Ian’s Natural Foods recently reached out to me about reviewing some of their products. I’ve reviewed some of their items before, and had their food on several occasions. I’ve always thought of them as a kids’ brand – since their best known products were the kid-friendly versions of chicken nuggets and fish sticks – the products they first started with in 2003. However, they have a whole line of products now. While many I think are still aimed towards children (think alphabet-shaped fries), there’s no reason why a grown-up like me can’t enjoy it. And you know me – I LOVE quick meals that just require a zap in the microwave or a little time in an oven.
TO FIND MORE ABOUT IAN’S NATURAL FOODS – CLICK HERE: http://iansnaturalfoods.com/
If you want to know the perfect place for Ian’s – you can see their set-up at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. Ian’s is the perfect brand for a food allergic family. They have products free from gluten, dairy/casein, eggs, soy, egg, nuts, and fish (although not all of them are free from all of those at once – please check packaging). Here’s the link to the GLUTEN FREE items.
I received their Cheesy French Bread Pizza, Blueberry Pancrepes, Chicken Nuggets, and Southwest Chicken Tenders. These are (obviously) all gluten-free and also all dairy-free and some egg-free.
I was most surprised slash most impressed with the Southwest Breaded Chicken Tenders. I expected these to be soggy hot messes, like most frozen tenders where the inner lining of the breading is almost slimy. These turned out perfect from the oven. They are not over-breaded, not over seasoned, and I could pull these off at any party I served “chicken tenders” at. This is a great new flavor, and I’ve actually seen them grow this seasoned chicken line to SMOKIN’ SWEET BBQ and SRIRACHA flavored items. That’s a big step for an allergy brand to try new flavors like this – and I applaud them for bringing some variety into the allergy-friendly marketplace. I would purchase this again.
The chicken nuggets didn’t turn into anything magical out of the oven- they just looked like nuggets. In fact, they tended to burn on one end of the nugget but not the other. While they’re not that spectacular to photograph, the nuggets themselves were pretty good.The nuggets are very crispy on the outside (although not greasy at all), and moist and tender on the inside. I do prefer Applegate chicken nuggets to these, only because they are larger and have a better breaded flavor and texture. However, if you’re cooking for kids, these are great bite-size nuggets that would fit better without having to cut them in half for kids.
I was reading another review of the french bread pizza and was surprised that someone said it was just like the pizza boat they had at elementary school. Since I was the chubby kid – I LOVED the pizza boats at elementary school, but they were also dripping with dairy cheese and full of gluten. And they were soggy drippy messes. When I put the Ian’s “cheese boat” into the oven, it crisped up beautifully. It was way better made than the poor construction of the lunch-line pizza boats of my youth. However, there is no easy way to eat these. I’m sure kids have no problem with that, but I cut mine up into manageable pieces and still ended up burning the roof of my mouth (#PizzaProblems). I added dried basil for more of the artisan pizza taste.
Last were the crepes that Ian’s set us. Non-GFBF handled these – and by handled, I mean, asked if he could have one and ate them all. There’s no gluten, dairy, nuts, or soy in these. He said, “yeah, I’d buy these again.” There’s a strawberry and apple version of them, as well as one with sausages rolled inside. I’m not sure how I feel about that one.
Here’s how Ian’s makes their products allergen friendly, according to Ian’s site:
- A handy online search tool to help you find products that meet your family’s needs
- Easy to read icons and “NO” on the front of our packages, so you can see at a glance which allergens are not in our food
- Products tested at an independent lab to verify our strict allergen standards
- Clear labeling that uses product names you can understand
- An experienced consumer relations team educated about food allergies and always happy to answer individual questions
TO FIND MORE ABOUT IAN’S FOODS – CLICK HERE: http://iansnaturalfoods.com/
Where to Buy Ian’s Natural Foods (US/Canada finder): http://iansnaturalfoods.com/where-to-buy/
**DISCLAIMER: I was given several of Ian’s newest products to try for free, in exchange for a review (if I liked the product, which I did, if you read the above review – and you know I am obsessed with their GFDF Mac & No Cheese). I was not compensated for this review, and their free products do not reflect the above opinions in any way. PS send me more mac & no cheese.**