Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review of Bumblebars, Shelf Reliance Food Storage Products

If you don't belong to a support group for people with celiac disease/gluten intolerance, I highly recommend joining.  My sister and I started a group in our area, and it has been a great experience.  It is valuable to share ideas about products and menu ideas for area restaurants that serve gluten-free food.  I like the feeling of knowing there is someone else out there who is willing to talk about what they are going through when it comes to our difficult--yet life-saving--gluten-free diet.

At our support group meeting a few days ago, we had a representative come from Shelf Reliance.  She said that their company has just received word that their separate facility is indeed gluten free, and they will be able to remove the cross-contamination statement on their label as soon as they receive their official certificate.  It is hard to know what to do about food storage, so I am excited to have some gluten-free options.  These products are freeze dried, and I was impressed with the quality and taste of their product.  I would rate their products at 8.5 out of 10.  I tried the corn, chicken, green beans, mango, pineapple, apples, strawberries (a bit sour, but good), strawberry yogurt (also on the sour side, but not too bad), and ice cream.  I am hoping to purchase a few of these products for our food storage supply and our 72-hour-kits.  I like the idea of having some form of meat in my kit, so I will likely purchase the chicken, along with a fruit and a vegetable.


I received a nice e-mail from the Bumblebar company.  They sent us some free samples for our support group to taste.  These are made from sesame seeds and flax seeds.  My daughters didn't like them too much because of the main flavor of sesame seeds, but they are quite good and would taste great during an emergency.  I think I will add some of these to our 72-hour-kits as well.  I would rate them at 7 out of 10.

(Photo Source:  http://www.bumblebar.com/bumblebars.html )

Friday, January 20, 2012

Interview with Barbara

I am delighted to post an interview I had with my sister-in-law, Barbara.  I have learned a lot from her.  I especially admire her desire to gain more knowledge about many different health subjects. 

Why are you on a gluten-free diet?

When my relatives started talking about their recent diagnosis of celiac disease and the need to eat gluten-free, and since I was also having some of the same symptoms, I decided to get the testing done to determine whether or not I had celiac disease.  I didn't, but I had gluten sensitivity.  

What was the next step in your journey?

One of my doctors told me that whole grains were much better for me and to eat lots of them.  Some of the doctors I saw said my diet didn't matter, but through trial and error and research, I realized that I felt better on a gluten-free diet.  Nevertheless, I ate gluten some of the time, and my weight kept climbing slowly. I am currently reading an interesting new book called, Wheat Belly, by William Davis, M.D.  He is a cardiologist, and he has found that a lot of his heart patients have had a struggle losing weight.  He had put them on the American Heart Association Diet, and the Diabetes Diet, or a whole-grain diet and his patients still didn't lose weight, but kept gaining.  The connection came that the weight gain was from eating whole grains, particularly wheat.

The doctor I am currently seeing also has sensitivities to gluten and some other grains.  She has helped me understand better how the body reacts to grains.  (See her blog at http://askdrjudi.blogspot.com/)

What are some of your favorite gluten-free blogs/web sites?

A Year of Slow Cooking, by Stephanie O-Dea (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/)

What is one of your favorite restaurants that serves gluten-free food?

Dairy Keen, in Heber City, Utah.  They have fabulous gluten-free hamburger buns and a large gluten-free menu with sandwiches, gluten-free French fries, and ice cream.

What products have you tried that you have liked and disliked?

I like to use almond flour, which helps to keep my blood sugar more regular and works well for my dietary needs.  I tried Better Batter Gluten-free Flour, which I used to make cinnamon rolls.  I was disappointed with the results.  My husband wouldn't finish his cinnamon roll, because it was doughy and didn't taste very good.

What are your favorite recipes from my cookbook?


Pumpkin Muffins (with chocolate chips)  (These are awesome and you can't tell they are GF)

Enchilada Soup (Very yummy)

Tasty Sweet Pork Mexican Salad

Thanks, Susan, for sharing all of your knowledge and information with everyone.

You are very welcome. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Favorite Pancakes, Caramel Syrup, and Dairy-free Syrup

When we started our gluten-free diet, I knew that one of the first recipes I needed to develop was a good pancake recipe.  Getting the recipe just right wasn't without effort.  It seemed like the first three times I made gluten-free pancakes, they tasted like bitter pretzels.  Weird, huh?  I kept at it, though--even though I was truly about to give up.  It was worth the extra effort. This pancake recipe is a winner with our family.  The caramel syrup is, too.  I developed the dairy-free syrup during the two years we were off dairy products.   I hope you will enjoy all three recipes.

Favorite Pancakes 

1 egg
½ cup applesauce
1½ cups milk, almond milk, or soy milk
½ cup cooking oil
1 cup tapioca flour
⅓ cup sorghum flour
⅛ cup potato starch
⅛ cup corn flour
½ cup rice flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat griddle.
  2. Blend together egg, applesauce, milk and cooking oil. Add dry ingredients. Stir until moistened.
  3. Fry pancake batter on non-stick griddle until pancakes are golden brown on each side. Serve with syrup.  Freeze leftovers.

Serves 6 to 8

Tip  Brown rice flour is higher in nutrient value, but because of the oils in the bran, it has a shorter shelf life and should be stored in a tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Caramel Syrup

½ cup butter
½ cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add milk, sugar and brown sugar. Stir and boil gently for one minute. Remove pan from stove and add buttermilk and vanilla.

Dairy-Free Syrup
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon butter flavoring

  1. Bring water, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla and butter flavoring to a boil in a medium saucepan and reduce heat to medium-high.
  2. Simmer for 1 minute.