Monday, August 31, 2009

The Best Gluten-free Bagel

They say rules are made to be broken and August has been such a month for me. I no sooner mention that I never make product endorsements only to find myself doing just that – twice! A few weeks ago I endorsed Udi’s bread and now I find myself on a bagel bandwagon –specifically Joan’s GF Great Bakes (www.gfgreatbakes.com).

Last spring my husband and I were part of the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) Cook-off in D.C. We were there for a book signing and presentation of our book “The Gluten Effect”. There were many wonderful vendors and chefs who participated in the event and at the end of the evening my husband mentioned tasting a truly wonderful bagel. I scurried over to taste for myself only to find that they had run out.

As a New Yorker who grew up on bagels as a Sunday morning ritual, it has definitely been something I’ve missed…a lot. While I hadn’t personally tasted Joan’s bagels my husband’s recommendation was so strong that I just had to try them.

Joan is a New Yorker as well (no wonder she knows how to make bagels!) and the only unfortunate part was negotiating a shipment to California. A good portion of my staff went in on a large enough order to defray what turned out to be rather expensive shipping and I waited with bated breath for my order.

What I didn’t know is that the bagels arrive not only frozen but raw. The pale bagel looked a little sad in the package until I read the directions and discovered the need for a little baking. Part of my childhood memory was warm bagels fresh from the oven as the bakery was close to our home. Therefore the prospect of baking individual bagels and enjoying them fresh from the over was an even better option as far as I was concerned.

Joan’s did not disappoint – quite the contrary. They were truly delicious and undetectable as being gluten-free. Following a dairy-free diet as well, I was thrilled that she also provided that option and a multiple of flavors.

Those of you living on the east coast are fortunate. You can simply place an order and enjoy. For those west of the Rockies a little more thought and collaboration is involved, but it’s truly worth it if you’re a bagel fan.

Joan’s also makes English muffins, pizza crust and cookies. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m sure they’re all delicious.

As a side note, the shipping company was a little rough on our boxes and the bagel bags were a little worse for wear. When I called customer service I spoke to Joan herself and she was wonderful to deal with. As a business owner who prides myself on excellent service it was great to meet someone who shared similar values.

And now the cautionary tale: don’t eat these daily as simple carbohydrates are not as nutritious as all those fruits and vegetables I prefer that you eat. But there’s nothing wrong with a bagel meal as a weekly indulgence – enjoy!

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect

1 comment:

Anne said...

Bagels use to be my favorite food. I loved waking at 2 in the morning just so I could eat a bagel and then go back to sleep. I was hooked bad. A sesame seed bagel was the last gluten item I ate before going GF 6 yrs ago. I knew it was my last and I savored every bite.

The sad thing is that I am not only gluten sensitive, I am yeast sensitive too. So no bagels for me even if they are GF.

Before I found out I was gluten sensitivy I had problems with coronary artery disease. My doctor told me to go on a low fat diet and I told him "At least I don't have to give up bread. You might as well kill me if I have to give up bread." Little did I know it was the bread that was killing me. Oh yeah, and the low fat diet was totally incorrect. I am now grain free and low carb, but that is a another story.