Hidden Gluten List Update

ListSquareSince my original 2010 List of Potential Hidden Gluten has been so popular, I figured I should update it with what I’ve learned since. So without further ado, here’s my new and improved List of Hidden Gluten to download for your personal use. Enjoy!

Hidden Gluten Sources 2013

 

Thank Goodness for the GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization)

While there still aren’t ANY federal requirements for manufacturers about food products being labeled as “gluten free” here in the US (see my diatribe on the FDA’s lack of response here), at least we have the Gluten Free Certification Organization. The GFCO is a branch of the Gluten Intolerance Group of

Whenever I consider a new product, the first thing I do is I look for their happy little GFCF’s logo: a Circle with “GF” inside of it. While it’s not a 100% guarantee you won’t get contaminated (the certification only requires a test to 20ppm, which isn’t enough for me), I still react to some things that are GFCO certified. Like, I’ve reacted to two kinds of Rudi’s Gluten Free Wraps on multiple occasions and they all have the GF Circle on it… (I’ve since banned Rudi’s from the house; too many sick weeks from those Spinach and Plain GF Wraps!)

And when you’re looking at the packaging of products be careful! Many companies will try to replicate the GIG logo and many will say “Certified Gluten Free” but don’t say by whom they’re certified. (Like, some internal division certifies the product, so they can make that claim.) So inspect any packaging that has a little GF logo on it and make sure it’s the exact GCFO logo (pictured above).

And get this: sone manufacturers have had their certification revoked or are just flat-out using the logo without actual certification or authorization, but still display the logo on their packaging. Check the GIG’s site for more information (they have an updated list of Unauthorized Uses and Violators on their first page). They also have updated lists of their currently certified products and manufacturers that I look at every few months (click here and then click on the “Certified Products” tab at the top). I often find new products to try this way – which makes my gluten free life a little easier!

Thanks GIG!!

Cheesecake Factory’s Gluten Free Menu 2013

Here’s the latest Gluten Free info for Cheesecake Factory… They say they’re “working towards providing a gluten free menu sometime in 2013.” But they said that in Feb 2012 as well, so I won’t be holding my breath waiting for a Gluten Free Cheesecake Factory menu….
But here’s what The Cheesecake Factory says about their current gluten-free options (a/o April 1, 2013):
——
Due to the possibility of a recipe change and/or product substitution, we respectfully recommend that you check with a manager prior to ordering. Our managers can confirm your selection and are happy to personally oversee the preparation of your meal. Despite these efforts, we are not able to guarantee against the unintentional or unforeseen cross-contamination of ingredients.

“As featured” Gluten Free Entrees
Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken
SkinnyLicious Pear and Endive Salad

Favorites that can be Modified to be Gluten Free
Miso Salmon, without Sake Butter Sauce
Fresh Grilled Salmon or Mahi Mahi, without Tartar Sauce
Petite Filet/Filet Mignon, without Onion Rings and Au Jus
Classic Burger or Turkey Burger, without Bun
Caesar Salad, without Croutons 

Gluten Free Appetizers Suggestions 
Quesadilla, substitute corn tortilla
Fire- Roasted Fresh Artichoke, without Spicy Vinaigrette
Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes, without Tomatillo Cream Sauce
Ahi Carpaccio, without Soy-Ginger Sesame Sauce and Togarashi Aioli

Gluten Free Suggestions from our Kids’ Menu
Kids Grilled Chicken
Kid’s Quesadilla, substitute corn tortilla,order without french fries 

Gluten Free Salad Dressings
Caesar
Citrus Honey
SkinnyLicious Mustard Vinaigrette 

Gluten Free Dessert Suggestions
Fresh Berries
Ice Cream
Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake (contains wheat husk but no gluten)
———

And here’s what Cheesecake Factory’s website says about serving people with Special Diets: “We will do our best to accommodate any special health and/or dietary requirements that our guests may have. When placing your order, just inform your server of your special requests and we will be happy to offer substitutions.”

 

Personally, (since I’m so very sensitive to the slightest bit of gluten) I don’t risk eating at Cheesecake Factory any more. How about you? Have you eaten gluten-free from the Cheesecake Factory lately? Have they gotten any better?

 

Beautiful Easter Ideas on Pinterest

Gluten Free Pinterest

 

I’m one of the last of my friends to get into Pinterest, but boy, am I in now!! Have you seen all the wonderful gluten-free ideas out there in stunning photos?! There are some amazing ideas out there. I’m a total Pinterest convert.

I just started pinning pics last month, but I already have tons of boards and pictures pinned. It’s so much fun to browse and find new ideas for gluten-free living. Especially for the holidays; I’ve found dozens of fab ideas for Easter. One of my son’s friends is coming over this afternoon and we’re going to make these little gluten-free pretzel Easter nests that I found on Pinterest.

I made an Easter Idea Board with all kinds of sweets, treats and meal ideas. Let’s see if I can figure out how to show you one of my boards… Hum.. I couldn’t figure out how to embed it on this page, but I took a screenshot to left you see a few fun Easter ideas on the page. So if you click on any of the Easter pictures in this post, it’ll take you to my Gluten Free Easter Pinterest page and you can see them all.

So many great gluten-free ideas swirling around out there just waiting to get pinned…! Have you found any good gluten-free Easter goodies that I should add to the collection?

Enjoy Life Cookie Deal

Since I have so many allergies (Dairy & Egg allergies and 63 other sensitivies, in addition to Celiac – yikes!), I have a very hard time finding baked goods I can safely enjoy. When I found Enjoy Life’s line of cookies a couple of years ago, I was ecstatic. Gluten free, diary (casein) free and egg free (actually, they’re free of all 8 Major Allergens), both their hard and soft baked cookies are safe for me to (occasionally) enjoy. (I only have them every once in a while because I’m also sensitive to grapes and grape juice is one of the ingredients.) And they’re super yummy! I prefer the soft baked ones (the crispy one’s have buckwheat, to which I’m also sensitive). The Brownie Bites are tiny little pillows of chocolate life-saving goodness on those occasions where I’m feeling left out. And our son LOVES the Snickerdoodles. We always have a box or two of Enjoy Life cookies in the pantry.
So when I opened my email this morning and saw a Gluten Free Saver Deal of the Day for not only a discount on stuff we already buy, but for new (hopefully yummy) allergy-consious baked products from Enjoy Life (“Decadent Soft Baked Bars”), I had hit the big yellow “Buy Now” button before I even realized what I was doing. I’ve missed out on their limited time deals before, so when I see one I like, I buy it right away.
I can’t wait to get these new bars! Something new to grab for breakfast on the run is ALWAYS a welcome addition to my gluten-free rotation. And I love that they’re not only made in a dedicated GF facility, but they’re also GFCO Certified; I feel doubly safe from gluten contamination.
Get This Week's Gluten-Free Deal!Are you a member of Gluten Free Saver yet? It’s a very easy, free service that I highly recommend (and just FYI: I only recommend products and services that I actually use myself – and I use this one all the time! It’s great). If you want to check it out, just click the banner above or click here to be brought to the Gluten Free Saver website, then enter your email and it’ll open the current Deal of the Day (like this one for Enjoy Life Cookies). Then they’ll send you emails with awesome mail-order deals (not too many emails – I think I get one every few weeks?) whenever they find good money saving deals. It’s a great way to not only save money on things you already get, but helps you find new gluten-free stuff you may not have otherwise found. And that, my friends, makes gluten-free life easier! :)

Have you used Gluten Free Saver or tried any of Enjoy Life’s cookies or bars? If so, share below; I always love to hear what you think.

Are Peeps Gluten Free?

Our 8-year-old son LOVES Peeps. Adores them! Personally, I don’t get the attraction. But every year (since I had to go gluten-free and we stopped bringing gluten into the house) he asks and I have to say no. Because a couple of years ago I did the research and found they were contaminated (shared equipment).

But this year when he asked (begged, really – I just don’t get it!), I took another look at the ingredients and was surprised to see “Gluten Free” right on the box! So I did some research and found that, yep, they must’ve changed their manufacturing practices because the Just Born (Peeps) website says that: “We offer many gluten-free products under the MIKE AND IKE®, HOT TAMALES®, PEEPS®, GOLDENBERG’S PEANUT CHEWS®, TEENEE BEANEE® and JUST BORN® brands and we are in the process of updating package labels to include gluten-free statements where appropriate.” And now they do!

The little man has already had, like, three boxes of Peeps. Yikes! But hey, they’re gluten-free. :)

 

Fritos Gluten-Free?

I just got back from the grocery store. All I have to say is what I heard my mother say over and over when I was a kid; don’t go grocery shopping while you’re hungry!!! As I looked down at my cart, I was greeted with an unfamiliar sight: a cart full of junk!! Oi. Have I not learned, after all this time?! Instead of the usual fresh fruits, veggies, meats and other “whole” foods, I had all kinds of processed foods. Pizzas (Food by George), french toast sticks (Ian’s), Smartfood, tortilla chips (Green Mountain Gringo) and… wait for it… Fritos!

I usually reserve my junk food eating for special occasions (like the Superbowl, birthday parties, Friday nights… kidding). But it’s been a while since Fritos made their way into our house. So I was surprised when I went to rip the bag o’ Original Fritos open in the parking lot (told you I was hungry!) and I happened to glance down at the ingredients. I was surprised not to find “gluten free.” Didn’t they used to have that? At the bottom, a little all-lower case “gluten free” … way under the ingredients? Hum. So I didn’t open the bag and came home to check it out.

But here it is: Original Fritos, Lightly Salted and Scoops are all gluten-free! Yay! I see a ripped bag in my future…! But then I realized I don’t think I ever posted this handy list. Frito-Lay is pretty good about updating their lists (this one is only a week old as I write this). And, even better, they have two gluten-free lists. One list of “totally” safe products because they don’t contain gluten ingredients and are tested down to 20ppm for contamination. The second list is for people who may be able to tolerate a little contamination because they’re manufactured on the same lines as products that contain gluten (not for me, thank you!!).

So here’s the list of the safe products that I reference before eating any Lay’s products: U.S. Gluten Free Products and Products Not Containing Gluten Ingredients | Frito-Lay. Hope this helps make your gluten-free life easier! :)

 

“Bakery on Main” Granola

My family loves this granola! We always have a bag of the Cranberry Granola in the house (appropriate since we’re currently living in cranberry country in Massachusetts!!). That was the first flavor we tried and it was so yummy that we never branched out. So when I got an email from Gluten Free Saver, and saw this deal for a 5-bag Variety Pack, we were psyched! We ordered it yesterday and are eagerly awaiting the package. Click here to save 44% on a 5-Bag Variety Pack of Bakery On Main certified Gluten-Free Granola! And you know Bakery On Main products are going to be safe! Bakery On Main is a dedicated gluten-free facility — and they’re certified by the GIG’s GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization). Ya gotta love it when you find that little GF circle logo on products… you can just breathe easier knowing the GIG is on the cross-contamination case!! :)

BTW…  I highly recommend joining Gluten Free Saver. It’s a service that emails you (seems like a couple of times a month) to notify your about their latest gluten-free deals. They have so many awesome, money saving deals on gluten-free food that we’ve saved over $100 in just the past five months. And we’ve discovered some new favorite brands (like Vermont Smoke and Cure. My DH is now completely addicted to their … meat sticks?… since we ordered a sampler pack from Gluten Free Saver). Get My Gluten-Free Deals! Basically Gluten Free Saver is like having someone gather up and discount a whole bunch of great gluten-free brands and emailing you to let you in on the deals. It rocks!! And it’s free! So check it out by clicking their logo above… Let me know if you score any good deals! :)

-Recall Alert- Batch of Applegate GF Nuggets Contain Wheat

The FDA just put out a press release that a batch of Applegate Farm’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets, made on Sept 19, 2012, actually contain wheat and are therefore not safe for a GF diet. They report that consumer who was familiar with the nuggets noted a color difference and contacted the manufacturer. Upon investigation, it was determined that the chicken nuggets were mislabeled and do indeed contain Wheat.

Below is the information for the contaminated batch. If you purchased these products, you should return them to the store from which you bought them for a full refund.

Distributed in Indiana, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Lot number: “210864

UPC code: “25317-00556

Establishment number “P-2617

Best Gluten Free Breads

My whole wonderful family has gone gluten free to support me (thanks guys!), so I make a point to bring home each and every new gluten free bread-type-substance for them to try. Since they don’t have to be gluten free (let alone dairy and egg free, like I do), I want them to have the absolute best tasting GF baked goods out there. And after trying TONS of different brands and types of gluten alternatives, I figured I should post a short list of all our current faves.

— BREAD —

The best gluten free sandwich bread that we’ve found is the Whole Foods brand of Gluten Free Light Sandwich Bread (make sure it’s the Light one though!). It’s made by Whole Foods’ Gluten Free Bakehouse, which is a dedicated GF facility. We lightly toast it, top it with whatever the occasion calls for (sandwich meats [Applegate] or cheeses [Applegate or Kraft] or butter or jelly or whatever). Then – and this is the key to getting the right texture – you stick it in the microwave for 25 seconds. Because when you toast a previously frozen piece of bread, it gets hard! 25 seconds in the microwave gets it back to the right texture.

Then there’s a super yummy gluten free Baguette that my boys love: Against the Grain’s Rosemary Baguette. Another dedicated gluten free facility, the Against the Grain products are cheesy and delicious!! It’s kind of chewy just out of the bag tho. So I take pieces of the baguette, cut it in half, heat a bit of Safflower oil in a frying pan and lightly pan fry (and, as our son says, “smoooosh the heck out of it”). Top immediately to make warm, yummy panini-like sandwiches.

— WRAPS —
Rudi’s has just come out with Rudi’s Gluten Free Tortillas. I can only find the Spinich wraps (they also have Plain and Fiesta Tortiallas too). They’re by FAR the best  GF wrap I’ve ever tasted. They’re soft and pliable, tasty and certified GF by the GIG. I eat one just about every weekday for lunch. They’re a GFCFEF lifesaver!!!!!! I keep them in the refrigerator (they stay fresh longer), so I either microwave it for 10-15 seconds or pan fry it in Olive oil for about 23 seconds per side.

— ENGLISH MUFFINS —

While not technically an official version of what we Americans think of as “English Muffins,” our family loves LivWell’s Crumpets. Whole Foods often carries the LivWell products in the frozen Gluten Free section. These are best served exactly as you would a normal english muffin: simply toasted in a (dedicated GF) toaster and topped with butter or jelly or whatever your heart desires.

Glutino’s English Muffins are also good. They’re a little thick for our taste, but again, “smoooooshing the heck out of it” while spreading topping is the key to getting it “back to normal.”

Hope this helps!

Do you have any favorite gluten free breads? If so, please let me know by leaving a Reply below. We always love to hear about yummy new gluten free possibilities!!