Local Store with LOTS of Gluten Free Options …

I was trying to find GLUTEN FREE Buckwheat flour.  Why was it so hard to find?  I could not find it ANYWHERE in Edmonton, Leduc, Beaumont … I was getting frustrated!

I could find Buckwheat flour but NOT Gluten Free.    If you are unaware, if it is not listed as ‘GF’ … it most likely has been milled on a mill that has also had wheat or barley … not good if you are a celiac!

I had bought it before … but it had seemed to disappear!  Anyway … I had pretty much given up.  I googled on the internet and found it on-line … which I did order … and it was delivered to my door in less than 5 days AND they waived shipping if I spent $29!  THAT is a pretty good deal!

In my googling … I also found a store that carried Gluten Free Buckwheat flour in Edmonton … Earth’s General Store.  They have a store on Whyte Ave and Downtown.

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The kids and I jumped to go to the Whyte Ave store.   I must say that I loved this little store.  The employees were so friendly and helpful.  They had items that I had never seen anywhere else.

It is a typical ‘oraganic’ little shop … but their prices are really reasonable for that kind of a shop.  They also have larger bags of GF Buckwheat Flour (and others) … 2kg … which is so much nicer than small little bags!

I don’t think my son liked our ‘mission’ to find GF Buckwheat Flour … as when he saw me picking up ONE 2kg bag … he raised his eye brows and said, ‘shouldn’t you just pick up 2-3 so we DON’T have to come again!’.  Ha!  I had to laugh … wisdom from an eleven year old!

So, if you are getting in the mood for baking … with the cooler temperatures …. stop in Earth’s General Store and pick up some Gluten Free Flours or Mixes.

Enjoy TODAY … as it is a GIFT .. The GF Cooking Mama

Great Lunch & Dinner Gluten Free Places to Enjoy Eating at in Jasper, Alberta ….

cocosThis place seems very safe for celiacs. The owner is gluten sensitive and understands cross contamination. You can eat breakfast all day and they have lots of sandwiches and wraps as well. They have fresh baking with gluten free options. The food is very fresh and tastes good. We sat out in the sun outside of the little cafe. I will definitely come here again and it is nice to know we can go to lunch at a unique cafe in Jasper when we are in town again.  The hash browns on my plate were amazing … I could have just had a plate of hash browns!  Our son enjoyed his fruit salad and GF Grilled Cheese.  Our daughter loved her glutenated Oatmeal Waffle with fresh fruit and my hubby enjoyed a chicken sandwich.

The owner of the Coco’s Cafe recommend the following restaurants;

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She said that the chefs are very knowledgeable for celiacs and have gluten free options.

I also saw a restaurant on main street called downstreamDownStream… the menu looked like it had many gluten free options and I would love to go on a date with my hubby there one day (it is more like $25-$30 per plate).

Once I try these restaurants myself … I will update my personal reviews. Let me know if you have been at these establishments and your thoughts and experiences.

Enjoy TODAY – as it IS a GIFT! ~The GF Cooking Mama

 

Celiacs CAN eat in Jasper, Alberta

My family camped in Jasper for a week.  It was lovely time as a family and we saw many wild animals … a Grizzly, Black Bear, Bull Elk, Baby Elk …. all safely and it was great to enjoy the beautiful creation all around us as we enjoyed hiking, biking and each other.

Of course … admidst all the fun … we had to eat!  I had looked ahead and didn’t think there was anywhere in Jasper that my son and I could eat, being celiac.  When your camping that is not such a big issue!

When we were in town strolling up and down the main street enjoying people watching and looking in stores … we came across a lovely ICE CREAM place called GRANDMAs.  This is a wonderful gem!  Hard to miss … as it is bright pink and on the main street!  When I asked for a clean scoop for my son’s ice-cream … they all of a sudden said that they had an allergy section with all clean scoops.  They also had a clean spatula that they used to dig out the top 3-6 inches of ice-cream … so our son would have uncontaminated ice-cream that was below.  I sat with my mouth hanging open … as they took more care then I imagined … the the owners son (who was serving my son) … gave my son extra ice-cream in his dish because he had a friend growing up with allergies and knows what it is like to not be able to enjoy the extras … so gave him a heaping bowl.  WOW!  They also gave my girl an extra dollop on-top of her cone to be nice as well.  YOU HAVE TO GO HERE if you have celiac or allergies … they take more precautions then anywhere I have been!

Enjoy Eating Ice-Cream while enjoying the wonderful Jasper views,

The GF Cooking Mama

 

Celiac Son Can’t Eat ‘Nana’s Buns’ ….

We are hitting the road to go to the farm …. it is our family reunion time …. and this is the first time my son will not be able to eat Nana’s buns.

We have met for the past 10 years around this time of year …  at the farm …. and gathered as a family.   Cousins playing and laughing …. water fights …. campfires …. and every lunch we go into the farm house and eat Nana’s buns (it is tradition!).  Her buns are very good … and my children believe she made the best buns in the WORLD!!!  (they haven’t tasted MY Grandma’s buns!!!).

Anyway … a few months ago  …. their Nana passed away and so this reunion is bitter sweet.  My sister in-law can make Nana’s buns … so that will make the old farm house ‘feel’ and ‘smell’ like home.  We are all gathering … cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Pop ….   We will still laugh … we will still love …. we will still have a water fight …. YET ….  our hearts will be missing a couple family members this reunion … and that is plain hard.

So … this mama … can not fix the sad hearts (I wish I could) … and I also CAN NOT make Nana’s buns … not even close … even if I was using gluten!!!     So … what does this mama do?  CALL GF Diner in Edmonton!  Remember … my son LOVES their buns (2nd runner up to Nana’s!).  bungfdinerThe owner was so kind to let us order my son’s favourite buns and some cinnamon buns for our trip to the farm.

 

I share this with you … because it can be hard when you or your child is diagnosed with celiac.  Everyday … is not hard.   BUT … special days and traditions are sometimes all wrapped around food.  When you or your child can’t eat the special foods … all of a sudden it can ‘feel’ like they are not part of the tradition.  THAT is hard.  Unless you live it … you probably don’t really ‘GET’ it.  I DO live it and understand … YET … because I live it …. I also realize that 2nd runner ups … can be just as good and make one feel like they are still part of a tradition.

cinnamonbungfSaturday morning when everyone is eating Aunty’s Cinnamon Buns … I think my boy and I will feel VERY content eating these fabulous Cinnamon Buns from GF DIner …

 

I am EXHAUSTED … from preparing for our trip to the farm … the entire weekend is based on food!  I talked to my sister-in-law and got the menu ahead of time … and have tried to create everything gluten free for my son.

I would not normally cater to this degree … but my Mama heart KNOWS this is going to be a hard weekend on my boys heart … so I am trying to make his food exactly the same as everyone elses   … I hope he just doesn’t ‘feel’ different … and feels the same as every other cousin around the table!

Even though I have worked hard …. I hope he doesn’t even think about food …. I hope he just ENJOYS each day with the people who are on that farm …. as THAT is the best thing one should do!

Thanks to GF Diner for being second runner up to Nana’s Buns!  My boy was a bread boy before celiac … and I appreciate you.  Thanks for being a great community building place  … that will bake a special batch …. just for my boy!  You simply are the best!  Thank you …. from a very sincere Mama.

Enjoy TODAY ~ as it IS a GIFT ~ GF Cooking Mama

 

Bring a Gluten Free Dish to a BBQ … Try this GF Pasta Salad

Tonight we are invited to our children’s camp to have a family BBQ.  We were told that we don’t have to bring anything … just come.  It is a nice offer of the camp and very generous … but as a Celiac and my son being a Celiac as well … we could arrive to the BBQ and not be able to eat anything!

Therefore …. I have learnt to be generous back!  I like to offer to bring a dish to a function … smile and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer … you are not only sharing a dish … but ensuring you can eat safely!

So … for tonight I made an asian gluten free pasta.  I just tried a bowl for lunch … and it tastes great … very light and refreshing (perfect for a hot day!).  The salad does have a fair bit of fresh ginger … if you don’t like that … just omit it … but I think it adds a nice bite.

Click on the photo to get the recipe.

asainpastasalad

Enjoy TODAY ~ As it IS a GIFT ~ The GF Cooking Mama

GF Minion Cupcakes for the Kids at Camp!

‘My children are at camp this week!  My girl is enjoying all the great food amongst all the fabulous fun they are having! …. My son is also enjoying being able to eat most things at camp  ….  there are a few gluten sensitive kids at camp and then my son, who is a celiac.

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There is a guy my son has got to know …  and as they stand in line for the food at the ‘food sensitivity’ door to the camp kitchen … My son told me that his friend has advised him that  he will let them know if they get ‘glutened’ … as he is sick in minutes and stays sick for two weeks.  My son some how thinks that is ‘cool’ that he has this ability ….  (I think my boy has forgotten that he is eating the SAME food! and would get sick as well!!!).

Anyway, this camp is very willing to make gluten free food.  They are pretty knowledgeable … not completely … but I go in each day and read labels and tell them anything that is necessary to do to keep my child safe.  They have one designated cook for the gluten free food … and they seem to be willing to take my suggestions or warnings.

This morning when I dropped off my Minion Cupcakes for the gluten free kids …. the ‘chef’ laughed and told me that my son came to the kitchen to ask if she had cut the fruit on a clean cutting board with a knife that had not cut gluten.  (I wanted to jump up and down and  say … ‘YES!!!!! … HE is EQUIPPED to live this celiac life … HE CAN do it without me there!!!’) ….. BUT I didn’t … I just smiled!  The chef said … ‘he’s just so cute’.  I raised my eyebrow and said … he is an awesome celiac … and those are things that can make him sick …. so glad he is on top of it!

Anyway … what I wanted to share with you is these Minion Gluten Free Cupcakes.  The camp is serving cake to the regular campers …. and I thought it would be nice for the gluten free kids to have something special too!

When I brought them in … it was amazing how many kids told me they were gluten free … ha!  I know there are only 4 of them and 2 staff!!!!  … what kids will do to get a cupcake!!!  My daughter wishes she was gluten free today … as she doesn’t like living without a cupcake …. so I will save one for her at home!!  I do hope the kids like them at camp.  This is what I did (it was very easy!) ….

I bought Betty Crockers Vanilla cake mix and added the following;

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup canola oil

4 of my farm fresh eggs from my  backyard

I beat that well in my mixer.  Then I filled the cupcake liners (minion design on them – picked up at Wal-mart) 1/3 full with batter.

With the remaining batter I added;

1/3 cup Chocolate chips

Instant Jello (Chocolate)

Then I used a scoop and scooped this batter on top of the vanilla batter that was already in the cupcake liners.

I baked at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

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I must admit that I broke one open and ate it … it was so good with the chocolate warm and gooey!!

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Once they were cooled, I iced them.  I did not have a lot of time this week to make things ‘homemade’ …. so I used a Betty Crocker GF Icing (Vanilla) and added yellow food coloring to it.  I then placed the icing in a ziploc bag and cut off a corner and used it like a piping bag.  I was done icing my cupcakes in minutes!  Then I placed Minion eyes on top (I had bought these at Wal-mart as well).

I put a GF toothpick flag on each cupcake so they child would know their cupcake was gluten free when they received it.  It also helped hold up the saran wrap!!

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Simple pleasures … but I do hope the kids enjoy.  I figure as a celiac kid … you WILL live without lots!  As a parent of a celiac … why not do something special for them … make them feel special … I don’t think it will ‘spoil’ them or make them ‘high maintenance’!  It just makes them feel loved!

Enjoy TODAY ~ As it IS a GIFT ~ GF Cooking Mama

 

 

Pill developed from egg yolk research at UofA … could crack gluten intolerance

Read this interesting article from the Edmonton Journal.  This Professor has been working on helping celiacs and gluten intolerant individuals for 20 years!  Very exciting to think that a gluten intolerant person or celiac could possibly eat gluten and not be effected by it!  What an amazing feeling this gentleman would have if he allows celiacs and gluten intolerant individuals to eat gluten safely!  It seems unbelievable … medicine and the peoples ‘brains’ to figure these things out are simply amazing!  I am hit with the thought that ‘WE’ humans….  are defiantly designed with great care and are very complex!  Just imagine what OUR creator must be like!  Read the article below from the Edmonton Journal …

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EDMONTON – A made-in-Edmonton pill that lets people suffering from celiac disease and gluten intolerance eat bread and other foods containing gluten could be as close as two or three years away.

Hoon Sunwoo, an associate professor in the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta, has developed antibodies in chicken egg yolks that bind with problematic wheat proteins.

After years of research, the U of A and spinoff company IGY Incorporated have passed two major milestones.

First, U.K.-based Vetanda Group Ltd., has invested more than $2.5 million to fund more research. In a deal brokered by business incubator TEC Edmonton, Vetanda has also acquired the intellectual property and exclusive licence.

Second, a Canadian human safety trial has now been completed and the product is undergoing a clinical trial to test the product’s effectiveness in reducing symptoms of gluten intolerance.

“I have been working on the yolk antibodies for 20 years,” Sunwoo said Sunday.

Mother hens produce natural antibodies, known as immunoglobulin yolk, to help chicks fight disease. Sunwoo and Jeong Sim, a retired professor in the faculty of agriculture, studied how yolks could be tweaked to target agents harmful to humans.

Sunwoo came up with the idea of producing antibodies against gluten after learning that a friend and his family suffered from celiac disease.

Celiacs can’t tolerate gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

Gluten prevents crumbling in bread and other baked goods, and is used in many processed foods. Celiacs must check every food label because even a small amount of it can trigger symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue.

Sunwoo isolated the problematic molecular component of gluten and developed an egg-yolk antibody to target it.

Parts of the research were supported by grants from Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education.

The natural food supplement under development would be taken a few minutes before eating, Sunwoo said.

Jay Kumar, vice-president of technology management at TEC Edmonton, said the pills could be available in Canada within two or three years, paving the way for testing and product approval in the United States and Europe.

It’s estimated one to three per cent of the world’s population has some form of gluten intolerance.

“It does give a lot of hope to a lot of the population suffering from gluten intolerance and celiac disease,” Kumar said.

“It’s a great example of local U of A technology getting international interest.”

#GFDiner is MORE than a DINER ….

My son gives a thumbs up for the GF Diner!

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We went to GF Diner today to check out their store that is attached to their restaurant.

Their cinnamon buns looked good  ….  so I HAD to buy some to try at home.  They have a sale on their frozen ones … so if you stop by you might find some left in the freezer, after I left! … and take advantage of the sale!

Our son is going to some camps and family events where he won’t be able to eat everything … so he picked out some fun Pizza Pops and Ravioli to have at those times.  Sometimes ‘living without’ feels better when you have something special to replace it with … especially when you are a kid!

The owner spoke to us for a considerable amount of time.  He was full of character, kindness and very educated on ingredients that would add extra nutrients in my baking and how they would effect the quality or texture.

The owner was also very generous with our family … he let us try a sour dough bun …. AND … gave two fresh buns from the oven to my son.  I think one was for me …. but my son was so delighted … I think I’ll let him enjoy!

My son was taking a bite from his special bun before we hit the vehicle … he said, ‘Oh Mom!  You don’t even have to chew it just melts in your mouth!’ …. I did try a bite … I think that was an exaggeration about MELTING … but they were VERY tasty!

Not only is the food great … but the staff and owner are as well!  The owner IS what makes a GREAT business …. we all want to go back …. because he seemed to care and take interest in us!

If you are walking down Whyte Ave this summer … stop in … you will be glad you did!  You can grab a treat and go … or sit down for a lunch or dinner.  You will be able to eat everything off the menu and not worry about cross contamination … that is worth A LOT!!  The store has familiar brands from stores … but it also carries some unique items that are worth trying.  My son would tell me to tell you to try the licorice!  YES!  You can get licorice …even shoestring!!!

So enjoy …. and remember … support this great company … as it is our only 100% safe place to eat in town!

Enjoy TODAY – as it is a GIFT – The GF Cooking Mama

Gluten Free Nectarine Muffins – #GFMuffin

nectarinemuffinIt is very hot right now and our fruit if ripening very fast!  I wasn’t sure what to do with all of our nectarines …. so I decided to make muffins.  They were excellent for lunch … give them a try (or add another fruit and let me know what you think!).

Enjoy TODAY – as it is a GIFT ~ The GF Cooking Mama

One of a Kind Restaurant in Beaumont Alberta – #GF #YEG

crepeWell … I must say that we found a true TREASURE today.  I was tempted to NOT share it with you …. as I would like to keep it to myself!  It is called the Crepe and Shake and it is in Beaumont, Alberta.  Where do I start?  The atmosphere, food and hospitality compares to nothing I have ever experienced!

My sister was visiting from out of town and I had always wanted to go to this little Crepe place in Beaumont … so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

crepe1crepe3It is a restaurant that is attached to the owners home.  She has converted her garage into a kitchen.  You walk up to the window and place your order – they then call your name when it is ready and you can eat in the yard (which is a beautiful oasis … it has flowers, trees, many tables/chairs and a babbling water feature.  OR you could take it with you as  you went for a walk.  We sat by the water feature.  It was so peaceful.

crepe4The food was very fresh – whole food.  She has a garden in her back that she uses for the restaurant.  She said her menu changes – as she uses what is in season.  For example, she is using a lot of strawberries at present – next week rhubarb and the week after fresh raspberries from her garden!

crepe2How she handles the gluten free orders – made me feel very safe.  She herself only does gluten free orders – from mixing the batter for the crepes, making the sauces (all are gluten free in the facility) and actually making the crepes (she has a separate crepe grill that she only cooks the gluten free crepes on).  She then passes it to you personally and it has no chance to get cross contaminated.

She serves savory and sweet crepes, speciality cool and hot drinks, ice cream and milkshakes.

crepe5We all really enjoyed our crepes (gluten free and ‘normal’!) …. our kids begged us to go back again soon!  They also have a little outdoor fireplace – so if it was a cool day or evening it would be nice to eat by the fire.  Today was hot … so the shade and water feature was nice!

crepe6crepe8The crepe was so good and satisfying – I had their special of the day – in my crepe was chicken, spinach, feta, pecans, red onion and poppy seed dressing.  It was amazing!  My sister had their Pesto crepe crepe9and loved it and the kids tried two of the dessert crepes … our son said he would get a savory next time as he thought ours looked even more filling (he is a growing boy!).

What made the place even better was the owner … she came and chatted with us … you can tell she loves what she does and serving whole foods and safe foods for everyone.  She also gave us some flowers from her garden for our garden …. as they come up each year I will think of her … I do love small towns because of the people!

If you are in the area …. stop in to Crepe and Shake … you will be glad you did!  5110 50th Avenue, Beaumont

Enjoy TODAY – as it is a gift ~ The GF Cooking Mama

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