Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Candy Man Can!

Recently, I was talking with a friend from college who is still learning the ropes of gluten free eating. We talked about things like cookies, soup, and other tasty things, and then we started talking about candy. Candy can be a really funny thing when it comes to eating gluten. Things that you wouldn't expect to contain gluten have secret glutenous ingredients, and things that you would expect to have gluten in them, sometimes are actually gluten free. So how does one keep them straight? Well you could spend hours standing in the candy isle of your locan grocery store reading label after label, hoping that one of those chemicals you can't pronounce isn't actually gluten in disguise, or you can go prepared!

Over Christmas break, I spent an entire weekend researching what candies are gluten free, and what are not (all while watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!). I came up with quite the extensive list. I keep a copy of it on my ipod at all times so that I can always reference it at the store. This list also comes in handy each fall when Halloween rolls around. I always have a bucket labeled GLUTEN FREE CANDY in my selections, and a number of the parents in my neighborhood are quite grateful. I try to give those kids an extra piece of candy since they usually have to get rid of half the candy when they get home. (I also do a nut free bucket of candy)

So here I have for you, a lovely list of gluten free candy. I will list the Gluten Free, Gluten Free but Processed in Facilities that Contain Wheat, and the DO NOT EAT candies. I hope you find this helpful!!

Gluten Free Candy

  • 3 Musketeers, 3 Musketeers Mint
  • Altoids (except for Altoids Small Peppermints)
  • Andes Creme de Menthe
  • Applehead
  • Baby Bottle Pops
  • Baby Ruth
  • Blow Pops
  • Butterfinger
  • Candy Necklaces
  • Charleston Chew
  • Cherryhead
  • Circus Peanuts
  • CremeSavers
  • Disney Lollipop Rings
  • Dots
  • Dove Milk Chocolate, Dove Dark Chocolate, Dove Caramel Milk Chocolate, Dove Peanut Butter
  • Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum
  • Dum Dums
  • Good & Fruity
  • Grapehead
  • Haribo Gold-Bears
  • Heath Minis
  • Hershey Bliss, Hershey White Chocolate Bliss
  • Hershey Kisses, Special Dark Kisses, Kisses Air Delight, Kisses Almond, Kisses Pumpkin Spice
  • Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars, Milk Chocolate Bars with Almonds
  • Hot Tamales
  • Hubba Bubba Gum, Bubble Tape
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
  • Jet-Puffed Boo Mallows and Ghost Mallows
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Hard candy Sticks, Jolly Rancher Doubles, Jolly Rancher Pops, Jolly Rancher Mini-Stix, Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews
  • Junior Mints
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Lemonhead, Chewy Lemonhead and Friends, Tropical Chewy Lemonhead and Friends
  • Lifesavers Hard Candy, Lollipops, Gummies, Big Ring Gummies
  • M&M's Plain, Mint Thrills, Peanut, Peanut Butter
  • Marvel Super Hero Candy
  • Mike & Ike
  • Milk Duds
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar 
  • Mr.Goodbar
  • Necco Wafers
  • Now and Later, Now and Later Soft
  • Pay Day
  • Peanut Chews Original and Milk Chocolate
  • Peeps Pumpkins and Ghosts, Peeps Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkins
  • Pez, Pez Sourz
  • Push Pops
  • Raisinets
  • Red Hots
  • Red Raspberry Dollars
  • Reese's Cups, Reese's Pieces, Reese's Fast Break Candy Bars
  • Ring Pops
  • Rolo
  • Sixlets Candy Coated Chocolate Flavored Candy
  • Skittles, Skittle Sour, Skittle Crazy Cores
  • Smarties (US only, not Canada), Giant Smarties, Mega Smarties, Bubble Gum Smarties, Love Hearts, Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, X-TREME Sour Smarties, Easter Smarties, Smarties Parties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Pops, Giant Smarties Pops
  • Snickers, Snickers Almond
  • Sour Patch Kids, Sour Patch Kids Extreme
  • Star Wars Lollipops
  • Starburst
  • Sugar Babies, Sugar Mamas, Sugar Daddies
  • Super Bubble, Super Bubble Blast
  • Swedish Fish
  • Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops
  • Warheads
  • York Peppermint Patties

Gluten Free but Processes in Facilities that Contain Wheat

  • Bottlecaps
  • Brach's Candy Corn, Gummi Candy Corn, Caramel Candy Corn, Caramel Apple Candy Cirn, Mellowcreme Pumpkin, Indian Corn
  • Everlasting Gobstoppers
  • Fun Dip
  • Jujyfruits, Jujubes
  • M&M's Coconut
  • Nerds, Giant chewy Nerds
  • Pixy Stix
  • Runts, Chewy Runts
  • Russell Stover Marshmallow Pumpkin, Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin, Marshmallow Football, Coconut Cream Pumpkin
  • SpongeBob Gummy Krabby Patties
  • Spree, Chewy Spree
  • Sweetarts, Mini Chewy Sweetarts
  • Trolli Gummy Bears, Sour Brite (Frite) Crawlers


  • 100 Grand
  • Butterfinger Crisp
  • Good & Plenty
  • Hershey's Cookies & Creme Candy Bar
  • Hershey's Minatures
  • Kit Kats
  • Lindt Chocolate
  • Milky Way Candy Bar
  • Nestle Crunch Candy Bars
  • Reese's Sticks Wafer Bars
  • Take 5
  • Twix
  • Twizzlers
  • Whoppers

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Know Your Symbols

Recently, I was visiting my local health food store, and I started seeing signs in food displays that looked like this:

As you may have guessed from the symbol, this means that the product is wheat free. But do not be fooled by this symbol people! If you are on a gluten free diet, these foods might still be harmful to you. I picked up a loaf of bead that was labeled with this symbol, and realized the first ingredient was Spelt. For those of you who don't know, spelt comes from a wheat like plant, and although most people with wheat allergies can tolerate spelt, if you are on a gluten free diet, it will make you quite sick!

If you want to make sure that your food is 100% gluten free, this is the symbol you want to look for:

This symbol is the trademark of the GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization) and it's your key to finding truly gluten free food. The GFCO has set a specific set of standards for a company to meet in order to carry their seal. It is very strict, but that guarantees that you, the customer, will be safe from any gluten contaminates. The GFCO is a program of the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) and if you are gluten free and have not visited their site before, I highly recommend you do. They can provide you with a lot of information about what to look for when purchasing gluten free food, and can supply you with databases of recipes and restaurants that are certified gluten free. 

I hope this is helpful to you in your shopping, and if you need more information on certified gluten free food, please visit GIG ( or visit GFCO ( 

About Eating Out

Good morning blog world!
It is a dull and grey morning here in Massachusetts! I have a long and busy day ahead of me, and that means I can either decide to carry my lunch box around with me all day, or find somewhere to eat out. Most likely, I am going to eat out today. For those of you who are new to eating out gluten free, or just haven't gotten a handle on it yet, here's some tips to keep you going:

1. Always ask if there is a gluten free menu available. My dad took me out to lunch over the weekend to a place in Waltham, MA called the Chateau, and they did not advertise that they had a gluten free menu, but when I asked, they produced a very well put together menu for me! In fact, it was one of the best gluten free menus I had ever seen! And the food was just divine! So always ask! The worst that can happen is they don't have one.

2. On the chance that the establishment you are eating at doesn't have a gluten free menu, immediately let your server know that you have a gluten allergy, and you are concerned about your meal. A lot of the time your waiter will look at you like you have three heads. Unfortunately working in the food industry has not made them more aware of gluten free diets. Thankfully, their first instinct when they hear the key term "allergy" is to get a manager, or a chef. The will comes ask you about your diet, and most of them are more than happy to provide you with a meal you can eat. I have made friends with a number of the chefs in my area because of this, and they love it when I come to visit! Most restaurants have a menu that doesn't change very often, and can often limit the chef's creative skills. Letting the chef of a restaurant create a special dish for you is a welcome change in their workday, and they are often very excited to try a new challenge.

3. Just stay away from fast food. Legit. The only thing you are going to find you can eat is either a baked potato, which you can get at a nicer restaurant for about the same price, or you can get the burger patty without the bun. Believe me, it's just as greasy and disgusting as it sounds. If you are really really in a hurry and just don't have time to go somewhere else, Wendy's has baked potatoes you can eat, but outside of that, you need to be extremely careful.

4. Be careful of gluten free claims. California Pizza Kitchen recently had to recall their gluten free pizza crust because it was being made in the same area as glutenous pizza, and was therefore, being contaminated. A number of people got really sick before the crust was recalled. Domino's Pizza just released a gluten free crust, but they have a huge disclaimer stating that the pizza is made in the same kitchen as the glutenous pizza, and they can't promise that it won't get contaminated. On that note, when going to a chain restaurant with a gluten free claim PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your research!! I'll try and provide more information about these claims in my blog, so you can be more aware of them, but please try and look at a company's website before you eat there.

Alright blog world. I am off into the real world for the day! I'll check out any comments you leave me during my breaks between errands. Happy eating!

Monday, May 28, 2012


So it's that wonderful time of year again. The flowers are out, farmers markets are starting to come to life, and every night you can open a window and smell the lovely aroma of somebody cooking on the grill. I love cooking on the grill. Cooking gluten free foods is easy and simple on the grill. But every grill dish needs a side. My go-to food happens to be:

Potatoes are an amazing food that are insanely versatile. There are many different kinds of potatoes, and all of them are just so wonderful. Alton Brown has had a number of episodes on his show Good Eats dedicated to the spuds. Here are my 5 favorite ways to prepare potatoes:

5. Home Fries:
At breakfast time, nothing is better in my mind than some fried eggs, and a nice pile of home fries. They are super easy to make, and are, in my mind, one of the best comfort foods out there. All you have to do is pick your favorite potato (I often use Idaho Baking Potatoes) and dice them up to bite sized pieces. Sprinkle your potatoes with salt, pepper, and whatever spices you desire, and toss into a well oiled pan. Cook the potatoes until golden brown on the outsides and enjoy your tasty dish!

4. French Fries:
I know, they are similar to home fries, but I feel that they deserve their own category. Especially since I usually end up using different kinds of potatoes for french fries then I would for my home fries. And just like the home fries, they are super easy! Again, pick your favorite potato (for french fries, I like to use sweet potatoes) and slice them into wedges. I like to make mine on the thinner side as I like them more crispy than squishy. Season your wedges with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you desire. Toss the potatoes in some olive oil, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in an oven that has been heated to 350, and cook until golden. I like to check on them every 10 minutes and sometime give them a little shake to avoid them sticking to the pan. 

3. Mashed Potatoes:
Who doesn't love a good pile of mashed potatoes on their plate? Mashed potatoes always remind me of dinner with my grandparents. My Gram always makes the creamiest, butteriest potatoes in the world. I swear I gain 10 pounds from the potatoes alone when I eat dinner with her. The wonderful thing about mashed potatoes is that you can flavor is with many different things depending on what you are eating. Start by peeling potatoes, if you care to (some people enjoy leaving their skins on potatoes, just make sure you clean them off first!). Slice potatoes into large chunks, and boil them in a pot. When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, strain the chunks and add them to a large bowl. Then, using your favorite mashing tool, mash your potatoes to desired consistency. at this stage you will need to add some sort of milk, butter, or cream to make it a creamy consistency. At this point you can add many different things, such as cheese, sour cream, chives, or bacon. 

2. Baked Potatoes:
This is probably the quickest way to make a potato, especially if you use a microwave. Simply wash off your potato of choice, pierce with a fork in several areas, and pop into the microwave for about 4 minutes. Some microwaves come with a setting where you can pick your potato and how many you are microwaving. Theses are awesome. When your potato can be easily pierced with a fork, it is ready to eat. Split the potato open and top with your favorite toppings!

1. Potato Salad:
My absolutely favorite way to eat potatoes are in potato salad. On a hot night where I really don't feel like cooking a bowl of cold potato salad is the best thing. Start by picking your favorite potato, and dice them to bite sized pieces. Boil them in a pot until they are tender. drain them and run them under cold water to stop them from over cooking and to cool them down. In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, pickles and dill into a dressing to taste. I like to use dill pickles as they compliment the taste of the dill and vinegar. Toss half the potatoes with the mixture, and after that is well mixed, add the second half of the potatoes and mix. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. 

Summer Time Fun!

Hey everyone! School is out for the summer, and it's time for some serious blogging! Here are some gluten-free summer tips for you:

1. It's BBQ season! Make sure when you are invited to a BBQ, that you always offer to bring something to eat. Often times when people who do not have a gluten allergy are hosting a BBQ, they get whatever hotdogs or burgers are on sale, and a majority of the time, those include fillers, and are not gluten free. Also, that potato salad that everyone is raving about that your Aunt made? There is a very good chance she used a spice packet, which 90% of them include MSG (a really big NO NO for those on a gluten free diet). Show how do you cope?? I often offer to bring things like potato salad, or cole slaw, or even bring my own hot dogs. Most hosts are more than happy to throw something of yours on the grill. Make sure you bring enough to share!

2. Beach parties! I. LOVE. BEACH. PARTIES. 99% of the time, the food is gluten free. Why? SEAFOOD! Seafood, for those of you who do not have an allergy to it, is a wonderful summer food (or just food in general). Beach parties often include clam bakes, or lobster boils or all sorts of delicious foods that are simply roasted or boiled or steamed in their natural state! It's wonderful for those who have picky diets, as the only ingredients are the seafood and the pounds of butter you will be soaking it all in.

3. Picnicking in the park?? If you live in the Boston area, there is a wonderful summer event I love to attend called Shakespeare on the Common. It's a wonderful production of a Shakespeare play on the Boston Commons, and the best part is, you get to bring your own food and drinks! This is the perfect opportunity for you to show off some awesome gluten free recipes to your friends! I recommend investing in some Chinese food takeout boxes (I get mine at a local craft store), instead of packing large bowls of things and serving them onto plates. It's less stuff to clean  up, and everyone enjoys getting their own little takeout box to eat from!

I'll post some blog entries this week with some picnic ideas and some more fun summer recipes. Also, I'll be posting about some tasty gluten free summery drinks! Hope you are all staying cool!