Gluten Free at the Fair | Triumph Dining

bradford-county-fairIt’s summer so that means fair and carnival season again. There are rides to ride, games to play and of course food to taste. But is there really anything at a carnival that those of us with food restrictions can eat?

At a chocolate themed fair this weekend in Wisconsin, there was a ton of food. Here are some of the food items for sale: corn dogs, fries, funnel cake, caramel apples, fried pickles, fried Oreos, snow cones, brats, hot dogs and chicken on a stick. Those were options outside of the “chocolate” tent, which worked on a separate ticketing system. In the chocolate tent there were the standard chocolate covered fruit, cookies, cakes and other sweet concoctions mostly off limits to me.

In a pinch I might have opted for a taffy apple but doing some simple searches tells me that those aren’t always safe from wheat, which could be used to coat the apples or as a thickener in the caramel. Obviously it is not a safe option if you don’t eat nuts.

Unfortunately, it seems that many items at the fairgrounds revolve around batter and a deep fryer. I’ve heard of deep fried candy bars, fried Coke, fried guacamole, and just this weekend learned of fried butter on a stick. This is literally a full stick of butter, battered then fried! I’ll let you form your own opinions about that but it is decidedly not gluten-free.

What do other fairgoers do? Even if you could find a food item that’s not made with gluten, the chances of it avoiding contact with other contaminants in that small prep area are slim. I opted to eat lunch before we left. I bought a snow cone for the kids, some bottled water for myself and concentrated on riding rides and playing games.

Has anyone ever seen a gluten free stand at the fair or carnival in their area? If you do, please share the info, the menu and the location. Happy summer!

XO Baking Co Mixes | Triumph Dining Product Review

xobakingco When Lindsey Deitsch, founder and owner of XO Baking Co., was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009, she was determined to keep baking. She wanted to make gluten-free baked goods that had the same taste and texture as the goodies she grew up on.

Today, XO Baking Co. has a line of products for the gluten-free home baker including an All Purpose Flour Blend, Pancake and Waffle Mix, a Brownie Mix, and Various Cake, Cookie, Bread and Frosting Mixes.

Recently, I picked up the Banana Bread Gourmet Bread Mix to try out. The directions were very easy to follow as they just required you to mix the ingredients and then bake for roughly an hour. As a cook who prides herself on her “semi-homemade”style of baking, I really appreciated the simplicity here.

Unlike most banana bread mixes found in a grocery store, XO Baking Co.’s does not include an artificial banana flavor. Instead, you are responsible for providing your own over-ripe bananas for the mashing (approximately 4). They also offer suggestions for varying the recipe, such as adding chocolate chips or walnuts.

So after waiting an agonizing 55 minutes breathing in the fantastic banana-bread smells wafting from my oven, I was able to take the pan out to cool. I dug into a slice and the bread to be very fluffy and moist. It tasted fantastic and I never had to taste a single “fake banana”bite in the whole slice. Because the loaf was rather large, I did end up freezing a good portion of it, but found that when I defrosted it a week later, it had the same great taste and richness as when it was fresh out of the oven. Lindsey definitely kept her promise to her customers as I couldn’t even tell this was a gluten-free product.

I highly recommend the XO Baking Mixes. The ingredients were all easy to read, which is always good news as hard to pronounce words are no friend of mine or my family. This mix also lacks preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, and is certified gluten-free, and even Kosher! Furthermore, the products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and the company tests every one of their products to ensure safe consumption for consumers with celiacs. I for sure will be picking up the brownie mix to try next.

XO Baking Co. is based out of Southern California and according to their website, is the first company to use organic coconut flour in all of their products.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks | Triumph Dining Product Review

wanderingaengusciderworksDeep in Salem, Oregon is the Wandering Aengus Ciderworks distillery. Here they brew their five popular, gluten-free ciders; Bloom, Wanderlust, Oaked Dry, Golden Russet and Wickson.

Bloom is the original cider from Wandering Aegnus. It is sweet with hints of tropical fruit, and embodies everything you would expect from a delicious cider. It smells like apples and tastes like carbonated apple sauce with a little bit of tartness trapped in its golden color.

Wanderlust is a great holiday cider, thanks to its warm undertones of ginger. Out of all the different brews, it is probably the most aptly named an “apple cider.”It is semi-dry and tart with a light body and a spicy finish.

Oaked Dry lives up to its name. It is very oaky and very dry. There is a blend of bittersweet and sharp apples that are a bit spicy to the tongue and end very smoothly.

Golden Russet is bronze and dense. It’s a dry cider that smells of honey and apple, almost like an apple brandy. This varietal has a deep apple flavor with just a hint of tart. Caramel rounds out the flavors and makes you almost forget this is a 9.8% ABV.

Wickson pours into your glass clear with lots of carbonation. You can catch waft of apple, lemon, and grape while tasting a bit of honey on the palate with a hint of lime. This cider has a very clean, dry finish for a solid and smooth experience overall.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks only uses apples that originate from France, England, and pre-prohibition America, which they grow themselves in Oregon. These heirloom apple varieties, like the Golden Russet and Wickson crab apple, are what allow for depth of flavor, body, and district aromatics in their ciders, according to the company.

Wandering Aengus Ciders are brewed and bottled in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Namaste Foods Gluten Free Brownie Mix | Triumph Dining Product Review

Namaste Brownie MixNo matter what you’re allergic to or what your diet requires, Namaste Foods has a baking mix for you. Namaste Foods prides themselves on making “worry-free products”. Their facilities contain no wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts in attempts to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination. They also use no genetically modified ingredients and all of their products are Kosher Certified. From Bread Mixes to Pizza Crust, Cookies to Mac and Cheese, Cakes to Broccoli Cheddar Soup, this company has a wide variety of products that are safe and natural.

If you have not tried their Brownie Mix, I suggest pointing your browser to their website and ordering some. A simple list of ingredients (Evaporated Cane Juice, Sweet Brown Rice Flour, Dutch Cocoa, Tapioca Flour, Arrowroot Flour, Salt, and Xanthan Gum) makes these guilt-free brownies the stuff that dreams are made of: just add eggs, oil, and water! (If you don’t or can’t eat eggs, their website has a few suggestions for replacements in the FAQ section). Click to continue reading »

Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter | Triumph Dining Product Review

If I were stuck on a desert island and could only bring five foods with me, peanut butter would definitely be one of them! It’s great mixed into hot cereal in the morning, it’s delicious on toast and it’s best straight from the jar.

When Peanut Butter & Co. invited me to join their Yum Squad, I was delighted. I got to try some new and exciting flavors of peanut butter, including “The Bee’s Knees” Peanut Butter, which, not too surprisingly is made with honey.

This peanut butter is sweet. It’s creamy. It’s addictive. I’m a fan of all of their products but this is one of my new favorites. Thank you to the bees for making such delicious honey and thanks to PB&Co. for mixing it with peanut butter.

You can check out Peanut Butter and Co. on their website below. They are available for purchase online, in many grocery stores, or in their New York City sandwich shop.

Have you tried Peanut Butter & Co? What’s your favorite flavor and how to you eat it?

http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/

 

Disclaimer: Peanut Butter & Co. sent me a jar of The Bee’s Knees to taste and review but all opinions are my own.

Anthem Cider | Triumph Dining Product Review

IMG_1111With the weather warming up and BBQ season upon us, it’s natural to find your mind wandering to the thought of a “nice, cold one.” Luckily for gluten-free eaters, imbibing has never been easier thanks to the many safe craft ciders available. Anthem Cider uses local dessert apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala and Golden Delicious to craft their four gluten-free beverages: Anthem Cider, Anthem Pear, Anthem Cherry and Anthem Hops.

Their traditional Anthem Cider is exactly what is says it is: apples, pressed and fermented. Don’t expect any frills here but the taste is clean and perfect for people who want a natural tasting cider. It’s tart and a little sweet with a medium carbonation. Click to continue reading »

Sun Cups | Triumph Dining Product Review

dark-chocolate-sun-butter-cups-484In college I had a boyfriend who caused me to have nightmares. He was a great guy but his peanut allergy had me worried that I’d eat something and inadvertently cause him to go into anaphylactic shock. It was then that I realized how many of the desserts I loved were made with peanuts. This is a real concern for those of us living with severe allergies or loved ones with allergies. It means always having to avoid those tasty allergen filled goodies. Click to continue reading »

Among Friends Baking Mixes | Triumph Dining Product Review

among-friends-cjs-double-chocolate-cookie-mix-094922976765-e1380987720642If you love homemade cookies but don’t have the time to make them from scratch, Among Friends Hand-crafted Baking Mixes are the perfect product for you. The company was started by two moms who wanted a cookie mix that was easy and nutritious. They have three gluten-free cookie mixes, one crisp mix, and even one for a moist chocolate cake.

Each of the baking mixes is named for a specific person in the life of the Among Friends creators and best friends Suzie Miller and Lizann Anderson. Their mixes are super easy to make as you only have to add an egg, vanilla, and butter (or substitutes). Among Friends uses premium cocoa and chocolate with espresso to make CJ’s Double Chocolate flavor whole grain, low calorie, and of course, certified gluten-free. Phil’em Up is an oats, cranberry, coconut, and Callebaut chocolate flavor that is supposed to keep you energized throughout the day. Shane’s Sweet-N-Spicy is made with gluten-free oat flour, cinnamon, and lemon zest. It is soft and chewy thanks to molasses and won’t be in your kitchen for long before they are gobbled up. Click to continue reading »

GFAF Expo Atlanta | Triumph Dining

The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is on the road again and this time, they are headed to Atlanta, Georgia! I probably don’t have to tell you again but these events are awesome and definitely worth checking out for a fun and informative weekend.

As always, there will be lots of fantastic vendors (including Triumph Dining!), as well as speakers and experts from the celiac and gluten-free community. Try new products, watch demos from some great gluten-free chefs and learn from doctors and other experts on what’s new in the gluten-free world in terms of news and research.

There will be interesting and informative talks from various speakers all weekend. Below is the Saturday conference schedule presented by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) so that you can plan your day around what’s most important to you.

GIG Conference Track 1: GF 101

 

8:00

Cathy Breedon

Thinking about OTHER Nutrition Issues in Celiac Disease

 

9:00

Carol Fenster

Gluten Free for Beginners

 

10:00

Ted Malahias

Dental Enamel Defects and Celiac Disease

 

1:00

Cynthia Rudert

Celiac Disease an Gluten Intolerance, Your Questions Answered

 

2:00

Sara Vollmer

Living Gluten Free

 

3:00

Alessio Fasano

Change of gluten related disorders landscape during the past 40 years in the US: The Cinderella of GI disorders has been invited to the ball.

 

GIG Conference Track 2: Advanced

 

8:00

Sara Vollmer

The Lighter Side of Gluten Free Living

 

9:00

Alessio Fasano

Change of gluten related disorders landscape during the past 40 years in the US: The Cinderella of GI disorders has been invited to the ball.

 

10:00

Carol Fenster

Getting Alternative Grains into your diet

 

1:00

Oonagh Williams

The Power of Food – You are what you eat

 

2:00

Cynthia Rudert

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance, your questions answered

 

3:00

Cathy Breedon

Thinking about OTHER Nutrition Issues in Celiac Disease

 

When and Where: 

May 17-18 from 9am-3pm

Cobb Galleria Center

Two Galleria Parkway

Atlanta, Georgia 30339

 

Triumph Dining will be there supporting this fantastic event so stop by our booth and say hello! Tickets are available at the door or now, on the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo website. We hope to see you there!

http://gfafexpo.com/

University of New Hampshire Goes Gluten Free | Triumph Dining

We’ve been hearing more and more that colleges and high schools across the country are offering gluten and allergen-free options. The University of New Hampshire began offering gluten-free options for celiac and gluten intolerant students back in 2006. Now, as the demand has grown, so have their dining hall offerings.

Since 2006, UNH Dining have increased their gluten-free options, added special equipment to their kitchens to avoid cross contamination during prep, added full sized fridges and even an online ordering system for students and staff who require gluten-free options! Students are offered the option of having their food prepared using separate pans and utensils to prevent cross contamination.

“We have recently expanded our gluten friendly stations”, says Rochelle” L’Italien, a registered dietician. “We now have fully stocked refrigerators with assortments of gluten-free products. We also have dedicated equipment like a panini grill, toaster, knife and a cutting board.”

To help students and staff order safe food, menus on the UNH Dining website contain lots of helpful information on allergies and intolerances. Every food item lists what potential allergens it has or doesn’t have and there is an option to click on the food in order to view a full list of ingredients from the company.

“When someone places their order, everyone gets it,” L’Italien said. “We make sure that management, the chefs and others get the order so everyone knows to use designated equipment.”

This is wonderful to hear! It sounds like the University of New Hampshire really understands the importance of preparing safe, allergen-free options and do all they can to keep students and staff safe. Here’s hoping for a day when all institutions follow the same practices.

Does your school offer gluten-free options? Do you feel safe eating at your school’s dining hall?

 

 

 

http://www.tnhonline.com/news/unh-going-gluten-free-1.3164499#.U13EfuZdV-M