Products from gluten-free companies that care
Today is National Celiac Awareness Day! I know what you might be thinking … isn’t there an entire Celiac Awareness Month? Yes, there is. It’s the month of May. However, we also have a designated day, and that’s pretty cool, too! We used to barely get recognition as an actual disease, so if we get to have a whole month in the beginning of the year and a special day later in the year, I’m all for that!
This day marks the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee, an English physician who was a leader in celiac disease research. He presented the modern definition of celiac disease at a lecture in 1887 and he suggested treatment for the disease was diet. He didn’t exactly get the diet correct and wasn’t able to pinpoint which food was causing the disease, but he made great strides.
Today, we know that gluten causes celiac symptoms, and we have plenty of ways to avoid that ingredient, though it is still tough to ensure we don’t run into hidden gluten. Luckily, we have some great companies on our side, providing us all with fantastic gluten-free products. Here are a few of our favorites.
The classic yellow and red packaging of Schär products is like a beacon in a gluten-filled world. No matter what grocery store you go into, if you see that packaging, you know you’ve found at least one brand you can trust for gluten-free foods. They have been the brand we know and love since 1981 and they have a history that dates back even further – to 1922! So, it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about making quality gluten-free products. Schär offers breads, rolls, pizza crust, croissants, cookies, wafers, muffins, crackers, pasta, dough, and so much more. Some of our favorites include their Italian Breadsticks, Chocolate Honeygrams (pictured), and Chocolix cookies.
One of the changes many people adapt to when going gluten-free is looking at other grains to eat instead of wheat-based products. Rice and quinoa are probably the most common for those going gluten-free. I myself was late to the quinoa bandwagon but once I tried it, and especially after realizing how easy it is to cook and how versatile it is in recipes, I was hooked! Path of Life is a really unique brand that makes quinoa blends that are pre-cooked and frozen. Already combined with veggies, seasonings, and herbs, yet made with simple, wholesome ingredients as if you had cooked it all from scratch at home, these quinoa blends are convenience foods you can feel good about eating and serving to your family. I keep these on hand in the freezer for those nights that I just want something quick and simple. I’ll make a protein like fresh fish and then heat up one of these and add a side salad or other veggie and bam! Dinner is done. Or, I’ll use them in a fun recipe, like these Brown Rice & Quinoa Burgers. Path of Life puts convenience back into our (sometimes stressful) gluten-free diet.
Getting enough calories and nutrients after eliminating certain foods from your diet can be a challenge. This is why I find it important to have a good quality protein powder you can take in between meals or when you’re on-the-go, bouncing between work or school or errands. Many protein powders, however, contain whey, which isn’t always good for those with celiac disease, as dairy can quite often be a problematic food. Paleo Pro is a brand of protein powders and other nutritious products that avoids all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, and refined sugars. They are Paleo-friendly, after all! So then, what are these protein powders made of? Beef and egg protein. Sounds different, I know, but it’s actually quite brilliant! These powders are great for people who can’t have grains or dairy or legumes (i.e. pea protein). They are tasty and the single-serve packets are convenient enough to take with you anywhere you go!
If you have celiac, you need to strengthen that gut! There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Healthy, whole foods, lots of water, and some gut-helping supplements are just a few suggestions. For supplements, Country Life Vitamins’ new Gut Connection line is a great option. This line is formulated to help improve your digestive health with a whole food fermentate and prebiotic blend. The DigestiveBalance formula is the original, and a good starting point for people to try. Then, depending on your own needs, there are formulas for Cognitive, Energy, Stress, Mood, Sleep, Immune, and Weight. You can take one or a combination, depending on your own health goals and how you’re feeling. Having trouble sleeping? Try SleepBalance. Stressed around the holidays? Try StressBalance and EnergyBalance to keep you going through the season. Do you work around a lot of children or in a place where people are often ill? Try the ImmuneBalance. The mix-and-match options are endless, and the result, at least in our experience, is that it definitely helps with digestion and overall wellbeing.
I know countless people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who had no idea that condiments can contain gluten when they first went gluten-free. They were strict with their diet, only to fall victim of some sneaky gluten in their favorite store-bought sauce. Many condiments seem like they wouldn’t contain gluten, but you never know until you read the label. Hatch Chile Co. is one of my favorite brands for Mexican food staples like tomatoes and green chilies, salsa, and enchilada sauce. Rich with flavor and free of gluten, these products are always on hand in my kitchen. Enchilada sauce often contains wheat or malt as a thickener, but Hatch Chile Co.’s is gluten-free! Try it on their delicious breakfast burrito recipe (pictured) or in any of your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.
What was the first thing you thought you’d miss when you found out you had to be gluten-free? Pasta? Bread? Baked goods? If you said baked goods, then you know how great it is to find a new gluten-free treat on the market. BeReal is a brand we recently had the pleasure of trying, and we love them! They make indulgent, edible, bakeable cookie doughs that are hand-crafted with real ingredients. These doughs can be eaten raw or baked into cookies, and are organic, plant-based, soy-free, dairy-free, preservative-free, non-GMO, and fair trade certified. They are also shelf stable at room temperature for 60 days. All the ingredients used are certified gluten-free. With flavors like Cacao Fudge Chip, Cape Cod Cranberry Chocolate Chunk, Good Sugar Cookie, and their Signature Chocolate Chunk, there’s something for every sweet tooth.
And, not only is there something for every sweet tooth, but every occasion, from sharing with family (their 16-ounce family size) to eating all by yourself or with one other person (their 12-ounce size) and when you just want a little snack for yourself or their kids (their 4-ounce snack cup). Right now, you can save 15% on any size single container, until September 30th.
Grain-free crackers made entirely of Parmesan cheese. Yum! ParmCrisps are a gluten-free gal’s best friend. They are keto-friendly and have 9 grams of protein per serving and 0 carbs. Rather than looking for a traditional gluten-free cracker to serve with appetizers at a cocktail party, these little gems are a great alternative. You can eat these as is, put a spread on them, crumble them over foods like you would breadcrumbs, use them as croutons, and add them to a multitude of recipes. These are available in Original, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sesame, Pizza, Jalapeño, Everything, Italian Herb, Basil Pesto, Rosemary, and Prosciutto.
Happy National Celiac Awareness Day! Spread some knowledge about celiac, try some new gluten-free products, or share this with friends and family on social media today.