Posts filed under ‘general’
Well this is pretty cool: Not only are we sharing this link to a cookbook that uses off-the-shelves gluten-free cake mixes as its primary ingredient, but its writeup offers a practical play-by-play review of how the cookbook works in a real baker’s kitchen! Neat concept, right? It’s almost as if you get to try before you buy…and in the case of a cookbook based entirely on grocery store cake mixes, we might tend to be a little reticent to shell out our hard-earned dollars. “Turns out, especially if you’re new to the world of gluten free flours, xanthum gums, arrow root powders, and substitute after substitute, this book could be your life saver. The one thing that Byrn certainly does, is take the guesswork out of baking gluten free.”
This culinary mash-up features the book The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free: Classic Cakes, Cookies, Brownies, Bundts, and Bars by Anne Byrn, and is put to the test by Sonoma County caterer, blogger & pastry chef Meloni Courtway. We recommend hopping on over to BiteClub Eats to read the full review. Because you can never judge a book by its cover!
Heads up my GF tea drinking friends because it is true: gluten can lurk where we least expect it: in our cups of tea. Tea nerd alert: tea is actually camellia sinensis, a specific shrub, and herbal teas are typically infusions and do not contain any actual tea. If you stick with straight up tea, you know you are getting a cup of camellia sinensis, whether that tea is black, green, white or oolong. But what if you want a comforting caffeine-free beverage made of an infusion of herbs, flowers, bark and leaves? What could possibly contain gluten in herbal tea?
Cue the scary music: Barley malt is considered unsafe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity and is used as a sweetener in some herbal teas, such as Yogi Tea’s Stomach Ease. From Valerie Crowley at Yogi Tea: “Barley malt is in only 5 of our 56 flavors of tea. It is in the Calming Tea, Stomach Ease Tea, Fasting Tea, Kava Stress Relief Tea and the Decaf Roast Tea.”
Another tea to look out for is Tazo tea, which is served at Starbucks. Phone calls to two locations in Sonoma County revealed that the baristas were not aware of any gluten in their teas. My super sleuthing led me to learn that Green Ginger filterbags, Tazo Honeybush filterbags, Lemon Ginger juiced tea and Tea Lemonade juiced tea are not gluten free.
Be careful out there and be a gluten detective! Or at least bring your gluten-sniffing dog with you everywhere. Don’t expect your hard working baristas to know; go online, contact companies, and be aware of every ingredient in your cup of herbal tea. Let’s make sure our next cup of tea is gluten free!
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Guest blogging by Janine Acevedo M.E.C.S.E. Janine is a GF mom of a GF kid and works as an early intervention special educator. She is also the San Francisco Early Intervention writer for examiner.com.
Way back when (last summer), a couple of members of The Gluten Free Lab went on a trip through the south. They eventually meandered into Colorado where they dined gleefully at Udi’s Pizza Café in Olde Town Arvada, CO. Their lives were never the same.
Because they discovered New Planet Gluten Free Beer. Alas, apart from bringing cases upon cases of this beer home to California, they had to drink what their gullets could gulp and leave the rest behind because New Planet has not been available outside of the fair state of Colorado up to this point.
“At last, people in the Rocky Mountain Region and Midwest States following a gluten-free diet can also enjoy a great tasting craft beer. Boulder, Colorado based New Planet Beer Company offering gluten-free beers are now widely available throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma (March), and Nebraska (May) in grocery chains, liquor stores and restaurants. Additional Rocky Mountain Region and Midwest States will soon follow. Our beer locator doesn’t have our new locations listed as of yet, but be on the lookout in your state. We’ll let you know when the beer locator can provide the specific locations.
“Some of you may be asking, ‘What about the rest of the United States?’ We promise that we’re working on it! We have to be able to brew enough guaranteed gluten-free beer for everyone (that’s a lot of beer!), so it takes time to figure that out. We’ll keep you posted on additional states as we add them.
“The good news– we’ll be offering all three styles of our gluten-free beer in the states we expand to.
“Tread Lightly Ale – is a smooth and well-balanced “Pilsner like” style ale with citrus tones and light in body and color. Tread Lightly Ale is made from sorghum and corn extract, orange peel, hops, and yeast. Tread Lightly supports trail restoration.
“3R Raspberry Ale – our award winning raspberry fruit ale has just the right balance of fruit flavor and aroma. 3R Raspberry Ale is made from sorghum and corn extract, natural raspberry puree, orange peel, hops, and yeast. ‘3R’ supports Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – the 3R’s of waste reduction education.
“Off Grid Pale Ale – is a wonderful interpretation of the classic pale ale style. It has a distinctly deep amber color and great character and body. The three varieties of hops provide a wonderful aroma and a citrus and spicy hop flavor. Made from sorghum and brown rice extract, tapioca maltodextrin, caramel color, molasses, hops, and yeast. Off Grid Pale Ale supports alternative energy efforts.”
How’s that for a Friday finishing note?! Happy weekend all!
Well maybe our last post, which announced that Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles are now gluten-free, didn’t speak to you, but surely we all miss the snap, crackle, and pop of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies? C’mon…who doesn’t love the classic rice crispy treat, especially when following our homemade marshmallow and rice crispy treat recipe! Alas, Gluten-Free Rice Krispies are due out late May 2011. Fellow GF blogger, Gluten-Free Optimist, wrote directly to Kellogg’s inquiring about this rumor…read what Kellogg’s had to say about her inquiry here (rest assured, the rumor is true).
The Gluten Free Lab’s penchant for sweets is pretty apparent. If one were to browse through all of the posts we’ve put up over the last couple of years, one might make a pretty solid bet that a majority of the posts are recipes for or product reviews of something sweet. Plus we have a sweets cookbook full of our own delicious gluten-free dessert recipes available for purchase on this website, sooo…yah. We’re sweet on sweets.
But our opinion on “sugar cereal,” as mom used to call it, holds some real weight. Sugar cereal was a treat reserved for special occasions only. Sometimes sleepovers, but always on birthdays. When my birthday rolled around, I would lovingly and lingeringly peruse the cereal aisle, weighing the options of my favorite sugar cereals against the promise of a free prize that may or may not enhance my overall sugar-cereal-eating experience. Since mom was doing the household grocery shopping whilst I made my decision (which generally was a lengthy process), I had a lot of time to weigh my options carefully. I’d finally meet her at the checkstand, my decision firm and my sweet tooth aching. So get ready to hear our inner kids’ cry of “boooo-yea” because two of Post’s classic Pebbles cereals – Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles (introduced to the Post cereal family in 1971, incidentally) – are now gluten-free! As in: this is the only version of this cereal now available. As in: there are no taste compromises Post could see in making this cereal out of entirely gluten-free ingredients in a certified gluten-free facility. As in: we wish it were our birthday yesterday so we could go pick up a box of this cereal and grin ear to ear while eating bowl after bowl (mom: take note!).
We’d say this release of Pebbles (and Pebbles Treats!) significantly ups Team Gluten Free’s score. We still may not be winning, but now we’ve got Fred Flinstone in our corner.
photo by Andrea Nguyen
There is one member of The Lab who claims to have earned a Chinese heritage by virtue of her deep and undying love for dim sum. She is the fuel that fires our need for gluten-free dim sum, which, truthfully? is a totally unreliable gluten-free dining-out experience. (If you have a dim sum place you like and know for sure that gluten-free ingredients and practices are being observed, we implore you to share with us!)
Thus, our discovery of the Asian Dumpling Tips: Gluten Free Recipes website is more than thrilling. Cruise on over for a handful of yummy gluten-free recipes, including pot stickers, Banh Xep Chay (rice dumplings a la The Slanted Door in San Francisco), kimchi, Vietnamese rice & pork pyramid dumplings, Indian rice & lentil dumplings, stuffed crab claws and more. And believe us when we say we’ll be excited to report back as we test these recipes out.
We keep the snack pantry pretty well stocked over here at The Gluten Free Lab headquarters. And on our last regularly scheduled trip to Trader Joe’s we spied these Baked Lentil Chips with sea salt & black pepper. We sidled over slyly, grabbed a bag and uttered “why, hello you!” Later, with fingers speckled with diamonds of salt and flecks of black pepper, we smiled and deemed them good. Get your fingers on a bag at your local Trader Joe’s, or look for Mediterranean Snack Food Co.’s lentil chips, which are equally as delicious, and available in sea salt & black pepper or cucumber dill flavors.
Ah, yes. The Monday night Valentine’s Day. What a way to start the week: with a little romance at the end of the most unaccommodating work day. While this stunning cake isn’t exactly something one would whip up after work, it is something one could tackle over the weekend…and then there would be cake all the week long! (And who doesn’t love a little mid-week cake?)
i am baker. is a fabulously gorgeous, inspiring (and maybe a wee bit daunting) baking blog, albeit fully glutenous. Our long-time readers and long-time gluten-free bakers are sure to know a thing or two about recipe conversion, though, so if nothing else, i am baker. is a wonderful place to start brainstorming clever baking concepts. Like this heart cake! Or these other Valentine’s Day baking ideas! But be warned: gluten-free conversions will be in order. You might need our cookbook to help with flour selection and substitute recipes.