Category Archives: News

GlutenFreePDX is Back, and Better Than Ever!

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Let’s just say that hibernation can take it’s toll. For the past several months, GlutenFreePDX was on hiatus, or a kind of deep sleep. Things got a little outta whack. Well, regardless of reasons, GlutenFreePDX is back, and better than ever. We’ve completely overhauled the site, cleaned up the cobwebs, and done a lot of updating and fact-checking to get our listings back in good working order. While we still have a lot of work to do, we are pleased to say we are back in business.

GlutenFreePDX

Since 2008, GlutenFreePDX has been a dining guide, a place for people to find quick, at-a-glance listings for places to eat and drink gluten free. While that remains our core focus, the world has woken up to the reality of a gluten-free lifestyle, and so we are expanding to cover all aspects, not just food.

 

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to the year ahead!

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.

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.

Omission Launching an IPA!

Omission beer is out of Portland, and we’re proud of that. Its regularly called the best gluten-free beer in the nation, if not the world. We drink it often, and even many of our gluten-drinking friends have a six pack of it in their fridges. So it’s with excitement that Omission announces their third style, an IPA. Whoo!

OmissionLogo

Their official press release:

Omission Brewing introduces GLuten-Free IPA in Oregon

India Pale Ale marks brewery’s 3rd gluten-free craft beer brewed with malted barley

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 26, 2013 – Omission Brewing Company today announced it is adding Omission India Pale Ale (Omission IPA) to its gluten-free beer lineup in Oregon. Omission Brewing is the first craft beer brand in the United States focused exclusively on brewing great-tasting craft beers with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley, specially crafted to be gluten-free. Omission IPA hits shelves in Oregon on April 1.

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“Omission IPA is the first authentic gluten-free IPA brewed with malted barley to hit the market,” said Joe Casey, Widmer Brothers Brewmaster. “This IPA is brewed in the traditional Northwest IPA style, yet is specially crafted to be gluten-free. The beer uses a generous amount of Summit and Cascade hops giving it a beautiful citrus flavor and aroma.”

“At Omission, we’re constantly innovating, and exploring new opportunities to share our love of craft beer with anyone of legal drinking age, including those with gluten sensitivities,” said Terry Michaelson, CEO, Craft Brew Alliance, and longtime celiac. “Part of that is experimenting with different beer styles that meet our rigorous gluten-free standards while staying true to our commitment to high-quality craft brewing. Omission IPA hits the mark, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of our customers in Oregon this spring.”

Omission beers are brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Ore., using an innovative brewing program to ensure that gluten levels in every batch measure well below the widely accepted CODEX gluten-free standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) for food and beverages. Every batch of Omission beer is tested by the brewery and by an independent lab, and all test results are available to consumers at http://www.omissiontests.com. Fan stories of when they first discovered Omission beers, or what they like to call their “O” Moments, are available at http://www.omissionbeer.com/o-moments.

Gluten-free Omission IPA:

Omission IPA is a bright, hop forward Northwest Style IPA produced in the spirit of the original IPAs shipped from the UK to India in the late 1800s. The heavy-handed use of Cascade and Summit hops give it notable pine, citrus, and grapefruit aromas and flavors. The bitterness is what you would expect of a NW IPA but this beer is balanced and smooth due to the perfect level of malt sweetness. The finish is crisp, clean, and refreshing – it’s a true IPA lover’s IPA.

About Omission IPA

Ingredients

  • Malts: Pale, Carmel 10°L
  • Hops: Cascade, Summit

Profile

  • IBU: 65
  • ABV: 6.7%

Omission IPA has a suggested retail price of $9.99 per six-pack and will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles at the Widmer Brothers Gasthaus Pub in Portland, Ore., and at retailers, restaurants and bars throughout the state.

GlutenFreePDX on The Gluten Minded

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A friend of ours up in Seattle just started a new website called The Gluten Minded, and wanted to feature GlutenFreePDX’s own founder on their opening week. Ben was happy to oblige, and it’s great to have a new resource that features cooks, entrepreneurs, and others in the Gluten-Free community.  Thanks to Becky for reaching out! Below is a portion of the interview.

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Name: Benjamin VanderVeen

Location: Portland, Oregon

Tell me a bit about yourself and your special involvement in the gluten-free community.

I’m a freelance documentary filmmaker and designer. I’m lucky to work with clients in all walks of life. I have a website, benvanderveen.com, and I run a design blog called Moss and Fog.

I also started GlutenFreePDX as soon as I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I wanted a place where I could list restaurants that cater to my diet. The site has grown and evolved in the past five years. I have lots of daily readers and an active social media community. It’s made me stay on top of stories and news related to the gluten-free lifestyle.

Why are you gluten minded?

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008 and have followed a strict gluten-free diet ever since. I have a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis. It manifests as terribly itchy rashes and seriously affected the quality of my life. Because I had symptoms that weren’t stomach-related, I didn’t immediately make the connection that food was the cause. I had a skin biopsy that showed my only course of treatment was a strict gluten-free diet.

What was life like before you stopped eating gluten?

I wasn’t a very mindful eater before becoming gluten-free. I was also in my mid-twenties and still had a metabolism that let me eat just about anything. I liked food a lot, but wasn’t all that into quality.

How did life change after you stopped eating gluten?

Certainly the diet is a major change and I had a period of several months where it was difficult to adjust mentally. I experienced frustration, some denial and anxiety. I still feel frustrated at times, but I’ve learned to deal with my strict diet pretty well. Beyond these challenges, my health has improved dramatically and I’ve begun taking better care of my overall diet and lifestyle.

I also think my sense of empathy has grown since becoming gluten-free. In the past, I didn’t give much credence to strict diets was impatient concerning food allergies. Being on the other side of the issue gives me a sense of vulnerability that has made me more empathetic towards people with food restrictions. I’ve gotten into cooking a bit more, but also GlutenFreePDX requires that I keep up with the Portland food scene, which is fun and motivating.

What is the most challenging part of the gluten-free lifestyle?

I hate to cause a scene with my diet. I don’t like inquiring about what’s in a dish at a restaurant and I don’t like people making extra effort for me. But I’ve had to become vocal, inquisitive and careful. I think standing up for yourself while not being self-righteous is key. Also, I’ve had to stop eating some of my favorite foods, which is tough.

Which foods do you miss the most?

I miss some boxed cereals and really good pies. My mom is a tremendous baker and it’s a major bummer that I can’t partake. And of course, I miss the occasional beer. Beer is pervasive worldwide and it’s a pain in the butt that I can’t saddle up to a bar in Belgium or Argentina or Botswana and just have a beer.

What is the best thing about being gluten-free?

I think the community of gluten-free people is pretty inspiring: lots of people coming together to make their diets interesting and tasty. Plus, you become aware of all the glutenous junk that you used to eat and it feels good to avoid it.

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