I’m always pleased to hear about stores carrying their own lines of gluten-free products because that usually means you can have the benefits of gluten-free products at much lower prices than the major gluten-free brands. When I heard that ALDI, a store already known for their discount prices, was launching their own line of gluten-free products called liveGfree, I was curious to see what they had to offer.
While I’ve heard a lot of good things about ALDI, I’d never actually been to one until last weekend when I decided to stop in and see what the fuss is all about.
I soon learned that there is a bit of an ALDI culture to be aware of. Before you go, you should know that you need to bring a quarter for a shopping cart (you get it back when you return your cart), and if you don’t want to pay for bags, you should bring those as well. ALDI’s bags are only 10 cents, so it’s not a big investment, but it’s better to bring your own.
Read about how ALDI is different from other grocery stores and how they can provide a quality shopping experience while saving you money. It makes total sense!
When I entered the front doors, I immediately noticed that the aisles are wide, and the store is clean and well-lit. Food is displayed neatly in the packing boxes it comes in, but you don’t have to buy in bulk. Displaying the food in their original packing boxes saves time stocking the shelves, and you are welcome to take a box if you need it to hold your groceries, as this saves them time and money disposing of the boxes.
I noticed a lot of national brand names as well as many products that were packaged almost identically but with the ALDI store brand name. I glanced at the ingredient lists and couldn’t tell a difference. I love buying store brand foods because you can almost always get a similar product to the name brand’s at a much better value. In fact, I read somewhere recently that buying store brands is catching on, because people are wising up and realizing that there’s no significant difference in quality and ingredients, but the savings quickly add up.
Immediately I started looking to see what I could find in the way of organics and gluten-free products. The first section I found was in the baking aisle, where they have a nice selection of gluten-free baking mixes for $2.99 each.
I also discovered gluten-free pasta and boxed mac-and-cheese, which are good if you need something quick and easy on a busy evening.
They also have quite a nice selection of gluten-free frozen foods. From chicken nuggets and pancakes to lasagna, ravioli, and pizza, there was an impressive assortment of gluten-free prepared foods. I can see this being particularly helpful to those who have children who are diagnosed with celiac disease. Kids who have gotten used to these foods have a rude awakening when they’re taken away due to a medical diagnosis, so this would be a great find for them.
In fact, the ALDI liveGfree Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza was actually a 2015 Product of the Year winner in the Convenience Meals category. I was thrilled to hear that not only are these pizzas gluten-free, but they are also soy-free and organic.
We often order pizza on the weekends, and we are limited to the places that offer a gluten-free crust unless I have a gluten-free pizza in the freezer. I try to keep them on hand for that purpose, so I’m excited to try this one because it’s more affordable than the brand I usually buy.
I was almost done exploring the store when I thought to myself, I’d be really impressed if they had gluten-free bread. That is right about the time that I spotted the gluten-free whole grain bread AND gluten-free wraps. Nice!!
In addition to their liveGfree gluten-free line, ALDI has tons of items that are naturally gluten-free in their produce, dairy, and meat departments. From what I understand, their stock varies from week to week, but there’s always a nice selection and some really good prices if you take advantage of their weekly special deals.
A lot of ALDI shoppers do their entire week’s grocery shopping at ALDI, and others cherry pick the best deals, but I can definitely say that I’m impressed with their quality and selection.
Here’s my entire ALDI grocery haul. All of this came to $55.94.
If you’re into meal planning as I am, a really nice feature ALDI offers is that you can pick up a flyer with the next week’s sales and special deals on your way out of the store. This enables you to plan your meals and your grocery list based on what’s going to be on sale.
When I got home and unpacked my groceries, I decided to make something with the gluten-free yellow cake mix. I know I’ve said it before, but baking mixes make so much sense for gluten-free baking because you need such an assortment of flours and ingredients to mimic the quality of gluten. I was pleased to see the ingredient lists on the ALDI mixes were pretty straight forward.
It was snowing, and we were all feeling like hunkering down for the afternoon with a yummy treat, so I whipped up these Peanut Butter Donuts with Chocolate Ganache.
Oh, yes I did! And look how easy they were to make. You just need these 4 ingredients and a donut pan (plus chocolate chips and whipping cream if want to add the chocolate ganache.)
If you don’t have a donut pan, you can use a mini-muffin tin. Mix the ingredients together for a couple of minutes on high, pour into a greased donut pan (or mini-muffin tin), and bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. They come out looking like this.
For the ganache, I just whisked together half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream over low heat until it was all melted and blended together. I dipped each donut in the ganache and then topped them with chocolate sprinkles.
Voila! A sweet treat that is perfect for a snowy Saturday afternoon!
- 4 eggs
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup water
- 1 box liveGfree yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Optional Toppings
- mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease 2 donut pans or mini muffin tins.
- Whip eggs and butter until frothy. Add the water and mix to blend.
- Add the yellow cake mix and peanut butter. Mix on medium-high for one to two minutes until smooth.
- Spoon donut batter into a zippered storage bag and cut a hole in the corner. Squeeze into the donut pans, filling each well ¾ full. This recipe makes about 14 donuts.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. They are finished when they are cooked through and dense to the touch.
- Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips and cream together on the stove over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove to a shallow bowl or pie plate, and dip each donut to coat. Sprinkle with desired toppings.
I wrote this post in partnership with ALDI. All opinions and experiences are, of course, my own.