Ciara’s Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Here it is.  My very first recipe published on The Cheeky Celiac.  Thank you mom for guiding me with your knowledge and allowing me all the freedom a girl could want in the kitchen!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake w/ Pecan Topping

Bundt Cake Ingredients

1 box of Glutino Gluten Free Pantry Old Fashioned Yellow Cake ciaraglutinoboxbundt
½ cup of pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of almond milk
¼ cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bundt cake pan w/ coconut oil. In large mixing bowl blend ingredients together until all lumps are gone. Pour into pan. Bake 35 minutes or until inserted toothpicks comes out clean.

To make the nutty topping, you will need:
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1 1/3 a cup of 100% pure maple syrup or sugar

Lightly oil frying pan with oil. Turn pan on medium heat. Stirring constantly so pecans don’t burn.

Loosen cake from pan and carefully flip on plate. Then add toasted pecans.

Let cool and enjoy.  (I didn’t even wait until it cooled before digging in.)

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Gooey Nut Topping

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Gooey Nut Topping

Fall is here and my creativity is near.

Thanks to Glutino Foods for providing me with so many options so I can bake my heart out.  I’m going to have a blast with all of these mixes you mailed me!

*****Although I was given free products to use for this post, all opinions are my own.

 

Meet The Cheeky Celiac’s New Teen Chef

cropped-saguaronationalpark_arizona2.jpgWhen I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, I had no idea how deeply it would affect my entire world.  Not only did the diagnosis change my life, it also changed the lives of the whole family.  Once the words gluten free entered my daily vocabulary and I realized my doctor knew as little as I did about maintaining a lifestyle free from gluten, I became a voracious reader about all related matters.  From then on, I became an advocate for awareness and proper testing for celiac disease.  It only took a small amount of time to realize that within the gluten free community there was a very large group of people with similar symptoms but negative test results.   These patients were called gluten intolerant and the newest term calls their condition non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Colin and Ciara trying some new gluten free chocolate mix a few years ago.

While I was educating myself, advocating for others through our local celiac support group and planning awareness events there was plenty going on at home.  One of my children had a horrible case of eczema from head to toe that wouldn’t go away and another child was receiving multiple incorrect diagnoses for mental illnesses due to rapid cycling behavioral fluctuations.  Finally the light bulb came on and I began to do more research about other conditions related to ingesting gluten (and dairy.)  With both children, applying the gluten free diet and removing dairy resolved the symptoms whereas traditional treatments and medications did not.

Cheeky Celiac Contributor, Ciara

Cheeky Celiac Contributor, Ciara

What I didn’t know is someone very important was watching and listening to everything I did.  Her name is Ciara and she’s my 13 year old daughter.  Life handed her plenty of lemons and she indeed decided to make lemonade.  She loves to bake and bravely create new things in the kitchen.  Ciara can’t wait to morph mixes into new ideas and whip up some safe gluten free, dairy free recipes from scratch.  This middle child is also an outspoken and outgoing advocate for living gluten free.  I’m proud to say that she’s decided to join me and become a contributor to this blog.  I can’t wait to see what she creates next.  This gluten free girl is fearless in the kitchen!  Come meet her at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Denver.  Where she can connect with you and also tell you our other big news (the development of Ardent Wellness – my new website which will be offering health coaching to those who feel overwhelmed by their autoimmune health and dietary restrictions)

©2014 by Annalise Roberts

New recipes from Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The Heirloom Collection Recipes

As you may know, May is Celiac Awareness Month.  It’s time to celebrate your diagnosis and spread awareness in a positive way. Perhaps giving up gluten was extremely difficult for you or maybe it was as simple as pie.  For our family, it was a bit of a challenge in the beginning because we had never even heard of celiac disease until I was diagnosed towards the end of 2008.  When we discovered that gluten seemed to be in everything we were eating and not just pizza, bread and beer there was a bit of shock and the feeling that life was definitely going to change in big ways.  Several years later, our two younger children also needed to remove gluten (and also dairy) from their diets for medical reasons.  I’ll admit that it was initially overwhelming to navigate the public school system, snack time and special occasions.  While we are still avid label readers, life has become much easier with both increased personal knowledge and the voluntary labeling ruling of gluten-free foods.  I will also say that we seek products with third party certification whenever possible.

In the spirit of  raising awareness, we encourage you to cook and share some of your favorite gluten-free foods with your friends and family.  We thought it would be nice to have some new options and turned to our friend and author, Annalise Roberts for some baking inspiration Whether this is your first time cooking since adapting a gluten-free diet or your already a pro at creating family meals without gluten, her newest book, Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The Heirloom Collection can lend a hand when it comes to baking.  This book has some scrumptious recipes of both the sweet and savory variety.  It also contains chapters discussing how to use specific flours and offers a section about the best dairy substitutions.  Annalise Roberts has also authored several other cookbooks including, Gluten-Free Baking ClassicsGluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine and The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook.

If you’re a visual eater like me, you can check out more of her recipes via Yummly.  Doesn’t her Ice Box Cake look like a decadent treat?

Spinach & Mushroom Tart  ©2014 by Annalise Roberts

Rustic Spinach & Mushroom Tart ©2014 by Annalise Roberts

RUSTIC SPINACH & MUSHROOM TART

Here’s a delicious take on Spanakopita made with a delicate pie crust, chopped spinach, thinly sliced mushrooms and tangy feta cheese. This beautiful rustic tart is seasoned with basil and oregano, although dill or nutmeg will also work well. The recipe makes a relatively small tart that’s perfect to feed about four people for lunch, brunch, or a light dinner. It also travels well for picnics.

Makes one 9­-inch tart.

Prepared Traditional Pie Crust dough (click here for Pie Crust Recipe)

10 ounces frozen spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon dried basil (or to taste)

1 teaspoon dried oregano (or to taste)

1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1 cup cottage cheese

1 large well-beaten egg

1/2 -3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 large egg, beaten to brush on crust

  1. Cook frozen spinach according to package directions and remove from heat. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible (I put it into a fine sieve and press the liquid out with a large spoon). Set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat. Lightly saute onion until soft (about 5 minutes). Add sliced mushrooms, basil and oregano; cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms release all their liquid. Stir onion and mushroom mixture into cooked spinach. Filling can be prepared ahead of when you will bake tart; store it in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Rewarm in microwave when ready to proceed.
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Position rack in bottom third of oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Roll pie dough into a 12­-inch round between two sheets of wax paper. Remove the top sheet and use your fingers to push dough in from the edges to make a perfect 11-inch round. The dough around the edges should now be thicker than the 9-inches across the center (this will make it easier for you to bake the tart the necessary time without the edges getting overdone). Turn the round of dough over onto the parchment paper on baking sheet and remove other piece of wax paper.
  1. Stir Feta cheese and cottage cheese into spinach and mushroom mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add beaten egg and stir until well combined.
  1. Spoon spinach mixture over center of pie dough; pat it into a 9-inch round leaving a 1­-inch edge around the outside. Carefully fold edges of dough over spinach filling and push down slightly so the dough is well supported by the filling. Patch any holes in the dough so juices don’€™t leak out. Generously brush beaten egg over the crust and filling.
  1. Place in center of rack and bake for about 40 minutes until crust is dark golden brown and filling is hot and cooked through. Cool slightly on a rack before serving.

 Store leftovers tightly covered in refrigerator. Rewarm in microwave to serve. Best when eaten within two days of baking

© 2014 by Annalise Roberts

 

 © 2014 by Annalise Roberts

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake ©2014 by Annalise Roberts

 

LEMON BUTTERMILK BUNDLE CAKE 

This old fashioned lemon buttermilk cake will quietly seduce you with its delicate lemon flavor and tender, moist texture. In fact, you’€™ll probably find yourself secretly slicing another piece when no one is looking. It’s the kind of cake that’€™s perfect for a late morning coffee klatch, an afternoon tea, or a casual pot luck supper with friends. Classic in its simplicity, you can dress it up with fresh berries and ice cream or enjoy it on its own.

Makes one 10­-inch cake.

2 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup lowfat buttermilk* (dairy-free buttermilk instructions below)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pure lemon extract

1 packed tablespoon grated lemon rind (see Cooks Notes below)

Lemon Glaze (recipe follows) or confectioners’ sugar for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Lightly grease a large 12-cup bundt pan (10-inches across the top) with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs in large bowl of electric mixer until lemon colored. Add sugar two tablespoons at a time and beat until pale yellow and thick; scrape bowl. Add flour mixture, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon extract, and grated lemon rind; mix at s­low speed for 1 minute, until well combined. Do not overbeat.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan. Place in center of oven and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a tooth­pick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Do not open oven for first 45 minutes.
  5. Cool cake on a rack for 8 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and cool slightly on rack. Spoon Lemon Glaze (below) over top of cake and let it drip down the sides, (or sift confectioners’€™ sugar over top of cake once it is no longer warm). Allow cake to cool completely before moving to a cake plate.

Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead. Store cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator. Cake can be covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer no longer than two weeks. Best when eaten within three days of baking.

Cooks Notes: Although this cake traditionally has a delicate lemon flavor, you can add 1 extra tablespoon of grated lemon rind to create a more vibrant lemon flavor.

 * Substitute 1 cup water and 1/4 cup buttermilk powder for 1 cup fresh lowfat buttermilk.

Dairy-free Buttermilk: combine 1 cup rice or soy milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or distilled vinegar. Use only 1 cup of the combined liquid in this recipe.

Lemon Glaze

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1 cup confectioners’€™ sugar

Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan. Stir in heavy cream, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, lemon extract and then confectioners’ €™sugar in two additions; whisk until very smooth. Cool to lukewarm before drizzling over cake (cool glaze until it is thicker but is still pourable).

 Cooks Note: extra glaze that drips down under the rack can be scraped up, rewarmed and drizzled back over the cake to make a thicker topping.  

© 2014 by Annalise Roberts

 © 2014 by Annalise Roberts

****Disclosure: Although we were provided with a free copy of this book, all opinions are our own.  All recipes belong to the author, Annalise Roberts and may not be reproduced without permission.****

Guest Post: Gluten Free Mama’s Recipe for Key Lime Bars

It is a pleasure to guest blog on The Cheeky Celiac this week!  Thank you Kim for partnering with us for Celiac Awareness Month.  Kim posted our story earlier this month, so be sure to read that when you get a chance to get to know us.  Check out the giveaway of our products too.

Key Lime 5

It’s Dairy Free week at Gluten Free Mama, so we decided it would be fitting to create a  dairy free recipe for you.  In fact, you get two in one today!  Summer is on my mind, and it makes me think of summer friendly recipes.  Walking though the grocery store, I came upon a bag of Key Limes on sale and thought, “Key Lime Bars are a perfectly refreshing summer treat!”  Pair these with some candied Key Limes if you have extra time on your hands for an even more special treat!  Happy summer and Enjoy eating gluten free!

A couple of tips before you get started.  Zest all the key limes you are going to use before juicing.  Any extra zest can be placed in a Ziploc bag and frozen for use at a later time.  Using a lemon or lime juicer works best for getting the maximum juice out of the Key Limes.  Be sure none of the small seeds get into the juice.  Be careful not to overbake the bars, as they will dry out.  You want to look for the consistency of a brownie.  Either just top these with Key Lime Glaze or have fun with it and cut glazed bars into squares and add Candied Key Limes on each piece.  Or toast some coconut and sprinkle over the glaze.  Either way these bars are sure to be a treat!

Mama’s Gluten Free Dairy Free Key Lime Bars

Ingredients

¾ cup Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend (Mama used coconut as it pairs nicely with key limes)

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. xanthan gumKey lime 3

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

¼ cup fresh Key Lime juice  (You can use limes if key limes are not in season)

1 Tbsp. Key Lime zest

½ cup dairy free buttery sticks or margarine, melted (Mama uses Spectrum Soy Free)

 

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. Key Lime zest

2-3 Tbsp. Key Lime juice

 

Directions for bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum and salt.  Mix and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until frothy.  Add key lime juice and zest.  Pour in cooled, melted dairy free margarine.  Mix well.  Add flour mixture and mix just until all the ingredients are combined.

Lightly spray 8×8 pan with cooking spray. Spread batter into pan.

Bake for 25-28 minutes.  Don’t overbake.  You will know it’s done when the top starts to brown and a toothpick inserted comes back clean.  You can also touch the top and if it slightly bounces back, it is done.

Cool completely.  Spread Key Lime Glaze on top.

GFM Tip: If desired, sprinkle the top with coconut or toasted coconut, or add cut into bars and add a candied lime to each piece.

 

Glaze Directions

Mix together powdered sugar, zest and 2 Tbsp. of Key Lime juice.  Add more lime juice as needed to get a nice spreading consistency.

 

 Candied Key LimesKey Lime 4

Ingredients

4-6 Key Limes, sliced very thin

1 cup warm water

1 cup sugar

¼  cup sugar

Fill medium sauce pan with water and bring to a boil.  Blanch key lime slices in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Drain using colander and set key limes aside.

In the same pan, bring 1 cup warm water and 1 cup sugar to a boil.  Return key limes to boiling sugar mixture.  Stirring occasionally, simmer key limes in sugar mixture for about 12-18 minutes.  Once the white pith part of the key limes starts to become translucent they are done.  Note: the boiling sugar water should be just a gentle boil.  Drain off the limes in a colander, again.  Spread out limes either in a single layer in colander to continue to allow key limes to dry out for about an hour, or transfer to a cooling rack.  Put ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl.  Coat both sides of each key lime in the sugar.  Lay each coated key lime in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper or a plate.  Use limes as garnish on Key Lime Bars, Key Lime Cupcakes and more!

 

 

McKendra is a healthy, intelligent girl. Photo from 2014

McKendra’s Story – Celiac disease diagnosis may have been life saving

After my unexpected celiac diagnosis, I was lost.  It had taken me seemingly forever to find a doctor with any knowledge of celiac disease but he lacked the ability to help me maintain a gluten free lifestyle.  So I did what came naturally to me, I located the closest gluten free support group and jumped in with both feet.  While volunteering with the Tucson CSA support group, I was welcomed by the gluten free community and touched by the stories of its members.  Several of these members will always hold a special place in my heart for both their compassion and their own triumphant stories.  When I met Cheyenne and her beautiful family, I was struck by the poignancy of her daughter’s story.

As you read Cheyenne and her daughter McKendra’s story, I hope it demonstrates why we chose to advocate for awareness of celiac disease and non-gluten sensitivity.  Ultimately, no parent should have to bear being told there isn’t a diagnosis to help your child.  As a result, the child’s health will not only worsen but they may not survive.  After years of advocating for her daughter’s health, Cheyenne finally received a correct diagnosis of celiac disease which drastically changed and may have actually saved McKendra’s life.

Please read the below guest post from my inspiring, mom warrior friend Cheyenne Clark.  Perhaps it will help you or another parent be persistent enough to obtain the answers you seek.

McKendra’s Story

One of two medical binders which document the years of health conditions which led to a final diagnosis of celiac disease.

One of two medical binders which document the years of health conditions that finally led to her celiac diagnosis.

Looking back on my daughter’s early years, I get very emotional.  Have you ever gone back in your mind to a time and relived the sadness as if it were happening now? I hate that feeling.

Fortunately for my daughter McKendra, she was too young to remember her very ill days.  She is the happiest person I have ever known. I often think that she is so happy because she was tired of not feeling well. It’s hard to imagine for a little one but she had to fight for her health. Her final diagnosis of celiac disease took us 6 years to figure out.  The diagnosis for celiac disease can be extremely difficult to determine. As a mom and a celiac, I am thrilled to see this changing for the positive. The awareness of this autoimmune disease is growing rapidly. Let’s keep it up!

My daughter is now a healthy 11 year old. She is a great student, has a kind heart and loves to play Yahtzee. I wanted to begin with the positive part of her story. She has transitioned from a special needs classroom to a traditional classroom and is at the top of her class. I attribute every bit of her success in life to eliminating gluten from her diet. Once we stopped the poisoning of her gut, the change in her health was immediate.  At one point, we were told that our child may not survive infancy. She not only survived.  She is thriving!

Her infancy was particularly tough. She had trouble eating from the start. I had tried breastfeeding but could not produce milk due to my own undiagnosed celiac disease. McKendra would take 2-3 hours to finish a bottle. She would cry most of the day, every day. My husband stayed home full time with her because we were afraid someone else would not be able to handle her. At times, it was unbearable even for us. We knew we were her only support and tried to soothe her.

As a baby, McKendra had difficulty holding her head up and other developmental issues

As a baby, McKendra had difficulty holding her head up and other developmental delays

At about 9 months old, we started to notice that she was not sitting up or rolling over. Her tummy was distended and one arm would stay in an upright position. She had chronic constipation which required medication. McKendra was also on breathing treatments most of the time to treat her severe asthma.

For years, we consulted specialists in cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, genetics, as well as speech, physical, and occupational therapists. They performed test after test on her. These test included a nerve conduction test where electric shocks were administered to the skin to see if her nerves were working normally. There were no answers and no diagnosis beyond a description of “global developmental delay with unknown cause.”

McKendra did not speak until she was about 5 years old. She was very smart and could identify colors, numbers and letters but her brain could not tell her body how to physically speak. She lacked the planning skills to coordinate movement in her mouth. She relied on sign language and an augmentative communication device (a computer that speaks for you).

She had vomiting episodes, night terrors, and seizures. Once McKendra had the “diagnosis” of epilepsy we stopped searching for answers. Her father and I assumed that the seizures were probably the cause of most of her delays. We treated each individual symptom as best as we could. She finally began walking at about 2 years old and speaking at around 5.

When we had stopped searching for a diagnosis, the answer came unexpectedly. I was diagnosed with celiac disease through biopsy in January of 2008. After researching this new autoimmune disease, I quickly realized that McKendra had many of the symptoms. We called her pediatrician and asked to have her tested. The pediatrician did not think this was her issue. Her antibody levels were extremely high. The entire pediatric staff called my husband on speaker phone to tell him the news. They apologized for not identifying celiac disease earlier. The following month,the medical advisory board of the local Celiac Sprue Association chapter did a presentation on celiac disease for the pediatricians and their nursing staff. To this day her pediatrician credits McKendra’s case as a learning opportunity. He has increased awareness and has made more accurate diagnoses because of her.

McKendra is a healthy, intelligent girl. Photo from 2014

McKendra is a healthy, intelligent girl. Photo from 2014

Once McKendra went on a gluten free diet she grew 5 inches in less than a year. She no longer needs her breathing machine and rarely vomits. McKendra’s developmental delays practically vanished. She has now been gluten free for 6 years. There are challenges but they are minor compared to her younger years. The relief we felt with her diagnosis was immense. She will not go through life feeling sick. It was a blessing to be diagnosed at six years old. McKendra handles this disease with more grace than I do. She is my hero in every way imaginable!

Grateful Mom,

Cheyenne Clark

Tucson, AZ

chyn113@yahoo.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe and Giveaway

Sponsored post.  I have not received monetary compensation but I’ve received free products to experiment with to develop recipes of my own. Since I’m not much of a baker, I need all the help I can get.  All opinions expressed below are my own.

 Peanut Butter and Banana Mini-Muffins (Yields 24-30 muffins)

gfmingredientsedit

 

Preheat Oven to 350

Spray or line muffin tins

Moist Ingredients:

3 overripe or soft bananas

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp vanilla extract

3  tbsp honey (include more if more sweetness is desired)

1 cup peanut butter (alternatives would be SunButter or Almond Buttergfmmuffins5

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend Flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup of chocolate chips  

Although this recipe could easily be mixed together in a large bowl, we used our Vitamix blender for easier clean up.

1.  Blend moist ingredients well

2.  Add the the dry ingredients (except the chocolate) to the Vitamix and blend on high until smooth and of consistent color.

3.   Stir in Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels, gently by hand.

4.  Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill muffin cups 3/4 from the top for smaller muffins or to the top for larger muffins.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.  Muffins are done when golden brown and/or an inserted toothpick comes out of center clean.

6. Cool muffins before removing from tin.

We sure hope you enjoy just as much as our kids did.

 Giveaway time!!!

We first found Gluten Free Mama’s products as a result of our monthly subscription to the G-Free Foodie Box. (The G-Free Foodie Box club also offers a variety of choices for your monthly subscription which include gluten free, paleo, etc.)  Each month, we receive a box of gourmet gluten free, dairy free products that we usually haven’t sampled before.  Our kids look forward to opening this box every month.  As a mom, I’m always hoping to find something to make our meals tastier.  We’ve received full sized samples ranging from mixes to cookies to spices to sauces and more.  Never a dull box!

I recently contacted Gluten Free Mama after running out of their pancake mix. Two of our three children are gluten and dairy free and this mix is their favorite so far.  Imagine my delight when they asked me to do a giveaway during Celiac Awareness Month!

GFM giveaway pic

Actual prizes included in this giveaway (photo courtesy of Gluten Free Mama)

 

>>>Enter Here<<<

Have you met Gluten Free Mama?

GFM logo

During the month of May, we will be doing our first giveaway from Gluten Free Mama to celebrate celiac disease awareness.

More details to come. In the meantime, read her story below.

My name is Rachel Carlyle Edington, also known as the “Gluten Free Mama.”  I’m the owner of “Gluten Free Mama Kitchen, LLC” where we manufacture gluten free flour blends and mixes. I’ve also written two cookbooks, “Gluten Free Mama’s Best Baking Recipes” and “In the Kitchen with Gluten Free Mama”.

Gluten Free Mama, Rachel Eddington

Gluten Free Mama, Rachel Eddington

My gluten free journey when our youngest child was diagnosed with celiac disease.  Lexie, was not an easy baby. From the moment I brought her home from the hospital, Lexie began screaming and at times was inconsolable. I took Lexie to the doctor several times and was often given the diagnosis of colic.  Lexie’s stomach would frequently blow up like a balloon and she had trouble keeping her food down. As Lexie grew old enough for solid food, her symptoms increased. She began having chronic diarrhea, vomiting and severe rashes on her bottom. As the months went by, she became worse and I started to cry uncontrollably. I cried out to God for answers and direction. I noticed her face would break out in almost a sunburn type rash when eating fish crackers. I mentioned it to the doctor and he suspected she was allergic to red dye or wheat so we kept the fish crackers away from her. The same thing would happen after making homemade cookies. The airborne flour was making her ill. Every night was a battle as Lexie often woke up screaming in pain or sick.

Rachel with her youngest daughter Lexie

Rachel with her youngest daughter Lexie

After getting no answers from doctors, I began to do my own research. An ER doctor mentioned that celiac disease or gluten intolerance could be causing her symptoms so I asked her doctor to test her. Lexie’s pediatrician was out so we saw another doctor who insisted it was gastritis. When I asked him how long gastritis usually lasts, he responded with around a week. I said, “Well it has been 18 months.” I felt as if I was being treated as an over-reactive mother who didn’t know anything. I insisted that they run the test for celiac disease. The blood test came back positive. Her endoscopy came back negative perhaps because she’d not eaten gluten for 9 months. Due to complications during the scope, we decided not to repeat the test.

Our primary doctor at the time said that they’d had maybe one class in college on celiac disease and that it was extremely rare. He proceeded to say that I probably knew more about it than he did.  With that response, I decided to take Lexie to a naturopathic doctor who treats the whole patient and the parents too! She immediately put Lexie on a strict gluten free diet and probiotics to help heal Lexie’s gut. Lexie was also diagnosed with allergies to cow’s milk and soy.  Within 3 weeks of being on a gluten free diet, we started noticing improvements in Lexie’s health. She began to heal. Lexie is now sad to say, no longer the gluten free baby, she is a young lady, turning 10 years old next month.

Lexie’s diagnosis meant changing our family’s eating habits.  I tried store bought gluten free products which were inedible with horrible texture and/or flavor so I bought some gluten free cookbooks and made some of the recipes. I became frustrated with having to measure out several flours for each recipe. It seemed like I’d always be in the middle of baking when one of the flours called for in the recipe was out.  I also didn’t like the gritty texture and aftertaste of the rice flour.  Many of the recipes were bland, gritty or fell apart. How could I expect my daughter to eat these things if I wouldn’t?

I have always had the passion to cook, well really bake and attended cooking school just out of high school.  At boarding school, I obtained a fair amount of culinary experience helping them run their kitchen which served over 200 students a day.  My dream was always to write a cookbook so I started creating my own recipes.

Available now at Amazon.com

Available now at Amazon.com

I would do taste tests with regular recipes, someone else’s version of the recipe and my recipe and take them all over our town of Polson, MT doing blind taste tests.  My recipes always came out on top.  This inspired me to begin writing my cookbook.  I decided that mixing so many flours was not only a waste of my valuable time, it was also expensive and inefficient at times. That is when my “Gluten Free Mama” flour blends were created.  As I took my recipes around town to anyone and everyone who would test them out, I started getting requests to package my flour.  On a whim and with no experience in the food manufacturing industry, I jumped in head first.  That is how “Gluten Free Mama” was born.  Since then I have written two cookbooks and have developed nine certified gluten free products. This year, we’ll be adding more products.

It’s much easier to be gluten free now than it was in 2006.  The last 10 years has been a blessing.  My passion for gluten free started because my daughter had celiac disease.  I wanted her to be just like any other kid and have the same wonderful experiences growing up and that included food. I became “Gluten Free Mama” plainly because I loved my daughter.  My love for my daughter gave me passion to help other moms with the same situation which in turned has helped anyone who needs to be gluten free. I have enjoyed making gluten free friends from all over the world. My mission is to bring you products that are exceptional in quality and flavor and make gluten free living as easy as possible so you can enjoy the things in life that matter!

The things that matter to me most in my life are my family!  I have three kids, all girls and had the amazing blessing of marrying my best friend, Rob Edington on Valentine’s Day in 2012.  Rob has three kids, which mean we now have six kids!  We call ourselves the “Eddy Bunch”.  Oh and I can’t forget the dogs, they are family too!  We have a St. Bernard Lab named Opal and two Mini Australian Shepherds called Tyson and Sophie.  GFM family pic

During the last three years, my own health has been challenging because I have MS and Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I had brain surgery in November and am finally starting to feel better.  I have learned over the last three years that there is nothing more important in life than God, Family, and Friends.  I am thankful for the “good days” and just muster through the bad.  I look forward to living life to its fullest, creating new products while expanding “Gluten Free Mama,” spending quality time with my loved ones and of course – lots and lots of baking!

 

 

 

Recap of the Phoenix Gluten and Allergy Free Expo

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Imagine our excitement when we learned that the giant GFAF Expo was coming to the Phoenix, Arizona area.  I was honored to be able to attend the event as an official blogger.  It was quite refreshing to be able to attend a huge gluten free event within driving distance from Tucson with the knowledge that I didn’t have to worry about the weight of my luggage upon return due to the generous vendor samples and swag.

Our household, like many others, is full of different food intolerances in addition to celiac disease.  While I was eager to attend, I was also curious how many products would be a good fit for us and if many vendors would also be non-gmo verified as well as gluten and dairy free.  Honestly, we are not a totally organic household (sometimes FAR from it) but we are trying to eat better and be more mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. We were sublimely amazed to find all sorts of new items.  Of course, it isn’t possible to list them all so we picked a few to highlight.  Please note that we aren’t claiming that all gluten free food or any particular food is healthier than another but we hope to demonstrate that gluten free, dairy free and even non-gmo food can taste as fantastic as anything else.

Before we get into describing products, as a mom, a patient and an advocate, I’d like to thank some of the non-profit organizations who were in attendance because they mean so much to me and I’d like to give them mad props for all they do.  A million thank you’s are not enough to show our appreciation for all these volunteers do!

Isn't this CDF poster cool?

Isn’t this CDF poster cool?

The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) has two chapters in the Phoenix area which include the Greater Phoenix Chapter and the East Valley Chapter.  Both of these units provide outstanding resources to those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  If you have questions, they have answers.  Both chapters do some pretty fun activities throughout the year so there is never a reason to feel isolated by your diagnosis.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)  has a strong focus on raising awareness, advocacy and training for life threatening food allergies.  We also had the pleasure of meeting some of their advocates during an event we attended in Las Vegas.

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Arizona Food Allergy (AFAA) is an outstanding resource for parents.  The beginning of their mission statement says it all: “The Arizona Food Allergy Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by food allergy and anaphylaxis in the State of Arizona.”  AFAA is one of the most magnificent AZ advocacy groups I’ve come across.

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Now, let’s get to the real reason you’re probably reading this post.  FOOD!  We’ve attended a few gluten free conferences and expos so we know that happy tears are always the best.  Seeing a woman who is over 70 buying her first gluten free lipstick in years and smiling from ear to ear does a heart good.  Witnessing a child who can eat almost everything in sight and is pinging off the walls from sugar and happiness, thrills me not because he’s hyper but because he has options. His parents can help him focus on what he CAN eat instead of what he can’t.

While some of these companies may not be new to you, since we’re working on trying to eat a little better, some are new to us.

A few of the companies mentioned below are also free from other common allergens.

luna&larry

Coconut Bliss from Luna & Larry’s is the best gluten and dairy free ice cream I’ve consumed so far.  Even though I’ve been to expos where this product was available, I didn’t dare go near the ice cream out of fear.  I couldn’t believe the vastness of flavor profiles available in their array of selection.  It’s also labeled organic in accordance with the USDA. What really  made my day was learning that all this deliciousness also doesn’t contain carrageenan which gives me migraines.  Yes!  To me, this might be a little pint of frozen heaven.

Holy Crap Breakfast Cereals may have quite an interesting name but I found their products to be an appetizing option for a grown-up’s breakfast or even a snack.  They are naturally gluten free and verified non-gmo.  I tried the Dragon’s Blend flavor and liked that it wasn’t sugary sweet.  The cereal was packed with good things like chia, buckwheat, hemp seeds, cranberries and apple bits.

gfafcollagebeanfield

Beanfields called out to me because my kids can’t have the tasty cheesy chips in their lunch like their school friends.  I tried the nacho flavor and was astounded that they don’t contain dairy.  These chips are built around the plant based diet as well as being gluten free, dairy free and non-gmo verified.

Freedom Foods had a variety of different gluten free, dairy free and non-gmo cereals.  Imagine my surprise when they had Fruit Loop type cereal for my kiddies called TropicO’s.  Score!  I bought 4 boxes and could hardly wait for them to try all of these different flavors. Although I don’t typically like super sweet foods, I must admit that the fruity cereal got me almost as much as their Maple Crunch did.

waybettercollage

Way Better Snacks offers a wide range of gluten free, dairy free, non-gmo chip flavors that can with go with your hummus, dip, salsa or be eaten naked.  Although my family and I have previously consumed many of their Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips, I sampled the Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips and wished I could have stood at the booth and ate the whole bag.  Sure, that’s not moderation but ehh!

Pascha Chocolate has organic dark chocolate for even the child’s taste buds.  Their 55% cacao tastes very close to milk chocolate without the dairy or gluten.  Even though I sampled the goods, I couldn’t believe my eyes when my kids were doing the happy dance with their chocolate covered mouths.  Pascha also had yummy dark chocolate bars for this wine loving mommy and won my heart by pleasing my palate.  I haven’t had chocolate in a long while so this was a huge treat for me.

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Bakery on Main has snack bars for those who prefer chewy and those who prefer crunchy.  They also offer some incredible types of granola from sweet to salty, instant oatmeal of all sorts of neat varieties (blueberry scone and carrot cake for example) and more. Their product line is gluten free, dairy free and non-gmo project verified.  Pure deliciousness.

Even though we have previously mentioned the following businesses in previous expos or on social media, I’d like to thank them profusely for making some of the finest gluten free products and being truly hard working advocates.  The gluten free community appreciates all you do!  Whether you are new to living gluten free or an old pro, go check out these websites when you have a moment.  You won’t be sorry you did.  Check out the mini-montage below this post to see more.

Red Apple Lipstick  because every woman needs to feel beautiful no matter what she’s hiding under her ravishing smile.

Hail Merry for pure healthy indulgence made with coconut oil and almonds.

Enjoy Life Foods for products that are free from the Top 8 Allergens, made in a dedicated facility and have nothing artificial included in their products.

Celiac and the Beast for your soul.  If you haven’t read the book, you should.  I promise you’ll laugh about your autoimmune disorder at least once.  Erica doesn’t “just review products,” she tells it like it is and we could all use a little more humor with our reality every now and then.

...these are a few of our favorite things...

…these are a few of our favorite things…

February’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo to be held Arizona

 

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Have you heard about the incredible Gluten and Allergen Free Expo?  This fabulous event is heading to the Phoenix, Arizona area February 22 and February 23, 2014.  We couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to attend as “Official Bloggers” without flying to a different time zone.  During previous years we’ve traveled to Dallas and Chicago to check it out and were impressed on all accounts.

In the past, we have had several fantastic one day gluten free events in Arizona that were jam-packed with people looking for products and information about living gluten free.  The GFAF Expo has hosted multiple events throughout the United States with 1000’s of attendees at each one.  Come check out this amazing two day affair featuring over 100 gluten free vendorsclasses, professional presenters and so much more.  We recommend attending this function on both days so you can take your time to absorb the plethora of information from the presentations and get to know the manufacturers who produce your favorite products.

Did I mention the abundance of free samples, swag and products available to purchase?

If you have additional food intolerances or allergies, the GFAF Expo offers something that we haven’t seen at other gluten free events.  

Photo Courtesy of GFAF Expo

Photo Courtesy of GFAF Expo

These tent cards display additional common food allergens that may be present in the offerings from each food vendor’s table. Because we are a multiple sensitivity household, this card has helped us avoid accidentally ingesting something that would cause us distress later.  For extra assurance, look for this tent card and feel free to speak to the product representative before sampling or purchasing their items. 

To buy your tickets click here. Don’t forget to enter the code BLOGPHX to save 35%

The venue for this spectacular shin-dig is:

Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa
9495 W. Coyotes Boulevard
Glendale, Arizona 85305
Phone: (623) 937-3700
www.renaissanceglendale.com

Free parking is available as long as you park and enter the gates open to the garage on 21 through the 23.  Otherwise there is a fee for the self parking garage or valet parking.

If you’d like to follow the Expo on social media, just look for the hashtag #GFAFEXPO or connect with them on Twitter at @gfafexpo.

PhoenixTickets

We have a few tickets to giveaway!  Head on over to The Cheeky Celiac on Facebook and leave a comment to enter.

 

 

Omission Beer now certified gluten free by the Celiac Sprue Association

While attending the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I was informed by the Omission Beer representative that their products had become certified gluten free by the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA).  This news is sure to intrigue beer drinkers who reluctantly surrendered their favorite beer when diagnosed with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

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Click here for the press release from CSA announcing that they have given a Recognition seal to Omission Beer for their Pale Ale and Lager.  This does NOT apply to Omission’s IPA at this time.

Excerpt from the press release:

CSA conducts independent tests of products under consideration for its Recognition Seal, and has found that Omission meets the organization’s criteria. In evaluating Omission Beer, CSA also reviewed detailed results and analysis from recently conducted mass spectrometry testing, which showed that the trace amounts of gluten remaining in the beer did not contain any known toxic amino acid sequences. CSA also requires documentation of ingredient sourcing, allergen control and sanitation plans, training procedures for controlling cross-contamination, and an inspection of packaging materials.”

CSA has also published this Q & A to provide gluten free consumers and celiac patients with further information.

Because there has been so much controversy in the gluten free community surrounding Omission Beer, I asked them to provide facts showing the process used to remove gluten from their beverages.  They complied and provided me with the information about mass spectrometry that I asked for.  I’m not ashamed to say some of the scientific facts are way beyond my understanding. Unfortunately, I am neither a scientist or a physician nor have I played one on TV, I am just a girl who wants to be able to have cold beer safely once in a while.

What I can say is that having consumed several of these beers, I have yet to have a reaction. Yes, I am a celiac who has dreaded, unmistakable and immediate gastrointestinal symptoms upon consuming minute amounts of gluten.  That said, I’ve heard that others with celiac disease and/or NCGS  have had reactions after consumption of this product.

As always, exercise your best judgement when deciding what products are safe for you.  Trust your body.  If ANY product labeled gluten free doesn’t agree with you, don’t consume it.

omission

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Will you be partaking in a beer party with Omission Beer soon or will you be avoiding this product as you have in the past?

 

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