Being that May is Celiac awareness month, and the fact that about 83% of people with this disease are under/misdiagnosed, it seems even more important to spread some information and tips for those who feel they might be or know that they are gluten sensitive or intolerant.
Founded in the 70’s, you can join a group called the US Celiac Sprue Association. They have a lot of information about Celiac disease and are always updating with new information for the newly diagnosed. Become a member and receive the following:
- Quarterly CSA newsletter
- Gluten-free product news and labeling
- Local chapter meetings and educational opportunities
- Access to members only section on CSA website for savings
For more info visit www.CSACeliacs.info
Learn more about how to prevent cross-contamination when cooking at home and eating out:
It may sound silly but you really have to pay attention in your own home and think ‘crumbs.’ Anywhere you see crumbs is a potential place for cross-contamination. Check counter tops, cutting boards, microwaves, toaster ovens and margarine containers and containers with other spreads that can be major culprits, especially if you share with family members that don’t have Celiac disease.
Get your own toaster and cutting board. This will help with crumby situations! Remember that have to boil, bake, fry and cook separately. Flour is airborne, so you need to keep that in mind. When dining out, don’t be shy; ask lots of questions and find out if and how your food is being prepared separately from foods that contain gluten.
Educate yourself about cooking and baking substitutions:
When baking gluten-free, I recommend trying gluten-free all-purpose flour, or having more than one type of gluten-free flour alone. Try gluten-free flour, starch flour, and gum combination! A few additional quick tips:
- It’s easy to over-bake or under-cook gluten free foods so always keep a close eye on your oven!
- Flour blends that are high in starch produce better quality baked goods.
- If your gluten-free flour falls apart when you roll it out for cookies or other baked goods, simply pinch it back together.
- Flour blends that include bean flours produce baked goods that are moist and less crumbly than other gluten-free flour combinations.
The bottom line is there is so much more information out there that is easily accessible these days you should really take the time to educate yourself on the newest trends and safety tips for cooking at home or eating at restaurants.