I Love Gluten-Free Peanut Butter

By Laura (The Gluten-Free Traveller)


Peanut butter is great. It’s super addictive, filled with healthy fats and protein and naturally gluten-free, so it’s a great snack for celiacs!

It’s great mixed into hot cereal in the morning, it’s delicious spread on gluten free bread or rice cakes with jelly, and who doesn’t love a big creamy spoonful straight from the jar? :)

Enter Peanut Butter & Co. If you can believe it they make peanut butter even more exciting than it already is. They have created all sorts of different, amazing flavors!

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Keeping Play Dough Gluten-Free

By Bridget


Play dough can often seem like a staple to childhood. From trying to dye it different colors to form masterpiece after masterpiece, children are simple enamored with the pliable dough. Unfortunately, kids with Celiac disease can have some trouble using the common toy. As was discussed a couple of weeks ago, many of those with Celiac Disease suffer from topical reactions in their cosmetics, and children could be at risk for breakouts and rashes on their arms if they have severe allergies. Moreover, young children are so prone to putting things in their mouth, that they could accidentally ingest some of the play dough (leading to some serious unintended tummy troubles).

To keep your house (or even school!) safe, try making your own play dough! Your kids will love watching it form, make their own colors, and can play with the dough risk-free! Try out this gluten-free play dough recipe at home!

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What’s Your Gluten-Free Beer Made Of?

By Laura (The Gluten-Free Traveller)

I came across an interesting article from the Miami New Times on what they consider to be the best gluten-free beers and it got me thinking about beer.

I’ve never been a big beer fan myself so it’s not really something I miss but I have a few celiac friends who get super excited when a new gluten-free beer hits the market. If you’re a gluten-free beer drinker, what’s your favorite brand and what is the beer made from?

Gluten-free beers are becoming more common. New companies are bringing gluten-free varieties to the market and it’s no longer uncommon to find gluten-free beer in your local bar or restaurant.

Gluten-free beers tend to be made from buckwheat, rice, sorghum or a combination of these things. What do you think tastes best or tastes most like ‘real beer’?

The top five best gluten-free beers according to the New Times article are:

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ImmusanT begins global celiac vaccine trials

We first chatted about ImmusanT’s vaccine to eliminate celiac disease, Nexvax2, in March of last year. That May we wrote again, with promising news from the vaccine’s first human trials. And then again in February of this year, when the company began producing several thousand doses for a new trial.

It's Monday. Vaccines are ugly. Here's a baby panda in a basket instead.

Well, that new trial is now underway, according to a press release. Hooray!

The trial is taking place in New Zealand, Australia, and the US (where ImmusanT is based). According to the release, the New Zealand / Australia study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 b study. They hope to have 84 patients across four locations and to study the safety, tolerability, and pharacokinetics of the vaccine.

The American study is also randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controled, but is a phase 1 (not b) study. The plan is to collect data from 30 patients across four sites.

Both studies will be done on patients with celiac disease who are on a gluten-free diet. The patients will all carry the gene HLA-DQ2, which as many of 90% of celiac patients have (a genetic test is often the first step in establishing whether or not someone may have celiac disease, and in that test this is the gene they look for).

How does the vaccine work? I think the release says it more succinctly than I can:

Nexvax2 is a therapeutic vaccine that combines three proprietary peptides that elicit an immune response in patients with celiac disease who carry the immune recognition gene HLA-DQ2. In an approach similar to treatments for allergies to cats and dust mites, Nexvax2 is designed to reprogramme gluten-specific T cells triggered by the patient’s immune response to the protein. The goal is for Nexvax2 to restore celiac patients’ immune tolerance to gluten, reduce inflammation in the nutrient-absorbing villi that line the small intestine, return the intestine to a healthy state, and allow patients to eat a normal diet.

In our past posts on the vaccine, commenters have wondered whether or not the vaccine would work for people who have a gluten sensitivity but test negative for celiac disease, and whether it will only work for people with the HLA-DQ2 gene. Although the press release does not mention people with a sensitivity, it would seem to me (and I am NOT a medical professional) that the vaccine is really being developed with an eye towards celiac patients / towards those people whose immune systems are displaying clear signals of “attack!” — but that whichever gene is indicated, an immune response is an immune response is an immune response. As doctors and researchers learn more about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, I imagine we’ll know more about how many of the people on the gluten-free spectrum can potentially be helped by a vaccine.

Michigan Girl Scouts Introduce Gluten-Free Snack Bites

You remember way back when last year when we shared news of one mom’s petition to get a gluten-free Girl Scout Cookie with you?

Well, that petition may or may not have influenced the decision-makers at the heart of today’s story – but they certainly are related.

The Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, one of five regional Girl Scouts of America councils with some/all of its territory within the state of Michigan, recently announced a gluten-free snack has joined its roster.

Notice that I’m calling it a snack, not a cookie – the treat is not a part of the famed Girl Scout Cookie lineup. Instead, the aptly named Chocolate Chip Snack Bites have been made available at the council’s local center in Kalamazoo as well as at last week’s Jamboree and Pow Wow. The snack pack, which is $5, join the council’s fall lineup of magazines and nuts as a fundraising option. At the moment, though, they’re completely sold out!
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