By Kristie Snyder,
You know a diet is popular when a Google search returns over 12 million results, as it does for "gluten free diet." Compare that with "vegan diet," which turns up a paltry 2.6 million. It's clear that people are increasingly avoiding wheat products and gluten, the stretchy protein found in wheat and many of its relatives. Many who avoid gluten have been diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten consumption can cause intestinal inflammation and damage the lining of the intestines. Others experience wheat allergies or intolerances, which can lead to a host of symptoms.
Ten years ago, finding gluten- or wheat-free baked goods could be a real challenge, and finding ones that tasted good proved even more difficult. But a trip to GreenStar's bakery case today yields over two dozen delicious wheat- or gluten-free options.
Bakery Manager Cilla Cartland and Assistant Bakery Manager Jillian Brazel explain that many of their products are wheat-free by happenstance, but they've also made an effort to develop wheat- or gluten-free recipes for items that usually contain wheat. Cilla is gluten-free herself, after recently finding that she could not tolerate wheat, and they are both big advocates for the diet. "Eating gluten-free can be really healthy in terms of all the highly-nutritious alternative grains out there," Cilla said. Jillian added that, as gluten-free products have become more popular, ingredients have become easier to source.
Current wheat-free or gluten-free options found in the Co-op's bakery or cookie cases include ginger apple bars, berry oat bars, wheat-free brownies, chocolate hazelnut torte slices and marjolaines. Gluten-free cakes and cupcakes are available in a variety of flavors. Other options include various flavors of mousse cups, fruit crisps, pomegranate parfait, and banana, tapioca, rice and orange blossom puddings. Wheat- or gluten-free cookies include three flavors of macaroons, Brazilian coffee cookies, and the popular tahini oat cookies. Raspberry thumbprints contain spelt, a wheat relative that some who avoid wheat can tolerate.
The Bakery's bread selection includes a gluten-free bread as well, the gluten-free mini-loaf, baked on Thursdays.
"One of the yummiest things that gluten-free and non-gluten-free people should know about it the Petite Amour, a flourless chocolate torte," Jillian said. This decadent treat is also available in the popular bite-sized Amour Bites.
Two new offerings are Treman bars — a wheat-free twist on the popular backpacker bar, with flaxseed, cranberries and sunflower seeds in a base of oat flour — and Maple Walnut bars, a sweet shortbread-like bar filled with whole walnuts.
For wheat-free entertaining, the Bakery can make larger versions of some desserts, and can even make gluten-free wedding cakes to order. For custom orders of wheat-free desserts, call the Bakery at 607.273.5069.
People who are sensitive to even the tiniest amount of gluten should note that, while some of the Bakery's offerings contain no wheat gluten, they are all produced in a kitchen that also bakes wheat-containing items, and thus there is the possibility of small amounts of cross-contamination. Oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat and are therefore sometimes avoided completely by very sensitive individuals as well. If you need ingredient lists or have questions about any of the Bakery's ingredients, please call Assistant Bakery Manager Jillian Brazel at 607.273.5069. For more information on gluten-free products at GreenStar, consult our "Gluten-Free Product List," available near the entrance of the West-End store.
Call the Bakery: 607-273-5069
|Goodness Baked from Scratch in Co-op's Kitchen|
By Kristie Snyder,
When I stopped into GreenStar's Bakery recently to talk with Bakery Manager Jillian Brazel about new products, she and her staff were huddled around a stand mixer that was running full tilt. Inside was a frothy vegan meringue of aquafaba (an amazing egg replacement) and sugar, miraculously transforming as the bakers watched in wonder. The Bakery's try-anything spirit means that they're constantly inventing new approaches and products. "Experimentation is the fun part," Jillian said. "Sometimes it doesn't work out, but it's still fun." And when it does work out, it leads to terrific new products, which is why GreenStar has the best selection of vegan desserts in town.
Experimentation isn't the only thing that sets GreenStar's Bakery apart — its focus on premium ingredients is unusual as well. Where many commercial baked goods are loaded with a laundry list of unsavory and unhealthful ingredients (hydrogenated oils, refined flours, corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors), GreenStar's Bakery is committed to using the highest-quality, pure ingredients, organic and local whenever possible. Jillian lists her ingredients: "All of our flours are organic, the sugar is organic evaporated cane juice, our vanilla and chocolate chips are organic and Fair Trade, fruit is locally sourced whenever we can get it, the colors are plant based, the eggs are local and free range." There's no hydrogenated oil on the premises; organic canola oil is used instead. And Jillian knows exactly what's in every product, because "we make every single thing from scratch, except the pie crusts, which are organic and vegan. It's pretty uncommon to do that. We even make our own frosting — it doesn't come in a bucket."