Going without gluten shouldn't mean going without goodness. When we were developing our gluten-free recipes, we wanted to make sure they were full of quality ingredients that were nutrient-rich. We are more than happy to pass on to you the information we gathered.

Agave Syrup is a natural sweetener that is made from the blue agave cactus-like plant Agave tequilana. It is a great alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Agave syrup comes in two forms, light and dark. We use the darker syrup which is not filtered. The syrup is mostly made up of fructose (about 90%) and glucose (about 10%) and has a much lower glyclemic index than glucose. Therefore agave has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners. A low glycemic index is important  because it prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking and prevents you from getting that sugar rush that is common when you eat refined sugars.

Almonds have the highest protein content of any of the nuts, are high in Vitamin E (anti-oxidant) and most of the fat is monounsaturated (also known as the "good fat"). They are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc. They are also high in fibre, folate and calcium.

Amaranth was once a staple food of the Aztecs in South America and is now used as an alternative to grains for people with gluten and wheat allergies. Though not a true cereal grain, amaranth seed is used like a grain and is highly nutritious. It offers high levels of fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. It has a nutty flavour and a unique texture, both gelatinous and somewhat crunchy. You can buy the seed itself, puffed Amaranth and Amaranth Flour to incorporate into your diet.

Apple Crisps are crunchy and naturally sweet Atlantic Canada apples high in fibre and vitamin C. They are produced right here in Lunenburg county.

Brown Rice Flakes are made from flattened and toasted brown rice. They have a yummy crunchy texture. They are a good source of fibre, protein, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

Brown Rice Syrup is a natural sweetener made by converting the starch in brown rice into a syrup and retains most of the nutrients found in the rice. Rest assured that the brown rice syrup we use is made from brown rice and pure-filtered mountain water. It is certified as gluten-free.

Chia Seeds are derived from plants native to South America and were consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans. Yes, the seeds come from "Ch Ch Ch Chia" for those of you who remember the eighties. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, magnesium, folate, calcium, iron and vitamin C. They are a complete form of protein and contain all essential amino acids.  Chia has a mild, pleasant taste with a delicious crunchy texture.

Cranberries are a tart bright red berry full of anti-oxidants and a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fibre, manganese and vitamin K. The local cranberries we use are dried with the juice left in the cranberry allowing for the naturally sweet but tart taste and have no sugar added.

Dark Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 helpful compounds and offers many of the same health benefits as dark leafy vegetables. It is an anti-oxidant and has been found to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10%.  The dark chocolate we use has a minimum of 70% cocoa.

Flax comes from the blue-flowered plant grown mainly in the cool, northern climate conditions of the Canadian prairies. Flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and are the richest plant source of lignans (providing over 800x more lignans than other foods), a phytoestrogen compound that lowers cholesterol. They are loaded with manganese, folic acid, vitamin B6, and dietary fibre.

Maple Syrup with its earthy sweet taste is a good source of manganese and zinc. The scientific name for the sugar maple tree is Acer Saccharum. We've always referred to it as "liquid gold."

Molasses is a natural sweetener made from sugar cane. We use unsulphered blackstrap molasses made from fair trade certified pure sugar cane. Molasses is full-flavoured and rich in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6.

Millet  The term millet refers to various grasses that grow in semi-arid regions of the world.  Most millet species are used for animal or bird seed, however pearl and finger millets are used for human food consumption.  Millet is closely related to corn.  The millet seed is small, round and can be yellow, white, grey or red.  The most common variety found in North America is the light yellow millet that has a slight corn-like, sweet nutty flavour.  Millet is available as a whole seed, coarsely ground into grits or finely ground into flour.  Millet is a good source of easily digestible protein.  It is also a source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B6 and zinc.

Pumpkin Seeds, also known as pepitas are flat green seeds with a crunchy but chewy texture. They are a very good source of magnesium, manganese and phosphorus and a good source of iron, protein, fibre and zinc.

Quinoa is a small round grain that has been cultivated for more than 5000 years throughout South America. It is a complete protein source and is high in lysine, fibre, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is easily digestible and has a slightly nutty flavour.

Raisins are dehydrated grapes that are sweet tasting with a wrinkly texture. We use unsulphered California Thompson raisins (sulphite-free). Raisins are a good source of fibre and are rich in anti-oxidants.

Sunflower Seeds are mild nutty tasting seeds from the beautiful sunflower. They are high in vitamin E and thiamin and a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, fibre, potassium and folate.

Teff is the smallest grain in the world and has been grown for centuries in Ethiopia. Teff flour is used to make injera, a sourdough-type bread served in Ethopian restaurants. Teff is high in protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, iron and thiamin. Rich with amino acids such as lysine, it can be a powerful immune system builder and booster. It has a mild nutty flavour and a gorgeous rich brown colour.

* The information provided here is from our own research in learning how to live a nutrient-rich gluten-free lifestyle. We feel it is important that our customers receive the most accurate information. This information has been reveiwed and verified by Huda Rashid P.Dt.