Category Archives: Burlington

Gluten free groceries at Trader Joe’s! #glutenfree #traderjoes

TJ's Handy Product Lists

The big day is finally here– Trader Joe’s is open on Dorset Street in South Burlington! This is Vermont’s first Trader Joe’s so in case you haven’t been to one before, here’s some advice for gluten free shopping:

1. Go to the manager’s desk on your first visit. It’s on the main grocery floor and they will give you a copy of their entire list of gluten-free items. They are super nice and helpful and it’s great to carry this list around the first few times you shop there or if you are new to gluten-free shopping!

2. Look for their gluten-free symbol on some packaged food items. These are sure to be gluten-free. Read the ingredients for items without the symbol and use your own best judgement. I find many items that are not labeled but to my knowledge, seem gluten-free. Note that items will include a disclaimer if they are processed in facilities or on shared equipment with wheat.

3. Check out the frozen food aisle. Some of my favorite items are the gluten-free toaster waffles, which are much cheaper than the ones in traditional grocery stores. There’s a number of other treats you may find in that section too!!! I also stock up on frozen fruit for smoothies.

4. If you’re a snacker, like me, you will love their nuts and dried fruit section! No sugar added, no sulfur dried mango! Delicious. Near-by you can usually find their nitrate-free beef jerky– inexpensive, gluten-free and a great snack for the car or such.

5. If you tolerate dairy, there’s lots of organic (and non-organic) dairy options (although I try to buy Vermont products when I can!!!).

6. Chocolate.

7. Sauces. Korma simmer sauce. Artichoke dip. You will find your favorites.

8. Gluten-free baking mixes. Sometimes hidden on a low self, TJ’s GF brownie mixes are delish. Try them out and search for other mixes to try out.

So, explore and have fun!!! Find your favorite gluten-free options and let us know about them in the comments section!




Trader Joe’s underway in South Burlington, VT!

If you’ve been down Dorset street lately, you’ve seen a big change. Today, bare ground lays at the future site of Vermont’s first Trader Joe’s. Located next to Healthy Living, this will be a great boon for gluten-free residents. Why, you ask?

Perhaps you’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s. Let me give you a tour, from the perspective of a Celiac.

First, if you stop by the manager’s counter, you can pick up the “No gluten ingredients used” list.

Second, many of these “no gluten ingredient” products are also marked with a cute little symbol:

to make your shopping easier. Always read the fine print though– some items are manufactured in facilities that also use wheat so you may want to avoid them if you have sensitivities like that. And not all items have the symbol (depends when the packing was last re-designed, I suppose).

Next, my personal recommendations– skip the produce section. You can do much better at the farmer’s market or some of our supermarkets that do direct purchases from local farmers. It’s just much fresher food.

My favorites at TJ’s– because they are excellent quality and cheaper than anywhere else– almond butter, blue corn tortilla chips, various salsas, frozen organic fruit (smoothies!), frozen taquitos (ok, I don’t buy these elsewhere but they’re a fun treat!), GF toaster waffles, greek yogurt, goat cheese, pasta sauce and much more. It’s a great place to stock-up on nuts and dried fruit. Their GF beef jerky makes a great trail snack and is nitrate free! I’m sure the list goes on but I’ll leave it to you to figure out your favorite GF foods when Trader Joes opens. (hint: chocolate…)

According to WCAX, Trader Joe’s will open next Spring. 

Welcome to Vermont, TJ’s!




Spotted at the UVM greenhouse…

In addition to this lovely pineapple growing in the conservancy, there are lots of flowers and vegetable starts for sale. Six packs of peppers (all types!), basil, tomatoes (including my fav, sungolds), cucumbers and much more. Can’t find better prices on veggie starts! UVM pineapple

Summer rains? Time for Soup! @stonesoupvt

It’s 60 degrees and raining. My jaw aches (maybe its the rain?) and I want something easy to eat. My gluten-free Mom is visiting and we wander into Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup to find warm Thai Carrot Soup (sub kale or brown rice for bread!). Top it off with a Hibiscus- Chamomile-Mint tea and we’re feelin’ warm and cozy!

Mom enjoying Stone Soup

What are your #GFPetPeeves?

The Huffington Post shares perspectives on pet peeves of being GF. I’ll let you read the article for yourself (or browse the twitter traffic), I’m sure you can relate to many of them! Most of these examples I feel like I can handle with grace (or I try to!), like having someone ask you about your symptoms at the dinner table with strangers! The one that gets my goat is restuarants where I ask for no bread/bun/fries and maybe just some greens instead. “Sure, with a side salad that will be $5 extra.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat…? I also get tired of going to multiple grocery stores to get what I need but, really, that’s a #firstworldproblem!

Trader Joe’s gets another step closer to Burlington

South Burlington’s City Council unanimously voted to approve Trader Joe’s store and restaurant on South Dorset street. Looks like we should have a TJs in the next year! Anyone been to a TJs restaurant??? Very curious to her more about that but in the meantime, I’m excited to have another GF grocery option coming soon to VT!

The Burlington Free Press reports

Cocktails and smoothies– semester’s end (@ecobeanandjuice, @bluebirdtavern)

As a kid, Mom always took me to Rose’s for a milkshake. Or perhaps it was a malt. I thought it was cool to get a shake but didn’t think anything special of the tradition. This year, as a teacher, I was reminded of that old tradition. So yesterday, our last day of teaching, we headed out for a drink at BlueBird Tavern. In addition to a great cocktail I may have also indulged in a GF hamburger…

… And then carried on the slurpy drink tradition this AM by trying out Eco Bean & Juice. They make a smoothie very similar to the Nutty Banana at Healthy Living– banana, peanut butter and liquid– only they added spinach, upping the “feel good for eating good factor.” Oh, and I double-checked– their protein powder IS gluten free. Smoothies seemed comparably priced to others around town but their juices seemed a little pricy. GREAT coffee bar as well and a nice ambiance worth checking out. Oh, and I did see some speciality GF cookies all packed and waiting just for you… 😉


Trader Joe’s… coming soon to a location near(er) to you!!!

This just in… Trader Joe’s moving into South Burlington!

Since I moved to VT in fall of 2012 I’ve heard plenty of moans about “if only there were a Trader Joe’s!” Friends driving to NJ stop in Albany to stock-up. Likewise with Boston journeys.

Well, the stockpiling of cheap almond butter and goat cheese will end sometime next year. The South Burlington Review Board just approved the development. It now has to go through city council where it is favored to pass. 

IT would have a prime location on Dorset St. The owners of next-door Healthy Living welcome the addition, saying that it will bring more people into the area. I look forward to being able to walk between the two!

Getting started GF (@Hannaford)

A friend was recently told his IGG panel for gluten and tons of other foods were “off the charts.” I heard this while he sipped one of his last gluten-heavy beers. “Next week,” he said,

The gluten free aisle at the S. Burlington Hannaford's

The gluten free aisle at the S. Burlington Hannaford’s

“I’ll get serious. Although I’m not sure where to begin.” Equipped with a bunch of readings from his doctor, he was going to start there. I’m sure most of us have websites we send friends to, books, articles, etc to help them get going gluten-free. Ok, so what do you do after you read? Well, you go grocery shopping…

I still remember my first GF grocery adventure. I wrote down a list of ingredients that were to be avoided on a 3×5 card and struck out on my own. My normal 30 minute jaunt around the store seemed to drag on for ever. Each label seemed to take about 5 minutes to read and understand. Of course, since then, labeling has improved and GF selection has expanded. But remembering the stress of those first few trips to the store, I offered to tag along with my friend and his wife for their first GF grocery adventure (still waiting for them to take me up on it). In the meantime, I had them in my head when I hit Hannaford’s this weekend. My iPhone helped me document my favorite GF items around the store in an effort to make a quick and easy shopping guide. Next time I’ll try for Healthy Living and City Market.

What are you favorites? What would you recommend to your friend going gluten-free?

A couple of notes:

1. You may experience sticker-shock for items that are gluten-free “speciality” items, like bread. Items that are naturally gluten-free are just their normal price.

2. When in doubt, go without.

3. Don’t expect anything GF to be a direct replacement for it’s gluten-heavy counterpart. Remember, without gluten, you’ve removed the sticky and fluffy aspects of baking and the imitations, while good, will always be different. Keep an open mind 😉



Noticeably missing from Hannaford’s is GF Brown Rice Crispies (yes, you can make GF rice crispy treats with these!). Rice Chex harkens back to my childhood. It’s also a good one to keep in mind when you are traveling, as sometimes its offered at hotel buffets in little single serving containers. Barbara’s Puffins has finally gotten themselves straightened out to offer a truly gluten-free option. It’s pretty good if you like Puffins. I enjoy Puffins and Rice Chex IMG_1671because they are “normal” cereals. Next, Hannafords has some large bags of GF corn flakes and Mesa Sunrise (corn flakes with flax and other good stuff mixed in). Pretty good deal for the quantity. There are plenty of GF granolas on the market. PErsonally, I think granola should be made of oats, not nuts and corn flakes, so I like the Kind brands. There’s a huge selection of Kind granolas at Hannafords. Note that all of these items are in the regular cereal aisle, not the GF aisle! GF goes mainstream 😉 Over in the GF aisle, you will find the GF oatmeal. I find that the Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t cook up quite as “quick” as I would like but I’ve found a way around that. I often take the Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal packets with me on the road, as even if GF breakfast options are sparse you can always find some hot water and a cup.




Every bunny deserves a treat! Annie’s bunny fruit snacks are GF. I don’t have kids but I imagine this is a winner with the little ones.

Over in the GF aisle, you will find some GF sweets. Some are good. Some are not good. Some I don’t prefer (I never was that into hard cookies, like chips ahoy). Here are a few of my favorites (only as a special treat of


course! Remember, just because its GF doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sometimes the oils and sugars added to make up for the gluten makes GF higher in calories!). Almond horns, simply delicious– hard but soft, sweet but not sugary. Glutino cookies– just like oreos!  (almost) and great for crusts of ice cream cakes. Lucy’s are a sure winner, every time. Crisp cookies but yummy in every flavor.



Hannafords also has some frozen GF treats, which I haven’t tried but recognize some very reliable brands, like Udi’s. Perhaps handy if you need to grab GF cupcakes  or muffins in a hurry (as long as you have time for them to defrost?). These are in a small freezer section in the bakery.









If sauce were a food group, it might be my favorite. Hannaford’s has GF soy sauce and some other Asian cooking sauces lined up with the regular ol’ sauces. This market has expanded A LOT in the last few years– evident by Kikkoman even joining the wagon. Tomato sauce is tricky– remember that wheat is sometimes found in tomato paste. I go for tomato sauce that clearly states it is GF or where I can fully understand the ingredients  Bove’s and IMG_1678 IMG_1679Classico both label their GF sauces and are conveniently located next to each other in the sauce aisle, just waiting for me to snap a nice pic.

I haven’t met a hummus that isn’t GF (but still I read all the labels). Other condiments sometimes have surprise gluten in them– you think they don’t but it’s good to double-check. For example, Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette has soy sauce with wheat in it. What! Yes! Tragic. I believe all of the Ken’s brand dressings are GF, but always double-check the label.





Chips and Crackers


Before you head to the GF aisle, check out the cracker aisle. There you will find Nut-thins, which are a mix of nut flours and rice flour. They’re pretty yummy! Also in this aisle, you will find Asian rice crackers– make sure you buy the ones that are GF, as some have soy sauce with wheat. There’s also rice cakes in this section. Personally, I only by the rice cakes that say GF on them but feel free to be only as paranoid as you want. Moving into the GF aisle, you’ll find my favorite GF “bird food” cracker– Mary’s Gone Crackers. I like Herb or Caraway  some people like them plain. Either way, you will feel virtuous for eating these super healthy crackers. Glutino makes the best “your friends won’t know its GF cracker.” Somewhere between a Ritz and a table cracker, they are a great all-purpose cracker. I like the CrunchMaster Multi-Grain crackers paired with cheese or to go with a salad for lunch. They are a little less bird-food like than Mary’s, but still hearty and healthy. If you fancy a chip, know that most corn tortilla chips are gluten free. Many potato chips are gluten free. Start paying more attention to the ingredients if you eat flavored chips or go for brands like Kettle Chips that are GF. New on the market are Boulder Canyon chips. They’ve done some interesting things, like use chickpea flour for air-popped chips. Worth trying out!



GF whole grains are of course the best gf options for your daily diet. Rice has had some controversy lately, so use it once a week or so. Quinoa is my personal favorite, so delicious and nutritious. Follow the instructions on the package or cheat like me and use your rice cooker. I’ll throw in some broth instead of all water, maybe some herbs or spices, perhaps some chopped veggies. Cook it up and you’re good to go. Great leftover and cold (unlike rice). Sometimes though, you just want a sandwich. Or pasta. At Hannaford;s, here are my recommendations. Schar makes great buns, rolls, etc. They are parbaked so you can toast them at home. They are pretty low calorie, particularly compared to their gluten-heavy counterparts. Brown rice tortillas are great for open-faced tostadas or grilled quesadillas. Keep them frozen until use, as they break easily. They make ok wraps for sandwiches but I would recommend wrapping them in a towel and then a bag to keep the wrap moist (they crack when they get dried out). Gluten-free toaster waffles should go in a breakfast section. One of these is like a piece of toast and generally yummier than GF bread, I think. Make sure they stay frozen or they tend to crumble. I’ve been known to toast up a BLT with cheve on two toaster waffles. Genius or weird, you decide.

All-purpose GF Flours!



I started out using Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix for EVERYTHING. My Gramma Ginnie’s brownies. Pancakes. Banana Bread. Dredging chicken before cooking. It is still my go-to. Note that it does have almond flour in there so it’s not right for everyone. Another good option is King Arthur’s GF flour mix. I’ve also had really good results substituting that 1:1 for regular flour in recipes. Both are in the GF aisle at Hannaford’s. I’ve had some flour mixes or other mixes (like for breads, pies, etc) that were real flops so I’m leery to try new things. If you’re just starting out baking GF, you will notice a lot of recipes all for a bazillion different GF flours (brown rice, white rice, sorghum, corn, tapioca, xanthum gum, and many more). Before you go and buy a bazillion flours and build new kitchen cabinets to store them in, try one of these all-purpose mixtures.



Most fresh meats are ok unless marinated or containing HVP. Stick to more natural or organic kinds to know you don’t have hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Definetly read-up on that before you hit the store. Cured meats are often a source of gluten-added.  VT Smoke and Cure is all GF except meats that contain beer. At Hannafords, there are McKenzie River meats that are labeled GF to make your life easier. And I grew up near the McKenzie River so I like 


the name 😉 Reward the companies that label their foods GF, stay away from the ones that aren’t labeled even if they seem GF– you never know. Processed meats are of course second to “real” foods but, hey, we all need a turkey sandwich sometimes.




What not to buy

Don’t buy anything that is already moldy (some of the shelved GF breads sit there for a loooooong time). I’ve accidentally done this. Don’t buy any frozen items that may have been unfrozen, they tend to fall apart. Don’t buy this pizza dough that is falling apart right on the shelf!