A Few of My Favourite Things


I am not putting up a recipe today – I actually have some ready to go but I decided to take a different direction this morniing.  I have to be honest, posting fewer than three recipes a week makes me a little twitchy.  It’s become my weekly schedule and I do feel a sense of obligation about it at times.  But so many of you have expressed interest in what products I love and what brands I use, I thought it was time for a little review post.  When it comes to low carb and gluten-free cooking and baking, I certainly have strong preferences about what I like to use.  When it comes to actually eating, those preferences are even stronger.  What can I say?  I like what I like and some things just aren’t worth compromise.

A few of the products here were sent to me for review and I will make note of that for transparency.  Most of the products are things I purchased myself.  Either way, if they are included here, I really liked them and want to give them a shout out.

Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Maple Syrup:  This is what I pour on all my low carb pancakes and waffles.  It’s made with xylitol and it’s much thicker than most sugar free syrups.  I don’t detect any aftertaste at all, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s as close to real maple syrup as I am going to get.  I haven’t tried anything else from their product line yet, but it all looks good so I might try their honey.  I purchased it on Amazon.com.

Cabot Whole Milk Greek Yogurt:  For a while there, I despaired of ever finding a decent whole milk Greek yogurt in my area.  I even traveled several towns over to the closest Whole Foods, to no avail.  It was all low and non-fat.  Turns out, it was right under my nose the whole time.  Both of my local grocery stores carry many products from this local-ish (Vermont) dairy co-op.  I’ve eaten lots of their cheese and when I finally took note that they had full fat Greek yogurt, I fell in love.  A little stevia and some chopped strawberries and it’s like ice cream.  We keep it on hand at all times now.

Savorfull Okay, so this is more of a service than an individual product, but I think it’s a brilliant idea nonetheless.  I met the owner at the Nourished Food Blogger Conference and she offered to send me a box to try.  The basic idea is a monthly box of allergy-free foods sent to your door…without a hefty price tag.  Everything is gluten, wheat, peanut and dairy free, and it gives you a chance to try new products on the market so you can decide what works best for you.  My box contained samples of noodles, all-purpose flour and some snacks.  I am fortunate that no one in my house has any sort of food allergies, but I can see just how helpful this service would be if I did.

Trader Joe’s Mahi Mahi Burgers:  When I bought these the other day as a quick convenience meal, I was expecting a dry-ish, fishy tasting burger.  I figured it would be good for us but that I’d have to whip up an interesting sauce or mayo to make it palatable.  Boy, was I wrong!  These are fabulous and need absolutely nothing to accompany them, although they were good paired with a ginger sesame dressing.  I was so impressed, I plan to go back and buy about 4 boxes to keep in the freezer for those busy weeknights!  We grilled ours, which surely made them extra good, but I think they’d be great broiled as well.

Simple Squares:  These were sent to me for review because of my emphasis on gluten-free and I was impressed.  Now, they do contain a little honey so they aren’t something I can indulge in too much, but they were a fantastic healthy snack for my kids.    They are entirely organic and made just with nuts, honey, vanilla, sea salt and herbs.  And they come in really interesting flavours like Cinnamon Clove, Rosemary, or Sage.  We are big snackers in this house and they are a great grain-free, gluten-free alternative to granola bars.

Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flax Seed Meal:  It’s not overstating things to say that I am slightly obsessed with this at the moment.  Up until recently, I always used the regular brown flax meal.  And truthfully, I think they taste about the same.  But the golden flax has captured my fancy because the lighter colour looks better in most baked goods.  My Walnut Flax Pancakes were made with golden flax and you honestly cannot tell them apart from regular pancakes.  And it’s available in most grocery stores, which is a huge boon for this busy mama.

Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour:  Finally, I have to give a shout-out to the good people at Honeyville, because this is the Cadillac of almond flours.  There are some other decent ones out there, but this is the gold standard in my opinion.  It’s blanched and finely ground, and for most of my recipes, you honestly can’t tell that the final result is made with almond flour.  And pound for pound, it’s really no more expensive than any other brand on the market, as long as we are talking about true almond FLOUR.  Almond meal is another thing altogether and I will say that you can’t use them interchangeably.  Almond meal is not as finely ground and won’t bake quite the same way so be sure you know what you are using.  I purchase my Honeyville directly from their website because I am on their email list and they send around discount codes every month or so.  And can I just say…I don’t work with them to promote their product, but if they ever asked me to, I’d jump at the chance!

So that’s my little round up for today.  What are your favourite low carb or gluten free products?


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  1. says

    Cut yourself some slack, Carolyn, 3 recipes a week is a LOT. I understand the twitchy, though, if things go awry on my blog, I twitch until it’s fixed. This is a great post, as I at least, come here to find out about appropriate products. What’s in the syrup besides xylitol? I try to avoid the stuff because of “gastric distress” and avoid artificial ingredients in general. I love Honeyville, too. You can get granular erythritol from them at a great price, too. Here in the Philly area, our Whole Foods have plenty of full fat Greek yogurts, including the Fage, the granddaddy of them all. Will look for the Cabot, though, as I love most of their products, and the Simple Squares as they’d be great to take on road trips.

    • Carolyn says

      The syrup has xylitol, xanthan gum, some caramel colouring and maple flavouring. I know both xylitol and xanthan can upset some people’s GI tracts. I don’t have an issue, but I also don’t douse my pancakes with it. Probably a tablespoon at most. :)

  2. says

    Costco just started selling frozen mahi mahi burgers as well (we’re a BIG fan of their frozen salmon burgers and have them for dinner once a week). The mahi burgers is the plan for dinner tonight!

  3. says

    I have never heard of savorfull, but it sounds like I can check one christmas present off my list already! My sister-in-law has lots of food allergies (including gluten and dairy) and so do her children. She is always looking for new GF, DF products and this service sounds perfect for her :) Thank you very much for sharing about it!

  4. says

    One of my fav. Low Carb products is GG Bran Crispbread. It’s filled with fiber and fantastically crunchy. Don’t think it’s gluten free, though. Another thing I can’t live without: my liquid sucralose for tea and coffee – EZ Sweetz. Also, Trader Joe’s has a natural peanut butter with flax seeds that’s just to die for!

  5. says

    Thank you soooo much for recommending an almond flour! I’m getting so tired of taking my almond meal and grinding it myself. Since this almond flour is finer do you notice your baked goods get fluffier?

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, they get fluffier, they rise better and the texture of the final product is much finer. Honestly, it’s a world of difference!

  6. Kassi says

    I’m curious about what brand of “oat fiber” you use for some of your recipes. I googled it but could not really find anything but “oat flour.” I suspect there is a difference, or is there? Thanks! I have really been excited about finding your blog.

    • Carolyn says

      There is a huge difference. Oat flour is just really finely ground oats. Oat fiber is made by grinding only the fibrous part of the oat grain (the bran, I think, could be wrong there) and it is all fiber, so 0 net carbs. Honeyville sells it and I think there are some other brands on Amazon.

  7. says

    Funny you posted this! I just got my Amazon order this morning with a 5lb bag of Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour. I plan to make a cookie of some sort tomorrow afternoon with it. I hadn’t tried this yet and now am really looking forward to using it, thanks!

  8. says

    Great list! Thanks! I’ve been baking with pecan meal, which has a nice rich flavor (although it’s very oily, so adjust recipes accordingly), but I’ll give the almond flour a try.

  9. says

    I really need to pick up some almond flour. I see so many fabulous recipes using and have heard only great things. I sometimes use almond meal in baking, but it’s just that, a meal. The baked goods can sometimes turn ours kind of crumbly, and well, mealy. But I’ve read super good things about Honeyville, so I just signed up for their emails and will be picking up some flour shortly! Excited to try it!!

  10. Susan says

    I so appreciate your recipe creativity, Carolyn and always look forward to opening up your blog to find something new. The latest pancake recipe was awesome! We are fans of the
    Nature Farm’s products…their sugar free jams are great too.

    Just put up 25 lbs of Honeyville Farms Almond flour with a coupon, it worked out to $4 a pound. Can’t beat that price and with all your recipes…I use a lot of it.

    Happy Labor Day…rest up and keep on dreaming up new goodies.

    • Carolyn says

      Our local Trader Joe’s sells out of them really fast because they are that good! I thought they’d be dry and awful too, and I was so pleased. I would suggest grilling them if you can.

  11. Alice B. says

    I really appreciate this information. Lots of great tips here and I will be replacing a couple of items when current supply runs out. Thank you!

  12. says

    At the bulk store where I buy most things, the almond flour/meal has both on the label…with a description saying that “almond flour is also called almond meal”. I would expect flour to be finer than meal. I do grind up my flax meal to make it finer, but when I try to do some almond meal, it tends to clump. I’ll have to look for real almond flour now!

  13. says

    I’ve heard so many good things about honeyville almond flour. I really need to order some and give it a try. If you like Trader Joe’s mahi-mahi bugers; you ought to try the chili lime turkey burgers. They are fantastic!

  14. says

    What a wonderful list Carolyn. I love the flaxmeal from Bob’s Red Mill and it’s the only one I use as an egg substitute. From Bob’s Red Mill I also buy the almond flour, a little pricey at almost $12 a pound. Will have to order some from Honeyville, thanks!

  15. Maria says

    Nature’s Hollow jams are very good. Sweetened with xylitol (which I learned is deadly for dogs—lowers their blood sugar instantly to dangerous levels.) I will try the maple syrup. I get my oat fiber, so useful, from Honeyville. And great organic almond flour from Nuts.com—I will look into Honeyville’s.
    Flackers—flaxseed crackers (Whole Foods Market) 1 carb for 6 of them (more in the version with currants). A bit strong tasting, but lovely with cheese.

    Again, thanks so very, very much for your blog. I made your almond tea cake again (the first low carb almond flour I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing recipe I ever tried–I left out the stevia and upped the Swerve a little bit this time.)

    Maria, your fan

  16. Lauren says

    I love your blog, and am anxious to try your recipes, but can you tell me what kind of stevia you use? I want to know what the equivalent would be in cups (or less) of sugar because I use the nunaturals powder which is very concentrated.

    • Carolyn says

      I use the nunaturals liquid. I am not sure how it equals to the powder and I don’t really add my stevia with sugar in mind, and how much it replaces. I tend to taste my batters to see if they are sweet enough. You could try adding a small amount of the powder and then taste and add more if you want it. Or maybe Nunaturals could tell you how to sub one for the other.

  17. says

    Where I live, we don’t have a Trader Joes, Whole Foods, World Market, or even a Wegmens. We have a dirty Shop-Rite, and overpriced Weis, and Walmart. Ooh, and Target, they just added food! My area prttey much sucks when it comes to finding “different” foods. I’ll have to check the one tiny natural food store that we have though, they might have it. I’m not planning to go gluten free, but the almond flour sounds like it would really add some nice texture and flavor beyond what regular flour has.

  18. Victoria Grando says

    My favorit low carb & no gluten baking ingredients are: Hazel nut flour (I am not a big fan of Almond flour) and Whole Psyllium. I have found that Psyllium holds the nut flours together very well and does not add a new tast to the recipe. I use it for all my low-carb & glutine free baking. It makes the absolute best pancakes I have ever eaten. Much better than four pancakes.

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