Is Your Communion Bread Gluten Free

The celebration of Passover and the instructions of Jesus to commemorate his death using bread without yeast has been a dilemma for Celiac’s or those needing a low or gluten free communion bread to participate in the observance.

It’s not been a yeast or leavening issue as much needing a wheat free or gluten free communion bread. Over the years there have been various views of what’s acceptable; some believing that water could not be used to some believing that the bread that Jesus used at the Last Supper was a yeasted wheat bread. Today we are fortunate to have low and gluten free communion breads, low and gluten free communion wafers, and gluten free communion crackers, unheard of in previous generations.

  • Cavanagh Alter Breads make a Low Gluten communion wafer that consists of pure wheat flour and water. No additives and less than 20 parts per million of gluten. They also make a gluten free communion wafer with less than 6 ppm of gluten, however the gluten free wafer is not approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • Ener-G Foods makes a gluten free communion wafer using water, sweet rice and potato flour, potato starch, palm fruit oil, modified cellulose, and sunflower lecithin.
  • Yehuda makes a Matzo-Style Gluten Free Square that contains tapioca starch, water, potato starch and flakes, palm oil, maltodextrin, honey, egg yolks, vinegar, and salt. They do have a note on their package that says this is not to be used as a replacement for traditional Passover Matzo.
  • Other manufacturers that provide a plain gluten free cracker that could be used for communion for some communities include Nabisco Good Thins, Kame Mini-Rice Crackers, or Glutino gluten free table crackers.
  • If you’re looking for a gluten free bread (containing yeast or leaven) to cube or use there are numerous companies to choose from.
  • Perhaps you’d rather make your own gluten free communion wafers. gfJules has a recipe you may like to try.

Whatever your beliefs, participation in Communion and the Passover traditions with low gluten and gluten free bread or wafers is achievable and those of us who are Celiac’s or gluten free are especially appreciative to be included in the community.

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Pie: Gluten Free

You don’t need a holiday to justify a delicious pie even if you’re a celiac or eating gluten free. So do you bake, buy from the freezer or ship it direct? Perhaps your favorite is pumpkin, lemon sponge, or coconut cream, a fruit pie like apple or cherry. Or maybe even a German fruit pie piled high with fruit and a double crust would be amazing. If you’re going to bake from scratch you’ll need a gluten-free pie shell or pastry.

There are numerous pie pastry recipes out there. You can always get a proven recipe from bakers like King Arthurs, Pillsbury, Land O’Lakes, Martha Stewart, America’s Test Kitchen, Allrecipies, Gluten-Free Pies and others.

Katz Gluten Free makes personal and family sized pies found in your grocer’s freezer. Favorites like Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, and Pumpkin. The Maine Pie Company has Chocolate, ThreeBerry, Pecan, Pumpkin, Wild Blueberry, Sour Cherry, Apple, and Lemon Curd. Online you can find Harry and David’s Apple Pies, Williams Sonoma Cherry and Pecan Pies.

Is America’s Diner Gluten-Free

From Danny’s to Denny’s and donuts to an amazing menu that includes clearly identified Gluten-Free options, today after 60 years Denny’s is proving they are still America’s Diner.  Along the way they’ve had tributes to Hank Aaron’s Grand Slam, kids eat free promotions, been the largest corporate sponsor of Save the Children campaigns, No Kid Hungry, numerous diversity awards, and now in over 1,700 locations.

What does that mean for us today? You can go to almost any diner and get hash browns and eggs, perhaps cooked or instant oatmeal gluten-free. Although Denny’s restaurants are not setup as gluten-free they have health-conscious gluten-free meals like Fit Slam made with egg whites scrambled together with fresh spinach and grape tomatoes, plus two turkey bacon strips, a gluten-free English muffin and seasonal fruit. If you’re not fond of turkey bacon, ham and bacon are still on the menu. Omelet’s like Philly Cheesesteak, Ham and Cheese, Loaded Veggie, and the Ultimate Omelet can make breakfast an event not just a meal. Adding a gluten-free English muffin completes the desire for bread.

I wish I could say they mastered the gluten-free pancake or waffle but not yet. They do have five-skillets that are gluten-free, and their Zesty Nacho appetizer is a great starter. Their menu is up to date with Build-Your-Own Burgers, Salads, Steaks, Fish, and Chicken.  The Milk Shakes remind me of Howard Johnson Days. Even a menu catering to the over 55 crowd. Do you like food character episodes? Denny’s has those too. You can order online and even ask Alexa to remember and order your favorite take outs. Rewards? Of course.

Pizza Gluten-Free

Pizza – Gluten-Free Pizza. The hand-held food that likely includes almost every food group. Cereal grain or rice if you’re gluten-free in the crust, tomatoes in the sauce, cheese, and meat. The only thing missing is fruit. No bread-sticks don’t finish the course. Pizza is the food of choice at least once a week for allot of families and especially nice when watching football or a sports event. Denny Bernstein at the Washington Post says we eat 100 acres of Pizza a day in the United States. For those who love to make gluten-free pizza from scratch. Perhaps you prefer your crust thin and crispy like the ones over at King Arthur’s. In addition to their all-purpose flour blend probably found at your local grocer, you’ll need buttermilk or dry milk powder as well as the other ingredients normally found in your kitchen cabinet. Add your favorite toppings. America’s Test Kitchen shares their discoveries too.

Can anything be simpler than Betty Crocker’s Bisquick™ Gluten Free mix? Not the same kind of crust as the King Arthur’s above but easy and delicious too. Just add your favorite ingredients like a pizza or tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni or sausage and some Italian seasonings.

Not to be undone Bob’s Red Mill has a Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. Just add eggs, olive oil, and water. They’ve included the yeast in the package. This makes a light airy crust and of course add your preferred toppings. Makes two 12-inch crusts.

Pillsbury adds a bit of sugar and uses egg whites and garlic in their Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. It makes two 10-inch crusts. The Doughboy does it again.

Maybe it would be easier to just go to the freezer aisle and get a  ready-made pizza make by popular brands like Freschetta. DiGiorno has quite a few fans for their thin crust gluten-free pizza. Gluten-Free Forever did their own taste tests and recommends their Top 10. Of course, we can’t forget Udi’s.

Not recommended for those with Celiac disease because of cross contamination Domino’s Gluten Free Crust would be ok however for those with mild gluten sensitivities. Similarly  Papa Johns has a crust with ingredients reflecting a gluten free pie. Pizza Hut has a Udi’s crust they make Pepperoni or Cheese pizzas with. There are allot of local pizzerias that have added a gluten-free option to their menu like Pizza Girls in Palm Beach Gardens. I’m especially fond of the Italian Hoagie at Today’s Pizza in Mount Joy, PA made with their gluten-free pizza dough. Find Me Gluten Free has a gluten-free app to help find gluten free dining.

Gluten-Free Guides

There has been allot of interest in eating a gluten-free diet whether diagnosed with celiac disease or not. Sometimes it just nice to have some kind of gluten-free guide to help make living gluten-free a good decision or is it a fad that really doesn’t add anything to your life.

Where do you find that kind of reliable information that is thorough and dependable?  Dr. Joseph Murray at the Mayo Clinic has written the Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free that focuses on living a gluten-free lifestyle, from the onset of being inquisitive to being diagnosed and managing eating out, if this new discovery is for you or a family member and more. Real life issues that can help manage pitfalls and well-intentioned but misinformed opinions.

If you want to eat out gluten-free Adam Bryan has written an amazing national Restaurant Guide with over 150 restaurant menus with gluten-free options. No matter if you have Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or allergy, or just maintaining a gluten-free diet. Check out our book page for more information.

Fenicci’s Gluten Free Pasta

You can’t go to Hershey Pennsylvania without a stop at Fenicci’s Restaurantespecially if you’re Italian and gluten-free. MucFinicci'sh of Hershey’s history since 1935 is embedded in the traditions of this favorite eatery. You can make a reservation using Open Table. It’s more than likely that you’ll go away pleasantly surprised and satisfied. They say it best when they say “Substitute Any Regular Pasta Listed [ ] Gluten Free Pasta.”  Fenicci’s is home of the DeAngelis Sauces and Upside-Down Pizza.

celiac note

You can’t go to Hershey Pennsylvania without a stop at Fenicci’s Restaurant especially if you’re Italian and gluten-free. MucFinicci'sh of Hershey’s history since 1935 is embedded in the traditions of this favorite eatery. You can make a reservation using Open Table. It’s more than likely that you’ll go away pleasantly surprised and satisfied. They say it best when they say “Substitute Any Regular Pasta Listed [ ] Gluten Free Pasta.”  Fenicci’s is home of the DeAngelis Sauces and Upside-Down Pizza.

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Gluten Free at TooJay’s

A New York style Kosher deli at almost 30 locations in Florida, TooJay’s has their own bakery and deli too. If you’re a fan of macaroons this could be one of your favorite stops whether you just trying to figure out what is gluten or have confirmed celiac disease. The locations we’ve visited have a dog-friendly patio but only service dogs allowed in the restaurant. You don’t have to worry what foods have gluten. Their knowledgeable wait staff can help you order a gluten free breakfast like omelets or fruit salads. You’ll need to order without bread or croutons to make some items gluten free. My favorite entrée’s are the Liver and Onions and the broiled Cod. They have a delicious Hangover Burger that may not be on the current menu but if you ask for it … they will oblige. The chicken soup is the base for their Matza Ball soup a big favorite for many. WPTV does a nice video with Chef Dennis Snuszka on what is in the Passover Meal at TooJays. Kids eat free with an adult entree during their month of August promotion.

Seasons 52 GF Favorites

One of my all-time favorite restaurants when it comes to gluten free options would have to be Seasons 52 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida located on the inter-coastal waterway with patio or inside dining. If you’re looking for a busy but family atmosphere, a competent and professional wait staff, just the right portion sizes, and taste tested seasonal entree’s that change monthly, this is the place. Reservations recommended for meal times. Ask your hostess for a gluten-free menu. You won’t have a waitress say what is gluten? Their staff and chef’s can exceed your expectations. One of my favorite soups is the Summer Corn Soup with bacon and chives. This is a thick hearty soup that uses the corn starch for thickening and taste is delightful. Pair it with a gluten free flatbread like summer vegetable, all-natural pepperoni, roma tomato or a lobster and mozzarella. Entrees that I’ve found myself going back to again and again would be the Southern-style Shrimp and Grits and the Cedar Planked Salmon. Of course, they’re famous for their shot glass desserts but these are not gluten free. A dessert option is fresh fruit with whipped cream.

Brownstone Cafe a Keeper

Did you ever fall in love with a restaurant? You know … that one spot that has good food at a reasonable cost with a friendly crew that wants to call you family? That would be the Brownstone Cafe in Middletown, Pennsylvania just around the corner from the Harrisburg International Airport.

This classic downtown cafe was origonally a bank. In fact many banking organizations owned the building that the cafe currently occupies. Owners are Keith & Carole Matinchek. Keith is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Class of 1980.

brownstone

(Photo courtesy of Tripod)

There are many work-arounds for the gluten-free diet like a pan-roasted pork chop with mashed potatoes and the vegtable of the day. Or perhaps you’d rather have the Shepherd’s pie, or fish grilled or baked with vegtables. Occassionally I’ll ask for grilled beef liver with mashed potatoes, extra butter, and vegtables. Or perhaps a desert of creamy rice pudding with coffee.

brownstone-inside

(Photo courtesy of Tripod)

Whatever your request the team at Brownstone will be anxious to please wheather it’s one of the lengthy list of specials, the smaller appetite menu, or exactly what you want.  Put this one on the list of places to experience and go back to often.

Fenicci’s GF Pasta

You can’t go to Hershey Pennsylvania without a stop at Fenicci’s Restaurant especially if you’re Italian and gluten-free. MucFinicci'sh of Hershey’s history since 1935 is embedded in the traditions of this favorite eatery. You can make a reservation using Open Table. It’s more than likely that you’ll go away pleasantly surprised and satisfied. They say it best when they say “Substitute Any Regular Pasta Listed [ ] Gluten Free Pasta.”  Fenicci’s is home of the DeAngelis Sauces and Upside-Down Pizza.