seeds and Fruit Mix.

These gluten-free portable snacks are also free of the eight (8) common allergens, and contain NO nuts… which are common in most trail mix varieties.

These kid-friendly and allergen-friendly snacks come in two great flavors Beach Bash, a combination of sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple, apricots and cranberries and Mountain Mambo, which is my favorite, a combination of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, fruit and chocolate chips (Yes! Chocolate Chips).

These tasty snacks are great for allergen-free classrooms or for those with multiple allergies. All these fabulous reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is happily awarded to Enjoy Life Food’s Seeds & Fruit Mix. Congrats!

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

Enjoy Life not nuts! Beach Bash Nut Free Trail Mix, Gluten, Dairy & Nut Free, 6-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

Enjoy Life Foods Not Nuts! Mountain Mambo Trail Mix Gluten Free ( 6×6 OZ)

Ask Shelley Case: Healthy Gluten-Free Eating

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Shelley, can you give me some tips on how to eat healthy on a gluten-free diet?

March is national nutrition month so this is a perfect time to offer up some tips on eating nutritiously!  The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Dietitians of Canada want to help consumers focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits not only in March but throughout the year.

Following a gluten-free diet can present certain challenges that arise when it comes to eating a balanced and nutritious diet due to the dietary limitations. Here are a few pointers and tips on eating nutritiously… and gluten-free:

Get your plate in shape everyday: When people first begin the gluten-free diet it is quite common to eat the same foods day after day such as rice crackers or rice cakes and white rice. This not only gets boring but can result in missing out on essential nutrients. To make sure you are eating adequate amounts from each food group use this food plate nutrition as a guide.  Also check out Canada’s Food Guide for more information, including tips for choosing and preparing foods from each group.

It’s about the whole grain: Many gluten-free baked products, cereals and pastas are made from refined flours and starches such as white rice flour, tapioca, corn and/or potato starch that are low in iron, B vitamins and fiber. When choosing gluten-free products, select ones that contain whole-grains, such as amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats (pure, uncontaminated*), quinoa, sorghum, teff, and wild rice.  And to find out more read my blog post on whole grains and how to incorporate them into your gluten-free diet.

Start your day out right- eat breakfast: It’s true. Breakfast helps you jump start your day both mentally and physically. A healthy breakfast fuels your body with food and provides key nutrients such as protein, iron, B vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber. Many traditional breakfast items are made with gluten-containing grains, especially wheat and barley. But not to worry- there are plenty of great gluten-free breakfast options available. Check out my blog to find more nutritious gluten-free options.

Eat more veggies and fruits: Whether you are on a gluten-free diet or not, most people do not get enough fruit and veggies! With a little planning and creativity it’s possible to get more at snacks and meal times. I like adding blueberries, strawberries or sliced bananas on my gluten-free oatmeal or granola. How about apple or pear slices and nut butter on a gluten-free waffle or toast? Baby carrots, sliced peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers make a great snack with hummus or low fat dip. Double up your portion of vegetables or serve a salad and a cooked vegetable for dinner. Need more ideas? Check out this link for tips on adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet.

Boost the nutritional content of sweet treats: For those with a  sweet tooth incorporate fruit and gluten-free flours from whole grains, nuts and pulses (aka legumes) when making cookies, muffins and cakes to make them more nutritious. Need some ideas? Check out these recipes: Oatmeal-Berry Bars, Anise-Apricot Biscotti, Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler or Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.

Remember quantity, as well as quality: Being overweight  or obese are at an all-time high in North America, so controlling the amount you eat can help prevent these two epidemics. Many gluten-free products are high in sugar, fat and calories and low in fiber so check the nutrition facts label and compare products for the healthier option. Also practice eating slowly, eating food from a plate or bowl… instead of eating out of a bag, and being conscious of portion sizes, especially while dining at restaurants, can all help in weight management, and ultimately better health.

Get more nutritional information:

Check out my website for more healthy tips on eating gluten-free at:

Also contact a registered dietitian in your area for personal assistance.
Registered dietitians are uniquely trained and qualified to translate the science of nutrition into practical advice for people of all ages, whether you have a health problem or just want to eat better. Here are links to find a dietitian in the USA and Canada.

Friday Favorite: Chimes Ginger Chews

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

This week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe goes to Chimes Ginger Chews. These sweet, but spice chews are the perfect switch for those that like a fresh taste, without a minty flavor.

The Chimes Ginger Chews are gluten-free, individually wrapped, and contain only 3 grams of sugar per piece. The original flavor contains only three ingredients: Cane Sugar, Choice Ginger and Tapioca Starch. Simple goodness.

I love that these ginger chews contain no artificial flavors, and not only come in an Original ginger flavor, but also some other exciting ones such as Peppermint, Peanut Butter, Orange, and my favorite, Mango.

I like to carry a few of these chews in my purse. They are great for an afternoon pick-me-up, and even for soothing a troubled tummy.

All these reasons are why this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite goes to  Chime’s Ginger Chews. Cheers!

Want to buy this product now? Check out these links on and take advantage of Free Super-Saver Shipping!

To Purchase a single bag: Chimes Original Ginger Chews, 5-Ounce Bag

To Purchase a 5-pound box: Chimes Original Ginger Chews, 5-pound Box, 5-Pound Box

WIN-It-Wednesday: The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen Cookbook by Denise Jardine

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

It seems that everywhere I turn, folks that are on a gluten-free diet, are also are on a dairy-free diet too. Talk about a double-whammy. Statistics now support the connection between dairy- and gluten-related health issues, and more and more people are being diagnosed with BOTH gluten and dairy issues.

And Denise Jardine is one of those people.

Denise, a nutritional educator who wrote “Recipes for Dairy-Free Living”, found out that she too also had gluten-related issues, after eighteen years of living with a dairy allergy.

So back to the kitchen and keyboard went Jardine.  And this time she’s cooked up a gem of a cookbook for those on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet: “The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen… 150 delicious dishes for every meal, every day”.

This cookbook is full of easily approachable recipes that are straightforward to read and prepare; however, the recipes themselves yield those “you-shouldn’t-have-slaved-in-the-kitchen-all-day-for-me”  comments from your family, friends and guests. Some of the recipes that caught my eye, and put a grumble in my stomach include Coconut-Lime Seafood Stew, Peppered Pork Tenderloin in Mustard Cream Sauce and German Apple Souffle a la Mode. Dinner party anyone?

And if you have other allergies or watching your sugar intake, no worries, Jardine has you covered. Similar to recipes, the recipes in this cookbook has a coding system that indicates other common allergens the recipe is free of.

What a perfect cookbook for readers! Which is why I was thrilled that this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe was going to be sponsored by The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen Cookbook.

A total of two  BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a copy of this cookbook. One (1) winners will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us what being “free” means to you. A very open ended question, I know! (Me? Here are a few things: A clear conscious; recognizing all the good in my world and then having that appreciative feeling that totally makes my day; and walking on a beach early in the morning). How easy is that? Now it’s your turn…

Good luck, embrace being free of the foods that you need to be… =) and, as always…

Be Free!

Note: Want to buy this cookbook now? Check out this link on This cookbook is also eligible for Super Saver Shipping! The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen

Friday Favorite: PhillySwirl Sweet Delites Frozen Treats… Only 14 Calories!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I love ice cream. By the dish, by the cone, or by the stick. But let’s face it… high-calorie ice cream every day isn’t something I really should be enjoying.  

That is why I was so excited when I stumbled across Philly Swirl Sweet Delites Bars as I was pining over the gallons of fat and sugar filled ice cream while shopping last week.

At only 14 calories these gluten-free frozen treat bars made with real fruit were calling out my name.  And yes… these bars say “gluten-free” right on the label. These frozen treat bars are also tree nut / peanut free, egg free, and soy free.

PhillySwirl Sweet Delites are a perfect dessert, when you need a little something sweet, but don’t need the calories that come along with most sweet indulgences.

And for those of you tracking your weight watcher points: These bars are only ¼ points per serving.

Each package has 10 bars that come in 3 flavors – Raspberry & Vanilla, Cherry & Vanilla and Orange & Vanilla. And for those of you that are Dairy-Free, PhillySwirl also makes SwirlPoppers – which are noted as dairy and gluten-free on their website.

Low calories, tasty and free of many allergens are the reasons are why PhillySwirl is awarded this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe! Congrats!

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