popchips: Gluten and Guilt-Free Snacking

Imagine if  someone told you, as a gluten-free snacker, that there was something delicious, gluten-free, and not terribly unhealthy? Would you get really excited? Because I sure do every time I see popchips in the grocery aisle.

Popchips logo

popchips are just that: popped chips. Compared to the traditional fried or baked choices in the chip aisle, popchips provide a guilt-free snacking option that you can enjoy guilt-free.

They have recently announced their new line of popped tortilla chips. Made using stoneground corn masa (the same ingredient in traditional corn tortillas) seasoned with natural ingredients. Nothing artificial. No trans fat. Gluten free. Lower fat and calories. Did I mention they were gluten-free too?

Popchips

Have you tried popchips and will you be adding the new popped tortillas to your snacking regime? 

 

Advertisements

Dufflet Announces Line of Gluten-Free Desserts

My newly adopted gluten-free lifestyle comes with it’s own set of drawbacks. Life without pastries, fluffy fresh breads, and pizza is pretty rough. But life without Dufflet is downright depressing. On my worst nights, I have flashbacks of Dufflet‘s signature carrot cake with creamy frosting melting in my mouth after a hard day at the office. And then I saw this:

Dufflet Gluten Free

Dufflet has announced a line of it’s popular desserts including the chocolate cake, carrot cake, and chocolate chunk brownie all made gluten-free! I can’t wait to head down to the Queen Street location and sample one of each! If I do it in the name of the blog then the calories don’t exist, right?

What are your favourite spots to pick up gluten-free baked treats? 

Gluten Free Garage at Artscape Wychwood Barns

I’m always looking for new gluten-free tricks and treats to make cooking, snacking, and eating out easier. Just yesterday I discovered that my local bakery has amazing gluten-free treats but I had been avoiding it in order to avoid the treats I’m not allowed to have any more! Imagine going to an event or store where you don’t have to read the labels on everything? Well I’ve found just the opportunity:

Gluten Free Garage

Gluten Free Garage is a pop-up market place featuring local merchants, bakeries, and restaurants that cater to gluten-free eating needs. You will be able to enjoy gluten-free food prepared onsite by local chefs, sample and purchase gluten-free food and lifestyle products from vendors, and hear from guest speakers who will speak on their experiences and expertise in gluten-free living and take the chance to chat with local health experts. You can also grab coupons for future #glutenfreegluttony purchases!

Want information about gluten-free living? The Canadian Celiac Association will also be onsite to provide information, resources, and support! Proceeds from all ticket sales ($10 for those aged 12 and up!) go to the Canadian Celiac Association.

Sunday April 28, 2013
10am – 4pm
Artscape Wychwood Barns in the Covered Street Barn

 

Gluten-Free Beers in Toronto

Gluten-free beer is made from ingredients that do not contain the grains barley and wheat that normal beers include. These ingredients, even in small amounts, can cause violent health reactions in those who have a gluten intolerance. Brewers who produce gluten-free beers are required to test every batch for gluten and record levels for each batch.

While I have cut down on the amount of beer I consume due to the reaction my body has to do since eliminating gluten, I haven’t eliminated it from my diet completely. I have taken the opportunity to try a couple of gluten-free beers that are available in Toronto and you might understand why I have been putting off eliminating regular beer from my diet:

Nickel Brook Gluten Free

Nickel Brook Gluten Free Beer

This pale ale is made with a blend of sorghum, demerara sugar and pear juice was the first gluten-free beer made in Ontario!

Available at the LCBO in 6-packs for $13.50 or in 473 mL cans for $2.95 each.

 

 

 

 

 

Snowman Brewing Co Gluten Free Beer

Snowman Gluten-Free beer was brewed for gluten-intolerants who actually like beer, as opposed to a drink to have instead of beer. They have experiemented with a number of gluten-free grains to produce a brown ale, a pilsner, American pale ale, and a British-style amber. This beer is nearly impossible to find in Toronto, though I have spotted it on occasion at the Rhino.

Looking for other ways to get tipsy without getting sick? Stick to distilled spirits or wine. Remember to double-check your labels and don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer if you have any questions. 

TasteAway Delivers Gluten-Free Magic Oven Goodness

I think I mention my love and fondness for pizza in every post, so maybe you’re starting to get an idea of how much I miss my favourite pies. Enter: TasteAway.com, a sister site of Teambuy.ca. TasteAway is the latest online pick-up and delivery ordering platform to launch with a selection of over 150 restaurants in Toronto and the GTA. Their goal is to provide a more visual marketplace for customers to “eat with their eyes”.

Similar to the other online delivery ordering services, TasteAway.com offers a selection of restaurants based on your delivery address. You can browse through menus and popular dished from local restaurants, order directly from the website, and pay online by credit card or with cash on delivery of your order.

TasteAway.com

Ordering gluten-free foods online is generally fairly easy when you have a large selection. I lean towards thai or vietnamese dishes because they tend to be rice-based.

While the online food delivery companies generally have the same or at least the same types of restaurants, there is very little room to stand out. So what makes TasteAway stand out to me?

Two words: Magic Oven. 

Magic Oven Gluten Free Pizza

Magic Oven is a Toronto-based family-run chain of restaurants offering pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. Their healthy pizzas can also be made to accommodate a large range of dietary concerns by offering organic spelt or gluten-free rice flour crusts and vegan or lactose-free cheese, and organic meats. With over 6 fully licensed locations in Toronto, there are lots of opportunities to treat your gluten-starved brain and body with a healthy pizza!

A few months ago, I treated a fellow gluten-free girlfriend to a special night in with her favourite wine and a gluten-free rice flour crust pizza to try out the TasteAway delivery service. Our verdict: delicious, gluten-free pizza delivered hot in no time! And a new favourite restaurant for us to indulge our carb cravings!

Magic Oven gluten free

 

So What is “Eating Gluten-Free”?

One question almost everyone asks when they find out about my new “eating challenge” – that’s what I like to call it – is “what is eating gluten-free?” And to be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what I could and couldn’t be eating when I started out save for the pastas, breads, and doughs (all of my favourite things).

Gluten-Free Eating

So what is safe to eat? Here is a list of things to absolutely avoid:

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat products, including:
    • Bulgur
    • Durum flour
    • Farina
    • Graham flour
    • Kamut
    • Semolina
    • Spelt* – this one depends on who you ask. I know lots of gluten-intolerants who eat this, so I eat it occasionally. I don’t seem to react to it like I react to wheat now, so I think it’s safe for me.

Then there are the things that are suggested to avoid, or at least check the ingredients:

  • Beer
  • Baked goods including breads, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • French fries
  • Gravies, salad dressings, sauces (including soy sauce)
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Pasta
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Oats* – also a tricky one based on some cross-contamination

It’s certainly a long list, and one positive thing about this challenge has been a better awareness of what I am eating and what goes into my food.