Is a dairy intolerance related to Celiac disease?

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It seems pretty common that someone with Celiac Disease might be intolerant to other foods.  I know this is the case with a few people I know with dairy.

I took a moment to Google this, because I had nothing else to do, and I at least wanted to make sure that I was making some sense here.  I found one article on Celiac.com that referred to a connection.  The article is titled "How is lactose intolerance related to celiac disease?" and says "Lactose intolerance is frequently a side effect of celiac disease. Celiacs who eat gluten become lactose intolerant after the villi and microvilli in their small intestine become damaged, and are no longer capable of catching and breaking down the lactose molecule."  But it also goes on to say that within time this tolerance is cured.

I do also find it interesting that Kinnikinnick which is obviously 100% gluten free, also has a large product line that is dairy free as well.  So Kinnikinnick must see a connection between dairy free and Celiac Disease too.

So if you have an intolerance to dairy, what do you use as a milk substitute?  There are plenty of products out there.  We were asked by an PR agency to sample some products by Earth's Own.  They make a line of gluten free, dairy free products including So Good (soy milk), Ryza (Rice Milk) and Almond Fresh (Almond Milk).  I picked up a container of the vanilla flavour for each of the milks to try. I have been using the So Good with my morning breakfast cereal (gluten free chex and gluten free fruity pebbles) and I also used it in my smoothies (which really turned it into a really taste shake).  So Good ended up to be a great substitute for me and tasted really good.  The Almond Fresh had a great nutty flavour to it, you can really smell that almond out of the container.

You can basically pick up Earth's Own products at any major grocery store.  We saw some of their stuff at Wal-Mart, but so way more variety at Safeway including a Chocolate Milk! Yum!

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

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Find it hard to bake gluten free?

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If you think it is hard ot bake gluten free and often get frustrated, you need to watch an episode of Cupcake Wars on Food Network titled "Hard Rock" (2010).

www.foodnetwork.com
Cupcake wars is one of those elimination cooking challenges, but strictly based on baking cupcakes.  In this epside was two ladies from Philly that run a gluten free vegan cupcake shop called Sweet Freedom.

In the first round of the show they really demonstrated how challenging gluten free baking can be and showed that even the seasoned pro has difficulties baking gluten free.  In round one the ladies from Sweet Freedom made three different cupcakes for the first time.  They were worried about losing the round because they said it actually takes 15 tries, yes that's 15 TRIES to get a cupcake made to their liking with the proper baking time.

Also, in order to make gluten free cupcakes, the ladies from Sweet Freedom needed to dedicate more time and more ingredients than the others in order to prepare a proper tasty gluten free cupcake.

So we're just saying, if you are struggling and thinking you can't get it right, or it's just taking too long to prepare the cupcakes, that's completely normal, happens to even the pros and it's best to just keep on going and of course let us know what it was and how great it turned out. We're always up for guest bloggers sharing their own stories.

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

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Yummy Gluten Free Halloween Treats

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Halloween is just around the corner, and if you are giving out candy or have kids with Celiac Disease you have to consider, what gluten free candy is good for Halloween?  And where in Edmonton can I find it?

1.  So how do you keep your child safe from Halloween candy?  Well, first you do the obvious.  Dump there bag of Halloween candy on the floor and sort through picking out and "shady" candy, maybe a package that is opened, deflated chip bags etc.  Just some of your standard Halloween safety protocol.

2.  Then next phase, food allergy filter.  There are some chocolate bars that are no question not gluten free.  Pull out Kit Kats, Coffee Crisps, anything with a wafer in it.

3.  Next step, time to start reading labels on anything that could have gluten in it.  Any gummy candies, chocolate bars that you are not quite sure about.  Better to be safe.

Some gluten free halloween candy
Keep this in mind, I am not sure about labeling rules, but because these candies are not sold individually, ingredients may be on the package/box they came in, but not necessarily on the individual wrap.  So, unless you do some recon before hand, you may want to hold off on candies that do not have ingredients on them until you have time to investigate.

So giving away candy?  Does it matter if its gluten free or not?  Well, we don't have kids, but we sure love our share of Halloween candy anyways, so we want to be sure any leftovers is gluten free.  So we went out to Superstore and picked up a few goodies.  I read labels to be safe so these seemed like a safe bet.  Let me tell you, it was tough to find a good box of chocolates that were all gluten free.  This was the best variety I found with Reese cups, hershey bar, Oh Henry and Reese's Pieces.  Obviously not so great for peanut allergies.  The Maynard's variety packed all used modified corn starch, rockets were sugar based, and the chips were plain Lay's so no trouble with seasoning.  If you are worried about cross-contamination it is always good to contact the manufacturer.  I did see some of the chocolate bars have the warning "may contain wheat" because they were made on an assembly line.

Let us know what candies you found to be gluten free.

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

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Shop Gluten Free Mart in Edmonton's North End (NO LONGER OPEN)

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UPDATE: APRIL 2014 - THIS STORE IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS

Remember this date: October 1, 2011!  What happened on that day?  Abu of Gluten Free Mart opened up a dedicated gluten free store.  This gluten free store is in Edmonton's North side.

Similar to Ed's Gluten Free Store in the South and the Kinnikinnick Store downtown, Gluten Free Mart has shelving full of a wide variety of gluten free products.  I love shopping at these types of stores because they always bring in more local products that the big stores don't bring in.

Gluten Free Mart carried some of the standard items like all purpose gluten free flours, Kinnikinnick and Udi's bread products, and Glutino mixes.  But they also carry gluten free products that I haven't seen like a gluten free, dairy free cheese ravioli and a gluten free dairy free, soy free ice cream with a coconut base!

Gluten Free Mart has a fresh goods section, with our favourite La Crema products like pot pies, quiches, dessert squares and more.  This store is certainly worth the visit for good selection of gluten free products.


Gluten Free Mart  Ltd. 
12841 97 ST
Edmonton , Alberta T5E4C2
Phone: 780-756-9900
Fax. 780-756-2900
E-mail: Abu@glutenfreemart.ca

So we have Downtown, South Side and North Side covered.  Anyone ready to open up a gluten free store in the East and West?


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

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Gluten Free Dining Found in Vegreville

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There a lot of business people that travel the roads of Alberta.  We have some posts on gluten free Calgary, gluten free Lloydminster, and other places in Alberta with some gluten free options.  One of our readers wrote in about a gluten free restaurant found in Vegreville:
Jill wrote:
I've been recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity due to pregnancy. I love your blog and thought I'd share with you a "hidden treasure" I found today.  I'm on the road a lot for work and travel all around central & northern Alberta.  Today I was in the lovely town of Vegreville and stumbled upon a quaint coffee/dessert shop called "Simply Fine Sweets" that had soup at lunch time.  Well I was a bit skeptical but was pleasantly surprised when they had gluten free soup & crackers & desserts!!  The lady that helped me said at least one of their daily soup offerings is GF and she was very knowledgeable as to which desserts were as well.  I thought I would share if you wanted to add this to your dining list although it's outside Edmonton.  Thanks!
Do you have a review of a gluten free restaurant you found on the road in Alberta?  Email us at info@glutenfreeedmonton.com.

Simply Fine Sweets on Urbanspoon

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Gluten free cake pops

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This guest post is by @erinkbolton

After months of staring at the cake pops at Starbucks and seeing recipes for them everywhere, I decided to try making them for a Thanksgiving get-together with my boyfriend’s family. I scoured the internet for recipes and found that they all are all pretty similar with technique.

My excitement grew when I found a Gluten Free Betty Crocker cake mix at Save-On Foods. Since I was strapped for time (school, work, long weekend plans, etc.) I decided to go the “cake mix and ready made frosting route” (something I wouldn’t normally do). One note to make is that cake pops take a lot of patience – there are multiple steps and it’s good to have time for things to set before you move on to the next step. I started making them on Thursday for dinner on Saturday.

I got the cake mix and frosting from Save-On. I got Wintson’s candy melts (for coating, 2 bags), lollipop sticks (package of 30), two 4 inch x 12 inch styrofoam blocks (for standing them up in), and decorations from Michael’s.
Here’s an outline of what I did:

Ingredients:
  • Gluten Free Betty Crocker Cake Mix
  • Betty Crocker Whipped Milk Chocolate Icing
  • Winston’s candy melts
  • Sprinkles
Extra Supplies:
  • Lolly pop sticks
  • Styrofoam block
  • Parchment paper
Directions:
  • Bake the cake according to the box directions. Let cool on a baking rack. (I left it overnight)
  • Crumble the cooled cake into a bowl, either with a fork or with an electric mixer. I found that using the mixer made crumbs fly everywhere so I did most of it with a fork. 
  • Add icing (I used Betty Crocker Whipped Milk Chocolate icing) a little bit at a time until the cake crumbs reach the consistency of cookie dough. I used almost the whole container.
  • Roll the cake into small balls (about 1 inch by 1 inch) and put them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. (I made an 8x11 cake and had enough for 24 balls plus a lot of sampling – I couldn’t help myself!)
  • Melt some of the Winston’s candy melts and dip the end of the lollipop sticks in, up to about an inch. Roll the stick around to get rid of the excess candy melt and then put the stick gently into the center of the cake ball. I tried to get it so that it was about halfway through the ball – not too close to the other edge. 
  • Put the pops cake-side down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the pops with the sticks until the candy melt on the stick is hardened. 
  • After a few hours (I waited about 6 hours), take the pops out of the fridge. Melt the rest of your candy melts in a bowl or large coffee mug, 30 seconds at a time on the medium setting of your microwave. 
  • Take the pops and dip them into the melted candy melts. Try not to rotate the stick too much because that can cause your pop to fall off the stick. If you can’t cover an area, spoon the melt over the pop. Once it’s been submerged then let the excess chocolate drip off, and stick upright in a styrofoam block.
  • If you want to add decorations like sprinkles, sprinkle them over the cake pops (don’t try to dip the pops in the sprinkles – it creates a huge mess) while the candy melt is still soft so that they will stick. Other decorations such as fondant decorations or paints should be added later after the coating has hardened. 
  • Chill until the surface is hard, and serve!
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Press'd Sandwich offers gluten free options

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I cracked a smile when I received a tweet that Press'd - The Sandwich Company located on Jasper Ave. was starting to offer gluten free sandwich's with Kinnikinnick bread.  There is nothing on their website yet, but just a news release they posted on Twitter.  Unfortunately there is going to be a surcharge for the gluten free sandwich, but at least there is going to be a sandwich option for lunch goers downtown.  Click here to read their news release.

They also informed me that they are looking into an alternative way to "press" or toast the sandwich because they currently do not have a dedicated gluten free sandwich press.  They are looking at the idea of using toaster bags to toast the bread etc.  I am happy to see them trying to make sure the Edmonton Celiac community gets the best press'd sandwich possible.

Press'd sandwich has some tasty looking sandwich's from their provo lovo with provolone cheese, roasted chicken, peppers and a creamy pesto mayo, to their The Bird sandwich with smoked turkey, avocado, cream cheese, alfalfa sprouts and mayo.  Click here to take a look at their delicious menu.

Have you tried one of their gluten free predd'd sandwich yet?  Let us know what you thought!

Press'd has now expanded their gluten free option to their Edmonton City Centre location with daily pre-made gluten free sandwiches.

Follow Press'd on twitter at @Pressdsandwich

Now also in Sherwood Park and South Edmonton



Emerald Hills
#510, 5000 Emerald Drive
Sherwood Park, AB T8H 0P5
Hours:
Mon-Sun 11am - 8pm
Phone: 780.464.6549



South Trail
3384 Gateway Blvd
Edmonton, AB T6J 6V1
Hours:
Mon-Sun 11am - 8pm
Phone: 780.440.1813



Press'd - The Sandwich Company on Urbanspoon

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

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Looking for gluten free Indian Cuisine in Niagara Falls?

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During a trip to Niagara Falls, Amanda and I checked out various types of restaurants.  We wanted to see what Niagara Falls, Ontario had to offer to the Celiac community.  We checked out touristy places like the Hard Rock Cafe, and romantic dinner spots like the Skylon Tower's Rotating Dining Room, to just nice authentic ethnic foods like The Guru Fine Indian Cuisine located on Victoria Ave. at the top of the famous Clifton Hills.

We have spoken a lot about our love for Indian Cuisine and how we often eat at New Asian Village locally here in Edmonton.  So we wanted to see what Niagara Falls had to offer.  We were not disappointed.  The Guru Fine Indian Cuisine was an a la carte dining restaurant.  There was no buffet to choose from.  Which was fine for us, because we have enjoyed Indian Cuisine a la carte before.

We went in for a late lunch, and it was not to busy, so we were sat nicely by the window and got to people watch while we browsed the menu. The menu was pretty big and had all the standard options like pakora (with chickpea flour), butter chicken, tandoori chicken, dal etc.

We chose to share the chicken platter that included tandoori chicken, a mint chicken (Haryali Tikka), and a cream cheese chicken with ginger and spices (Malai Tikka), along with our choice of a curry chicken (we chose the butter chicken).  It was also served with rice and Naan which they replaced with papadum made with chickpea flour.  The meal was not that expensive and very filling for the both of us.  I had never had any of the Haryali Tikka or Malai Tikka before.  Just usually a regular Tikka in yogurt.  These were both great.  Amanda was not a fan of the Haryali Tikka, but I think that was more of the strong green colour it took on from the mint, but it tasted great.

We left quite happy and impressed with what Niagara Falls had to offer in Indian Cuisine.

The Guru Fine Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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My guest blog post at Become.com

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Become.com is an online shopping resources centre for everything from automotive to books to electronics to food & drink.  Become.com prides itself on helping people make ideal buying decisions.  Become.com provides a comprehensive, relevant, and unbiased research information to help you choose the right product.

They maintain a the Pocket Change blog to help promote various subject areas and products.  The blog is typically made up from guest bloggers such as myself.  They have strict guidelines to keep the blog posts more informative rather than a sales pitch.

Gluten Free Edmonton, caught the eye of one of the editors at Become.com and I was asked to provide a blog post on gluten free living for their blog.  They wanted to introduce their readers, and shoppers to Celiac Disease and gluten free living.

Click here to read what I had to say about "Life Styles of the Gluten Free and Famous"

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

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Gluten Free Betty Crocker Arrives in Canada

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General Mills is slowly introducing their sought after gluten free products to Canada.  Previously you would have to travel to the United States to pick up Gluten Free Chex cereal, or gluten free Betty Crocker mixes.

With gluten free Chex now available in Canada and can already be found at places like Superstores and Wal-Mart across Edmonton.  General Mills has introduced other products like gluten free Betty Crocker mixes.  Take a look at this link to General Mills Canada's www.LifeMadeDelicious.ca, now featuring a gluten free Betty Crocker cake mix.

This is very exciting!  Happy to see this because Betty Crocker has a big product line of gluten free mixes.

You can now pick up gluten free Betty Crocker mixes at Wal-Mart and Save-on-Foods and Sobey's.  Let us know what stores you have seen these mixes in.

Email us at info@glutenfreeedmonton.com.

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

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Slows Bar BQ in Detroit, incredibly good, and gluten free

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The Saraga guys (most of them)
Every year the Saraga guys venture out on the Great American Road Trip.  The starting point is always Toronto because that's where everyone lives.  This once was an easy trip for me, but now that I live in Edmonton, it becomes quite the spectacle for me beginning with a 4 hour flight to Toronto (sometimes the red eye).  Luckily, the final destination for the 2011 Great American Road Trip wasn't too far from Toronto.  It was a short 4hr hour drive to Detroit, Michigan.

Although Amanda obviously was not on the guys trip with us, I still look out for the gluten free travel eats because I want to share anything I can with our readers to help them out during travels to anywhere, including Detroit.  Our entry into Detroit wasn't that easy though.  To our surprise the U.S. customs agent had other thoughts to people visiting Detroit and asked "Why the heck are you visiting Detroit? There's nothing to do here, and its dangerous, haven't you seen the movies?"  We were quite baffled by the customs agent, but we were 8 guys out to have some fun in Detroit.  Check out a Tigers game, visit the Ford Museum, and check out the happening night life in Greek Town.

My brother, who is definitely more of a foodie than us is the brains behind Haggis and Herring.  Knowing we were visiting Detroit he turned to one of his foodie buddies who recommended Slows Bar BQ.  This was probably the best restaurant we have eaten at throughout all of our road trips that started back in 2003.  I had never eaten at a slow roast BBQ joint before, so I was really looking forward to it.  I've only seen slow roast joints on Food Network shows like Diners Drive-ins and Dives.

I knew I was going to order the ribs and I was not disappointed.  I had a dry rub slow roasted rib that was to die far.  Meat was so soft and falling off the bone.  I ate this giant rack of ribs in no time, plus the 2 sides that were provided.

I didn't have to look far to see what was gluten free.  It was labelled right on the menu.  Everything gluten free was labeled with a G.  There were plenty of options because they made their sauces and rubs in house.  They were all gluten free.  Mainly items that had buns, or the baked mac'n'cheese were not gluten free.  There were plenty of options and I would guarantee anyone with Celiac Disease a full stomach with plenty of tasty options.  Check out pictures of the menu below.

I also recommend to check out the review of Slows Bar BQ by Haggis and Herring.



Slows Bar BQ on Urbanspoon


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