They’re super easy to whip up so they’re great for kid’s sleepovers, watching football with dad, or just a yummy little snack for a rainy Sunday afternoon. And watch – nobody’s EVER gonna guess they’re gluten free! They’ll just say “YUM! Can I have another one?!”
Who am I kidding…? Our new friends are always saying “Wow, these are gluten-free? BUT they taste so good!” After a time of two of leaving happily stuffed, they soon change to something like “You always make such yummy stuff” and start skipping the “gluten-free” descriptor. That’s when I know I’ve done my hosting job well.
So here’s a list of some Easy Gluten-Free Superbowl Party Foods. Some are super obvious and take no effort (like Crudités or Chips-n-Salsa), but I like to keep a Master Party Food List complete with which brands are gluten-free. This way I can browse though everything for inspiration and it’s easy to shop knowing which brands I found to be safe.
But since I’m fighting the flu tonight and having a bunch of people over for a party tomorrow, I’m just going to post the dishes. I’ll add the brands and recipes tomorrow.
GLUTEN FREE PARTY FOOD
– Items marked with an *asterisk might have hidden gluten, so be careful and check ingredients.
– Items followed by ( r ) have a recipe page (well, soon they will… I’m working on it now.)
– Items that have specific brands to look for are followed by ( b )
- Cheese Straws ( r )
- Chips* ‘n’ Salsa* ( b )
- Pulled Chicken ( r )
- Cheese ‘n’ GF Crackers (b)
- Pasta Salad ( r )
- Cheesy Pizza Puffs ( r )
- Nachos ( r )
- Potato Skins ( r )
- Crudités Platter ( b )
- Charcuterie ( b )
- Zucchini Chips ( r )
- Black Gold Salsa ( r )
- Cheesy Breadsticks ( r )
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip* ( r )
- Bruschetta ( r )
- Tomato Mozzarella Basil ( r )
- Chex Mix with GF Chex
- Pigs in blanket ( r )
- Taquitos ( r )
- Quesidillas ( r )
- Chicken Enchiladas ( r )
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops ( r )
- Chicken Skewers ( r )
- Garlic Aioli ( r )
- Chicken Wings ( r )
- Veggie Chili ( r )
- Cornbread ( r )
- Herbed Parmesan Biscuits ( r )
- Mac ‘n’ Cheese ( r )
- Mini Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cups ( r )
- Mini Hot Dogs in BBQ Sauce ( b )
- Waffle Paninis ( r )
- Salad Bar ( b )
- Mac ‘n’ Cheese ( r )
- Three Cheese Baked Pasta Cups ( r )
- Mini-Meatballs ( r )
- Popcorn ( b )
- Seven Layer Dip
- Pigs in Blankets ( r )
- Football Pull Apart Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Rice Krispie Treat Footballs ( r )
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Footballs ( r )
- Ice Cream Sunday Bar ( b )
- Strawberry Shortcake ( r )
- Sweet-n-Salty Bark ( r )
- Homemade Ice Cream Cake ( r )
- Frito-Lay has great Gluten Free snack selections and is wonderful about labeling and potential CC.
- Kettle Brand Chips (NOT Kettle Brand Tortilla Chips though!)
- Deep River Snacks Chips (Now Certified GF)
- Glutino Pretzels
- Pan De Oro Tortilla Chips (AWESOME chips!)
- Popcorn Indiana Popcorns
- Snikiddy (If you haven’t tried these yet, you SO should!)
Hope you find something that your football fans will flip over!
Because to a certain extent, I get the whole “Gluten Gut Check” joke. ‘Cause I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of people who are self proclaimed “gluten light” telling me that being Celiac isn’t hard because they skip the bun on their burger. I’m sick of those restaurant servers who believe everyone emphasizing that they’re gluten-free for medical reasons is really just part of “this whole Gluten Diet Fad.” And I’m sick of people saying “oh! I’m gluten free too!” because they only eat “sprouted wheat” or “super-fresh” bread. I’m sick of seeing people order a gluten-free meal at a restaurant while downing their gluten-FILLED Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
So poking fun at Americans for being “soft” with this whole overused, often misunderstood “gluten thing?” Okay… maybe….
But is the statement “when our idea of danger is eating gluten, there’s trouble afoot” a good message to send our 10-year-old Celiac son? Our responsible little man who will be watching this commercial while struggling to stay completely gluten-free at a SuperBowl party? What does that say to him? To all of us who work so hard on a daily basis to avoid this pervasive little protein? Ha… ha?
But really, does this one little line in a NASCAR commercial really mean anything? Is this one of those “overly PC” or “being too touchy” overreactions? I don’t know about you, but when this Celiac heard it for the first time, that line was like a punch in the gut. Just like gluten gives. Ouch.
This backlash from the gluten-free community against the spot is an ad agency’s wet dream; people re-posting the commercial voluntarily? Getting other people who wouldn’t have seen it to not only watch this NASCAR ad, but talk about it to others; others who also may not have seen it otherwise? Well, they’re just loving posts like this one. So… you’re welcome NASCAR, NBC and Hungry Man (the agency). (Like my little post makes any difference…! lol )
So what do you think? NASCAR’s Gut Check gluten reference: “It’s just a JOKE” or “Celiac is no laughing matter”?
So I can’t even imagine the surprise that will play across my husbands face when he comes home from his business trip on Halloween to find big old heaping bowl of candy corn on the dining room table! Because I discovered (while updating this year’s Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List) that Jelly Belly makes a gluten-free candy corn!
Yay! I called the company and confirmed that yes! Jelly Belly’s plain candy corn is gluten-free!!
However, be careful!! Because the Deluxe Halloween Mix is NOT gluten-free. So be sure to only get the regular and check the bag for gluten ingredients, just to be safe.
Gluten Free goodness awaits all GF New Englanders this weekend. Why? Because it’s the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Springfield, MA! And that means lots of gluten free samples, new products and like-minded folks all under one great big happy gluten-free roof.
Free safe gluten free goodies?? As our 10-year-old says, “Awwwwww, yea, baby…!!!
I attended the Orlando GIG Expo a few years back and it was amazing. It was so large and had great speakers and classes. I learned so much, met so many amazing people and, of course, ate some great safe gluten-free foods. It was amazing to see how many people were dealing with exactly what I was going through. That was the first time I felt like I wasn’t alone in my gluten free journey.
I’m even more excited for the Springfield Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. Last year we learned that our son inherited my Celiac, so we’re excited to keep abreast of all the new gluten-free developments. Things have changed so much in the past few years – and are still constantly changing – so I’m sure that I’ll learn a TON of new GF stuff at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!
So this weekend I’m bringing the whole family so we can all benefit. Even though the whole house has been gluten-free for nearly five years, we can all learn about and find new gluten free things at the Expo. I can’t wait to share with our son that realization I had the first time I attended a gluten-free convention: there are lots of gluten-free people out there! Yay!
I’m really looking forward to a couple of the classes, especially Dr. Giammarino’s “Healing the Gut from Food Allergies and Sensitivities.” My Celiac coupled with my dairy, yeast and egg allergies and 63 additional ALCAT food sensitivities means my gut – well, needless to say, it needs some healin’! So first thing Saturday morning, while my 10-year-old son and husband go to out sampling goods from the 150+ vendors on the show floor, I’ll be hopefully learning some new things from Dr. Giammarino.
The Springfield Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is being held at MassMutual Center this coming Saturday and Sunday, Oct 25-26, from 9am to 3pm. Oh! And if you buy tickets before the Expo begins, you can save some $$! Click here to save on tickets to the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo
And if you’re planning on going, let me know and maybe we can arrange a meetup! Email me and let me know when you’re going and a number I can text you at during the show (I’ve tried the email only meetings and they never work… It seems like it’s text or nothing for me during any kind of big shows.) I hope to see you there!!
When brainstorming fun food ideas with my awesome husband and soon-to-be 10 year old son (TEN?! Wow time flies! I remember when I started this blog he was 5 and we didn’t know he was Celiac!) we came up with some fun food stuffs: cotton candy, popcorn, watermelon (it will be a summer afternoon in the park, after all!) and candy. But making cotton candy? Renting machines that could easily be contaminated = PASS. Renting a big popcorn machine? Same fear. So being the ultimate “nothing’s too awesome for a party” person, what do I do? Why, buy a full-sized old fashioned, movie theatre-style Popcorn machine of course!
Yep. I can justify anything, given enough time.
So I did a bunch of research and found what seems to be the best mid-level prosumer product, a Great Northern Popcorn 8 oz. Popper. FUN!!! So I bought this super fun popcorn machine for about $165 on Amazon, which seems like a good price.
Ah…. But then.. What to put in it that is totally safe for our super-sensitive Celiac stomachs?? After a LOT more research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the pre-measured packages (those with oil on one side and kernels on the other) aren’t the way to go to be safe. Buying kernels, oil, salt and/or seasonings by themselves is safer and much more cost-effective. During my research, I found that the entire line of Kernel Season’s products is certified GF by GFCO! Yay! Super safe. Check out Kernel Season’s GF policies here and more here.
So I settled on the following gluten free popcorn, oil and seasoning products. I’ve yet to try them (awaiting everything to arrive from Amazon), so I don’t yet know from first hand experience that they worked for us. But these are the products that I felt were safe enough to try. The ones with the “**” stars in front of them are the ones I ended up ordering.
—-Salt and Flavorings—-
** Kernel Season’s Mini Jars Seasoning Variety Pack
• Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil(Pack of 2)
• Flavacol Seasoning Popcorn Salt — This kept coming up in my research as GF. I just didn’t order it because I used to LOVE Kernel Season’s shake-on flavorings and was so psyched to see it was safe I didn’t even consider an alternative salt/flavor… But it seems like Flavonol’s gluten free and that Gold Medal is gluten aware. Check out their brochure – search the PDF for “gluten” and you’ll see that they say right there that Flavacol is gluten free.
• Kernel Season’s Sweet Seasoning Variety Pack
In my research into how to make popcorn taste like it came a movie theatre, it seems that using Coconut Oil is the secret. I already have several different coconut oils, so I didn’t need to research or buy that. But a nice gluten-free coconut oil is a great choice for us Celiacs – high temp friendly and makes the popcorn taste buttery without dairy. Nice! I’ll be trying my Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
on our initial run. (Here’s why I chose to use Nutiva instead of Specrtum (which I never use for any product, as you can see here)
• Kernel Season’s Movie Theatre Butter for Popping & Topping Popcorn
• Kernel Season’s Popping Oil
I even went so far as to order a Paragon Stainless Steel Popcorn Scoop! Yes, I go totally crazy for parties and themes!
Anyway. I hope this helps you have a Poppin’ Good Time! A gluten-free popcorn good time, that is!
What kinds of gluten free popcorn, salts, oils and seasonings do you use?
This is the first year since our 9-year-old son has been diagnosed with Celiac too. Now there are two gluten-free goblins in our house. So just like last year, I made myself a handy, alphabetized list of all the mainstream candies he might get that should be gluten-free (as of Oct 29, 2013). I went more than a little crazy about this! I visited every single manufacturer’s website and/or contacted them via phone or email to ensure no gluten comes into our house. It was no small task; it took over a week to complete!! But now I feel so much better about keeping our little man safe and healthy for his first gluten-free Halloween.
I created the list below for my family’s use and am posting it for your reference only. I can’t possibly guarantee these to be gluten-free; ingredients often change and contamination can happen. So some information listed could contain unintentional errors. I strongly encourage you to check the ingredient label on each individual package before you eat anything. Also, there are some valuable Warnings at the end, so check those before diggin’ into your haul. Remember: when in doubt, leave it out!
Happy Trick or Treating! – Noi
20 Parts per Million
The new labeling requires all products that carry a label referring to a gluten-free status (such as “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “free of/from gluten” or “without gluten”) be tested to prove said product contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. The FDA rests it’s decision based on the fact that 20 ppm is the most reliable industry standard for testing (you can see my diatribe on 20 ppm being too high here). But by the FDA’s own findings, 20 ppm is too high for people that are “highly sensitive.” Here’s what the FDA stated on their website* before the law was passed: “Based on the data and other variables included in the analysis, the safety assessment resulted in an estimate that a level of 0.01 ppm gluten in food would be protective of even the most highly sensitive individuals with CD.” So should we be happy about 20 ppm? It’s better than rampant contamination, but still more than enough to get most Celiacs sick.
The hemming and hawing the FDA has done on this topic of 20 ppm is a bit sad. Here’s what they have on there current Q ‘n’ A about gluten labeling: “Why didn’t FDA adopt zero ppm gluten rather than less than 20 ppm gluten as one of the criteria for a food labeled gluten-free?
FDA used an analytical methods-based approach to define the term gluten-free and adopted < 20 ppm gluten as one of the criteria for a food labeled gluten-free because the agency relies upon scientifically validated methods for enforcing its regulations. Analytical methods that are scientifically validated to reliably detect gluten at a level lower than 20 ppm are not currently available.
In addition, some celiac disease researchers and some epidemiological evidence suggest that most individuals with celiac disease can tolerate variable trace amounts and concentrations of gluten in foods (including levels that are less than 20 ppm gluten) without causing adverse health effects. “
Why can’t the FDA follow what either the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) and the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) have already implemented? The GIG has a Gluten Free Certification Organization which will only allow less than 10 PPM of gluten. And the CSA has a limit of less than only FIVE PPM to allow manufacturers to display the CSA Recognition Seal. There are tests (like the RIDASCREEN, Ingensa and Neogen tests) that can test much lower than 20 PPM. The FDA itself has documented that there are currently at least EIGHT tests for gluten that can test under 10 PPM and actually three tests that go as low as THREE PPM (Source: the FDA’s document “Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food” and then check the very hidden and scroll down the the “Appendix 4″ table for gluten-specific findings).
So why 20? Why must we settle for “kinda sick” when we eat 20ppm foods when we could go as low as 3?! (see more in my article “What’s an Acceptable Level of Gluten” here).
Ruling won’t really help us for a year
Manufacturers won’t be held liable for a full year after the findings are published in the Federal Register, which is on their website with a publication date of this coming Monday, August 5th, 2013. So this new ruling won’t help us for just over a year – products can still not be tested, be contaminated or just plain full of gluten and the FDA won’t do anything until the official compliance date, which would seem to be August 5th, 2014. Here’s what the FDA says about enforcing the new gluten-free labeling law:
6. What is the effective date of the final rule and what is the compliance date?
The final rule becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Manufacturers will have a year after the date of publication of the rule to bring package labels into compliance. After this date, any food product labeled “gluten-free” that does not meet the criteria established in the final rule, including a food that contains 20 ppm or more gluten, would be deemed misbranded and would be subject to regulatory enforcement action.
So until the end of next summer, I’m still not going to trust any gluten-free label without doing my homework and researching all new products. And even then, we have to be careful about the wording they use on labels (see “Caution” section below)
Must all foods that are Gluten-Free be labeled as such?
This ruling does not force manufactures to label any and all gluten-free foods as “gluten-free.” So whole, unprocessed foods like meats and veggies and fruits don’t have to have a label or anything. This ruling just means that if a manufacturer wants to denote a product’s gluten-free status, then it must adhere to the FDA’s requirements (after Aug 5, 2014) of containing less than 20ppm.
Does this ruling impact dining out in restaurants?
Not really. The FDA doesn’t have any specific requirements for restaurants. It seems that in the Labeling section of the Gluten-Free Q ‘n’ A that restaurants are free to continue to use the term “gluten-free” without regard to contamination or actual ingredients containing gluten. The FDA merely “suggests” that using the “FDA defined term” of “gluten-free” should now be consistent with the 20 ppm.
9. Does the final rule apply to gluten-free claims made for foods served in restaurants, including cafeterias and buffets?
With respect to restaurants, FDA guidance suggests that any use of an FDA-defined food labeling claim (such as “fat free” or “low cholesterol”) on restaurant menus should be consistent with the respective regulatory definitions. This same approach would be followed with respect to “gluten-free” claims made in restaurants and other retail food service establishments.
It seems to me that the inclusion of the word “suggests” means that they are saying they’re not directly regulating the gluten-free status of restaurants. So I’d have to say that this new gluten-free labeling does not have any impact on eating out. Sad. But it just doesn’t seem very safe, if you ask me.
New label to look for?
Nope. The FDA doesn’t provide a universal label, graphic or logo to denote a gluten-free status. There’s a whole slew of new information on the labeling (what wording to look for, what to avoid, where to look) on the Q ‘n’ A section of the FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling Ruling, sections 7-11. But basically, there’s nothing new to look for.
Continue to use caution!
Well, isn’t this interesting… and a bit disconcerting! Even with the new FDA ruling on the status of “gluten-free” meaning 20ppm, manufacturers can still be sneaky. Products can claim “made with no gluten containing ingredients” or “not made with gluten-containing ingredients” but be contaminated over 20 ppm and not be in violation of gluten-free labeling laws. Here’s what the FDA says about that:
12. Are statements like “made with no gluten-containing ingredients” or similarly “not made with gluten-containing ingredients” permitted on labels of foods bearing a gluten-free claim?
Yes. Neither the final rule nor FDA’s general food labeling regulations prohibit the use of a statement like “made with no gluten-containing ingredients” or “not made with gluten-containing ingredients” on any food products, provided that the statement is truthful and not misleading. However, unless the label of the food including such a statement also bears a gluten-free claim, consumers should not assume that the food meets all FDA requirements for a gluten-free food.
So basically, as long as the product doesn’t say “gluten-free” on it, it can be contaminated well beyond what the FDA requires (20ppm) but not be in violation of the labeling rule.
Oh – and get this one: there is no requirement to tell us if a product is manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat. It’s completely voluntary.
13. Are advisory statements, such as “made in a factory that also processes wheat products” permitted on labels of foods bearing a gluten-free claim?
Yes. The final rule does not prohibit the inclusion of an advisory label statement, such as “made in a facility that also processes wheat,” on foods labeled gluten-free, provided that the statement is truthful and not misleading. FDA would need to evaluate food labels on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a specific advisory statement included along with a gluten-free claim would be potentially misleading to the consumer. However, any food whose label bears a gluten-free claim, regardless of whether it also has an advisory statement, must meet all the requirements of the final rule.
Granted, with the 20ppm ruling, contamination should be caught – provided the product contains one of the five regulated statements (see “Wording” above). But if they don’t state “gluten-free” on a product then they don’t have to test and therefore a “may contain” or “processed in a facility with wheat” statement would be very helpful. It seems to me that ANY product that could be contaminated with gluten should be required to state that fact. (Here’s what the FDA says about these advisory warnings – go to page 10)
Safe, regulated wording
As always, there are loopholes for manufacturers to take advantage of (as detailed above). But once the compliance date of Aug 5, 2014 is hit, the FDA will regulate the following words, making anything labeled with them safe down to 20ppm.
FDA Regulated “Safe Words”
free of gluten
free from gluten
All in all, this ruling is a great step forward in our gluten-free world. (Well, in a year when the compliance date is hit anyway.) With the passing of these new labeling rules we’ve been transported from a lawless, Gluten-Free Wild West to a nice little town that has a mild-mannered, FDA sheriff who wants to put the gluten behind bars. Well… kinda. But hey, it’s better than nothing!
What do you think about the new ruling? We’ve been waiting a long time for this – I’d love to hear what you think!
Check out the official FDA pages here:
FDA: Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food and scroll half way down and look for the section “D. Gluten Threshold: Evaluation and Findings”
FDA Allergen Food Facts
* source: quote found in Question 11 in the Q ‘n’ A segment on the proposed gluten guidelines
FDA defines “gluten-free” for food labeling
New rule provides standard definition to protect the health of Americans with celiac disease
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published a new regulation defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling. This will provide a uniform standard definition to help the up to 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive condition that can be effectively managed only by eating a gluten free diet.
“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.”
This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry. It requires that, in order to use the term “gluten-free” on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”
The FDA recognizes that many foods currently labeled as “gluten-free” may be able to meet the new federal definition already. Food manufacturers will have a year after the rule is published to bring their labels into compliance with the new requirements.
“We encourage the food industry to come into compliance with the new definition as soon as possible and help us make it as easy as possible for people with celiac disease to identify foods that meet the federal definition of ‘gluten-free’” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
The term “gluten” refers to proteins that occur naturally in wheat, rye, barley and cross-bred hybrids of these grains. In people with celiac disease, foods that contain gluten trigger production of antibodies that attack and damage the lining of the small intestine. Such damage limits the ability of celiac disease patients to absorb nutrients and puts them at risk of other very serious health problems, including nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, growth retardation, infertility, miscarriages, short stature, and intestinal cancers.
The FDA was directed to issue the new regulation by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which directed FDA to set guidelines for the use of the term “gluten-free” to help people with celiac disease maintain a gluten-free diet.
After being sick for a LONG time, I finally discovered I have Celiac Disease in 2009. I felt SO much better after going GF, I figured I could share my findings & hopefully make other people's gluten-free lives easier! :)
This work by Noi Louden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.