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Mustard? Let’s Not Be Silly Now…Lemon, That’s Different…

Anyone pick up on that quote?  Famous from Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland.  So now we will take a look at mustard.  I could save you some time and say, don’t eat any of it, but that’s not fair.  I just do not care for it.  I do know many like it on a hamburger or hotdog, and there seem to be many different varieties. From your ‘Pardon me, do you have any Gray Poupon,’ to your Spicy Yellow.  So let’s see what we can find…

French's Mustard

Classic Yellow--Yes, Gluten Free!

French’s Mustard–probably the most popular around picnic tables for summer picnics.  We will just review their ‘Classic Yellow’ flavor.  Mustard contains a variety of ingredients and spices, from the mustard seeds to distilled vinegar.  Even with the vinegar, French’s does consider their Classic Yellow to be gluten free: http://www.frenchs.com/faqs/YellowMustard.php

Gray Poupon–Yes, we all know the commercials…they drive on buy and ask for the Gray Poupon.  Once, a European owned entity, now owned by Kraft Foods.  Another mustard with distilled vinegar, but according to Kraft, still gluten free as:

Vinegar listed in the ingredient statement of Kraft products means distilled vinegar is used. Per our ingredient suppliers, the distilled vinegar we use does not contain gluten. –http://www.kraftrecipes.com/healthy-living-ideas/articles/food-allergies/glutenfreefoods.aspx

Hellman's Dijonnaise--Gluten Free!Hellman’s Dijonnaise–We know Hellman’s for their mayo, but their Dijonnaise is another popular mustard.  In viewing their site (http://www.hellmanns.com/faqs.aspx) they also share their gluten free status.

Now, if mustard only tasted good…

Mayonnaise

Hellmans

Bring Out the Hellmans' and Bring Out the Gluten Free...

When we say pass the mayo, we usually mean just one brand–Hellmanns.  While other brands exist, Hellmans is mayo.  Everything else is secondary, or Miracle Whip!  We’ll review both, but first, let’s share that all Hellmann’s Mayonnaise products are gluten free: http://www.hellmanns.com/faqs.aspx.  Ok, ok…I know other mayos are out there.  Being in the South, I better take a quick look at Duke’s–a tomato sandwich on marshmellow bread is not a sandwich without Duke’s.

So, in looking at Duke’s, they state that while the ingredients do not contain gluten, they make Duke’s mayo in a facility where cross-contamination is possible.  So avoid that one.  (http://www.dukesmayo.com/ask.asp).

Let’s move on to Kraft.  Yes, I will concede many people buy Kraft mayo as well.  Grudgingly…  Anyway, Kraft does put together a helpful website for Celiacs.  They state that if the product contains a gluten ingredient, it will be labeled.  Kraft’s Mayo does not list anything, so we can assume it is gluten free.

Finally, rounding out the products, let’s take a look at Miracle Whip, the cousin of mayonnaise.  Kraft also makes Miracle Whip, so the above procedure applies.  If a gluten ingredient exists, they will list it.  None of the gluten ingredients are listed, so Miracle Whip can be added to your Celiac’s sandwich!

Gluten Free Condiments

While maybe not the most exciting topic to cover, definitely a necessary one, as much uncertainty exists.  You would think one ketchup being gluten free, then they all would.  But then we introduce Catsup, different flavors of mustard, and light and regular mayonnaise.  Lots of room for confusion!  We will spend a few posts with this topic, though, as we began exploring, the choices are wide.  We will focus on the ‘well known’ products, but many of the store brands also may be gluten free.  Check those labels carefully.  We focus on the well knowns, as those can usually be purchased anyhere.  So let’s start with the basics.

Ketchup/Catsup:

Heinz GF Logo

Heinz--A Good Labeler of GF Foods!

I have Pittsburgh in my blood, so ketchup of course, means one thing: Heinz.  So, of course, a lot rides on the fact whether their ketchup is gluten free.  Thankfully, yes, Heinz ketchup does clearly state ‘gluten free’ on the label.  Heinz actually lists many things, some surprising, that they consider gluten free.  Read carefully though, as some products are in the UK, Canada, or other countries.  Good to see so many products, though!

Hunts Logo

Is It Catsup or Ketchup?

I believe Hunt’s Ketchup used to be Catsup.  Regardless, it does not quite stack up to Heinz in this humble reporter’s opinion.  ConAgra, Hunt’s parent company does contain some information regarding gluten-free products.  For instance, they discuss a gf flour they are working on here: http://conagrafoodscompany.com/corporate/aboutus/innovationStory.jsp?id=2.  Unfortunately on their website, I could not find a product listing.  I already knew, due to the distilled vinegar in Hunt’s, they were NOT gluten free, but I would like to see their website confirm it instead of using a non-product website: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=33295

Ok, so it looks like Heinz wins the ketchup/catsup battle.  Mustard and mayo coming up next!

Gluten Free at Sheetz

Sheetz Yogurt

Sheetz Yogurt--Gluten Free!

How did we not yet review Sheetz?  Growing up in Pennsylvania, you could find a Sheetz convenience store on every corner.  Besides cheap gas, they also prepared MTOs, or made to order sandwiches.  Anything from hot dogs, to subs, to salads.  You just punched in what you wanted on the computer screen (or pad and paper in the old days), and they would prepare it.  Over time, Sheetz begin to migrate South, first into Virginia, which helped on the long trips back to Pennsylvania.  Between the gas and food, they provided a nice pit stop.  Then finally a few years back, into North Carolina.  And then they began to expand!  They went from just a drive-in and go store to a ‘restaurant,’ providing chairs and tables to eat in, if you wished.  Recently, they also developed a grab and go case with prepared sandwiches and other foods.

So, what does Sheetz offer to the typical Celiac?  Well, hopefully something, as we stop quite frequently, especially travelling.  I recently discovered their yogurt cups (see picture) as clearly marked gluten free.  This definitely helps when travelling, cutting down on the need for a large cooler.  In these cases they have other things, such as cheeses, snack packs (watch out for the pretzels), eggs, and other sliced fruits.  Obviously, their sandwiches are not gluten-free due to the bread.  They do not currently carry any gluten-free breads.  For all their made-to-order foods, they provide an allergy statement:

ALLERGEN WARNING: All foods, bakery items, and specialty beverages in our store are prepared in a shared environment which could cause exposure of any product to known food allergens. These would include, but are not limited to: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, egg, fish, and milk.

So for now, anyway, they cannot guarantee anything for their made-to-order foods.  However, the foods I mentioned, plus the fact this is a convenience store (think 7-11), you can find many types of chips, candy, and other gluten-free items.  Not a large selection, but you won’t starve!  I also hope, with them putting ‘gluten free’ on some things, like their yogurt, more will continue.  When travelling, we definitely look for Celiac friendly pit stops!

**Reminder–Cel Kids Event at Earth Fare–February 27th, 2-4pm

Just a reminder that the Brier Creek Earth Fare will host our next family event. Among the activities:

  • samples of kid-friendly foods from Rosie’s Plate
  • Earth Fair cookie sampling (yum!!)
  • a kid-friendly tour of Earth Fare
  • a discussion on information about gluten-free lunches from Wake County Public Schools

Please RSVP as soon as possible with the total number to attend at raleigh.celkids@gmail.com.  We need an exact count so Rosie’s and Earth Fare can plan accordingly.

Mickey D’s Gluten Free Menu

McDonald's Logo

I'm Gluten-Freein' It.

The most ubiquitous fast food restaurant can definitely help guide what all the other restaurants do.  In other words, if McDonald’s provides a comprehensive gluten-free menu, we can expect that from other restaurants as well.  You figure, over 70% (rough estimate) of the US lives within 5 miles of a McDonald’s.  And with the whole indoor (or outdoor) playground, Happy Meal, Ronald McDonald thing, of course children want to go there.  Also, as we all travel, we can count on a McDonald’s in every small town or Interstate exit we come to.

So, where do they stand on gluten free items?  If nothing else, you can be like us, milkshakes!  Their chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla shakes, or Triple Thick Shakes to be exact, are all gluten free.  I could stop there, as that’s all our children probably care about!  But we’re parents, so we nag.  McDonald’s actually does post a good allergen menu available here: http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionexchange/nutrition_ingredients.html.  When an allergen is in a product, they label it.  According to McDonald’s:

Allergens contained within these components are indicated in capital type at the end of each respective ingredient statement. We encourage customers to check these statements regularly as ingredients in menu items may change

When you go through the list of other gf items, many of them include condiments and syrups.  So you can fill your kids up on those!  You can also eat the sausage patties.  Or a plain hamburger patty.  Some other things include:

  • Apple Dippers and Low Fat Caramel Dip
  • American Cheese
  • Breakfast Beef Steak
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (no granola)
  • Ice Cream Sundaes including nuts
  • McFlurry® with M&M’S® Candies
  • Sausage
  • Scrambled Egg
  • Caesar Salad w/o Chicken
  • Side Salad
  • Newman’s Own® Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Newman’s Own® Cobb Dressing
  • Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Newman’s Own® Ranch Dressing
  • Newman’s Own® Salsa

What about the fries?  We know places like Chick-Fil-A and Five Guys are safe, as they fry their fries in dedicated fryers.  In other words, all those wheat nuggets, chicken patties, etc do not come in contact with the fries.  At McDonald’s?  The best advice is to ask the individual restaurant if they fry their fries in dedicated friers.  With McDonald’s, some will fault the oil as well.  My opinion–steer clear, or do what we do–bring some fries from Chick-Fil-A!

So definitely some options.  And really, any Celiac only wants a few options.  A sausage patty or hamburger patty to grind up in a salad.  A milkshake.  Ice cream.  Just some options, as Celiacs must travel too!

Image used under CC license by flickr user Leonid Mamchenkov’s

Valentine’s Treats

Valentine's Peeps

I Love Gluten Free Peeps!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Our girls enjoyed their first Valentine’s Day at their school the other day.  Of course they received all sorts of cards, trinkets, and candy!  Most was gluten free.  Unfortunately, our oldest ate some conversation hearts that were not gluten free, so she seems a little sick today.

What do you do when holidays approach for your school-aged children?  We have shared the ‘Gluten Free’ Foods/Candy with our daughters teachers.  Definitely good to send in cupcakes ahead of time as well if you know a special treat will be brought in.  My wife prepares an entire batch of gluten free cupcakes (thanks Betty Crocker GF mixes!), then freezes them.  That allows her to pull out a cupcake as needed.  We do the same thing with cookies.  I definitely think with older children, you could ask the teacher to post the ‘Gluten Free’ listing in the classroom, so the child can look at it before eating something.  And of course, even my 5 year old can read labels and decide if something is gluten free and has or does not have wheat in it.  Where it becomes murky is when the candy comes from a package that does not label each individual piece.  In that situation, we definitely need to reiterate to our girls to bring it home, and we’ll look it up online.

Lots of blogs, web resources, and books exist to help with different holidays.  We recently found a great listing of gf Valentine’s goodies here: http://celiacfamily.com/gluten-free-valentine-candy/ As with ANY online resource, take it with a grain of salt.  A few things on their list I question, so do not ever treat a resource like this as a final authority, but a starting place for you to begin your ‘Celiac detective work!’

Free GF Cookbook!

Jules Cookbook Logo

Free eCookbook For You!

With the high price of some gluten free foods, we definitely like to find the discounts, especially when free!  That’s what you can find below with a free eCookbook from Jules Gluten Free.  I copied the entire email, that shows both how you obtain the cookbook (through a link listed), then they also offer another discount, if you are interested.

Dear Celiac Support Group Leader,
We wanted to share with you and your support group the following offer to get a FREE e-CookbookPlease forward this to your group as soon as possible as this offer expires on Feb 16th.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  Thanks much!
– The Jules Gluten Free Team
FREE e-Cookbook with Coupon!
For a limited time, get a FREE electronic copy of the just-released Jules’ Baker’s Dozen e-Cookbook, with 13 of her most requested recipes!  Simply click here and enter coupon code bakers7 (case sensitive).
Expand your gluten-free repertoire with 13 of Jules’ easiest, most delicious, no-compromise recipes: as determined by the requests she gets from people like you! There’s even a 3-page section on making other ingredient substitutions, for those concerned with other food sensitivities or allergies.
Featuring stunning color photography, this 27 page e-cookbook features recipes your WHOLE family will love, including:
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Birthday Cake and Frostings
  • Breadsticks/Dinner Rolls
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pancakes
  • Pizza
  • Sandwich Bread and more…
This e-cookbook retails for $9.95, but is yours FREE between now and Feb-16.  Downloading is simple, just click here and enter coupon code bakers7 (case sensitive).
Also, if you haven’t yet tried our critically acclaimed all purpose flour, we are offering $5 off our Starter Kit (everything you need to start making delicious, gluten-free baked goods, including a 5-lb bag of our all purpose flour, the Baker’s Dozen e-cookbook, and two additional e-books) when you order between now and Feb-16!
This is a $70 value that is regularly priced at $39.95, but is available for only $34.95 for a limited time. Click here to order today.

Robert’s Pirate’s Booty

Pirate's Booty

Arrrrrr You Snackin' With GF Pirate's Booty?

Even before our first was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, we enjoyed Pirate’s Booty.  In the early days, we could only find it at Trader Joe’s, but now we can find it at a variety of locations including Krogers.  We will add both to the Raleigh Cel-Kids Google Map, showing where in the Raleigh area you can find gluten free items (Raleigh Cel-Kids Google Map Link).

Now with two girls diagnosed as Celiac, we are quite excited to see all the Pirate’s Booty varieties gluten free.  On their website (http://www.piratesbooty.com/) you can find information on the various flavors, community links including a blog and Facebook group, and more.  If you do not have a Trader Joe’s, Kroger, or other store selling Pirate’s Booty in your area, you can use the website to purchase online.

So, what is Pirate’s Booty?  When growing up in Central Pennsylvania, I always snacked on the hulless popcorn.  Some of it was cheddar cheese flavored.  That is probably the closest thing I can compare Pirate’s Booty to.  A mix of rice and corn puffs with various flavorings, including new BBQ and Sour Cream and Onion.  We prefer the original White Cheddar, although we don’t mind snacking on any of the flavors.  From the Pirate’s Booty website:

Pirates like their cheddar like they do their rum, aged to perfection.  Aged White Cheddar is made from puffed rice and corn, blended with real aged white cheddar cheese and baked perfectly to pirate standards.

Why can I hear Johnny Depp’s voice through that description?  Anyway, another great snack to add some variety to school lunches, after school snacks, or party snacks.

Pirate Booty logo

All Pirate's Booty Varieties--Gluten Free!

Valentine’s Fruit By the Foot

Fruit By the Foot Box

Valentine's Treat--Fruit By the Foot

How we LOVE Betty Crocker!  We reported recently about their new website, focusing on their gluten free products (http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/), which is quite a large step for a major company.  They report over 200 products as gluten free.  They also began to really label their products, when gluten free, even on all their frostings.  We recently made a ‘Tinkerbell’ cake with a gf chocolate mix and white frosting, and the frosting did indeed say gluten free.

When out shopping recently, we found the Valentine’s themed Fruit By the Foot.  Of course, on the side, it does say ‘gluten free.’  How terrific!  We can usually find something similar when preparing holiday treats for school for the girls, but when we can just buy a box of fruit snacks, themed for the holiday, it makes things a little easier for us parents.  Now, the girls can take in some themed treats to school that they CAN eat and share.  Not a huge thing, but I am sure, definitely helps them in dealing with Celiac in school.  Thanks to Betty Crocker for this!