A Thoughtful Bite – Bakery Review

by “The Food Guy” – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine

The gluten-free trend seems to be picking up steam lately due to what seems to be an increased gluten intolerance in a lot of people.  I myself am one of those that has an intolerance to gluten.  Running with that trend is a brand new bakery in town that hopes to fulfill your need for tasty gluten free items.  If you are a regular reader of Vero Vine’s weekly email newsletter, you may recall seeing posts from Ashley and her blog “A Thoughtful Bite by Ashley Kennedy”.  She is a 4th generation Vero Beach native, daughter of Ken and Joy Kennedy, a pioneer family formally in the citrus industry.  Transitioning from just a blogger to an actual bakery has been a huge step for Ashley, and one that her new customers seem to welcome.  She can be found on Saturday mornings down at the Vero Beach Farmers Market selling her delectable goodies!  I had an opportunity to sit down with her recently and taste her homemade items.

Let’s dive right in and take a look at what she made for me try!

Gluten Free Pizza Crust – Ashley said that one of the things she missed most about not eating gluten was pizza.  Her favorite is from Vittorio’s.  She decided to explore the option of making her own pizza crust using simple, yet gluten free ingredients.  To get the flavor she craved, she does buy the sauce and cheese blend directly from Vittorio’s to use on her crusts.  The crust was thin, but not cracker thin, and was soft in the middle and crunchy on the edges.  The slices held up when we picked them up, and it definitely had that satisfying chew we all associate with a pizza crust.  This is a brand new item from her, so when you see her at the Farmers Market, be sure to ask her about it and when it will be available.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies – These cookies are about 4 inches in diameter and fairly thin.  The aroma reminded me of brown sugar oatmeal that my mom used to feed me as a kid.  They had a nice crispy edge, yet still soft and chewy in the middle.  They were really good!

Italian Rolls – These were baked just a few hours before the tasting and were very fresh.  My wife joined me for this review and as a self-confessed breadaholic, she found these just as good as rolls made with regular flour.  They had that satisfying chewy texture in the middle with a little bit of crunch on the outside.  You definitely won’t miss the gluten once you have had a chance to try these!

Paleo Chocolate Brownies – I’m a huge brownie fan, well actually I really like the batter and cleaning out the bowl they are made in, but that’s another story. 😉  These are really moist and have that sticky and chewy texture we all love so much.  They do have a slight carob flavor to them which if you are not familiar, it’s a chocolate substitute that seemed to be quite popular many years ago.  They will definitely take care of that brownie craving if you get them like I do!

Hazelnut Carrot Cake Muffin – Ashley made these for a client before the review and had one left over for us to try, and boy I’m glad she did.  The carrot cake was very moist and had carrot and coconut shreds in the muffin which added a little texture.  The cream cheese icing was sweet, but not too sweet.  It was topped with candied pecans which added another layer of flavor and texture to the muffin.  It was fantastic!

Club Style Gluten Free Crackers –For a homemade cracker they are quite perfect looking so Ashley must use some type of press to roll them out.  Flavor was rich and buttery, but the texture was more like a Lorna Doone cookie than like a normal cracker.  Don’t get me wrong, the texture was not a bad thing, just different.  I also could not stop eating them either.  They are quite addictive!

In Conclusion:

Gluten intolerance has become an issue over the last 20 years for a lot of people.  As someone who researches nutrition, I believe in part that a lot of these issues don’t necessarily come from the wheat gluten itself, but what the growers are doing to the wheat.  GMO modification and the proliferation of spraying it with glyphosate and other chemicals in agriculture are what I believe are some of the causes of intolerance and the allergies we have to it.  Ashley’s products are all gluten-free and are made in a gluten-free environment so you don’t have to worry about cross contamination.  Everything is homemade, nothing artificial,  low glycemic, and made with all natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup.  We were really impressed with her offerings, and I think you will be too, so head on down to the Vero Beach Farmers Market and give her products a try, I know you won’t be disappointed!

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