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Is mayonnaise dairy free? May 26, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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Mayo is typically made with eggs and a lot of oil making it both lactose an gluten free. This is a great base for salad dressings like thousand island and sauces like my favorite chipotle mmmm.

But wait. You’re still not in the clear. Many restaurants use milk products in their thousand island and god-knows-what is in the bottle at the grocery store. Ask for sauce ingredients and keep reading your labels. If you use the word dairy free in your ask, make sure you qualify it with milk or lactose free or you will surely get “it has eggs in it is that ok?” And when asking whether or not a sauce is lactose free, qualify it with “mayonnaise is ok” because most people do not know the difference.

My favorite brand of mayo Best Foods happens to carry gluten free labeling. Try their olive oil version it’s delish and a little bit healthier. You’re not one of those Miracle Whip weirdos are you? All joking aside I haven’t checked that label and have no idea what’s in it. If you have please share.

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Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Rice May 11, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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Grains can be the most confusing thing to figure out. I’m often asked by servers if rice is ok because people aren’t highly educated about different types of grains. It’s not the level of detail taught in elementary school. Or in college for that matter.

Rice is a gluten free grain. It is not a wheat product and typically does not carry the risk of cross contamination in factory processing. Especially if you make it at home and rinse it thoroughly prior to cooking.

Rice is in fact a go-to staple and wheat substitute allowing you to keep common items in your diet like rice pasta or noodles, and rice flour bread, cake or dusting for fried foods. Rice flour will need to be mixed with other gluten free grains to mimic the airy texture of cake or bread because it’s dense and heavy.

Be aware that many processed boxed rice products contain wheat in the seasoning mix. Look for ingredients such as modified food starch, wheat flour or gluten. If you’re dairy free look for milk, cream and whey. These are risks both off the shelf and dining out. Stick to plain rice and you’ll be safe.

Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Sesame Seeds February 25, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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I was eating out the other night and in her due diligence the server ran back from the kitchen to confirm “Sesame seeds are OK right?” I quickly replied yes. They usually ask me about rice and occasionally whether corn is gluten free. This one threw me off and made me second guess myself. After all I am always poisoned by some hidden ingredient when I dine out. Do I know all of MY grains?

So I Googled it right at the table. The answer is yes sesame seeds are gluten free. They come from a sesame flower. Common foods also include sesame oils and tahini. Safe and safe!

Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Vodka August 1, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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pretty cocktails gluten freeAs I sipped my Ketel soda last evening I wondered is this gluten free? I’ve brushed over information on alcoholic beverages but have yet to determine what is and isn’t beyond beer which I’ve avoided for over a year. I don’t miss the calories much. I do miss it on a hot day and have easily replaced it with a crisp white wine, gin and tonic or mimosa. I found that many vodka including Ketel One is made from 100% wheat. However studies have found the distilling process removes gluten from the final product. I did not get sick from my Kettle soda because and can come to one of two conclusions; I’m not sensisitive to the point of irritation or it’s true. Not expecting to rely on myself to be the white lab rat to scientifically prove it either way, I’d really love it if you’d weigh  on this one. Here’s the argument for either side which addresses the larger question of distilled beverages includes vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. And I know we will all agree this is a VERY important debate, life changing. laughing…here you go.

It Is

Sourced from a well referenced article on celiac-disease.com

All vodkas are gluten-free unless gluten containing flavors have been added to them. Vodkas made from corn, soy, potatoes and even wheat are gluten-free.  According to every celiac specialist in the world and Shelley Case, the foremost authority on the gluten-free diet in North America, the gluten protein is not present in grain alcohols once they have been distilled, period.

>>Read More on Vodka is Gluten Free

It Isn’t

The debate from the deep, dark, depths of the gluten free forums, it’s a scary place I know don’t worry I won’t let anything happen to you. Then to useful info from About.com. Go in to take a look and come back to join our discussion here.

I am one of the ones who reacts strongly to any grain alcohol, (I black out after 1 drink and get very sick from grain alcohol). I drink Luksusowa Polish Potato Vodka and have NO problems. I can have 2 or 3 in an evening with no ill effects at all, not even a mild hangover. There are other potato vodkas around but this brand is the least costly.

>>Read more at celiac.com

You are quite right, and as many most likely know I am one of the people who do react.
I would suggest having one or two drinks three or four days in a row when not consuming anything else that is risky, and watching for a reaction. For those of us who do react to gluten grains they often have an overintoxicating effect and can give some really douzy of a hangover with very little injested so do take it easy though till you know.

>>More at celiacdisease.com

The European Food Safety Authority considers distilled alcohol “unlikely to cause a severe reaction” in those with grain allergies and the Canadian Celiac Association allows distilled alcoholic beverages for celiacs even if they’re made with wheat, rye, or barley, since the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins. However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation recommends no hard liquor from grains containing gluten, at least during the early phases of a gluten-free diet.

>>Read more at about.com

A Bright Spot

Here’s my favorite find, a website completely dedicated to gluten free alcohol providing recipe substitutions to our favorite cocktails. The Web never disappoints.  >>Visit glutenfreedrinks.com

Final Thoughts

When considering whether or not something is gluten free it’s easy to draw the line at it containing a wheat ingredient, period. Trace amounts can irritate some people depending on their sensitivity. The only way to be 100% safe is to 100% abstain. The complexity of the distillation process mixed with claims to sensitivity throws me for a loop. I want to say based on scientific fact that the process does remove gluten. Yet scientific fact has a history of changing its facts. Remember when milk was good for you? Oh right it still is.

Is it or isn’t it gluten free? In N Out French Fries July 19, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Dining Out, Is It or Isn't It?.
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A follow up to a previous post on hidden gluten in fast food and prepackaged french fries.

I contacted In N Out asking if their fries are gluten free or cross contaminated in the fryer. They promptly responded with good news. Yes the fresh cut fries are gluten free. In fact everything on the menu is except the bun. And I can tell you after a year of ordering burger no bun – half the time my plate ending up with a slab of meat with a side of lettuce – theirs is the best. The protein burger is wrapped in iceberg lettuce with all the extras so nicely you can pick it up and eat as you should experience a real burger.

In N Out *** In N Out *** that’s what a haaamburgers allll about!