Ok, I know we can’t really ‘travel’ to tropical places right now …. but my family was dreaming about where we would like to travel when restrictions lift. It is fun to dream!
Then we started dreaming about where we will travel, in our beautiful country, this summer. We decided to make Plan A, Plan B and maybe Plan C!!!! We are fairly confident that we will be able to do one of our plans! There are a lot of places we can explore in our own backyard and the destination is not as important as creating memories together!
As I started thinking about traveling, it made me think about how stressful traveling was when I was first diagnosed with celiac. Do you know what is amazing? I don’t find it stressful any longer. So, for any of you that would like to dream about traveling, with my family! Yet, you feel like the thought of traveling safely with a celiac seems impossible or very stressful … let me tell you a couple of things I do that make it stress-free.
I hope it helps you as you have time to think. With all the different restrictions in life right now, you have time to think, plan and get organized to travel! After all, I think dreaming of traveling is half the fun!
First of all, I spend a LOT of time on my computer researching. I contact the celiac association in the country/city we are going to and ask about restaurants and hotels with breakfast that they would recommend. THIS is a fabulous resource and worth sending an email. Then, I open my ‘Find Me Gluten Free’ APP and look for places. I read the reviews not just the ratings. I also open up ‘TripAdvisor’ and search for the area we are going to be in and add ‘celiac’ and ‘gluten free’ to the search. Again, I read lots of reviews and recommendations. I also try to find a social media support page and ask some questions about places to eat. On a sheet of paper I write my top safe restaurants (with address and phone number) and places to find groceries. I keep this sheet of paper in my purse and I have it whenever I may need it throughout the holidays. It helps make the vacation fun, as we aren’t wasting time trying to find safe places on the vacation … we have a list and we can quickly make a choice while we are having fun.
Would you like to know a couple of things that I throw in to my suitcase to decrease stress of being cross contaminated, as you don’t know what the kitchen will be like when you are staying in a hotel, air b&b or even traveling to a family or friends house!
Cutting Board. I have a very thin and lightweight cutting board that I save for travelling. It takes no extra weight in your suitcase. The nice thing is that you can put it over a questionably safe surface and your food stays safe!
Toaster Bags. These toaster bags are awesome. You can use any toaster safely. My teenage celiac son has even made grilled cheese in his when he went to his Pop’s house.
Colander. Everyone uses colanders for pasta when they are in a hotel/air b&b. That scares me! So, I found this collapsable colander that is very easy to travel with. I also use it in our trailer, when camping.
Here a a couple of other things you could pack ….
Parchment Paper. I throw in a parchment paper roll, as this can cover any baking surface and make your food safe.
Gluten Free Essentials. I put in a few boxes of gluten free crackers, a loaf of bread, granola bars and a jar of peanut butter. Depending where we are going and the trip, I may also bring a pancake mix and a box of cookies. This saves me time finding stuff at our destination. When we get to our destination, we can always find produce and such. If we don’t need these items, we can bring them back home. The reason I may throw in a box of cookies, is that I have a non-celiac child as well. If my non-celiac can get treats and my celiac can not find anything that is safe to eat … it makes the celiac child feel like they have ‘something’.
When you are going to be travelling, make sure to plan LOTS! Be prepared with lists. Pack granola bars and extra food (so you don’t starve IF something goes wrong!). Inevitably, WHEN something goes wrong you can always eat that granola bar that you brought along. Yet, there will be times that you forget the extra food in your hotel room and you have nothing to eat but a glass of water and a pickle …. choose to smile and enjoy those people around your table! The next meal WILL be better!
Attitude is everything. If you have a celiac child, remember they are watching you. Choose to smile, to love and to have hope! It’s not positive thinking at all, I truly believe there is always hope. I tell my son, ‘we can eat all of the 1000’s of things God made, so let’s enjoy those! It’s only 4 that we can’t!.’ AND He says, ‘Ok Mom! But remember that those 4 things are in a whole lot of things!’ … and we laugh! It is true. There are times it is frustrating and hard. When you are traveling, remember that you can always eat whole foods and that will keep you safe as well.
My boy actually has a great attitude. We’ve laughed lots, over the years, When we were traveling, we truly only ate pickles for lunch. We have decided that it’s these funny experiences that add a bit of fun to life …. at least we have stories, memories and something to laugh about!
Hope you have fun dreaming about traveling and getting prepared with some cutting boards, toaster bags and some great lists of where you want to explore!
I do buy store boughten gluten free bread, as sometimes I just don’t feel like making bread! BUT I feel best when I eat this bread for breakfast. My gut feels better and I have a sense of well being. I know that sounds silly, but I truly feel nourished! This loaf is very high in fibre, iron and many nutrients. It is also gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, potato, tapioca, corn, guar gum, and xanthum gum, free.
The first thing I do is make a flax egg. I grind 1 tablespoon of certified GF flax in my magic bullet (so I know it hasn’t been cross contaminated) and I add 3 tablespoons of warm water and let it sit. It gets a bit thicker, as it sits, and it works as an egg substitute.
This is what the ‘flax egg’ looks like when it has sat and is ready to use….
Sometimes I make the loaf plain and other times I add dried fruit and cinnamon, both are great. I love it toasted with plain butter or jam for breakfast. I do hope you give it a try and I would love to hear your feedback on what you think.
What I love about this bread is that it has MANY grains in it. My celiac son and I miss a lot of fibre and nutrients when we eat store bought breads. This one sticks to our rips and nourishes us through out the morning. Not only does it have Rice Flour but it also has Sorghum, Millet, Teff, Buckwheat, Amaranth, and Chia. Take a look at all of the grains that went into my bread this morning … it really is a lot of ‘goodness’!
I hadn’t made bread for a while, but today seemed like a great day to make a loaf. It’s kinda cold and snowy and I miss my bread for breakfast. I’m glad I made it, as the house has a wonderful aroma and I was reminded that it really doesn’t take that long at all. Today, I used my smaller loaf plans and made two loaves. Usually I put the dough all into one pan … but I am sharing a loaf today .. so I have too small ones. You can choose if you like the slice larger or smaller. We usually like it larger, as it feels more like a ‘normal’ slice of bread. You can do what you like best. If you have a child who is gluten free, you may like two smaller loaves … as it is very filling!
I found the smaller loaf pans at my local store (Barb’s Kitchen) and I love them! If you don’t live in Edmonton, I found them online for you (if you click on the loaf pan below … you will be redirected to check them out!). If you put all of the dough into this one pan, it will raise higher and it works perfect for gluten free bread.
I do enjoy giving you recipes, but some I believe you need a video to SHOW you how to bake an item and that can make the difference of being successful. Therefore, if you want to make this loaf in your home, just go to my gluten free baking classes video/demo for this mom’s nutritious loaf. You will receive a video demo that you will get immediately but can watch whenever it works for you and as many times as you need … it isn’t going anywhere! You will also get an electronic recipe card and nutritional fact breakdown of nutrients and carbs (helpful if you are a celiac and counting carbs .. like my hubby!)
Today, I made mine plain (without dried fruit) and sprinkled quinoa flakes and flax to decorate the top. Hope my celiac enjoys a slice for breakfast tomorrow … I think I’ll enjoy one for lunch!
Let me know how yours turns out or share a photo.
Here are some items that I put in the loaf … if you find it hard to find in your local community … then you can order online.
This is a very simple dessert AND it is healthy. It has fruit and fibre and nourishes your body … but you can call it dessert! I like that.
I made these for dessert and my celiac and non celiac teens gobbled them up. They do like to put a dollop of whipped cream on-top. My husband likes dairy free ice cream and I like it plain. So, do whatever hits your fancy.
Here is what I do;
Make your topping first. In a bowl measure 1/4 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup GF oat flour, 1/2 cup GF Oats, 1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Stir til well combined. You can addchiaas well. It adds nutrients but no one will even notice!
Cut in 1/2 cup dairy free hard margarine or butter. Then take your hands and rub all of the ingredients together until it is evenly combined and crumbly.
Take a pairing knife and take the core out of the apple. If you cut down the core from the top and then from the bottom … that is the easiest way to do it!
Then, push the ‘crumble’ down inside of the apple and pack it in tight. You should have enough to do 4 apples. Whatever I have left, I pile evenly on top of the apples.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. If you bake it too long, your apple will split. It still tastes good, just not as pretty!
A young little celiac I know has a stomach ache today. I was reminded that little celiacs have a hard time explaining the pain and thinking about ‘why’ their stomach hurts. Were they cross contaminated? Did they eat gluten? Is it a different intolerance? Is it bowel issues? There are so many questions and so many possibilities. Those questions are hard for this ‘old’ celiac to figure out, let alone the little young ones in our lives. The ‘littles’ have no clue as to ‘why’ they feel bad! They only know that their tummy hurts! Remember, as parents, that a sore tummy does not always mean gluten. It may have NOTHING to do with gluten or being a celiac! It could just be a tummy ache.
If you or your child is a celiac, it is always good to go through the questions of cross contamination and such. Also, never be afraid to get it checked out by your doctor (somethings need to be addressed). If you can figure out the ‘problem’ then you are bound to feel better quicker. In my household, sometimes the tummy aches are bowel related. Not so much gluten. With a gluten free diet you don’t always get all the fibre you need. So, if you can add fibre to your diet it can really help your insides and how you feel.
I add ground flax and chia to a lot of my baking to increase fibre. If you are increasing your fibre, make sure to increase your water intake as well! Some people can’t handle chia, but if you can, it is an excellent source of fibre and nutrients. I add it to my ‘Mom’s Nutritious Bread‘, ‘Cinnamon Buns‘, ‘Pizza Crust‘, ‘Banana Loaf’ and ‘Baguettes’. Yes! You can have chia in your cinnamon bun!
I also add a tablespoon to each smoothie in my household. THAT amount would give some people too much fibre and make them feel ill. BUT … my kids and I can handle that amount. It is a great source of other nutrients as well. Maybe start with 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time, to see how well it is tolerated. You don’t need to do the tablespoon! Probably too much for most people.
If your child does not like black flecks in their smoothie or their cinnamon buns, try white chia. I put in white chia and they never know the difference! Sometimes I can find it locally and sometimes I can not. I have found it online, if you want to check it out (it is certified gluten free).
Hope you add some extra fibre and nutrients to your baking. Try one of my recipes/video classes listed above … they taste great and give your body some fibre. I also hope you find foods that make you feel well and healthy!
Can you believe valentines is less than a week away? What are you doing? Nothing? Something Amazing? Or do you need just a little idea to make it sweet?
My hubsand has always said that he doesn’t believe in Valentines Day. At first I was horrified, I thought he didn’t believe in love!! But that is not so.
The reason he doesn’t like Valentines Day is that he doesn’t like ‘Someone’ telling him that he HAS TO buy me a card, flowers, chocolates and say ‘I Love You’ on a certain day. He told me, ‘I love you EVERYDAY of the year and I will tell you when I want .. not just on Valentines’. So, a girl can’t complain about that! He actually doesn’t boycott valentines … he just goes out of his way to make his point! He does get me a card, and always gives it on a day leading up to valentines but NEVER on valentines … just to make the point that he loves me every day! He also brings home flowers a few days before valentines, so that they can be enjoyed all week. I get his point. Yet, I love the idea of valentines! I do things on valentines! We don’t really go overboard, but it’s nice to let the ones you know that you love them … on valentines or any day of the year!
If you go overboard or just like to do something simple and sweet. I have posted some gluten free valentine ideas over the past few weeks. Hopefully these ideas make your gluten free love feel special. My celiac and non-celiac teens love the heart pizza, sugar cookies and heart brownies the most. I won’t make two sweets … so I will have to decide which one I will do this year!
I thought I would give you all my ideas in one place for you to mull over …. and decide what you will do this Sunday.
If you want to check out the recipe, just click on the words under the photos.
I’d love to hear if you make one of my ideas. Let me know how it turned out and send a photo! Happy Valentines.
I’m not sure where you live, but I am in Alberta and my thermometer says -34 at the moment! That is VERY cold! I don’t want to complain as we have had a very mild winter. BUT it is a tad on the cool side!!!
When it is that cold I feel like a pot of soup is required. My husband starts a fire and we can get cozy blankets and eat soup! I personally love cream soups but my husband is dairy free. If you make vegetable soups and blend them, it would be hard to tell that there is no dairy.
The night before we had roasted chicken and I made a stock. Then today I roasted some carrots and made a tasty soup. It got the thumbs up from the teens … so that is always a bonus! It actually was very easy, so I thought I would type up the recipe quickly and share it with you. Maybe you can make some to stay warm … especially if you are in Alberta!!!
By the way, if you don’t want to make homemade stock then just find a gluten free stock to use. Epicure has a gluten free chicken stock that I really like and it is gluten free. There are many reps around, you can check that out in your local community.
8cupsHomemade Chicken Stockhomemade is best, if not I would use Epicure Chicken Stock as it is GF
2poundsCarrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2Garlic Cloves, minced
2Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoonOlive Oil
1teaspoon Basil, dried
Place carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of oil. Then put the carrots in a 400 F degree oven for 40 minutes. Stir once half way through baking.
Heat oil in a stock pot and add garlic and onion. Cook for one minute. Stir often. Add the potato and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add broth to the stock pot and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, place the lid on the stock pot and simmer.
Add the basil, carrots, salt and pepper to the stock pot. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a hand held emersion blender and blend the soup. It will look like creamed soup when you are done.
In the past, I have burnt myself with my blender, when the soup is hot. I’ve also cracked the glass. Now, I avoid using my blender for hot soup and I use the emersion hand blender instead. As long as you don’t lift it out of the soup while you are blending, you won’t get burnt! It works nicely. It gives the feeling of a cream soup even if you have not added any milk!I like to serve mine with a piece of hearty bread or warm biscuits. If you take my online 7 week baking series of classes ‘The Equipped GF Home Baker‘ , you will learn many helpful tips about GF baking. You would learn how to make great hearty nutritious bread and biscuits! My teens also like to crumble Tostitos on top. Whatever you choose to serve it with, I hope you enjoy the soup! If you don’t want to take the 7 week class you can just check out my bread demos.
The other day, I had some fun making gluten free chocolates for valentines. I melted a gluten free chocolate bar and poured the chocolate into lip shaped molds and let it set. This is a great way to give your ‘gluten free love’ a safe gluten free Valentine chocolate! My celiac teen loves these, and I as a mom don’t have to worry if they have gluten. Sometimes all of the special valentine treats have a ‘may contain’ statement .. this way I have peace of mind!
If you want to give it a try, you can look around your local stores for a mold. I have found some at Michaels, Wal-mart, or Bulkbarn. If you don’t have any luck and you really want to do this for Valentines … then check out the mold online. You can get it delivered to you before Valentines Day. You could do any shape … this mold comes with lips and hearts! I hope you find something locally or online.
You can just eat the chocolates as a treat or use them as a topper on a gluten free cupcake. Not everyone likes baking, so I have put together a FREE video demo to teach you some tricks to make a cake mix even better plus it includes a recipe for buttercream icing. Click on the following link to give it a try https://bit.ly/KOBvalcupcakes.
It could be fun to do with your kids for valentines. I think making memories together is the best part of being a mom. xo
Hope you have found some of my ideas or the last couple weeks fun and they help you with ideas on how to make your valentines special with your ‘gluten free love’.
I absolutely love making sugar cookies, as the kids grew through the years I made them for every occasion I could think of! When my son was diagnosed celiac, I HAD to perfect my sugar cookie recipe and make them gluten-free style!
A few years ago, I gave my sister my sugar cookie recipe. She wanted to make them for a co-worker. I received a phone call about how it was a disaster and she showed me a photo of unidentifiable crumbs! That’s when I began to ask a few questions, had she used my suggested flour blends? (no she had not). There were a few things that she had not done.
I’m not trying to pick on my sister, but giving her as an example. Gluten free baking can be picky and you have to do things exact. If you do, you will have a wonderful product!
My sister said that she really does not enjoy rolling out sugar cookies. I found a rolling pin that would make her, and my, life easier. This rolling pin has adjustable rings that allows you to roll the dough exactly 1/4″ (or whatever size ring you pick), which makes all of your cookies uniform and they bake evenly.
If you are a celiac, it can be hard to find meringue powder that doesn’t have a ‘may contain gluten’ claim on it. If you are using your own royal icing recipe or using mine, I have found it at Bulk Barn in a little container .. but that is hit and miss. Finally I looked online and found the product below that is nut and gluten free and it is made in Canada. I also like that it is a small bag and I didn’t have to purchase 5 pounds worth!! If you want to check it out you can click on the photo.
My husband doesn’t like to eat a lot of icing, as he is a diabetic. Many years ago, I found cookie stamps that I could write messages in the cookies. Sometimes I will color the cookie dough and stamp messages into the cookies. This way it looks more interesting and fancier than a plain cookie, but it doesn’t add any more calories or sugar! It’s also just fun to write messages, especially on valentines! I couldn’t find my exact cookie stamping set (as it is very old!). BUT if it is something that you also think would be fun, I found one that would work great, just click on my sweet heart cookies below, and you can check it out.
I realized that there are things I do that are worth sharing so that your cookies do turn out! I don’t want you to have cookies like my sister!!! 🙂 So, why don’t you click on the photo below and join me (virtually). You can watch the sugar cookie demo on how to make gluten & dairy free sugar cookies and the royal icing demo. You can watch the videos whenever it works for you and as many times as you need to… they aren’t going anywhere! You will have your own dashboard on my site and any video demo or recipe you get…. will stay on your dashboard for you to refer back to at any time!
The recipe cards will also be available at the end of the demos.
Hope some of my ideas spark more ideas with you and that you make some fun gluten free valentine cookies, that you have fun with your family making them and that they taste fabulous!
Did you know that I offer gluten free online video demos/classes?
The classes are usually around 20 minutes and once you sign-up you can watch the video whenever it works for you and as many times as you want … it isn’t going anywhere! The recipe card is also at the end of the online class for you to review or print. If you take more than one class, they will all be saved on your personal dashboard … it’s kind of like your own electronic recipe book!
I give lots of recipes, yet, some gluten free baked items turn out a bit better with someone showing you ‘how’ to do it. You can be given a recipe and you MAY be successful. Watching this video lesson WILL leave you equipped to bake excellent Pizza for your sweetheart … for years to come! It is Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Corn, Nut, Potato & Xanthan Gum Free.
My teens love this pizza any Friday night! They absolutely love eating heart pizzas for Valentines! Since they were little, we have always shared heart pizzas together on valentines. Each person puts on their own toppings. My husband, who is dairy free, can have his soy cheese and we can have mozzarella. Plus, it’s just fun putting on your own toppings !
Hope you find the video demo/class helpful and you enjoy making this great pizza crust for years to come!