Gluten Free Book Review: Blend: Artisanal Smoothies for Food Lover’s (REPOST)

Spring is finally here in Rochester, NY and I’m breaking out the summer fruits and my tried and true e-copy of Faith Gorsky & Alyssa Brantley ‘s Blend: Artisanal Smoothies for Food Lover’s . This is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time

The moment I learned about the release of Faith Gorsky & Alyssa Brantley ‘s Blend series I knew that these e-cookbooks would become part of my collection. Already an avid follower of Faith’s stunning food blog: An Edible Mosaic the combination of artisanal, fresh, natural and whole ingredients mixed with stunning food photography and meticulously crafted flavor combinations delighted the foodie in me.

 Blend: The Basics


Blend: Artisanal Smoothies for Food Lover’s

For several years now , I have been dipping and dabbling in fresh/organic smoothie creations as well as raw juices. Since being diagnosed with several chronic illnesses including IBS and celiac disease for several years now; simple, fresh, whole and organic juice and smoothie blends have become regular part of my diet.

Blend: The Basics is a well crafted smoothie how to guide. In an easy to read user friendly fashion Alyssa and Faith give you a college 101 smoothie crash course. In this first book you learn how to select the freshest most succulent fruit to give you the highest quality smoothie, how to wash your fruit, prepare your fruit, flash freeze your fruit, and cut your fruit. This is in the first six pages alone. You learn how to prepare in advance and create individual smoothie kits so that you always have the ingredients ready and on hand to make the perfect smoothie in just five short minutes. Who knew that there was such an art and science to smoothie building? But make no mistake, this science course is simple yet fun to learn and you will find yourself immersed and taking notes as you read through this well written tutorial.

Blend: Artisanal Smoothies for Food Lover’s Summer Volume 1 is the second part of the series and really where the real fun begins. Four sections of mouth watering, expertly photographed smoothie blends fill your screen in this section. The recipes that were built using Faith and Alyssa’s expert advice are there in all their glory for you to re-create. The recipes are divided by type: Indulgence, Fruit, Green, and Coffee + Tea. It took me a day or so just to decide where I wanted to begin and once I started, I was instantly addicted re-creating each of their recipes day after day over a two week time span. Just when I thought I had found my favorite the next smoothie I would try trumped the flavor of the last.

(kiwi lime+kale)

These chefs spared no expense when it came to building these recipes. Their time, attention to detail and flavor combinations is displayed upon first sip of each one of these smoothies. It is evident that they built their recipes from the ground up so to speak and the depth and richness of each taste titillate your tastebuds and tickles your senses. This being done using simple, sensible, and everyday ingredients found in most food markets across the country. Their emphasis on fresh, whole, and seasonal ingredients speak to the type of chefs they are and was a welcome point as I read each recipe.

The Blend series are an excellent addition to the collection of any novice or expert foodie or smoothie maker with just enough information to keep an expert interested but not too much to overwhelm the novice. Most recipes contain six ingredients or less with three directions or less; and if you follow the guidelines presented in Part I you reduce your prep time to even less.I have made it my mission to try every single smoothie in the book and with six down I am well on my way. Blend is a must have collection for anyone interested in improving the quality of their smoothie creations or for the casual cook looking to try something new. Either way this is one collection you don’t want to miss.

For more information on how to purchase your copies of Blend: The Basics & Blend: Artisanal Smoothies for Food Lover’s visit Faith’s blog An Edible Mosaic & Alyssa over at Everyday Maven

Rating 5/5

Gluten Free Product Review | Enjoy Life Baked Chewy Bars

If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time then you know that I love Enjoy Life Foods and their products. From baking mixes, to crackers, cookies, and granola bars since 2001 Enjoy Life has been committed to creating allergen free convenience products for those of us living without.

With an ever increasing product line, Enjoy Life Foods  continues to push the envelope with tasty snacks and products that are free from the most common food allergens. A Brand Ambassador since 2013, it has been my job to taste test products and provide honest feedback so the company can create products that are better and healthier than the competitors. Their newest flavors of their Baked Chewy Bars came to my doorstep earlier this summer and I’m finally able to share my thoughts with you.

About Enjoy Life Baked Chewy Bars

The Baked Chewy Bars launched a few years ago with three flavors (cocoa loco, caramel apple, sunseed crunch) and just recently Enjoy Life released three new flavors:

  • Caramel Blondie
  • Carrot Cake
  • Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed

The new flavors follow their predecessors pattern of packing a lot of natural flavor in a small bar using pure and simple ingredients, featuring real inclusions and a proprietary Pure Life Balanced Dry Blend™ of (hulled sunflower kernels, cassava flour, white pearled-grain sorghum flour, quinoa flakes). As with all Enjoy Life products, the new bars are made in a dedicated nut-free and gluten-free bakery, are Certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher and Halal Certified, and are free-from the top eight common food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy.

Real Flavor | Less Sugar

What I like most about the Baked Chewy Bars is that they actually taste like the flavors they are named after. The carrot cake evokes the flavor of real carrot so much so that it is hard not to feel like you shredded the carrots yourself. The Lemon Blueberry is easily my favorite and has the bright essence of lemon zest and poppyseed. The lemon poppsyeed only has 5 grams of sugar so those looking to watch their sugar intake need not worry. On the flip side, if you are looking for a super sweet snack to replace dessert; these bars are not that. More like a quick pre-workout snack or afternoon pick me up with the addition of a low fat cheese stick. Add a low-sugar greek yogurt and you could have yourself a light breakfast.

Always Free All The Time

What makes Enjoy Life Food the #1 free from brand is that the baked bars like all of  their products are free from not only gluten but:

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Peanut
  • Tree Nut
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Casein
  • Sesame
  • Sulfites
  • Potato

and prepared in a facility that is free from contamination as well which means you eat exactly what the ingredient list says and nothing more.

Final Words

Overall these new baked chewy bars are a great addition to an already dynamic product list and give me just what I expect from Enjoy Life | good taste free from what I can’t have yet full of the natural goodness that I need.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received products for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my personal experience with the products.


Gluten Free Product Review | F. Oliver’s Olive Oils

F. Oliver’s Oils and Vinegars is a specialty store  that offers estate olive oils and infused vinegars. They have locations in Canandaigua, Ithaca, and right here in my hometown of Rochester, NY.

F. Oliver’s has a mission of sourcing the freshest and highest quality olive oils and vinegars, herbs and spices. But I must be clear, F. Olivers is so much more than just olive oil. Obviously olives, olive oil, and balsamic vinegars are naturally gluten free. But even the best national brands in all their expensive glory don’t compare to the artisanal goodness of the pure pressed olive oils and balsamic vinegars that F. Oliver’s uses for it’s diverse array of naturally infused oil and vinegar blends.

What Makes F. Olivers’ Better?

Fresh Ingredients

All of F. Oliver’s olive oil is extra-virgin (EVOOs), fresh and often pressed within weeks of its harvest and crush date. Think of the highest quality grapes from California used for wine. Their single varietals have a crush date included with them and the stores regularly rotate the selection so none of the EVOOs are on the shelf past their sell by date.

The olives are crushed within hours of harvesting, ensuring that the olives remain fresh; preventing damage from handling, fungus and other issues associated with delays between harvest and crush.  The olives are mechanically pressed using only the highest quality olives and there are no chemicals or lesser quality oils used in production. As there are no packaging laws in the US, the EVOO industry is ripe with fraud and not all producers can make these guarantees.

More Than Oils

In addition to their amazing olive oil blends, F. Olivers curates a diverse selection of natural infused balsamic vinegars that are made in Modena, Italy, in the traditional style, using the highest quality grapes. Flavors like Farmstand Strawberry, Apple Orchard Apple, Maple, and Coffee are just the tip of the iceberg. These vinegars can literally be added to your water or even drank straight from the bottle like wine. They are that fresh and that good. The texture is like velvet and unlike anything you’d find in any store. The brand also creates spice blends that range from cinnamon and nutmeg to turmeric and coriander.

 F.Oliver’s olive oil is made from 100% real olives with nothing fake, phony, or gluten filled.

Always Gluten Free All The Time

What sets’ F. Olivers EVOOs apart from lesser brands are their flavor-infused blends. These blends combine only natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, binders, or gunk! Blends like lemon & basil taste literally like the garden and smell even better. I loved the fact that I can be confident that my olive oil is 100% real oil with nothing fake, phony, or gluten filled.

What Does This All Mean?

F. Olivers is a Rochester based company making amazing artisanal oils and balsamics using processes, techniques, and ingredients that are fresh, natural, organic and better than the rest. I could go on and on about how wonderful the company is but I’ll let my original recipes speak for themselves.

If you live in Rochester, join me tomorrow Saturday March 18 from 12:00-2 PM for my Gluten Free in store demonstration. I’ll be sampling the three olive oil flavors and threee vinegars that Hart’s Local Grocers carries as well as three original recipes that incorporate F. Oliver’s amazing oils.

If  you can’t join me in person, don’t fret; the recipes will go live tomorrow afternoon and be available to everyone no matter where you cook. What’s even better is that F. Oliver’s products can be shipped directly to your door so you too can discover how high quality olive oil can change your life. Visit them on the web ( or by clicking here.


The Gluten Free Chef’s 2nd Saturday at Harts Local Grocers | March 18, 2017

I am thrilled to feature products from F. Oliver’s at this month’s in store demo at Hart’s Local Grocers

F. Olivers is a Rochester based company that specializes in artisanal oils and balsamics using processes, techniques, and ingredients that are fresh, natural, and organic, 

As many of you know; on the 2nd Saturday of each month I pop up at Hart’s Local Grocers to promote gluten free living and products from local and national brands that are carried by the independent grocery store. Since last Saturday was the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade; we decided to move my demo to March 18 (the third Saturday) since Hart’s sits within the main route of the parade.

Unfortunately, for parade enthusiasts, last weekend’s parade was jilted by cold winds and the aftermath of a devastating wind storm that swept through our region and left thousands without power.  YIKES!

Fortunately, our region is in storm recovery mode just in time for St. Patrick’s Day and my demo tomorrow. If you live in Rochester, join me tomorrow Saturday March 18 from 12:00-2 PM for my Gluten Free in store demonstration. I’ll be sampling the three olive oil flavors and three vinegars that Hart’s Local Grocers carries as well as three new original that incorporate F. Oliver’s amazing oils.

If you can’t join me in person, don’t fret; the recipes will go live tomorrow afternoon and be available to everyone no matter where you cook. What’s even better is that F. Oliver’s products can be shipped directly to your door so you too can discover how high quality olive oil & balsamics a can change your life. Visit them on the web ( or by clicking here.

And be sure to learn more about F. Oliver’s in the next blog post.

Special Announcement | Feature in Rochester’s City Newspaper

Dear Readers,

When I started this teeny tiny webspace in late fall 2012 little did I know the eclectic and life hanging journey that it would put me on. Four years later and this blog and space has grown in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Today, my original mission; that of making gluten free living and simple accessible for all remains unchanged. Mainly my means and method of sharing this mission remains unchanged as well; however over time I’ve added additional methods to my arsenal and repetoire namely; The Rochester Gluten Free Guide, and now the brick and mortar space space 540WMain (dedicated in June 2016) that carries the mission of educating, enlightening, and of course cooking and baking holistically well gluten free for the masses.

It’s for these reasons that I am simply thrilled, honored, and over the moon to share my latest media feature in the City of Rochester’s City Newspaper.

I am thrilled, honored, and over the moon to share with you my latest media feature in the Rochester City Newspaper.

The article written by James Joseph (photographed by Mark Chamberlin) and entitled, Gluten Free Chef’ Calvin Eaton takes on Main Street Mission perfectly highlights the organic trajectory of theglutenfreechefblog and my current mission of educating and serving the beautiful city of Rochester and the National Register Susan B. Anthony District.

I do not have enough words to express my gratitude to City Newspaper for crafting such a amazing narrative and “telling my story” in a clear and meaningful way. If you’ve been a member of this online community for some time, then you know that I simply adore this website, your readership, and no matter where “we go” I never forget where the journey began. I’m just a mere man. A man with a blog and a dream.

As I’ve shared in the previous post, I will never forget “where it all began.” Every single day I think about how to continue to enlighten, educate, and share gluten free stories with you all for years to come whether online, in print or in person at 540WMain. This work. My work. Our work has always been and will always be powered by theglutenfreechefblog. Thank you for helping me stay the course.

As always be sure to LIKE. LOVE. and Share the article by clicking the image below and being sure to read the latest issue of Rochester City Newspaper online or in print.

Be Well,



Photo credit: Mark Chamberlin (cover)

Introducing Enjoy Life Mini Cookies | Gluten Free On The Go

The fine folks of EnjoyLife Foods have done it again with a brand new A+mazing product.

Crunchy & Soft Baked Mini Cookies

The new Mini Cookies come in two varieties, Crunchy and Soft Baked and seven A+mazng flavors:

4 Crunchy options:

  1. (Chocolate Chip,
  2. Double Chocolate,
  3. Sugar Crisp and
  4. Vanilla Honey Graham

and 3 Soft Baked favorites

  1. Chocolate Chip
  2. Double Chocolate Brownie and
  3. Snickerdoodle

As with all EnjoyLife products these new single serve portioned mini snacks are certified gluten-free, free-from the top 8 most common food allergens and most importantly, taste great. Each box contains 6 single-serve packs making it easier to eat freely everywhere you go. They are perfect serving sizes for your lunch box, quick snack, or to keep at your desk for a mid-afternoon stressful moment.

I love that EnjoyLife continues to push the envelope with new, fresh, and convenient #free products for all of our gluten free-on the go needs. With a similar recipe to my already favorite gluten free snacks, I cannot wait to try my samples of the new minis and tell you all about them.

Mini Cookies will be in stores soon but you can tweet and tag your retailer requesting they carry Enjoy Life Mini Cookies using hashtag


Because I love you all so much you can purchase one box online NOW and get one box free using promo code MINIFREELY at checkout



The Griffen Bakery | Restaurant Review

So let me say this: Owning and operating a small business is hard. Let me repeat that:

Owning and operating a small business is hard

The late nights, the early mornings, and countless decisions that never ever ever end make small business ownership not for the faint of heart. Add food to the equation and you have a recipe for closure in two years or less. This my friends I can preach and speak from experience. Add city, county, and state bureaucracy, legislation, taxes, fine print, and Department of Health foolishness and it’s enough to wonder why any body whose any body decided to open up a small business; no less a food business.

We do it because we are dreamers

We do it because we are dreamers. We do it because we are believers. We do it because we are the wheels that run this country called the United States. I applaud my fellow small business owners. I rally for them. I pray for them. And most importantly I patronize their establishments. Especially the foodies. Those that add the addendum of gluten free; and you already know I’m all in. It’s for these reasons that I’ve had to give an official shout out to and blog post for The Griffen Bakery.

The Griffen Bakery is a dedicated gluten free bakery located in the village of Victor, NY. Owned and operated by Amy & Mike Griffen the bakery specializes in “the world’s greatest” cookies and for years operated solely as an online etsy shop and  as vendors at regional farmers markets. One cookie led to the next and they eventually took the plunge to open a retail storefront in late 2015.

Well, I can honestly say I’m so glad they did. The selection of dedicated gluten free establishments in my area are basically 0 so to have a safe establishment that I can run to when I need a gluten free cookie fix (that I don’t bake myself) gives Griffen an automatic A in my book. Upon tasting the epic deliciousness of their mammoth cookies and that A turned into an A+. Griffen’s owners were vendors at my recent Gluten Free Expo and their snickerdoodle cookies turned me into a believer (up until now I’ve hated snickerdoodle cookies). Griffen is the real deal and more proof that gluten free mean nothing than delicious food made without wheat, rye or barely.

For those living in the Rochester area check out The Griffen Bakery at 23 East Main Street Victor, NY