Cinnamon Rolls Win the Sweets 16 Bracket

Cinnamon Rolls Wins the Sweets 16 Bracket

The voting in our Gluten-Free Living Sweets 16 bracket has wrapped up, and the winning dessert recipe is Cinnamon Rolls!

In the final round of our tournament, Cinnamon Rolls received 62% of the votes, defeating Donuts and taking the crown. Its path to the finals included victories over Dreamy Strawberry Whip, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and S’mores Brownie.

Voting for each round took place on Gluten-Free Living’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Throughout the tournament, our followers cast almost 2,800 total votes.

The winning recipe came from Coral Ward, an award-winning author, creator of @glutenfreewithcoral, host of the  number one gluten-free podcast, Gluten Free You and Me, and regular Gluten-Free Living contributor. Following her recipe will make 15-24 delightful and incredibly gooey cinnamon rolls, using ingredients you probably already have in your home.

You can find Coral’s recipe here, and be sure to check out our Instagram on April 12, when she will be taking it over!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Gluten-Free Oreos Hitting Shelves in January 2021

If you’ve been missing your favorite sandwich cookie since going gluten free, we’ve got great news for you: regular and Double Stuf gluten-free Oreos will be debuting in January 2021! These new twists on the classic cookie will be permanent additions to the lineup and available wherever Oreo products are sold. What’s more, they’ll cost about the same as traditional Oreos and will be made with real cocoa.

“At Oreo, we take pride in regularly adding new choices and varieties based on what we’re hearing from our fans,” the brand noted in a statement to Food & Wine. “Oreo is always looking to welcome more people to experience the playfulness of Oreo cookies. We have been planning the launch of our Gluten-Free cookies for some time and are excited to give more fans the opportunity to experience the playfulness of Oreo cookies beginning in January 2021.”


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So get some milk ready and start counting down the days until 2021!

Looking for some gluten-free goodies to tide you over in the meantime? Try some of our delicious dessert recipes!

Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins, What You’ve Been Looking For!


If you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle and have been searching for a moist home-style muffin bursting with flavor, Uncle Wally’s Pillsbury Gluten-Free Muffins are exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Uncle Wally’s ready-to-eat muffins are individually wrapped for on-the-go convenience and certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Sold in packages of four and available in Blueberry or Chocolate Chip, they can be found in grocers’ all-natural freezer cases.

Uncle Wally’s new Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie is not your traditional pumpkin pie – it’s even better!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Crust

That’s because the recipe starts with a scrumptious cookie-like crust made from Uncle Wally’s delicious new Pillsbury™ Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins. A luscious pumpkin custard filling completes the tasty dessert.


  • 8 Pillsbury™ Gluten Free Ready to Eat Muffins, Chocolate Chip (2 7-0unce boxes)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk


  1.  Preheat oven to 350° degrees.
  2. Use clean hands to break apart 8 Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins in a large mixing bowl until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add melted butter and blend well, forming a dough.
  3. Place dough in a sprayed pie plate and press dough evenly onto bottom and up the sides, creating a flat upper edge.
  4. Make a pie crust shield out of aluminum foil to keep crust edges from burning. Get directions here:
  5. Place crust shield on pie plate and bake crust for 15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, make pie filling: Mix sugar and other dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add pumpkin and sugar mixture to large bowl and stir, gradually adding evaporated milk until blended.
  7. When crust is done baking, carefully take out of oven using oven mitts. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the crust and – with crust shield on – carefully put pie plate back in oven.
  8. Turn oven temperature up to 425° degrees and bake pie for 15 minutes.
  9. Turn oven temperature back down to 350° degrees and bake pie for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until pie filling is set and knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  10. Cool at room temperature for two hours before serving or refrigerating.

To find more tasty recipes like this, visit and click on Uncle Wally’s Product Recipe page

 © General Mills.  Pillsbury is a trademark of General Mills, used under license

For more information contact Uncle Wally’s at

SPONSORED: Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins, what you’ve been looking for!

If you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle and have been searching for a moist homestyle muffin bursting with flavor, Uncle Wally’s Pillsbury Gluten-Free Muffins are exactly what you’ve been looking for!

The ready-to-eat muffins are individually wrapped for on-the-go convenience and certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Sold in packages of four and available in Blueberry or Chocolate Chip, they can be found in grocers’ all-natural freezer cases.

Uncle Wally’s Pillsbury Gluten-Free Fruit Tart will please everyone at your gathering!

Gluten-Free Fruit TartIngredients

  • 8 Pillsbury™ Gluten Free Ready to Eat Muffins, Blueberry or Chocolate Chip (2 7-0unce boxes)
  • 3 Tbsp. gluten-free butter or margarine
  • 1 cup gluten-free vanilla frosting (prepared or homemade)
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 12 medium or large strawberries, rinsed and dried (1 whole for center)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  1. Blend 8 Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins in a food processor (or break apart by hand in a mixing bowl) until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add melted margarine and blend well, forming a thick dough.
  3. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough ball on cookie sheet and press evenly into a flat circle about 9 inches wide.
  4. Bake crust for 15-17 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.
  5. Let crust cool completely. Using a metal spatula to help, very gently slide crust from cookie sheet to serving platter (or the crust can be baked on an oven-safe serving plate, avoiding this step).


  1. Spread 1 cup gluten-free frosting over cooled crust, leaving about ½” unfrosted at the edge.
  2. Place a whole strawberry in the center of the crust, and begin laying fruits in concentric circles, working your way outward (see photo for an example) until you reach the edge of the frosting.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

To find more tasty recipes like this, visit and click on the Product Recipe page.

 © General Mills.  Pillsbury is a trademark of General Mills, used under license

Rice: Is It Gluten Free?

If you’ve been living the gluten-free lifestyle for some time, it’s not a surprise to hear that rice is, indeed, gluten free. In fact, rice is the most widely-eaten cereal grain on the planet with more than 3 billion people – that’s half the world’s population – relying on the grain each day.

Inexpensive, nutritious, and versatile: The reasons for adding more rice to your plate are plentiful. It’s often a go-to ingredient for many pre-packaged gluten-free products. Also, rice flour is a staple in many gluten-free kitchens.

While unprocessed rice is gluten free, including white, brown, jasmine, and many, many more (there are more than 40,000 varieties), there are some things to consider when shopping or eating out.

Be sure to carefully check the label on rice that is sold prepackaged with spices or sauces. There’ a chance that the ingredients in the spices or sauces may not be gluten free. One common product to watch out for is rice pilaf, traditionally made with orzo, a pasta, which is definitely not gluten free.

Another, perhaps less obvious, concern is cross-contamination. Unless the rice your purchase is certified or labeled gluten free there’s a chance it may have been contaminated with barley or wheat during processing. One thing to definitely avoid is purchasing rice from a bulk bin in the supermarket. It’s all too easy for shoppers to use the same scoop for gluten-filled grains and gluten-free rice. When eating out, be sure to ask waitstaff about how the kitchen prepares the rice and make sure nothing’s been added that would contaminate your meal with gluten.

Gluten-free rice recipes 

Whether it’s basmati, aborrio, wild, brown, short grain or long grain rice, there is a perfect side dish for every meal. If you’re getting hungry, check out these gluten-free recipes that use rice in a variety of delicious ways.

SPONSORED: Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins, what you’ve been looking for!

If you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle and have been searching for a moist home-style muffin bursting with flavor, Uncle Wally’s Pillsbury Gluten Free Muffins are exactly what you’ve been looking for!

These ready-to-eat muffins are individually wrapped for on-the-go convenience and certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Sold in packages of four and available in blueberry or chocolate chip, they can be found in grocers’ all-natural freezer cases.

Try Uncle Wally’s delicious Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Serving: Makes 8 Servings


  • 8 Pillsbury Gluten Free Ready to Eat Chocolate Chip Muffins, thawed
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 8-oz. tub gluten-free frozen whipped topping, thawed (divided; 2/3 cup for the crust and the remainder for filling)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 of 8-oz. bar)
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips, gluten-free

NOTE: Always read product labels to make sure every ingredient is gluten-free. Products and ingredient sources can change.


For crust:

  1. Using a food processor or clean hands, break muffins into a coarse meal. Blend in cocoa powder evenly. Add 2/3 cup whipped topping and mix well until mixture forms a large dough ball.
  2. Press crust mixture firmly and evenly into a greased 9-inch pie plate, forming a neat edge

For filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar thoroughly with an electric mixer. Add peanut butter and milk and beat until smooth. Fold in the remainder of the tub of whipped topping (approx. 2-1/3 cups) till well blended.
  2. Spread filling evenly into crust; sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly across the top.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

To find more tasty recipes like this, visit Uncle Wally’s website, and click on our Product Recipe page.

© General Mills.  Pillsbury is a trademark of General Mills, used under license

San Francisco’s Great Gold Attracts a Following with House Made, Gluten-Free Pasta

An Italian restaurant that makes fresh pasta is a common sight in many cities these days. But when chef-owner Brandon Kirksey set out to build Great Gold, a modern American Italian restaurant in San Francisco, he prioritized getting fresh, house made gluten-free pasta on the menu. “There is extreme demand for gluten-free,” Kirksey says. “People still want to eat pasta.”

As everything is handcrafted daily in-house, the chef refused to use pre-packaged gluten-free pasta. He purchased a pasta extruder, a kitchen appliance that mixes raw ingredients and, with a flip of a switch, presses the dough through a die-cut brass plate. Add the casarecce plate and short, curled noodles emerge. Add the spaghetti plate and long strands materialize, springing forth from the machine in shape and appearance that is nearly identical to wheat-based pasta noodles.

The recipe is no secret. Kirksey works with Cup4Cup, a flour blend developed in the kitchen of Napa’s French Laundry restaurant to precisely replicate the taste experience of wheat flour. “I like it as it really mimics regular wheat flour,” Kirksey confirms. Though there is xanthan gum as a binder in Cup4Cup, Kirksey adds even more, amping up the binding quality. Eggs, salt, and water are the only other ingredients.  

Like any recipe, Kirksey’s dough recipe is a template, a guideline for working with the unique requirements of that day: gluten-free flours, the size of the eggs in-hand, the humidity in the air that day, the temperature of the water. After a thorough cleaning of the extruder (Great Gold does not have an extruder dedicated to gluten-free pasta making, alternating production with wheat flour pasta), Kirksey first adds the dry ingredients, then the wet, occasionally testing the dough for a just-right dampness, adding a bit more water during the mix.

Unlike wheat flour dough, gluten-free dough in the extruder needs to be drier, more like pebbles, before pressing. The force of the extruder compresses it enough so that a small amount of liquid binds the dough. In his many tests, Kirksey tried damper versions, learning quickly that a wet dough not only won’t fall into the channel that leads to the die-cut plate, the dough comes out too wet and falls apart when cooked.

Once Kirksey found a recipe that worked for shorter shapes like rigatoni and orecchiette, he set out to make strands.  “The elasticity of a longer noodle is an issue,” he noted; The noodle turned brittle when lengthened into strands. Fresh wheat flour pasta is often twisted for compact storage–not an option for gluten-free. It breaks. So Kirksey and his team learned to hold the spaghetti as it emerges from the extruder, lifting it out straight and flat before placing it on a perforated tray to air-dry for a few hours before use. Chef suggests using it within a few hours but no more than two days out. “The longer it sits, the more dried out it gets,” he says.

The Great Gold kitchen serves dozens of plates of gluten-free pasta each night. As with wheaten pasta, these noodles need just a minute or two in their boiled water bath before they are sauced. Kirksey plans a sauce based on that day’s noodle shape. In Italy, the noodle a blank canvas for the sauce, its shape designed to hold on tight to the sauce. “Spaghettis are usually slippery when they come out of the water. They are paired with a thick sauce because those stick to the noodle. Thin sauce calls for a pasta in a cup shape so sauce hangs in there,” chef says. Rigatoni’s hollow interior and ridged exterior “grabs” the sauce.

Kirksey works each day to match the pasta shape with its sauce ideal, cooking sauces down to achieve a similar binding consistency on gluten-free noodles as on their glutenfull bretheren. It is a detail that is helping the chef gain notice in the passionate gluten-free community and the equally passionate pasta-eating community. These pastas, precisely paired with sauce, are a complete expression of pasta.


Going Undercover With Undercover Chocolate

A diploma from the University of Pennsylvania can take people far, but sometimes they do not end up where they planned to be.

After graduating from UPenn, Diana Levy worked for CBS News, then went into the realm of political public relations. After that, Levy tried her talented hand at options trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange and then went to law school. As is so often the case, parenthood focused her attentions and led her to her current (and potentially most satisfying) venture — the revelation of Undercover Chocolate.

“Once I found myself with three kids in diapers,” Levy recalls, “I became a stay-at-home mom…and ultimately started a small chocolate business.”

Though she admits that Undercover started as “something between a business and a hobby,” when two of her daughters were diagnosed with celiac, Levy knew she had found her calling.

“I decided I wanted to develop a better-for-you gluten-free, allergy-friendly snack,” Levy explains.

As her daughters had been diagnosed when they were already teenagers, Levy understood that it would be difficult for them to change their eating habits. She therefore made it her business to create something they could enjoy that was not too far different (and in many cases tastier) than what they had been enjoying to that point.

With inspiration from her daughters and support from her husband (who had worked with food companies for most of his career), Levy decided to combine their needs, his expertise, and her own love of food (especially chocolate) to make a product that would be more than just another sub-standard gluten-free snack.

“At that time,” Levy remembers, “there were growing options in the gluten-free category, but they were mainly regular foods which were altered to have a ‘gluten-free’ variety…. I wanted to create a line of snacks…that were truly better than anything else on the market, but just happened to also be gluten-free.”

The result is a line of delicious snacks that combine quinoa goodness with the tasty addition of premium chocolate sprinkled with currants, seeds, sea salts and other flavorful fixins.

“This is still the absolute go-to, favorite snack not only for both of my daughters,” Levy says proudly, “but for all of their friends who have no dietary restrictions.”

While Undercover started small, Levy soon realized that, in order to maintain the quality and integrity of the product, she would have to build her own factory.

“I went from mixing by myself on the weekends in a rented commercial kitchen to my own tiny commercial kitchen in six months,” she recalls, noting that she had moved again to a 12,000-square-foot space within a year and is now looking for even more space to keep up with demand from gluten-free and unrestricted fans alike.

“We can currently run 40,000 bags per day,” Levy explains, “and project needing to double that relatively soon!”

In addition to offering more chocolate snacks, Levy also hopes to expand Undercover to other flavors so she can satisfy even more people.

“We want to offer additional snacks… that are better-for-you [and] actually taste better then anything else you might already be snacking on,” Levy explains. “We want to make better-for-you snacking fun, silly, part of every day life with products that you choose not only because the ingredients and nutritional information is better, but because they tasted better!”

WOW Flies With Coop: Coop’s Microcreamery

Boston-based gluten-free ice cream topping company supports women in need

Boston has been the site of many revolutions. From the one that made the United States an independent nation to the one that got our nation’s industry humming, the City of Champions has been the hub of many major movements.

Nowhere is this more true than in the food industry, where the “home of the bean and the cod” has also become the home of the chocolate chip cookie, the Parker House roll, Boston cream pie, clam chowder and of course, Dunkin’. As MA is also the world’s leader in per capita consumption of ice cream, it may be no surprise that some of the best ice cream toppings (which just so happen to be gluten free!) come from here. What may be a surprise, however, is who is producing them.

WOW Flies With Coop: Coop's Microcreamery

Though he started his career as an engineer, Marc “Coop” Cooper moved into electronics production management and then hospital administration before he decided to take off his white collar, put on a white apron, and dig into the world he truly loved — ice cream! Learning the ropes from local legend Steve Herrell — the man behind both Steve’s and Herrell’s ice cream — Cooper opened a few of his own stores in 1984. He immediately developed a following that resulted in being named the best in Boston a record 12 times and also being asked to produce over 2 million ice cream bon bons for another MA food magnate — Legal Sea Foods’ CEO Roger Berkowitz.

Though he eventually parted ways with Herrell’s, Cooper was not ready to throw in the chocolate-soaked towel completely. Since 2008, he has been producing his own line of gluten-free, preservative-free, GMO-free and corn syrup-free toppings under the banner of Coop’s MicroCreamery.

While he credits his wife with a great deal of support, Cooper has seen fit to find other strong women to support his ice cream topping habits.

Fortunately he did not have to look far from his South End apartment to find a team of talented women who were eager to contribute.

Just a few blocks from Cooper’s home is Project Place, a social service agency that provides resources to people who want to find meaningful work and a place to call home.

“First Project Place’s clients complete a full career assessment of their job experience, create a resume, and learn interviewing skills. Each client works with a case manager to create a plan tailored to the student’s individual needs. We offer computer training and a variety of industry-recognized certificates like Serve Safe, customer service, and OSHA. If our clients are interested in working in one of our social enterprises, they participate in an enterprise-specific internship. Then they are hired by one of our enterprises and gain transitional employment that helps them secure on-the-job experience, gain additional skills, and strengthen their resume. Our clients use their new skills and experience to secure permanent employment. Our case managers support our clients throughout their time at Project Place and for two years after they graduate,” explains Director of Finance and Social Enterprises Alan Lehman.

Among Project Place’s many ingenious initiatives is Working Opportunities for Women (WOW), which focuses on supporting women in the Greater Boston area. In addition to providing shelter and support, WOW offers work training and strives to transition its members from public assistance to financial independence. “WOW hires and trains women experiencing homelessness and joblessness,” Lehman explains, noting that the program is “focused on helping single mothers.”

When WOW launched in 2016, the administrators at Project Place began to seek partners who could train the women and provide them with meaningful work opportunities. As soon as they found Cooper, they knew it would be a sweet pairing!

“About four years ago,” Cooper recalls, “I approached a friend and neighbor who founded Haley House — a 50+-year-old Boston nonprofit that trains disadvantaged and operated two restaurants. They had a kitchen that supplied their and other restaurants. We explored the idea that I would license them to make and distribute Coop’s MicroCreamery [products].”

Despite their valiant efforts, however, the Haley House kitchen could not accommodate all of Cooper’s creations. Fortunately, the folks at Haley had friends in the neighborhood, including Project Place Executive Director Suzanne Kenney. After a brief meeting with the Project Place team, Cooper realized that it was a match made in hot fudge heaven!

“Project Place hires and trains women who…have no or poor work experience,” Cooper explains, citing these among the many benefits of his production partner. “There is constant training of new women who thus receive hands-on work experience.”

WOW Flies With Coop: Coop's Microcreamery“The conversation started about producing ice cream,” Lehman recalls, “ and transitioned to producing Marc’s truly delicious dessert topping…[which] would better fit the agency’s model for job training and placement.”

In addition to being advantageous to WOW, the agreement works well for Cooper as well.

“I reimburse Project Place for labor costs,” Cooper notes, “[but] I am freed from hiring/firing and supervision, allowing me to concentrate on the facility, testing and buying ingredients, selling products and developing new products.”

Speaking of new products, in addition to his original hot fudge, Coop’s now offers also a vegan variety, and a salted caramel sauce — all three of which have won coveted sofi™ awards (essentially the Oscars of the food industry) from the Specialty Food Association. The latest additions to the family are a cold brew mocha sauce and a non-dairy hot chocolate mix called Cocoa Felice that is named after Marc’s wife.

When asked why he got into the toppings business, Cooper cites the obvious — New England’s changeable weather. As ice cream is not as popular when it can be stored outside, Cooper wanted to offer products that would allow his employees a more steady work cycle and income. By partnering with Project Place, Cooper has not only been able to expand his business but to also expand the horizons for women and families in need.

“Project Place is focused on increasing the skills we teach and serving more people,” Lehman maintains. “Increasing sales of Coop’s products will enable us to train more women in production, inventory management, sales, customer service, shipping and computer skills…. Our relationship is truly a win-win!”

Catherine McCord on her New Smoothie Cookbook

Catherine McCord's The Smothie Project
Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age by Catherine McCord

For anyone looking to try something new, the answer might start with a blender and a book. This might sound like an interesting combination, but that blender that so many of us bought to make a milkshake one-time years ago can take on a whole new purpose with a little help from Catherine McCord’s new cookbook the Smoothie Project.

McCord, the founder of the family and food brand Weelicious, has devoted an entire book to the smoothie in all its many forms. From recipes for tropical smoothies like On Vacation to green smoothies such as Green Sunshine to decadent smoothies including Banana Split, she sets out to share recipes that demonstrate the versatility and excitement that can happen when you take real food and blend it together.

For McCord, a mom of three, smoothies mean a lot to her family. She first started having smoothies during her second and third pregnancies when she was having trouble with nausea. She says they were her “lifeline” during this time. Soon after, her husband was taking one with him on his way out the door for 16-hour days.

Smoothies took on even greater importance when McCord’s son began not feeling well several years ago. She got creative and began collaborating with him on smoothies for breakfast. He soon felt better, the whole family began drinking smoothies, and the result is the Smoothie Project.

For anyone familiar with Weelicious, it is clear that McCord has taken the passion she gives every day to her followers and brought it to the pages of this cookbook. Just like the many naturally gluten-free (or easily adaptable to be) on Weelicious, McCord’s book is very much the same. Even if something does not say gluten-free, like her Blueberry Muffin smoothie recipe that calls for oats, one can simply use certified gluten-free oats. 

Before blending up one of her recipes, she walks readers step by step on how to set up their kitchens. She discusses everything from the differences between blenders, cups and straws to have on hand, and how to stock your pantry.

McCord recently called in from California to share insights into how smoothies went from her family to yours and also kindly shared two recipes from the book.

Can you talk about what inspired you to begin making smoothies?

My son started having headaches and nausea, and he is not a kid that complains. This just persisted to the point that I didn’t know what to do going to doctors and nutritionists trying to figure out what was happening to him. He became a vegetarian by choice when he was 5 years old so as many mothers do, especially with a vegetarian child, I found myself doing deeper into pancakes and waffles and crepes for breakfast and cheese, and I realized at the end of the day he wasn’t getting a lot of what he needed. I read this book Cure Your Kids with Food and there was a line about smoothies.

And so the next day I created this sheet that had little pictures of fruits and vegetables and proteins and I gave it to him and said you can put anything you want here in the smoothie. The next morning we tried it, he loved it, and I would give him the sheet every day for a week until it became habit and within three weeks, all of his symptoms went away. And that was almost five years ago.

Every day we still have a smoothie. At least I know for myself, for my kids, that by doing that you can invisible high five yourself that you’ve had one or two vegetables, one or two fruits, brain-building protein, so everything goes in this glass. The secret is its actually really delicious. 

As this was happening, were you surprised by the evolution?

I was just doing it for my son’s health and for ourselves. Then what ended up happening was we would be having our smoothies, we would prop Gemma, who was 10 months old at the time, on the counter or I’d be having her on my hip, and she would sit there and bob her head and try to take sips, or put her mouth on our straws. And then next thing we know we would prop her on the counter as we were having breakfast and she would suck down a 10-ounce smoothie in 2 seconds flat. I started putting it on Instagram and it just caught on. People started calling her the smoothie baby. 

At what point did you realize this bigger than your family?

I would say a year, year and a half into it was when I created a hashtag (#smoothieproject) and was posting more and more of it. I would post a different recipe on Instastory every day and people shared they were screenshotting the recipes, and asking, “Can’t you just make a cookbook.” I was working on another project and never thought about it. It’s a true passion project. It’s been so my fun. Even my kids have been taking the book and sharing the pages they want.

You had a wealth of smoothie recipes. Were some of the recipes developed specifically for the book?

Smoothies are a funny thing. To perfect a recipe for a smoothie, it’s true culinary work. There are certain flavor combinations. Everyone has a different palate. There is literally something for everyone. 

Were you surprised by any flavor combinations that have merged beautifully together?

Throwing a whole lemon – lemon and lemon peel – in a smoothie. It’s been fun the past two weeks, since the book came out, for the Blueberry Magic Lemonade recipe, I keep getting messages, “Am I really supposed to put it all in?” I say put it all in. It makes it really zippy and fresh, but there is nothing bitter in it. Another one is putting persimmon to make Secret Mango Creamsicle.

Are there a couple of recipes that readers should definitely check out?

The Cotton Candy smoothie. It’s my version of healthy pink milk with strawberries and frozen cauliflower – it’s really classic. There are some that are a little bit more obscure such as Awake. I think a lot of people don’t know you can absolutely put coffee in the smoothies as your liquid. So that is a fun one for anyone who want more of a mocha flavor. Pure Gold has some lime zest and some turmeric. 

For selective kids (and adults), which smoothies do you recommend trying first?

First and foremost I would say hand the book to the kid because the pictures are really inspiring. Berry Vanilla Shake, which is strawberries and raspberries and you don’t taste the frozen cauliflower, but you get a vegetable in there, that is really popular. The decadent chapter, its dessert, but they are really, nutritious, but the best part is they’re so delicious. We make them after dinner for dessert. 

How many different types of glasses do you have in your home?

They’re a lot of glasses. 

Do you think the type of glass impacts the experience?

I think your cup, your vessel, is important. I love glass straws. It is so funny to say this but a glass straw, it feels different compared to plastic or paper or even metal.

What do you hope readers take away from the book?

I hope that everyone is educated a little bit more, finds an ingredient, and is able to have an aha moment. It’s a 28-day challenge and that’s just really based on my own experience with my son, by seeing how making this one change made all the whole of difference in how he felt, how all of us felt. It’s just changing one meal a day. 

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity) 

Learn more about the Smothie Project on Amazon!

Check out McCord’s Cotton Candy smoothie recipe!

Check out McCord’s Super Greens smoothie recipe!