Dec/Jan 2010

Features

Gluten-Free Flour Power

Living Without's guide to choosing and using gluten-free flours. Keep in mind that baking gluten-free requires using a mix of flours. If you¡¯re new to gluten-free baking, start with our standard blends (recipes available at Substitution Solutions ) or purchase an all-purpose commercial blend at your local natural food store. Once you're comfortable with the nuances of a basic gluten-free blend, try introducing new flour varieties slowly into your repertoire. In time, you¡¯ll be able to customize recipes to your individual preferences.   More...

Searching for Answers - Celiac and Gluten Sensitivities

When teachers noticed 10-year-old Abby was spending more time in the bathroom than at her desk, they knew she wasn’t just trying to skip class. Abby had always loved learning and was highly motivated. Plus, it wasn’t just school she was missing. “Abby loves sports but she was ducking out of soccer, lacrosse and basketball games because of stomach cramps,” recalls Abby’s mom, Donna Williamson* of Baltimore, Maryland. “If she made it through a game, she rushed to the port-a-potty afterward.” Abby’s increasingly frequent bouts of diarrhea were embarrassing and her painful stomach cramps and bloating interfered with her active lifestyle. With food allergies in the family, Williamson suspected that something Abby was eating was to blame. She took her daughter to the family doctor who tested her for more than 60 potential food allergens.   More...

Making Merry: Allergy-Friendly Tips For Enjoying Hospitality & Good Cheer

When I first discovered I was allergic to dairy, I was absolutely devastated. It took a long, painful process of trial and error to figure out what was safe to eat and cook. I had to relearn everything. Just as I figured out the dairy issue, I found I couldn't stomach wheat and oats and I had to start all over again. But as I became better educated about allergies and began playing with recipes, I grew more confident. I began to plan ahead and think strategically. I was determined to have fun socializing again. Fortunately, there are ways to savor the hospitality of others and really celebrate the season. Here are a few suggestions.   More...

Gluten-Free Festive Cookies

I’m a cooking instructor and own a gluten-free bakery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, so my family expects to see Christmas cookies coming out of the oven almost as soon as they finish up the Thanksgiving leftovers. Although I have a large collection of holiday recipes, I can pare my all-time favorites to a short list of three classics—shortbread, chocolate and “peanut butter” cookies. And they are by far the most requested. These allergy-friendly cookies are as easy and fun to prepare as any conventional type. And they taste just like the real thing. You can bring them to parties, wrap them as gifts or plate them for company and nobody will suspect they’re allergy friendly. In fact, I’m betting your guests will ask for the recipe.   More...

Shopping Guide: Gluten Free Flours

Subscribers Only — Some gluten-free flours are available at your local grocery store. Others can be purchased online or at specialty and natural food stores.   More...

Gluten-Free Baking: Ready, Set, Bake!

Making gluten-free, dairy-free cookies from scratch is easier than you think. When selecting a commercial gluten-free flour mix, choose one that’s finely ground. A mix of organic brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch/flour and potato starch works well. Blends are available at most health food stores or gluten-free bakeries.   More...

Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Subscribers Only — There are no tests or biomarkers for conclusively diagnosing gluten sensitivity, says Alessio Fasano, MD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. The condition is typically determined by a positive response to the gluten-free diet. Gluten sensitivity may be up to 6 to 7 times more common than celiac disease, according to Fasano. Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity causes no measurable intestinal damage. Classic symptoms are gastrointestinal discomfort, such as diarrhea, bloating or constipation, but symptoms can range from clumsiness, brain fog and depression to ADHD or autistic behaviors.   More...

Celiac Disease Testing Matters

Patients are usually screened for celiac disease with a blood panel. The diagnosis is then confirmed with a biopsy of the small bowel. Not every case of celiac disease is a straightforward diagnosis, in part because each test for celiac has an important limitation.   More...