Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pitfalls at the Picnic

Pitfalls at the Picnic: Summer Barbecues and Gluten-Free Safety

Memorial Day is the official start of picnic and barbecue season - carefree summer entertaining, to be sure. But they can be filled with pitfalls for guests with food allergies. - - croutons mixed into salads, soy sauce (with wheat) added to marinades, and bread crumbs inadvertently sprinkled into the mayonnaise or mustard jar. All of these can easily be avoided without sacrificing any entertaining standards. So, before you don your straw hat and sandals, here are a few tips to ensure that your gluten, dairy-free and food sensitive guests can relax and enjoy your picnic along with the rest of your guests.

(1) In the initial invite, mention food allergies and invite guests to let you know of any dietary restrictions ahead of time. Review the menu with them.

(2) Put aside a plain burger or piece of unmarinated chicken that can be tossed on the grill before anyone else uses it.

(3)If the guest offers to bring a dish, it's not that they are rude or question your cooking ability. A gluten-free, dairy-free pasta salad, a hearty salad with protein, or baked beans that is safe for them and can fit nicely into your menu is great additions. And it guarantees that the allergic guest will have something substantial to eat that is safe for their diet. They can supplement with the burger and salad you've prepared.

(4) Clean the grill carefully before starting the grill and invite the food allergic guest to grill their food first. Or use a piece of aluminum foil to grill your food-allergic guest's food. Just make sure that other food is not being grilled at the same time, especially if it's hot dog or hamburger rolls or other bread.

(5) Pick up gluten-free, dairy-free rolls or ask the guest to bring a roll or two that is safe for their diet. Pick products from a safe reliable company such as www.glutenfree.com

(6) Provide your guest with a clean plate and utensils to prepare their food and invite them to be first in the food line so they can be sure the serving spoons have not been mixed up. Set aside a small bowl of ketchup and other condiments that will not be used by others.

(7) Enjoy your summer and make it stress-free for everyone.

Frito-Lay Announces Initiative To Validate And Label Products As Gluten Free Partners with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness to help educate consumers about celiac disease

Source: PRNewswire

PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division recently announced a multi-year initiative to validate many of their products as gluten free, with package labeling to follow. Since many of the company's snacks, such as Lay's Classic potato chips and Fritos Original corn chips are made from simple ingredients like corn or potatoes, they are, and always have been, naturally made without gluten ingredients.

Frito-Lay is not removing gluten from products, rather, has developed a gluten free validation process with input from the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) and the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) for testing ingredients and finished products to ensure they contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before making a "gluten free" claim. This level is in accordance with the limit set forth by the FDA in its Proposed Rule for Gluten Free Labeling (2007).

The gluten free claim that Frito-Lay is adding to qualified products appears in the form of a "GF" icon and/or a statement on the back of the bag. Changes to packaging are being phased in and can take some time. Visit Frito-Lay's website, http://www.fritolay.com/your-health/us-productsnot-containing-gluten-ingredients.html , as it is the most up-to-date resource to identify products qualified as gluten free.        

Gluten-Free Events

Arizona Diamondbacks GF Pregame

Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

Date: Friday, May 25 (First Pitch at 6:40PM)

For more info: http://www.glutenfreecalendar.com/index.php?/calendar/viewevent/14

Have a gluten-free event? Send it to pantry@glutenfree.com .        
                A Recipe From Beth
Cornflake Cluster Candies

Makes 24 to 36 candies

This quick and easy recipe belongs at a summer picnic. Make preparation a family affair and get the kids involved in scooping out the mixture and dropping spoonfuls onto baking sheets.

    • 1 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1 cup of honey
    • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter (a natural, sugar-free brand is best)
    • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract,
    • 4 to 6 cups of Glutino Sensible Beginnings Cornflakes
    • 1 ½ cups chocolate morsels or coarsely chopped peanuts
Butter two baking sheets, or cover with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine sugar and honey in a large saucepan and heat, stirring regularly, over medium to medium high heat until mixture begins to boil and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; blend in the peanut butter and vanilla. Add cornflakes, a cup at a time until mixture thickens.

Fold in chocolate morsels or peanuts. Spray two spoons with PAM. Using one as a scoop and the other to remove the candy mixture, quickly drop by spoonfuls on the prepared baking sheet and set aside to cool. Once firm, place into cupcake liners and bag to store.        
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-Beth Hillson Weekly Newsletter, May 22, 2012