UPDATE: As of May 2015, Aldi has added several new items to the liveGfree line, including: cheesecake, chicken nuggets, tamale bites, waffles, angel food cake mix, muffin mix, spaghetti meals, penne meals, multi-serving ravioli, cereal, quinoa pasta, and several kinds of crackers. All are gluten-free!
Aldi liveGfree: Budget-Friendly and Gluten-Free
If you’ve eaten gluten-free for long, you know how expensive gluten-free products can be. Of course, naturally gluten-free foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins cost the same whether you eat gluten or not. Gluten-free convenience foods, prepared foods, and baked goods, however, can cost twice as much as gluten-ful products, according to Alice Bast, Founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
The price point is one reason that Aldi liveGfree, a new line from the budget shopper’s dream supermarket, is very welcome. Also exciting is that all products in this line are certified gluten-free by the NSF. The liveGfree line is extensive and includes pizza, pasta, pancakes, baking mixes, granola, and wraps. And most importantly, almost everything I’ve tried is really tasty!
Aldi liveGfree Pancakes
Aldi’s gluten-free pancakes can be found both with and without blueberries (when in doubt, opt for with!), and both cost $2.69 for a frozen pancakes. Like most frozen pancakes, these are on the small side. The good news? They are packaged in threes, which is one convenient serving size. The better news? A short stack is ready to eat after one minute in the microwave. The pancakes’ texture is nice and fluffy, with no graininess, and they are great topped with butter and syrup. The only thing missing here is extra blueberries!
Aldi liveGfree Ravioli
Saucy and cheesy, the gluten-free ravioli makes for a satisfying and quick lunch. Rice- and corn-based, the pasta has a nice al dente texture. This dish is also way more filling than it looks, likely due to all of the delicious ricotta. At $3.29, it’s a great deal for lunch.
Aldi liveGfree Stuffed Sandwiches
I was so excited to see these hot pocket lookalikes in the freezer. Not only are stuffed sandwiches like this impossible to find in the gluten-free world, but these sandwiches have a millet-based crust. As a fan of alternative grains, this sounded great to me. Of all of the products I tried, though, this is the one I wouldn’t buy again. The crust was on the dry side, and the southwestern style black beans and veggies were missing oomph. Other gluten-free friends have raved about the pepperoni version of the stuffed sandwiches, so perhaps consider trying those instead. All are sold in a box of two and priced at a reasonable $2.69. Update: we tried these again and they were much better the second time around. We noticed a spicier filling and a much better crust texture, both of which we loved. These stuffed sandwiches will be available at all Aldi locations starting in August 2014.
Aldi liveGfree Pizza
After trying a handful of frozen gluten-free pizzas over the years, I did not have high expectations for the liveGfree version. I’m happy to say, though, that this pizza was pretty amazing. The cheese version is extremely cheesy (a high compliment in my book) and is the perfect size to share. At $4.99, I will definitely be stocking my freezer with these, to satisfy many future pizza emergencies.
UPDATE: LiveGfree, the Aldi gluten-free product line, is permanent at stores across the country, as of fall 2014. Enjoy a full line of gluten-free foods at Aldi, from frozen pizza to granola to pretzels to baking mixes. Find your nearest Aldi and check out these gluten-free goodies!