Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Resources

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Dec 18 2014

Review: Moondance Desserts Holiday Cookies

I am a huge fan of Moondance Desserts, so when I spotted some Holiday Iced Cookies made by them at Earth Fare yesterday, I had to pick them up. I had a hard time not buying a couple of the other varieties, but stuck with the just the Holiday Iced Cookies this time. Moondance Desserts has a wide variety of desserts that includes cheesecakes, brownies and cookies. Moondance Desserts was founded by Shelley Ritchie after discovering that finding tasty gluten-free treats was not an easy task. 

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When Jon saw these sitting on the island in our kitchen, he immediately took a picture and texted it to me asking if he could open the box and eat some of the cookies. I appreciate that he asked me, as I may not have gotten to try them otherwise! We both fell in love with these cookies and agree that we haven’t tasted anything like them since going gluten-free, unless we made our own, homemade versions. While there was a time a few years back that I was really into gluten-free baking, I haven’t had much time to do so lately. 

Moondance Desserts are made in a gluten-free facility to avoid any chance of cross-contamination, but there are nuts present in the facility, so those with nut allergies should be cautious. The desserts can be found in over 200 stores across the US, including Whole Foods and Earth Fare. 

Have you tried Moondance Desserts? Don’t miss out if you get a chance to try any of their products! I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Dec 17 2014

Gluten Free Bar Holiday Gift Sets

Eight days until Christmas, but who’s counting, right? Right. It’s time to finalize last minute gift purchases, so if you find yourself stumped, consider these awesome Holiday Gift Sets from Gluten Free Bar.

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I am a huge fan of Gluten Free Bar, especially the new varieties, though the originals are pretty darn good, too. More about the Holiday Gift Sets:

For the holiday season, the Gluten Free Bar has a sampler gift set containing six bars and three bites available for $28 and a deluxe gift containing 12 bars and six bites for $52, each with free shipping. These are available online and ideal for last minute gift giving.

The Gluten Free Bars come in six different varieties:

  • Cranberry Toasted Almond – California grown almonds, dried cranberries, organic brown rice, organic brown rice syrup, dates, organic agave nectar, rice protein, soy protein, whole golden flax seeds, pure vanilla extract, pure almond extract, sea salt.
  • Peanut Butter – organic dry roasted peanuts, organic brown rice syrup, rice protein, dates, organic agave nectar, soy protein, organic brown rice, whole flax seeds, vanilla, sea salt.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate – organic dry roasted peanuts, organic brown rice syrup, rice protein, dates, organic agave nectar, soy protein, semi-sweet chocolate chips, organic brown rice, whole flax seeds, vanilla, sea salt.
  • Coconut Cashew Crunch -organic brown rice syrup, toasted cashews, complete protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), organic agave nectar, toasted coconut, organic crisped brown rice, dates, organic sunflower seeds, golden flaxseed, natural coconut flavor, safflower oil, sea salt. contains cashews.
  • Oatmeal Raisin – organic sunflower seeds, protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), organic brown rice syrup, dates, certified gluten-free oats, organic agave nectar, california raisins, organic crisped brown rice, golden flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt.
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut – dates, organic brown rice syrup, complete protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), toasted coconut, organic agave nectar, organic dark chocolate (organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder), organic crisped brown rice, cocoa powder, vanilla, organic sunflower seeds, natural coconut flavor, golden flaxseed, sea salt.

So in addition to the full size bars, there are new Gluten-Free Bites. Pretty cool, huh? The gift sets can be ordered directly from the Gluten Free Bar website, but don’t wait too long! Shipping may be free, but it’s not magic, so you need to allow enough time for them to arrive at the intended destination.


Dec 16 2014

Gluten-Free Vending Machines

Even with the best of planning I still find myself without a gluten-free snack on occasion when I need one. While I do my best not to end up in these situations, I am human, and am sometimes rushed, which leads me to being forgetful. Finding gluten-free food in a vending machine is a lot like playing a game of seek and find. Sometimes there are several options, sometimes there are none. Rarely are those options ever something “healthy” that will tide me over until my next meal.

What if that were to change? What if said vending machine was stocked with all gluten-free foods? iBGFree is just that!

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iBGFree was founded by Amy after realizing that there was nothing out there that addressed this need. Amy was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a couple of years ago and after she struggled with snack choices as she traveled for her job, she set out to find a way to solve this problem.

Seeking a Gluten-Free Solution

Why hadn’t someone addressed this need? Why couldn’t there be a healthy, gluten-free alternative that is easy to access while on the go? That potential ignited a spark inside me, and provided the initial motivation to launch iBGFree.

I set out to provide quality, gluten-free, on-the-go foods that could be conveniently purchased through vending machines. My vision was to place them in airports, schools, malls and anywhere they could benefit those like me: people with a medical need to eliminate gluten from their diet, as well as those choosing to live gluten free.
However, it’s not just about convenience. It’s also about being part of a social fabric and being able to participate and enjoy the very basic act of breaking bread with others (tough since I can’t eat the bread!). Too often I’ve felt excluded because I am living gluten free. Through iBGFree, I’d like to do my part to end that reality for everyone who is eliminating gluten from their diet.

My goal is simple – to provide good-tasting, healthful, grab-and-go snacks that everyone can enjoy as an alternative to greasy chips or fattening candy.

Amy hand picks the gluten-free products that are sold in the iBGFree vending machines. These products must not only meet strict requirements for being gluten-free (and free from cross-contamination), but they have to taste good, too! A list of the products sold in these vending machines can be viewed here.


Dec 15 2014

Review: Mi-Del Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cremes

We have been long time fans of Mi-Del cookies, especially those of the sandwich variety and the Chocolate Caramel Cookies. If you haven’t tried them, you are really missing out! Mi-Del is now offering a gluten-free holiday version of their chocolate sandwich cookie.

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Ingredients:  POWDERED SUGAR (SUGAR, CORN STARCH), VEGETABLE SHORTENING (PALM AND/OR CANOLA, SOY OILS), RICE FLOURS, TAPIOCA FLOUR, GRANULATED SUGAR, COCOA POWDER (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), CORN STARCH, CANDY CANE PIECES (CANE SUGAR, RICE SYRUP, COCONUT OIL, BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE, PEPPERMINT OIL, SOY LECITHIN), NATURAL PEPPERMINT FLAVOR, EGG WHITES, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, XANTHAN GUM, BAKING SODA. CONTAINS STATEMENT: EGG, SOY

These cookies are every bit as good as I thought they would be, if not better! I love chocolate + mint, so these were just perfect. Jon thoroughly enjoyed the cookies as well and finished to box off in no time at all.

Look for these cookies in your local mainstream grocery and health food stores. They won’t last long, though, so don’t wait! Along with these, Mi-Del also makes Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men cookies.

Have you tried the new Mi-Del Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cremes? What about some of the other Mi-Del Gluten-Free Cookies? 


Dec 13 2014

Gluten-Free Holiday Tips

Christmas is twelve days from today. Are you ready? I’m nowhere close. My Christmas cards are sitting in the Shutterfly box ready to be addressed, but that is as far as I have gotten on that front. I still have gifts left to buy and most importantly, the Christmas tree hasn’t been put up and decorating hasn’t been done yet.

Food is another thing that I haven’t even begun to think about. Maybe that is because I have been doing the same thing for several years that it is almost like I am on autopilot. Here are some of my tried and true Holiday shortcuts.

  • Peanut Butter Fudge – Takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish and never fails to wow the crowd.
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip – Toss everything together in a sauce pan as directed & then transfer to a crockpot to cook/keep warm.  Serve with celery & tortilla chips.
  • Old Fashioned Gingerbread – Not too complicated to make & it tastes like it was a lot of work!
  • Cocktail Wienies – Lit’l Smokies are gluten-free.  Toss in a crock pot with some Sweet Baby Ray’s or your favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Veggie tray with dill dip – Marzetti’s dip is gluten-free.
  • Chocolate Truffles – Ali of The Healthy Hostess shared these – 2 ingredients (both naturally gluten-free).  Simple!
  • Honeybaked Ham – Pick up a ham or turkey – they are gluten-free!
  • Salad – Grab a box of salad, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese & some gluten-free salad dressing.Mixed nuts – dump into a festive, decorative dish.
  • Cheese tray – cut blocks of cheese into cubes and display on a tray
  • Chips & salsa
  • Fruit salad – Buy pre-cut fruit if you are really pressed for time.

Enjoy friends and family and give yourself permission to accept what you can do and don’t focus on things you planned to do, but were unable to get to.  ’Tis the season to celebrate, spend time with the ones you love and have fun!