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California Country Gal – Real Bread

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Today I am excited to share with you a company I recently learned about. California Country Gal is a family business that unexpectedly grew out of a single recipe that was being developed in a kitchen for a cookbook. California Country Gal makes a variety of Real Breads and Baking Mixes using nutrient dense and high quality “real” ingredients. The mixes are made without grains, dairy, sugar, soy, yeast, and extracted starches.  The results are a truly healthy and delicious line of products. 

It’s a quick and simple process for the home baker, even the not so experienced bakers. It really is that easy to make. Simply add water, apple cider vinegar and eggs, and in one hour or less you’ll have delicious gluten free bread!img_0800

From Sandwich Bread to Cinnamon Rolls and Hamburger Buns, California Country Gal has a product for all your bread needs. 

The mixes can also be used to make pancakes, brownies, cookies, cake, pizza crust and more! California Country Gal provides a whole range of recipe ideas on their website. 

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GRAIN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES DIRECTIONS

  • 1 CUP of any REAL BREAD™ BAKING MIX
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 TABLESPOONS melted butter or shortening
  • 1/3 CUP of your favorite sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 TABLESPOON vanilla
  • 1/2 CUP chocolate chips
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the Baking Mix.
  2. After combined, stir BAKING MIX into bowl of combined ingredients until thoroughly mixed. 
  3. Scoop balls of dough (I use an ice cream scoop) onto a greased or lined baking sheet.  
  4. Gently press down on each dough ball with a damp palm.  
  5. Bake at 350°F for about 16-18 minutes.

California Country Gal products are ideal for Low Carb, Gluten Free, and Paleo lifestyles.  They truly act and taste like REAL BREAD. 

Mixes are available online at just $8 each.

Note: baking mixes test at <5ppm for gluten. The industry standard for a certified product is <10ppm or less. California Country Gal is not certified gluten free, however they strive for the best possible products at all times and have begun testing regularly.  If you have extreme allergies, always consult with your doctor and educate yourself to know about what is acceptable for your particular diet.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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ColorKitchen Decorative Food Coloring From Nature

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While a growing movement of consumers have prompted major manufacturers to remove artificial colors and flavors from their foods, it’s still a challenge to find naturally colored frostings or decorations in the baking aisle. But that is changing thanks to ColorKitchen. ColorKitchen is introducing a new array of natural color and rainbow sprinkle sets that come in seven exciting combinations. The new line combines sprinkles and food color packets into convenient 5 Party and Holiday sets that includes enough food coloring to color a pint of frosting, along with a bag of coordinating sprinkles. 

ColorKitchen colors are sourced from the finest, most vibrant plant sources available. ColorKitchen colors are made from simple ingredients, containing pigments from turmeric, spirulina, beet, radish, cabbage, and annatto. ColorKitchen products are gmo-free, gluten-free and vegan,  but they are manufactured in a facility that also processes nuts and other foods with allergens. 

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The party and holiday sets include: 

  • Blue, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Pink, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Yellow, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Be Mine, a Valentine’s Day set with pink frosting and pink, white, and red heart sprinkles
  • Holiday, green frosting with green and red tree-shaped sprinkles

What are artificial food dyes?  

Coloring agents such as FD & C Red No. 40 are petroleum-based, chemically produced dyes that were invented in the early 1900s. Little was known about the effect of synthetic food colors on our health, but with increased manufacturing production and grocery distribution, food companies found inventive new ways to market foods using artificial food coloring.

Dangers of using artificial food coloring

Through the years, concerns have been raised about the safety of artificial food dyes, mostly surrounding behavioral health disorders, allergic reactions, and carcinogenic properties.

  • ADHD
  • Carcinogenic contaminants
  • Allergic reactions

The major concern is the effect artificial food colorings have on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Even more severe health issues have been brought to light. According to the CSPI, the three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. Red 3 has been a recognized carcinogen by the FDA for years, yet it is still allowed in foods.

Allergic reactions to artificial coloring are widely reported, from rashes and watering eyes to asthma.

More major players are sure to follow suit, proving the public has decided to advocate with their buying dollars and put their children’s health first.

You can find ColorKitchen products in retail locations across the US, including Whole Foods, and dozens on health food stores. To find a location nearest you, click here.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Spreadable Bacon Jam

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We all know that bacon rocks, but did you know that bacon can JAM? TBJ Gourmet (which stands for The Bacon Jams) are unique spreadable bacon jams that all bacon lovers will LOVE. Total bacon convenience is here in the form of our “No Fry, On the Fly” gourmet bacon spreads. The perfect gift the your friends, family and your pantry!

Bacon Jam at its core is bacon, brown sugar, onions and a whole lot of stirring.

Bacon Jam comes in three varieties that can all be simply spread on crackers, elegantly spread to elevate appetizers or to baconize your favorite dish. I enjoyed it with toast and a fried egg. 

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  • Classic: The flagship bacon spread is bursting with sweet and salty bacon goodness, this flavor pairs well with foods at any meal. Go traditional and try it on a burger or with breakfast foods, or take party appetizers like crackers with goat cheese or brie from ordinary to exceptional.
  • Sweet Chili: Just the right amount of sweet chili, garlic and bacon give this bacon spread flavor a warm, barbecue-like taste. Step up main dishes such as pork tenderloin, wings and scallops, or make a killer mac ‘n cheese combo.
  • Black Pepper: Peppered bacon offers a balance to sweetness and that perfect kick to step up the complexity of flavor. Perfect for deli sandwiches, steak, fish and grilled foods or spruce up those veggies!

Bacon Jam is free of peanut and tree nuts as an ingredient and the equipment used for The Bacon Jams is not used for nuts. But facility that is not 100% nut free.

You can purchase Bacon Jams at retail locations across the country. Locally, you can find it at Deluca’s Market, Foodie’s, and Pemberton Farms. To find a location nearest you, click here. You can also purchase Bacon Jams on Amazon.com (free shipping for Prime members).

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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VocoLife – saving money every time you dine out

Eat dishes. Get money. It’s not magic, it’s VocoLife. When friends go out together, everyone wins. VocoLife partners with over 500 of the best restaurants, fitness studios, and brands to get you rewards every single time you book with friends.

Why use it?

Every time you dine out with VocoLife you save money. VocoLife has partnerships with dozen’s restaurants and businesses in and around Boston to provide you and your friends with exclusive offers every day. Discounts vary depending on restaurant. For example. you might save $8 off the bill if each person in your party spends $25 or each person in the party might receive a your choice of a $7 credit for Uber, Amazon or Starbucks 24 hours after the reservation. Not bad, right?

How it works

First, you and your friends have to download the app. The user-friendly VocoLife app saves you, on average, 40% every time you eat out. These savings are seamless because When you set up an account with the app, you add in your payment information.

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To use the app to eat out, you have to dine with at least one other person. You make a reservation using the app, then you invite your friend(s) to join the reservation via the app. At the end of the meal the bill gets split automatically and charged to the card on file. However, you can choose to divvy it up otherwise via the app. The best part, besides the savings, is that you don’t have to wait for the check when you’ve finished, nor annoy the wait staff asking to split it between your party! 

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Sushi @ Crudo.

List of Boston-area Restaurants on VocoLife:
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Asgard Irish Pub & Restaurant
Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca
Bambara
Basho Japanese Brasserie
Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro
Bergamot
BISq
BLR by Shojo
Brown Sugar Cafe
Casa B
Central Bistro Boston
Coppersmith
Crudo.
Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen
Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar
Double Chin
Estragon
Fairsted Kitchen: Supper, Libations, Late Night
Fajitas & ‘Ritas
Flame Hot Pot
Genki Ya (Boston)
Hong Kong Boston, Faneuil Hall
Hops Test Kitchen & Raw Bar
Il Molo
Kayuga
Kingston Grille & Bar
Kinsale Irish Pub & Restaurant
Koy Boston
Lavoile
LE’S
Les Zygomates
Lulu’s Allston
Mei Mei Street Kitchen
Menton
Mix-It Restaurant – Cambridge MA
Naco Taco
Nine Tastes – Thai Restaurant
No. 9 Park
Oleana Restaurant
Pasta Beach Boston
Petit Robert Bistro
Puritan & Company
Red Lantern Boston
Rigoletto Ristorante
Salvatore’s (Downtown)
Salvatore’s (545 Washington)
Select Oyster Bar
Shōjō
Sol Azteca Boston
South End Buttery
Spice Thai Cuisine
StreetFood Revolution
Taberna de Haro
Takemura Japanese Korean Restaurant
Tapestry
Tasca Restaurant
The Brahmin American Cuisine & Cocktails
The Butcher Shop
The Fireplace
The Friendly Toast – Boston, MA
The Friendly Toast – Cambridge, MA
The Merchant
The Tap Trailhouse
Thelonious Monkfish
Tresca
Trophy Room
Troquet
Typhoon Asian Bistro
Warehouse Bar & Grille
Waxy’s – The Modern Irish Bar
Wen’s Yunnan Noodle & Ramen
Wu Er by WOW Barbecue

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The savings don’t stop at eating out. Savings to work out at fitness studios like Xtend Barre, Rock Spot Climbing, and Turnstyle are abundant. 

I have a promo code for $10 off your first meal – or workout – with promo code JESSICAGLUTENFREE. Simply enter the code after you download the app and instantly save $10 off!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review. All my thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Gluten Free in Martinique

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Last week Jeremy and I took a trip to Martinique. Martinique is a rugged Caribbean island that’s part of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, its culture reflects a distinctive blend of French and West Indian influences. Its largest town, Fort-de-France, features steep hills, and narrow streets. Located 3.5 miles south-southeast of Fort de France, is the town Pointe du Bout. Pointe du Bout is a “popular” tourist destination because it offers lots of shops, restaurants, beaches and ferry access to Fort-de France. 

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With that said, the tourist industry in Martinique is still rather small. It wasn’t until 2015 that Americans really started travelling to Martinique. Many people I’ve spoken with have never even heard of it! 

Pointe du Bout offers quite a few restaurant options. While there aren’t gluten free menus anywhere, there are plenty of gluten free options. Most menus feature grilled fish and meats, and as long as you speak french or have a french gluten free guide card, you should be just fine! 

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Le Bistrot d’en face is a wine bar/French restaurant that serves a variety of meat dishes. Many of the grilled meats, without marinade, are gluten free. 

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Fish is also very popular on the island. Marlin, Dorade (sea bream), smoked salmon, Chatrou (small octopus), shrimp and prawns can be found on restaurant menus throughout the island. 

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Colombo is a signature spice of the Island and is made with a blend of French, West- and East Indian spices. It combines turmeric, brown mustard seed, hot pepper, coriander, West Indian bay leaf, thyme and black peppercorn. The most famous dishes include Colombo de Martinique which is a curry traditionally made from lamb cooked in coconut milk, ginger and Colombo powder. It is also used to season chicken, goat, pork or vegetables such as aubergine, pumpkin or other local root vegetables.

Ceviche is also quiet popular. We had ceviche twice during our trip. 

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Breakfast was a little trickery, as most people ate pastries of some sort. Luckily, fresh fruit and eggs are on every restaurant menu. 

We had such a great trip and there was no shortage of fresh fish or fruity drinks!

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Savannah Bee’s Cheese Honey & Whipped Honey

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A few weeks ago I tried Savannah Bee’s Honey for the Grill, and I loved it. A leader in all things honeybeeSavannah Bee specializes in 100% pure artisanal honeys for cooking and tasting. Honey for the Grill is blended by hand and is made with 100% pure varietal honey robust enough to stand up under fire. This honey adds a distinctive and delectable flavor to a marinade or crisply caramelize seafood, meat, poultry, and veggies on the grill. It offers a smoky sweetness for basting and marinating, and pairs beautifully with vegetable kabobs or maple-planked wild salmon.

I recently had the chance to try two additional Savannah Bee honey products; Cheese Honey and Whipped Honey and I was equally impressed with their flavor and versatility.

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I had never heard of Whipped Honey prior to working with Savannah Bee and I was very curious what it was and how it was different from ‘regular’ honey. Savannah Bee spins together honey from the wildflower fields of the Rocky Mountains, forming a crystallized honey that is creamy, smooth, spreadable, and absolutely delicious. This exquisite honey is good for lathering on warm scones or fresh fruit. Savannah-Honey-and-Cheese

Cheese and honey make a naturally delicious combination. Savannah Bee Honey for Cheese will impress your friends at your next dinner party or get together. The honey is 100% pure honey, as always, and hand-selected to best pair with a wide range of fine cheeses. Softly sweet honey flavors tame the tang of a creamy Roquefort and brightly complement salty Manchego or an aged Gouda. Instantly upgrade any appetizer cheese tray, or try a slice of aged artisan cheddar with honey and sliced apples as an alternative to dessert. 

Savannah Bee Honey is gluten free and Kosher certified. Savannah Bee Honey can be found at retailers across the country, including gift stores, specialist stores and more. You can also purchase Savannah Bee Honey on Amazon

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

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Celebrating National Chip & Dip Day with a Good Health Giveaway

Who doesn’t love a good chip & dip appetizer? Who doesn’t love chips period? In honor of National Chip & Dip Day on March 23rd, I’ve partnered with Good Health to create a delicious chip & dip pairing.  

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National Chip & Dip Day, an annual favorite food holiday, celebrates a perfect combination that is loved by many across the country. Chips and dip are a popular party dish as it is not only favored by most but also quick and easy to prepare, especially thanks to Good Health’s healthy gluten free chip offerings. 

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Good Health, creator of crunchy, craveable  and innovative snacks has got you covered with delicious and gluten free chips. The Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortilla Chips are made with, well, black beans and rice, and finished with a touch of Himalayan sea salt. 

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Good Health Organic Sea Salt Eat Your Vegetables Chips are packed with 8 great vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, beets and shiitake mushrooms. These chips are an excellent source of vitamins A and C plus a good source of vitamins E and B6 so you can snack happy and enjoy being good!

Easy Hummus Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (15.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  2. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 1/4 cup tahini
  5. juice of one lemon
  6. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place beans and garlic in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until chopped. Add 1/2 cup water and remaining ingredients; pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as needed
Gluten Free Boston and Beyond http://glutenfreebostonandbeyond.com/
Good Health has generously offered to give one lucky reader the chance to win one bag of each Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas and Sea Salt Eat Your Vegetables! To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite chip and dip paring AND comment on this post.

This giveaway will end on March 27, 2017 at 12:00am. Open to U.S. residents only. 

 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Detox Water

Detox Water is not a raw juice and it’s not another flavored water. It’s the best of both combined to create a refreshing and all natural organic aloe water.

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Considered a miracle plant by the ancient Egyptians, Aloe Vera is a potent natural antioxidant known for its many health benefits to help detoxify and cleanse the body internally and externally. 

Aloe Vera contains 20 minerals to detoxify the body of metabolic wastes and 19 amino acids to fight inflammation and bacteria, it also has strong scavenging activity in terms of getting rid of toxins internally from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and colon.

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The ACTIValoe® in each bottle of Detox Water contains the power of aloe vera’s naturally-occurring polysaccharides, which are long chains of sugar molecules, clinically proven to support immune function, healthy digestion, nutrient absorption and youthful-looking skin (improvement in skin elasticity).

The patented technology allows Detox Water to isolate the most effective polysaccharides within the plant and maintain batch-to-batch consistency of ACTIValoe® gel flakes in every bottle of Detox Water. Batch-to-batch consistency is the key to delivering optimal benefits at all times. Detox Water is your healthy hydration alternative that not only quenches thirst, tastes delicious, but also delivers the plethora of health benefits associated with drinking the most premium aloe in the world.

Detox Water is available in 3 refreshing flavors: Pinamint (Pineapple and Mint), Mangaloe (Mango), and Original (Lychee and White Grape)

Feel great and not guilty. Detox Water is 15 calories per serving and the most rejuvenating, refreshing aloe vera water paired with organic and natural flavors. Detox Water contains no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Detox Water is also vegan, organic, Kosher, gluten free, non-GMO and locally grown in Texas and Mexico.

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Aloe Vera water is able to provide healthy hydration from the best of what nature has to offer. Packed with electrolytes and only 4 grams of sugar, it is a better choice for a post-workout drink. Or replace your sports/electrolyte drink during your workout with Detox Water for a satisfying and hydrating healthy alternative.

Detox Water can be found in retail locations across the country. Click here to find a retail location near you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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PEREG NATURAL FOODS INTRODUCES KOSHER FOR PASSOVER BABY QUINOA

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With Passover approaching (April 10-18, 2017), if you are like me you are already planning the menu. Pereg Natural Foods offers a variety of new, all natural, vegan, Non-GMO and Kosher for Passover (OU-P) products that offer versatility and great taste just in time for Passover 2017.

New from Pereg this year is Baby Quinoa (Kañiwa) – Dark reddish-brown in color and about half the size of a tiny quinoa seed, Baby Quinoa cooks up quickly to resemble a smaller version of red quinoa.  Unlike regular quinoa, Baby Quinoa doesn’t have saponins, the coating that gives quinoa a somewhat slightly bitter flavor if not rinsed properly. Baby Quinoa is a great source of iron and other important nutrients. 

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Also available new for Passover is Pereg’s White Quinoa, Quinoa with Mushrooms and Quinoa with Vegetables. White quinoa is great for cold salads such as kale and quinoa with a lemon vinaigrette or quinoa with strawberries and pecans. Experiment as you would with rice and substitute quinoa in stuffed peppers, quinoa cheese casserole and quinoa meatballs.  

I always like to bake something for Seder and thanks to Pereg’s new  Kosher for Passover flour, available in quinoabananacoconut and almond meal gluten free varieties, it’s easier than ever to bake something that everyone will actually enjoy! From cakes and cookies, to pancakes and pizza crust, these Passover flours offer a plethora of delicious recipe options that offer great taste and texture.

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Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world. Today Pereg produces an array of all- natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten free cereal and much more.

You can find Pereg Natural Foods products at retailers throughout the US, and online via Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Ardenne Farms NEW gluten free products + giveaway

Ardenne Farms is on a mission to help those living gluten free and/or those with a sweet tooth. Ardenne Farm (pronounced Are-den) started by using a variety of innovative high-quality gluten-free flour blends, creative imaginations, and over 20 years of experience working in the food business. Ardenne Farms makes Gluten Free baking mixes that are vegan, Kosher and produced in a peanut and tree nut free facility. Ardenne Farms is certified gluten free and carry the GFCO’s GF symbol. Every batch is tested to ensure that all our mixes contain less than 10 ppm gluten.

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Ardenne Farms makes a variety of baking mixes; from muffins and pancakes, to cookies, brownies and cakes. 

Ardenne Farms recently launched three new baking mixes: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, Pumpkin Streusel, and Snickerdoodle Cookies. 

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The NEW Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin mix bakes up muffins that are so decadent and moist, they’ll soon become your new morning pick-me-up! I brought them to work and everyone in my office devoured them. I got so many compliments, and requests for more! They taste so good that many people did not know they were gluten free until I told them. 

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I also love the new Snickerdoodle Cookie mix. I love the flavor of cinnamon and vanilla; yum! You can purchase Ardenne Farms products at retail locations across the country, including Roche Brothers, and Natural Food Stores. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

Now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will win all three NEW baking mixes. To enter simply leave a comment below then head over to Instagram, like and comment on this post

This giveaway will end on March 12, 2017 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.