Saturday, January 27, 2007

Gluten Free Made Easier

Welcome to the second edition of the Always Gluten Free Newsletter with recipes, news, product reviews and more!

Gluten Free Gourmet Holidays CookbookWe're a couple of gals who love to cook and share our recipes with others. We are the authors of "Gluten Free Gourmet Holidays," a cookbook in ebook format with delicious recipes you'll use year round. Check it out on our website at

Featured Product

Van's Gluten Free Waffles

In 16th century Belgium, the Van Dam family started hand baking their secret recipe in special irons over open flames. As they sold the gaufres (French for waffles) at country fairs, the light crispy waffles became a tradition throughout the region, the Van Dam bakeries began to flourish in Brussels during the 19th and 20th centuries. Then in 1964, the Belgian Waffle was introduced to America at the New York World's Fair, where the famous waffle was served with whipped cream and strawberries.

Van’s has been making wheat free waffles since 1933. Their delicious waffles are available in Original, Blueberry, Apple Cinnamon, Flax and Mini – a great breakfast treat for kids who suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergy. Visit their website at
for more details and nutrition information.

Van's Waffles Make Quick Meals!

If you've never had a brunch of tuna and waffles, you're missing a real treat!

I grew up eating tuna on waffles for Sunday morning brunch, and Van's GF waffles make some of the best I've eaten. Just mix your favorite add-ins to your tuna and pile it on. If your not a fish person, try your favorite chicken or ham salad on them. They're great for lunch or a light supper, too.

How to make waffle cups.

Turn a muffin pan upside down, lightly spray the bottom with GF cooking oil spray. Microwave each waffle, wrapped in a paper towel, about 20 to 30 seconds, or until just hot and limp, don't over cook. Drape waffles over the bottom of the muffin cups, pressing the sides in to form the bowl. Don't pull down as they tear easily, gravity will help form them. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and remove from pan. Use your imagination to create your own special dishes.

Dairy Queen gluten free informationMeet You at Dairy Queen!

When I was a little girl, Dairy Queen was THE place to go for ice cream. We traveled across the country with my father's job and I could spot that dipped top cone sign a mile away (guess that dates me)! If we ever passed one without stopping, it must have been when I was asleep. I've never outgrown my love of DQ treats. When I found out I had to be Always Gluten Free, I frantically went on line to do my research.

To my great relief, and surprise, I found Dairy Queen has an entire web page devoted to their gluten free products! WOW! I almost felt like a little kid again! Not only can I have my favorite hot fudge sundae, but there are lots of treats that are gluten free, so there is something for everyone's tastes. They even list which Blizzard® ingredients are gluten free.

They do say on their web site, "Please know, many of our Blizzard® candies and toppings contain wheat, rye, oats, and/or barley and would not be safe for a customer with gluten intolerance. As the Blizzard® machine is used for all flavors, cross-contamination may occur on any flavor Blizzard®. So for your safety, we recommend notifying the Dairy Queen® staff of your allergy or intolerance and requesting they thoroughly clean the Blizzard® machine before blending your Blizzard® to reduce the risk of cross-contamination." Most of the time when I am visiting DQ, they are so busy I haven't had the heart to ask them to clean their machine just for me. I have, however, asked them to put the Blizzard® mix-ins on top of the ice cream and I just stir it in with a spoon. Not exactly the same, but still quite tasty! Sometime when they don't seem too busy, I will ask them to clean the machine just to see how that goes. I'll give you an update when that happens.

Also, from their web site, "When in doubt whether a product may contain a particular allergen, we recommend you purchase a pre-packaged manufactured novelty treat, which contains an ingredient listing and nutrition facts panel on the package." And, Dairy Queen® restaurants are very busy and cross contamination may occur between ingredients. Thus a 100% confidence level cannot be guaranteed. It is important that you ask your local Dairy Queen® restaurant for an ingredient listing of the specific item in question and let them know of your special needs."

Thank you Dairy Queen for your helpful page and your delicious treats! I do miss that dipped top cone sign though.

AGF Readers Want To Know!

Q. I'm having a terrible time getting xanthan gum to mix smoothly in liquid recipes, like salad dressings, without clumping up in little globs. What's the best way to keep this from happening?

A. (Pat) The best way I've found is to mix the xanthan gum with dry ingredients such as garlic powder or dried herbs before adding them to the mixture. That seems to work the best for me when I'm adding it to liquid.

A. (Jerre) Yeah, the first time I tried mixing xantan gum in liquid it was a real mess. Then in a moment of 'brilliance' I decided I should dissolve it in a little water...(GONG!) Wrong Answer!! That was even more fun to mix up. It was like some weird science experiment gone awry. If you are going to mix it in liquid, try putting your liquid, or some of it, in a blender and add the xanthan gum in while it's running. I have forgotten to add it to cakes and other batters until the last minute and had no problem sprinkling it in the batter and mixing it in with the mixer.

Do you have some 'humorous horror' stories from the kitchen that you would like to share with us? We would love to laugh with someone else besides ourselves for a change! Getting started with GF cooking is a lot of trial and error, sometimes LOTS of errors! I think that if you were a good cook and baker before you found out you had to live Always Gluten Free, it just makes it that much harder, so don't be too hard on yourself. I was a 'cook by touch & feel' kind of cook, and I ALWAYS made all of the bread my family ate..... dah..dah..dah..dum.

And then my whole life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. At least that's what I felt like at the time. So I pulled myself up by my apron strings and said, hey, you are a great cook, just do it the way you have always done it, but use GF ingredients. Well, I guess you know where that got me. But, I'll tell you more of those humorous horror stories later. As you have probably found out, things don't feel the same. So it was like going back to my childhood and starting all over. The only difference was I didn't have to stand on a chair. And I didn't have my grandma and mama there to teach me. This time I was on my own. I have found all the blogs and websites invaluable, but none covered EVERYTHING. We hope to have all the answers for you, or at least find them for you, so if there is something like the xanthan gum issue or anything else driving you crazy, let us know. Don't be afraid to ask, because there are probably a lot more out there having the same problem. And we've probably screwed it up a time or two ourselves!

Tell Us Your Stories
Please write to us and tell us your story. We will be featuring these stories here in upcoming issues of the Always Gluten Free Newsletter. We all have something in common, but everyone’s story is unique and your story just might help someone convince his or her doctor to do the test, or someone who is still struggling with the concept of having to live Always Gluten Free. If you have any hints you would like to share about cooking and living gluten free, we would love to share those also.
Email us with your story.
Hey! We'll send you a little bonus just for sharing your story with us!

Good to Know

Always read the food label before you purchase any product. Some foods that may appear acceptable, such as rice or corn cereals, may contain gluten, many of them contain malt flavoring made from barley. A manufacturer may change a product's ingredients at any time. A food that was once gluten-free may no longer be. That's why it is so important to read the label every time you shop.

GF News!

Just in from the American Celiac Disease Alliance:
Gluten-Free Labeling Proposal Announced by FDA The public will have until April 27, 2007 to comment on the proposed rule. For more information visit the American Celiac Disease Alliance at Send your comments to the FDA today!

As of 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires products containing wheat, milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish or eggs, to say so on the product's label. By August 2008, the FDA will issue a standard definition of "gluten-free."

*** Gluten-free knocks low-carb fad off the shelf - Read this interesting article by Parija Kavilanz on CNN's website.

We support Celiac Research! The Center for Celiac Research is selling celiac awareness bracelets (like the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong wristbands) in children and adult sizes for $2.00 each to raise funds for celiac research, and to continue our efforts in increasing the awareness of celiac disease. Please continue to spread the word about the bracelets - they are making a difference. Click here to for more information and how to order from the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research.

Download News from the Center for Celiac Research!

Click here or on the University of Maryland logo to download a PDF version of the 2006 News Summary. If you would prefer this document in Word format, click here.

Authentic Foods gluten free productsDairy Queen gluten free information

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Gluten Free - All rights reserved