Going gluten free is challenging, but what makes it even harder is understanding food labels. Do you ever feel like you need a degree to dissect a food label? I DO!! I've pretty much given up on the majority of the brands that you see in your standard grocery stores today. Instead, I shop online and support amazing companies like Vanilla From Tahiti.
Going gluten free doesn't mean that you can't enjoy baking, but it does mean that you need to make sure that you are buying #TrueGlutenFree products to bake with. I had the hardest time finding a vanilla extract for my recipes that was gluten free. Most people don't realize the importantance of understanding the derivative alcohol in their food products, as 99% of the time they are derived from corn. Don't forget if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitive, then you most likely need to stay away from corn as it is technically a grain. Thankfully Bridget found Vanilla From Tahiti who produces high quality vanilla products! I spoke with Peter, the CEO of Vanilla From Tahiti, and he shared their quality standards with me. Here is what I learned from Peter regarding the quality of their vanilla products:
- They are 100% gluten-free, including their vanilla extract products. They use the best-quality, grain-free, synthetic alcohol in their extract which is made from their own Tahitian vanilla beans.
- Their vanilla extract contains NO SUGAR! Their Tahitian vanilla extract contains no added sugar, sweetener, or additives of any kind. They make their extract in the USA and is 100% pure, grain-free, gluten-free, allergy-free, vegan, and kosher.
- Vanilla comes from French Polynesia from small, family run businesses. While they aren't "certified organic" their vanilla is grown naturally.
- Vanilla is certified GMO-Free. All vanilla beans are naturally grown in French Polynesia and they do not use Genetically Modified Materials. Their extract is also certified Non-GMO.
- Their ground vanilla powder is also 100% pure. The use whole Tahitian vanilla beans that have been freeze-dried and ground to a powder. That’s it. No additives, sugars, or fillers are added.
Here are my top 4 favorite products from Vanilla From Tahiti:
Vanilla Extract & Vanilla Beans
This is hands down the best vanilla I have ever used. Open up the bottle and you can smell the difference! I use this for all my baking and will add to my smoothies.
This is a great alternative to the vanilla extract. I have found using fresh ground beans to give a stronger vanilla flavor to your food, which I personally love. I'll even sprinkle some in with my smoothie, tea, or coffee.
Heiva Vanilla Body Lotion
If you really love the vanilla scent, then you must try their lotion. It doesn't leave your body feeling sticky or greasy, which is one of my biggest frustrations with most lotions on the market!
Fetia- Vanilla Coffee
I can't drink coffee a lot, as caffeine isn't great if you have a thyroid conition. However, when I do treat myself I will only drink organic, high quality coffee. This bag is worth every cent :)