Monthly Archives: September 2011

Researchers Tinker With Gluten-Free Chestnut Flour; You Should Too

Not just for roasting on an open fire...

So, OK, I know researchers aren’t hard at work developing gluten-free flour solely for the joy of it. There’s money involved too (about $2.6 billion worth).

But I still get a kick out of the lengths scientists are going to in order to feed me delicious things. Well, not just me. You too.

Today’s study focuses on chestnut flour, which is of course made from naturally gluten-free chestnuts. Researchers in Spain have busted out the heavy machinery in order to figure out exactly how to tweak chestnut flour into a gluten-free baking substitute.

Their answer? Guar gum.
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SOYJOY Baked Snack Bars: Two Thumbs Up

The folks at SOYJOY were kind enough to send some samples our way. Who knew these baked snack bars would be so tasty? Let’s start with the basics: SOYJOY bars contain no wheat, rye, barley or oats so they’re 100% gluten free. These bars are produced in a gluten-free facility.

First, the taste. We tried pineapple, blueberry, banana, and strawberry bars. Surprisingly, the pineapple were our favorites because they’re reminiscent of pineapple upside down cake, that classic 1970s dessert. Banana came in second because again, it makes you think of banana bread. You could even microwave it a bit if you wanted. I’ll admit it: we did. The strawberry and blueberry ones were good, too, even as they compete with both berries being in peak season as I write this.

Second, the benefits. Of course these offer a lot more nutritional value than just the fruit. The bars are made with whole, ground soy. Making it a good a good source of antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and contain all nine essential amino acids. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few years you know that soy is a superfood.

We’re seeing a trend toward using whole soy in products and not soy protein isolate or soy extract. The latter two lose some of their nutritional content during processing. And for those of you who care, SOYJOY soy is non-GMO. We also like the idea that there’s less waste because the whole bean is used.

Our recommendation? Buy some. Keep them in your car. Throw one in your purse and briefcase. Send them to school with the kids. They’re a healthy, convenient snack for those on the run.


GlutenTox Home: Easy Test Detects Gluten in Foods

A simple test for gluten from wheat, barley, rye and oat.

How many times do you find yourself staring at what’s on your plate, wondering if it’s safe? Maybe Aunt Susie promises the cake she baked is gluten-free. Or one of your favorite pre-diagnosis foods doesn’t have any red flags, but it isn’t labeled or certified gluten-free. Perhaps you suspect something in your cabinet is causing a reaction, but you aren’t sure what.

Enter GlutenTox Home, an easy test kit that finds gluten in foods, drinks, personal care products, and even on countertops. And the best part? You can do the test at home, no lab equipment required.

GlutenTox Home detects the toxic fragment of gluten in wheat, barley, rye and oat, so that you know if something is unsafe for people with celiac disease. You can set the test to detect 20ppm or 5ppm, whichever you prefer.

Start to finish, the process takes 10-20 minutes — so it isn’t for use at a restaurant or for every meal. When it comes to spot-checking ingredients, proofing special-occasion foods, or ferreting out those last traces of gluten in your home, though, it’s ideal.
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End-Stage Renal Disease and Celiac Disease: Link Proven

If you pizza when you're supposed to french fry...

All that hooplah about celiac disease and gluten intolerance being full-body issues? It’s no joke. Add your kidneys to the list of organs that may thank you for going gluten-free.

A recent study published in Gut journal showed a notable link between celiac disease and renal disease. The study, conducted in Sweden, examined data from 29,050 individuals with celiac disease. The data was compared with age- and sex-matched counterparts, and whichever way it was sliced, those with celiac disease came out the losers.

The patients studied had been diagnosed between 1969 and 2008; all had received small-intestinal biopsies and registered damage at a Marsh III level. In order to qualify as having end-stage renal disease, the subjects had to have needed, “renal dialysis or renal transplant in accordance with the international classification of disease and procedure codes in Swedish patient registers.”
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Gluten-Free Dining for Android is Here

When we announced our gluten free grocery guide iPhone app a number of you asked when we’d bring something out for Android, too.

Today is for you, Android folks. I’m happy to share with you Triumph Dining’s first Android App, gluten-free dining cards.

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Apple Cider Recipes for a Gluten-Free Autumn

Bushel of ApplesI guess it’s fall.

I’ve been fighting it, but alas: summer is over, at least in Pittsburgh.

The down comforter is back on my bed (and, OK, so is the electric mattress pad). The windows at home? Most of the time, they’re mostly closed. The peaches and nectarines are fighting for shelf space with apples and pears.

Ah yes. Apples and pears. At least there’s fall food to look forward to.

For today, let’s focus on apple cider. Not only will you be hard-pressed to find a cider that isn’t gluten-free (get it?! Pressed!!), but cider’s got lots of antioxidants, it’s often easy to find a local variety, and it’s delicious.
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New Word, Old Food: Gluten-Free Vegetable Tian

You know what I love?

Yes, yes, OK. You’re right, I DO love puppies, rainbows, and ice cream. But I also love shiny new words – especially when they just dress up something I’m already kind of familiar with.

So you can imagine my delight when I learned the word tian. Huh? According to Slashfood, a tian is a, “layered, baked vegetable dish that originated in Provence but is also common to city kitchens…Unlike a gratin, a tian does not include bread crumbs or cheese, which allows the juices in the vegetables to evaporate in the oven’s dry heat, concentrating their flavors.”

Some sources disagree with Slashfood’s ban on bread crumbs and cheese, others say it’s simply a cognate of the word tagine, and others still add eggs – in any event, tian is a fancy word for gluten-free, delicious veggies.
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Warning: Mislabeled Products, Gluten Alert

Warning breakdancers!


We try to bring you timely information when there’s a product that’s been recalled or otherwise deemed unsafe for people on a gluten-free diet.

Today is one of those days. The news comes via Jen Cafferty of Gluten Free Life with Jen and Tricia Thompson, otherwise known as the Gluten-Free Dietician. It revolves around Sami’s Bakery in Tampa, who make both gluten-free and gluten-full food.

Sami’s product array includes a) products labeled gluten-free b) products that do not have any gluten-containing ingredients but have a warning on the label explaining that they likely contain traces of wheat and c) products that do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients but are not labeled gluten-free.
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Hemp: yet another gluten-free grain

The other day I saw a recipe for gluten-free tabouli, and I was intrigued. I used to quite like the stuff – a refreshing salad with parsley, mint, lemon juice, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and kryptonite. I mean, erm, cracked bulger wheat.

I am almost positive I’ve not had tabouli in 8 years; it’s not something you often see modified for the gluten-free diet. So I was curious – what would the recipe use to replace the wheat?

My guess was quinoa, but instead it was hempseed. Interesting! A new grain! Turns out hemp seed is gluten-free, edible, and really healthy.
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GF Recipe Ideas: Raw Foods

Maybe the silveriest lining of having a restricted diet is that it forces a person to try out new tastes and flavors, to make up for what they can no longer have.

It turns out, there’s a lot of stuff out there that we can eat — but sometimes we just don’t know where to look. One place I’ve been looking lately? To raw food.

What is the raw diet? Well, it’s sort of exactly what it sounds like. The fundamental belief is that heating foods past a certain point makes them less wholesome (115°F-118°F depending on who’s talking). Generally speaking, the raw diet focuses on fruits, veggies, nuts, seaweed, sprouted grains and seeds, and beans. It’s also normally vegan (no dairy/eggs/meat, not even uncooked meats like sushi or steak tartare), and frowns on alcohol/caffeine/processed sugar.

I can’t speak to the health properties of the raw lifestyle — it’s not for me — but some of it, sometimes, is healthy and tasty. And, more importantly, it’s largely gluten-free.
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