My sweet celiac and youngest, Izzy

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Better Late than Never.....sorry it's been so long!

Ok, for some of you that have been following my blog from the beginning there are some repeats on this informational post as I am helping some friends out who are just going gfree or are having some issues.  Here are some really important first time analysis information of the initial information you need when you are feeling super overwhelmed.  I know I have not updated in some time but ALL of the kiddos are back in school!  OMG yes, I did just say that....two high schooler’s going strong and loving the new year and doing great (and yes that includes Lana!) Then the babies are now in Mother’s Day Out two full days a week (started this passed Tuesday!)  so that means for 2 days a week from now on I have more time to write and catch you up on our lives and all my research, recipes and updates!!!! WOOHOO!!!:)

First remember that because they use wheat and/or gluten in so many things, you need to double check your lotions, sunscreens, hand sanitizers, hair products and toothpaste as well.  I would make the rule of thumb if you put it in or on your body you need to check the labels! Aveeno lotion and sunscreen (some versions) have some derivative of wheat and they didn't used to.......You also need to be aware of what things other than wheat that contain gluten: wheat obviously is the most popular but: rye, barley, spelt, faro, farina, malt do as well: here's a celiac guide

 that should help some in identifying hidden things.  I have another link I will post later with other hidden gluten things as well.....
Alternative flours  I like: Pamela's products- she has a baking mix and bread mix and both are great ESP in a pinch; c4c from Williams-Sonoma; then the flour blend in (I make this in huge batches and store in commercial air tight containers so I don't have to make a batch each time) and she has a whole grain version of her flour blend I love too. I've even made pizza crust out of that as well.  All 3 of these flours have recipes related and I order both Pamela's mix (both) and the ingredients to make the art of gluten free baking blend online on amazon because around here it's cheaper and you get more: plus if you are a prime member shipping is free and gets to you in two days and it's tax free (usually works out much better in the end).
Other common intolerances are yeast, corn, xanthan gum-so remember to eat minimal amounts of this unless you know you can handle these things without issue.

Magazines with helpful recipes and tips as well as articles are: Delight, Living Without, Gluten free living- most have apps or digital copies as well as regular subscriptions.

Other things I order online: has awesome gfree dried pastas, breads, crackers, crispbreads; I order gfree pita, tortillas and oatmeal (rolled oats are controversial and Izzy did not have a reaction to oatmeal but I switched over to gluten freeda's gfree oatmeal either from amazon or I can sometimes find it in our natural food.

The healthy eating is still the best, shop the perimeter of the store or from your local farmer’s market- lots of fresh fruits and veggies and meats.

Best thing I do and love is to get another friend who is celiac or gfree if you can, take one day you devote to baking/ cooking everything you need for a month or at least two weeks and make a loaf or two of bread, put one in the freezer and one in the fridge, make a pizza crust and either stick it in the fridge or freezer for a quick easy meal and make a healthy pizza margarita on a Friday night when you don't feel like cooking: I even made them into mini pizzas for appetizers for Izzy's birthday dinner; I have the pasta attachment for my Kitchen-aid mixer so I make a thing of pasta dough and stick it in the fridge for fresh pasta ( we don't eat alot of breads and pizza/pasta but typically when you go gfree you crave those things; I will typically make a shepards pie and lasagna and stick them in the freezer for a night I don't want to cook also or if there are two of you - you can make lasagna roll ups with gfree lasagna noodles, spinach, ricotta and parmesan and put them in individual bags to use as you want/need and if  you want-make small shepards pies in muffin tins or small pot pie throw away tins and you are set.

Other great grains I love are quinoa, amaranth....these are in grain form, as well as flours and pastas....they are ancient grains and gluten free naturally.  Give these a try for variety.

Also, Facebook pages with recipes and tips: celiac diva, gluten free girl and the chef (they live in Italy and she is gluten free- highly recommend her). One other thing, you can duplicate almost any gluten recipe sometimes it just takes practice.... Rule of thumb is if it is 1 cup or less of flour you can sub one of my recommended flour blends; you can also remember if you need to sub a starch (like tapioca) you can use another starch ( like potato); try to use a moderate amount of white rice flour as it turns to sugar in your system and alot of celiacs fight with diabetes because of the unknown or hidden sugars in our replacement flours; and lastly flours like amaranth or almond are heavier flours and produce denser products. With that said, my final note: go invest in a food weighing scale ( I got a digital one from Target for like 20 bucks) and when the recipe gives you a weight versus a measurement - use the weight because our flours weigh differently - 1 cup of regular gluten all purpose flour weighs 125 grams so remember that if the recipe doesn't give you weights:)

This is my update for now.....WAY more to come in the coming weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!

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