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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4 Ways to Use Corn Tortillas

By Bridget

One of my favorite challenges with gluten-free eating has been exploring the versatility of commercially available products that just happen to be gluten-free! Corn tortillas are a great example of such gluten-free treasures!

  1. When you want homemade tortilla chips…

Cut corn tortillas into triangles or squares and fry some up in olive oil. Let the chips cool on a paper towel (to soak up the excess oil), sprinkle on some sea salt, and you have the best Mexican fare inspired snack.

  1. When you’re craving enchiladas…

In a casserole dish, layer corn tortillas with diced tomatoes, beans, chicken, and cheese (as you would with lasagna). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees and you have a delicious gluten-free meal!

  1. When you need a “sandwich” on the go…

Use corn tortillas like bread to build your own sandwich to go! One of my biggest frustrations is trying to bring my meal with me, minus tons of cumbersome Tupperware. This way you can use cold cuts and cheese like anyone living a gluten-filled life!

  1. When you’re making a breakfast quiche…

Layer corn tortillas in a pie plate, using them as a gluten-free quiche crust. The tortillas will give nice structure and crunch to your breakfast dish.

Most corn tortillas are made from masa harina (dried corn treated with lime) and water. If you’re still feeling wary of commercial products, try making your own corn tortillas with this simple recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corn-tortillas/)!

Add Wow to your Gluten-free Treats with Rose Water

Why do I insist on continually going grocery shopping when I’m hungry?

But the thing I’m most excited and perplexed about is the pretty glass vial of rose water I picked up. You’d think I’d know better by now. Sigh.

Even when you’re restricted to only the gluten-free items in the grocery store, there are still plenty of ways to get in trouble. Today’s visit to a local Greek-ish store yielded a few unneccesary purchases: chocolate-covered figs (already gone, forcibly shared with the rest of the office), tahini (but I’ll use it for salad dressing and falafel, so it’s OK), sun-dried red peppers, etc etc.

I had no idea what I’m going to do with it, of course, but that didn’t stop me.

Now, the brand I bought (pictured, Al Wadi Al Akhdar) doesn’t explicitly say gluten-free, however I was willing to take the chance given the ingredients list: water, concentrated rose water, natural rose flavors. Maybe I’ll run it through a GlutenTox test just to be sure.

Anyway. The point is, I got home, smelled it, got to researching, and then got totally excited to add rose water into my list of secret weapons that make gluten-free food taste and smell awesome.
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Gluten-free Snacks for After Soccer (or any Sport)

Are your little (or not-so-little) ones in pre-season right now? The school year is almost here, and with the first marking period come the first fall sports. Soccer, football, field hockey, track, tennis, cheerleading, volleyball, or any other sport — and I know I’m forgetting one or two — if your child is on a team, you’ll probably be thinking about snack time.

Orange wedge L1020044

Orange wedges are a great gluten-free snack for sports, but they aren't your only option

Of course every sport, township, and age range is different, but one thing that’s fairly consistent is the request that parents supply half-time and after-game snacks for the team. If your child is gluten-free, this can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, when it’s your turn to bring snacks you have a great opportunity to introduce tasty, healthy gluten-free treats to your child’s friends and teammates. On the other, you may find that every week is snack week for you — because your child may not be able to eat the gluten-full team snacks brought in by other parents (although given the prevalence of high-sugar, highly-processed convenience snacks, for some parents this may actually be a blessing in disguise).

Whether you’re making gluten-free after-sports snacks for one child or twenty, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some easy gluten-free snack ideas that will have your athletes feeling their best on the field (or court or track) and off.
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The Most Delicious Thing I Ate This Weekend: Walnut Oil

I was unexpectedly at TJ Maxx (or Marshall’s, I can’t remember now since they’re right next to each other and I went into both and I not-so-secretly think they are the same exact thing), and I popped over to the food aisle even though I didn’t need anything.

A quick aside: there are a surprising amount of gluten-free treats in the food aisle! Some brands I’d heard of and some I hadn’t, and it was a really pleasant surprise.

The thing that caught my eye, though, was a pretty canister of roasted walnut oil. It looked like this:

So pretty! How could I resist?

I got home, smelled it, daydreamed about the things it might taste good on, and got distracted and forgot to taste it. Silly me.

When I remembered, I went to the fridge and poured a spoonful for myself. Tentative sip. Tasty. Carefully I called on my inner pageant contestant (who knew she was even in there?) and managed to summon up enough balance to simultaneously hold half a tablespoon of oil without spilling and rummage through my fridge until I found something to pour the oil onto.

What I found was some leftover fruit salad: plum, nectarine, blueberry, strawberry, a weensy splash of mango juice. Topped with half a spoonful of walnut oil.

Only the thought of eating it again for breakfast kept me from immediately demolishing the entire bowl.
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What Can You Sneak Into Your Smoothie?

It’s hot. Too hot to turn the oven on, some might say (I might agree). But a girl can only eat so many salads before she does something crazy, like eat ice cream for lunch (I’m sure I don’t know anyone who would do this).

The versatile smoothie can be a nice change of pace — ovenless and easy, and gluten-free by default — but while a smoothie for breakfast sounds reasonable, a dinner smoothie seems weird. It shouldn’t, though: there are lots of ways to sneak that salad into your smoothie, making it a great meal for any time.

The key word there is “sneak”. Yes, it’s definitely possible to make a very vegetable smoothie (that tastes like it’s full of vegetables), but it’s also possible to make one that is sweet and refreshing and traditional-seeming at first glance (that has a deep, dark vegetal secret). OK, well, it might be green and that might make the secret less secret. But still! Read on for the best green vegetables to introduce to your blender. Click to continue reading »

Baking with Teff is not so Tough!

seriously, how pretty is the teff plant?

I read that researchers in Madrid are patenting a cookie made from teff, and it got me thinking: is teff that difficult?

Now, the cookie in question has been specially designed to be suitable for not only people with celiac disease, but also diabetics, athletes and those with anemia. While it’s quite healthy (teff is high in zinc, iron, amino acids and protein, while also being very low on the glycemic index), the cookie is also apparently cheaper to produce than many other gluten-free alternatives.  In addition to teff it has skim milk, nonfat yogurt, brown sugar, defatted cocoa powder, orange zest and hazelnuts.

So, OK, it sounds pretty good. And there’s no recipe. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other teff-inclusive recipes out there for us to try! Click to continue reading »

What To Do With Leftover Gluten-Free Easter Candy?

Oh man. Easter kind of snuck up on us this year. Did you have a nice one? I sure hope so.

Now, I saw a lot of buzz on the gluten-free blogosphere from parents who were considering candy-free Easter baskets — which is pretty neat. Still, I’m willing to bet that at least two or three of you went the traditional route and are now faced with a dilemma: what to do with all the leftover Easter candy?

Of course, the short answer is: eat it, you silly goose! Chocolate is delicious. But everyone knows that there can be too much of a good thing — and that’s where these neat ideas come in handy. There are plenty of ways to take your gluten-free Easter candy and reimagine it in new and delicious (and still gluten-free!) ways:
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Ukraine Drafts Gluten-Free Regulations

How much of this can we eat?

A little tidbit found its way to my inbox the other day. It’s fairly poorly documented, so it could be a fluke: but in case it isn’t, I wanted to share.

According to the website of the Packaging Business Review, legislators in Ukraine have introduced a draft that proposes labeling of gluten-free food. The revision was suggested by Ukrainian Parliament member Viacheslav Perederiy (who is of the BYT-Batkivschyna faction). According to the article, “food products free from gluten can be marked as ‘gluten-free’ on labels, if it does not exceed 20mg per 100gm of the product weight.”

So, first of all: awareness! Labeling! Yay!

Second of all: what does 20mg per 100gm mean? Is this actually a good bill?

Turns out, 20 milligrams per 100 grams is actually 200 ppm. So, if and when the bill passes — buyer beware of Ukranian gluten-free items.
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Yup, It’s that Time Of Year (Again): Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day

Perhaps I should not relate to this image as much as I do...but hey: a fuzzy creature is clearly gluten-free.

If you’ve been reading this blog for at least the past year, you a) deserve a gold star and b) know that I am not a big fan of the ol’ Valentine’s Day.

In fact, the thing I like best about the day is that it’s helpful for remembering some fairly unimportant math factoids: The square root of two is 1.4, so if you squint you’ll see 2/14 there. Fun extra-math fact: the square root of 3 is 1.7 — hello, St. Pat’s Day!

Um, did I mention that I used to tutor SATs? Yup. Cool-kid blogger, right here.

If you’re more Valentine’s-inclined than I am, you might be in the throes of menu-planning or candy-shopping right now. For you, then, I offer the following resources, helpfully poached from more loving bloggers than I.
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