Gluten-Free Pantries

pantryI very much enjoyed reading NYTimes food writer Mark Bittman’s suggestions for how to stock your pantry. All but a few items on his list were gluten-free. I’m going to follow some of his suggestions, especially the substitution of sherry vinegar for balsamic and dried beans for canned.

His list also reminded me of Gluten Free Mom’s description of her pantry. I found that very interesting and it informed my own pantry when I next went shopping. Unlike Bittman, she lists mostly products and suggests certain brands. She also notes that all her food is “kid-approved.” This is where she and I should part ways: even when I was a kid I didn’t like much of the food other kids craved. However it seems that she feeds her kids decent stuff that I as both child and adult would be pretty happy to eat.

How do you stock your shelves?

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Extravaganza

Molten Lava CakeWhile surfin’ the gluten-free Web, I started to notice a pattern. A trend. A movement, even. I am speaking of the collective yearning of the gluten-free community for the ultimate chocolate cake recipe. I mean the kind of chocolate cake that thrills you to the tips of your toes and satisfies you so thoroughly that you feel (temporarily) that you’ll never need chocolate again.

Celiac chocolate lovers have always had a friend in the standard kosher-for-Passover flourless chocolate cake, and I include a recipe here. But what other magical chocolatifications have GF bloggers devised? Wonder no more, I have compiled a cake compendium for you here.

Gluten Free Search Engine

Gluten Free FoxGoogle Insights reports that gluten-free internet searching is up 150% since 2004. Perhaps that’s why Kristen Campbell of Naturally Dah’ling (previously reviewed on this blog) and Taylor Brown, an internet marketing manager, have united to create the world’s first gluten-free search engine. Gluten Free Fox, as it’s known, is still very new. You should not yet expect it to immediately meet your every single GF searching need, but what it can do already is very promising. As soon as you enter the site you are greeted with several interesting articles on gluten-free living. It’s easy to browse recipes; I have several unused sweet potatoes at home so I typed in “sweet potatoes” and immediately got several results for both recipes and products., Gluten Free Mommy, and Karina’s Kitchen notably popped up several times. When I input “itchy skin” I received three informative articles from Allergy Gluten Show and pages more from other sources. But I know I’m easily impressed, so as a last test I typed in “persnickety” and I received two pages of articles (most from Gluten Free Girl)! That just shows what a wide-ranging and powerful search engine this is. Try it out for yourself, and enjoy.

Strong Link Between Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease

DNAA startling study has just been published that confirms a strong genetic link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. In both diseases, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. In diabetics the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are the target, while in celiacs the small intestine is attacked and inflamed. While scientists have known before that people with type 1 diabetes are much more likely to have celiac disease and vice versa, the new study shows that the diseases share a genetic link of at least “seven chromosomal regions.” This information brings scientists closer to understanding the triggers and underlying causes of both diseases. All you need to know? If you suffer from celiac disease or type 1 diabetics, it would be wise to be fully aware of the symptoms and treatments of the other disease.

For more information on this study, check out the Scientific American article here and the Web MD article here.

Blogger of the Month #4: Celiac Chicks

celiac chicks Kim and KellyKelly and Kim, the Celiac Chicks, met at work in NYC. Kelly had been eating gluten-free for 10 years and was doing great, while Kim didn’t feel so good. She tried Kelly’s diet for a while and as she put it, hello sunshine! These energetic women wanted a fun celiac community of their own, and Celiac Chicks was born. It really is a community. Readers are welcome to post entries about their experience with restaurants, and the Celiac Chicks focus on what others in the gluten-free community are doing. They review books, ask for feedback, post their own cooking experiments, draw attention to news important to the community, and even write about gluten-free living on non-celiac blogs (check out Kelly’s tips on Navigating Celebrations). They have a fantastic set of links, a newsletter, gorgeous photos, their own line of clothing, and a well-organized website. Their most unexpected articles concern Finland, Land of Gluten-free Paradise. Check out their “hip and healthy” site, although be forewarned: many of the so-called healthy recipes seem to be dessert! Not that I mind.