Rhythm Superfood Kale Chip Review

February 23rd, 2011 yum Posted in Gluten Free Product Review, Raw Food 8 Comments »

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of dehydrated kale chips. I’d made my own baked kale chips ages ago, inspired by a certain Gluten-free Living Without magazine recipe. They were just simple things, with oil and salt, but I enjoyed them. They did seem to be an acquired taste, though. My father and another guy I know compared them unfavorably to dried autumn leaves, and castigated them quite firmly as House of Yum Rabbit food. My DH is generally open minded about vegetables, but he is not terribly fond of green leafy vegetables that resemble his nemesis, spinach. I’d never had dehydrated kale chips until quite recently.

I’d seen packaged dehydrated kale chips at Whole Foods for a minor king’s ransom. Nine dollars for a tiny little bag? I might as well buy gold leaves for my snacking pleasure. In fact, I think it might have been cheaper to buy those gold leaves. However, early in January I got an email from Rhythm Superfoods asking if I wanted to try and possibly review their gluten-free raw foods kale chips. Imagine my excitement at finding a company beating down my door offering me the chance to try not just one but three varieties. How cool was that! The next time I went to Whole Foods, I found Rhythm Kale chips available for a far more reasonable price, although they were still high enough I’d have to be really hungry for some healthy greens and very hard pressed to find the time to make my own. I waited with bated breath for my chips to arrive. When they did, I was very happy to dive into those little bags of yummy, dehydrated goodness and try them out.

First I tried the Kool Ranch. They were crispy, salty, and addictive. The only negative was a faint seaweed aftertaste. Even so, I went through this package faster than the others. In a weak moment I might buy them if I had a craving for ranch dressing flavor.

Next was Zesty Nacho. These were also crisp, with a red-peppery, hot flavor that lingered in the mouth, and a creamy, almost nutty undertone. I really liked these, although at first I wasn’t sure about the “zesty” part of it. The nutty undertone won me over in the end, though, and I’d probably be most likely to buy them again.

The Bombay Curry was the final flavor I tried. Like the others, they were crisp, and smelled like a powdery India spice bazaar. They had a cinnamon flavor on the tongue, that reminded me of a dry packaged curry with potatoes and spinach, and a grassy, dusty overtone. When I first tried them I enjoyed the flavors, but after a while they started to remind me of a packaged supermarket curry blend. They were my least favorite of the three, and I probably wouldn’t buy them again.

Because the sauce for the kale chips contains cashews, they are not suitable for those with nut allergies, but are otherwise pretty friendly for those with restricted diets, and are of course naturally gluten-free.

Soon there will be a Texas BBQ and Mango Habanero flavor. The BBQ flavor could be interesting if it isn’t too overpowering. Mango habanero doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy. However, the company plans on offering raw sweet potato chips in the future, which I think sound delightful.

Even at their new reduced price at around $6 (look for coupons) prepared kale chips are a bit pricey for me, but like most packaged raw foods they offer a lot more nutritional value than their cheaper processed cousins. The next time I get an urge for some kale chips and don’t have time to make my own, I just might buy one as a special, guilty pleasure.

Have you tried these chips? What did you think? And, what are your favorite raw foods products that can be purchased in a health food store? Tell me in the comments!

Some other Gluten-free Bloggers Review of Rhythm Kale Chips:

Gluten-free is Life
Gluten Free Fun
Gluten-free RD

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California News: Gluten-free Ravioli at Sunnyvale and Mountain View Costco

January 17th, 2011 yum Posted in Ca, Gluten Free Pasta, Gluten Free Product Review, gluten free ravioli 20 Comments »

I don’t usually find Costco trips to be especially worthy of blog posts. However, I just have to share news of a recent find at the Sunnyvale and Mountain View Costcos in California. Thanks to a tip from another gluten-free blogger and friend, I found out that these Costcos are currently carrying awesome corn and rice-based gluten-free Four cheese ravioli in their refrigerator section. Yes, Costco! Who would have thought. They retail for $10 for a 2 pound, 2 part pack. The portions are generous and one pack easily fed our family of three. Now granted, since my Mother is now living with us, we are actually a family of four, but since she can’t have dairy, it was just the three of us.

The company responsible for these lovely ravioli packs is based in Benecia, California and called Pasta Prima. They have NO INFO about this awesome pasta on their web site, and I couldn’t find any articles about it, but it is labeled gluten-free in big print on the front. According to company representatives, “Pasta Prima Gluten Free Five Cheese Ravioli meets all of the requirements of the Gluten Free Certification Organization.” Yay! On a personal note, our family and my friend’s family tried it and didn’t have any reactions. I love that! This pasta was extremely yummy, and an amazingly good price for gluten-free pasta, so if you live in California you might check your local Costco refrigerator case. It was in the middle of all the other refrigerated ravioli and I almost missed it because I am so used to ignoring that section. Luckily my husband has sharp eyes!

I hope you are able to find it and enjoy it as much as we did. They are very easy to make- all you do is boil them in water for four minutes and add a sauce of choice. 18 month old Baby Yum thought it was the tastiest thing ever. And yes, in this photo, she is eating little squares of it with a fork. How she has grown! My husband said it tasted just like gluten ravioli. Unfortunately, and probably of no surprise to any of you, it does contain dairy and egg. I have yet to find any vegan ravioli that is not homemade, alas. This post was an impulsive last-minute thing, so I apologize for the lack of pretty pictures.

Funny story- My friend posted a picture of their baby enjoying this ravioli on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to take a picture of Baby Yum enjoying it for my personal Facebook page as well. Anyway, when she saw this picture on the computer, Baby Yum said “nom nom nom”, hopped down, climbed up in her booster seat, grabbed her bib and tried to put it on while saying “more, more.” How could I argue with that? The girl got another ravioli.

Other favorite gluten-free finds at my local Costco’s:
4 pound bags of TruRoots gluten-free quinoa
Tasty Bite Madras Lentils
Large packs of my favorite Chaokoh Coconut Milk (sans guar gum)
Lovely large containers of McCormick’s Turmeric, Coriander, and Sesame Seeds

Yes, our Costco has a certain international flair. I’m just excited that they are offering these gluten-free ravioli, and by publicizing them, I hope that they may decide to keep stocking them. You know you want some!

Breaking news: A Pasta Prima designer (bless her) shared in the comments that this pasta is available in ALL Northern California Costco locations. If you live somewhere else, request it from your local Costco and hopefully they will pick up this great product.

Note: 99.9% of the photos I use on my blog are mine. However, the above photo is a professional photo supplied by Pasta Prima. (The shame of not having a photo was too much for me, so I emailed them asking for it!)

PS I apologize that this post may not apply to my food-sensitive readers. As you may have noticed, we have expanded our diets to include dairy and eggs as Baby Yum has become able to tolerate them. It has been a huge relief that she did not develop allergies despite the severe case of allergic colitis that she had as an infant, and makes me feel very happy that I stuck it out and continued breastfeeding her. However, I promise that you will still find vegan and allergen-sensitive recipes on the Book of Yum in the future, so please bear with me!

Breaking News 6/27/2011:
Some Costco’s may not be currently carrying the Gluten-free Pasta Prima ravioli. However, it has been picked up Raley’s , Lucky, and Albertson’s stores in our area, so check to see if any of those stores are carrying it.

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