Another hidden gem! A great find about a year ago, I was walking home from work and I came across Healthsmart. Intrigued by any store that could possibly carry gluten-free items, I stumbled in. Into heaven that is! Health Smart is NYC's local organic store and gourmet deli. In my brain hardly a deli. I mean they have one, but when I think of this market I don't think deli. I think amazing! I think huge gluten-free section! Biggest ever! And I get excited to go there. I know that when I go, I will find everything I need to suit my GF kitchen. I know that If I ask them to carry a particular product (GF), they will order it for their store.
I honestly think they have a better selection then Whole Foods. And what's so great, is that it is like your Corner Store. It's not a huge supermarket. It's easy to navigate, and all of the gluten free products are in one section of the store. But when I say Corner Store, don't let the idea of small fool you. Packed inside this market are aisles of gluten free galore. There is even Vegan, Raw,dairy-free, lactose-free, casein-free, Macrobiotic and more. If you have an allergy and need something "-free". This is a great market to shop at. It's number 1 on my list.
An entire wall of Orgran! This store has it all! All of my favorite brands like Bob's Red Mill, Candy Tree, Glutino, Mi-Del, Brad's Raw, Choc Alive, Bio Nature, Enjoy Life, Schar, Kinnikinnick, Foods By George, Nana's, Blue Diamond, Mary's Gone, and more! It's fantastic.
Not to mention the plethora of options this market has! GF Licorice, donuts, bagels, breads, cookies, crackers, pasta's (all shapes), bread crumbs, cake mixes to cookie to muffin mixes, pretzels, chips, breakfast bars, diet bars, fiber toasts, crisps, popcorn, oatmeal, granola, candy, chocolate, Biscotti, animal crackers, pancakes mixes, gravy mixes, grains, ice cream, and more! They even have a great frozen section of breads, muffins, donuts, bagels and frozen dinners! And GF throat lozenges! Now that is hard to find! And when you are sick with the flu, those will come in handy. The brand is called Zand.
...and tomato sauces too!
In addition to gluten-free this organic market serves up organic groceries, Macrobiotic food, fresh organic produce, gourmet deli, Vitamins, kosher vitamins, natural cosmetics, fresh juice bar, organic health food and health books and related materials.
This market has a HUGE section of vitamins. Many symptoms for Celiacs or those with a gluten-Intolerance will notice a drastic change in their vitamin levels. As a patient of CD you loose nutrients and vitamins prior to your diagnosis. Especially Vitamin D and Calcium. HealthSmart carries many brands and higher dosages then those that you can get at your local drug store. Taking higher dosage vitamin suplements (with the supervision of your doctor-Of course!) will increase your vitamin levels and prevent vitamin deficiency symptoms. **Newly diagnosed? This is a great topic to speak to your doctor about. Growth of vitamin D and Calcium levels will positively change your mood swings, depression states, it will give you higher energy levels, clear acne, prevent horrid PMS!. There are many perks to these two vitamins.
These aren't even all of the aisles.
This is a market that likes to take chances. Try new products. Every time I go back, there is always something new on the horizon. One time I bought vegan, dairy-free, raw and gluten-free truffles by Choc Alive. (6 pieces come in a box for roughly around $7.99). There are a few flavors. They are rich, decadent and downright good. Yum!
Another time I discovered Orgran's Gluten-Free super grains Crispibread with Quinoa. 41 calories for 2 slices and only .03 grams of fat. They are a great snack and they are good for you. I also LOVE the Buckwheat Crispibreads. I eat them as a snack or for breakfast. The Fiber Toast version is also great, because there is a good amount of dietary fiber.
And on a different occasion I found Orgran's GF Chocolate Moose Mix. I didn't love this one. I felt there was a strange after taste. However, I seemed to eat the whole bowl anyways. (LOL). So after eating it, I had decided that it would be a great filling for a cake or piped inside a cupcake. This was really easy to make. I added in some chocolate extract for extra flavor.
For those of you new to the GF diet, this is a great place to get your groceries. You can practice reading labels, seeing your options and navigating a store that carries GF in one section rather then the entire store. It might make it easier to have everything at your fingertips the first few times. On the other hand for those of you who have been leading the gluten-free lifestyle and you know your brands, then this store my friends, would be heaven. Pure heaven. GF on a silver platter.
Another delicious discovery were Brad's Raw Chips. Organic. Gluten-free. Not fried. The chips are made out of veggies! Oh and they are Vegan. I have tried the Indian chips. They come a few different ways.
During my last trip to HealthSmart, I discovered that this market has a knack for bars. Breakfast bars, Protein bars, gf bars, fruit bars, wafer bars, nut bars and more like LaraBar's, Think Thin Bars, Breakfast Bars, KIND bars and more. Bars, bars, bars. Now I'm not the biggest "bar" fan, but out of all the bars I have ever tried I find Think Thin bars to have the winning taste. Upon checking out, I asked the manager if he had tried them and what the response was from customers. He said he liked them, and so did his customers. When I went to take a few, most of the boxes were empty! So I bought three, and took a bite of each. Not bad. I personally do not find bars filling, but to those bar lovers out there? This is a good gluten-free choice. With flavors like Lemon Cream Pie, Tangerine Creamsicle, Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Covered Strawberry who could go wrong?
They also carry amazing health smoothies, Flu Defense natural medicines, wheatgrass shots, foot repair and more homeopathic products. What a market!
HealthSmart is located at 550 Third Avenue between 36th and 37th Street. (212)-532-9300