The public has been clammering for gluten free girl scout cookies for quite some time now. Gluten Free Thin Mint Cookies are especially sought after. However, not even the girl scouts themselves, who have allergies to wheat or are gluten intolerant, some with celiac disease, can eat their own cookies.
There are petitions online, on Facebook, and one mother in New York whose daughter is allergic to wheat has started a petition. You may watch their video entitled, Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies?
I completely understand their organizations stand on not providing them for as long as they have. There are children and consumers with other conditions such as diabetes, other food allergies, etc. who would like a girl scout cookie to fit their dietary needs. However, they cannot meet everyone’s needs. Now that being on a gluten-free diet has become popular, perhaps selling gluten free girl scout cookies may take off, as well.
The Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan council (GSHOM) will be breaking tradition this year by selling a new gluten free snack, called Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Snack Bites. The product was developed in partnership between GSHOM and WholeVine, a manufacturing company in Santa Rosa, California. WholeVine adds converted wine grape by-products to make their gluten free cookies, and other products. Rather than discarding these by-products, such as stems and skin, they recycle them into food and oils. You can check out their gluten free cookies that they make. I’m not sure if the one that they publish on their website is the same as the girl scout’s gluten free chocolate chip bites, but I have listed the ingredients below:
Butter, Dark Chocolate Chips, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Unsweetened Applesauce (with added ascorbic acid) (includes USDA commodity), Walnuts, Egg, Almond Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Cornstarch, Soy Flour, Corn Flour, Enriched Yellow Masa, Merlot Skin Flour, Vanilla Extract, Leavening Agents, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum. Contains: Eggs, Walnuts, Almonds, Milk and Soy.
UPDATE Sept. 14, 2012: I called the GSHOM and found the actual ingredients in their Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bites; whether it was made in a gluten-free facility; and if it was tested for gluten and under what percentage of ppm (parts per million). I’ll update this blog post when I hear back from later tonight.
UPDATE: The cookies are made by WholeVine. They are indeed safe. I later reviewed WholeVine cookies which are awesome. Read my WholeVine review (giveaway has ended, though), and learn about their facility, testing, etc.
The Girl Scouts in Michigan launched their new gluten free cookies / bites at a Jamboree and Pow Wow in Jackson last weekend, September 7-9, 2012 for $5.00 per package. They ran out on Tuesday and have reordered more. A good sign, I’d say!
The bad news? Currently, selling the Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies / Snack Bites is only a pilot program, and only in Michigan. They do not have any current plans to market them as regular offerings.
The good news? The new Gluten Free Snack Bites may be part of their fall Girl Scouts Nuts and Magazines.
For those of you who live in Northern California, you’ll find 9 of the 12 of this year’s Northern California Girl Scout Fall Product Sale selections to be gluten free: Caramel Treasures, Blueberry Pomegranate Nut Crunch, Chocolate Covered Raisins, Chocolate Toffee Almonds, Cranberry Nut Mix, Honey Roasted Peanuts, Butter Toasted Peanuts, Cashews with Sea Salt, and their newest addition, Dark Mint Chocolate Penguins. What will be your favorite? Check out all 12 products at Girl Scouts of Northern California’s Nuts & Magazines page. Watch for a booth in your local are between November 2 -18, 2012, or pre-order from a girl scout between September 28-November 18 for early November delivery.
In my area, the Central California Girl Scouts’ Magazine & Nuts products only include one that is marked gluten free on their site, their Blueberry Pomegranate Nut Crunch. Though they also carry the Dark Mint Chocolate Penguins, along with some other similar products as the Northern California council, yet some different ones.
The Greater Los Angeles Girl Scouts Fall Products contain mostly nuts and a couple of other items, with no mention of anything being gluten free. It appears that all councils do not sell the same products, but I see an effort with some to offer a gluten free product.
Hopefully, the fall Magazines and Nuts gluten free girl scout products will continue and be permanently implemented into the organization’s regular girl scout cookie offerings. Let’s face it, Girl Scout Cookies are as American as apple pie!
To find when Girl Scout Cookies go on sale in your local area visit the Girl Scout Cookies website and enter your zipcode. To check which products your local girl scouts are offering for the fall, search Google for “Girl Scout Fall Products Magazine & Nuts” along with the name of your greater area.
If you have knowledge of any gluten free offerings in your area, please leave a comment below so that others will know, as well.