Monthly Archives: January 2012

Subway Expands Gluten-free Sandwich Offerings Yet Again

Any time we post about Subway’s growing gluten-free options, we get a lot of comments that say, “Hey Subway! Come to my town!”

For some of you, today is your lucky day. Well, actually, your lucky day was some time in the not-too-distant past — today’s just the day we’re posting about it.

Subway has made two big announcements regarding their gluten-free offerings.

The first:

All Subway stores across the state of Oregon will now have gluten-free options.
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Keeping up with the Latest Fad: Bubble Tea is Gluten-Free!

 

Not too long ago I went to a street fair in New York with a friend. I’m always tempted to try some of the delicious smelling food items, from corn on the cob to meat shish kabobs, though I am often hesitant to dive in because of the high risk for cross-contamination and suspicious ingredients. One of the most popular items at this food fair, however, was the bubble tea. Bubble tea consists of sweetened iced tea with tapioca pearls that sink to the bottom of the cup, and one of my favorite treats pre-gluten-free life. I thought through the ingredients and realized that it must be gluten-free!

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and spread throughout Asia in the following years. It is a fad beverage that has gotten more widespread attention in the major US cities over the course of the past five years, serving as a substitute specialty beverage from the Italian-inspired coffee drinks. The tapioca pearls, or boba, sink to the bottom of the beverage, giving a chewy texture similar to gummy bears with every sip.

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New Cookbook Offers Small-Batch Recipes for Gluten-free Bakers

A while back we wrote about microwave-baking as a convenient way to make cake for one (gluten-free or otherwise). Today, I wanted to talk about a different way to make cake for one: with a recipe designed for a small batch.

A new book published by Ontario home economists, titled The Gluten-free Baking Book: 250 Small-batch Recipes for Everything from Brownies to Cheesecake, promises just that. Although I haven’t reviewed the book to be able to speak to the quality of the recipes, I thought the premise alone was worth a write-up.

Some people don’t have a microwave or prefer to minimize their use of one. And even the most microwave-loving person out there occasionally craves a baked good that needs more traditional treatment.
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Gluten-free Food on Prescription in UK? Not if Oxfordshire NHS gets its way.

Money UK British Pound Coins

Counting the Pounds?

Celiac disease is a little different in the United Kingdom.

For starters, it’s called coeliac disease. Fun!

For seconds, if you’ve got a diagnosis you can also get access to reduced-priced gluten-free staple items like bread, pizza bases, and flour mixes. Your general practitioner can write you a prescription for a fixed number of gluten-free food “units” based on your gender and age, which can be filled at the pharmacy.

Double fun! If you want to read more, check out Coeliac UK’s site; there are a handful of PDFs to the right, including one that lists all the different brands and items available on prescription.

Problem is, the county of Oxfordshire (home to Oxford University) wants to ban gluten-free foods from prescriptions.
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Product Review: Angell Bars Gluten-free Angell Crisp

One of the most surefire ways to cheer up when the skies are gray and cloudy is to go home and find a package of chocolate bars waiting for you on your stoop. Ah, the glamorous life of a blogger.

Technically I suppose that isn’t true. The cheering-up really happens after you’ve brought the bars inside and opened one. After all, one of the “perils” of having random food to try is that sometimes, it doesn’t taste very good.

Ah, the glamorous, perilous, life of a blogger.

Happily, the Angell Crisp bars that I tore into the other week were deee-licious. To borrow the company’s description, they were “a classic combination of smooth, creamy milk chocolate and crispy rice. Every bit a candy bar, but gluten-free, and made from the same organic and Fair Trade Certified® ingredients as the rest.”
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Soup is Great Food!

I get awfully tired of packing my lunch for work. Or sorting out the gluten-free dining options near my office and wondering how gluten-free they really are.

Enter Kettle Cuisine and its gluten-free soups, found in my grocer’s natural freezer section. This is a working person’s dream. Each box contains a 10 oz single serving in a microwavable bowl. This makes them even more convenient than a can of soup.

So far I’ve tried the Roasted Vegetable Soup and Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles. The vegetable soup was surprisingly filling and the chicken soup, while not like mom’s, was very good.

Kettle Cuisine makes ten gluten-free soups in all including Three Bean Chili, Organic Mushroom and Potato, Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder, Thai Curry Chicken Soup, and New England Clam Chowder, among others.

The company has been certified as a gluten-free manufacturer by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and the soups are cooked in its USDA-inspected kitchen in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Through January 31 you can submit photos of places you’ve taken Kettle Cuisine via its Facebook page and have a chance to win a free trip to Boston.

Gluten-free Buns at McDonald’s and Burger King? In Some Countries, It’s a Reality

Did you know McDonald’s has a gluten-free bun in Spain, Sweden, Finland and Norway?

Talk about feeling left out over here in America. Sheesh.

Although I first learned about this when a friend forwarded me this blurb on gluten-free fast food from CNN’s Fortune blog, the gluten-free bun is apparently not a particularly new introduction.

Still, I thought some of you intrepid gluten-free travelers might want the info should you find yourself in Europe. And if I wasn’t aware, at least one or two of you were in the bunless dark too.

A greater search around the Internet brought up some reviews, which I’ll share below the jump. When I enlisted a friend to check McDonald’s Norwegian website, I got a second shock: Burger King offers gluten-free buns too, at least in Scandinavia!

So how do these buns taste? Well, according to the reviews online, they’re not half-bad — especially if you’re craving some fast food while abroad.
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Swedish Study Confirms: Quality Of Life Post-Diagnosis is WAY Better

No one wants to be Mr. Bump!

Thanks to Celiac.com for posting a review of a November study out of Sweden on health-related quality of life, which makes an interesting companion to the study on celiac and depression I wrote about last week.

This study is titled, “Delay to celiac disease diagnosis and its implications for health-related quality of life,” and it examined pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Slightly more than 1,000 members of the Swedish Society for Coeliacs completed a survey and their results were translated to quality-adjusted life year (QALY) scores. These scores were then compared to ones from a survey of the general population.
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Celiac Disease and Depression Linked in Women, Study Finds

 

Sometimes we all need a little cheering up

Many women (and men) report feeling great after they finally learn they have celiac disease and begin adhering to a gluten-free diet. It normally takes years, still, for a diagnosis — so it makes sense that after so long feeling awful, people would be pretty happy.

However, many people on a gluten-free diet feel stressed when they realize just how often gluten lurks in the world around them. Anyone who’s been on the diet long enough, I guarantee, has had at least one day where they throw their hands up in the air and sigh at the hassle of it all.

A new study published in Chronic Illness sheds a little extra light on the subject of mental health and celiac disease in women, and the results are notable.
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Chick-fil-A Launches New Kids’ Meal With Grilled Chicken Nuggets

Chick-fil-A has a generally good reputation amongst the gluten-free community, and with their latest announcement I expect their reputation will only improve.

According to the press release on their website, Chick-fil-A is adding two new, healthy options for their Kids’ Meal: grilled chicken nuggets and Buddy Fruits® Pure Blended Fruit To Go. Combined with one of the beverage choices (skim milk, apple juice, lemonade or water), it’s about as healthy of a fast food meal as you’re likely to find anywhere.

Now, before I type up the rest of the press release, let’s jump over quickly to the disclaimer on Chick-fil-A’s gluten free info online:

…Some ingredients such as spices and natural flavors may be proprietary; therefore, we may not have the source listed for those items. We recommend you review this list with your physician before consuming any of the products listed below, or any other item on our menu. Although the ingredients in these menu items are gluten-free, we do not have gluten free prep areas and procedures for assembly of these menu items.

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