A friend of mine recently came to me because he found out his daughter was intolerant to gluten. I do not live a gluten-free lifestyle, but have access to many of you in the blogosphere who do, so I reached out to my friends on Twitter and have compiled the resources you pointed me to. I also hope to reach out to more of you via this blog post. Here’s what I’ve gathered so far:
What is Gluten Intolerance? Celiac Disease?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and malt. People who are intolerant to gluten thrive on a gluten-free diet and may or may not have Celiac disease (apparently it’s hard to test for and results are often unreliable). Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder (not an “allergy”) in which the gluten protein cannot be tolerated by an individual and actually causes damage to the small intestines (and prevents nutrients from absorbing into the system). Untreated, Celiac disease can lead to a person becoming malnourished and/or getting osteoporosis, thyroid disease and/or cancer. So, it is imperative that people with this disease eat a gluten-free diet. The symptoms of gluten intolerance include: abdominal cramping/bloating, diarrhea, constipation, depression, and anemia (among lots of other unsavory things).
Tasty Yummies’ Pumpkin, Ricotta & Gruyere Gluten-Free Pasta
- Celiac Disease Foundation
- Celiac Sprue Association
- Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation
- Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program
- Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- This gluten-free cheat-sheet [click here] created by Allison St. Sure of Sure Foods Living and posted on Cook IT Allergy Free is awesome since it lists what grains are not allowed on a gluten-free diet, common foods that contain wheat, ingredients that may contain gluten, foods & other things to watch out for (like soy sauce and hoisin!), and the grains, flours & starches that are permissible on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Recipe Blogs
This is not an exhaustive list, and while I am vegan and some of the below are also vegan, my friend and his daughter are not, so any non-vegan recommendations would be appreciated as well!
- Celiac Chicks
- Cook IT Allergy Free [they've got an iPad and iPhone application for gluten-free eaters here]
- Diet Dessert ‘n Dogs
- Gluten Free Easily
- Gluten Free Girl
- Gluten Free Goddess
- Gluten Free Mommy
- Green Vegan Living
- Sure Foods Living
Gluten Free Products
I know that gluten-free eaters need to be wary of cross-contamination and proper labeling, so these are some products that are explicitly marketed as gluten-free (not an exhaustive list):
- Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes
- Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola
- Brookfarm Gluten Free Macadamia Muesli
- Enjoy Life Gluten Free Cereal
- Erewhon Gluten Free Cereal
- Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Cereal
- Udi’s Granola Gluten Free Cereal
- Crunchmaster <–I’ve tried these and they are amazeballs
- Mary’s Gone Crackers <–I’ve tried these and they are amazeballs
- Amy’s Kitchen – See their Gluten-Free line
- Bell & Evans – See their Gluten-Free line
- Caesar’s Pasta – See their Gluten-Free line
- Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Pastas
- Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta
- If you would like to try your hand at baking some gluten-free goodies, Bob’s Red Mill offers lots of gluten-free flours (I usually see people using a mix of chickpea and fava flour for best results) – see here
- Also, note that grocery chains like Trader Joe’s explicitly mark “gluten free” on their gluten-free products and have a list here [links to PDF] of those items. You can also check out Gluten Free Pantry here - they are an online store featuring gluten-free pantry items.
- There are tons of awesome gluten-free cookbooks, including BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles
- Check out No Meat Athlete’s guide to gluten-free (& vegan) baking here
- Check out Oh She Glow’s compilation of Panera-inspired GF (& vegan) baked goods here
Restaurants are becoming more and more knowledgeable of gluten-free eating and are making clear designations on their menus of gluten-free options. Any recommendations of specific restaurant chains that are especially good at catering to gluten-free eaters?
Can You Help?
If you have any suggestions, tips, resources, etc., please post in the comments section. I know my friend is so appreciative of any help!
The Cranky One