Another new pizza. We picked this one up at Earth Fare recently. Interesting design, and although I did not think our girls would eat it, they did and liked it. Not as well as Bella Monica or some other frozen pizzas, but another viable option.
Pat Berger, the sponsor of the Raleigh Cel-Kids and Raleigh Adult Celiac Support group recently received the following email. What a great way for you, if you already have a diagnosed Celiac child and a youth under one year old, to help gather important data on Celiac. If you are interested in this, please contact us at email@example.com.
From: Ivor Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Research Study
Dear members of the Celiac Community
I am contacting you to solicit your help in getting the word out about a research study designed to see whether feeding practices in the first year of life can prevent or delay the onset of celiac disease.
This is a multicenter study that will be coordinated through the University of Maryland. We are looking to enroll infants who are born into families who have a member with a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease. These children will be followed from birth until 5 years of age and will intermittently undergo collection of a blood sample to test for celiac antibodies and a stool sample to analyze the bacterial composition of their large intestines. Breast feeding will be encouraged as this is believed to play a role in preventing celiac disease and the infants will be allocated to one of two groups that will be given gluten or a placebo added to their weaning foods. This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Boards at all the study sites.
If you know of any families who have a member with a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease and who are planning to have children in the future, please let them know about this research study. Either the study coordinator (Anya Brown) or I can provide you with more information about the details of the study and we are more than happy to talk to any prospective study parents.
Please let me know if you wish to discuss this further and if so how I may contact you. Any help you can give in this regard would be most appreciated.
We recently shared you can now get a gluten free kids meal at Chick-Fil-A. Well, being the good blogger, I took one for the team and we went to Chick-Fil-A to try them. (Ok, I love Chick-Fil-A as much as the girls, I confess!!)
So we went and the staff definitely knew about the gf meals, and got the girls’ meals together quickly. As you can see, a typical kids meal–gf nuggets, fries, and a drink. I wish they had a better prize for their first kids meal (it was software–some game), but still exciting.
The chicken did not contain the same spices as the regular plain chicken breast they usually get, and one of my daughters did not like it as much as the other. The other liked it just fine. Still, being able to go out and try a kids meal–priceless! Thank you, Chick-Fil-A for doing this for Celiacs everywhere. May not seem like much, but I really think this makes a difference!
We recently found a great peanut butter alternative at Wal*Mart. You gotta love the label–a ‘safe school alternative.’ I can definitely understand that with all the issues with peanut allergies. So Wowbutter is made of toasted soy. Definitely a healthy alternative to peanut butter. The fact that you can get it gluten free and they make it in a dedicated facility also helps out.
Well, this will conclude our review of our recent tour of the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse. If you missed it, you missed a great time! Rarely do we go on tours when I cannot stop smiling. Lee and his staff should be commended for their efforts. It may seem small, but when we can find a totally gluten free factory, in our backyard no less, we definitely can be quite thankful.
We learned lots on the tour: Whole Foods’ strict testing policies on ingredients, their dedication to wholesome ingredients, and their ingenuity for solving problems with unique solutions (sausage maker for dense gf dough, cupcake maker, etc).
Thank you once again to Lee Tobin and the entire Whole Foods GF Bakehouse staff. We thank you for the tour, but even more for your dedication to the needs of Celiacs everywhere. For all of us, the way to thank them is to buy their goods at Whole Foods to ensure they will continue to thrive in the future. I will do my part–with the gf cherry pie my wife will make from their pie crusts for my birthday! Tough sacrifice I know, but I am doing it for the team! Haha!
So we reviewed how Whole Foods makes their yummy cupcakes. The trouble, sometimes, is you may not want a four pack. We often buy them, take out two, then freeze the rest. But wouldn’t it be nice to just go and buy them individually? Whole Foods thought so, and they are beginning to test out how they can make individual packs of cupcakes.
In order to do that, they continue to work on the packaging, learning things all the time. For instance, the machine in the picture shrink wraps each plastic container. What they discovered was that the red mats were too heavy and the containers didn’t push through. So they needed to cut the little whole out to allow them to pass through.
We do not know if and when we will see these individual packs come out, but we commend Lee and his staff. They continue to take risks, listen to the public, and work to ensure consumers are happy.
If you never tried Whole Foods gluten free sandwich breads, you or your child are missing a lot. They produce a great loaf of bread. On our recent tour, we got to watch a master bread cutter/bagger. In his machine, the bread slices, he moves it into a bag, ties it, and begins on the next loaf. Pretty neat little machine, as air is blown to open the bag each time so he can slide the bread right in. Afterward, it looks like a pile of sawdust on the floor.
One of the things that the Bakehouse does very, very well is Cupcakes. We LOVE to pick up one of their four packs. Not only are they HUGE, but they possess a taste you would not even realize as gluten free. And then all the frosting on top helps too!
So how do they go about making them? A fascinating story. At least for those of us who grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and all the tours he went on! So how do they make them? Well the first thing we found out is they use ‘cookable’ cupcake pans. As one of Lee’s staff members showed us, she use a foot pedal to squirt the cupcake mix into each of the holes, then they can put them right into the ovens. And as you can see, she does not just do four at a time, but an entire tray of SIXTEEN! She did that in about 30 seconds. Pretty impressive!
We know McDonalds does not possess too many gluten free items. You hear the constant back and forth about their fries and other things. One thing not in question, at least until the recent change, were their milkshakes. Now with the new reformulated shakes, that include whipped cream and a cherry, their online menu (http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf) still shows them being gluten free.
That includes the traditional holiday goodness that is a Shamrock Shake. I remember these growing up, and while not as green as I remember, we stopped for some recently at the McDonalds near Triangle Towne Center. Good to go out for milkshakes that we all can enjoy!
So we all know that gluten free dough tends to be a little more dense/heavy than tradition gluten doughs. When you consider that, you can imagine the issues it causes with a factory. As we started into the actual baking area on our tour, Lee and his staff showed us how they make gluten free pie crusts. It seems that when they began, the machinery was not powerful enough to work with the more dense dough. So the machine you see in the picture actually is for sausage production. They adapted it to help cut lumps of dough into pie sized amounts. Once they cut into into pieces, another machine helps form the pie crust. Two machines can handle two crusts each, so that when finished, you have four pie crusts ready to go!
I already asked for a Whole Foods gf pie crust for my birthday dessert this year! Just a couple more months!
In part 3 of our tour, we will look at how they make those huge, yummy gluten free cupcakes!