Tag Archives: acceptance of gluten free

Found – A New Gluten Free Product

gluten free kitchen

Gluten Free Kitchen is a new Australian made product  and is the “first and only brand in Australian to specifically fortify all of their products with …vitamins and minerals to enable people to live a truly healthy gluten free lifestyle.”

Products available are Coconut Flour, Self Raising Flour, Plain Flour, Pasta, Pancake Mix, Chocolate Cake Mix,  Breakfast Smoothie and Diet Shake.

I am yet to try the product but I have seen them stocked at the Calanna Pharmacy on Ross River Road Aitkenvale.  Check the advertisement below to find our the other pharmacists which are stocking Gluten Free Kitchen.

Gluten Free Kitchen suppliers

Team Work : The Gluten Free Kitchen

A gluten free diet for a child or teenager of coeliac disease requires a team effort.

Strawberry Jam

Family members and friends become an important support network to minimise  gluten contamination.

Siblings accept some changes to their own diet and also have to learn protocols regarding cross-contamination.

Parents source gluten free products and step outside their comfort zone to bake gluten free bread and make gluten free look appetising.

Grandparents scan magazines for new gluten free recipes and also learn to cook ‘gluten free’ for those special occasions.

Friends take on responsibility to make sure gluten free is on the menu at social events and functions.

Last week had my gf son, KJ and myself bond over a team effort to make Strawberry Jam. At this point, I will point out that I have never made jam myself.  At KJ’s instigation,  I purchased the ingredients.

Mum: Have you had a look at a few recipes for how to make Strawberry Jam?

KJ: No, but it can’t be that hard. (I hope she doesn’t take over like she normally does)

Mum: Well I printed three recipes that I think you should read first as they all different regarding ratio of sugar to strawberries. Do you want to use lemon juice, chia seeds, vanilla seeds as there are many variations on a theme?

KJ: How many strawberries do we have?

Mum: Well I think you should sterilize the jars first and I like this recipe but you have to let the strawberries and sugar sit for 1 – 2 hours. And don’t wash the strawberries, I am sure I read somewhere that the excess water will make the strawberries too soft.

KJ: Any chance of you doing the jars and I’m not waiting 2 hours before I can cook the jam. (Weighing, cutting and sterilising jars all at the same time)

Mum: Have you decided which recipe to use?

KJ: Simple… I’ll use the recipe on the (jam setting) sugar packet. I don’t know why you make things so complicated.

Mum: (Neither do I, but I always thought research was a good way to start if you wanted to succeed)  Have you put two plates in the freezer yet?

KJ: Why?

Mum: Because it says here in MY recipe that you need cold plates to test if the jam is ready.

KJ: Yep, this is looking good and EASY. (I told her so)

……continued banter regarding colour, what a rolling boil is, how long to boil for, if the sample was set etc…

KJ: What other kinds of jam can we make? What goes in a marmalade? What about mango chutney? Grandad used to make mango chutney.

Mum: (I wish KJ was more careful when he poured the jam into the jars and cleaned up the spills) What great colour!  (Maybe this time I can entice KJ to have a photo taken for my blog) You do know that I am already drafting a blog in my mind while we have been doing this!

KJ: Do you think Grandad would like a jar of jam?

Team Work : Success Guaranteed 

Banana and coconut Bread

Gluten Free Banana and Coconut Bread

Good Without Gluten

Good Without Gluten (2)

I try not to buy gluten free recipe books, but this one caught my eye at Kmart.  I picked it up, looked at it, sighed and put it back on the shelf.  A couple of weeks later I saw it retailing for $30.00 at another bookstore.

So back I went to Kmart, the bargain was too good to refuse : $20.00.

Did I need it, probably not but the Brownie is heavenly.

The recipes are from the three chefs of No Glu a restaurant in Paris but saying that, all recipes are quite practical.

If you are looking for a Secret Santa present or stocking filler for a gluten free friend or relative, then have a look at Good Without Gluten.

Must also mention that many of the recipes cater for dairy intolerances with alternatives such as plant milk/rice milk/soy milk being given as well as a substitution for butter.

Complacency

 “COMPLACENCY: feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of, or unconcerned   with, unpleasant realities or harmful possibilities; self-satisfaction; smugness.” 

As all coeliac sufferers are well aware, there is little room for error with the gluten free diet.  It is as if you are on ‘high alert’ 24/7 : out eating, socialising, shopping, travelling and even at home. Sometimes however you find you have let your guard down because you think you have routines and procedures and products in place that support your gluten free life.

GF Food (1)

I have to own up and acknowledge that complacency has caught our house out on more than one occasion. So here are a few of my slip ups…

1. Home Made Pizzas… It is the end of a long and weary week and as my husband cut into my gf son’s pizza I glanced over my shoulder to find that he was using the pizza cutter that had just cut the wheat pizza.  When my husband makes pizzas he has his routine and procedures which ensure that the gluten free pizza is cut first.  I made the pizzas tonight and my husband helped out.  It was rescued as we then used a clean cutter to cut out the section of pizza that was contaminated.  Makes me wonder about the pizza chains who we occasionally buy gluten free pizzas from.  How rigid and fool proof are their gluten free handling procedures.

2. Not all are the same… I finished the jar of seeded mustard and bought a new jar.  I didn’t realise that I had changed brands and I suppose I just naively thought that if this brand of seeded mustard was gluten free then the other brand was gluten free as well.  Not so! While my son did not have the salad made with the gluten seeded mustard, it was a wake up call that you should not let your guard down and do the double check of a product by reading the label.

3. Cashous… It was a special birthday celebration and I was decorating the cake with cashous, those edible round silver balls of sugar.  I had found them in the back of the pantry and didn’t give them a second thought. My gf son innocently popped one in his mouth as he joked ” these are gluten free aren’t they?” The words WHEAT STARCH jumped out from the label.  How had this happened? How was it that I had this gluten containing product in my pantry? Hadn’t I taken all gluten products out of the pantry 12 months previous?  Obviously not!  The small container of cashous had tucked themselves into a corner and remained all but hidden.  The jury is still out as to whether or not the gluten attack like symptoms which my son suffered some 24 hours later related to this single cashous.

4. Caramel Sauce… I had read about a new product “Bonne Maman’s Caramel Sauce” and searched for over three months before it appeared on the supermarket shelves.  I was so excited to find this product, that I just plain forgot to read the label.  I forgot to stop and put my gluten free shopping hat on and read the label.  After liberally using it for a dessert I had to wipe down the caramel dribbles on the outside of the jar.  And there was that word “Wheat”.  I had forgotten the most basic rule, READ ALL LABELS when shopping gluten free. Luckily, the word wheat was preceded by glucose and on this occasion, no harm was done.

5. Same Product, Different Size, Different Production Line… Snack World ‘Twisteroos’ in cheese and chicken,  in 170g packets are GLUTEN FREE. However, the 90 g Twisteroos ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE, nor are the Snack Packs.  While the allergy advice clearly states this, one can be drawn into believing that if the 170g packs are GF then the other sizes are too.  A reality check that one has to be diligent at all times.

6. Same Cafe, Different Staff, Different Practices…We frequent a cafe, one in which we felt very comfortable because we had asked the questions and were happy with their food preparation and cooking procedures for gluten free meals. Fast forward 18 months and I am now aware that the new staff are no longer aware of these gluten free practices and now use the gluten free toaster for wheat bread during their busy times. And the hollandaise sauce is no longer made ‘in house’ but bought in and contains wheat.  AHHHHHH!!!!! It really is easier to eat at home.

So I can relate to this definition from thefreedictionary.com

 “COMPLACENCY: feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of, or unconcerned   with, unpleasant realities or harmful possibilities; self-satisfaction; smugness.”

I certainly don’t feel so smug anymore in thinking that I have mastered gluten free 100%

Accepting Change

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

Andy Warhol, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol”

A series of firsts  for my son in the last week has reinforced for me the changes my son has made as part of his acceptance of coeliac disease and a gluten free diet.

While he has had to make compulsory dietary changes, I am now seeing more subtle changes in his attitude to and ownership of his gluten free life.

So a week in the life of a teenage coeliac….

change shift

 

1. Eating Out

A group of friends were off to watch their mates play a game of rugby and then they were going to catch a bite to eat. His friends decided on  McDonalds.  Rather than eating another Quarter Pounder without a bun, my son took the lead and  volunteered an alternative : Zambrero’s – a Mexican style Subway with the majority of menu items being  gluten free. The meal was enjoyed by all.

2. New Food

I have purchased numerous varieties of gluten free snack/museli bars and in the main KJ has eaten one out of the pack  but asked for me not to buy them again.  On Monday, he came home from school with a snack bar wrapper for Food for Health,  Fruit Free Bars and asked “why haven’t you bought these for me before, they are really nice”.  A friend (non coeliac) had one in his lunch box and gave it to KJ to try. I have since found them in Woolworths in the gluten free section of the supermarket.

3. Revisiting  Rejected Gluten Free Foods

I made a loaf of fruit bread 12 months ago and KJ showed no real interest in it.   I have just been given free a packet of the same fruit bread mix and so decided to use it with the intention of my husband and I eating it.  Seeing the baked loaf, KJ asked “is it gluten free and can I have some”.  Twelve months does make a difference and this time around the fruit bread has been given his tick of approval.   It is a  Springhill Farm product well worth trying.

4. Left-Over Pasta Bake

In the list of gluten free lunch box suggestions given to us by the dietician, is left overs.  Many a time I have suggested left overs for the lunch box, but this idea was never well received. So I had  given up asking.  Sunday’s dinner of a Carbonara Pasta Bake was a winner and KJ asked that if there were left-overs, could he have them for lunch. In the quiet drive home from school, he told me that the pasta bake was delicious.

5. Visiting my Blog

My sons have shown mild interest in this blog but a few quiet words on a walk past me and KJ let me know that he had visited the blog and he implied that I was doing a good job.  However, I won’t hold out that he will ever agree to doing a guest blog for me.

So I sit and ponder ‘how times change’  and how time does make a difference BUT  more importantly how KJ has orchestrated change for himself.  I am so proud of him.

change socrates

 

Gluten Free Christmas Stocking Fillers

You have those last few things to buy for Christmas gifts and suddenly you realise you need to find something ‘gluten free’ and quickly.

Don’t panic as there are a number of gluten free stocking fillers that are readily available.

I posted a couple of weeks ago a list of gift ideas and published  the more comprehensive list as a page but I thought I would post it as well.

While I am writing specifically for what is available in Townsville and generally Australia, the range of gluten free Christmas stocking fillers can be quite versatile.

So give yourself a bit of extra time when at the shops or think outside the square or do a quick internet search and you WILL find  gluten free Christmas shopping  easier.

NB Specifically for children, Big W has a range of merchandised gluten free products for children eg One Direction, Smurfs, Angry Birds, Barbie…see below

Jelly Belly Leda Nougat Limar Outback Spirit sweet_william_santa_pack Toblerone turron turron 2

1.  By Product

Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls

Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls are already on the shelves and can be  found in the bakery section in  Woolworths and in the gluten free section in Coles.

Nougat Limar  Available in Townsville at Sprout, Angelina’s Deli, Sunvale Meats, IGA Garbutt

Noosa Natural Chocolate Company  Available in Townsville at Angelina’s Deli

Toblerone

Another perfect stocking filler…. and from  their website…..

Does Toblerone contain Gluten?
No. All Toblerone flavours do not contain any gluten ingredients.

Spanish Turron

If you have access to a Spanish or Continental Deli, then look for  Turron.  A traditional Christmas food, you can try Jijona (soft and smooth) or Alicante (hard and crunchy).  I have been able to purchase them from El Mercado in Sydney  and Casa Iberica in Melbourne . They are happy to package them up and mail them to me.

Fudge n Stuff : Gluten Free Fudge, Flinders Street Townsville. Artisan Fudge is becoming popular so I am sure you can find a fudge shop near you.

The Gourmet Nut Co. : variety of flavoured nuts found in Snack Aisle of supermarkets

Outback Spirit Gourmet Packs: Fruit Toppers, Hot Sauces, BBQ Marinades, Chutneys.

Beerenberg Sauces, Chutneys, Jams, Dressings and Marinades :make up a gift basket with this products, available at supermarkets and all good delis.

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

You can get these jelly beans in Christmas colours in a tube and Hello Kitty tins.  Myer has a huge range of Jelly Belly products.  Please find below their response regarding gluten free.

Question : Are all Jelly Belly products gluten free?

Answer: We do not use gluten in any of our current flavours of Jelly Belly jelly beans; however, we do use corn starch in all of our jelly beans.
Our Jelly Belly jelly beans and Jelly Belly Confections Pectin, Mellocreme and Gelatin candies are gluten-free and considered safe for the celiac-sprue patient to consume.
In addition, you requested information regarding two specific areas:   “The source of our ‘modified food starch’ and which ‘natural flavours and artificial flavourings’ are used in our products.”
In regard to the source of our “modified food starch,” we use corn.  Our “natural flavours” are identified on all packaging, and include fruit juice concentrates, fruit purees, coffee, peanut butter, chocolate, coconut and cocoa powder.  We also use oil of peppermint, lemon, lime and tangerine oils to flavour Jelly Belly beans featuring those particular flavours.
These products contain gluten and must be avoided:
All of our Jelly Belly Confections Chocolate Malt Balls, Licorice Pastels, Licorice Bridge Mix, Dimples, Christmas Dimples, Deluxe Christmas Mix, and Speckled Chocolate Malted Eggs.

2. By Store

Woolworths Supermarket

Toblerone

Macro Free From Gluten 2 Christmas Puddings

Homebrand Chocolate Coated Sultanas, Peanuts and Almonds

(While the packing is basic, why not repackage them in a Christmas themed box or bottle.)

Coles Supermarket

You can find these in the Christmas section of Coles:

Coles Candy Canes

Sweet William Santas

Festive Fudge

Darryl Lea Milk Chocolate Rocky Road Fruit and Nut

Taveners Wine Gums

Toblerone

Jon Jon Christmas Pudding

Simply Gluten Free Mince Pies

Simple Gluten Free Christmas Puddings

Crazy Clark’s (they are an overflow type store)

Kiwiland Peanut Clusters

Kiwiland Hokey Pokey Clusters

Kiwiland Cho Hokey Pokey

Kiwiland Choc Honeycomb

(The packaging isn’t festive so repackage into a Christmas themed tin or bottle.)

Target

Walkers Chocolate Turkish Delight, Chocolate Dinner Mint

Goldbar Milk Classic

Outback Spirit Gourmet Packs: Fruit Toppers, Hot Sauces, BBQ Marinades, Chutneys.

Big W

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Walkers Chocolate Turkish Delight, Chocolate Dinner Mint, Milk Chocolate Seashells

Ballantyne Chocolate coated Almonds, Fruit and Nut, Sultanas, Peanuts

Christmas Time Milk Santas, Milk Chocolate Coins

Lunch Box Tin Party Mix: Planes, Skylander

Christmas Stockings and Party Mix: One Direction, Barbie, Skylander, Smurfs, Angry Bird

Sweet William Chocolate : Sweet as Original, Sweet as White Strawberry

Kinnerton Luxury Dark Chocolate

KMart

You can find the following in the Christmas section of KMart:

Thorton’s Fudge Toffee

Hacizade Nougat

Hacizade Turkish Delight

KMart Chocolate Truffles in a tin

Belgian Truffles

Myer

Jelly Belly products in all manner of containers  and sizes including Hello Kitty.

Toffees

Caramels/Fudge

Reflection: This time last year, when we were overwhelmed with the gluten free lifestyle change, I did not have time to browse shops and products for gluten free Christmas gift ideas.  We were too busy getting acquainted with gluten free breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We had no time to shop or think about gifts and luxuries, only time to think about the everyday basics. My son was therefore lucky to get a Jelly Belly Santa Tube and a Toblerone in his Santa sack.

I am so pleased I have had time this year to revisit Christmas and gluten free. Instead of being overwhelmed, I am quite pleased and excited to see so many gluten free possibilities for young and old. And while my son will probably still only get a Jelly Bean Santa Tube and a Toblerone in his Santa sack, at least I know there is a choice.

In the capital cities, there are no doubt gourmet chocolate specialty shops, Italian delis and gourmand boutiques with many more gluten free Christmas stocking fillers.

 Bon Nadal    Joyeux Noël    Buon Natale    Merry Christmas

peace-on-earth