Monday, April 26, 2010

Gluten-Free Foodie Update

A friend just asked for some info on gluten-free food, so I made a list of some top new tips I've learned.  I know I did a piece on gluten-free eating before, but just wanted to update you on the latest!  


1. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, ask them for a list of their gluten free products. It's a few pages long...take it home, bring it to the store, try something new every time.
2. If your little one likes baked goods, the very best brand I've found is called French Meadow Bakery. The blueberry muffins are amazing and come frozen and individually packaged: just let one defrost...you'll never be able to tell they're gluten free!
3. A lot of mainstream companies are starting to hop on the GF bandwagon...General Mills and Betty Crocker are two excellent examples. I love the Gen. Mills GF Corn Chex (they have Rice Chex too), and Betty Crocker now has cake, cookie, and brownie mixes that are yumm! You can get these anywhere.
4. If your kids are like me, they'll probably miss what every mom tends to make a lot: spaghetti, bowties, macaroni and cheese...But they don't have to miss it! Brown Rice Pasta is great - don't tell them it's not "real" pasta and they'll never figure it out. Be careful, because the "cheese" powder packets almost certainly contain wheat, so you'll have to come up with another way to insert the cheesey goodness. Don't let rice pasta boil too long, or sit too long before eaten, otherwise it disintegrates pretty quickly.
5. Like to eat out? Hopefully there's a Panera Bread or Chic-fil-a near you. Both of these places have detailed ingredient information on hand and are always more than willing to go out of their way to protect against contamination...I've never gotten sick at either place!
6. IMPORTANT: don't overlook creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos/conditioners, and anything else that can be absorbed through your skin. Bath & Body products are not okay. But a miracle cream does exist: Gold Bond lotions are fantastic and completely gluten free (except if they come out with an Oat lotion, stay away from that, as often oats are processed right alongside wheat.) Personally, I love their Healing Aloe line. Another allergen-free brand I just came across is called BABYBEARSHOP. They've gotten amazing reviews (like this one I just read in my favorite local magazine).
7. Borders, Barnes & Noble, and any major bookstore will have several GF cookbooks...I'd say pick up a few and browse before buying!
8. If you really want to learn about the top players and their books/research in the GF industry, take a look at the program from the "GF Culinary Summit


I'm always on the lookout for new gluten-free products, so check back often or contact me (shiraheden at gmail dot com) if you want to know more about specific brands, or especially if you want to 

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