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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

The 10 Best Gluten-Free Breads of 2021

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Gluten is a group of proteins in wheat that’s responsible for giving wheat bread it’s chewy, spongy texture (1, 2).

Due to challenges replicating this texture without gluten, gluten-free bread often gets a bad reputation for being hard, dense, and crumbly. Many products can also be low in fiber and contain large amounts of artificial additives.

Fortunately, several gluten-free options on the market are both tasty and nutritious.

All of the breads on this list are certified gluten-free and were chosen based on their nutritional content, texture, flavor, and ingredient quality.

Here are the 10 best gluten-free breads of 2021.

1. Happy Campers Hemp Hemp Hooray

Price: $

Happy Campers is a small company that bakes gluten-free breads in its dedicated gluten-free, Oregon-based bakery.

All of Happy Campers’ bread products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), non-GMO-verified, vegan-friendly, and free of all major allergens. They’re also free of added sugars.

Its Hemp Hemp Hooray bread is one of the best gluten-free sandwich breads, as it has a pleasant nutty flavor and is made with high quality ingredients and several whole grains, including millet, sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth.

It also contains ground hemp seeds, which are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and polyunsaturated fats, including plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (3, 4).

One slice (37 grams) provides approximately 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 111 mg of sodium, 17 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 2.5 grams of protein (5).

In addition to its high quality ingredients and pleasant taste, reviewers like that this bread freezes well and is enjoyable as part of a toasted sandwich or topped with a spread.

Shop for Happy Campers Hemp Hemp Hooray Bread online.

2. Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain Bread

Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain Bread

Price: $$

Canyon Bakehouse has been producing gluten-free breads for over 10 years in its dedicated gluten-free facility.

In addition to being certified gluten-free by GFCO, all of their products are soy-free, dairy-free, tree-nut-free, and peanut-free.

Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain Bread is made from a base of both tapioca and brown rice flour. It also contains several whole grains and seeds, including sorghum flour, oat flour, sunflower seeds, millet, teff, amaranth, and quinoa.

However, as it does contain egg whites, this bread is unsuitable for vegans or those with egg allergies.

In addition to containing high quality ingredients, Ancient Grain Bread is low in sugar and has a thickness similar to that of traditional sliced bread. Reviewers like that it’s enjoyable both toasted and straight from the package.

One slice (28 grams) provides 70 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 90 mg of sodium, 13 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, including 2 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein (6).

Unlike many gluten-free breads, Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain Bread doesn’t need to be frozen or refrigerated. Due to its packaging process, an unopened loaf will keep for 90 days after packaging. Once opened, it should be enjoyed within 5 days.

Shop for Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain Bread online.

3. Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains Bread

Price: $

Little Northern Bakehouse is a gluten-free, plant-based bakery that produces products in a facility that has been audited and certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) and GFCO.

In addition to being gluten-free, all of its products are non-GMO-verified and free of major allergens, including eggs, soy, dairy, tree nuts, and peanuts.

Its Seeds and Grains Bread has an overall short ingredient list that includes a mixture of gluten-free flours, whole grains, and seeds, including flax, chia, and pumpkin seeds.

One slice (30 grams) provides approximately 85 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 110 mg of sodium, 16 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein (7).

Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains Bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 9 days. However, for longer periods of storage, it’s recommended to keep the bread in the freezer for up to 6 months.

In addition to sandwich bread, the company offers gluten-free bagels and hamburger buns, both of which are likewise made with high quality ingredients and free of major allergens.

Shop for Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains Bread online.

4. O’Doughs Multigrain Sandwich Thins

Price: $$

If you prefer a sub-style sandwich, O’Doughs Multigrain Sandwich Thins are one of the best gluten-free options.

These long, bun-like thins are made from a mixture of gluten-free flours, including potato flour, and are perfect for stuffing with your favorite sub sandwich fillings.

All of O’Dough’s products, including its bagel thins, flatbreads, hot dog buns, and burger buns, are certified gluten-free by GFCO and vegan-friendly. However, they’re unsuitable for those with soy allergies.

While this bread doesn’t contain as many whole grains or seeds as other options on this list, it’s still a good source of fiber.

One sandwich thin (85 grams) provides 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 340 mg of sodium, 33 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein (8).

Shop for O’Doughs Multigrain Sandwich Thins online.

5. Three Bakers Great Seed Whole Grain and 7 Seed Bread

Price: $

Three Bakers Great Seed Whole Grain and 7 Seed Bread is one of the best rice-flour-based gluten-free breads.

Made with whole grain rice flour, this loaf has a limited ingredient list that contains other high quality, non-GMO-verified ingredients, including chia, flax, pumpkin, hemp, and millet seeds.

Additionally, as with all of Three Baker’s products, its Great Seed Whole Grain and 7 Seed Bread is certified gluten-free by a third-party organization called the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).

This sandwich bread is also a good source of fiber, as well as dairy- and soy-free.

One slice (34.5 grams) provides approximately 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 130 mg of sodium, 19 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of protein (9).

While the bread will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature, for longer periods of storage, keep separated slices in the freezer and thaw as needed.

Shop for Three Bakers Great Seed Whole Grain and 7 Seed Bread online.

6. Udi’s Gluten-Free Millet-Chia Bread

Price: $$

Udi’s is a well-known gluten-free brand that offers several bread products that are certified gluten-free by GFCO.

Its Gluten-Free Millet-Chia Bread is made from a base of tapioca flour, brown rice flour, and millet. It’s also free of artificial flavors and colorings.

In addition to being a favorite among consumers for its taste and texture, Udi’s Gluten-Free Millet-Chia Bread is low in sugar and contains a good amount of protein, with 3 grams of protein per slice (29 grams) (10).

One slice (29 grams) provides approximately 75 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 150 mg of sodium, 13 grams of carbs, 2.5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Shop for Udi’s Gluten-Free Millet-Chia Bread online.

7. Eban’s Bakehouse Fresh Baked Gluten-Free Seeded Bread

Price: $

Eban’s Bakehouse Fresh Baked Gluten-Free Seeded Bread is a great option if you’re looking for a soft and chewy gluten-free bread.

Shipped only twice per week, each loaf is freshly baked on Mondays and packaged in an insulated container for optimal freshness.

In addition to being certified gluten-free by GFCO, its Seeded Bread is preservative-free and made with high quality ingredients that are locally sourced or organic when possible.

While the base of the bread is brown rice flour, the loaf also contains several seeds for added texture and nutrition, including sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, chia, and flax seeds.

One slice (33 grams) provides 80 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 160 mg of sodium, 13 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein (11).

Shop for Eban’s Bakehouse Fresh Baked Gluten-Free Seeded Bread online.

8. Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Sandwich Thins

Price: $$$

Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Sandwich Thins stand out from other gluten-free wraps and thins, as they’re made with just four ingredients, including cauliflower, cage-free eggs, Parmesan cheese, and nutritional yeast.

As a result, these veggie-packed thins are not only certified gluten-free but also paleo- and keto-friendly.

Free of artificial ingredients, each Cauliflower Sandwich Thin is low in calories and carbs, high in protein, and provides one serving of vegetables.

Still, keep in mind that they’re unsuitable for people who are allergic to eggs or dairy.

These thins get good reviews for being soft and having a mild flavor that complements a wide variety of toppings. In addition to their suitability for wraps and sandwiches, these thins can be baked in the oven to make mini pizzas.

One thin (32 grams) provides 50 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 130 mg of sodium, 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein (12).

Shop for Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Sandwich Thins online.

9. Schär Gluten Free Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls

Price: $$

Easily identified by its bright yellow packaging, Schär is well known for producing soft, certified gluten-free breads.

Made with a gluten-free sourdough base, Schär Gluten-Free Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls have a pleasant taste and texture that closely resembles those of a traditional wheat-based sandwich roll.

These preservative-free rolls also contain buckwheat flour, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Schär Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls are likewise a good option nutrition-wise, as they’re high in fiber, low in sugar, and contain a good amount of protein.

One roll (50 grams) provides 140 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 190 mg of sodium, 28 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein (13).

While they get good reviews for taste and texture, the one downside of these rolls is that they’re one of the more expensive gluten-free bread options.

Shop for Schär Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls online.

10. Happy Campers Wild Buns

Price: $$

In addition to its Hemp Hemp Hooray Bread mentioned earlier, Happy Campers offers a nutritious, gluten-free hamburger bun.

Happy Campers Wild Buns have a short ingredient list and are made from a mixture of whole grain flours, including millet, sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. They’re also sugar-free and a good source of fiber and protein.

Similarly to the brand’s other products, these gluten-free hamburger buns are certified gluten-free, certified USDA organic, vegan-friendly, and free of major allergens, including dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts.

One bun (76 grams) provides 183 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 268 mg of sodium, 36 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein (14).

Reviewers like that these buns have an enjoyable taste and texture. However, they do need to be toasted before consumption.

Shop for Happy Campers Wild Buns online.

When shopping for a gluten-free bread, it’s important to consider how you plan on using it, your nutritional needs, and personal preferences regarding taste and texture.

Additionally, if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet due to an allergy or intolerance, one of the most important things to look for is gluten-free certification.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), products can only be labeled gluten-free as long as they contain fewer than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, as this is the lowest level that can be reliably detected using scientifically validated methods (15).

However, while each company is required to test the gluten content of their products, the FDA does not currently enforce a set gluten testing standard that all companies must use.

Due to a lack of standardized testing methods and frequency, there are concerns over unintentional gluten exposure and cross-contamination during processing.

As a result, some companies opt to have their products tested by third-party organizations, such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).

In addition to testing for the amount of gluten present, GFCO inspects manufacturing facilities and requires products to be tested at least once per year.

Overall, choosing products that have been certified gluten-free can give you peace of mind about the safety of your bread.

Another aspect to consider is how you plan on using your bread. For example, if you prefer to make cold sandwiches, you may want to opt for a product that can be stored at room temperature rather than one that has to be thawed and toasted.

Ingredient-wise, look for products with an overall short ingredient list that mostly consists of whole grains and seeds, such as quinoa, brown rice, or flax seeds. Try to avoid those with artificial additives or colors, as they’re likely to be more highly processed.

Depending on the type of toppings and fillings you plan on using, you may also want to look for breads that are higher in fiber and protein.

As with all breads, look for products that are lower in sugar and sodium. Also, keep in mind that many gluten-free breads can be higher in carbs, which may not fit into your diet if you’re following a lower carb eating plan.

Finally, if you’re concerned about potential pesticide levels on conventional grains, nuts, and seeds, go with a brand that has been certified organic by the USDA (16, 17).

Summary

When choosing a gluten-free bread, you want to factor in its nutritional profile, ingredient content, and your intended use for it. For those on a strict gluten-free diet, opt for products that are certified gluten-free by a third-party organization.

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you likely understand how difficult it can be to find a bread that’s both nutritious and has an enjoyable taste and texture.

When shopping for gluten-free bread, make sure to look for products that are certified gluten-free by a third-party organization.

You’ll also want to consider the ingredient content, nutritional value, price, and storage life to find the bread product that best suits your needs.

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive

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Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains

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By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel

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I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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