Boulder has a lot of coffee shops, and it is hard to distinguish yourself in an environment in which seemingly every block has a place that sells coffee, and good coffee at that. One way to stand out, though, is to make your own food, and this is what Brewing Market has done with the introduction of their new hummus and falafel wraps. This wouldn’t necessarily be of note to us but for the fact that one of these wraps is gluten-free; and, as an added bonus, the one wrap that is gluten-free also happens to be vegan. So, in addition to good coffee and a broad variety of teas, including a great hand-brewed chai, you can now get gluten-free and vegan wraps when you stop by Brewing Market.
For a great deal of people, ourselves included, cutting up vegetables is by far the most cumbersome part of cooking, and this is especially true if you are preparing breakfast early in the morning. A new product, Farm to Skillet, aims to lighten the burden by offering pre-cut vegetables that are flash frozen and packaged in 10-ounce bags, which can be easily cooked and incorporated into any dish that calls for a vegetable medley. Farm to Skillet offers two types of vegetable combinations – the Rocky Mountain Skillet and the Southwest Skillet – both of which are entirely gluten-free, vegan, and organic. They are now available at four Boulder locations and a number of other stores across Colorado.
Most people who eat gluten-free know that cheese is gluten-free (at least in most cases). When you have a dietary restriction, you tend to become aware of the full range of foods that are possible to consume. You are constantly reminded of what you can’t eat, and so naturally you quickly turn to, and embrace, foods that you can eat. This presents certain problems for people who have to eat gluten-free, but also want to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The gluten-free diet is in some ways hostile to vegetarianism and veganism because meat and dairy products are two major food groups that are reliably gluten-free. If you want to be a vegetarian or vegan, but find this difficult because of the limitations already imposed on you by the gluten-free diet, you can take some comfort in the existence of places like Gita Nagari Farm, which makes cheese in about the most humane way possible. They basically treat their cows like family pets, and cows live out their entire lives on the farm and are never sent to slaughter.
We know a product is going to be relevant to our readers when the company who makes it has “gluten-free” right in their name. Such is the case with Bella Gluten-Free, which makes gluten-free baking mixes for a variety of foods that generally aren’t gluten-free (bread, rolls, pizza crust, and so on) that are distributed around Boulder. Although Bella Gluten-Free has been around for a few years, they only recently came to our attention, and since they offer a gluten-free product that is readily available in Boulder, we figured we should broadcast the company’s existence and explain where you can find Bella Gluten-Free baking mixes in Boulder.
Pancakes and waffles, like any other products made with flour, cannot be consumed by someone on a gluten-free diet. It is a cruel reminder of the sacrifices inherent to a gluten-free life, especially if this condition is medically necessary. However, great strides have been made in the gluten-free culinary world [...] Read more »
Lenka’s Live Foods, based in Boulder, is somewhat hard to define. It is a producer of gluten-free products that are also vegan, raw, and organic, but Lenka’s is something of a consulting firm, a catering company, and an educational institute as well. All of these services are offered by Lenka Zajic, from whom Lenka’s Live Food takes its eponymous name (obviously). Given the site’s orientation, we will primarily focus on the gluten-free components of Lenka’s operation, explaining what products are on offer and where you can find them, but other dimensions of the company will be touched on as well. Everything is connected, or so goes the vacuous mantra.
Parmesan cheese is a very precise thing. It is the cheese made in a select few provinces in Italy, including Parma and Reggio Emilia, which is why the cheese is called “Parmigiano-Reggiano.” (“Parmesan” is the English and French rendition of this thoroughly Italian name.) Thus, it is technically misleading to refer to any cheese not made in this region as “Parmesan cheese,” and so a gluten-free and vegan Parmesan cheese made in California (where Parmela is based, although you can buy it near Boulder) is a doubly misleading. It isn’t a cheese and it isn’t made in one of the relevant provinces of Italy.
A few years ago, if you looked really hard, you might have seen Veggie-Go’s at a shop or two around Boulder. Now they are everywhere – not only in Boulder, but across the country too – so you no longer have to put forward much effort to find them. This is a good thing, as they are excellent, healthy, and satisfying snacks that are entirely gluten-free. (They are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.) If you haven’t yet tried Veggie-Go’s yet, you should, and below we tell you why.
Despite being the number one menace to gluten-free eating, bread can still be incorporated into the GF diet, provided the bread is gluten-free. With that incredibly obvious remark out of the way, allow us to move on to the task of outlining where to find gluten-free bread in Boulder. There are any number of places in Boulder that have gluten-free bread. Dozens of the restaurants we have reviewed have GF items precisely (and often exclusively) because they offer gluten-free bread in one form or another – they’ll have a gluten-free bun so that all their sandwiches can be made gluten-free, for instance, or a pizzeria will offer a gluten-free version of their crust. All grocery stores in Boulder (besides the occasional small corner shop) will also have at least one gluten-free bread in stock. However, in order to keep the scope of this article within reasonable parameters, we’ll explain where to find the best gluten-free bread in Boulder based on our experience.
To a not insignificant portion of the world, and particularly in places like France and Italy, baguettes are a part of everyday life. Buying a baguette or two at the store on your way home from work is par for the course, as integrated into daily life as espresso in the morning or a sunset walk in the park. If you are taken by this Continental dietary habit and want to emulate it in Boulder, but happen to eat gluten-free, you will be happy to learn that there are a few places to get gluten-free baguettes in Boulder. Probably the most well-known source of gluten-free baguettes is Fresh Thymes Bakery, Boulder’s entirely gluten-free restaurant, but you can also find them at Kim and Jake’s, the suppliers of Fresh Thymes’ gf baguettes, and at stores across town thanks to Udi’s relatively new gluten-free baguette.
In general, “gluten-free cheese” is a redundant phrase, as almost all cheese is gluten-free by default. However, some people who eat gluten-free also impose additional restrictions on their diet, which gives rise to the need for vegan cheese, which, like regular cheese, is almost always gluten-free. Historically, it’s been hard to get vegan cheese, which meant that as a gluten-free eater who also happens to be vegan, you’d have a very difficult time ever enjoying something allowed by the GF diet, cheese, and you’d have an even more difficult time enjoying artisan cheeses. Things are not so difficult anymore, and we are happy to report that an excellent artisanal cheese by Kite Hill, White Adler, is finally available at Whole Foods in Boulder. Kite Hill’s excellent vegan (and gluten-free) cheeses have hitherto only been available in Northern California, but, at long last, distribution is now nationwide.
A bagel almost always sounds good in the morning, so not infrequently we wake up and hunt for a bagel shop or bagel store. The problem is that regular bagels aren’t gluten-free, and despite the growing variety of gluten-free offerings around Boulder, we’ve still had trouble tracking down a bagel shop that sells gluten-free bagels. We say we had trouble finding gluten-free bagels in Boulder because this is (for the most part) no longer an issue. Moe’s Bagels, staple of Boulder and undoubtedly one of the best bagel shops in town, now offers gluten-free bagels. We went in over the weekend to try Moe’s gluten-free bagels, which had been on our radar for a while, and below we share the first gluten-free bagel experience we’ve had in a while.
If you frequent coffee shops in Boulder, there is a good chance you’re familiar with Breggos. Available at 21 locations in Boulder, a Breggo can be had basically anywhere you can get a caffeine fix in town. However, since they are made with bread, the original Breggos are not gluten-free, and hence have been of little interest to our readers – until now. Breggos now offers several gluten-free products, including several gluten-free burritos and at least one gluten-free Breggo. Several of Breggos’ GF offerings are also vegetarian or entirely vegan, opening Breggos’ products up to those with even the strictest dietary requirements.
It is no secret that the gluten-free diet has firmly taken hold in Colorado in general and Boulder in particular. As those with a gluten intolerance seek out more and more GF products, the demand for gluten-free ingredients, such as quinoa and millet, has expanded greatly. When demand for a product grows, so does its production (at least when possible), and the state of Colorado is proving this basic principle of business as it ramps up the production of millet. Colorado is, indeed, the largest producer of millet in the country – over half of the millet in the U.S. is grown in the state.
A little while ago, a reader asked us if we happened to know any place in Boulder with gluten-free macaroni and cheese. Actually, the reader, adopting the standard abbreviated form of the dish’s name, asked if we knew of any place that sold gluten-free mac and cheese. Her issue is that her six-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, meaning, of course, that she has to eat gluten-free. This is a trying situation for any parent to be placed in, but it is doubly trying when your daughter is a picky eater who will only eat mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and plain cheese quesadillas when visiting restaurants. All these dishes in their traditional form do contain gluten, so our reader was wondering if we could point her toward a place with gluten-free mac and cheese. Even if one place serves GF mac and cheese, our reader’s life would be greatly enhanced. We’re all about enhancing the lives of our readers, and since this question has broad applicability to our audience, we figured we’d write an article about it.
We’ve long been fans of Ozo Coffee – they have some of the best coffee in Boulder – so it is a bit perplexing that we haven’t celebrated their extensive lineup of gluten-free snacks before. This is doubly perplexing because these gluten-free options have been available right from the start, when Ozo opened in Boulder in 2007, so it’s not like this is a new development. In any case, Ozo does have tons of gluten-free snacks and treats to compliment your coffee, and that’s the important point, the one we are here to write about. If you are looking for a coffee shop with lots gluten-free food options, definitely give Ozo a try.
How do you know if something is gluten-free? Generally, you look at the label to see if there is some sort of gluten-free certification printed on it, some emblem or text that indicates that your food or drink has been approved as gluten-free. But then another question arises: who or what certifies products as gluten-free? Where do gluten-free certifications come from – whence are they issued? Moreover, what does it mean to say that something is certified gluten-free? Who decides what is gluten-free enough? Must a product have no gluten to be gluten-free, or can it merely have very small amounts? Below, we attempt to untangle these questions to give you a better idea of what the somewhat complicated world of gluten-free certification is all about, and how you can tell that what you consume is gluten-free. With three million people in the U.S. suffering from celiac disease and another 17 million with a gluten sensitivity, this is pressing matter.
Recently, we went on a hunt for gluten-free beer in Boulder. We found several gluten-free beers at one of Boulder’s premier liquor stores – Liquor Mart – and we noted that many restaurants and bars around town also have at least one gluten-free beer offering. In addition to gluten-free beer, and on occasion in place of it, many of these establishments have gluten-free hard ciders on sale too. Obviously, hard cider isn’t beer, but it’s nevertheless an excellent beverage with many of the same virtues as beer. Hard ciders and beers are refreshing drinks with comparable alcohol content levels that are served in similar quantities, making them fitting for the same sorts of occasions (watching sports, lounging with friends on a hot afternoon, showering, etc.). In light of these and similar facts, and in recognition of the problem that the gluten-free diet can place certain limitations on one’s drinking career, we decided to write about gluten-free hard cider in Boulder. We’re ever eager to help our readers embrace gluten-free living (and we’re equally eager to have a drink “for work”).
When you eat gluten-free, you will inevitably begin to yearn for foods and beverages that were once a part of your life. Bread, pasta, and, perhaps most tragically of all, beer fall into this category. What Oscar Wilde famously said of cigarettes is true of beer (and ironically probably not of cigarettes): a beer is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want? In other words, to drink an excellent beer is a sublime experience, one that very often leaves one unsatisfied, but only because in having one beer, you want another. This is a long way of saying that beer is awesome, and it can be a herculean challenge to avoid beer when you’re on the gluten-free diet. In response to this problem, and out of sympathy for those confronted with it, we answer the following question: where can you find gluten-free beer in Boulder? Boulder is full of gluten-free dining options, so surely there are gluten-free beers around, right?
It took us a while, but we finally tried a gluten-free waffle cake, one made by the appropriately named company Waffles Cakes, which operates out of a food truck that you can find in the Boulder, Denver, and Longmont area on weekends and Mondays. We had heard only good things about these gluten-free waffle cakes and now we know why: they are delicious, and in a perfectly unique way. They don’t really taste like anything we’ve had before. We highly recommend a visit to the Waffle Cakes food truck so you can try a gluten-free waffle cake yourself.
The Waffle Cakes Food Truck, Maker of Gluten-Free Waffle Cakes, is Now Operating Around Boulder and Longmont
If you recently saw a food truck selling waffle cakes around the Boulder, Denver, and Longmont area, you saw Waffle Cakes, the Colorado company that sells an astonishing variety of waffle cakes – including gluten-free waffle cakes – out of their new, specially-designed bus. We recently wrote about the well-regarded business and their gluten-free waffle cakes, but at the time they were still waiting for their bus (i.e., food truck) to be finished, which was necessary to complete before Waffle Cakes could offer gluten-free options and a full espresso bar. After a few delays, the food truck is now operational and it looks awesome.
“We are so many things,” writes Shannon Aten of The Tasterie Truck. “It’s hard to put in writing.” It must be hard – The Tasterie Truck is so many things, including, most relevantly to us, a supplier of excellent gluten-free treats (like gluten-free cupcakes and gluten-free popsicles, and occasionally a specialty item like gluten-free crème brûlée). However, Aten, the founder of the dessert truck whose business partner (Nathan Miller) is the former head pastry chef at The Kitchen, had a good way of putting her overall business model to us in an email: “we are a full-service bakery that has a truck instead of a storefront.” The on-the-go bakery is frequently in and around Boulder, so if you haven’t already stopped by, we recommend you give them a visit to try one of their excellent gluten-free bakery items or treats.
Almost exactly one year ago, a new gluten-free vendor hit the streets of Colorado, happily near (but not yet in) Boulder. The business is called Waffle Cakes, and they operate out of a truck that sells not only regular and gluten-free waffle cakes, but also espresso-based drinks, including a number of different specialty lattes. By every account we’ve read or heard, Waffle Cakes is awesome, and since they have a gluten-free cake available, we felt morally obligated to announce their existence (in case you don’t know of them already) and tell you where to find these treats.
The average bakery isn’t known for its gluten-free offerings. In fact, most bakeries are decidedly not gluten-free friendly, not out malice toward their gluten-intolerant brethren, but simply because standard flour (i.e., flour that contains wheat) is used in so many of the products that bakeries produce and sell. So, we are always delighted to learn of bakeries that are entirely gluten-free. They fill a key niche and play a welcomed role in this increasingly gluten sensitive world. One such bakery is The Last Crumb, which isn’t located in Boulder, but rather Littleton, although they have a connection with Boulder in that Larkburger uses The Last Crumb’s gluten-free hamburger buns.
We recently reviewed Qrunch Burgers, which are vegan and gluten-free burgers that you can find in several supermarkets around Boulder (and other places in Colorado and indeed the U.S.). Vegan burgers have kind of a bum rap, as does gluten-free food in general (although this is less true in Boulder), with many people thinking of them as unexciting and tasteless. This wasn’t our experience with Qrunch Burgers, and we don’t think it will be either when we try their newest offering – Spicy Italian Burgers – which will be available in Boulder later this month.
What can you cook in a toaster? For any person who values quick and easy meals, the answer to this question is highly relevant – toasters aren’t exactly difficult to operate, and they’re also very efficient, cooking whatever is placed within them in mere minutes. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is generally “toast” and not much else. And so we were greatly pleased to learn that Qrunch Burgers, which are vegan burgers that are also gluten-free (because they are made with quinoa) and organic, can be prepared in a toaster. Since we’re always interested in a gluten-free meal that requires little effort (hence our penchant for reviewing gluten-free restaurants), we decided to pick up some Qrunch Burgers on a recent trip to Whole Foods Market in Boulder, one of scores of places where Qrunch Foods are available in Colorado.
Let us begin by correcting the title we just wrote: Snackle Mouth, a Boulder company that recently released a line of delicious and healthy granola snacks, is technically not a gluten-free operation. In order to achieve this designation, a food producer needs to use only certifiably gluten-free ingredients in its products, meaning these ingredients were farmed, handled, and processed in such a way that guarantees that no cross-contamination took place. The products of Snackle Mouth do not meet this stringent requirement, and to the company’s credit they make no claim to the contrary. However, they do produce a snack that does not in itself contain wheat or any other gluten-containing grain (although, as implied, gluten may be inadvertently added to the snack because it is not produced with gluten-free equipment), so they should be safe to eat if you merely have a gluten sensitivity, but of course the snack should be avoided if your body cannot properly digest even trace amounts of gluten. Also, it’s important to note that generally oats may be considered suspect in terms of cross-contamination unless they are certified to be gluten free.
You wouldn’t necessarily expect a place called Great Harvest Bread Co. to have much by way of gluten-free offerings. Great Harvest is, indeed, a bread company, and so the majority of their products are not gluten-free, but we recently learned that they make gluten-free bread, so we stopped by on a recent Monday afternoon to give it a try. If there is one place that can make quality gluten-free bread, it has to be a bakery.
There can be no doubt that Boulder has become more accommodating to those on the gluten-free diet over the last year or so, and this trend always comes into sharp relief when we visit coffee shops. In most coffee shops we visit, there are at least a few gluten-free offerings, which is great given that the snacks paired with coffee are often pastries that contain gluten (like muffins or cakes). One particularly nice place to get coffee and a gluten-free treat in Boulder is Red Rock Coffeehouse (sometimes written as “Red Rock Coffee House” online), where we found ourselves on a recent Sunday morning.
We’re not big pie eaters, but maybe we will be now, as we recently unearthed a gem of a bakery near Boulder (in Niwot) called My Mom’s Pie that makes excellent gluten-free pies. After considering the many tantalizing pie choices, which we will list in due course, we decided to order a blueberry pie, made gluten-free just for us – not that we’re special or anything. My Mom’s Pie will accommodate any request they can, and are happy to make organic pies and sugar-free pies, as well as, of course, gluten-free pies.
Several months ago, we wrote about a fledgling business in Boulder known as Pie in the Sky and their line of gluten-free cheesecakes and gluten-free key lime pie, which had just recently been launched by the Boulder-based Berry Best Smoothies, to use alliteration to an almost problematic extent. Since the publication of that article, Pie in the Sky – more precisely, Pie in the Sky Bakery – has expanded in a big way: their products are now sold in 27 Whole Foods Markets, all of the stores in the chain’s Western region. When you get your product into Whole Foods, your business has reached a certain threshold, and this achievement certainly warrants some coverage by the local gluten-free press. And that’s where we come in…
Lucky’s Market, a Boulder supermarket that specializes in organic and locally-grown food, is now offering several new gluten-free products that were formally only available at restaurants (like Street Legal Pizza), including gluten-free frozen pizza crust and dough ball, as well as frozen penne and fettuccine.
When out for a gluten-free meal the other day, we came across a sign posted on the outside of a Boulder establishment that offers gluten-free options. The sign merely advertised that the restaurant in question could be found in the Gluten Free Registry (glutenfreeregistry.com), a free website requiring no membership or login that has amassed an enormous list of gluten-free food suppliers – including restaurants, bakeries, grocers, and caterers – around the country.
As soon as you need something, you can never find it. Following a tip we received a few weeks ago, we woke up this morning and decided to hunt down some Breeze Bars, a company that makes gluten-free energy bars that are available in Boulder and other Colorado locations (along with locations in Montana, New York, and Tennessee). We’ve seen the gluten-free bars, which are also dairy-free, many times before around Boulder, so we figured it couldn’t be easier to track a couple down. Not quite.
If you’ve been to the Boulder or Longmont Farmers’ Market during the last couple of seasons, you may have had the opportunity to try a gluten-free pupusa offered by Tres Pupusas (or maybe you tried three, given the company’s name). If you enjoyed them, as we have, you’ll be delighted to learn that Tres Pupusas is now supplying several Boulder locations with their pupusas, which are gluten-free because their foundational ingredient is corn, not flour (although technically pupusas can be made with either), and moreover, many are vegetarian and even vegan.
Fiona’s Natural Foods is a Boulder-based business that produces a variety of healthy foods. Although the main food they offer is granola, which is not gluten-free, they offer a variety of gluten-free options as well, including gluten-free cereal, gluten-free bars, gluten-free trail mix, and gluten-free roasted nuts, all of which incorporate that perennial favorite of the gluten-free crowd: quinoa. Since Fiona’s products are spread far and wide in Boulder, we decided to go to one of our favorite coffee shops, Folsom Street Coffee, to try their selection. While Folsom Street Coffee offers four different quinoa bars produced by Fiona’s, only two are gluten-free – the almond chocolate chip bar and the lemon cranberry bar – so be bought both, along with a cup of coffee, and sampled them. Here are our reactions:
Two types of retailers dominate Boulder: liquor stores and coffee shops (although, come to think of it, medical marijuana dispensaries are ridiculously prevalent too). Both of these places can be unfriendly to those with a gluten intolerance. Liquor stores sell beer that almost always contains gluten, and the food that coffee shops provide to compliment their drinks – cakes, breads, bagels, donuts, etc. – very often have gluten too. Of course, this isn’t necessarily the liquor store proprietor or the coffee shop owner’s fault, but it is inconvenient for those who must eat gluten-free. Happily, though, circumstances are changing for the better, especially with regard to coffee shops, thanks in large part to businesses like Outrageous Baking.
Gluten Free Pie Crust in Boulder – Plus an Easy Gluten-Free Open Face or Crumb-Topped Berry Pie Recipe!
Check out what we found at the Whole Foods on Pearl Street in Boulder! It is a 2-pack of gluten-free pie crusts. You’ll find them in the freezer section. And they are really tasty! Perfect for pies either sweet or savory! Mmmm..quiche! Or, you could make this ridiculously easy gluten-free mixed berry/cherry pie that we made – the recipe is right below the picture.
In Boulder and the Surrounding Area, Diamond Baking Co. can Cater to Your Gluten Intolerance and Your Event
Imagine this scenario: you’re about to get married and you’re trying to select a wedding cake that will be delicious and therefore broadly appealing to your guests. This is a difficult situation to be placed in, but it’s especially trying if you’re gluten intolerant. It’s hard to find a good gluten-free dessert for any occasion, let alone a wedding or other consequential event. Thankfully, Diamond Baking Co. exists to address problems precisely like the one just described.
When creating content for this site, we are confronted with the task of categorizing the subject on which we write. Normally, this is simply enough: a restaurant is, well, a restaurant, and hence it is categorized as such. And the same goes for recipes and products. However, Adaba Foods, which is based in Boulder, presents an interesting classification challenge because the company seems to offer about every service a gluten-free eater – or really any eater, for that matter – might want.
Chocolate is made in a number of different ways and with a variety of different ingredients, but you might assume that the fundamental components of chocolate – regardless of what kind we’re talking about – would stay relatively constant. It’s hard to imagine the production of chocolate not involving, at the absolute least, something so basic as sugar. However, it would be a mistake to assume it can’t be done. Barbara Yeager of Boulder not only does not use sugar in her Cosmic Chocolates, she also doesn’t use dairy, soy, wax, or (you guessed it) gluten.
The Berry Best Smoothie seems like an unlikely name for a restaurant or store that would have gluten free foods and gluten free products. But it is, and they do!