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

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!

Is a Gluten-Free Diet Okay for Non-Celiac Sufferers?

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Is a Gluten-Free Diet Okay for Non-Celiac Sufferers?

In North America, the gluten-free industry is now worth billions a year. Gluten-free cereals are being introduced by companies such as Kellog’s and General Mills; and Wheat Belly has been included in the list of bestsellers. Gluten-free diets are now becoming fads among many people. But what makes it so popular?

Going gluten-free is a way to wellness for those who suffer from a celiac disease. Celiac disease is a reaction of the immune system to the gluten that can damage the small intestine and prevent food absorption. The common symptoms of celiac include intense abdominal pain, fatigue, joint tissues, and vitamin deficiencies because of the inability of the intestinal wall to efficiently absorb nutrients due to damage. After practicing a gluten-free diet, the symptoms will diminish quickly most of the time, although it can take around six months to two years for the intestinal wall’s lining to completely heal. Constantly checking out aviva’s Home of Health or WebMD can give you enough information about the latest health news today. These websites also have health guides such as tools and calculators to find out more about your well being. Alexandra Anca, a Toronto-based dietitian, said that celiac disease is a relatively recent phenomenon. For the last five years, people haven’t heard of gluten-free diet or celiac disease. The media and celebrities, such as Adrienne Palicki and Jennifer Esposito, brought the disease into the limelight. The condition even attracted more attention from the public when improved diagnostic procedures were discovered.

For those who want to lose weight, gluten-free diet is also recommended even if you don’t suffer from celiac disease. There are many products and restaurants who are displaying their gluten-free status through their labels. Gluten is the protein that is found in wheat, triticale, rye, and barley. If you are going to practice gluten-free diet, you are going to exclude these ingredients, along with anything that could have come in contact with them.

Cutting gluten in your diet alone will not generally help you in shedding a few pounds. Most people see weight loss when they cut out gluten because they also change other parts of their diet. According to Nancy Patin Falini, “often times what we’re seeing is when they change their diet they may be cutting out a lot of the processed foods that are naturally high in calories and fat.” The tendency to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods like seeds, beans, and nuts.

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.