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Gluten Free Playground: Healthy Living

{Disclaimer: We have worked with Healthy Living to bring you this post, however, all opinions are our own!}

If you’re living gluten free, you might get questions from family and friends like … “How can you LIVE without eating BREAD?!?!” I won’t ask you those kinds of questions, gluten free friend. I care about you, but I don’t really care why you avoid wheat and gluten. If you do it because it makes you feel better, cool. That’s all I (or anyone) needs to know. We also know there are so many delicious gluten-free foods out there! (Yes, even bread.) I have your back, friend.

And so does Healthy Living Market and Cafe in South Burlington. It’s a gluten free playground, no joke. I mean, probably don’t climb up the shelves but you might be tempted to skip around with glee.

I recently visited Healthy Living with my family and had a great time: gluten-free but full-of-deliciousness.

A sign greets you right away that says “Gluten Free? Good to Go!” which makes me feel like I’ll be taken care of.

Once inside, it’s clear that while the market and café offer a huge variety, the gluten-free population will be well taken care of. Gluten free and “made without gluten” items are stocked throughout the store but are designated by big and clear signage. Which is nice when you’re shopping with kids or in a rush (aren’t we always?!)

Gluten Free at Healthy Living Market Cafe

I’ve made the mistake of shopping on an empty stomach far too many times. I’ve come home with a cart full of totally ridiculous things. So, first we headed to the Café for a light lunch.

In the Café items are clearly labeled with a little leaf that says “Made without Gluten.”

I don’t know about you, but being gluten free means I’m always pestering staff at stores and restaurants to double check that the food I’m ordering is okay for me to eat. I’ve made assumptions in the past and it hasn’t turned out well. These labels make it easy for me to navigate my options.

(Story time: One time I was at a restaurant and I ordered huevos rancheros without a tortilla …and found out the salsa was made with beer. Uh, what? Definitely a cool culinary choice, but not one I’d ever think of. Thankfully that time I remembered to ask the waiter to check with the kitchen, and he came back suggesting I choose another dish. Lesson learned, even salsa can be hiding gluten!)

Back to the Healthy Living Café … We sat down at a table with a nice spread to share: Mulligatawny (chicken soup), a Pesto Manifesto sandwich made on gluten free bread and a little treat we just couldn’t resist: an individual-sized flourless chocolate cake. In the shape of a heart. I mean, it was adorable and just BEGGING for us to add it to our tray. So we obliged.

Gluten Free Healthy Living Market Cafe South Burlington, VT

After we gobbled up our meal, we took to the aisles. We made a beeline for the well-stocked bulk section first. There is a glorious tower (well separated from the other bulk flours) of gluten free bulk items from pasta and granola to an excellent selection of flours and powders for cooking and baking.

My family is attempting to go zero waste this year, so this is my favorite little corner of the store. I pulled out my glass container (I got the tare weight at customer service first) and filled it up with a unique but versatile gluten free flour: Sweet Potato Flour! I used it to make an easy and delicious gluten free pizza my family loves (get the recipe on my personal blog MeredithTested.com.) Other favorites in this section I buy often for cooking and baking: Almond Meal and Coconut Flour.

Gluten Free Healthy Living Market Cafe South Burlington VT

If you prefer to buy a pizza or pizza dough pre-made, head to the frozen section. My personal favorites are by West Meadow Bakery and Against The Grain (both are Vermont companies, too!)

While still in the bulk area we grabbed a few snacks like nuts and dried fruit. For our pizza we grabbed a jar of tomato sauce in a nearby aisle and then explored more of the packaged gluten free offerings.

We picked out a couple of baking mixes by Simple Mills. While these were not entirely package-free, I was so intrigued and impressed by the simple ingredient list that I knew I had to test them out.

Whether you’re gluten free due to allergy or intolerance, or you have family or friends who are, Healthy Living is a good place to stop anytime for lunch, a snack or to stock up and cook at home. Plan several visits – there’s a lot to take in and I’m always discovering new wheat- and gluten-free offerings.

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