Author Archives: Leslie Morris

Swedish Study Finds No Link Between Celiac Disease and Autism

A recent Swedish study finds no link between celiac disease and autism spectrum disorders.

The study’s lead, Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, says that this is one less thing for people who have celiac disease or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to worry about.

According to Ludvigsson, people who were diagnosed with an ASD in the study were no more likely to be diagnosed with celiac disease than people without an ASD.

Ludvigsson and his colleagues linked several Swedish databases to compare the celiac disease diagnoses among people with ASDs to a group of people without the developmental disorders. The researchers had data from 250,000 people.

Roughly 44 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with an ASD before they were diagnosed with celiac disease. That compared to about 48 people per 100,000 who were diagnosed with an ASD but not with celiac disease.

The study did find, however, a link between ASDs and a positive blood test for celiac disease, which alone is not enough to diagnose someone with the condition. A celiac disease diagnosis requires both a positive blood test and evidence of damage to the small intestine.

Ludvigsson cautioned that the link between ASDs and a positive celiac blood test is based on a small number of cases. There could be a real relationship between the two or it could be a result of doctors overtesting people with ASDs, he said.

The study also does not shed any light on whether a gluten-free diet improves ASD symptoms. The study is published in JAMA Psychiatry.

http://medcitynews.com/2013/09/study-finds-link-celiac-disease-autism/

Welcome Blogger Julie Koslen Diehl

We’re proud that Julie has joined the Triumph Dining blogging lineup.

Julie has been gluten-free for eight years now and has taken an active role in helping others new to a gluten-free lifestyle. In fact, she was one of the first people I met along my own experiments in avoiding gluten.

Julie, her husband, two sons and dog live in Chicago-land. She is committed to helping Triumph Dining blog and newsletter readers learn about new products to market, safe restaurants and ways to live gluten-free.

Casa Di Bertacchi | Triumph Dining Product Review

Casa GFCasa Di Bertacchi sent us some of their new gluten-free meatballs to try. After we were done playing with the dry ice we popped them into the oven and rallied the office taste testers for an afternoon snack.

The company sells both gluten-free and non-gluten-free meatballs. The 5/8 ounce ones are gluten-free and the 1 ounce meatballs are still available in the traditional formula, which is not gluten-free.

We’re told that the meatballs are not produced in a separate gluten-free facility, but went through multiple tests prior to being launched. The initial production run was tested via a third party (FARRP) and now the product is tested quarterly. Each test produced results that abided by the FDA’s requirement of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Click to continue reading »

Kellogg’s Gluten-Free Spiderman 3 Fruit Flavored Snacks

kelloggsnacksA display of these boxes caught my eye in our local Safeway. Sure enough, Kelloggs includes them in its gluten-free lineup. They meet the FDA requirements for being gluten-free and are made in a facility that makes gluten-free products.

Kelloggs is appealing to a wide set of children with these snacks; they also come in Mickey Mouse, Disney Princess, Toy Story, Cars, Turbo, Super Mario, Monsters University and Fairies shapes. Click to continue reading »

Triumph Dining Book Review | Nosh on This, Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen

Nosh-on-This.Cover600How fun is this? And right as the Jewish High Holy Days are upon us. This book, by bloggers Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel, is getting rave reviews in the blogosphere and we’re on board with it, too.

Lisa has modified more than a hundred recipes from her childhood, ones that she and her gluten-free family missed most. In this cookbook you will find adaptations of Mom’s Marble Chiffon Cake, Black & White Cookies, O’Figginz Bars, and classic holiday treats including Macaroons, Hamantashen, and Big Fat Baked Sufganiyah Jelly Donuts. Lisa’s mother must be proud.

This book also includes:
• A Baked Savories chapter, with new classics like Corn Bread Challah Stuffing
• A chapter that shows you how to get the most out of a cake mix
• Color photographs and valuable tips

Here’s a recipe from the book, one that we’re trying out with our family. Click to continue reading »

Buckwheat – Rhubarb Scones

finished-sconesOf course you know that it’s entirely possible to live a good life without gluten. Especially when things like these Buckwheat-Rhubarb Scones are involved. Have you noticed that rhubarb is everywhere right now? Our friend Jill makes Strawberry-Rhubarb jam and Thing 1 seems to be in good enough graces with her for us to receive more than our fair share. It’s gluten-free, too.

I found this recipe as a guest post on the Food52 blog. Make it while rhubarb is still around!

 

 

This recipe is adapted from Kim Boyce’s wonderful baking book, Good to the Grain - glutenfreegirl

Makes 8 scones

Scones

·         115 grams buckwheat flour (preferably raw buckwheat flour — see note below)

·         140 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (see recipe below)

·         1/4 cup dark brown sugar

·         2 teaspoons baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon baking soda

·         1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

·         115 grams (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

·         ½ cup buttermilk

·         1 large egg, at room temperature

·         ½ cup rhubarb jam

·         3 tablespoons sugared pieces of raw rhubarb (optional)

 

1.      Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.      Combining the dry ingredients. Sift together the buckwheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside the bowl.

3.      Working the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, slowly, until the butter is the size of lima beans. Move as quickly as you can without becoming frantic.

4.      Finishing the dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Dribble them into the buttery dough. Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together fairly well. It might still be dry in places and it should not look like a coherent dough ball. However, if you can pinch some of it between your thumb and fingers, and it holds together, you’re ready. (If the dough is still too dry, dribble a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time and stir until the dough feels right.)

5.      Shaping the dough into discs. Sprinkle a little extra gluten-free all-purpose flour mix onto the counter. Carefully, plop the dough onto the floured counter. Move the dough between your hands, folding and twisting it around, until it’s a ball of dough. Cut the ball in half. Pat each ball of dough into a disc about 3/4-inch thick and 7 inches across.

6.      Preparing the scones. Put one disc of dough onto the baking sheet. Spread the rhubarb jam onto the disc of dough carefully, leaving about 1 inch of space on the edges. If you are using the sugared rhubarb pieces, sprinkle them onto the jam now. Put the other disc of dough on top.

7.      Using a sharp knife, cut the scone dough into 8 wedges. Spread them out a bit on the baking sheet.

8.      Baking the scones. Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden-brown on top and the jam and rhubarb have bubbled onto the baking sheet, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

9.      Allow the scones to sit for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

10.  Scones really do taste best the day they are baked.

 

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

·         400 grams millet flour

·         300 grams potato starch

·         300 grams sweet rice flour

 

1.      Whisk the flours together until they are one color. Put them in a big container and shake them up. Now you have flour.

2.      For the best results, blend the flours in a strong blender to ensure the flours all have the same grind

Sprinkles Cupcakes | Triumph Dining Review

gluten-free-red-velvetAs I mentioned in a previous post, we ate a lot of cupcakes while on vacation in Southern California in August. Crumbs, which makes the most sugar-laden and frosting-heavy cupcakes in my opinion, currently doesn’t have any gluten-free offerings. But we gave it a shot in Calabasas.

Sprinkles Cupcakes in Newport Beach, and with 11 other locations, offers a gluten-free red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting similar to Casey’s. This makes me wonder if there’s something about red velvet that lends itself to gluten-free baking. Maybe it’s just the best seller? The cupcakes were displayed separately from the gluten-laden ones although they were not baked in a gluten-free facility. They are also topped with a red G to denote gluten-free. Click to continue reading »

Casey’s Cupcakes | Triumph Dining Review

Gluten-Free-Red-Velvet2We’ve just returned from a visit with family in Southern California. While there it became very clear that we are incapable of walking past a cupcake shop without going inside.

Casey’s Cupcakes is in the Newport Beach Fashion Island shopping center. We were so happy to see that they had a beautiful and delicious gluten-free red velvet cupcake.

Casey’s is just a happy place. It’s a destination inspired by a classic Parisian café with a glamorous Hollywood twist and incorporates bright splashes of pink with classy black accents and whimsical accessories. Click to continue reading »

Ina Garten’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

chocolate chunk cookiesThe Barefoot Contessa, otherwise known as Ina Garten, is my go to celebrity chef. Everything I’ve made from her seven cookbooks has come out well; several of the recipes are now family staples, the things our children will recall as the comfort food of their childhood.

(The gluten-free ones are her Roasted Chicken, Swordfish Steaks, Roasted Tomato Dip and French Potato Salad.)

Knowing that everything Ina makes is divine, I was so happy to see that she took her Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe and converted it to gluten-free.

Enjoy!

Click to continue reading »

Consumer Reaction to FDA’s Definition of Gluten-Free in Food Labeling

News of the FDA defining gluten-free in food labeling has received a lot of media play since it was announced earlier this month.

For those of you who may have missed it, the net net is that the US Food and Drug Administration published a new regulation which defines the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling. This provides a uniform standard to help the roughly 3 million Americans who have celiac disease. The full announcement can be found here.

The FDA requires that, in order to use the term “gluten-free” on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”

Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. However, 20PPM is still a real health risk for those with acute gluten allergies. Consumers are also asking how the FDA will regulate those 20PPM. Will every product be consistently checked for gluten? Are products allowed to be made in a non-dedicated gluten-free facility and still earn the gluten-free label?

Here at Triumph Dining we’re excited about the move forward by the FDA. What are your thoughts?