Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Gluten-Free Challenge

A challenge to eat gluten-free for one weekend. A challenge of solidarity.

A challenge to eat gluten-free for one weekend. A challenge of solidarity.

Sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group and Pamela’s Products, the Gluten-Free Challenge gives friends and family of Celiacs and others who cannot eat gluten an opportunity to learn more about their loved one’s lifestyle. The Challenge aims to rally awareness of the gluten-free diet and support for those who must adhere to it.

On May 22nd and 23rd, you can join supporters of the gluten-free diet and lifestyle by giving up gluten for one weekend. It’s a chance to show your solidarity with loved ones and to increase your understanding of what it’s like to be gluten-free.  It’s a chance for those who live a gluten-free lifestyle every day to invite your friends and family to do it with you. Cook together. Dine together. Understand one another.

No one should have to do it alone. During the Challenge, you can join your gluten-free loved one for just one weekend, knowing that hundreds of other wheat-eaters are experiencing the same challenges – and the same satisfaction of supporting and encouraging a friend. And if you always eat gluten-free, take this opportunity to get the word out – let friends know how much their participation would mean to you.

The Gluten Intolerance Group and Pamela’s Products are supporting participants in the Challenge by offering gluten-free recipes and tips on their Challenge website and via email. They’re also staging giveaways of gluten-free products, so the earlier you register, the more chances you’ll have to win.

The gluten-free lifestyle has grown so much that nearly everyone knows someone who follows a gluten-free diet. The Gluten Intolerance Group is challenging us to help expand the active network of gluten-free people and supporters to make life better for us and all of our gluten-free friends. Step up to the challenge and show your support by registering now:

Happy Spring!

It’s definitely spring here in the Virginia. Here’s a picture of some gorgeous cherry blossoms in our office parking lot. Best spring wishes from everyone here a the Triumph offices!

Help Raise Celiac Awareness

Celiac Awareness Month (May) is quickly approaching, and we’re looking to get the word out in a big way!

Triumph Dining has teamed up with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to run a website badge campaign to generate awareness.  When you and others add a Celiac Disease Awareness badge to your blog or website during April and May, we’ll donate up to $5,000 to the NFCA!

Everyone who participates will be entered into a drawing for one of several Triumph Platinum Packs (featuring our entire product line).

Please click here to learn more about the 2010 Celiac Awareness Campaign.

Mellow Mushroom Begins Gluten-free Test Program

mm8c5210c89e9450Mellow Mushroom, the Atlanta based pizza chain with locations in ten states, has been working on rolling out gluten-free pizza for well over a year. They went as far as creating their own crust recipe with the flour from Domata. The company hoped to make the crusts up at their commisary and ship them out to the various locations. However, after learning about cross contamination issues, that idea wasn’t actually feasible. This was disappointing news because it pushed back the date of the test market program.

At the end of last year, Mellow Mushroom announced that they were about to roll out a gluten-free test market program, offering the pizza in a few select locations. The crusts were reportedly coming from a midwest bakery that was making the Domata flour crusts to Mellow Mushroom specs. Since Mellow Mushroom is known for having some of the best pizza around, most people had high hopes for the crust that the company created to bear their name.

The Mellow Mushroom gluten-free test market program didn’t kick off in the beginning of the year, as had been expected. There were still a few kinks to work out. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to serving the allergen community. Therefore, Mellow Mushroom fans have been trying to be patient as the final plans were put in place for the first gluten-free pizzas to be offered at select locations.

Finally, this week, Mellow Mushroom issued a statement about the gluten-free pizza roll out. The long awaited news was exciting to be sure. However, the company has done a total turn around regarding the gluten-free crust. They have now agreed to purchase the crusts from Still Riding Pizza, which some of you might know from Pizza Fusion fame. The crusts are made in a 100% gluten-free facility.

The Mellow Mushroom locations that started serving the gluten-free pizza on April 5th are as follows:

  • Delray Beach, FL
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Burlington, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Statesboro, GA
  • Albany, GA
  • Conyers, GA
  • Peachtree City, GA

If the test market program doesn’t meet whatever expectations the company has for it, the gluten-free pizzas are not going to roll out to other locations. Hopefully, people in the areas where these stores are will support this great effort by Mellow Mushroom. The company is reporting that the new crust will rise like their gluten pizzas do. While you’re waiting for Mellow Mushroom’s pizza to appear in your area, the Restaurant Guide lists chain and independent pizza restaurants all over America.

Zach over at Gluten Free Raleigh is test tasting the pizza in NC some time this week so hopefully he’ll post in depth review of his experience soon!

Review: Glenny’s Gluten-free Oatmeal Cookies

glenny_thumbnailjpgWe originally found Glenny’s gluten-free cookies in a health food store in Ocala, FL. At that time, we picked up the oatmeal raisin cookies. The oats used in Glenny’s cookies are gluten-free oats, of course. It’s so unfortunate that so much misinformation about oats is floating around in cyberspace. Several companies went to a lot of trouble – and expense – to make truly gluten-free oats and yet, the myth that all oats are unsafe for people with celiac seems to be alive and well.

According to fairly extensive studies, only about 5% of people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can not tolerate pure, uncontaminated gluten-free oats. Some people who can eat gluten can also not tolerate oats. Most of the people in either group are reacting to a protein called avenin in the oats that has nothing to do with gluten. Gluten-free oats are one of the healthiest things for someone who can’t eat gluten to include in their diet – if they are able to. Luckily, I can eat oats and do so often. Thankfully, my cholesterol levels are now at healthier levels because of that fact.

It was a great surprise to find Glenny’s oatmeal cookies at my local health food store a while back. There were actually two types on the shelf – Oatmeal Raisin and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. My husband can eat the entire box of the raisin version in one sitting. I’ve asked him not to do that since he can eat gluten filled cookies if he wants to. The Glenny’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies are delicious for sure, but they are so sweet that one cookie at a time is enough for me.

The chocolate chip version of Glenny’s Oatmeal Cookies is really not much like the raisin version. The oats are the same but the texture is different and the cookies are not quite as chewy as the raisin cookie. Overall, the Oatmeal Raisin cookies had a better overall taste and texture to the test tasters in our house. It’s really unfortunate that the Glenny’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies are $.50 more per box than the chocolate chip version at the store we shop at here. Glenny’s cookies are sold online, but only in 20 or 40 count packages.

There are only 10 cookies in a box and they are fairly small cookies. The raisin cookies are about $.43 each and the chocolate chip cookies are about $.38 each. That is kind of expensive, even for gluten-free cookies. Therefore, they are just an occassional purchase at our house these days. I can make 48 large oatmeal raisin cookies with the cookie blend flour from Gluten-Free Naturals and oats from Gluten-Free Oats for well under $4. Since there are only two of us, I rarely make a large batch of cookies unless we are going to share them at a social event. Making a smaller batch of 24 cookies might seem like a lot for two of us, but my husband will eat four of them before they have cooled.

The following companies produce gluten-free oats:

References: Gluten-Free Diet: A C omprehensive Resource Guide, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. You can read more about oats here.

Another Amazing Gluten-free Bread from Colorado!

canyon-whiteAny time I’m contacted by Gluten Free Dee to do a product review, I know I’m in for a real treat. Dee is the person who introduced me (and countless others) to Udi’s and GF Sandwich Petals. I consider the products from those companies to be among the most exciting gluten-free items introduced in a very long time. Now I can add Canyon Bakehouse products to that same list!

Dee Valdez and I agree about a very important issue that affects the gluten-free community. We should not be eating food that tastes like cardboard. Gone are the days when gluten-free bread was only edible if it was heated. Toasting is not required with many of the new innovative breads being produced today. People who enjoy baking their own bread can enjoy wonderful gluten-free breads from companies like Gluten-Free Naturals, Breads by AnnaJules Gluten Free and Pamela’s. I’m not one who enjoys baking bread so I’m very glad that I can just pick up a loaf of soft bread at the store now, like everyone else.   

My sample box of products from Canyon Gluten-Free Bakehouse arrived last week. The wonderful aroma of rosemary wafted from the package when I opened it. How exciting to find a loaf of Rosemary & Thyme Gluten Free Focaccia under the packing materials! When I felt the loaves of bread, I had to rip open the Mountain White sandwich bread right then and there. I quickly spread a little all natural peanut butter on the soft bread. It was absolutely delicious! Surprisingly, the bread is also quite nutritious. One slice of bread has 2 grams of both fiber and protein!

Because I needed the focaccia bread for a dinner party, I only took out a tiny bit it of to review and froze the rest. Again, the bread was amazing! This shockingly soft bread is perfect for slicing into strips, toasting and then dipping in olive oil. I’m not sure I want to be able to buy this bread locally, because I don’t need that kind of temptation around all the time. Focaccia is something I’ve long missed since going gluten-free and this is the only commercial gluten-free focaccia that I’ve ever had (or heard about). Obviously, I am not aware of every single gluten-free item available in this country – or the world for that matter.

Next up was the Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Canyon Bakehouse. The texture of this bread is wonderful, similar to the Mountain White Bread from the line. I toasted the bread to make toast and thought it tasted great. However, I’m a huge cinnamon fan and would like more cinnamon in the bread. Most people would probably not enjoy the amount of cinnamon that I like in an item, but even my husband (who doesn’t flip over cinnamon like I do) agreed that at least a little more cinnamon was in order for this bread.

Canyon Bakehouse is located in Loveland, Colorado. (What are they putting in the water in Colorado anyway?!) All of the products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. The products are made with all natural ingredients and are gluten, dairy, soy and nut free! People can follow the company on Twitter and Facebook. Online ordering is now available and the company is looking to expand to the East coast eventually. Currently, no stores on this side of the country carry Canyon Bakehouse products. Several Whole Foods Market locations carry this line on the West coast. If you aren’t in an area where stores carry these brands, you can check the Grocery Guide for common store brands of gluten-free breads.

Today is National PB&J day. In honor of the holiday, I think I’ll have a half pb&j sandwich on Canyon Bakehouse’s White Mountain bread!

Special thanks to Gluten Free Dee for including me in her new product test taste and to Canyon Bakehouse for making such amazing gluten-free products!

Frito Lay Updates GF List: Removes Some Flavors + Adds Some, Too!

Frito Lay has updated their gluten-free list, which you can find on their website.  The bad news is that they removed some flavors like the Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ Flavored Extra Crunchy Potato Chips.  We talked with customer service rep Samantha at (800) 352-4477 and found out that they were reformulated and now contain barley malt.

The good news for label readers (which we hope you all are!) is that the new ingredient is listed as “malted barley flour,” which is a refreshing change from the generic “malt flavoring” term we’ve seen elsewhere.  In fact,  Samantha added that wheat, rye, barley and oats will always be declared as such in the label.   And even better news, Frito Lay’s has added tons of new flavors, like the Baked Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips and the Baked Lay’s Parmesan & Tuscan Herb Flavored Potato Crisps.  Yum.

You can view the complete updated list here or find it, along with lists for tons of other gluten-free snack brands, in the Grocery Guide.

Thanks to Sue for the tip.