Monday, March 30, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Bulk up on FOLATE

In my ongoing research of Celiac Disease I often come across one of the most common nutritional CD deficiencies: FOLATE, a B vitamin also known as Folacin and Folic Acid.

According to the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet on Nutrition, we need “Folate, a water-soluble vitamin, to help the body form red blood cells and aid in the formation of genetic material within every body cell.”

Below is a list of good gluten-free sources of FOLATE:

1)Chicken liver
3.5 oz
(193% daily value)

2) Braised beef liver
3.5 oz
(54% daily value)

3) Lentils, cooked
1/2 cup
(45% daily value)

4) Chickpeas
1/2 cup
(35% daily value)

5) Asparagus
1/2 cup
(33% daily value)

6) Spinach, cooked
1/2 cup
(33% daily value)

7) Black beans
1/2 cup
(32% daily value)

8)GF Burrito with beans
(30% daily value)

9) Kidney beans
1/2 cup
(29% daily value)

10) Lima beans
1/2 cup
(20% daily value)

11) Tomato juice
1 cup
(12% daily value)

12)Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup
(12% daily value)

13) Orange
1 medium
(12% daily value)

14) Broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup
(10% dialy value)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: What’s your favorite GF CCC Mix??

I usually make GF Chocolate Chip Cookies from scratch for my GF daughter because she loves oatmeal (can tolerate it), pecans, cinnamon, and extra chips added in. But for those times when I’m in a hurry or when we’re traveling (we always rent a place with a kitchen) I use a mix.

After a few years of trying almost everything offered in our local stores, by far our favorite GF Chocolate Chip Cookie boxed mix is made by Cherrybrook Kitchen:

Not only are their mixes gluten free, but they are also dairy, egg, nut & peanut free as well! Ironically it took us a lot of time to try their CCC mix because the box doesn’t have that chocolaty-chewy-sweet-and-gooey appeal. (In fact a lot of GF packaging is not very inviting, but that’s another blog for another time.) But trust us, these cookies will melt in your mouth. Even my gluten-glutton son will choose these GF cookies over anything else in the kitchen cupboard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: GF Summer Camp w/scholarships!

Another Gluten-Free Summer Camp opportunity!


"Camp Dates: August 16 (Sunday) - August 21 (Friday)

-Camp Manitou-Lin is graciously hosting our second year of Gluten Free camp. We will be able to cater to those with a gluten free and dairy free allergy and or intolerance. All other conditions will be decided on a case by case basis and will need to see Nicole VanZwoll for further information. ph 517-886-5025 or

Gluten Free Camp ESSAY SCHOLARSHIPS for 2009:
"If you are looking for a scholarship, we are currently working with the CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation) in California. Your child must write or email a one-page essay about why they want to attend Camp Manitou-Lin in Middleville Michigan, a gluten free camp, and what they will expect to get out of it, or if you have attended before, what you have gotten from it and why you would like to be a returning camper. Deadline is MARCH 31st, 2009."

Mail to:
Attn: Maryrose Hopke (essay contest)
Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. #1
Studio City, Ca. 91604
Phone: (818)990-2354
Fax: (818)990-2379


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: GF MENU SWAP

I just discovered a great concept through Nancy Lapid’s Guide to Celiac Disease web column. Nancy recently featured the Gluten-Free MENU SWAP site ( on Natalie Naramor’s Gluten Free Mommy blog.

“The idea is to create a resource for all of us asking the question, 'What’s for dinner this week?' Since this can be a challenge when you are gluten-free, I think it will be fun to look at everyone’s menu to see what everyone is cooking (and just think of all those recipes!) and perhaps even find out which restaurants we eat gluten-free.” (N. Naramor)

Natalie gives clear directions on how it all works, how you can participate, and how to qualify as a host. Visit her site and join up --such a great idea!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: Super quick GLEE dinner for 1!

This is my GF daughter’s favorite quick meal, especially combined with Al Fresco’s Sweet Apple chicken sausage* (which is labeled GF). Of course we call it:

GLEE Pasta
1) Place a ¼ - ½ cup diced tomatoes in a bowl
2) Mix in 1 – 2 tblsp olive oil
3) (Microwave 20 seconds)
4) Stir in 1 cup pre-cooked GF pasta and 2 – 4 tblsp good parmesan
5) (Microwave another 20 seconds or to desired heat -- longer if pasta has been refrigerated)
6) Add salt/pepper and eat with a salad!

*(Optional Additions: pre-cooked and diced GF sausage, bacon, spinach, zucchini AND/OR sprinkle on toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic, chopped basil … be creative!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: Online GF Cooking Class, the online cooking magazine, has always been one of my favorite "Glee" sites. It's upbeat, inviting, and the photos are beautiful. A few months ago I discovered Glutenfreeda provides very easy to follow, step-by-step online cooking classes: This is particularly helpful to individuals with CD as the aforementioned individuals often resent food and sometimes avoid learning how to cook altogether. This month, the feature recipe (pictured above) is Lemon and Blackberry Bread Pudding, yum. If you seach the online gluten-free cooking class archives you'll find a huge variety of desserts and entrees from cranberry cheesecake to Italian gnocchi. So drag that laptop over to the kitchen, pour yourself a delicious drink, turn on the jazz, and cook up something wonderful for yourself tonight!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: E-Z ChocoChip GLEE! Bars

Easy & Delicious!

½ cup butter (or margarine), softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp GF vanilla
½ cup GF flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup GF oats (if tolerated), uncooked*
6oz. bag of GF chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease 9” square pan
In large bowl, combine soft butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Blend in flour, salt, then gently stir in oats, chocolate chips and walnuts. Spread evenly in greased pan. Bake 30 minutes. Cool and cut.

*May experiment substituting oats for GF cereal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: MEDIC ALERT Bracelet

Some experts and doctors differ on emergency situations, so it is up to you to decide if you should wear a medic alert bracelet or necklace.

Our nurse practitioner thinks it is unnecessary (and possibly dangerous) to wear one as celiac disease does not present an immediate life-threatening reaction. If an emergency worker hesitates or becomes confused about what to do, life-saving measures might be withheld.

However, our nurse practitioner does recommend carrying a note in your wallet which identifies your celiac disease and explains you cannot ingest gluten. And make sure your doctor confirms on the front of your chart that you have CD and that you require a gluten-free diet.