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Mary’s Gone Crackers Cookies: Vegan, Gluten-free Goodness

MGC_USA_5.5_SupperSeed_11.26.13Mary’s Gone Crackers Cookies aren’t likely to elicit comparisons to Grandma’s baking – unless Grandma was vegan, gluten-free and prone to adding unusual ingredients. But they’re tasty and appropriate for people who follow a variety of special diets.

We tried two flavors: ginger snaps and double chocolate. Both flavors are organic and certified non-GMO, and have 9 grams of sugar per serving. (She also produces Chocolate Chip and n’oatmeal raisins without oatmeal cookies, but we didn’t sample these flavors.)

Ginger snap: This cookie has a good strong ginger smell and taste, and makes a satisfying snapping sound when broken or bitten. It’s not very sweet. In fact, it packs just a touch of bitterness. Three ginger snaps contain 140 calories, and the palm fruit shortening and coconut oil provide you with 14% of your saturated fat RDA. Unusual ingredients include yellow split pea flour, prune extract, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper and chia seeds.

MGC's double chocolate cookies have a sweet flavor and slightly grainy texture.

MGC’s double chocolate cookies have a sweet flavor and slightly grainy texture.

Double chocolate: This double chocolate cookie is softer and somewhat sweeter, with an unusual, slightly grainy texture. These also carry a significant amount of saturated fat – 15% of the RDA in just two cookies. In addition to the expected ingredients, the double chocolate cookies include organic roasted ramon seed powder. These seeds come from the fruit of a Central American tree that’s related to figs. They’re high in potassium, fiber and calcium. However, there’s not enough ramon seed in these cookies to really make a nutritional difference.

Background: Mary’s Gone Crackers was started by Mary Waldner, a psychotherapist who realized she had Celiac disease at the age of 43. She began developing her own recipes to accommodate her new gluten-free diet. Her favorite was a wheat-free, multigrain cracker made from quinoa, brown rice, flax and sesame seeds. She began producing her crackers commercially in 1999. Over the years, she’s added pretzels, graham crackers and cookies to her product lineup.

The Real Bottom Line: A taste test among non-vegan or gluten-free snackers ranked these cookies on par with more mainstream brands. So people looking for a gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, organic alternative to ordinary store-bought cookies will delight in Mary’s Gone Crackers. As far as cookies go, these are about as healthy and wholesome as you can get. –by Teresa Bergen, RFT Vegan/Vegetarian Editor

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Teresa Bergen, RFT Vegan/Vegetarian Editor

Teresa Bergen, a freelance journalist who lives in Portland, Oregon, has been a vegetarian for more than 30 years. Her travel articles have appeared in India Currents, Yogi Times, The Circumference, and the Catholic Travel Guide. She’s the author of Vegetarian Asia Travel Guide. In addition to being a vegetarian and a journalist, Teresa is a yoga and group exercise instructor and personal trainer. She's also's Vegan/Vegetarian Editor.