Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Arsenic found in rice?!

I saw a news clip on arsenic in rice recently and then received an email from a gluten free blogger about it.  She linked to consumer reports, who has apparently done a lot of recent researching and data collecting on this...I don't use rice flour in much of my baking anymore, but do use brown rice pasta, and eat rice often since we eat a lot of Spanish and Asian ethnic dishes...

Reading the portions on infants and pregnant women freaked me out a bit, let me tell ya.  Especially since I have had leftover spaghetti with brown rice pasta for breakfast and lunch today...(what can I say; I'm pregnant!)  Also, some of the highest levels of arsenic were found in infant rice cereal!  What?!

Also, I found it interesting that the especially high levels of arsenic were found in soils that used to be farmed in cotton, since I live in a cotton growing community.  Apparently, arsenic used to be sprayed on cooton crops to kill the dreaded boll weevil beetles.  Hmm...I once heard that our area has arsenic in the ground and drinking water; could it be from arsenic sprays? 

Here is Kelly Courson's take on it from Celiac Chicks.  She'll be at a special conference about this tomorrow, so I look forward to hearing her report. 

I am posting this here as rice is used in many gluten free processed foods...if nothing else, please scroll down to the two tables at the end, although the entire article is well worth the ten minutes it would take to read. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hello, World!

Being pregnant, I tend to really internalize and while I realize I have never been a regular poster, I get even more sporadic while pregnant.  My brain is busy elsewhere....
A lot of the recipes I post are snack/dessert oriented because I feel like I've got a handle on dinners; desserts are usually the recipes I don't have memorized.  I am going to try to get some more entrees on here, as well as some weekly menus that we have actually used...I've even got a camping menu. 
I really need to get them up here anyway, as this is so much better than a recipe box for storing my recipes--um, aside from monsoon season, when the electricity has a tendency to be out...lol.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Growing up, my mom used to make something similar to these but I think the main ingredient was powdered sugar and we just do better on natural sweeteners.  These are a quick, easy, fun treat to make with the kids.  Sorry, no pictures.  I meant to take some, but they were gone before the camera came out...this often happens!  I know pictures are nice, but I've just got to face the fact that as a busy mom, sometimes it just doesn't happen.  =)

Peanut Butter Balls
(gluten, dairy, egg, soy, tree nut free, vegan)

1 c. almond flour
1/2. roasted peanut butter (we like maranatha or trader joe's brand--just peanuts and salt)
1/4 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. agave nectar
2 tbsp. coconut or grapeseed oil
1 c. finely crushed GF chex cereal OR GF icecream cones (i had some broken cones to use up, yum!)
1/3 enjoy life mini chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine almond flour, peanut butter, tapioca starch, agave nectar, and oil.  Stir well.  Dough should be thick, not sticky.  You may need to add another tbsp or two of tapioca.  Add crushed cereal and chocolate chips.  Roll into balls and place on plate.  Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving, if you can keep your kiddos out!  We also like these frozen.

Variation:  Sub honey for agave and raisins for chocolate chips.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recipes from the cooking class...

I am giving a gluten free cooking class for the ladies in my church this evening.  (Hello, ladies!)  I meant to make handouts with recipes, tips, and such, but what with being pregnant and trying to make two Easter dresses and two ties to match by Sunday, the handouts sort of flew out the window...
So, since most of the recipes are here on my blog, I am just going to link to them and a few other fun, simple recipes that I've got floating around here.

Pizza Crust:  This recipe is extremely versatile!  I have even converted it to cinnamon rolls.  (I need to get that recipe up.)  If you haven't visited Karina's site, Gluten Free Goddess, you should!  She has loads of excellent tips for all things gluten free.

Her pizza crust is the first I found that actually worked for us.
Here is my post on her crust.

Gluten Free Bread:  When we began this journey six years ago, I just gave up on any type of yeast breads/rolls, ect.  I could manage the quick breads but had alot of previous baking knowledge that was actually making it harder to bake gf--it's a whole different chemistry, folks!  We focused on all the good things we could eat and let it go at that.  Ironically, going gluten free expanded our diet.  We eat a much more varied diet than we ever would have had we not had this experience.  I am really grateful for that.
Even 6 years has made a big impact on the availability of quality gluten free products and RECIPES.  It is a lot easier now than it was when we began. 
This is my go-to bread recipe.  I have yet to mess it up, in spite of substitutions, which are typically a cause of failed baking attempts in GF baking.
Here is my review post on it.

Black on Black CakeThis recipe comes from another of my favorite gluten free bloggers, Elana.  Elana has MS and she and one of her sons are also Celiac.  She is mostly Paleo in diet and uses mainly almond flour in her baking.  I have yet to meet a recipe of hers I have not liked.  Her chocolate chip cookies are fabulousBut this cake....Elana's version is actually Black and White, which is very pretty.  We don't eat white chocolate, however, so the Black on Black Cake was born.  Dark chocolate chips for the white chocolate chips are my only substitution.  Elana's recipes are typically simple with few ingredients.  Love that.

A couple of easy recipes:

GF Rice Chex Treats

Skillet Corn Bread

A few other tips:

GF on a Budget

Behold, the BREAD! {a review}

I made all our bread goods from scratch before going gluten free.  And though I don't miss it all the time, I do miss the convenience of toast or sandwiches for quick picnic lunches.  I've bought horrid gf loaves and some good ones, too, but the price was hard to swallow.  Udi's (which is closest to a great taste and gf/cf/egg free) is over 6 bucks a loaf around here!!!  YIKES!  I have tried many different recipes through the last 4 years--bouncing back and forth between hopeful anticipation and despair of ever finding a truly good recipe that met our needs and tastes. 
I think I may have {gasp} finally found one!  YAY!  It is The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen's Vegan sandwich bread.  Yum!  It looks good...it tastes good...it must be, well, good! 

Behold, the Bread!

Gluten Free Rice Chex Treats

Similar to Rice Krispie treats, these are great for a quick summer snack.  We don't make these often, but when we do, they don't last long.  If you use the coconut oil, then these are also dairy free as well.  Sorry no pictures--these were gone long before I remembered the camera!

GF Rice Chex Treats

6 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1-10 oz bag large marshmallows
(walmart, kraft and campfire
are all gluten free)
6-7 c rice Chex gluten free cereal


1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch greased pan. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.