Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread - YUM!
Wow, I really impressed myself this time! ;) So usually, when I have very ripe bananas, I throw them away - I've never made banana nut bread. But this time, I thought - 1) I can't waste these bananas and 2) I'm hungry!

So there I was with 3 very ripe bananas and Pamela's Products Baking and Pancake Mix. 

I searched Pamela's website for Banana Nut Bread and I found a recipe called Pamela's Banana Bread So, I knew I was in good hands! Let the baking begin!

Pamela's Banana Bread

Preheat Oven to 350

Beat together the following ingredients:   

4 Tbsp. of Melted Butter
1/2 C. of Sugar or Honey
2 eggs beaten
1 C. Banana
(I used 2 1/2 bananas)

Add the remaining ingredients and mix:

1 - 3/4 C. of Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1/4 t. of Salt
1/2 t. of Vanilla
1/2 C. of Nuts (optional)

Pour mix into greased loaf pan                                       

Bake for 1 hour. Watch the time, I only baked mine for about 50 minutes.  When toothpick comes out clean,
loaf is done.

And - BAM!  There you have a beautiful loaf of Banana Nut Bread.

I'm happy to say that my first gluten-free banana nut bread was a success!  I was so pleased with the taste and moistness of the loaf - it was delish! Thanks Pamela for the recipe - you make gluten-free baking fun and easy! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Yummy Starchy Substitute

Lundberg's Risotto
As you all know, it can be hard to find a gluten-free starchy substitute to take place of pasta, breads, and other yummy side dishes, BUT I came across this great Risotto that's organic, gluten-free and delish! The brand is Lundberg's and they have a variety of Risotto flavors! I saw it at the store and I thought, "I guess we'll try it." I'm so glad we did! Not only did it taste great, but I googled the company and found that they have a lot of gluten-free options and help raise awareness for celiac disease.

With it being Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Lundberg is giving away a gift basket on their Facebook page.  They also have a list of all their gluten-free products that are available - from pasta, rice bowls, couscous and more.

Lundberg's Alfredo Risotto - rich and creamy!

We tried the Alfredo Parmesan Cheese Risotto and like I said, it was great! It was a perfect alternative to pasta as well as changing it up from the usual go to of potatoes.

It was also easy to find. I didn't have to go to a speciality store to buy it - I just went to our local grocery store to the gluten-free/organic section.  They have 8 flavors to choose from as well as a variety of other starchy sides!

Have you tried Lundberg's?  If so, what products did you try?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Difficult Diagnosis - Sharing a Friend's Story

I can't believe it's May already - but here we are! May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and with that said, let's help others feel better!

I started this blog in Feb. 2011 in hopes to 1) Help other parents of children with Celiac Disease and 2) Raise Awareness.  I go back to my
"I Wish I Knew What I Know Now" Post to remind me how important it is to let others know about celiac disease.

I would like to share a Celiac Disease Symptom Check List with you so you can pass it along to friends and family that you may be concerned about. There are so many symptoms associated with Celiac Disease which in turn becomes difficult to diagnose.

Last year, I had an opportunity to meet a new friend while at the Gluten-Free Expo in Chicago. We got to chatting and I wanted to know more about her story and how she became diagnosised with celiac disease. I asked her if she would be willing to share her story with others to show that there really are people out there with a variety of symptoms that can be "difficult to diagnose."

Introducing my friend Amy and her story:

"When I look back I probably had Celiac definitely in my teens, possibly earlier. But my symptoms got really bad after leaving college. 

Once I left college I started noticing my symptoms as a problem. I had really bad acne in my 20's, horrible indigestion (but never GI symptoms until right before my diagnosis), migraine headaches, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, joint pain, anxiety and fatigue. I could sleep from Friday night to Sunday afternoon and still feel tired! I was tested for the typical illnesses - arthritis, diabetes, lupus etc. but all my tests came back normal. I joked at one point I had more specialists than my great grandmother who was in her late 80's at the time. 

After I got married we tried to start a family. I wasn't even 30 and couldn't get pregnant. My OB told me it was normal and not to be concerned but I couldn't believe that I was 28, never felt good and couldn't have a baby. I felt miserable emotionally and physically. I took my health into my own hands and started using what else - Google! I started searching my symptoms and then added infertility and the first link I clicked was about Celiac and I immediately knew that was the answer to everything. It was a 7 year journey finally coming to an end.

WIthin a few weeks I felt like a different person. Within a year I was pregnant with my son and had a normal, healthy pregnancy. He's now 4 and has a little sister who is 2.

In 5 years the gluten free offerings have come A LONG way. On days we are busy and on the go I make sure to throw a Go Picnic in my purse. They are filling and will hold me over if I can't get a safe meal out. Endangered Species chocolate squares (or Hershey's), Kraft marshmallows, and Kinnikinnick graham crackers make delicious smores in the microwave. Udi's Pizza Crusts make great pizzas and if you warm them slightly they almost remind me of pita bread so I like to dip them in hummus."

                                                                                                                          Now I'm hungry! :) 

I'm so happy Amy is feeling so much better and enjoying life with her family.  Life is too short to feel terrible! PLEASE teach others about celiac disease.  Share this post with others so they can see that celiac disease isn't just about GI issues. It's so much more!

Pass along this Symptom Check List today to someone you love.