Cheatin' Wheat Gluten Free Baking Blog

Health and Science

News about gluten-free living and latest gluten free news.

What is Celiac Disease?

Writing my journey to being a gluten free pastry chef got me thinking about the research I initially did upon diagnosis. I attended local chapter Celiac Support Association meetings, researched the internet and perused any book I could get my hands on. And although there was information to be found, I am stunned by the amount of data available today; just 7 years later! It can get overwhelming. So, in order to help sift the wheat from the chaff, ha, here are some important things to know.

Reasons to Ditch Gluten

visual of healthy vs. damaged villi due to celiac disease
what are your reasons to ditch gluten

Since going gluten free, I have had a number of people ask me if I think they should try a gluten free diet. My immediate response is to ask the following questions: Why? What issues or symptoms are you trying to solve? What do you know about gluten? Do you know how to cut gluten from your diet? Have you talked to a doctor, nutritionist or any other healthcare professional? Usually, this litany of questions gets them thinking critically and hopefully seeking out the correct person to respond to their medical issues.

Is Wheat Starch Gluten Free?

gluten network in dough
rinsing gluten to get wheat gluten and gluten free wheat starch
vital wheat gluten
gluten free wheat starch

Gluten Free? Avoid wheat and and wheat by-products. It all seems so straightforward right? Yes, I know as well as you that there other ingredients to look for in order to be gluten free, but WHEAT is a big, bad word. Well, this is not necessarily the case. Products made from wheat starch, yes I did say wheat starch, are commonly eaten by celiac patients in some European countries. In addition, Dr. Schar has a gluten free croissant available that is made with gluten free wheat starch. Hmmm....

Consumer Reports Reports on Gluten Free

I just finished reading "The Truth About Gluten" published in the January 2015 issue of Consumer Reports. As expected, the article did contain some product reviews, which I always appreciate. However, to the article as a whole, my immediate, and yes curt, response is please stop reducing my gluten free diet to the fat content in a muffin. If this statement is confusing, let me elaborate by responding to each of the six "realities" that they address. 

Girl Scouts Go Gluten Free

girl scout cookies

It is almost that time of year. No, not quite spring, but Girl Scout Cookie Season! The cookies and the young women selling them pop up faster and more frequently then the early blooming crocus. For me, they are the harbingers of warmer weather. I used to buy boxes and boxes of them and since going gluten free,  I have missed gorging myself on them for about one month a year. Well, times, they are a changin'....

2013 Incredible Edible Gluten Free Fair a Success

2013 marks the seventh year of the Incredible Edible Gluten Free Fair. This year was the largest and most successful event to date. It is estimated that 118 vendors and  4,000 gluten free foodies made their way to the Denver Merchandise Mart last Sunday, August 18th. Compare these numbers to the 2007 count of 35 vendors and 400 attendees. It is a small way to measure the success, influence and support of this community. We have had a table at the the Incredible Edible Gluten Free Fair for the last three years and we just love the atmosphere. Where else do you get to hear phrases like:

2013 - The Year of Quinoa

uncooked quinoa, naturally gluten free

Did you know The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)? The idea was proposed by the government of Bolivia and received strong support from many Central and South American countries. And why not, this superfood is naturally gluten free and cholesterol free, is considered a complete protein (meaning it provides all 9 essential amino acids) and contains good quantities of calcium, phosphorus and iron. Oh yeah, it tastes good and is extremely versatile.

Recent Gluten Free Ruling by Justice Dept. May Affect Universities

the gluten free customer pie graph

At this point, it feels like we all know someone who avoids gluten. A brother, child, parent, friend, co-worker, spouse, roomate; there are an estimated 40 million Americans who have reduced or eliminated their consumption of wheat, barley, rye and other gluten based products for a variety of health and lifestyle reasons.