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Category Archives: Katie Recommends

Gluten-Free Open House

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow is the day!

Gluten-Free Open House
Natural Health Center of Kalamazoo
11:00-3:00

Come check out your favorite vendors and products, eat some samples, enter in some raffles, pick up some great deals and hang out with other gluten-free friends!!

I can’t wait! See you there!

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Happy National Coffee Day

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It’s National Coffee Day today!

I love coffee and don’t go a day without it. I’m partial to Starbucks and realize my delicious caffeinated friend can be a bit on the pricey side. While perusing Pinterest recently (oh how I LOVE Pinterest!) I came across a recipe to make your own Starbucks Frappuccino at home – for .32 cents. Say WHAT? Yup, you read that right. Someone figured out how to make their favorite drink at home for pennies. Smart thinking! Take a look and maybe you can start making your own and save some big bucks. I personally love all the pie charts and details this person put into this. They meant business. 🙂

So, have you enjoyed your favorite coffee drink yet today? I decided to treat myself to Starbucks new drink for Fall, the Salted Caramel Mocha. It was just ok. I love the salted caramel, but I guess mochas aren’t my thing. I don’t even want to think about how many calories were in that bad boy – I didn’t allow myself to see the nutrition info on the website when I grabbed the link above – HA! Oh, and not to mention that I completely spaced out and didn’t even stop to think about whether or not it was for sure gluten-free. I feel fine thus far, so I think it’s ok, but duh!

I’ve heard that McDonalds and other restaurants are serving coffee for free today. If you’re needing an afternoon cup of joe, check and see if anywhere near you is serving it up for free today!

Happy coffee drinking!

Amazing Deal – Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix

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WOW! I am super excited about the deal I came across.

My favorite pancake mix is Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix. It is fantastic! It has almond flour in it and I absolutely love the nutty flavor it gives pancakes. It can also be used for a ton of other recipes, which are listed on the product page (a few on the packaging itself).

The only downside is that it is NOT cheap. I pay $18.99 plus tax for the large, 4 LB bag at my health store. Wowsers.

BUT! This is the great news of the day! Amazon has Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix on sale!! Right now, you can get 3 bags of the 4 LB size for….drumroll please….$38.25. That’s just $12.75 a bag! But wait! There’s MORE! If you sign up for Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program, which by the way I highly recommend, you get an additional 15% off making 3 bags just $32.51 – $10.85 a bag! Plus, you get free standard shipping! Woo-hoo!!! You can find the deal on Amazon here.

So, a little bit about the Subscribe and Save program that Amazon offers. Here are the details from Amazon:

What is Subscribe and Save? When you order through Subscribe & Save, you’ll automatically receive a new shipment of the item in intervals you select at a discount on our everyday price. All Subscribe & Save orders receive a discount over the regular price of the item. The current discount percentage for each item is posted on the product detail page when you sign up. The discount you receive for each order will be calculated off the Amazon.com price for the item on the day each order is placed. Therefore, if the price of the item increases or decreases, the amount you are charged may also increase or decrease.

Plus, all subscription orders ship free. We’ll notify you before the order ships and charge your credit card for each order only when the item is shipped, and you may cancel at any time.

To start a subscription for this product, choose a quantity and delivery schedule, then click “Subscribe now”. You’ll be asked to provide a delivery address, payment method, and billing address. Once the order has been placed, your first order will be processed and your subscription activated. 

Do Subscribe & Save items qualify for Prime Shipping?
All Subscribe & Save items are shipped for free with standard shipping. 

I have been really happy when I have used this service. It’s so flexible and easy to use. We used the service when our youngest was in diapers and it was awesome to have diapers delivered to our door at the interval we set and they were always cheaper than what I could get in stores. I signed up for the Pamela’s deal with Subscribe and Save for delivery every 3 months. I’ll get an email letting me know that my next shipment will be shipping soon. At that time, I can let it ship or I can sign in and postpone it or cancel. There is no contract or certain amount you have to get this way.  Amazon offers a ton of products this way and this deal is reminding me I need to do a bit of searching for my other favorite gluten free products!

I am super happy about this deal and I hope that you find it helpful too!

Peanut Butter Cookies

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My oldest daughter loves peanut butter cookies. She is sort of particular though – she loves her Grandma’s peanut butter cookies. No pressure. 🙂

The first batch of peanut butter cookies I made that were gluten free was the super simple recipe that doesn’t use flour, but just peanut butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and baking powder. If you’d like to give it a try, I found the recipe here. For my daughter, these did not live up to her Grandma cookie standards.

So, along comes the first day of the first grade for her and I decide it would be a good idea to bake my darling daughter her favorite cookies. But I know better this time, use a different recipe. Of course, the easiest thing would have been to make my Mom’s recipe and secure a home run, but I don’t even have wheat flour in my house anymore and wasn’t about to buy a bag just for these cookies. So, on to option 2.

Option 2 came in the form of a different gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe that I found on keep it simple, keep it fresh. This is a new favorite gluten free blog of mine which you can now find on my sidebar. Lissa’s recipe looked very similar to my Mom’s, but with gluten free flour – and not even a mix of flours, just rice flour. “Easy Peasy” as the 1st grader in question would say. One thing in Lissa’s recipe that tripped me up when I first read through it is that it didn’t have any xanthan gum in the mix. So, I rattled off a question to Lissa asking why she didn’t add xanthan gum. She graciously replied and told me that for recipes that have a lot of wet ingredients, like the peanut butter in the cookies, you don’t need to use xanthan gum. Huh! Learned something new! So, I took her word and skipped the gum. Another note about the recipe is that she uses Thai rice flour. I just used my superfine brown rice flour and felt ok about that because they are both very fine rice flours.

So, after lunch, my preschooler and I set out to make peanut butter cookies. I did find my dough to be on the sticky side, so rolling them into balls got a bit tricky. I think I’ll add just a touch more flour next time (maybe a cup of thai rice flour and a cup of my superfine brown rice flour have different weights per cup?). The cookies smelled and looked like the real deal and they certainly passed the taste-test of my little helper, so I was excited to surprise the peanut butter cookie expert.

We made it home after the pick-up line and we played the guessing game to figure out what first day of school treat was waiting for her at home. She guessed peanut butter cookies pretty quickly and was looking forward to giving them a try when I said they were like Grandmas. And guess what? She loved them! Totally passed the test and I think I even got two thumbs up! Woo-hoo! I was sure to write Lissa again and tell her that the cookies were a hit and I’ll be making them again for sure. I’m thinking a few mini chocolate chips tossed in will have to be in my next batch.

Please visit keep it simple, keep it fresh for Lissa’s recipe.

Did You Know? Udi’s Bread

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I don’t buy many pre-made gluten free items when it comes to baked goods. Very soon after going gluten free I started baking my own bread and baked goods because the few things I did buy from the store, I didn’t think were very good. I really knew the store bought bread and baked goods weren’t going to cut it for me when I sunk my tastebuds into some homemade goodies and went “Ah! So this is what GOOD gluten free tastes like! Whew!”

Since starting to bake gluten free, I’ve just been sticking to whatever I can get baked and going without whenever I haven’t had the time. It wasn’t until I was visiting my Mom’s house for the day that I tried Udi’s bread for the first time. I had seen Udi’s products many times at different stores and had read about them here and there, I just never bought any because I didn’t need to. But, this particular day at my Mom’s, it had been weeks since I had eaten a piece of bread and I wanted some. Bad. So, I defrosted two pieces of the White Sandwich Bread and smeared them with peanut butter. Oh. My. Goodness. Totally took away my negative thoughts about store-bought gluten free bread. Fist bump to you Udis! It was delicious. No funny aftertaste, great texture, and a great chew. My only complaint is that the slices are so tiny! I could eat half a loaf in a sitting after a bread-deprived stretch of time but, for the price, that doesn’t fit into my budget – or let’s be real, my waistline.

I’ve bought two loaves of the Whole Grain Bread since then and I really do love it. I know it’s not as cost-effective as baking my own, but during these extremely busy past few weeks, it’s been so nice to have some bread in the freezer that I didn’t have to take the time to bake. I also picked up a package of their hot dog buns for our Labor Day grilling. I had eaten hot dogs and hamburgers without buns all summer and wanted a treat. (Ha, ha – isn’t it funny what can be considered a treat?) I think the hot dog buns are really good too.

Udi’s also offers gluten free bagels, hamburger buns, granola, muffins and cinnamon rolls, and pizza crusts. If these products are as good as the bread, they have gained a very loyal customer. If you visit their website, there is a locator button to help you find a store near you that carries Udi’s products. If you’re local, I buy my Udi’s products from Natural Health Center or at Hardings. The site has a lot of interesting info, tips, recipes and a fun blog. Check it out!

I highly recommend you give Udi’s products a try! Here’s a coupon you can print to use on your purchase!

Have you tried Udi’s? What do you think? Are you going to give it a try soon?

Gluten Free Open House – Natural Health Center

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Kalamazoo area friends, get excited!

Natural Health Center is holding it’s annual Gluten-Free Open House in less than two weeks!

The event is Saturday, October 1st, from 11-3:00 and I am told it’s going to be awesome. Vendors will be there with tons of samples, special sales, goodies to take home and they are doing a raffle. I am super excited!

If you think you’ll be going, leave me a comment and maybe we can see each other there. 🙂

Celiac Support Groups

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Are you aware that many cities have Celiac Support Groups? It’s true, and there might be one that’s a great fit for you. I just did a 2 minute search online and found an abundance of info regarding groups all across the United States (and abroad too). Celiac.com has an extensive list here.

The group that meets here in Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Area Celiac Support Group, happens to be a member of the Celiac Sprue Association. The Association’s mottos is “Celiacs Helping Celiacs” and I really like that. I looked at Michigan on the site and they list seven different chapters/groups that meet throughout the state. They range in size and how they function, but if you are in need of a support group, I recommend you do a little looking online and see if there is something near you.

These groups can be for anyone, anywhere in their gluten free journey. If you’re a newbie and still in shock – go to a group! They are there to help you. If you’re an old pro – go to a group! Be the mentor that newly diagnosed people need. Please keep in mind, even if you aren’t a diagnosed Celiac you can still go to a meeting. They don’t want to see your biopsy reports. 🙂 If you’re playing around with food eliminations, want info on how to even approach going gluten free, I am sure they would be happy to see you. I know that our local group would be happy you stopped by.

Speaking of the Kalamazoo group – the group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm in the Gilmore Center at Bronson in one of the classrooms of the basement level. I am planning to post the meetings each month so that if you’re are interested in joining us, you’ll have the scoop.

Are you part of a support group? Are you interested in joining one?