Gluten-free candy is not all that hard to come by these days (Skittles and Snickers bars are both well-known gluten free go-tos) but gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and still somehow delicious candy is hard to find.
Although many celiacs look for healthy snacks and fruits or vegetables, sometimes, you just have to have some candy. With options out there like Justin’s peanut butter cups, gluten-free folks usually don’t have to look much farther than their local grocery story to grab a gluten-free dessert. But for those with nut allergies and other dietary restrictions, options are extremely limited. Enter, Sun Cups!
Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, Sun Cups were originally created in 2008 to accommodate those with nut allergies. The company didn’t stop at nut free: They also decided to make their products Kosher, gluten free, and organic, with their cacao certified from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.
When you go gluten free, it can be easy to feel like you’re left out of things. But with the rise of gluten-free lifestyle blogs and communities, celiacs and gluten-free folks never have to feel alone again. Being part of a gluten-free community can be important to give you the advice, knowledge, and friendship you seek. Here’s a list of our favorite gluten-free blogs, and a crib sheet to help you find what you’re looking for, whether it’s up-to-date info, recipes, or just mingling with the gluten-free community.
Gluten Is My Bitch | Appeal: Funny as heck
If you’re into humor, April over at Gluten Is My Bitch is one of the most hilarious gluten-free bloggers on the interwebs today. Regaling readers with pictures of stomping on bread and giving thumbs down to various products that she doesn’t like, April’s take on gluten-free eating is witty, sharp, and pointed. She regularly reviews restaurants in her home of LA, but also covers various parenting topics and lifestyle themes.
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef | Appeal: Recipes and A Love Story
The Gluten Free Girl is not only the story of a girl with celiac disease, but it also blossomed into one of the most magical gluten-free love stories of all time. After Gluten-Free Girl started her blog, she met The Chef, who was inspired to create entirely gluten-free menus just for her. Now they have an entire gluten-free family and have published a few cookbooks along the way. Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef regularly post recipes, lifestyle blogs, and personal stories that will appeal to anyone with a gluten problem. You'll never feel deprived again after you try one of Gluten-Free Girl's recipes. Also? Her blog redesign is beautiful!
Tessa The Domestic Diva | Appeal: Allergen-free lifestyle blog
Tessa, the domestic diva, is part mommy blogger, part food blogger, and part allergy-awareness advocate. With a blog that covers a span of different allergen-free recipes, Tessa’s recipes are a delicious twist on smoothies, salads, and even cookies.
The Gluten Dude | Appeal: A male voice in the gluten-free world
In a world full of gluten-free divas and goddesses, this blogger brings a true dude's voice into the gluten-free blogosphere. With an honest, open opinion on celiac disease, Gluten Dude, draws in a crowd of readers from all corners of the celiac community. He facilitates strong discussions among his readers, so his comments section are often almost as interesting as his blog itself. Oh yea, and he also calls out gluten-free celebrities on a regular basis (if you're into that kind of thing).
Gluten-Free Goddess | Appeal: Recipes, recipes, recipes!
The Gluten-Free Goddess doesn’t only have recipes galore, but they are also accompanied with beautiful photos. With an entire vegan and vegetarian section of the website, the Goddess, named Karina, covers a multitude of different lifestyle and diet choices. This blog also comes with a complete how-to guide for gluten-free living. The Gluten-Free Goddess also is one of the most veteran gluten-free blogs on the web, and it has stood the test of time thanks to its amazing recipes and presentation.
These blogs are just a few of the many gluten-free blogs out there. For more, check out:
Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to check out our favorite blogs every month! What are your favorite gluten-free blogs? Do you prefer recipe blogs or lifestyle blogs?
Kait McNamee is a Denver-based writer who reluctantly went gluten free after being diagnosed with celiac disease. She hosts a DIY, recipe, wellness, and all around ridiculous blog called Life Without Buns; she also expresses the many emotions of being gluten free at the surprisingly popular How It Feels to Be Gluten Free tumblr.
Finding a local, gluten-free bakery can be tough, but more and more they're popping up all over the place like beautiful, fresh flowers. We went to Facebook to ask our followers about their favorite local bakeries, and these were some of their suggestions. All of these gluten-free bakeries have dedicated facilities and sport some of the most creative and delicious gluten-free goodies around — from crackers to cookies, cakes to nutritional bars, and more.
With the big game this weekend, you're probably wondering the same thing we are: Do any of these college basketball towns have gluten-free options? Do gluten-free foodies even live there? Even if this isn't what you're thinking, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the Final Four teams' hometowns to see what gluten-free offerings can be found there. Believe it or not, we were surprised at how welcoming all of these communities are to the celiac community — even one whose mascot is an homage to wheat!
As a gluten-free blogger, I am pretty much on top of the social world when it comes to anything with the hashtag — the # symbol that is used to denote a keyword or phrase on social networks like Twitter or Pinterest — #glutenfree. Through my social streams I have learned more than I could have ever imagined, I’ve seen more gluten-free recipes than I ever thought could exist, and I’ve noticed one very important thing about the gluten-free diet: different people follow it for different reasons.
If you’re reading this as someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, odds are you started the gluten-free diet per doctor’s orders. You didn’t necessarily want to give up your favorite snack foods or lunch at the local diner, but you did because they weren’t playing nice with your intestines.
One of our nation's favorite pastimes is sports, and when it is championship season, people sure do get into it. Case in point: March Madness. It's a culture, phenomena, and event that occurs during the second half of the month that many fans plan their days and nights around. Sports bars get crowded as brackets get ruined. It's an exciting time for fans as they feel invested in the entire process.
We all know that the love for the basketball season does not only exist during weeks of March Madness. Basketball fans enjoy watching games throughout the entire season, and many are able to experience the game in the stands of their favorite team's arena. But, one thing that is part of the overall experience is game time food. Grabbing a hot dog and a couple of beers on the way to your seats is routine for many fans, but this isn't something that gluten-free spectators can take part in at every venue.
There are, however, some basketball arenas that have decided to support the gluten-free community, offering attendees a chance to enjoy the tastes of the sport, including everything from gluten-free beer to gluten-free buns. Here are our picks for Top Four Basketball Arenas with Gluten-Free Options.
When it comes to the Jewish holiday Passover (also known as Pesach, pronounced pay-sock), confusion abounds for the gluten-free observer. If you’re planning your own Passover seder, the weeds seem even higher and thicker. The symbolic foods that Jews eat on this Spring holiday are chock-full of gluteny ingredients, and the advertised gluten-free products often don’t make life easier. Here are some basic tips, tricks, and information that will help you weather the Passover (evening of March 25 through evening of April 2).
Passover commemorates -- with its symbolic food like matzah, unique observances, and seder meal -- the biblical Exodus when the Israelites fled slavery in Egypt. Because of the haste in which they had to flee, the bread that the Israelites were cooking was not allowed to rise, which is where matzah comes from. On Passover, Jews avoid the consumption of many things, including leavened bread, and many Jews avoid other products called kitniyot (beans, rice, legumes). During the seder meal, families gather around a large table and retell the story of the Passover using a haggadah. There’s food, wine, storytelling and more for one of the most highly observed of all of the Jewish holidays.
With a many different spellings, this unleavened flat bread (much like a cracker) is a mixture of water and flour that is continuously mixed to avoid rising and then it’s baked. The entire process from start to fully baked cracker is a mere 18 minutes. As part of the traditional seder meal, Jews are required to consume certain portions of matzah to fulfill the commandment of remembering the Exodus.
Because traditional matzah is made with wheat or rye flour, it’s become an impossibility for the gluten-free foodie who wants to fulfill the commandment. The commandment requires the consumption of matzah made with flour from one of the five biblical grains: wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye. Over the years, however, a few companies have created a matzah cracker using gluten-free oats, including Lakewood Matzo and a Kestenbaum’s, a British outfit in Golders Green, allowing for the gluten-free consumer to truly be a part of the Passover experience.
That being said, for the celiac sufferer who can’t handle even gluten-free oats, there is no option for fulfilling the commandment at this time. There are plenty of gluten-free “matzah-style” crackers out there made from potato starch, but they don’t allow for the traditional hand washing and blessing that gluten-free oat matzah and traditional gluteny matzah do. These “matzah-style” crackers have caused a great deal of confusion in the Jewish, gluten-free community, so this is good information to have on hand. (The confusion is exacerbated by the fact that the website www.glutenfreematzo.com is one of the versions that doesn’t have any of the five grains. Although this product is tasty, it doesn’t fulfill the commandment.) Companies like Manischewitz and Yehuda also produce matzah-style crackers using tapioca and potato starch, but they clearly advertise that they’re not meant for ceremonial use.
Note: There are some rabbis who report that consuming gluten-free oat matzah does not fulfill the commandment and that one must eat regular, gluten-filled matzah. After speaking with several Orthodox rabbis, we’ve learned that it does fulfill the commandment. That being said, it’s always best to consult with your own rabbi about the issue, as opinions can and do vary. Ultimately, you have to do whatever is best for your health first and foremost; this is a strong and primary principal of Judaism.
The Seder Meal
During Passover, most people stick to classic recipes chock full of matzah meal -- finely ground matzah crackers that resemble flour. A quick search of Passover recipes online will reveal gobs of recipes with matzah meal, matzah farfel, and potato starch. Despite the abundance of recipes using potato starch, there are plenty of healthy, gluten-free alternatives out there.
If you’re hosting your own Passover seder meal, you’re at an advantage because you can meal plan your way from Egypt to Israel! If you’re a guest at someone else’s house, you’re going to have to rely on a kind, patient host.
Gluten hides in the most common of seder foods like gefilte fish, sneaks its way into gravy, and can even be found in the soup mix used in the chicken soup (not to mention the traditional matzah balls found in that very soup!). Luckily, nowadays it’s easy to find gluten-free gefilte fish, gravy mix, and soup mix.
Although many companies are now labeling Passover products as gluten free, another thing to look out for in the food aisles is products that are labeled as “non-gebrokts.” These products are made without any matzah at all -- wheat or otherwise -- because there is a certain subset of the Jewish population that goes to great lengths to avoid the mixing of the five grains with any liquids in case of accidentally kick-starting the leavening process. Non-gebrokts products thus use potato starch as a substitute or avoid any kind of starch or grain at all, making them safe for the gluten-free consumer.
For a comprehensive list of gluten-free Passover food for 2013, visit Gluten-Free Nosh.
When it comes down to it, Passover can be a rough and tumble time. Many people think that the diet is severely limited or that Passover is a time “made for the gluten-free foodie!” Many will quip that gluten-free folks should stock up on Passover products because of their tendency toward being gluten free. Unfortunately, many gluten-free Passover products list sugar as their number one ingredient and the nutritional value flies out the window. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to stay sane, full, and happy during Passover on the gluten-free lifestyle.
Still unsatisfied? Find oodles of other recipes over at Elana’s Pantry.
How are you making your Passover gluten-free friendly? Will you be using gluten-free oat matzah?
One of the first things that gluten-free eaters usually give up upon going gluten free is fast food. With the high risk of cross contamination, and notoriously breaded ingredients, many gluten-free consumers don’t want to take the risk. But when it comes to one particular item — McDonald’s French fries — the gluten-free community just can’t seem to make a decision.
There are hundreds of message board postings across the interwebs asking the same questions: Are they safe? Are they cross contaminated? Aren’t they just potatoes?!
As you may know, Oz the Great and Powerful has made a cinematic comeback with the help of the dashing James Franco. In the strangest of ways, this movie’s plot relates directly to the gluten-free diet. This version of the classic Wizard of Oz does not include Dorothy or Toto, but it does include three types of witches and one great man that will learn how to defeat the evil that exists. Meet the characters of Oz the Great and Powerful
Evanora the Wicked Witch of the East
Evanora has tricked everyone to believe that she is good-hearted so she can rule the kingdom.
Theodora the Wicked Witch of the West
Originally a good witch, Theodora is tricked by Evanora and turns into the most evil of them all (and pretty scary looking, too).
Glinda the Good Witch of the South
Glinda is the good-hearted witch that needs the help of the great and powerful wizard to defeat the evil witches and take back the Land of Oz.
Oz the Great and Powerful
Oscar Diggs, known as Oz, is the supposed “great wizard” that will save the Land of Oz, but he is not aware of his power just yet. Throughout the movie, Oz needs to figure out how to use his conman qualities for the good of the people.
How does this all relate to the gluten-free diet? Let me explain:
Are you going to Expo West? It’s only the biggest and baddest (in a good way) natural foods trade show on the west coast. Taking place this weekend in Anaheim, California, it’s a place to rub elbows with thousands of amazing natural food and organic brands, and we're on our way there to meet and greet bloggers, foodies, brands, and more!
Expo West features more than 3,000 exhibitors and 60,000 natural and organic food industry professionals. When we think of heaven, this expo comes to mind! If you're going to be there, you should be on the lookout for Andrew Yeum, Taste Guru’s director of operations, who will be roaming the expo floor with his gang of g-free bloggers, ready to strike up conversation with anyone and everyone. Whether you’re an exhibitor or attendee, Taste Guru is excited for the chance to connect with as many passionate gluten-free foodies as possible.
Andrew at the GFAF Expo in February.
Our company is all about giving the consumer what they want and deserve. This means having insight into the gluten-free consumer’s mind, while establishing relationships with amazing brands so we can all succeed in bringing the best gluten-free products to your doorstep.
We look forward to the natural and organic bliss of Natural Foods West, and are equally excited to connect with you along the way!
Last month,we were ecstatic to be among more than 100 vendors at the San Francisco Gluten & Allergen Free Expo where we connected with thousands of attendees and learned what they're looking for in gluten-free products and companies. Getting to connect with bloggers, companies, and other gluten-free rock stars was something out of a fairy tale — a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Representing Taste Guru at the February 9-10 gluten-free fete was Andrew Yeum, Taste Guru's director of operations, who started the weekend off with an amazing lunch — described as the "longest lunch of his life" — at The French Laundry with other gluten-free personalities that we all know and love. If you want to read about how fabulous the meal was, visit Frannycakes blog or read Zest Bakery’s post about the 11-course experience, but be prepared to salivate!
As one of the few non-bloggers invited to attend Friday night's blogger event, Andrew was able to get a small glimpse into the mind of the gluten-free blogger, and he even picked up some tips and tricks along the way! There were three presenters at this special event, including Frannycakes, Mrs. Northwest International 2013 Brandy Wendler (the gluten-free community’s very own beauty pageant winner), and the well-known Celiac Diva. Bloggers took home tips, advice on how to set up their webpage, and the etiquette of the blogging world. For entrepreneurial minded gluten-free foodies, there also were tips on how to increase their following, build relationships with influential individuals and consumers, and the Celiac Diva, one of the most successful gluten-free bloggers out there, offered advice on blogging as a source of income.
During the expo — our very first — Andrew manned the Taste Guru table in the company of some of the most well-known gluten-free vendors, giving him the chance to chat with passersby about our premier box-of-the-month club. We nabbed many new customers at the expo and received gobs of excellent feedback. The expo also gave Andrew the chance to connect with many bloggers and brands in person for the first time after months of being in contact electronically.
Taste Guru couldn't be happier to be part of an industry so committed to the gluten-free consumer and health-minded living. Whether it is the passionate owner of the small, startup brand or the new-to-the-diet gluten-free consumer, Taste Guru strives to help all gluten-free foodies on their journey. We take pride in our ability to help grow brands, awareness, and the love for the gluten-free life!
Did you attend the GFAF Expo? We'd love to hear about your experience!