Paridd–Easy Gluten Free Cooking!

Paridd–Easy Gluten Free Cooking!

The restrictions of gluten free eating and a gluten free lifestyle are becoming more relevant in today’s society, and more widely resolved. Although many people focus on the limits that people have within restaurants, cooking at home brings alternate issues for those who are gluten free.

Pairdd is a website that offers home delivered ingredients, prepared for a home cooked meal. By recognizing the limited access that some may have to gluten free ingredients in local markets, Pairdd does the shopping for the customer. In addition, the measuring of each ingredient is done ahead of time, so all that has to be done is the cooking.

By looking at the pizzas, soups, stir fry, etc. offered by Pairdd, the quality of the ingredients is evident. This service, offered to Wisconsin residents, ensures that gluten free eaters do not miss out on any dining experience, especially in the home. 

The best part about pairdd.com is its accessibility on the Internet. Through just a few clicks, a home cooked meal can be bought, prepared, and delivered, leaving gluten free cookers with no excuses. In addition, the website has its own blog! Much like the other gluten free blogs that we have explored, the Pairdd blog offers a wide variety of interesting and fun information for people who are gluten free. 

For those of you who are gluten free, or not, I suggest checking out this website! See what foods are offered, and if you give it a try, see how well they turn out! Or at least check out the blog…

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Thanksgiving Pie

Yum! Pie. Pumpkin pie.

You can’t eat gluten? That is not a problem! Gluten-free pie can be better than pie made with gluten.

Here is how you can make it:

Here are some more instructions:

You want everything COLD. Much more important than gluten to a pie dough is cold. Weigh out the flours you’re going to be using and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before you start. If you’re using the food processor, put the bowl and blade of the food processor in the freezer as well. Cube up your butter into 1-inch pieces and put them in the refrigerator. You want COLD. That’s what makes a pie crust flaky.

And if you want to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Here is the best way to do so:

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Happy Holidays

P.S. Who doesn’t like deals? Check out gluten-free saver for many deals!

-Janice Vargas 🙂

A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about family and well, the food. We all know how much we are looking forward to this at home; Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this is definitely something that has been on my mind. There are actually plenty of convenient gluten-free foods and ingredients for Thanksgiving you can use as shortcuts, or you can decide to make everything on your menu from scratch — your choice. Pinterest has a great board of GF Thanksgiving Recipes – I highly recommend browsing through this.

Here’s a run-through of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and what you need to do to make them gluten-free:

The turkey. Fresh, plain turkeys — those without any added broth, spices or other ingredients — are always gluten-free. Don’t open any gravy packet that’s included with a turkey, though — those almost certainly contain gluten.

Stuffing. It’s actually pretty easy to make gluten-free stuffing, and once you add spices and other ingredients, it’s likely to taste almost exactly the way you remember it. You can use a mix or simply use gluten-free bread crumbs (either packaged or from your own stale bread) in your own traditional recipe — you shouldn’t even need to alter the recipe. If you add spices, make sure they’re from a safe source.

Mashed potatoes. Some brands of instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free, as well, but it’s not difficult to make your own, and I think they taste better that way.

 Sweet potatoes. You might find a recipe for candied sweet potatoes that includes flour as an ingredient, but I think it would be more the exception than the rule — the vast majority I’ve seen are naturally gluten-free.

Gravy. Many of us grew up watching our mothers make Thanksgiving gravy using the turkey pan drippings, plus wheat flour. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to make gluten-free gravy — just substitute corn starch for the flour.

Pumpkin pie. The trick to making a decent gluten-free pie is placing the emphasis on the filling, not on the crust. That being said, though, it’s not difficult to make a decent gluten-free pie crust, or you can purchase one pre-made and frozen at many high-end grocery stores. You also can try one of these gluten-free pumpkin recipes, which include ideas for pies and more. Just make sure that all your other ingredients — spices, mainly — are from safe sources.

 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

-Janice Vargas

Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance or sensitivity generally takes one of two forms: one with characteristics more similar to celiac disease and the other with characteristics more similar to a food allergy.

Given the varying degrees of severity and symptoms of gluten sensitivity, researchers believe the prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity to be much higher than that of celiac disease. It is estimated 6% of the U.S. population, or as many as 18 million people, suffers from gluten sensitivity.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

This group reacts with some of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease (gastrointestinal pain or bloating, diarrhea, fatigue) but gluten-sensitive individuals typically test negative for celiac disease in diagnostic blood tests and show no signs of the damage to the small intestine that defines celiac disease. Because of the lack of clarity around symptoms, no accurate or conclusive test for gluten intolerance has been found.

Treatment

As such, it is generally advised that people who may suffer from gluten sensitivity speak with a dietitian and follow a gluten-free diet to relieve symptoms. If following a gluten-free diet does not alleviate symptoms, it is advised patients speak with their doctors, as they may be suffering from something other than gluten intolerance. There are various outlets of Internet sources that one can seek out for gluten intolerance. Various websites and even phone applications have made it easier for those who are Gluten-Free! Keep an eye out for new websites for celiacs or even just googling a product will go a long way!

Some foods are naturally free of gluten. Here is a handy checklist of examples for your next trip to the supermarket:

  • Milk, not flavored with ingredients that contain gluten, such as malt
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juices
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Beans, in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Peanuts
  • Seeds, such as flax
  • Tree nuts, such as almonds
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Fresh fish (cod, salmon)
  • Fresh shellfish (clams, oysters)
  • Fresh poultry (unbreaded)
  • Fresh meats
  • Honey
  • Water, including bottled, distilled, spring

Check out The Food and Drug Administration or The Mayo Clinic for an extensive list.

-Janice Vargas

Everyday Struggles of Living Gluten-Free as told by BuzzFeed

Everyday Struggles of Living Gluten-Free

The popular website BuzzFeed creates hilarious content that may relate to almost any aspect of peoples’ lives. In the post above, titled “Everyday Struggles of Living Gluten-Free,” the sad but true facts about gluten-free are revealed with an exaggeratedly funny twist.

Although the restrictions of gluten-free eaters may seem minimal, they can effect many areas of their lives. In this list of 23 struggles, the more inconvenient facts of the matter are evaluated, such as the office or class parties that offer nothing gluten-free as seen in #8.  Of course this list is somewhat over-the-top and evidently hysterical as it picks fun at the everyday obstacles of somebody living gluten-free, but it definitely offers those that deal with it an opportunity to laugh and take this all a little less seriously.

LUNA & KIND: Yes, They’re GF!

Two of my favorite bars just happen to be gluten-free! KIND and LUNA protein Bars!!

  KIND

If you have never tried KIND gluten-free bars and granola, you are surely missing out. If you are a nut lover, you will definitely be into these; It may look like just another “health nut” bar, but it is so much more than that. With flavors like Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (my personal favorite) and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, you really can’t go wrong. If you don’t dig the whole chocolate thing as much as I do, KIND has you covered with several other flavors including Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio and Cranberry Almond. Seriously, think of any fruit and nut combination and it’s probably available on KIND’s list.

KIND also has gluten-free granola and let me tell you, this stuff is the best. It’s a perfect topping for your morning serving of Greek yogurt and fruit! I simply ate the granola straight from the bag and ran into the problem of “I can’t stop eating this” and had to eventually hide it deep in the pantry.

LUNA-1024x1024

While I try not to eat protein bars on a daily basis, I do find a need to have them on hand on a busy day, or to pack in my bag just in case I can’t make it back to my apartment before a class. Sometimes it can be hard to find gluten-free bars that you not only like, but don’t cost an arm and a leg (oh, us college students). The reason why I like LUNA protein bars is that they taste delicious (because I love all of the chocolaty flavors), but they are also reasonably priced.

I often take advantage of the 10 for $10 sales at the grocery store, that way I keep the cost low and have enough bars to last a decent amount of time. My favorite flavor is the Mint Chocolate Chip. With 12g of protein and 3g of fiber, LUNA Mint Chocolate Chip protein bars help me to get my mint craving in without leaving behind the guilt that chocolate mint candy would. It’s pretty amazing! If you haven’t hopped on the LUNA protein bar train yet, I highly recommend it. Even though the website is marketed towards women, I don’t think any fella should be afraid to take advantage of these. Like I said, they’re available at regular grocery stores, so you won’t have to make a separate trip to the health food store, and you can even get them on sale from time-to-time. (Yes, gluten-free sale items DO exist!)

I enjoy these bars for a variety of reasons and not just the taste. There are several occasions where I’ve had to grab on the go while rushing from class to class, and the LUNA & KIND bars don’t make me feel guilty like other snack bars too. I get the taste I want (with some chocolate of course) while I receive quality nutrients!

These bars are great for fuel before a workout or run. There’s a fine line between eating too little and being famished after a run, and eating too much and then regretting it during the run. KIND & LUNA bars have solved that problem for me. Just this morning I grabbed a KIND bar to eat about 25 minutes before I went on a run and it was the absolute perfect amount of fuel that I needed. Grab your smart phone and look up these bars and see for yourself if they’re gluten-free! 🙂 So, if you need fuel before or after a great workout, you know what kind of bars will help!

-Janice Vargas

Banana Cream Pie

Arguably the hardest meal for anyone who is gluten free is dessert. Imagine sitting around a table with your family; you see home-cooked brownies, cookies, pastries, donuts, cakes, pies…and you can’t eat a single thing. But–fear not!–your aunt swoops in with some store bought gluten-free cookies, and you can’t wait to sink your teeth into chocolate chip cookie goodness, so you take a bite and taste…cardboard. You remove the “cookie” from your mouth, squint your eyes, and try to figure out how someone made a piece of cardboard look just like your favorite dessert. Soon, reality begins to set in; you realize that you are stuck with a mediocre dessert (at best), but to make your aunt happy, you choke it down with some milk and a smile.

Odds are, if you are gluten free, this has happened to you. Even in the brief time that I was gluten free, I was served multiple variations of cardboard that were incorrectly labeled as desserts. So, until companies correct their labels, gluten free desserts may be best prepared at home. To get you started, here’s a recipe I found in the New York Times for a gluten free banana cream pie (YUM!!) that will be ready for you to eat in under two hours. Say goodbye to cardboard, and hello to deliciousness!

Kids’ Korner

The epitome of childhood is the yummy food that we all know and love.  As a kid, I was one to eat endless amounts of pancakes, pasta, and cookies…who wouldn’t?!  So as a gluten-free child, you may think there are set backs.  Especially to those parents who love to cook with their children, it is important to understand what a gluten-free child can and cannot eat.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness offers a helpfulpage on their website titled “Kids Central,” where a reader will find all things gluten free that will please any and all children who live with this intolerance.  The best part about this site is that it offers the option of either kids or parents, allowing anybody on the page to find just what they are looking for.  

For the kids, there are multiple places to find information about celiac and gluten-free in fun and interactive ways, including games and fundraisers.  For parents, there is helpful information that is well suited for the care taker of anybody with a gluten intolerance.  Along with this are gluten free recipes that a parent can try out with their child, allowing any kid to have the experience of homemade meals and baking with their parent, no matter what they can and cannot eat.

As a child with such food restrictions, I would surely find this website comforting.  It offers parents and kids to see that they truly are not alone, and that a whole community of people is willing to help in finding all sorts of fun things to do athome with celiac needs in mind.

To learn more visit this link, http://www.celiaccentral.org/kids/Image

Feel free to check out the rest of the website as well for plenty of more information about celiac disease, recipes, outlets, and more! 

Apple Picking in College!

Oh October– The weather is great and there are plenty of fun activities to do with this beautiful fall weather. This past weekend I wanted to try something new that I haver never done before: Apple Picking! I grew up in the city of Chicago and I never really had the chance to do this in the city. My friends and I decided we should have some fun and try this out. After all, this is the perfect time for some delicious ripped apples in Madison, Wisconsin.

We went to this place in Fitchburg called Eplegaarden, which was only a 20 minute drive off campus! It was beautiful! We stopped by the wooden stand in the middle to get a pre-paid bag for apples. We were able to pick apples from trees! We spent the afternoon seeing the difference between apples and apple trees, which was awesome. Cortland, Jonathan, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, etc. The type of apples varied, but my favorite were the Honeycrisp. Those were the best ones that they had during this time.

APPLES                           We definitely had fun 🙂                 more apples

It was definitely nice to get away from school for a bit and be outdoors! There are so many ways to enjoy apples, and of course they are naturally gluten-free! They are a nutritious snack, and they can be made into a sweet treat, like applesauce!

Here is an easy recipe for some delicious gluten-free, egg-free, peanut-free, soy-free, dairy-free Apple Sauce:

Ingredients
  1. 5 lbs of Apples (Empire or Macintosh work best)
  2. small amount of water
  3. Light Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Slice apples (unpeeled) and put in a large pot. Add small amount of water and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook apples on stove until soft. Place apples in apple mill to create apple sauce. Serve cold or warmed

Honeycrisp_apple_tree

Take advantage of this fall season and go on some fun adventures, like apple picking! Take your phone and google any apple picking areas in your neighborhood. As for my UW-Madison friends, I would recommend going to Eplegaarden in Fitchburg, WI!

-Janice Vargas 🙂

EZ Interactive Recipes

YouTube has been on the rise for the past few years, providing eager Internet users with more than just black and white font on a computer screen. By creating videos accessible to online consumers, the Internet has become more interactive than ever before. This resource has expanded into all areas of life, providing entertainment and helpful visual aids to accomplishing everyday tasks. The gurus that take part in the YouTube communities have gone from beauty and fashion, to technology and gaming, and now onto cooking as well.

With the rise of gluten free as well, YouTube gurus have been more than accommodating. Although there are many food channels aimed toward foodies lacking food allergies, there are others made specifically for gluten-free needs.

EZ Gluten Free is a channel that posts weekly, introducing new gluten free recipes. Rather than reading a recipe online, the interactive video makes it easier to follow, and more fun to learn. The foods range from meals to desserts that seem almost impossible to be gluten free.

http://www.youtube.com/user/EZGlutenFree?feature=watch

If you’re gluten free and looking for something new, give YouTube a look! Search gluten free and simply see what comes up…search, watch, make, enjoy!

-Kerry Justich