We still do some shopping in the US at Wegman's for items we can't get here but those items are becoming less and less.
For the most part, home cooking is the way to go but sometimes the convenience factor can't be beat. Keep in mind, these may not be the healthiest options, but this is based on taste. We give up so much in terms of choice, and eat healthy for the majority of the time but we all deserve treats.
Gluten Free Niagara's Favourites ( in no particular order)
Rolls - Schar Par-Baked Ciabatta Rolls - a small bun but delicious. Sold in packs of 4 at Wegmans
Baguettes - Schar Par-Baked Baguettes - Only you will know it's GF. Perfect grilled on the BBQ and dipped in fresh pesto oil dipping sauce. Available at Wegman's, 2 baguettes for about $6.79 US. A little pricey but another good baguette, Aidan's Gluten Free from the Oakville area costs about the same for 1.
Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns - Udi's Hot Dog buns are fantastic warmed up. They can be a little dry if they aren't. Sold in packs of 6. They also have a fantastic Hamburger bun, again, warm it up. Heating in the microwave is the best option since it won't dry it out like heating on the grill would. Sold in packs of 4. Udi's Buns are still being rolled out in Niagara grocery stores. Where have you found them?
Another great option is The Grainless Baker for both hamburger and hot dog buns. Found at Wegmans, they are a little denser than wheat-filled buns but are definitely a lot better than other buns we've previously had in the grocery store freezers.
Wraps - This is a tougher one. Food for Life Gluten Free Brown Rice Tortillas used to be fantastic. Perfect for fajitas and you could warm it up and roll up whatever you wanted in it. Recently, they installed new ovens and they don't roll anymore without cracking.
But.... what about cutting one in half and then using like a quesadilla fajita. Just heat up and the cheese will melt it together. Widely available.
Bread Crumbs - Kinnikinnick Panko Bread Crumbs - Hello, Onion Rings. Hello, Breaded Chicken. Hello, MOZZARELLA STICKS! True panko is usually a light crumb and this is toasted and a little heavier-bodied but it stays very crispy during cooking. Found at Zehr's. Check out Kinnikinnick's $10 flat rate shipping across Canada as well.
English Muffins - Reserving this place. Food for Life has English Muffins that are just now becoming available in Ontario. Should be trying them in under 2 weeks. Fingers crossed!!
Bagels - Another tough one. Udi's are the best we've had and they still aren't the bagel we've been craving
Doughnuts - Easy one - Again, Kinnikinnick. The cinnamon sugar donuts tastes like the mini-donuts from the fair. A quick thaw and heat in the microwave and you'll think Tim who? Widely available
Pancake Mix - King Arthur Gluten Free Pancakes - Best we've tried so far. Available at Wegmans. Close runner up is Duinkerken Pancakes mix - Available at Walmart and Bulk Barn
Biscuit Mix - Duinkerken again. A nice light baking powder biscuit just like Grandma used to bake.
Bulk Barn only for these
Crackers - Glutino - When you want crackers, these are great. Coming in a few different flavours allow you unlimited options unlike the nut and seed crackers that can overwhelm any accompaniments. Widely available.
Summer is nearly over but if you are still looking for campfire S'mores or even graham crumbs for a dessert base ( mmm, cheesecake!!!) , look no further than Kinnikinnick S'moreables graham style crackers. As with most prepared crackers and cookies, they have a slight stale quality to them but it's really nothing much. We love having a backyard fire and breaking out the marshmallows.
Pretzels - Snyder's of Hanover GF Pretzels take the top spot here but Glutino were a favourite before the soy in them started being a problem. Glutino also has chocolate-covered pretzels!!
Breakfast Cereals. Snyder's available at Wegman's for $2.79 per bag, Glutino is widely available for $6.99+ .
Waffles - Leggo my Eggo and gimme a Van's Gluten Free Waffle. They aren't Belgian Waffles but who wants that when you are running out the door and want a nice warm familiar breakfast. Widely available
Pasta - La Veneziane Corn Pasta. We've tried the rice pastas and weren't all that impressed. With La Veneziane, we serve it to everyone and they have no idea. Holds up nicely if you slightly undercook some of it and save it for tomorrow's leftovers to be reheated. Available at FreshCo and Rosa's Italian Market on Garnet St.
Ice Cream - Can't go wrong with Chapman's. Gluten Free Cookies and Cream Ice Cream? GF Chocolate Malted Fudge Bars as well. ( malt not from barley) Widely available
Ice Cream Cones - Goldbaums Sugar Cones. For a fun treat, dip the top in chocolate and then roll in nuts or sprinkles. Or make your own Drumstick. Available at Turtle Dove's GF Bakery in Burlington
Cookies - Want an Oreo? Have a Kinnitoo. Kinnikinnick's Chocolate Sandwich cookie is pretty close to the real thing. Crush it up for a great cookie base for desserts. Widely available
Butter Tarts - Where have my El Peto Butter Tarts gone? They were at the St Catharines Superstore but I haven't seen them in quite some time.
Pizza Crust - Udi's Pizza Crusts are nice and thin and you can even slice them into triangles and bake for a pita-type dipping bread. The go-to pizza crust for frozen crusts. Coming soon into Niagara
Soup - Kettle Cuisine Chicken Noodle Soup - After all, who really wants to make soup for themselves from scratch when they are sick. Much better to have a bowl of this on hand for when you really need it. Widely available
Beer - New Grist from the LCBO is a good sorghum beer for when you really want one. But if you can get it, in the US there is a new import which is a personal choice if you want to drink it. Estrella Damm Daura is a gluten-free Lager that is now available and it measures at 6PPM of gluten, well below the recognized standards of 20PPM. It's well, a "damm" good beer, gluten free or not. Available at Wegmans
Cider - There's a recent influx of ciders at the LCBO which we haven't tried yet but so far, the smoothest one is Magner's Original Irish Cider. Until we start getting more flavours from Grower's Ciders ( Grower's Pear is the best) available here, we are limited to apple and trendy flavours.
Gravy - Imagine Foods Beef, Turkey and Chicken Gravy. Comes in Tetra paks and it's pretty tasty for a prepared GF gravy. You know what this means right? Gluten Free Poutine!!! Available at Commisso's Niagara Falls and Healthwise at the Seaway Mall
*Widely available means you can typically find it at Sobey's, Zehr's and Superstore. You might find it at other stores and if so, let us know!!
These are just a few of the items we like to have on hand. Have another item you're curious about? BBQ Sauce, Potato Chips, Fruit Snacks? Let us know. We'll have another favourites list up soon as well as some other shops and stores to visit in the Niagara area.
All opinions above are strictly ours. Product availability subject to change.
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