Gluten Free Subscription Box

So, I’ve tried them… various gluten free boxes with minimal products, stocked full of the same ole, same ole or worse… just a few measly samples. Ugh. 

When I had the option to try American Gluten Free @americanglutenfree I was skeptical because of these experiences. 

However, all I had to do was open the box to realize this was different. Very different. 

What a shock to see the box lipping full of products that were generous samples and even full size. Many of them were free from additional allergies too. (Which allowed me to share them with the kids). 

I was additionally surprised that they were healthy and delicious. Clearly, they take extra care in choosing who they partner with and take pride in delivering value to celiacs who need tasty and creative snack options!

If you want a fun surprise shipped to you without the hassle, check them out!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Drops

Getting my kids to eat something nutritious in the morning is more of a challenge every day. Most breakfast foods are not naturally allergy friendly. We have four of the top eight allergens in our family (and three more that are less common, although just as difficult to work around).

This recipe is super simple and I managed to make it in 25 minutes on a school morning.

6 ripe bananas – peeled and mashed
1T Cinnamon
3C Freedom Foods Gluten Free instant Oatmeal with berries (market district)
1C Raisins

I mashed it all together with my mix and chop for a chunky texture and scooped into my mini muffin tin with a small scoop. Fast, easy and contains the mess.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and let cool.
The bananas are very hot inside, so don’t do what I did and eat within the first 5 minutes.

The oatmeal in this mix is super refined and cooks quickly. These have a fantastic hearty texture and are secretly healthy for them. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Hidden Gluten.

Are you new to the diet, confused and overwhelmed?

Maybe you have been on it awhile and you don’t understand why you are still getting sick?

Here are a few simple ways to keep an eye out for hidden gluten:

#1.     Oatmeal

It must say gluten free. It has to do with how it’s grown. Basically, farmers rotate crops to keep the ground conditioned for optimum growth. This means that one year of wheat, another year of oats, results in wheat being harvested in oats. Many tests have been run on leading oat brands and determined that the contamination was so high you might as well be eating a bowl of wheat bran. My favorite is Trader Joe’s gluten free oats. They are the best value I have found on the market.

#2.     Imitation crab meat

Not only is it imitation, making it essentially equal to the plastic stuff used in the display cases, but it’s full of food dyes. Oh, and did I mention that it’s created from wheat? Check the label. You will see what I mean. Either it’s real crab or it’s not safe.

#3.     Vanilla extract

I have watched the food network and according to Alton brown and his infinite food wisdom, I have learned that vanilla is made from a vanilla bean being placed in a jar with vodka and distilled. If the vodka has gluten in it, which most do, you have a bottle of gluten filled vanilla extract. If the bottle doesn’t specify gluten free, assume it’s not. I use Kirkland brand. It is labeled gluten free and a great value.

#4.     Soy Sauce

I know, you thought it was made from soy, right? Wrong. It’s actually made from wheat. Unless you buy La Choy, Tamari based (gluten free) soy or Liquid aminos. Bragg’s aminos are in my fridge now. They taste amazing and I love the quality of the companies products.

#5.     Licorice Candy

Anyone think that candy must be safe? Well, actually, flour is added in the baking process to most recipes, although the root itself is a legume. Put down the Twizzlers and watch for the “healthy alternatives” to main stream candy as well. The process is the same. The only brand I have found to be free from gluten is from Lovey Candy Co.

 

#6.     Cheese

Don’t get excited, it’s not all cheese by any means. Check the package on shredded brands for flour that is used (as a non caking agent). Also, some bleu cheese may be produced with the aid of flour. I’m not a fan of bleu cheese so this hasn’t been an issue for me.

#7.     Packaged meats

Lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, hams and turkeys can be infused with gluten containing substances (usually present in the broths they are made in). The safest meats will label gluten free on the package. Boars head is my personal favorite.

#8.     Condiments

BBQ sauce, teriyaki,  salad dressings, asian sauces,  gravy, dips… you name it. I have encountered wheat, rye and barley in all of the above. Be especially careful in restaurants as they tend to buy the least expensive options, due to the quantity they go through. It may be boring but much safer to have any sauce left off.

#9.     Cereal

Just because it is a “corn” “rice”, or “potato” cereal does not mean that it doesn’t contain multi grains. There are a few brands, like Chex that carry gluten free options but always double check the label. And remember that malt is made from Barley, so if your cereal has rice and malt, it’s NOT gluten free.

#10.     Soups

This is one of the most agonizing for me. I love a good bowl of hot soup in the winter and cans, boxes, catering and restaurants love to thicken their soups with flour. Anyone ever heard of corn starch? Seriously. It’s rare that I can have a soup. A few safe ones I have found are Chili’s baked potato, Jason’s deli’s veggie chili and tomato and Zoup has several daily choices that are clearly labeled with gluten free tags.

Unfortunately, there are loads of places that gluten lurks, including “Modified Food Starch” because it can be made from corn or wheat. Keep stead fast, be diligent. It is worth the effort to rid your body of the pollutants and help you feel better.

-Your Gluten Free Sister.

 

Allergy friendly snack list

As a serial room mom and having kids with allergies, I am constantly trying to figure out the parameters of the approved snack list at school. After chatting with the school nurse I found that each school does their own thing. So, in an effort to assist all parents with ideas for providing snacks for school parties, I put together this list (which I will update as I find new options).

Some are more affordable than others and some can even be found at Costco or on amazon in bulk. I will note these options where I can to make it easier and more affordable when buying snacks for 20-30 kids.

The options I am listing are gluten, dairy, egg yolk and peanut free. They also happen to be dye free and missing high fructose corn syrup (since those are personal no-no’s for us). Please always double check packaging as manufacturers change ingredients, factories and processes on a regular basis.

Aldi’s has a liveGfree line that includes:
Snickerdoodle soft baked cookies
Double chocolate brownie soft baked cookies
Gluten free pretzel sticks
Chewy bars in: berry, cocoa and caramel apple
Vanilla and chocolate stuffed cookies (look like oreos)

Boxed Raisins
Boxed Craisins
Mini marshmallows
Enjoy life chocolate chips
(Dr.) Lucy’s cookies (all flavors except peanut butter)
Fruit by the Foot (Costco)
Ruby Rockets (non) yogurt blend
Boom chika pop (Costco)
Deep river chips
Cave Man bars (Costco)
Home free cookies (all varieties except peanut butter)
Kirkland organic applesauce (Costco)
Jack Links beef sticks (Costco)
Veggie Sticks
Lovey Candy Co Licorice (Costco)
Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars
Joe Joe’s gluten free chocolate/vanilla cremes (Trader Joe’s)
Joe Joe’s gluten free peppermint cremes (Trader Joe’s) ~ Seasonal
Yum earth organics flavored lollipops
Trader Joe’s Organic Pops Suckers

Fresh fruit
Fresh Vegetables
Tostitos tortilla chips & salsa
Corn chex
Cheerios (original, cinnamon, apple)

This is a list that is sure to grow. These are great lunch box items also.
Enjoy! And allergy on.

GF/DF/EF/RF Brookies

I often share cool recipes I come up with using Brooke’s Naturals Mixes. This is one of my absolute favorite mixes, since my allergies served as inspiration for her mixes. If you haven’t tried these mixes, check them out at brookescandyco.com and buy a case. They are amazing!

Once I found out my son had dairy and egg allergies, I had to change the stock recipe on the back of the package to include alternatives. I try something different each time and I think I have found a great texture in this one below.

1 package Brooke’s Naturals Chocolate Chip Cookies
5T Coconut oil (melted)
1T GF Vanilla (I use kirklands)
1/2 C Applesauce
2T Almond Milk

Mix completely and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
I use the pampered chef mini muffin pan because I don’t like my cookies to ooze to flat. This creates a nice caramelized type cookie-muffin hybrid that holds it’s shape.

Happy Baking!
The mixes are gluten and rice free, the alternatives make it dairy and egg free.