Gluten-Free Thanksgiving is Everywhere!

Thanksgiving turkeys We have a few things in the schedule for the next couple of days, and I suddenly realized that we hadn’t a single Thanksgiving post.


Hopefully by now you have your menu straight and you’ve either talked with your host or your guests about what having a gluten-free Thanksgiving entails (whether for one person or the whole table). If not, though, the Internet is absolutely awash in Thanksgiving ideas for you to feast upon. The following is a bit of a meta-roundup, if you will. The favorite tasty morsels from my favorite Internet celebrities,  for your reading/cooking/eating pleasure.
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Gluten-Free Pizza: A Q&A

I don’t regularly read, but this Q&A caught my eye and I thought it was worth sharing.

If you live in the midwest, you may be familiar with Pizza Ranch. They have locations in nine states, but more importantly, they have gluten-free pizza. Culinary Research and Development Director Nancy Jordahl answered some questions about the two-and-a-half year process of developing the new, gluten-free crust.

You can read the full Q&A here, and I think it’s a good reminder of just how many factors a restaurant has to consider before co-opting a gluten-free menu.
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Udi’s Announces a New Millet Chia Bread and Omega Flax & Fiber Bread from

Here’s a factoid for you: research shows that approximately 3 million Americans, or roughly 1% of the population, has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. This, plus the fact that many people choose to live gluten-free because of how it makes them feel, means that many more gluten-free products are showing up on the shelves of our local Safeways, Whole Foods, Ralph’s and Piggly Wigglys.

Udi’s is one of those companies that caters to us gluten-free diners. Its products include breads, bagels, granola, buns, cookies, muffins, pizza crusts, and cinnamon rolls. With these in the house you can almost forget you’re gluten-free! The products are easy to source and well-known and, in case you didn’t know this second factoid, its white and whole grain breads are the #1 and #2 top sellers in the segment.

The company has just introduced Millet Chia Bread and Omega Flax & Fiber Bread, which are fiber- and nutrient-rich, and fortified. I’m picturing a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich on these breads! Early 2012 will bring fortified muffin tops, fudgy Double Chocolate Brownie Bites and three flavors of frozen gluten-free pizzas.

More information on Udi’s is here.

Vitamin A Worsens Gluten’s Inflammatory Effect For Celiacs

Click for more info on Vitamin A

The last thing I want to be is alarmist, so I don’t always post every little health scare that I find on the internet here.

For a while I’ve been hearing murmurs of concern as regards Vitamin A, and I’ve resisted posting. Finally, though, there’s some hard data to back everything up — which means it’s time to talk.

Vitamin A is a necessary part of everyone’s diet, celiac or no. According to the NIH, Vitamin A plays, “an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and cell differentiation,” while also regulating the immune system, promoting, “healthy surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts,” and more. It’s also often found in acne medications.

However, it turns out that Vitamin A is also inflammatory. And if you’ve been reading up on your celiac disease and gluten intolerance, you’ll know that inflammation plays a big role.
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What are all these ingredients doing in my food?

An interesting article from the most recent issue of Chemical & Engineering News to talk about today. “Call in the Food Fixers” takes a good look at all of the replacements we find in food today.

The article isn’t strictly tied to gluten-free foods, and examines the ingredients that allow us to eat foods without (or with less) gluten, fat and sugar. The food scientists at the world’s largest brands pay careful attention to the taste, texture and appearance of their products — but what are they looking at?

Interestingly, “no new texture additives have entered the market for decades,” and today’s researchers are instead focused on modifying and combining the existing options: modified food starch, carrageenan, xanthum, agar, gelatin, pectin, etc. Fun fact: did you know xanthum gum comes from industrial bacterial fermentation, and the bacteria was discovered naturally keeping cabbage leaves from drying out in droughts?
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