Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gluten Free Durham Reader Shares Cookie Recipe

I recently received this tip from Minerva, a Gluten Free Durham Reader who was  experimentng with baking treats for a 4 year old celiac. See her recipe and comments befow:

I adapted this from a ginger cookie recipe in an old book out of need to provide cookies to a 4 year old celiac, using whatever ingredients I had available at the time. They came out great! I call them "Sofias". I am not much of a decorator, so I'm sure others can improve on this recipe.

1- Prepare enough gluten-free cookie flour (I call it "cookie flour because have not tested if will work well in other recipes):
   a. Equal parts of:
      Brown Rice Flour
      Tapioca Flour (aka Tapioca Starch)
      Very fine milled Corn Meal (I find it at the hispanic supermarket;
         NOT the same as masa)
   b. Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour/starch/meal

2- Mix and sift together the dry ingredients
   2 1/4 cups gluten-free cookie flour (above)
   1/2 teaspoon baking powder
   1/8 teaspoon salt

3- Soften 1/2 cup butter and mix in the following
   1/2 cup brown sugar (loose, not packed)
   1/2 cup maple syrup (original recipe asked for molasses, had none)
   1 egg, beaten

4- Mix together dry ingredients and butter mix.

5- Put into one of those confectioners squeezable bags with a tip (sorry don't know what they are called) and make fun shapes (see pictures). Alternatively can mix and "massage" for a while into a dough that can be rolled down and cut. We also put some sprinkles before putting in the oven.

 6- Bake in 350 degrees preheated oven, 10-15 minutes depending on the tickles and shape of cookies.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are all Gluten Free Menus created equal?

Increasingly restaurants are catering to the increased demand for gluten free items on their menus. To find restaurants with gluten free offerings in most areas you can simply enter the "zip code gluten free" example for Durham: 27705 gluten free. This yields a list of 381,000 listings related to gluten free in this zip code and several of them are restaurants with gluten free options. But are all gluten free menus created equal? Who provides the over site of gluten free food procurement, preparation and training of all restaurant staff?

Within the Celiac/Gluten Free Community there are two well-respected Gluten-Free Restaurant Training Programs that partner with Restaurants to provide training. They include:

Gluten-Free Awareness Restaurant Program

GREAT Gluten Fee Kitchens Program

By accessing either of the above sites you can find listings of independent restaurants and chains that have taken the steps to provide proper training to the kitchen staff and adhere to some quality standards for gluten free menu items. In addition if you own a restaurant or work in the food service industry you may want to explore the resources available to you as you plan your gluten free menu offerings.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gluten Free in NC

I was in Asheville recently where I attended an education event for dietitians with featured speaker Shelley Case ,RD,  who is one of the leaders in the area of Gluten Disorders.  I figured if Shelley could come to us all the way from her home in Canada I could drive a few hours from Durham.   Check out Shelley's website it is an invaluable resource!  The seminar was followed the next day with a Gluten Free Expo in downtown Asheville.  Lots of goodies to taste, vendors to meet and an expert panel of health professionals and support group leaders.  While at the expo I met Jeff SanGeorge who is heading up the website Gluten Free in NC.  Jeff and his family have a passion for food and creating awareness about the gluten free diet.  He lives in Greensboro, NC.  Check out his site as it covers topics and tips throughout the state of NC .

Speaking of Gluten Free Expos, I have heard that Raleigh will be hosting their very own in August 2012.  Details to follow....