Friday, February 26, 2016

News & Notes: February 26, 2016

After introducing a gluten-free version of Honey Bunches of Oats earlier this month, Post is adding to the gluten-free Pebbles cereal family with Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles. The company will has not confirmed whether this is a limited-time offering.

 In addition to the new gluten-free GOLEAN products I wrote about last week, Kashi will be launching a line of gluten-free Teff Thins crackers and Savory Bars. The crackers come in red sea salt, lemon chickpea chili and tomato lentil barbecue flavors, while the bar varieties include quinoa corn and roasted red pepper, basil white bean and olive oil, and chickpea curry and chili.

Bakery On Main's line of new 4.4.8 Granola Bars come in Double Chocolate, Oats & Honey, Peanut Butter & Chocolate and Peanut Butter & Jelly flavors. Each bar contains 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugar. Also new from Bakery on Main are two varieties of Bunches of Crunches Superfood “GRAIN-ola.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What's New for Passover 2016

While the Jewish holiday of Passover has not lost its religious meaning, it has in recent years turned into an unofficial gluten-free holiday. In 2016, Passover begins the evening of Friday, April 22 and ends the evening of April 30. It's a time when many more gluten-free products are available at supermarkets. This grew out of the observance of certain segments of the Jewish population to refrain from eating any wheat products during Passover. The packaging of many gluten-free products is expressly labeled as such, while others have a "non-gebrokts" notation. (As always, read the ingredient label before buying and consuming a particular item.)

Kosher food manufacturer Kayco will be introducing many new gluten-free products this year under various brand names. The best-selling gluten-free matzo-style cracker, Yehuda, will have an unsalted version for the first time, joining Original, Onion and Fiber Enriched varieties. Returning products include Yehuda's matzo meal, farfel and cake meal.

The Gefen brand has its own gluten-free matzo-like crackers this year, along with Gal Gal Original and Onion crackers. Also new from Gefen are three kinds of gluten-free Mediterranean-style couscous, Original, Onion and Vegetable, along with Original and Seasoned gluten-free croutons. The brand's noodles, Crisp Flats (Original, Onion, Salt & Pepper and Onion & Pepper), cake mixes, cookies, and Crispy Crunch cereals will all return this year.

Certain gluten-free items will only be available at Whole Foods markets, including Glick's new salted, chocolate-drizzled macaroons in two varieties, as well as returning items Glick's Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Macaroons, Harrison’s Original Sweet Shoppe Natural Jelly Rings and Fruit Slices, and Kedem Tilapia Gefilte Fish.

Have no fear: The Entenmann's-like Rebecca & Rose chocolate covered donuts, a hit last year in their debut, will be back starting this month.

Manischewitz has several new gluten-free products of its own for 2016. Among them are ready-to-eat chocolate chip and chocolate cookies as well as hazelnut chocolate macaroons, which won the best Kosher for Passover product award at last fall's Kosherfest food show. There will also be new gluten-free matzo meal, cake meal, tri-color spiral noodles and Magic Max's Chocolate Crunch Puffs and Vanilla Crunch Puffs cereals. The company will be bringing back several kinds of gluten-free matzo squares and crackers, matzo ball mix, noodles, cake mixes and macaroons. 

About a week or two before the start of Passover, markets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander's, Lilly's Bake Shoppe and Schick's. Look for sandwich and rainbow cookies, cake rolls, decorative and layer cakes.

If you want to try "Mexican Coke" (made with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup), Passover Coca-Cola will be available in the Philadelphia area. Look for bottles with distinctive yellow caps.

Prices of some Passover foods tend to be higher than their non-holiday counterparts, so I suggest buying one of a particular item to see if you like it before stocking up. Keep an eye on Passover sections after the second night of the holiday, when markets tend to cut prices on whatever products are left.

Friday, February 19, 2016

News & Notes: February 19, 2016

Pillsbury has extended its line of gluten-free baking products with the addition of five new mixes: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Sugar Cookie,  Devil's Food Cake and Classic Yellow Cake.

For the first time, famed cookie baker Archway will have gluten-free cookies. Beginning next month consumers nationwide will be able to purchase Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips. Read more about these new cookies at my Gluten-Free Living blog post.

Kashi has new gluten-free products of its own. GOLEAN Clusters Vanilla Pepita Cereal features a blend of popped sorghum, rolled red beans, pea crisps, pepitas and vanilla, Its GOLEAN Plant Powered Bars come in four flavors: Salted Dark Chocolate & Nuts, Honey Pecan Baklava, Dark Chocolate Cashew Chia and Peanut Hemp Crunch. Each bar is made with a blend of grains, nuts, seeds and pea crisps topped with a nut butter or sunflower seed butter layer.

Friday, February 5, 2016

News & Notes: February 5, 2016

Ruby Tuesday is now offering gluten-free burger buns for a $1 upcharge. The traditional American chain, with 24 locations in the Delaware Valley, has more than 700 restaurants throughout 44 states. The full allergen guide is posted at the company's website.

Contemporary Thai BYOB Circles has opened its first New Jersey location in Collingswood (8 Powell Lane, 856-869-0001). Gluten-free and gluten-free-by-request items are noted on the menu and include all soups, salads and curries, as well as many entrees and noodle and stir-fry dishes. Be sure to request gluten-free soy sauce. These items are also available at the restaurant's Philadelphia outposts in Northern Liberties (812 N. 2d St., 267-687-1309), Society Hill (429 South St., 267-639-2396) and Point Breeze (1514 Tasker St., 267-687-1778).

New York City macaron purveyor Woops! is expanding into the Philadelphia area with kiosks at Cherry Hill Mall (2000 Rt. 38, 856-874-6793) and Christiana Mall in Newark (132 Stanton Christiana Rd., 302-593-1670). All of the macaron flavors are gluten free, though the French pastries are not produced in a dedicated facility.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CHOP's 11th Annual Celiac Education Day Set for March 6

The Celiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is hosting its annual one-day, state-of-the-art multidisciplinary education program next month. The 11th annual free event will take place on Sunday, March 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Colket Translational Research Building on CHOP’s campus in the University City section of Philadelphia (3501 Civic Center Blvd.).

The annual education day centers around the mission of CHOP's Celiac Team to promote community awareness by providing area families with evidence-based lectures provided by respected experts within the field. Both the clinical implications of celiac disease and the importance of adhering to a gluten free diet as well as future therapeutic treatments are discussed. Children in attendance are provided the opportunity to attend interactive age-specific lectures and to learn through play with CHOP child-life specialists. Breakout sessions include discussions on celiac disease and diabetes and celiac disease and social media.

Registration/breakfast begins at 8:15 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. There will be complimentary gluten-free meals for lunch, and attendees can sample gluten-free products from several vendors who participate in the event.

Complimentary parking is available in the Wood Building garage; bring your parking ticket to the registration desk for validation.

Early-bird registration is available through Friday, February 5 via this link. After Friday, registration can be completed by visiting CHOP's Celiac Center page.