Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gluten-Free and Chex Muddy Buddies

Four months ago when we first went gluten-free, my husband and I started looking around for gluten-free products. We went to our local food co-op, which has lovely bright green stickers on the shelves to indicate gluten-free items. We found some of what we were looking, some rice pasta and some Blue Diamond Nut Thins, very tasty crackers, but we were disurbed by the lack of breakfast cereal that was gluten-free.

We found granolas and a few high priced, gluten-free things on the cereal aisle. To be fair, the food co-op tends to have prices that are a bit higher than the chain grocery store. But what really surprised us was that none of the cereals we thought should be gluten-free, like Rice Krispies, were. Nope, they're flavored with malt syrup.

This lead to two major problems. First, an abiding fear that we would never be able to eat the things we liked again and second, a huge need to find desserts that we could eat.

Before we went on the gluten-free diet, we ate desserts about once a week, when we had company. But with the holidays on the horizon and the fear that we wouldn't stick with a diet if we felt deprived, we began to search high and low for gluten-free desserts or things that could be made into gluten-free desserts. Rice Krispies treats, something we hoped originally that we could continue to have, were off the menu.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, my friend Amy Duncan pointed me to GlutenSmart, a sister company of CarbSmart, where I can get gluten-free Rice Krispies treats. Ok, so they aren't the name brand. Who cares?

But all that aside, what we found while trying to celebrate the holidays and sort of stick to the comfort foods we grew up with was that we were eating a lot of junk that we normally don't eat. We made lots of cookies with almost meal and rice flour. We tried several varieties of gluten-free mixes, most which tasted like grit and were things that we didn't normally eat before we went gluten-free.

It seems that we sort of forgot our basic healthy eating rules when we decided to go glutne-free.  Oops!

However, the one good thing that came of our foray into foods we shouldn't eat even though we can was that just before Christmas, we found that General Mills had announced their corn chex and rice chex were now gluten-free!  They call it muddy buddies, we call it puppy chose.  Whatever you call it, chocolated and peanut butter coated chex was now an option for the holidays!

The more interesting thing about the announcement is the side panel on the cereal box saying why General Mills did it. Apparently, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, one if every 133 Americans has some form of gluten sensitivity. That's a lot of people fighting the bloating, misery and health impacts caused by consuming wheat.

The move also makes two major mainstream brands that have gluten-free foods. Betty Crocker also recently introduced a line of gluten-free cake and cookie mixes. Gluten-free is gaining steam and I have the muddy buddies to prove it.



  1. Cin, I usually avoid posting plain advertisements on gluten-free blogs but you are asking for my company!

    I realized exactly what you describe - the lack of a variety of TASTY gluten-free cereal. In order to solve this problem, I founded Custom Choice Cereal (, a company that allows you to customize your gluten-free cereal through an intuitive online platform. Choose a base, add your favorite selection of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, name you mix, and we ship it conveniently to your doorstep. All ingredients are stored and mixed in a dedicated gluten-free facility, so there is no risk of cross-contamination.

    Hope this helps, and please feel free to contact me at with any further questions you might have!

    Best, Hajo

  2. The more I read your blog, the ore I wonder how much benefit there would be to going gluten free in my own life. I just don;'t know how to do it with a family of 6...some of who would be very resistant. Muddy Buddies would help sell it but I'd need lots more. Keep writing...I'll keep reading.