More and more we are hearing about Gluten intolerance and Gluten-Free diets and products. I have been considering more and more the idea of exploring a Gluten-Free diet so when I had an opportunity to ask Food Writer and Dietitian, Jennifer Pallian a few questions on Gluten-Free living and Celiac Disease, I jumped at the opportunity.
Come read more of what Jennifer Pallian from Foodess had to say in my interview….
Question #1 – What is your favorite gluten-free recipe?
My favourite gluten-free recipe right now is Peanut Butter Oatmeal with gluten-free oats. Breakfast is tough, because many gluten-free substitutes (cold cereal, breads, etc.) are very refined and low in fibre and nutrients. Quaker just introduced the first oats to be certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Program backed by the Canadian Celiac Association, which is great because they’ve brought a very nutritious breakfast option back to the table for gluten-free families. While oats are naturally gluten-free, most of them are contaminated with gluten in the fields or in handling. Quaker uses a detailed system of sorting and testing oats to ensure purity, then mill them with dedicated equipment in a certified facility.
Combine whole grain oats with peanut butter and a bit of brown sugar, you’ve got a breakfast that tastes just like a peanut butter cookie, but is loaded with fibre and healthy fats to keep you going all morning.
1/3 cup Quaker Gluten-Free Quick Oats
2/3 cup water or milk
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
Brown sugar to taste
Stir together oats, water and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Swirl in the peanut butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Question #2 – What is your number 1 tip for families that need to shop gluten-free for keeping costs in the grocery stores down?
Where you run into increased costs is trying to find direct substitutions for the wheat-containing products (like pricey gluten-free breads, waffles, muffins, pizza crusts, etc.). My best advice (for your pocket, taste buds, and your health) is to switch the focus to foods that are naturally gluten-free – lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; grains like rice, millet, gluten-free oats, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, and quinoa; meats, fish, beans, and tofu; and dairy products.
Question #3 – What are some products that people would probably never realize that they contained gluten?
Well, there are a lot of hidden sources. Bulk bins are a big no-no, which some people don’t realize, because people scoop from one bin and another with the same tool causing cross contamination. Anything with soy sauce has gluten. Imitation crab meat in sushi has gluten. Foods that list “modified food starch” or “dextrin” (such as rotisserie chickens) likely have gluten. Someone else’s mayo, peanut butter or jam probably has gluten (from dipping with a knife and spreading on bread). It’s very important to read ingredient lists and think about cross-contamination. Keep an eye out for products carrying the CCA’s Gluten-Free Certification Program Trademark, like the Quaker Gluten-Free Quick oats I mentioned above, so you can ensure it’s coming from a trusted source.
Question #4 – Do you have any tips for someone who eats gluten-free, for when they are going to eat out at a restaurant?
If you have celiac disease, a wheat allergy or a diagnosed non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it is important to really communicate to the server. Since gluten-free eating has become a bit of a diet fad, you might want to say “I have a bad wheat allergy” to convey the seriousness. If they say you can have the fries or tortilla chips, make sure they use a dedicated gluten free fryer (as batter-fried things mean wheat in the oil). Very politely request that they use a clean grill, clean pans, and a clean work surface to avoid cross-contamination. If the server looks a bit baffled, ask nicely if you might speak to the manager, just to make sure they can meet your needs.
Question #5 – What is the number 1 thing that you would want someone to understand about gluten-free eating?
For someone with celiac disease, a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is the only treatment, and even if they don’t feel symptoms, they are still likely causing damage inside every time they are exposed. It’s not something to take lightly. Anyone just starting a gluten-free diet should consult with a dietitian. And for anyone who does not have celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is not a healthier choice.
Thank you to Jennifer Pallian for taking the time out to answer a few questions.
For those wanting to look for Gluten-Free products, make sure to check out the new Quaker gluten-free oatmeal products. Here is a message from Quaker Oats on their new Gluten-Free products….
We know that for some consumers, a gluten-free diet is crucial and more than a choice. That’s why this summer, we are expanding our Quaker® family to include a new line of gluten-free oatmeal products. Produced in a Gluten-Free Certified Program (GFCP) facility and easily identifiable with the Canadian Celiac Association logo, these new Quaker products provide gluten-concerned families with an unquestionably good and reliable gluten-free option for breakfast and your favourite oat-based recipes.
While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may come in contact with gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye and barley at the farm, in storage or during transportation. Quaker’s new gluten-free products, available in Maple & Brown Sugar Flavour Instant Oatmeal and Quick Standard Oats are gluten-free due to an unparalleled oat milling system, ensuring that the new products are free from gluten-containing grains. Quaker gluten-free oats, available in Maple & Brown Sugar Flavour Instant Oatmeal and Quick Standard Oats, provide Canadians with an affordable and trusted gluten-free option.
THE GLUTEN-FREE PROCESS
Here’s how the experts at Quaker® ensure that these new products are gluten-free:
• As we have for decades, we source only the highest quality oats.
• The oats are first screened when they arrive at our Cedar Rapids, Iowa mill (the largest oat mill in the world), and only those which meet our specifications move on to gluten-free production.
• Our unparalleled oat milling experience has given us a unique understanding of how to address kernel-based contamination and allowed us to design a breakthrough mechanical and optical sorting system.
• This system aggressively seeks out and removes gluten-containing grains based on length, density and colour in a dedicated cleaning house for gluten-free products.
• Next, the equivalent of 3,000, 40-gram servings worth of groats (dehulled oats) are sampled from the lot and examined through our validated inspection system.
o Analytical testing is performed on any subsamples that are suspected to contain grains other than oats to ensure each lot meets Health Canada’s and Quaker standards for gluten-free.
o Only if all samples pass is the lot used for gluten-free processing. If any lot does not pass, we are able to repurpose that lot for use in non-gluten-free products.
• During the milling process, dedicated cutting and flaking equipment is used, and the oats are transported to the packaging line in dedicated containers.
• The packaging line is thoroughly cleaned with a validated procedure in accordance with food safety protocols.
• Any and all additional ingredients that are added during packaging have been pre-screened and validated to be gluten-free.
• Once packaged, we test samples of finished product from each production lot to ensure they meet Health Canada’s and Quaker standards for gluten-free before we send it out our doors and to your breakfast table.
• Quaker is proud to offer Canadian consumers these two new gluten-free Quaker products – Maple & Brown Sugar Flavour Instant Oatmeal and Quick Standard Oats.
For more information, visit QuakerOats.ca