Sunday, July 24, 2016

[Gut Healing One-Shot ] Gluten Free Sourdough Company Grain Free Coconut Bread


With Celiac Disease, it's a double-brill day when food both pleases the palate, and soothes the gut. Either/or! blares the pop culture -- get that healthy stuff, or stuff yo' face with whatever. But I think this sourdough, from Sharon's small Boston-local Gluten Free Sourdough Company bakery, proves you can have both.

Gut Healing One-Shots

weekly looks at healing the insides
with food preparation practices, supplements,
or other whole life approaches


This bread tastes like a fresh loaf out of the oven dripping with butter...but it has no butter--  in it or on it, and it's no traditional loaf. Gluten-free and grain free, Gluten Free Sourdough Company's coconut bread is soft as pound cake but firm, and as easy on the gut just as it is a joy to the taste buds.

The ingredient list is so short you could write it on the palm of your hand. But every ingredient is
balanced, chosen, and blends to make this fermented bread a naturally gluten free stand out.  Without trying perfectly to mimic a huge traditional loaf, this unique sourdough does better -- it highlights the strengths and flavours of its naturally gluten-free ingredients, creating a bread that  needs to be eaten, not described.  somehow surpasses it.

I can't compare it to gluten-filled stuffs.  Few traditionally gluten containing breads could stand up to it either. It's rare to find a baked good made with the craft and care that has gone into Sharon's goods, and rarer still to find a good made gluten free of that caliber. particularly into her new coconut breads.

You really don't have to be celiac to find this coconut bread an extraordinary treat.

I know. I've sampled it to non gluten-free friends and clients, and they fell head over heels for it.

Toast or untoasted, chilled or warm, this gluten-free sourdough serves well for a snack, a side, or  with something as simple as a plate full of nut butter dip. It pairs well with savoury dishes and with sweet.  It has the double benefit of being gut-healing at the same time as gut-pleasing, the fermentation making it extra-digestible.

ingredients:

filtered water
coconut flour
coconut oil
kombucha vinegar
arrowroot
chia seed
psyllium seed
maple syrup
sea salt
sodium free mineral leavener

Although it contains coconut it's free of all other top allergens . And how can you pass up a treat that's healing at the same time it's just a blast to get in the mouth and taste?


Taste/Texture:  Smooth. Untoasted, rather like pound cake in consistency -- but don't let that make you think it's sticky and sweet. Toasted, it has good body. Not crumbly, it holds together well.

Whole Food?: All whole food ingredients.

Organic/Non-GMO: Yes.

Celiac Safe: Utterly. Sharon is impeccable in her ingredient sourcing, and has a dedicated gluten-free bakery.

Shoestring Budget?:  No, and yes. It lasts a good while, because a good slice is satisfying. A loaf costs about $11, which is comparable to -- or less than -- specialty GF loaves on the shelves at Whole Foods.

Availability; Sharon, and GF Sourdough Company, ship nationally. If you're Bostonian like myself, hop on out to Ashland -- a 12ish mile jaunt -- and pick some up yourself.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gluten-Free Celiac Travel: 3 Things, or From Disability to New Ability

"Celiac isn't a disability. It's a launching platform into new ability and competence."


How can you travel "normally" -- gluten-free -- when you have celiac?  When I recently explained some of the planning that goes into traveling, as a young professional, a grad student, and nutritionist with celiac disease, the amiable lady listening, bug-eyed, blurted out:  CJ, ARE YOU NUTS? 

My response:

Well, go ahead. be a nut. Or maybe...just take Nut along for the gluten-free ride.



 I  used to think I had two options: Go as a nut and enjoy it, or go as a nut and don't.  But I have a third: go with a Nut, instead of as one.

Nut, the frantic worried voice, the feeling-defective-guilty, the future-tripper, the trigger-happy DOOMSDAY buddy...needs to take shot-gun, not driver's wheel.

Boiled down, that means accept what I can't change -- perhaps a worried fear-laced litany running through my brain included -- and change the things I can.

But what are those things? Half of Nut's  fuel for his back-breaking, trip-tromping blare of worried chatter that ruins travel, and keeps me out of the moment, comes from knowing there are things I need to do for my own health and sanity, and not having taken the time to list them, choose them, and use them.


What then do you have power to change? Make a list. I always  have a choice. If I choose to go, the things I can change are my responsibility -- I'll take the time and the necessary steps to be sure I can travel wisely, safely, and sanely (knowing I may take Nut, the worried-wonder in the back of my head, with me -- he just doesn't have to drive).


So if you're traveling with celiac disease or a severe food allergy, these are the practical steps to make it not just do-able, but enjoyable.

One thing to know first: are you on the road for work or for holiday?

IF YOU'RE TRAVELING FOR WORK:


Get the schedule, know if you're eating out,
plan accordingly.
bring Nuttzo 2go (if you can eat nuts)
single-serve Plant Protein (Garden of Life Raw, for me)
homemade cookies like these
or home-packed trail mixes or granolas

When eating out is involved, the best rule is safety first.
If you don't want to be ill on holiday, you doubly don't
want to be ill on a work trip. Cross-contamination is gut-killer,
brain-killer, and even if you don't feel it, seriously damaging.

Know your itinerary.

Pack a couple of sandwiches.
When I worked in Ireland, I was walking
cross-country.
My suitcase? It was stuffed with 10 perfectly packed
nut-butter and honey sandwiches on Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain.

IF YOU'RE TRAVELING FOR HOLIDAY:
Nuttzo hungry any more at
the cabin... Nuttzo on Coconut Bread

Pick a place to stay where you have a kitchen or kitchenette.
save yourself time and money:
less research on outside eateries, more flexibility,
brilliant for the budget

Road-trip? Peg in stops around groceries or
restaurants that are safe (Find Me GF app helps here).

Airline: pack food that airline portable.
Drive: Pack a cooler.

COMMUNICATE with family or friends.
This is hugely helpful. This is very much in our control.
Let yourself have needs. Let others know them.
Ahead of time.
A good question: "When are we eating, do you have
a place in mind or preference? I need (blank)."



IN EITHER CIRCUMSTANCE, WORK OR FUN:

Know what your personal nutrition needs are.
I make a list of what my meals look like at home, and compare a snack-seat-packing list of what I'm bringing. Is it enough?  I personally lose weight and brain power in a flick-flack-flicker if I drop any amount of nutrition. If my normal day has x amount of food + calories, and my packed-list has half of it, I'm on my way to a Nutty world of non-self-cared celiac slap-happy burnout and misery


Something else I do, always, before travel, is write myself a personal reminder: 

Nutrition is a necessity, not a luxury.

If I'm going to work well, maintain my integrity, and care for myself -- and if I'm even half-going to enjoy myself on a vacation -- I need to be fed, and with celiac disease, that means something specific: gluten-free.

...Yes, this all takes time.

But what takes more time, and life is  NUT. Having Nut wail, worry, and womp me from the background wipes out my ability to enjoy the moment, wipes out my health and leaves me in a place of deprivation, dragging. Ultimately, being careless can risk my life literally -- that's what gluten-exposure means to someone with celiac..

So when you travel put NUT in the back seat by answering his wails practically and visually. Write it out. Know what you need, and put it down in a contract to yourself, with a road-map and a "snack-seat" pack.

Nut is all right to have along -- but he makes a horrid driver.

I've learned I don't have to let my challenges truly be disabilities. My challenges, are a branch into new abilities.

I was never much of a planner. Now I could be a 5 star general.

I wasn't always the keenest at care, especially of self -- why? when I could get by on an iron constitution and tricky-good-luck? My wanderlust was enough. But now, I could be a surgeon, on my self.

Celiac isn't a disability. It's a platform for new abilities. And traveling with a Nut, instead of as a Nut, is just a start. All of these new abilities I can pass on to the kids in my life as well -- my clients, students, nieces.

It's good to go ahead and be a Nut...but only if that means countering a careless, self-neglectful culture, or the idea that having a need means being less valuable. And eating jet-carry-on-safe Nuttzo and bananas on my travels.

This is my Celiac Anniversary post. And it's been brought to you by NUT, who is safely seated in the back, well-fed, attended to, and no longer a conspirator in making me disabled. He's just along for the ride.


_________________________________________________________________________________

For the anniversary of my diagnosis -- but actually more for the flipping fun --
I have a giveaway.
It's Nuttzo.
Literally.

This stuff has given me great fuel for the road, for recovery nutritionally,
and for service work with their Project Left Behind Non-Profit.
Vegan, gluten-free, organic, non-gmo, soy-and-dairy-free.
The only thing it isn't free of is nuts.
But that's okay. Neither am I.

Enter the giveaway, and comment below for a chance to win some Nuttzo.
(This kind of Nut can come in the front seat -- it has to if you're driving and eating.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Best of wandering to all of you,

Tumbling Free,

CJ

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Join Me for the Boston GFAF Expo, July 23-24!

Celiac Awareness Month has ended, but awareness, and building community? Those are two actions I take with attitude into the whole year. One both fun and effective way to build both is to attend an expo. The GFAF Expos, held across the country, are hitting Worcester, MA, and I'll be there...two months later but still in the wake of hitting the stellar show in Chicago!


So what does an expo look like? It looks like the discovery of new food options, connection with fellow celiacs (and those with digestive disorders requiring a similar diet), and opportunities to stop in at educational seminars teaching nutrition, breakthroughs in celiac research, and practical tips for living gluten-free.
This year, the expo is:

When?

July 23-34
10am to 4pm

Where?
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608

The wrap-up-recap of Chicago HERE is a great sample of what Worceseter will look like!

Wondering what kind of food you'll find in the exhibit hall?  From breads to dairy-free ice creams, pizzas to chocolate, old school snacking stand-bys to organic whole foods, the hall will be packed. But I'm most looking forward to seeing these celiac-supportive stand-outs:

(breads, bagels, brownies)
Everything Bagels
(dairy-free and soy-free cheees)

(breads, flatbreads, tortillas, bagels -- from Ireland!)

(chocolate, and I mean CHOCOLATE: organic, all top allergen-free,
bloody amazing)

(classic NY-style GF bagels...crazy good)
a sweet note bagel +
nuttzo

(PIZZA, both with dairy, and a plain crust sans dairy)


If you're one of my fellow Boston-celiacs, or New England area readers, pop off down to the giveaway below to win 1 of 4 tickets to the upcoming gluten-free event on July 23-24!



Funny-face photo? Price: Dignity,
and the cost of cell phone date. Meeting fellow celiacs in Chicago at the
Expo? Priceless.


 Win 1 of 5 Tickets to Worcester, MA GFAF Expo!


1) Comment below with your top reason for reading Tumbling Gluten Free, and for attending an expo this Summer!

2) Follow @TumblingGF on Twitter (and post your twitter handle in a separate comment below)

3) "Like" +Tumbling Gluten Free  on Facebook and Google! (Post your FB name and Google name in a separate comment below)

4) Follow +Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo  on Twitter and Google (and post a separate comment with your twitter and google handle again!)

That's it!

Hope to see you there, and good luck. This giveaway is sponsored by GFAF Expo, and runs from 7/5 to 7/20 at midnight EST.

Your ticket will be good for one day, but you can get 20% for familiy and friends
if you use my advance ticeketing code:  ADVANCE (thru 7/22)! HERE


Tumbling Free,

CJ

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Art of Jam, or Gettin Figgy With It [RECIPE]

Jam: the sticky, sweet, the smell of cinnamon or ginger, infusing, fruit. Or...jam...

the idiom: pull out your melodies, twiggy fingers and dancing feet.

I could eat the funky fiddling between words all day.

You can make jam or jam. Music or meal -- or both together. But melody mellows a kitchen crushed by brain's rush, and oy, I've been rushing.

Rushing, you know, isn't so much outsides as it is an attitude to outsides; rushing is an inside job. So though are creative jams in the kitchen, and I mean jam in both senses of the word.

I'd prefer to be reading. Being underweight, my brain bellows food between  paragraphs and paged words though, so I end up in the kitchen, with figs from a friend in Western climes where I recently traveled for work, and jam and jams on the mind.

Do you think I could pick at a guitar, cook, and read at the same time?

(The answer is yes, but very unsuccessfully on all counts.)

I hum instead. And since figs are delicate, and I don't want to eat a bushel, already packed and jounced 3,000 luggage-crunched miles in a gulp, I make jam. I jam the jam, because I ad lib it and make the recipe up as I go, and it comes out like this.


"FIGGY"-WITH-IT VANILLA CARDAMOM JAM
makes 2-3 6-8 oz mason jar-fulls

[ gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free ]

:: ingredients ::

spices
dash cinnamom
3 cardamom pods, split, seeds crushed
1 + 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

jam
3-4 cups fresh Black Mission Figs
1 tbsp water
dash cider vinegar
(optional) 1 tsp agaragar (to gel)

:: directions ::

Place cardamom in saucepan with water, and cook on low heat for 2-5 minutes. Add vanilla, cinnamon, then add figs to a saucepan, and steam over low heat until they begin to consolidate. Once mostly cooked, begin crushing with a fork. 
Turn heat up, and boil for 60-120 seconds on high -- adding water if necessary (make sure not
to scorch the fruit on a liquidless pan bottom!). Continue to cook until figs have dissolved, skins and all, into a viscous liquid. Add cider vinegar and optional agar agar at this point.
Remove from heat, mixing agar agar in well if used. 

Jam will thicken on its own, so a little extra liquid is good. Don't worry if it seems watery, or
if you added water during cooking.

Set aside to cool. When thoroughly cooled, store in mason jars.
This jam has lasted me ages. But ideally, it saves about 2 weeks in the fridge.


My jams rarely last. I spoon them over pancakes, or mix with nut butters, or slather on gluten-free toast or homemade no-oat-cakes.
Crunchy Nuttzo and  Figgy Jam:
gluten-free breakfast sandwich

My jams, like my melodic jams, don't need to last more than the moment. They're made to enjoy -- whatever connotations jam has of preservation. Although sometimes, I do plan to write the music down, to play again; and sometimes, I think I'll have jars of jam for months and years, frozen, canned, or unusually hardy in the back of the fridge.

Nope.

I just get the joy of either jam, and then onto the next jamming, kitchen-creativity or otherwise.

And I spread another spoonful on Sharon's gluten-free sourdough english muffins, and enjoy.


Tumbling Free,


CJ






Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gluten Free Celiac Stomp Through St Louis (and GFAF Event Recap)

St Louis, MO, Gluten-Free Restaurant Reommendations

So you want to stroll through the Gateway to the West, see the silver arch across the prairie sky -- and eat stresslessly, happily, safely, gluten-free?  St Louis not only hosts multiple safe eateries, but also plays host to Nikki Everett's GFAF Wellness Event each year. And its array of dedicated gluten-free facilities, local, transparent food suppliers -- and wealth of history and architectural beauty -- just keep growing.

Well, the eateries and events do. I'm not sure about the architecture.

While I was there this May for Nikki's ace event, I hit 3 dedicated GF spots, and got a good look at the safe food prep processes of half a dozen others.

But what made the visit glow was the GFAF Event. So if you're planning a jaunt across the American mid-West, plan your trip for Spring -- not only is the weather accommodating, so is the metaphoric atmosphere of gluten-free goods.  Especially since Nikki's family-friendly, community-oriented weekend event offers gluten-free and celiac support, samples of the best local-grown, local-based businesses, and a bonus of great speakers and educational presentations.


But before the recap, here are the restaurants:

DEDICATED GLUTEN-FREE  EATERIES AROUND TOWN....

A2 GF CF Cafe (St. Louis proper, MO)


Audra and Audrey founded A2 to be dedicated gluten-free, dedicated safe. From sandwiches to salads, grain bowls to sweets, they offer the rainbow. On top of that, their breads and baked goods are all seed-flower based (courtesy of local start-up and family owned business, Think.Live.Eat's sunflower seed flours). They are grain-free and paleo. If you're weary of missing out on traditionals such as meatball subs, baguettes, or brownies...drop the slouch: you can get it here. The fare is all local-sourced, prepped in a dedicated kitchen...and it isn't oh-that's-gluten-free-but-good. The A and A of A2 make food that stands on its own two feet.



Revel Kitchen (Brentwood, MO)



Paleo, organic, sleek. You can get everything from waffles to plant-based burgers at Revel Kitchen. They've downsized, and changed up their menu. But they haven't changed their naturally gluten-free flair, which is paleo, local, fresh-prepped-to-order, and delicious. You can pick from Bowl, Wrap/Burger or Omelette, customise the protein (from eggs to grassfed beef or tofu), and add an array of smoothies or sides.

My grandmother, very much not gluten-free, reports this is the best food she's eaten in 10 years, if not more. Being diabetic, the paleo-aspect also pleased her pink.

New Day Gluten Free Cafe (Ellisville, MO)

New Day, family-owned, takes classic diner and transforms it into...the perfect classic diner: except everything is gluten-free. You can drop in for celiac-safe eats breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or order their fluffy, crusty-bread or baked goods to pick up and use at home. I've been here multiple times now. Usually for breakfast. Although the pancakes aren't dairy-free, the French toast is, and the American breakfast of toast, bacon, eggs is a classic as it gets for the United States, and utterly satisfying.



GLUTEN FREE ALLERGEN FREE WELLNESS AND THEN SOME! ST LOUIS, MO

RECAP + GIVEAWAY


Grass fed sausage and roast beef, organic allergen free spices from Wild Tree, Think.
Eat.Live's Sunflower Seed flour muffins, Sema, teen celiac advocate,
chocolate, and Outrageous Baking Co's sweet breads

Smaller this year, but no less dynamic, the GFAF Wellness Event on May 21 trotted out at team of local real food standouts. When I say real food, I mean the floor was no longer dominated by sweets -- faux-gluten-food. It was a floor dominated by whole food -- including some stellar sweets -- but offering a variety that held up always-supportive-national brands such as Enjoy Life Foods alongside tons of regional gluten-free allergen-free specialists. I loved seeing  MO Legacy Beef and Jerky and J&J Chocolate Chalet, as well as Think.Eat.Live, whose sunflower seed flour is the base for A2's wonderful little gluten-free cafe downtown.

I had a blast eating  a real lunch of lettuce greens taken off Rhonda's (who was there with JuicePlus) Plant Tower, freshly grilled grassfed steak  samples, and Billy Goat's non-gmo tater chips. Dessert wasn't lacking though -- that's when I got to chat with J&J Chocolatiers, who provide some the best chocolate I've ever had the joy of tasting -- Quinoa Crunch Nonpareils, and Cashew Protein  Creme.

I got to finish it off later with Pumpkin Curry at GF-ready-prepped-meal-provider table, and then circulate around to WildTree Organics, where Adobo-Spiced Chicken Stew was cooking in a crockpot, and Julia told me story, and showed me a long line of allergen-free organic spice blends and oils.

Then, to top off the diverse food samples, the event this year also featured NYR Organics -- skin and self-care products like I've never seen before, altogether organic, altogether allergen-free -- DoTerra Essential Oils (which even makes a gluten-free, chemical-free toothpaste now!), and Arbonne (whose rep, Chondre, tells me will soon be CERTIFIED gluten free, and celiac safe...meaning a ream of protein powders, healthcare products and makeup testing under 10ppm).


But why stop in at the event that Saturday? It wasn't just the food. After all, if you've read through the restaurant recs, you can see it's easier and easier to eat well on-the-fly, and safely, even gluten-free.

Julia summed up what made the GFAF Event such a necessary stop on my calendar, every year, each May: "I knew this was the place to be," she said, when I asked her why she chose to have a booth--and then she went on to sum up not just why she was there, but the attitude of Nikki's events totally in one sentence:  "People here know and understand your story.
"And they hear you."

Allergies, Celiac, digestive ills such as Crohn's or diabetes -- any illness that requires a custom diet, the spectrum of Autism aided by gluten-free eating, and related disabilities -- these are our stories. These are our wounds.   Nikki's events bring people together to heal

...and more than offer options for samples, new food, and physical nourishment. The GFAF Event sets a stage for community to flourish -- and it is that support of community, (including the safe Saturday expo in which to eat and explore options) that builds relationships, heals us, and allows us to live freely and fully.  

Finally, why not a giveaway? It's good to share abundance. Gluten-free is a diet easier and easier to follow when it comes to finding options. But it isn't always easy to enjoy the variety if your budget is on the ordinary side. Food alone isn't cheap. Gluten-free food can be a hike above it.

Enter below for some Caly's Granola and Otrageous Baking Co's Baking mix!


 To Enter, Comment Below with your Favourite
Gluten-Free Food
and What your dream travel location is!


Tumbling Free,

in health, none too seriously,

CJ


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Restaurant Review: At Wit's End with Wheat? Gluten-Free Chicago Cafe, Wheat's End, Has It All


Wheat'sEnd Cafe, Chicago, IL

dedicated gluten-free facility



The highlight of highlights of my recent travel to Chicago, food-wise, was Wheat's End Cafe. Because I have celiac disease? No. Although the fact that I can't eat wheat may have something to do with my being aware of this little artisan cafe nestled in the Lake District of the Windy City.  You don't have to be at your wit's end with wheat to adore Wheat's End. Although if you are, you may not simply order every baked good off the menu, you may end up in joyful tears afterwards, hugging Amelia, Susan, and Meni -- chef, owner, and manager.


Superb is an understatement when it comes to the menu at Wheat's End, which is not only gluten and wheat-free, but also mostly vegan (allowing those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance to eat as happily as the wheat-free crowd). From belgian waffles drizzled with ginger-infused pure maple syrup, to chocolate chip pancakes, Wheat's End has breakfast and brunch covered. Where many restaurants come up short is in providing either sweet or savoury..Wheat's End has both covered: they not only offers the sweet, they serve up savoury eats that can't be beaten -- breakfast sandwiches on bagels and english muffins, splendid popovers doused in housemade gravy, and scrambles and omelettes neatly folded from fresh, organic produce and organic eggs.

During my recent visit, I sampled both the lunch menu, and the brunch offerings (and for brunch I stepped into a line a 10 other celiacs accompanied by non-celiac relations, all waiting to get at the morning feast).

My sister and I ordered both waffles and pancakes, a cinnamon roll, and a breakfast sandwich on the Wheat's End beauty-of-an-Everything-Seeded-Bagel. Oh yes. And a popover.



Vegan cream cheese came with the sandwich, but we slathered it on the cinnamon roll.

(It would be difficult to imagine improving on this gluten-free cinnamon roll. But if you could, adding  cream cheese  would -- we loved the tang added to the delicate frosting by the cheese. )



Wheat's End has perfected these recipes, gluten-removed. And the time the chef and staff have put into making a meal consistently over-the-top shows -- to both celiac and non-celiac alike. In fact, sans gluten, they seem to have improved on the entire operation.

A woman and her husband from the Dakotas, sitting beside us, both burst into laughter at one point during our brunch -- startling me and my sister. "What?" I couldn't help asking.

She was celiac, He wasn't.

He grinned at me, "This. Is NOT gluten-free. Really. It can't be."

His wife rolled her eyes. "Honey, if it weren't, we'd both know it by now."


That kind of response is routine for Wheat's End, says Meni, the cafe manager.  He has had spate of similar stories, the most dramatic of which occurred a few weeks earlier. The bloke, however, had flat refused to try "that gluten-free stuff", until he was pranked with a bun that they told him was "gluten-ful". He adored it -- only to find out it was just as gluten-free as the what his date was eating!

My sister wasn't surprised. And neither was I.

We happily ploughed through waffles, both keenly crisp on the outside, and moist inside; the NY-style crisp and chewy bagel; the pancakes, pliable and soft; and our popover and eggs. The cinnamon roll at the end crowned it all as we filled up the corners of our appetite.

We were definitely at the Wheat's End, but not at our wit's end. It has taken the Wheat's End team a good long run to develop the quality of food, service, and atmosphere that permeates the cafe -- from their beginnings with Michelin-star rated Senza to a no-store-front-bakery, to the current eatery --  and that time can be tasted in every bite Every second of it has clearly been worth its weight in pancakes.



All in all, Wheat's End is a wonder. The menu really isn't restricted or lacking an ingredient, as gluten-free implies. This isn't food-but. This is food-AND. Food above and beyond. Food for anyone who visits Chicago, looking for artisan-baked goods, classic high-end eats at reasonable prices -- anyone looking for the cream-of-the-crop in the WIndy City..

But if you have celiac disease, you know you've found a home at Wheat's End when Meni greets you at the counter.

You know you'll eat better than most diners eating gluten across the city. And you know you'll eat without any danger of ingesting something harmful to your health.

Superb? It might be an understatement. But for this review, I'm at my wit's end as to how else to praise this little Chicago cafe. Wheat's End doesn't prove gluten-free can be comparable to normal diets; it makes a case for gluten-free surpassing them. Don't ask me. Ask the 70% of patrons Meni tells me come in day in, day out, who have no medical need to eat gluten-free.

Finally:
In Chicago? Driving cross country? Planning a trip, don't-know-where?
Chicago. And aim for Wheat's End

I also met fellow celiac and Michigan-blogger, Margaret, of MIglutenfreegal,for lunch.
A few more photos follow of our lovely afternoon chat over

an amazing meal.

Margaret Clegg: Has she got
a celiac story!
The meatloaf, rice, and wilted spinach -- DEMOLISHED.
Indeed, 'twas good.



Scones!
Yes. Gluten-free.



I was not compensated or paid for my review. I did eat lunch on-the-house, at the invitation of Wheat's End Management, but paid fully for my brunch experience. My opinion is my own, and can't be bought  anyhow. 



Tumbling Free,

CJ

Saturday, June 11, 2016

RECIPE: Gluten-Free No-Toast S'Mores



S'more is an abbreviation. S'more means SOME MORE, please. S'more reminds me of visiting family on the west coast of the US...and I always wanted some more gooey burnt sugar chocolate crunch -- . But when it comes to that traditional s'more, for a celiac , some more is a no; in fact,  it's a don't even start.

But not these little blokes. Two Moms in the Raw, an ace woman-owned company that makes sprouted, naturally gluten free products, shot me their newest offering: High Protein Sprouted Crackers. And the No-graham "Grahams" are the best graham I've ever had. Utterly gluten-free, they're grain-free as well, made with sprouted almonds; and they honestly taste better than the old crackers I crunched as a kid. But perhaps they also taste better because my gut likes them, and they like my gut, and the sprouted almonds make them doubly digestible.

Recipes can be mad rigamaroles of ingredients and chemical combinations. Recipes can get you amazing, mad-beautiful end results. And some recipes can be simple.

Kids can make them. And so can I, when I need to settle down into simplicity. When I can't plan ahead, or have a head full of linguistics, poetry, grad school deadlines, meeting schedules, and friends' birthdays. When some more sounds good.

These s'mores are a perfect recipe-retreat.

And they don't need anything perfect. Just some crackers, nut butter, and a deep breath before the first bite.




SERIOUS SPROUTED NO-TOAST S'MORES

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, soy-free, corn-free, vegan ]

:: ingredients ::

3 tbs Chocolate Nuttzo (peanut free power fuel)
1 tbs Organic Coconut Butter / Cream

:: directions ::

1. Spread crackers, one with Nuttzo, one with coconut butter.

2. Smash those crackers together, and voila, a finger-sandwich, s'more. Make a plate and serve at a potluck or BBQ, or have fun assembling together with kids or friends.






If you do anything food-related this Summer, try these no-graham-grahams (or check out my simple homemade sub below; leave out the fire (especially if very small ones are involved); and make these no-toasters.

The chocolate Nuttzo and coconut butter make a perfect swap for marshmallow and chocolate bar, creamy as both if not more so, and they're naturally sweet.  Cold-cut s'mores. You can't go wrong.


HOMEMADE GRAHAM CRACKERS GLUTEN-FREE

sub for 2 moms grahams (if not available or out-of-budget):

1/4 cup mesquite flour
1 tbs almond flour
dash coconut sugar
1 tbsp coconut milk
optional: 1 tbsp shredded zucchini

Spread flat in a baking pan lined by parchment paper; bake til browned around the edges. Cut but don't separate until cooled. 10-25 mins. at 400 degrees F.

UPDATED NOTES at reader request: Dough should be a little tacky, and sticky, but not wet. Add liquid by drops and knead til consistency is correct.
Optional: Add a 1/2 tsp of almond butter for slightly thicker but more durable cracker.

These are Summer-sweet...and I've made a heap of them lately, since I'm swamped in work, and about a mile long back log of blogs and nutrition consults!

How are you tumbling free -- time-wise, food-wise, into Summer?


Tumbling Gluten Free!

CJ