When Korey Kealey started her gluten-free lifestyle, her naturopath sent her off with a box of quinoa crackers that made drywall taste good. As a food media consultant and recipe developer, Korey knew if she built a better cracker, the world would beat a path to her door, and Energive Quinoa Skinny Crackers were born.
“Initially I had a manufacturer in Toronto,” said Korey. “But after closer investigation I wasn’t convinced the production would be 100% gluten-free. That’s when I started looking closer to home, and found Rick.”
Rick is Rick Payant, owner of Natural Food Pantry and I Crave Natural Foods, baker of gluten-free bagels, muffins, breads, and loaves. During a workshop held by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Rick first learned about the advantages of kosher certification for his products. “It opens markets,” he noted. “It’s not just the kosher consumer—vegans know if it’s kosher and pareve, there are no animal-based ingredients in the product.”
Korey, too, wanted the advantage of kosher certification. “I was talking to Rick about how we had to act on it—and the next day we got a call from Rabbi Emanuel at the MK-Canada’s kosher certifier!”
Both Korey and Rick said working with the MK-Canada’s Kosher Certifier wasn’t complicated. “A lot of the ingredients we were using were already kosher,” said Korey. “The one tricky ingredient was sunflower oil, but we found that too!” Rick said that once the process started, he noticed the MK-Canada’s Kosher Certifier symbol on several of the products being used. “So we were already on the road, and the rest was easy.”
Enerjive Quinoa Skinny Crackers currently come in five flavours: Heat (garlic/cayenne), Crave (rock salt), Fix (chocolate), Burst (berry), and the new Savoury Italian Bella. In addition to being gluten-free, they are also egg, dairy, and wheat-free (there is a small amount of soy in the chocolate flavour) The crackers themselves are sodium free, though there is a small amount of rock salt on the savoury flavors to get a little hit once in a while. The crackers can be eaten as is, crumbled into salads as gluten-free croutons, used with dips, or even ground in a food processor and used in place of breadcrumbs for coating fried foods. They are sold across Canada, and are available in several IGA stores in Montreal, including the store on Boulevard des Sources, as well as Bio Terre stores and Fruiterie de Parc. The full list of stores can be found on their website at http://enerjivefood.com/where_to_buy.php. There are several recipes as well, including one for a truly yummy-looking chocolate smoothie.
Currently only frozen gluten-free bagels are available in Montreal; Rick Payant’s fresh MK-Canada’s Kosher Certified gluten-free baked goods will be available in Ottawa shortly. These include three varieties of bagels, banana loaf, zucchini-chocolate loaf, and brown rice bread. The Natural Food Pantry store in the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre is only ten minutes from Parliament Hill, and five minutes from Dow’s Lake and the Ottawa Tulip Festival, and will provide Montreal kosher consumers with a better variety of choices when making a chol ha’moed or other day trip to Ottawa.