May Meeting 2023 - Crackers

Our meeting theme for May 2023: Crackers, Cheese, Dips, and Wine.

The number of gluten-free cracker/snack options on the store shelves today is amazing!

As you’ll see, we didn’t lack for options.

Also surprising - how many are GFCO certified. When selecting products, I was not focusing on that aspect.

Simple Mills - Veggie Flour Pita Crackers Himalayan Salt (GFCO Certified) & Almond Flour Farmhouse Cheddar (GFCO Certified)



Simple Mills products are a favorite in our house. First, we were attracted to the taste and texture, then, their unique selection of flours and ingredients.

Almond flour - Great!

Vegetable Flour Blend (Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Celery Root), Seed Flour Blend (Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds) - Amazing!

Seed & Nut Flour Blend (Watermelon, Cashew, Sunflower, Flax)

Watermelon seed flour? Who does this?

Simple Mills…

If great quality products weren’t enough,
their mission and food philosophy are commendable.

Our food philosophy

Since our founding, Simple Mills has been driven by our mission to provide delicious, nutritious foods made with purposeful ingredients and nothing artificial, ever. We make products that go beyond “free from” to “for more”. Our products are not just lacking what we look to avoid (like artificial ingredients), but include more of what we want. And that's purposeful, nutrient-dense, delicious ingredients and nothing artificial, ever.

I invite you to check out their webpage on Regenerative Agriculture.

Simple Mill’s Store Locator to find their products.

Farmhouse Cheddar crackers where purchased at Webster’s Foods and the Pita crackers at Woodman’s in Sun Prairie. Woodman’s and Festival Foods have a larger variety of Simple Mills products.

Hu - Grain-Free Crackers - Pizza, Sea Salt, Everything (GFCO Certified)



From our Chocolate themed meeting, we know that Hu has some great chocolate, but I didn’t know they made crackers too!

No gluten/grains, sunflower oil, lecithin/gums, seed/vegetable oils, tapioca, dairy/soy maltodextrin, refined starches.

Like Simple Mills, the folks at Hu are taking
a unique approach to food.

Our Mission

We obsessively vet every ingredient to unite unbeatable taste with unmatched simplicity. We help people get back to human.

Use Hu’s Store Locator to find their products.

I found the Pizza crackers at Woodman’s in Sun Prairie.

Special thanks to Kimberly for bringing and sharing her Sea Salt and Everything crackers.

From the Ground Up - Cauliflower Crackers Sea Salt (GFCO Certified)


Cauliflower has been popular for several years now. The plant-based foods sector is fast-growing, however, taste and price tend to be barriers in new people trying it and continuing to purchase products.

I thought these crackers were fine, but Peggy wasn’t pleased with the overt cauliflower taste.

From the Ground Up
Product Locator.

Milton’s Craft Bakers - Crispy Sea Salt Baked Crackers (GFCO Certified)


We’ve tried a number of Milton’s products and like them. They had me a Sea Salt…

Product Locator

Blue Diamond - Artisan Nut-Thins Sesame Seeds (GFCO Certified)


These guys are as crunchy as Mary’s Gone Crackers!

Blue Diamond
Product Locator

Glutino - Table Crackers (GFCO Certified)


Glutino has been a well-known and trusted manufacturer of gluten-free foods since 1983.

Glutino - Multigrain Crackers (GFCO Certified)


If you’re looking for neutral-flavor crackers, these would be a good choice. Like many gluten-free products, these crackers are a bit fragile. I’d like them to be a touch more saltier.

Product Locator.

Good Thins - Gluten-Free - Garden Veggie (GFCO Certified)


Good Thins are a favorite of mine. They offers up eight different flavors.

Good Thins
Product Locator

Vana Life Foods - Chipotle Superfood Bowl (GFCO Certified)


Southwest Style, indeed. This was really good with chips!

Vana Life Foods
Product Locator

Thank you, Kimberly for sharing this wonderful product!

Mary’s Gone Crackers - Original Crackers (GFCO Certified)



They indeed are crispy and crunchy!

I remember Mary’s Gone Crackers from the early days. In fact, MGC was founded in 1994 by Mary Waldner, a practicing psychotherapist. After a lifetime of sickness (43 years), she was diagnosed with…celiac disease.

Mary’s shares her story in “Put a Fork In It’s” podcast. As in many cases, celiac disease was the driving force behind this endeavor. Very enlightening and inspiring! I think you’ll be able to relate to Mary and her story. I invite you to take a listen:

Mary’s Gone Crackers
Product Locator.

Thank you, Kimberly for sharing this wonderful product!

Siete - Grain-Free Tortilla Chips - Sea Salt (GFCO Certified)
Primal Kitchen - Grain-Free Tortilla Chips - Sea Salt (GFCO Certified)


Crispy, crunchy…they get my vote.

Siete, yet another company born about of illness and
an effort to improve health.

Product Locator (Store & Restaurant).


You probably wouldn’t know this queso was plant-based. This product shows a vast improvement in dairy-free options.

Primal Kitchen was founded by Mark Sisson, New York Times bestselling author, ex-endurance athlete (marathon and Ironman) in 2015. Through his blog,, he has been sharing information on nutrition and the benefits of fat and protein for over a decade. It is a favorite in the, low-carb, Whole30, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, and ancestral diet camps. I’ve loosely followed him for many years. Primal Kitchen is currently owned by Kraft Heinz.

Primal Kitchen
Product Locator

Thank you, Sue for sharing these tasty products!

Recipe -
Beer Cheese Dip (Note: Orignial recipe requires GF conversion - GF beer)


This no where near dairy-free!

2 packages cream cheese, softened 8 ounce each
cup gluten-free beer (Red Bridge)
1 envelope ranch dressing mix (
Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix - labeled GF)*
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh chopped scallions for garnish

Combine the cream cheese, GF beer, and ranch dressing mix with a mixer.
Fold in the shredded cheese
Top with scallions. Serve immediately (or chill for later).

*The HV Food Products Company will label any gluten containing grains. They adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices in place to mitigate allergen cross-contact.

Do Hidden Valley® dressings contain gluten?

Most of our products do not contain gluten. Products and ingredients made from grass-related grains containing gluten — notably wheat, rye and barley—will be clearly listed in the ingredient statement on the package label per new FDA guidelines. If the product does not contain wheat, rye, or barley, it probably does not contain gluten. Only products that have been verified to be gluten free will have a "Gluten Free" statement. However, not all products that are gluten free will have this statement while we are in the process of updating our labels. Please always refer to the ingredient statement on package labels or contact us for clarification. Please always refer to the ingredient statement on package labels or contact us for clarification.

How do you ensure your products are gluten-free?

We have a program in place to support the use of the “Gluten Free” statement. Products listed as “Gluten Free” undergo scheduled testing. All suppliers provide assurance that there are no ingredients that contain or are derived from gluten-containing grains. Our products are manufactured in facilities with stringent allergen control programs to prevent cross contamination.

Bunky’s Hummus


Smooth and creamy, this is some of the best - authentic hummus.

Why Bunky’s? Because their products are worth the drive to Madison. In the early days of my gluten-freedom (2007/2008), we discovered Bunky’s Cafe. A small, eclectic little place with great food, great owners, and staff. You could always count on Teresa and Rachid for safe and delicious food. All but one or two of their menu items could easily and safely made gluten-free upon request. Definitely a favorite restaurant in the gluten-free community.

In 1930, Vito (“Bunky”) and Ninfa Capadona created one of the first Italian restaurants in Madison -
the go-to place for spaghetti. Years later, they were one of the first to serve pizza.

Great-grandaughter Teresa and her husband wanted to restore Bunky’s legacy with their own restaurant. Combining Teresa’s Italian heritage and with Rachid’s Mediterranean heritage - Bunky’s lived again.

Why gluten-free? As with many restaurants that accommodate their gluten-free guests, there’s a family connection. Rachid’s brother almost died due to undiagnosed celiac disease.

When Bunky’s moved into a larger building, they were able to have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen area.

In 2012, Dr. Rodney Ford, a pediatric gastroenterologist from Christchurch, New Zealand toured the United States to promote his new book,
Gluten Zero Global. Dr. Ford wanted to speak in Madison and asked GIG of ECW if we could make that happen for him. We did, and guess where we took Dr. Ford and his wife Chris to eat? Yup, Bunky’s Cafe.

In 2016, they shifted gears to slow down so they could spend more time with their children. Instead of daily restaurant service, they focused on catering and wholesale sales.

Hmmmm, their
dinner buffet menu says a minimum of 25 orders. Do you think we could round up 25 people for a private catered event at their location? Or 13 people willing to order another entree to take home with them?

As you can see, Bunky’s holds a special place in our hearts.

Product Locator.

Miyoko’s Creamery - Double Cream Classic Chive Cashew Milk Cheese (GFCO Certified)


Back in the day, I was dairy-free for a short time. I have to say, much like gluten-free products, dairy-free products have come along way.

I had not heard of this brand before, but really liked this cashew milk cheese.

Miyoko has an admirable philosophy on plant-based foods, animals, restorative agriculture, and sustainability. Learn more about
their mission, and check the store locator to find their products.

Thank you Sue for sharing this tasty dairy-free product!

Vines & Rushes Winery - Frontenac, Ceresco, Sweet Nolia, Marquette Rose.

Door Peninsula Winery - Sweet Cherry Wine


What’s crackers, cheese, chips without some wine, right?

I know nothing about wine, so I selected a few to cover a broad spectrum.

We’ve sampled the Frontenac during our first chocolate theme as the vintner suggests it pairs nicely, and I liked it. Ceresco, because my 2x Great Grandfather was one of 19 men (and one boy) who founded the experimental community called Ceresco, in 1844. Years later Ceresco dissolved and merged with Ripon (founded in 1849). Sweet Nolia is Don’s favorite. Peggy likes sweet wine, so Sweet Cherry Wine from Door Peninsula was added.

Having a local winery, made the decision easy. Even easier is having a group member who’s grand-daughter owns said winery.

Thank you to Don and Vines and Rushes Winery for your generous and lively addition to our event!