Four years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Australia to visit my daughter. In the land down under, I had a delightful time touring the country while eating my way across it. The moment that stands out most prominently in my mind is when I stood staring at my choice of an array of goodies at a gluten-free bakery. I had traveled halfway around the world, but the kangaroos and sleepy koalas didn’t leave as much of an impression as my gluten-free bakery experience. Tears of joy streamed down my face because I couldn’t decide which pastry to order from the twenty plus varieties before me. I came home raving about this bakery and dreamed of one day having gluten-free bakeries in every major city across America.
Well, who says dreams can’t come true!
Once again, Philadelphia has added another first to its long list of historic innovations. Philadelphia’s Gluten-Free Neighborhood now has its first and only completely gluten-free, vegan and allergen friendly bakery. Sweet Freedom Bakery (http://www.sweetfreedombakery.com/) located at 1424 South Street gave me a chance to relive that mesmerizing experience in Australia. My eyes practically popped out of my head and my nose delighted in the smells of Allison and Heather’s delectable homemade baked goods. Not only are these baked goods gluten-free, they are made with healthy, all natural ingredients.
In this column, I often “preach” about healthy gluten-free living. We all need to pay attention the food we eat, all of the time. At Sweet Freedom Bakery and shops like it you can enjoy treats such as a delectable chocolate chip cookie sandwich (a Sweet Freedom specialty) and be sure that you and your families can safely eat gluten-free.
Allison and Heather at Sweet Freedom are taking the time to complete NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens training course. When bakeries and restaurants display the GREAT symbol, you can be assured that the staff have taken NFCA’s training course and have learned how to safely prepare and serve gluten-free foods to you and your family.
Life here in the USA is changing before our eyes, delighting our taste buds and providing us with healthy choices.
By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian and personal chef
Oh Boy! Oats!
Do you say that with excitement or fear? Oats have been a controversial grain. Are they gluten-free, or not? Are they contaminated during growing, milling, or manufacture?
No doubt about it, whole grain oats are tasty, filling and nutritious. Two new pilot studies from Scandinavia show oats increase vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants in the gluten-free diet.
Oats are a rich source of a unique fiber called beta-glucan. It lowers cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. It also enhances the immune response to bacterial infections. Beta-glucan helps stabilize blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. And, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows a low glycemic diet including oats resulted in greater weight loss than a conventionally balanced diet.
But the bottom line is, can I eat oats?
The answer for most gluten intolerant folks is yes. Multiple studies, even long term studies, have shown pure oats are safe for many. However, here are two important considerations:
#1. Use only certified gluten-free oats.
Oats grow in the same areas as wheat and mills often process both oats and wheat in the same facility, on the same equipment. Popular commercial and generic brands of oats on the grocery store shelves are usually contaminated with wheat. Tricia Thompson, MS, RD published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing gluten contamination in all brands of “regular” oats.
Enter certified gluten-free oats. Several growers and processors now sell certified gluten-free oats. They have invested large sums of money and effort to guarantee their products are pure.
They plant certified gluten-free seeds in dedicated fields, they use dedicated trucks for transport and have dedicated gluten-free processing facilities. They then test the final product. When an oat product label says certified gluten-free, you really can be assured it is.
Companies that sell certified gluten-free oat products include Cream Hill Estates, Gifts of Nature, Gluten-Free Oats, Only Oats, and Bob’s Red Mill. You may find their products in the gluten-free section of your store or you can order online.
Oatmeal is available from all of these companies. Oat groats, bran, and flour are available from some. Please note: Bob’s Red Mill sells oat flour, but it is not certified gluten-free. Their oat flour is not run in their dedicated facility.
#2. Introduce oats after you have been successful with the gluten-free diet.
Get comfortable with the gluten-free diet and heal your gut before you try oats. Even using certified gluten-free oats, some folks react to them. Only you will be able to tell to if you are part of this small group.
Also, start slowly. Begin with no more than 1/2 cup oats. Eating an entire batch of oatmeal cookies is likely to make anyone sick.
So, you have addressed the above concerns and are ready to give oats a try. Oats fit into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So does this recipe for Ginger Cherry Crisp.
Really, I eat this for breakfast (or any time of day).
Ginger Cherry Crisp
1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats 1/2 cup oat or other gluten-free flour 1/2 cup almonds, optional 1/4 cup oil 6 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger, or ½ teaspoon powdered ginger 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease an 8” or 9” oven safe pan.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix sugar, oatmeal, flour, almonds, and oil. I like the almonds whole and very crunchy.
Put cherries and ginger in the prepared pan, sprinkle with sweet rice flour. Toss cherries a bit to evenly distribute the sweet rice flour.
Top the cherries with the oatmeal mixture.
Bake for 45 to. The crisp is done when the topping is toasty brown and the filling is bubbling up.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity?
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) would like to learn about your experiences in gaining a diagnosis, managing the gluten-free diet, and getting follow-up care.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has a dual approach in our work with celiac disease: To gain a diagnosis for those who suffer with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and to improve the quality of life for those who have been diagnosed.
This survey is geared to help NFCA and our partners meet both aspects of this mission. Please take a moment to complete our online survey.
Danny the Dragon and Author Tina Turbin Shares “Yummy Gluten-Free Tidbits”
Protecting Your Celiac Child from Hidden Sources of Gluten
Ever since your child was diagnosed with celiac disease, you’ve been working hard to create a gluten-free lifestyle for not only your child, but also the whole family. This has required some adjustments, but you’re managing your child’s gluten-free diet fairly well, learning gluten-free cooking, providing your child with gluten-free alternatives at school and at your favorite local restaurants, and even getting through the holidays with gluten-free substitutes for your family’s holiday recipes. As part of learning to manage your child’s diet, it’s important to be aware of hidden sources of gluten. Once you’re armed with this vital knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid exposing your child unintentionally to this allergen and to keep him feeling well.
Learning all the usual gluten-containing foods, such as breads and pasta, is only part of the challenge of going gluten-free. Gluten makes soups and sauces thicker, salad dressings creamier, keeps yogurt and soft cheeses firm, keeps dried spices from clumping up, and it keeps bars from sticking to the factory conveyor belt. Gluten is used as filler in some pills and tablets and can hide in lipsticks, toothpaste, and even mouthwash. If your celiac child is prone to putting everything in his mouth, you’ll also need to watch out for crayons and Play Doh, which also contain gluten. What’s more, even if gluten isn’t an ingredient in the product you’re purchasing, it might have gluten in it due to cross contamination. Here are a few tips for detecting and avoiding these hidden gluten sources.
First of all, as you’re getting to know the guidelines of a gluten-free diet, read as many reference books and articles as possible and carry with you gluten-free resources at all times, particularly when you’re eating out, cooking, and grocery shopping. Knowledge is power when it comes to going gluten-free. A support group and dietitian can also provide important information regarding sources of gluten your child should be cautious of. Make sure you are educating your child, meanwhile, about the information you learn. If he is a good reader, bookmark and show him the important parts of the materials you come across.
Tell your family and friends, even certain colleagues, about your diet. It’s especially important to tell your family because there’s a strong genetic component to celiac disease, so if you child has celiac disease, your relatives are at a higher risk for it. It can be hard at times to follow a gluten-free diet, but it’s nearly impossible to do it in secret. Check the gluten-free status of items in your pantry, and learn how and where to shop for gluten-free food. Find out which stores near you publish lists of their gluten-free products. Take advantage of mail-order companies that will ship gluten-free food (even ready-to-eat meals) to your door.
Get in the habit of calling to verify that their products are, in fact, gluten-free. You can usually find a toll-free number on the product’s package, or you can look it up online. Some often change ingredients or switch suppliers, so it’s important to check periodically whether or not your favorite products are still gluten-free.
When you dine out, you’ll need to inform the waiter about your gluten-free diet and learn what questions to ask regarding the preparation and serving of your food and, as your child gets older, teach him how to dine out gluten-free and practice with him at home by role playing, with you as the server or cook pretending to serve and prepare his meal.
Learning to be vigilant about what you feed your child and teaching him this same attitude is part of the celiac lifestyle. It’s important that, unless you’re one hundred percent certain that a food contains no gluten even through contamination from other sources, you don’t even allow your child to taste it. Teach your child this same habit of, “when in doubt, don’t.”
Learning how to avoid exposing your child to gluten-containing foods and products requires some planning and a few adjustments, but soon you’ll get the hang of it and find that it’s not so tough after all. Soon your child will be enjoying a well-balanced diet rich in a variety of delicious foods, as the diet allows such wholesome foods as unprocessed vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, seafood, dairy products, nuts, rice, corn, potatoes, and much more, and he’ll be reaping the health benefits of eliminating gluten from his diet.
More about Tina and the “Danny the Dragon” children’s book series:
Tina Turbin was a prolific writer and speaker throughout her school years. At age 16, she wrote her first children’s book and that interest has never waned.
“Danny the Dragon ‘Meets Jimmy” is the first in Tina’s series of children’s books. Tina Turbin is currently working on the treatments for future books, as well as the sought after Danny’s cookbook! This cookbook will teach children to prepare nutritious meals simply and educationally through Danny’s guidance, at a level a young child can understand and with just a lot of fun!
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of gluten-free, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease a number of years ago after having been diagnosed as gluten sensitive. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, contributing articles to such publications and websites as Awareness Magazine, MixingBowl.com and the Baby Boomers Knowledge Center, and Celiac.com. She also has her own gluten-free resource website, www.GlutenFreeHelp.info
Tina resides in Dunedin, Florida, and also researches and writes on the topics of children, families, mothers and women in society, and enjoys her abilities as an Artist, Decorator and Author.
Looking for something to serve Super Bowl Sunday? How about gluten-free chicken wings! Renegade Chef Dan Kohler shares his secret wing recipe that is sure to be a hit with the football fans in your house.
You can also get Dan’s fantastic chicken wing recipe on RenegadeKitchen.com
Garbanzo bean flour is made from grinding Garbanzo beans (sometimes called chickpeas or cici) to fine flour and works well alone or blended with other bean flours. Garbanzo bean flour is an excellent substitute for gluten-containing flours used for baking and other creative recipes. This flour is a good source of protein and dietary fiber. It contains no cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat.
Epidemiological studies done at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois in Chicago, IL have re-ported a low incidence of colon cancer in countries with high legume consumption. Experimental studies have found that legumes, such as soybeans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans have anticancer properties. Garbanzo beans possess bioactive compounds capable of inhibiting the formation of precancerous lesions in mice and suggest that, like soybeans, their consumption contributes to a reduction in colon cancer incidence.
Here is a delicious and healthy recipe:
Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes
1 cup garbanzo/fava gluten-free flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt Dash cinnamon 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring (not extract) 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 cup soy milk 1/2 cup blueberries
Heat a pancake griddle or skillet to 375 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla flavoring, oil and milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Carefully fold in blueberries.
On hot griddle, pour batter, making pancakes any size you like and let cook until bubbles appear across the surface of each pancake. Check to see if they are browned, then flip over and continue cooking one or two minutes longer until pancakes are firm to the touch.
About Gini Warner, Clinical Nutritionist
Gini Warner completed her master’s degree in Health Education and Nutritional Science at New York University in 1988 and has since been working with families, individuals and corporations in the fields of celiac disease, immune dysfunction, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight loss and overall wellness. She has been a practicing nutritional counselor for more than twenty years.
Gini develops nutritional programs for people with food allergies, for safe weight control, diabetes, eating for energy, disease prevention, and overall nutritional balance. She believes that the key to achieving proper nutrition and overall health is in making positive lifestyle changes.
Gini has developed wellness programs for corporations AT&T, Citibank and Revlon. These programs have dramatically improved the health and quality of life for their employees.
As a clinical nutritionist, Gini works in most areas of nutritional wellness for adults and children, and welcomes referrals from medical doctors, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals. She offers nutritional counseling in person or online.
NFCA is thrilled to announce that The Philadelphia 76ers will host Celiac Awareness Night on their home turf at the Wachovia Center.
NFCA invites all celiac and gluten intolerant sports fans to join us and the Philadelphia Area Celiac Support Groups as we promote awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Gluten-free stadium treats will be available at specified concession stands at the Wachovia Center.
The Philadelphia 76ers will host their third Celiac Awareness Night on Friday, March 26th when the Sixers meet the Atlanta Hawks. Game time is 7:00 pm at the Wachovia Center. To order tickets, go to www.nba.com/sixers/celiac . To get the special Celiac Awareness Night discount, be certain to enter the code CELIAC . This also will ensure that proceeds from ticket sales go to support raising celiac awareness.
For group seating or questions about the game, call Tyler McAllister at. For other questions, please call NFCA’s Nancy Ginter at ext. 101.
NFCA has a rich tradition of partnering with local celiac support organizations to host these wonderful nights filled with food, fun, and all the excitement surrounding professional sporting events. We hope you will purchase your tickets today and join us for what is sure to be a fabulous evening —all for a great cause!
NFCA’s participation in these events is underwritten by Conte’s
Amy’s Gluten-Free Soups Amy’s Kitchen is one of the nation’s leading producers of natural frozen foods. With an abundance of gluten-free options, their products have always had a home in my kitchen. I was so excited when a representative from Amy’s reached out to me and kindly offered to send me samples of some of their newest gluten-free soups. I received their brand new Hearty Spanish Rice & Red Bean soup (a thick and chunky, slightly spicy option), Chunky Tomato Bisque (a creamier and heartier version of the classic we all know and love) and Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable soup (comparable to a minestrone sans pasta). All three were absolutely delicious, but I’m a sucker for tomato soup with character so I have to say my favorite was the Chunky Tomato Bisque. They make a great ready-to-heat lunch for work, an easy prep dinner or the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter day. You can find Amy’s products in many mainstream grocery stores. If you aren’t sure exactly where to look, Amy’s website will help you find their products near you with their convenient store locator feature. http://www.amys.com/buy/store_locator.php
Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal Because they are wonderful and thoughtful, my parents sometimes surprise me with packages filled with gluten-free goodies. In my last package, they included a box of Maple Raisin and Flax Instant Oatmeal from Glutenfreeda. A few mornings later, I was running late for work and the short cooking time (just one to two minutes) was just about as much time as I had to spare to prepare breakfast. All you do is mix the packet with 2/3 cup of water and pop it in the microwave. The texture is perfect and they added just the right amount of sweetness. Best of all, its heart healthy and high in fiber, which can be lacking in the gluten-free diet. Glutenfreeda also makes this instant oatmeal in Apple Cinnamon with Flax, Banana Maple with Flax and Natural. I fully intend on trying them all. You can find Glutenfreeda products in stores like Whole Foods and Hannaford, but if you can’t find it near you, you can order online.
G luten-Free Pantry Muffin and Scone Mix In my hometown, there is a hole-in-the-wall bakery that I used to frequent for particularly heavenly blueberry scones. Since moving away from home and being diagnosed with celiac, I had forgotten what they tasted like and how much I used to enjoy one with a hot cup of tea. When I saw Gluten-Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone mix, it all came back to me and I just had to try making myself a batch of scones. I approached the whole experience with an open mind because traditional scones have a crumbly texture and I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to replicate that consistency with a gluten-free mix. I was thrilled with the way they turned out. They come out a bit crumbly, yet not too dry in the middle, with a hint of sweetness like a traditional scone. I had a few left over so I put them in the fridge overnight and heated them the next morning. To my delight, they were still delicious, not rock hard. Next time, I’d like to try making them with blueberries to see how hold up with the berries inside. I would also love to try this mix to make muffins and pancakes. Overall, I was very happy with my gluten-free scones and certainly plan on making them more often! You can find Gluten-Free Pantry products in Whole Foods and in local health food stores. You can also order their products online. http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Pantry-Muffin-Scone-15-Ounce/dp/B000EVE3YE
Toast It Bags I prefer my gluten-free bread toasted when I make myself sandwiches. When I bring my bread to work, I always spend a few minutes wiping out the shared toaster and checking for crumbs that could contaminate my bread. Often, it’s time consuming and I always wonder if I really cleaned it well enough. It was recently that I discovered what I think is one of the coolest products to come on the market. Toast It Bags are used to prevent cross contamination in the toaster. They are Teflon, 100% nonstick and reusable. All you do is slide your toast, pizza, grilled cheese, or whatever it may be, into the bag and place it in the toaster. It is completely safe and prevents cross contamination even in a dirty toaster. After use, just wash them out and reuse them up to 10 times. The convenience and peace of mind that comes with these bags is priceless. Now, when I pack my bread for work, I pack one of these, too! I haven’t yet seen this product in stores, so I order mine directly online. Happy toasting! http://www.glutenfree.com/IMCG-Toast-It-Bags/Item959069
Insurance Company Restores Teen’s Health Insurance This is a follow up article to a recent story about a teenage girl who had her insurance coverage cut off after being diagnosed with celiac disease. After her insurance was rescinded, her parents accumulated over $20,000 in medical debt. They felt hopeless and were worried that the decision made by American Community Insurance made Brianna virtually uninsurable on the private market. After heated complaints from both her parents and the general public, the insurance company reinstated Brianna’s policy. http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/advice/ct-biz-0126-problem-rice–20100125,0,7227104.column
N.C. Puts its Weight Behind Gluten-Free Cause Last month, state officials in North Carolina sought to shut down a Durham food company that was falsely marketing bread as gluten-free when the product, in fact, tested positive for gluten. This action received so much support from celiac sufferers across the country because such serious enforcement of accurate gluten-free labeling is not yet common enough. Federal officials have not yet come up with a concrete definition of what gluten-free means, leaving companies on the honor system in terms of testing their products regularly and preventing cross contamination. “What North Carolina did enforcing gluten-free claims is say, ‘We’re going to take the health of North Carolinians seriously,” said Alice Bast, executive director of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, a nonprofit based outside Philadelphia. “I have to applaud North Carolina.” http://www.newsobserver.com/life/food/story/314548.html
Five Questions Help Find Hidden Celiac Disease in Kids According to a recent article published in WebMD’s Celiac Disease Health Center, Danish research suggests that just five simple questions can tell you whether your child may need a gluten-free diet. This article suggests that “at least half of kids with celiac disease never get diagnosed, and thus needlessly suffer symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and behavior problems.” The questions focus on a child’s growth patterns, bowel movements and intestinal pain. To learn more about the study and the five important questions parents should know, be sure to give this article a read. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/news/20100201/5-questions-find-kids-hidden-celiac-disease