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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

 

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.

Review: Skout Organic Trailbars

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We don’t do enough food reviews, and we should! We get to try tasty and usually local products, and these days, there are so many choices that finding something gluten-free that you really love is somewhat daunting.  Anyhow, we were sent a package of Skout Organic Trailbars, and they were actually tasty enough to warrant a review.

To start with, we find many of the energy bars available to be dry and crumbly, and thankfully the Skout bars were moist and chewy, with bright fruit flavors shining through. In addition, the bars are organic, nutritious and non-GMO, which makes you feel completely guilt-free eating them. Not that someone would have an ounce of guilt eating anything out on a trail, but let’s say you’re sitting in traffic – now you needn’t feel bad about devouring a whole bar, they’re packed with ingredients like organic dates, almonds, GF oats and whole fruit.

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The bars come in five flavors, including chocolate + peanut butter, apple + cinnamon, cherry vanilla, blueberry almond and chocolate + coconut. Our favorite so far is the apple + cinnamon, which is sweet and tart, and makes us eager to head deep into the wilderness.

Skout bars are proudly made in Portland, Oregon, and are the creation of Jason, Tony and Denny Pastega. From their press kit:

The idea for the company emerged when Jason was unable to find tasty and truly healthy energy bars to take along on his outdoor activities. As he examined various types of energy and nutrition bars, he began to notice that many of them contained high-fructose corn syrup or excess sugar and featured long lists of artificial ingredients. He wanted an energy bar that was nutritious, organic and all natural. So in 2008, Jason put his favorite organic ingredients into a kitchen mixer and spread his first bars with a rolling pin. Six months later, Skout Organic Trailbars were born.

Scout, Jason’s beloved yellow Labrador, was the inspiration for the company name. He adopted Scout when she was six years old, and the pair spent seven years exploring Oregon’s beaches, trails and rivers together before she passed away in 2011.

We definitely recommend trying Skout bars when you’re heading on a hike and need some tasty and energy packed food to get you there.

New Ciders from Square Mile

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Some tasty-looking new ciders from Square Mile Cider Co, out of the Portland area. The Spur and Vine variety adds fresh hops to the mix, so your cider can feel at home next to the hoppy beers of your friends. Have you tried Square Mile Cider? Let us know if you have!

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Tasty Fall Quickbread Recipe

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© Jaymi Heimbuch

Treehugger has a nice looking recipe for gluten-free pumpkin quick bread, take a look!

There’s nothing like a quick bread straight from the oven to ring in autumn. As the weather cools and harvest slips from summer fruits to fall vegetables, it’s time to pull out the pie spices and start making some favorite comfort recipes.

One of the things I love most about quick breads is how easy it is to make them vegan. Vegan versions have all the moist fluffiness and sweet flavor of old-fashioned recipes, with a fraction of the fat and refined sugars. They are also really easy to make gluten-free without sacrificing flavor or texture.

This pumpkin bread is super moist and sweet with just a bit of spice. It tastes pretty much like pumpkin pie in bread form. This recipe would be great to make in muffin tins as well, with a little spiced vegan whipped cream on top!


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Ingredients:

  • 1 c multi-flour gluten-free blend (I like Multi-Blend Flour from Authentic Foods)
  • 3/4 c brown rice flour
  • 1 c loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/4 c pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 c plus 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (or apple sauce for low-fat version)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, agave or similar natural sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 c chopped walnuts, almonds and pecans

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Next, in a small bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, syrup, and water.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, combining until everything is just moistened and forms a thick batter.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Fold in chopped nuts.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the center rack of the oven.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and let cool for 10-15 minutes.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Using a butter knife or flat spatula, gently loosen the bread from the sides of the pan, and tip it out. Set the loaf on the wire rack to finish cooling.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Enjoy!


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Thanks to Treehugger and Jaymi Heimbuch for the recipe!

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.