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Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Gluten-Free Goodies at Land O'Lakes
My mom sent me a link a few weeks ago to gluten-free recipes on the Land O’Lakes website. It is nice to see a national brand include the gluten-free community as a key part of their audience. I also appreciate a website that includes recipes with their own products but used in a gluten-free scenario. I am a big fan of the Kraft website and magazine and I wish they would jump on the gluten-free bandwagon. They currently have ZERO gluten-free recipes on their Kraft site and only one member-submitted recipe. Thank you for Land O’Lakes for including the gluten-free recipes on their website.

Here is what Land O’Lakes has to say:

"Are you one of the millions of Americans who loves baked goods but needs to avoid gluten? If so, you'll flip for these delicious gluten-free recipes. Enjoy your favorite home-baked treats like chewy chocolate chip cookies, fudgy brownies, and special desserts - all gluten-free!"

"Eating gluten-free is important for many with gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains like barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale. Though the term "gluten-free" has not yet been defined by the USDA or FDA, we will use it here to identify foods or recipes that, to the best of our knowledge, do not contain gluten. These gluten-free recipes have been developed and tested with alternative flours and other products labeled as "gluten-free". For more information about gluten, click here."

Land O’Lakes Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 cups rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Land O’Lakes Gluten-Free Baking Tips
  • Maintain a gluten-free cupboard
  • Avoid oats and oatmeal.
  • Gluten-free flours may require more leavening
  • We recommend using an electric mixer
  • Gluten-free batters tend to be sticky.
  • Use good quality measuring spoons and cups.
  • Use non-stick pans or line your pans with parchment paper.
  • When using a gluten-free flour, store it in the freezer in a resealable plastic freezer bag to maintain quality.
  • Baked goods with gluten-free flours taste best when eaten warm from the oven but they also freeze well.

Land O’Lakes Gluten-Free Goodies Page:

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Thursday, December 11, 2008
Gluten-Free Deli Rumors
I dug up an article from The Feedbag posted about one month ago that said Friedman's Deli in Chelsea Market might be going 100% gluten-free. I have never been to Friedman's, but it got some rave reviews on the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group message board. I am going to have to do some investigative reporting. If this rumor is accurate, this will be the first 100% gluten-free establishment in New York City!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Cleaning Your Cabinets of Gluten
There was a great article today on Celiac Disease written by Nancy Lapid. It lists the top 10 things in your pantry that might contain gluten. This is a helpful list to newly diagnosed Celiacs and a great reminder to us veterans. If don't already receive Nancy's updates, I suggest you subscribe today!

10 Pantry Items to Check First
By Nancy Lapid,
Updated: December 1, 2008

Finding out you have celiac disease and learning to stay gluten-free can be overwhelming at first. Most, if not all, of the breads, pastas, cereal, crackers, cookies, cakes, flour and baking mixes in your pantry will have gluten in them, but what other foods should you replace in order to have a well-stocked, gluten-free pantry? Here’s a list of 10 pantry items that will most likely have gluten in them. Replace these with gluten-free products, and you’ll be ready to get your gluten-free kitchen up and running.

Soy Sauce
Regular soy sauce is 40% to 60% wheat. Manufacturers of gluten-free soy sauce include LaChoy and Kari-Out. My favorite soy sauce substitute is San-J Organic Wheat-Free Tamari, which is made with 100% soybeans and no wheat and is available at Whole Foods, health food stores and many supermarkets. San-J also sells a lower-sodium, wheat-free tamari. (San-J also makes tamari that does contain wheat, so be careful.)

Salad Dressings
As with so many other products, many salad dressings use some form of gluten as a thickener. Among the more common U.S. brands with many gluten-free flavors are Maple Grove (with more than 25 gluten-free dressings that include lite and sugar free), Annie’s Naturals (31 products suitable for gluten-free diets) and Newman’s Own. Since manufacturing processes differ from country to country, some brands of salad dressing that are off limits in the United States may be gluten-free elsewhere.

Gravies, Sauces and Marinades
Many gravies, sauces and marinades contain gluten. If you can’t find gluten-free alternatives in stores near you, many delicious gluten-free substitutes are available by mail order.

Canned soups often contain gluten, as do some soup mixes. As a substitute for traditional ready-made noodle soup, consider trying one of the Thai Kitchen-brand rice-noodle soup bowls, which only require the addition of hot water. Many gluten-free soups, soup mixes and bouillon cubes are available by mail order if you can’t find any in your local stores.

Bread Crumbs
Some companies sell gluten-free bread crumbs. You can also make your own or (my favorite method) use crushed gluten-free corn flakes.

Puddings and Pie Fillings
Find brands that use a safe starch (for example, potato, corn or tapioca) as a thickener instead of wheat-based thickeners.

Reduced-Fat Products
In reduced-fat foods (such as meats and dairy products), starches are used to make the product gel better. You need to be sure the starch is from a safe source, such as the ones named above.

Processed Meats
Modified starches are used to bind water in processed meats (cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, etc.). Be sure there’s no gluten-based starch in any processed meat product to be eaten by someone with celiac disease.

Ready-Made Meals and Fast Foods
Almost all of these contain gluten. Among other reasons, the binding properties of starch help batters and coatings adhere to food and also keep the foods from getting soggy.

Ice Cream
Believe it or not, you can actually get gluten-free cookie dough ice cream if you’re craving it, but regular ice creams, with cookies or other crunchy ingredients, are off-limits. Also check to be sure your reduced-fat ice creams don't contain gluten. (I know, I know ... ice cream is technically not a “pantry item”... but in some homes -- mine included -- it’s always in stock.)

Remember: You must be absolutely certain that a food has no gluten hidden in its ingredients or contaminating it from other sources. If you’re not sure whether a food is safe, call the manufacturer and ask. Usually, there’s a toll-free consumer information number on the package. Since manufacturers often adjust ingredients or switch suppliers, you'll need to recheck the gluten-free status of your favorite products periodically.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Gluten-Free Wrigley Products
As I was chewing Orbit gum yesterday, I realized that was one of those products that I never really think about having gluten. Of course, I should have probably checked before I started chewing the gum but I figured I would write to Wrigley and see what they had to say. The following is from one of their Consumer Affairs Representatives. For additional information from Wrigley, please contact them at 1-800-WRIGLEY Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST.

The following is a list of U.S. Wrigley products that remain free of any wheat, oat, rye or barley gluten:

Wrigley's Spearmint® gum
Freedent® gum
Doublemint® gum
Extra® gum
Big Red® gum
Eclipse® gum
Juicy Fruit® gum
Winterfresh® gum
Orbit® gum
Orbit® White gum
5® products

Please note that Altoids Chocolate Dipped mints carry a warning that the product is made on equipment that also processes milk and wheat.

If your sensitivity extends to other types of gluten, several of our brands contain corn syrup, which may have trace amounts of corn gluten in it. The amount of gluten in one stick is less than 0.2 milligrams, but if you are extremely sensitive, you may want to consult with your physician before chewing our brands

Additionally, no packaging material directly next to our product contains gluten sources. There may be instances when starches are used on the label around each individual stick of gum, but these starches are produced from corn or potatoes, not from wheat, rye, barley, oats, millet or buckwheat.

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