I was put on a gluten free trial last year for 7 months, which I now know is totally the wrong thing for doctors to have done. It meant that I had to do a gluten challenge (ie, eat gluten) for six weeks before I had an endoscopy that confirmed damage in my intestines. So to be completely honest, this is my second time around eating gluten free. But, the first time was sort of an experiment. I never really thought I had celiac disease, because my symptoms were so varied and seemed to come and go.
I regarded the first gluten-free stage as a challenge to myself, to see if I can do it. And I basically cut out all cakes/breads/pastas/cookies etc. for 7 months. I ate rice, fruits, veggies, potatoes (I know, they’re a vegetable, but I ate them so much they get to be their own group), nuts, and meat. I did, however, cheat and eat pretzels.
I love pretzels; the salty, bready taste is just so delicious. They satisfy two cravings at once, and they are an easy, portable snack that I can take anywhere. So I was thrilled to find Glutino Pretzels my first time going gluten-free.
If you haven’t tried them – you must! They’re light, crunchy, and taste just like wheat pretzels! Seriously, they do. I was skeptical, too, at first. But, as a test I gave them to my sister to try first (I’d had a few bad experiences with “it tastes just like the wheat product” at this point). She loved them, and so I gave them a try.
The nice thing about these pretzels (in addition to the taste) is that they come in sticks and pretzel shapes. That’s good, because you can dip the sticks into foods like peanut butter, or hummus (naturally gluten-free – but I use “natural” peanut butter -the type of peanut butter you have to keep in the fridge, check the label if you eat the other kind).
A side note about peanut butter – it might provide some protection against cardiovascular disease due to high levels of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol; peanut butter also provides protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, and dietary fiber. It’s a really good snack for celiacs to have (as long as you don’t have any nut allergies, obviously!).
The other good thing about Glutino pretzels is that you can dip them in chocolate for chocolate-covered pretzels! I recently made a batch with both dark chocolate, and then drizzled some whites chocolate dyed green and red (with a plant-based food colouring) to be festive for Christmas. I brought them to work, and everyone loved them. Nobody could tell that they were gluten free – in fact, one of the girls even asked me if I’d made them because I was getting rid of all my gluten-containing food!
These would make a really cute host/hostess gift. Just put your chocolates in a clear bag, and tie with a green or red ribbon.
I found these pretzels at Meyers Drugs (a store that has TONS of gluten free items), but you can also find them at some Safeway’s, and online.