Category Archives: Culture

Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest Coming to Portland

Portland Flyer 2014

We’re lucky to have a great selection of Gluten Free foods these days, and meeting up with fellow GF eaters to find new recipes and products is a great way to make the most of your specialty diet.

Coming to Portland September 6-7, the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest will feature tons of great food on display, vendors, baking demos and much more.

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Sponsored by Living Without magazine, the event should be a lot of fun. Click here to get more information.

WHEN

Holiday Inn Portland Airport Hotel

September 6-7, 2014
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm

WHERE

Holiday Inn Portland Airport Hotel

8439 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland, OR 97220

 

Fresh Air Does Gluten Free

FreshAir

For those of us that listen to Fresh Air on NPR, it was a joy to hear Terri Gross interview food experts about gluten-free cooking and baking.

Terri interviewed Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison of America’s Test Kitchen. They spent the last few years testing recipes and brands to find the best. It’s a great, informative show.
Click here to listen to the full story. 

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On common problems with gluten-free foods

Collin Davison: Gluten is kind of magical, and so when you take it out of the equation, you’re left with flours that can’t absorb liquid as well, they can’t absorb fat as well and they can’t trap those air bubbles that are really crucial for baked goods. So you wind up with things that are … very dense and squat; they’re often greasy and they crumble apart. They don’t have the binding structure of gluten.

On the best store-bought gluten-free flour

Collin Davison: The one that we found worked best universally — and that means in cookies, in bread dough, in biscuits, in muffins — was King Arthur Flour gluten-free blend. And it is very much like, actually, our recipe for gluten-free flour blend in that it uses two types of rice flours — white and brown — and it also uses two types of starches, which is potato and tapioca. And those four ingredients, we found, were really the magic key to finding a blend that worked almost as good as a wheat flour.

Here is one of the recipes from the book, for classic chocolate chip cookies.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 8 ounces (13/4 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 ounces (11/4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk flour blend, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in large bowl until well combined and smooth. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula and mix until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 soupspoons and working with about 11/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

3. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cookies are best eaten on day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

Did JFK Have Celiac?

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Via Irish Central, an article that talks about what we’ve suspected for years. That President John F. Kennedy most likely had undiagnosed Celiac disease.

Green wrote, “John F. Kennedy’s long-standing medical problems started in childhood. In Kennedy’s adolescence, gastrointestinal symptoms, weight and growth problems as well as fatigue were described. Later in life, he suffered from abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, osteoporosis, migraine and Addison’s disease. Chronic back problems, due to osteoporosis, resulted in several operations and required medications for chronic pain.

Green says that by the standards of the time Kennedy was extensively assessed. ”He was extensively evaluated in major medical centers including the Mayo Clinic and hospitals in Boston, New Haven and New York. Among the multiple diagnoses were ulcers, colitis, spastic colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and food allergies. His medications included corticosteroids, antispasmotics, Metamucil and Lomotil.

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While there are many medical records on JFK’s many health ailments, he was never put on a strict food elimination diet, something that might have shown that he suffered from a food-related illness.

It’s very interesting to consider the President of the United States having an undiagnosed health condition, considering he received the best medical care in the world at the time. But it shows the relative ignorance toward Celiac disease at the time.

Omission’s Roots

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It’s no surprise that we’re fond of Omission beer, Portland’s own gluten-free beer.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video that shows a bit about the making of the beer, the story behind it, and the process. This video was made before the addition of their awesome IPA. I love the fact that the Widmer CEO has Celiac.

What’s Your Favorite Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipe?

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With Thanksgiving fast upon us, we’re sure many of you are readying your menus, and every year we see people being super creative in their gluten-free cooking. This year, we’d love to hear what you’re cooking for your family! Whether it’s an old family recipe that you’ve tweaked to make GF, or a brand new invention, we look forward to hearing what you have in store.

We’d love to feature some of the best recipes on our blog, so send over your ideas this week!

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Thanksgiving!

-GlutenFreePDX

FDA FINALLY Rules on Gluten Free Labeling

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Call it bureaucracy in action, but a mere nine years after they were told to rule, the FDA finally laid down some rules on gluten-free labeling.  Officially, 20 parts per million and under of gluten will be allowed to be labeled as “gluten-free”. Up until now, it has been entirely voluntary and left to marketers to spin as they see fit.

Via National Geographic:

The regulation comes almost a decade after the FDA began requiring food packaging to list wheat and other major allergens under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.

“Many people think that developing a labeling rule is an easy thing to do, but a lot goes into it,” says Felicia Billingslea, the FDA’s director of food labeling and standards. Years were devoted to researching a safe threshold for consumers with celiac disease. “We have a standard definition now, and it’s consistent internationally with Canada and the E.U.”

The rules also ensure that companies can’t label products “gluten-free” if they could be cross-contaminated by other foods processed at the same facility. Manufacturers have until August 5, 2014, to comply.

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Some terms on food packaging may still confuse consumers—”organic” versus “all-natural,” “cage-free” versus “free-range.” But the “gluten-free” label now stands to ease the minds of millions suffering from serious food allergies.

“My son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, and now I can feed him and not worry about it. It’s something every mother would hope for,” says Geller.

Top Cities for Gluten Free Diets

A cool graphic produced by Huffington Post and GrubHub has a listing of cities that cater best to gluten-free diets. While in no way an authority on the issue, it’s a neat breakdown.
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We were a little surprised to see Detroit at the top of the list for cities, but perhaps it speaks to use of GrubHub, the source used in the study. Of course, good ‘ol Portland is near the top of the list for cities ordering gluten-free options, and we’re proud of it! And with more and more people joining the gluten-free ranks everyday, we’re sure to see options continue to grow.