Sunday, May 29, 2016

Don't Let Gluten Corner You!

Many people know the basics about how to avoid gluten- no bread, no pasta, put down the cookie, and don’t even think about that slice of pizza! Whether you are a gluten free seasoned pro or not, though, it is very easy for gluten to sneak up on you when you don’t expect it! With there being so many different forms of gluten, it is important to know where you should be a little extra careful to ensure you do not get glutened!
Gluten Out to Eat
  • Chips & Fries could use seasonings that may have malt vinegar or wheat starch and the oil used to cook them could be contaminated if also used with breaded/ gluten containing foods
  • Omelets and eggs may have pancake batter added to them by some restaurants
    • TIP! Try and stay away from any eggs that are scrambled
  • Gluten Free pizza and baked goods could be contaminated if made in a facility that also produces non-gluten free products. Surfaces could be contaminated if not thoroughly cleaned after coming into contact with gluten containing products and wheat flour could be lingering in the air if used.
  • Meat & Poultry could be prepared with seasonings or marinades that may contain gluten.
  • Imitation crab meat used in sushi or crab stuffing or salad is many times made with fish and wheat starch to hold it together
  • Vegetables are sometimes par-boiled in the pasta water
    • TIP! Always ask for your vegetables to be cooked in fresh water
  • Many Chinese condiments may contain wheat including soy, oyster, hoisin, and bean sauces, unless otherwise labeled
    • TIP! You cannot control a restaurants kitchen but you can help protect yourself by calling the restaurant ahead of time and letting the kitchen and manager know what time you will be there, ordering your food a plain as you can, and bringing your own salad dressings, bread, or sauces that you enjoy and can trust.
Gluten In Your Kitchen
  • Crumbs in toasters can contaminate Gluten Free breads
  • Community Peanut Butter, Jelly, Butter, Cream Cheese, Mayo, and other condiments can be contaminated by crumbs or utensils used on gluten
  • If wheat flour is used in your kitchen, it is so light that the flour can stay in the air for a long time after you use it. This puts you at risk of having a reaction if you ingest it or if it settles on gluten free food you prepare after using it.
    • TIP! If you must use wheat flour, either prepare anything gluten free beforehand or wait at least a few hours after using it and clean all kitchen surfaces before preparing anything gluten free
  • Shared cookie sheets and baking pans can contaminate gluten free foods with any crumbs or breading left behind
    • TIP! Line all cookie sheets and baking pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil and change after each use
  • If you have a shared kitchen where both gluten containing and gluten free foods are frequently made, utensils, pots & pans, and many other frequently used kitchen items can become contaminated by residue left behind from gluten containing products- such as on your colander after making gluten containing pasta!
    • TIP! Keep a set of dish sponges, utensils, cutting boards, a colander, etc. separate for use with only gluten free food preparation so that what you make gluten free does not become contaminated
    • TIP! Always clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly and frequently
Gluten Off the Shelves
  • Self-basting poultry and processed meats may use gluten as a binder in items such as cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, and some specialty/reformed meats
  • Beware of flavored ice cream and gelato! These may contain gluten or have added ingredients that contain gluten (Think cookies and cream ice cream- we know, we’re sad too)
  • Various candy (such as licorice) can use wheat flour as an ingredient- but don’t worry, there are many gluten free candies left! (Click here for an updated list)
  • Many sauces and gravies (such as soy sauce, bouillon, and envelope mixes) contain gluten as an added ingredient or uses it as a thickener. Many salad dressings are also made with wheat
  • Many soups (boxed, canned, or mixes) may be made with wheat or barley
  • Meat & Fish substitutes such as veggie burgers, sausage, bacon, bacons bits, and imitation seafood may contain gluten as a binder
  • Pickles made with malt vinegar, (which is made from barley) contain gluten. Avoid malt vinegar as well as beef barley soup
  • Some spice companies use gluten as a filler or anti-caking agent so only use pure, high-quality herbs and spices with no fillers
Non-Food Items with Gluten
  • Medications & Supplements may use gluten to bind the ingredients of the pill together
  • Makeup, Lip balm, and other beauty products may contain gluten that could cause a reaction if ingested by touching around your mouth after use
  • Communion wafers are not gluten free
  • Kids modeling dough can be wheat based and can cause a reaction if a child is playing with it and then touches their mouth
  • Toothpaste and some mouthwashes may use a form of gluten that, if ingested enough, can trigger side effects
  • Many brands of chewing gum are not gluten free and can cause major reactions due to gluten being ingested through chewing. Brands such as Wrigley’s and Trident are gluten free
Gluten in Beverages
  • Flavored coffees and teas, instant coffee, hot cocoa, and powdered milk can all contain wheat starch that is added to give bulk to the mixture
  • Non-dairy creamers and beverage flavoring syrups may also use wheat starch
  • Beer, ale, lager, and malt beverages may contain gluten but wine and distilled alcohol is gluten free. Some wine, though, may have been stored in barrels that are sealed with flour paste
Other Names for Gluten
  • Other names for wheat include semolina, spelt farina, graham, durum, emmer, farro, khorasan, udon, and einkorn
  • Latin names that could be used on labels could include tricticum vulgare (wheat), hordeum vulgare (barley), Secale ceral (rye), triticale (wheat/ rye hybrid), triticum spelta (spelt/ a type of wheat)
Remember to always read labels and ask questions to do your best to avoid being glutened. When in doubt- go without, is a good motto to follow to be safe. Also, remember that when on a gluten free diet, you may have a greater need for nutrients such as B Vitamins, Vitamin D, and Iron so be sure to take a (gluten free) vitamin and/ or consume a variety of nutrient dense foods to help keep you fueled and repair any damage you may have to your intestinal lining. Some foods that are good to help repair any current damage you may have from consuming gluten are berries, brussel sprouts, summer squash, purple kale, and quinoa. The more colors you consume each day, the more antioxidants and nutrients you will get out of it.
Also, just because something is labeled gluten free, does not mean it is a green light to consume as much as you want of it! Gluten Free processed foods can be just as high in sugar and just as unhealthy as other processed foods. A bag of cookies is still a bag of cookies- gluten free or not! Do your research so you know that what you consume is clean, uses healthy ingredients, and is third party certified gluten free! Once you find your go-to products, pay attention to the serving size and where it falls in your daily variety of ‘colors’ that you should be eating and you will feel great while doing your best to avoid gluten!

For more information:
Bakery On Main- Items to Avoid
Celiac Support Assoc. – Label Reading 101
Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination

Friday, May 27, 2016

Watch Out for Phthalates

Fast Food Eaters Consume More Harmful Chemicals known as Phthalates
Phthalates belong to a class of industrial chemicals used to make food packaging materials, tubing for dairy products, and other items used in the production of fast food. Other research suggests these chemicals can leach out of plastic food packaging and can contaminate highly processed food.
"Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tropical Chicken

from Well Fed 2
by Melissa Joulwan

Serves 2-4 | Prep 15 minutes| Cook 35 minutes

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup canned chunk pineapple, packed in its own juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons Jerk Seasoning
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (choose a gluten-free brand like McCormick)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk

First, brown the chicken.
  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  • Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and allow it to melt.
  • Brown the chicken – cooking in batches, if necessary – until golden all around, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan as it browns and place in a bowl to catch the juices.
Then get saucy!
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the pan.
  • Sauté the onions, peppers, and arrowroot until the vegetables are just-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the juice from the pineapple chunks and add them to the pan; stir-fry until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and Jerk Seasoning, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the lime juice and stir, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the vanilla and coconut milk, stirring to combine.
  • Place the chicken in the sauce and pour in any accumulated juices.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Jazz up your meal with these naturally gluten-free additions!

Avocado: Top your plate with diced avocado and a spritz of lime juice.
Toasted nuts: Sprinkle your plate with crushed toasted pecans or macadamia nuts.
Cauliflower rice: Serve on a bed of oven-roasted cauliflower rice.

Gluten Free School

To be honest, I’ve avoided sharing a list of ingredients containing gluten for a long time. I had a number of reasons why I didn’t want to do so.
First, you can’t possibly memorize all of the hidden gluten ingredients that could possibly show up in your food and body care products. I mean… would you really remember something like Amp-isostearoyl hydrolyzed or Triticale (x triticosecale)? Hmm… me neither.
Second, my experience coaching clients to go from total confusion to mastery of a gluten-free diet has proven over and over again that learning to properly read food labels is a better way to go. It’s more effective and way more efficient.
Read more here:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Just Eat Real Food

via Eat The Cookie
3 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup walnuts
3 tbsp raisins

optional but necessary toppings:
1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese*
warmed up maple syrup…/12/carrot-cake-pancakes/

Sunday, May 15, 2016

7 Signs of Gluten Intolerance

Recognizing gluten sensitivity is not the easiest thing to do as symptoms can overlap other health issues making it difficult to distinguish what is causing what.
It is important to note that these symptoms can appear right after meals and may not always last long.
In other cases, symptoms can stick around for a few weeks or even chronically, which then can lead to a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease instead of gluten intolerance.
Here is a list of symptoms we can assess on our own to determine if we might have gluten sensitivity:
  1. Dizziness – Dizziness and feeling off balance is yet another sign of gluten intolerance.
  1. Autoimmune Diseases – Certainly not in all cases, but in some cases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Multiple Sclerosis, and Psoriasis have been found to be rooted in gluten intolerance.
  2. Chronic Fatigue – Chronic fatigue can be caused by something as easy to fix as dehydration and as severe as HIV. If you have chronic fatigue, see a doctor about it. Fatigue, brain fog, and feeling tired especially after meals that contain gluten are another clear indicator.
  3. Keratosis Pilaris – Otherwise known as “chicken skin” that’s commonly found on the backs of arms and your thigh is the result of fatty acid deficiency caused by gluten damaging the gut.
  4. Fibromyalgia – Some people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigues actually have gluten intolerance but don’t realize it. If you’ve been diagnosed, consider gluten as the potential cause.
  5. Persistent Headaches – Migraines and persistent headaches is another potential sign of gluten intolerance. They can also be signs of dehydration and other disorders. See a physician if your headaches don’t stop.
  6. Routine Digestive Issues – Gas, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation that persists seemingly without cause is one of the most obvious signs. Constipation is a common sign of gluten intolerance.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

GF Madeleines

These madeleines look sophisticated but I promise the trickiest bit is just being patient enough to decorate them. The thing to remember with madeleines is that they dry out very quickly, so it's best to eat them the same day, especially when they're gluten-free.

Vanilla Madeleines With Chocolate and Pistachio Ganache [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


Vanilla Madeleines:
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Pistachio Ganache:
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios


To Make the Madeleines:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a madeleine pan and lightly dust with cornflour, then set aside.
  2. Pour the soy milk and apple cider vinegar into a cup and set aside to curdle.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, lightly mixing them together with a fork. Make a well in the centre and pour in the curdled soy milk, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Fold the wet ingredients with a spatula, stirring until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour about a tablespoon of the batter into each madeleine mould. You don’t want to fill the molds all the way to the rim but if you don’t add enough the madeleines will be thin and really quite small.
  5. Bake for 17-18 minutes, until the edges look just golden and the tops, when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger, feels firm. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the ganache.
To Make the Ganache:
  1. Add the chocolate chips and soy milk to a small saucepan over low heat. Wait for the chocolate to start oozing into the milk, then stir with a wooden spoon until it’s melted. Set aside to cool a little.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the pistachios quite finely. Place the chopped pieces in a small bowl or cup.
  3. To assemble: dip each cooled madeleine into the somewhat cooled chocolate ganache (it should still be liquid but barely warm), then into the chopped pistachios. Lay it out on a plate or wire rack, and repeat the process with the remainder of the madeleines.
  4. Consume within 24 hours to enjoy the madeleines at their freshest.

World's Easiest Cookie

Why They're Easy

It stuck because I really think of these as the world’s easiest cookies. To make a batch, all you do is combine almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and stir. That's it! No butter, no eggs, no chilling the dough (or rolling it out). You just need four ingredients and a little elbow grease. After about 10 minutes of baking, you’re rewarded with macaron-flavored cookies that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center.
If you follow a Paleo, gluten-free, or vegan diet, you'll notice right away that these cookies are a fit for you. However, I don't think of these as "special diet" cookies; I simply think of these as tasty cookies that I can whip up in minutes when my sweet tooth wants attention.

The Four Ingredients

1. Almond Flour

Any almond flour works in this recipe, but for the best texture and color, look for a finely ground, blanched almond flour, such as Honeyville or Bob's Red Mill. Be sure to avoid almond meal; it's coarse texture leaves the cookies slightly crumbly.

2. Baking Powder

If you follow a grain-free diet, you’ll want to make your own grain-free baking powder or order a specialty version online because most commercial baking powders contain a grain-based starch, usually cornstarch, to prevent clumping. If you don't follow a grain-free diet, use whatever baking powder you have on hand. (As long as it's fresh, of course.)

3. Maple Syrup

Look for a dark maple syrup labeled Grade A "Dark with Robust Flavors" (until recently this was called Grade B). If you can't find dark maple syrup, use a lighter grade. When made with a lighter-colored syrup, the maple flavor of the cookies won't be as pronounced because the lighter the syrup, the more mild the flavor. Avoid pancake or table syrup, as those syrups usually contain corn syrup and artificial flavoring and those ingredients affect the flavor and texture of the cookies.

4. Vanilla Extract

There's a surprising amount of vanilla extract in this recipe. The vanilla unifies the almond and maple flavors and brings out a slightly butter-like flavor from the almonds.

The World's Easiest Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies

2 cups finely ground almond flour (227 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup dark maple syrup (100 grams)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the almond flour and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until a sticky dough forms and holds together.
Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about one inch apart. For crisp cookies, press down the dough lightly with the flat bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup. (If the glass sticks to the dough, dip the bottom in water.) For softer cookies, don't press down the dough.

Bake until the edges are golden-brown, about 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cool baking sheet between batches.

Recipe Notes

  • Mix-ins: Add 1/2 cup chopped chocolate, nuts, or dried fruit to the batter before baking.
- The Kitchn

Paleo Tortilla Recipes

1.  Simple Paleo Tortillas.  This recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo is a classic.  The dry mix consists of arrowroot starch and coconut flour.  These are more of a crepe style than a tortilla as they are swirled in a pan until very thin.  They cook up quickly and freeze well.
2.  Paleo Plantain Tortillas.  Plantains are readily available in most grocery stores and look similar to a banana. Simone from Zen Belly Catering shows a simple technique for blending the ingredients and baking in the oven.  She suggests using these as a wrap for school lunches as they’re small but soft and pliable.
3.  3 Ingredient Paleo Naan Bread.  Another popular paleo recipe is from Ashley at My Heart Beets. This Naan “bread” pairs perfectly with any traditional Indian dish but can also be used as a tortilla or wrap.  And with only 3 ingredients, it couldn’t be simpler!  Ashley has a video on this and offers other recipes using this.
4.  Paleo Tortillas.   An easy recipe from the Paleo Cupboard using almond and tapioca flours. You’ll get a flexible but strong tortilla that can be filled with all sorts of things!  The author recommends a tortilla press which you can find online here.
5.  Grain Free Tortilla Shells.  Flaxmeal and Cassava flour are the base in this nut-free tortilla shell from Simple Roots Wellness.  Cassava flour is relatively new to the paleo scene and is popping up in recipes around the web.  It’s no wonder, as its consistency is really close to wheat flour.  This yields a less gummy and more fluffy tortilla.
6.  Secret Ingredient Baked Paleo Tortillas.   This recipe from Whole New Mom calls for only four ingredients, two of which are surprising but still easy to find in most grocery stores.  I especially like that you can bake these instead of cooking on the stove.
7.  Paleo Tortillas.  These pliable tortillas from Primally Inspired have an extra boost of nutrition (and color) with a surprising ingredient: pumpkin!  The pumpkin can be substituted with mashed sweet potatoes, another nutrient dense food.  Kelly gives suggestions for giving them a sweet or savory flavor depending on how they’re used.
8.  Coconut Flour Crepes.  These crepes are starch free, making it a safer option for those of us with sensitive digestive systems.  Although Dr. Meghan Birt suggests these as a vehicle for breakfast type foods (almond butter, berries, whipped coconut cream), they can certainly be used for savory dishes as well.  Double the recipe and freeze the extras for a quick snack.
9.  Easy Tasty Tortillas.  This simple recipe from Orleatha at Level Health and Nutrition uses one of my favorite fats, lard!  The photo in the post shows the tortillas being used as a sandwich wrap.  Perfect for a mess-free meal on the go.  Find pastured lard here.  
Paleo tortillas are a perfect make-ahead item you can cook in bulk and freeze.  Cook once… eat two (or three or four) times!  Of course, as with anything moderation is key.  These paleo tortilla recipes tout healthier ingredients than their traditional counterparts but should never make up the bulk of your diet.