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I have learned some potentially tragic news this week….there may be something in coffee that irritates the stomach like gluten. Oh, no – my one vice is having 3 (sometimes 4, depending on the day!) cups of coffee each day. But, now, I have learned that my beloved coffee could be harmful to my intestinal tract.

coffeeHere’s a summary of  the research that I found about this possible link:

  • Coffee cross-reacts with gluten antibodies (in other words, gluten antibodies can hop on other non-gluten and really mess up your system; coffee is excellent and attracting gluten antibodies)
  • Only 10% of coffee is a protein that cross-reacts with gluten, but apparently it is enough to do damage
  • You can find out for sure if you are sensitive by going through expensive lab tests, ordered by your doctor
  • Coffee is apparently one of the most harmful foods to a gluten sensitive/intolerant individual
  • It’s not the caffeine that causes the problem, so decaf coffee will still cause a problem

See more specific information here –

Dr. Clark’s Brain Based Blog 

Body Ecology

The Healthy Home Economist

As an avid coffee drinker, this was some tough news to swallow (no pun intended!).  But, I thought it was something to be concerned about too. So, I’ve decided to try giving up coffee for 30 days to see if I notice any change. I know that when I gave up gluten the first time, I noticed a definite change when I reintroduced it for ten days to get tested. As of 8/28/12, I switched to black tea instead of my usual coffee. I will write a follow-up post towards the end of September to let you know how this little experiment goes. (Personally, I’m really hoping they are wrong as I really enjoy coffee! But, my health is most important to me – so I will make the sacrifice if I have to!)

Anyone else interested in joining me for this experiment?

NicholasWow! Where has the summer gone? It’s hard to believe that Nicholas will head off to school next week already. (The photo is of him clowning around at the TACA Picnic this summer; he has a bit of a mustache fetish.) It’s been a busy month around here, but I did manage to find 8 Recipes I Love for August. Here they are –

1. GFCF Almond Flour Biscuits from Ask Georgie.com – these work great as a side bread for dinner or even as a mini sandwich.

2. Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing from Food Lush – it was so great to find a tasty, dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s also gluten-free, so it would be a great option to serve with carrots.

3. Homemade Food Coloring from Melis Ann at HubPages – one of the toughest things about baking cakes or cupcakes is that if you want to avoid dyes and colors, you have to use either vanilla or chocolate frosting. But, check out these fruit-based colors!

4. Gluten-Free Ground Beef Hash from Elegantly Gluten Free – here’s an easy recipe that is definitely casein-free and very easy for a weeknight meal.

5. Paleo Chicken Salad  from Everyday Paleo – this is a yummy chicken salad recipe, just in time for your Labor Day picnic! Bonus: there’s also a tuna salad recipe just below it!

6. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts by Paleo OMG! – here’s a new twist on ice cream that is dairy-free and gluten-free but perfect for these last few weeks of summer heat.

7. Watermelon Gazpacho with Lime by Gluten-Free Goddess – here’s a great way to make use of all the cheap watermelon out there and enjoy a nice cool soup in the heat.

8. Gingerbread Protein Pancakes by Healthful Pursuit – a tasty variation on the old breakfast classic, pancakes. This is not only gluten and casein-free, but is also good for those who need to limit their sugar intake.

gfcf_corndogs

Just look at the smile on his face! Nick was absolutely thrilled that I found him some Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Corndogs from S’Better Farms.

When I told him I was writing a review, I asked what he wanted me to say about the corn dogs. He said, “Tell them that they are SOOOO Delicious!” Nick also said he’d give them 100 Thumbs Up!

Although I don’t want to feed him corn dogs every day, if I have to give him them sometimes – at least these are pretty healthy. The beef for the corndogs is actually from grass-fed cows and you can see the other ingredients at the link above.  Pair these with some organic ketchup and you’ve got a great treat for kids, or even husbands (my husband had a few bites and said they were excellent too!).

I purchased the corn dogs at Sprouts, but they are also available at Whole Foods and these other locations. I noticed that S’Better Farms has some other allergen-free products, like Party Wings, Chicken Ballontine, Chicken Fingers, and Chicken Siciliano. Based on the success of the corn dogs, we’ll definitely be trying more of S’Better Farms’ products!

gluten-free, casein-free scones

This week’s new recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Scones. I was asked to create a gluten-free scone recipe by the lovely ladies of Stockpiling Moms, so I decided to go to my 1964 version of the Joy of Cooking  cookbook  for inspiration! My mother has always referred to this cookbook as a “cooking bible”, so I thought it would be a good place to start. The result was a simple scone that is both gluten and casein free (in my version, not the original). Because it is essentially a plain scone, you can “dress it up” with whatever added ingredients you like, such as cinnamon or currants. Please post a comment below about your variations; I’d love to hear them!

gfcf_sweet_sour_grilled_chicken

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken. This recipe is a new twist on sweet and sour chicken. It’s an easy dinner for a weeknight because you can marinate it the night before and then only have to do about 30 minutes of dinner prep on the night that you eat it. Because it’s a mild, sweet dish, I believe most children will find it very appealing. Finally, it also can be made with ingredients that it’s easy to keep on hand, so it’s a great answer to the age-old question….”What should we eat tonight?”

This great recipe can be found in Celeste’s Best Allergen Free Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking; I will be reviewing this cookbook on the blog next week (stay tuned!).  My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. Nicholas gave the sauce a “100 Thumbs Up” rating!

I am trying something new this week – a video review of what came in the Savorfull box for August 2012! I hope you enjoy getting to “see” the products. I’ll discuss each item below in more depth, but I encourage you to check out the video first:

Lucy’s Cookies – I do love Lucy’s Cookies, so I was excited to find these 2 new flavors in the box.  The Ginger Snaps are very “snappy” as they have real ginger in them and even some cayenne pepper. My son didn’t like these as well as my husband and I did. The Maple Bliss cookies reminded me of maple nougat candies and my son really liked this flavor a lot.

Crunchmaster Crackers – I found both the Multi-Grain and the Multi-Seed crackers to be very tasty. Both had an excellent crunch and even though they were a more “plain” variety, I thought they had nice dimension due to the seeds/grains in them. These would be excellent paired with some soy cheese or even peanut butter!

The Gluten Free Bar – this bar reminded me of a Clif Kids bar or a Balance bar. A bit dense, I think you’d want to drink water with it, but really good flavor. The oatmeal raisin flavors were evident without being overwhelming. It had a nice crunch to it, too.

Put A Little Soy In Your Life cookbook – I mistakenly stated, in the video review, that this book was from the staff of Savorfull. It is actually put out by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (Savorfull is located in Detroit, MI). It is definitely a great resource about soy, and has a lot of recipes in it. You can even learn how to store soy products most effectively. Although as a rule, I try not to give my son too much soy, I will read this book more thoroughly and consider making some of the recipes.

Overall, I was pleased with the box. I think I would have preferred more food items than the soy cookbook. However, for $15 (including shipping), the Savorfull box was a good value. Considering the high cost of allergen-free products and the convenience of having it delivered to your home, I think this is a unique and fun way to try out new products.

(Note: I was provided with a free box of products from Savorfull in exchange for this review. However, Savorfull did not require me to write a positive review. The review is all my own opinion, but I do appreciate the opportunity to review their service.)

GFCF_scalloped_potatoes

My grandma Carmen (age 93) won’t give me her scalloped potatoes recipe because it’s apparently a family secret. I actually asked her to will it to me, because it’s really quite fantastic! But, in the meantime, I’m left to figuring out how to make my own tasty version of scalloped potatoes…and these days, it also has to be gluten-free, casein-free. Not an easy chore, believe me.

This week the recipe I have at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Scalloped Potatoes. It’s a recipe I adapted from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living; the original recipe was only dairy-free. The amazing thing about these potatoes is that there is absolutely no milk, real or substituted, in them! And, yet, they are creamy and delicious just like scalloped potatoes ought to be. After I tried them, I told my husband, “I know what we’re bringing to the next potluck!” Hope you enjoy them too.

gfcf online shoppingIf your schedule is hectic, you live in a more rural area, or you just want to save some money, you may want to consider shopping online for GFCF foods.  In order to accomplish GFCF shopping online, all you need is a computer, Internet capabilities and a credit or debit card. Do remember that you should still check ingredient lists for anything you purchase to be sure that something labelled “Dairy-Free” actually doesn’t contain casein or that there isn’t other allergens in products that you don’t wish to consume, like corn.

Here are 6 websites to help you get going –

1.  Amazon – their selection of specialty foods is growing all the time. If you purchase things under their Subscribe & Save program you can even have scheduled deliveries and free shipping every time! (This is a great plan for purchasing things like flours that you know you will use and can freeze until you do.)

2. Gluten-Free Mall for Gluten-Free Foods – this site is linked to celiac.com and has everything from cookbooks to food to vitamins. Join their mailing list and you’ll get regular coupons and discounts sent to your inbox!

3. Savorfull – this is one of a few companies that will send you a box of allergen-free goodies each month for a flat rate. (I will be reviewing this company very soon here on the blog!)

4. Penzey’s Spices – an amazing variety of spices available in many formats from gift boxes to individual containers. I think I could spend a LOT of money with them! (It’s tough to choose only a few things because everything sounds so good.)

5. Gluten-Free Saver – this is similar to Groupon, but for gluten-free foods. I’ve seen some casein-free products offered too, but be sure to read ingredients.

6. Katz Gluten Free – this site has mostly bakery items that are gluten-free. They allow you to search by specific allergy which is great. And, you can even order sample boxes for only the price of shipping!

Got any others you’d like to add? Please mention them in the comments below so others can enjoy them too. Thanks!


glutenfree_caseinfree_cheesecake

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Cheesecake! I was asked to create this recipe by the lovely ladies of Stockpiling Moms and my husband was very happy to offer to be the taster. Personally, the mere thought of cheesecake used to make my stomach clench thanks to my dairy intolerance. But, I embraced this challenge and we were all thrilled with the result. My son wasn’t sure if he would like cheesecake, but he enjoyed it thoroughly too.

gluten-free-sausage-peppers-pasta

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free Sausage & Peppers Pasta.  I’ve grown a little bored with simply having sausage with my marinara and penne, so I found this great recipe in Better Homes & Gardens: New Cookbook 14th Edition that I adapted easily to be gluten-free! (As a side note, the sausage I used is a yummy, gluten-and-nitrate-free chicken and apple sausage by Aidells that I purchased at Costco for a great price!) It’s nice to have a quick pasta dish that you can make on a weekday night and not heat up your kitchen too much in summer. My husband gave it 12 Thumbs Up!

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