Showing posts from October, 2014

Product Review: Gluten Free Bread? No Longer Holier-Than-Thou!

Bread is made for gluten.  Or is gluten made for bread?  Well, not for my bread, it isn't.  That's made quality bread a bit tricksy, since all things considered, gluten was put in bread for a reason: it holds the poor loaves together, gives us those huge dome-topped crusts, stretches and binds. But bread isn't really just one variety -- there are many. I reviewed Udi's ages ago, when they were a leap in the gluten-free bread-mold.  They became a gluten free stand-by.  …and then got an attitude. Or, maybe just quality control issues.

Gluten-free bread has come leaps and bounds. Partially, it's improved by not trying to mimic traditional bread.  (Silver Hills soars on that point.) But Udi's has come leaps, and then backwards bounds for a rather key reason.

Udi's has gotten two names in the gluten-free community.  One is stand-by.  The other is holier-than-thou -- no pun.

These loaves come home wholegrain, but intact? Nope.  I can't count the number of Who…

Shoestring Budget, Gluten-Free: Know What's In, & Don't Waste It

Fridge-Board.  You may see long lists of tools for saving if you're a mum or a big family, but this tool is a life-saver -- or food-and-budget-saver -- if you're single too.

Often, bits and pieces of food fall through the cracks in a fridge. The food gets forgotten, til it reminds you it's there by smell -- by then, it's rather too late to use it.

I've found that not wasting isn't just about responsibility, and making use of available resource -- it saves serious coin.  It isn't just about eating well gluten-free either.

You can't lose track of what you've written down. Or, well, it's much harder.

Write on your fridge, or paste a wipe erase board to it. It frees the mind from trying to store all the ingredients ad-lib and improvise with them, and it makes gluten-free eating, and whole food and fresh produce, last that much longer.

Pieces of avocado especially.

A few weeks ago, I started scribbling on the fridge-face.

1/2 Avocado, in door: dinner…

Oh-So-Halloween: Kidlet, This Do Be Gluten-Free

This is the season that, had I been diagnosed with Celiac as a younger child, I would have been bloody wall-bashing furious. WHY CAN'T I EAT ALL THE CANDIES?  I want yours, and yours, and YOURS -- and life is not fair.

I wouldn't have thought food hated me, I would have hated food -- and candy -- and all of my friends, and my parents.

I have one student who told me yesterday that she was the Devil.  That was her response to the gluten-free celiac conundrum.

Understood. She probably feels more powerful being the Devil than a 4 year old.  I let her be the Devil, but we made these Gluten Free Ghost Pops, so no one had to feel hungry or sweet-less.

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free ]

1 ripe banana Enjoy Life Choc Chips, melted Enjoy Life Dark Choc Chips, unmelted vanilla yogurt (dairy or dairy-free)
Peel, cut in half, and chill banana. Melt chips. Dip banana in chocolate so that it's covered nearly to the bottom all rou…

Local Events!: B-Green, Get Rooted, Slow Down but Eat Up

This season is harvest season, though California is short on seasons in general.  What it isn't short on is an abundance of sustainable, whole-food and fun events, and the few listed below are a keen way to engage with the community, eat consciously, and enjoy the natural abundance of the naturally gluten-free food.

Variety. Community. Local and Sustainable.  Oy, how can you go wrong?

First up is Get Rooted at Organic Roots Market out in Temecula.  One of my favourite gluten-free food purveyors will be there with free samples of the best GF pasta on the market: B-Green Foods.

Hop in October 18 for free food, book signings, meet local farmers, and a BBQ of all grass-fed, local, antibiotic free burgers and dogs.

I may just kidnap my youngest brother and hike him down for the day.  But I highly encourage any local readers to make the short or long trek, if only to hit up B-Green and get some free organic pastas. (You can check out my product review here.)

But get rooted.  These event…

Halloween Candy: No, Kidlet, That Ain't Gluten-Free

All Hallow's Eve is on the horizon.  So is a cornucopia of candy.  What do you do if you've got to eat gluten-free?  How do you know your sweet-tooth isn't going to cause you a seriously sour gut?

Students in my preschool class, and some of my seminar attendees (parents) want to know what to do about CANDY.  Some of them want to know if it's whole food, and how much to allow their children to swallow.

But outside of the question of chemicals and sugars, if you've Celiac Disease, candy can be a minefield.  ...because heaps of it, being processed, is full of malts, malt syrups, wheat crunches, and any other scramble of gluten you can imagine.

When I lived in the States as a 6-9 year old, I loved Kit-Kats.  Each Halloween, I traded friends and siblings for Kit-Kats (and 3 Musketeers), and wondered why the Musketeers liked me better, though I liked the Kats.

But without digressions, here are some quick "safe" candies you or your kid can crunch if you're C…

Planet Rice: Power Rice, Gluten-Free Sprouted and Spritely

I've been having a ball poking this Planet Rice into meals. Grains, even after a full Celiac recovery, sometimes cause difficulty to the digestion.  Rarely do I have trouble with rice or quinoa, but sprouting is a process that doesn't merely make rice or quinoa more digestible -- it unlocks nutrients one's body can't otherwise access.

This is especially apt for any Celiac or gluten-free diet, since damaged intestines, years sometimes of malnutrition, and the need to replace building-block micro-nutrients lost when removing certain foods from the diet, pops holes in even the most well-meaning of eaters' routines.

Anyhow, the nuttiness of this short-grain rice, and its blend with quinoa, makes it brilliant for stir-fries, Spanish Rice, enchiladas, poke bowls...and on into imagination.

My only complaint to Planet Rice is that when mixed, quinoa and rice don't make the ideal steaming partners.  The quinoa tends to come out soggy, the rice a bit hard.  Or both can …

Travelling: It's What We Do When We're Alive

…even though after Celiac diagnosis, to travel can look like an Everest of a challenge.

I like good long trips -- the sort that throw me halfway across the world.  That looked much easier prior to Celiac diagnosis, even though I was overwhelmed by symptoms at times. Oy, I never wondered or worried about where I would eat.  I would eat whatever you tossed in front in me.

In France, breakfast bread, croissants, coffee, eggs, toast.  In Croatia, braided sweetbreads, baguettes.  In Ireland, toast again.  Across the continental United States, packaged cold cereals, porridges, coagulated-cheese pastries, and sticky motel-morning muffins.

I didn't worry.  But I did hurt.

But now I travel a bit differently.  Now, actually, I'm resenting not being on the road -- because the bloody best social consciousness blogging event is in swing in LA, (Shift Con -- check it out, and join in via social media); and the always-wonderful Nikki and her Gluten Free/Allergen Free Wellness Event is hittin…

Tumbling Gluten Free into Top Non-GMO & Gluten-Free Foods

October.  It's tumbled in, and it's both Respect Life Month and Non-GMO Month; but as I sat with the two October-designations this morning after a chat with Sambazon's bills-payable exec., it struck me that respecting life is exactly what kicking the trousers off GMO's is about.

I aim at whole foods, simple foods, fun foods, and a variety of foods -- but whole food must be at the service of a whole life. GMO's, genetically modified organisms, are not altered by cross-pollination and breeding. GMO's are not even food genetically tinkered with so as to emphasize stronger gene strains. Most GMO plants and crops are modified to 1) withstand greater chemical and carcinogenic pesticide use and/or 2) produce their own pesticides.

What does this mean?

It means, ingested, a plant that now makes a pesticide takes that anti-organic, cancer-causing chemical direct to your gut.

A sharp rise in Celiac Disease in the last 50-100 years has been correlated to the rise in GMO…