Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gluten Free Cupcakes in Edmonton by Big City Cupcakes

Chocolate Almond Flour Butter Cream Gluten Free Cupcake
Big City Cupcakes was first introduced to Edmonton at the 2010 Edmonton Fringe Festival.

Unfortunately, they only have one flavour, a gluten free chocolate almond flour cupcake, with a very tasty butter cream icing

Compared to all the yummy salivating flavours they have for their wheat flour cupcakes, it might seem boring, but it's quite tasty. We hope that with more demand, Big City Cupcakes will introduce more gluten free flavours.

Some things you may need to know when buying from Big City Cupcakes:
  • The cupcakes are not made on-site
  • Be diligent with the staff to handle your food separately on fresh trays with clean utensils
  • Their cupcakes are a little expensive like all other boutique cupcake places.
Big City Cupcakes
  • City Centre

Big City Cupcakes (City Centre Mall) on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Children & Celiac Disease Part 1: Educating Teachers and Caregivers

Written by Linda Arnold - Edited by Daniel Saraga

Celiac disease will affect some aspects of care in day homes, the classroom and/or school management. Patience and understanding can bring about necessary changes that will quickly become a natural part of the day for all involved.

What is Celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that can affect both children and adults. When children or adults with Celiac disease eat certain types of grain based proteins, it sets off an autoimmune response which causes damage to the small intestine. This in turn interferes with the small intestine to absorb the nutrients in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications. The offending proteins are called gluten and are found in wheat, barley, oats, rye and all their derivatives.

Exposure to gluten may result in a variety of symptoms which can include diarrhoea, abdominal distension, fatigue and inability to concentrate. In a small amount of people the disease manifests itself in small itchy blisters on the skin called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). No two individuals with Celiac exhibit the exact same symptoms.

Tip: refer to the Edmonton Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association for more in depth information.

How is Celiac disease treated?

This is a lifelong disease and at this time the only know treatment is total elimination of gluten from the diet. This may sound easy at first however gluten is hidden in many things like food additives, flavouring, personal care items, school supplies and more. Therefore adjustments may need to be made in the classroom and play area to reduce the risk of inadvertent contact (cross contamination).

Whose responsibility is it?

In younger children or those that may be unable to read label information it is vitally important for the care giver or teacher to encourage self management skills by reading the ingredients to the child. For older children, it should be the responsibility of the child to decide what he or she will eat and touch while at school and the consequences of those decisions. However a newly diagnosed student may need help to reinforce the prescribed lifestyle change.

Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 2: Helping Children Manage a Celiac Disease Diagnosis
Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 3: Eating Gluten Free at School

Reference for this article:

The Canadian Celiac Association
The American Celiac Sprue Association
Moms with kids

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Monday, October 25, 2010

OPM is now closed, should be re-opening as "Local Public Eatery", another Joey's Restaurant Brand #yegfood

It came to my attention last month while volunteering for the Edmonton Chapter Celiac Association that OPM was going to be closing in the South End.  I know a lot of people gluten free and non-gluten free loved OPM for its great tasting Asian Fusion meals.  Their gluten free menu really made this restaurant special as there still are not very many chain restaurants that keep a gluten free menu.

Joey's Restaurant Group of Brands ran OPM, so I decided to contact Dave Anthony, Culinary Manager.  He did confirm at the time that they are bringing in a new concept called Local Public Eatery, a concept they have in Vancouver.

Dave was also willing to share that "Additionally when we do open Local in Edmonton we are happy to let you know that we have a gluten free menu for that concept as well."

We hope to share more details as we learn more about this new restaurant and what will be on their gluten free menu.

Please email us at, if anyone has anything further to share about the closing of OPM.  Our conversation with Joey's was in September, and plans always change!  But OPM is closed, thats for sure!

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Saturday, October 23, 2010

PaneRiso Gluten Free Pizza Crust found in Edmonton

Gluten free pizza crust from PaneRiso Foods 
PaneRiso Foods has a selection of gluten free products that can be found in Edmonton. We've tried their rice flour pizza.  If you've been East recently and tried Pizza Pizza's gluten free crust, you'll find this crust very familiar.

Outside of the package, the crust feels very firm. It bakes like a thin crust and gets nice and crispy with roughly fifteen minutes of baking time.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gluten Free German Apple Pancake

German Apple Pancakes...mmmm. Pre-celiac diagnosis we would make these luscious and sweet pancakes for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. Since being diagnosed Celiac, we had sort of put the entire cook book (America’s Test Kitchen – Family Cookbook) which was previously a favourite in our house, in the back and avoided it.

This cookbook is not a gluten free cookbook by any means.  However the varieties of foods that are presented in this particular book are fantastic. Many do require ingredients that are not gluten free friendly, but once you learn which ingredients are replaceable and with which other product, it makes cooking a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Today I figured; why not give it a try using gluten free flour instead of regular flour. Low and behold...
German Apple Pancake

It was amazing!

The only real differences between the so-called “regular” recipe and the gluten free recipe version were that I had to add some Xanthan gum to the recipe (as per the directions on the gluten free flour).

German Apple Pancake (courtesy of The American’s Test Kitchen – Family Cookbook)

Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people)

  • ½ cup of all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free flour and added in 1/8 tsp of Xanthan gum)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup of half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large granny smith apples; peeled, cored, quartered and sliced ½ inch thick (other apples will work ,
  • but you may need more because of the density of granny smiths)
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 500F degrees. Whisk together the flour (Xanthan gum), granulated sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and half, and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until no lumps remain.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof non-stick skillet (or cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon and cook until the apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Off the heat stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Quickly pour the batter around the edges of the skillet, the over the apples. Place the skillet in the over and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 425F degrees. Bake until the pancake has risen above the edges of the skillet and it brown. Loosen the edges of the pancake from the hot skillet with a spatula and turn the pancake upside down on a plate or serving platter. Dust the confectioner’s sugar, and cut into wedges before serving.
NOTE It is important to remember to reduce the heat of the oven or else the pancake will burn for sure. I’ve forgotten to do it and it’s a mess to clean up.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gluten Free Shopping at Magrath Save-on-Foods

We all know that grocery stores have different selections of gluten free items, even between stores of the same grocer. One of our readers wanted to share this about the Magrath Save-on-Foods:
Save on Foods has a dedicated frozen section and a section for it in the bakery. The bakery staff are indeed trained for questions about gluten free breads... however the inquiring about gluten free products in the store should be left to the managers... specifically the merchandising managers.

Also, if a Save-on-Foods does not carry a product that you would like, or a product type (such as gluten free), you can request to talk to the merchandising manager of any store, and ask for them to order/carry the items... sometimes they do, especially if another store does.

Magrath Save-on-Foods
14161 - 23rd Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T6R 0G4

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Re-fresh Organic Bistro - My Favorite Little Bistro

Re-fresh on Whyte Ave.
Contributed by RL:

Re-fresh Organic Bistro in Edmonton has become my favorite place for a quick bite, take out or a nice lunch.

Re-fresh  is located in the Organic Roots Health Supplement store on Whyte Avenue. They are a downsized version of their former location at 82 Avenue and 112 Street.

Re-Fresh offers organic soups, wraps, rice bowls, salads, drinks, smoothies and desserts. Almost every item can be made gluten free. In addition, the menu is almost all vegetarian - a great bonus for me.

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and most (if not all) of the food is prepared on-site. Specials change daily as does the dessert selection. Re-Fresh also offers catering, and I'm often tempted to host an event just so I can order the food.

On the third Thursday of each month Re-Fresh offers a five course meal for $35 (plus GST). I have yet to make it to one of these dinners, but I can't wait to try it. I got hungry just writing this post...

Re-fresh Organiz Bistro
10151 82 Ave.
Edmonton, AB

Check out other gluten free friendly restaurants and bistros.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Re-Fresh Organic Bistro on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our first gluten free beer experience

Greens Gluten Free Beer from Sherbrook Liquor
Okay, I know that other people have told us about different gluten free beers available, and even suggested where to buy them in Edmonton. Well, we finally took your advice and went to Sherbrooke Liquor to check out the selection of gluten free beers.

In the massive beer cooler, we found a variety of different brands of gluten free beer. We opted for the Green's Amber Ale made in Belgium. This beer, like many other gluten free beers, is made from millet, buckwheat, rice and sorghum, along with the usual water, hops and yeast.

To be honest, we chose this beer because it was sold by the bottle - so we weren't obligated to buy a six-pack. The bottles are pint size (500 ml), larger than regular beer bottles.

I wasn't a big drinker before going gluten free, but I did enjoy the occasional Kokanee. I truly enjoyed the Green's Amber Ale and would definitely buy it again. Green's-Amber Ale has a nice red color and based on the taste test that we did with friends and family I the consensus was that you cannot even tell the difference between from a wheat beer. If you're are a true beer connoisseur then you might notice a difference.It will definitely be at our next barbecue. I'll soon be buying some other brands to compare.

What's your favorite brand of gluten free beer and have where have you found it?

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gluten Free Mennonite Sausage from the Butchers Bus in Edmonton

After trying the gluten free perogies from the Butchers Bus, we wanted to try out some of their sausages. They always smelled so good when passing by them at the St. Albert Farmers Market. After speaking with the owners and reviewing their website, we found that Butchers Bus sausages are gluten free, MSG free, and filler free! We asked which sausage is their most popular purchase, and they said everyone likes to pick up the Mennonite Sausage, a nice mild smoked farmers sausage.

We placed these on the barbecue and enjoyed a really nice lunch with some potatoes and salad. I don't know how to describe the taste of the sausage except for that it tasted really, really good! We will probably be picking these up again at the market.

Barbecue Tip: Don't poke holes or slice farmer sausages. Place them on the barbecue at a low temperature and cook slowly.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gluten Free Products by Shar found in Edmonton

Schar Crisp Bread
We first discovered this gluten free brand while visiting Toronto at a store called Nut'n'Gluten.  We tried out the Shar crisp bread crackers and they were amazing.  So light and crispy and great with some margarine or cheesewiz.

When arriving back in Edmonton we called a few places to find out who carries Shar in Edmonton because we did not recall seeing this brand before.  Not surprisingly, Ed's Gluten Free Store carries a large line of their products!

We do recommend the crackers and hope to try out more of their line of products.  Below is a list of Shar gluten free products found in Edmonton:

  • Schar Bread Mix
  • Schar Italian Breadsticks
  • Schar Vanilla Waffer
  • Schar Cocao Waffer
  • Schar Choc Dipped
  • Schar Shortbread
  • Schar Ladyfingers
  • Schar Table Cracker
  • Schar Crisp Bread
Have you tried any of the Schar line of products?  Email us a review at

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gluten Free Candy for Hallowee'en - From About.Com

Worried about what candies your children or yourself can eat for Hallowe'en? has a gluten free columnist.  Check out Jane Anderson's article titled "Gluten-Free Candy, as of September 2010 - Candy and Treats for a Gluten-Free Halloween"

What gluten free candies do you look forward to eating the most on Hallowe'en? And what candies do you hand out?

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gluten Free Meals at CareIt Urban Deli in Edmonton

CareIt Urban Deli is a great deli in the west end (Hamptons and Crestwood) that carries a line of gluten free prepared meals.  All of their meats are purchased from Irvings Farm Fresh, which produces only gluten free meats.

We have tried their Jambalaya prepared meal and purchased some goat cheese wrapped salmon. The Jambalaya had a good kick, so check your spice tolerance before ordering. The salmon was from the deli counter. We took it home and cooked it up with some pesto. It tasted great.

Each location has a different menu and has their gluten free items clearly marked. This is a great place for your gluten free shopping, especially for a quick meal. You can also sit down and eat a brunch or a prepared meal - they will warm it up for you.

Some of the gluten free meals available at Hamptons are:
  • barbecued pulled pork
  • coconut rice with kaffir lime leaves
  • butter chicken
  • sweet and sour meatballs
  • Sheppard's pie
CareIt is located in the Hamptons at:

Careit Urban Deli on Urbanspoon

In Crestwood:
9672 142 Street Nw, Edmonton AB

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Monday, October 4, 2010

La crema caffé in St. Albert, a true gluten free treat!

A recent trip to the St. Albert Farmers Market had us stumble across a gem of a place called La Crema Caffé. La Crema Caffé is a boutique Italian café with a nice gluten free menu including quiche, soups, salads and pastries all served at a separate counter to avoid cross-contamination. After speaking with staff, I learned that the gluten free menu is inspired by the owner who has Celiac himself.

Between three meals at lunch, two non-gluten free and one gluten free, our bill came to just over $30 – not bad. La Crema also prints the receipt in a manner that makes claiming your Celiac expense easier.
Gluten free quiche with a Caesar salad

Amanda tried the gluten free quiche, which was fantastic (I tried a bite myself to compare with the non-gluten free). The crust was flaky and light just like it should be. In general, I tend to find Italian bakers and chefs perfectionists at what they do, so it is always a treat to see how they perfect a gluten free pastry, crust, or meal.

La Crema Caffé
44 Saint Thomas Street #4
St Albert, AB T8N6N8
(780) 458-8225

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

La Crema Caffe on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 1, 2010

Who loves Gluten Free Donuts from Kinnikinnick? I do, I do!

Chocolate glazed Kinnikinnick Donut
As kind of the donut conosur that I am I was skeptical at trying out the Kinnikinnick donut even though Kinnikinnick has not disappointed me yet with their line of gluten free products. I grew up in Toronto munching down on Tim Horton's, Country Style, Coffee Time, Tiny Tim Donuts (from the Ex in Toronto), Mr. Donut and the all famous KrispyKreme (I still have dreams about their donuts!).

My wife is Celiac and I am free to eat all the donuts I want, however, that hasn't stopped me from stocking out freezer with Kinnikinnick Donuts.  They have quickly become one of my favourite donuts, reminding me of the sweet taste of a Tiny Tim!

Don't let the fact that they are frozen scare you off because 30 seconds in the microwave makes these donuts soft and sweet. Just be careful - they can be addictive!

The donuts are offered in several flavours including chocolate glazed, vanilla glazed and cinnamon coated. My favourite by a long-shot is the vanilla glazed.

I've scarfed down three in one sitting. How many have these have you eaten at once?

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta