Showing posts from October, 2007

Happy Halloween! -- safe gfcf candy lists

Anyone out there have a pile of candy tonight that your kids brought home from school, or a party, or trick-or-treating? Any clue as to what pieces are gluten - casein free and which are not? I just sorted through my daughter's bag of goodies from a school party. And, I used the following two lists to help guide me. If it wasn't on one of these lists, the candy went into my bag ... or, uh, the garbage.

First, check the candy list at GFCF Diet Support Group.

Next, is the list at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

Between the two, you have a heft list to review. Use your browser to search for candy names more quickly.

A simple GFCF icing for cakes, cookies and cupcakes

This is too simple to be good. But it is -- good, that is. And, very simple. Three ingredients. That's all. I'd say I developed this recipe, but I'm not sure a three ingredient recipe really can be developed. It's more of trial and error thing over time that finally worked, after many failures. See, all I wanted was an easy icing for my gfcf cakes and cookies. But, the no-dairy thing makes it difficult. And, my kids seem to not tolerate recipes heavy with the cf margarine or organic shortening. And, soy's a no-no, too. Anyway, enough of that. Here's the recipe.

-- 1 cup powdered sugar (Domino is gluten free, but has corn starch)
-- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (just a quarter teaspoon, no more)
-- 1 tablespoon water (this could be any milk sub, if you wish) plus more in 1/4 tsp increments to soften icing.

OK, now, mix the dry ingredients until blended. Add the water. Whisk well. Then spread. That's it. This will hold, retain color, etc.

So, what I haven't done, …

Lindsay's Bread - a new gfcf bread recipe

This is a great, moist, easy to make gluten and casein free bread (soy/rice/corn-free too). It's a variation of Tom's Bread, which many of you already are familiar with. I developed this variation for my daughter's lunches. It's moister, for one. She didn't like dry bread. And, second, I didn't want to use the bean flour, nor did I prefer the brown rice flour. So, I tried sorghum flour, which I love for my baking. This is a yeast bread. And, it has eggs. I've not tried making this without real eggs, but, I'll bet you could make this using flax egg alternatives. See my recipe for flax eggs to try it out. You'll also note that I use a flax egg in this recipe along with real eggs.

So, here's how I made it. I hope you enjoy Lindsay's Bread (she calls it Salami Bread -- it's the bread we use for her salami sandwiches).

- 1 cup sorghum flour (see Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup potato starch (potato starch is key here -- adds moisture)
- 1 1/2 cups …

Halloween Candy

We don't do Halloween. It's not our favorite holiday, and never was. I'm not into the ghosts and spooky things. I tend to think it's a warped event altogether. Yet, I don't want the kids to be left out and now they're old enough to know when they're not getting candy and everyone else is.

So, this year, I bought some gfcf candy (also soy free) with a couple other treats and I'll put them in a birthday-type bag from the dollar store and send it to school for their Halloween party. They'll think it's great. To be honest, my kids don't eat much candy. We used to buy DumDums lollipops, but noticed when they had too many in a week that their behavior was warped. That's when we learned about the dangers of food coloring. So, we found Yummy Earth brand pops and College Farm candy. Good stuff. My oldest can stomach the dyes and corn syrup better than my youngest. And, it's the oldest's party I'm most concerned about. Oh, you can get c…

The flax egg substitute

This is one of those basic recipes for a cooking alternative that you don't know about unless someone tells you. For those of you who can't have eggs due to a food intolerance or allergy, you have some choices. Ener-G makes an egg replacer that has a potato base. Bob's Red Mill sells one too. You can make your own at home using flax seeds. It's much healthier, and in bread recipes, adds a nice texture. I use this is any recipe possible to give my kids more nutrition -- breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, etc.

Here's how to make it:

To make one egg sub ... one tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of liquid. Microwave for 1 minute. Let it sit for at least a minute or two. Note: with some microwaves, the heating can be done in 30 seconds.

Flax seeds are very healthy. According to, it has alpha linolenic acids, which is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, which is what you find in fish. Its benefits include lowering cholesterol, e…

The simplest gfcf cookie mix your kids will love

Jim's cookie mix

Well, this is what it sounds like. A basic cookie mix that you can use to make several variations of day-to-day cookies -- even for the toughest of diets. It is gluten and casein free. It's soy and egg free. And, the way I make it, it's also free of rice, corn, potato, chocolate and beans. Wow - what's left? Here it is:

1 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice or chickpea)
1/2 cup tapioca flour (or other starch)
1/2 cup sugar (or other sweetener)
3 tsp egg replacer powder (like Ener-G) or 1 flax "egg" or applesauce/pearsauce/etc.
2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
2 tsp baking powder (corn-free, if desired)
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
Extra sugar (optional)
Canola oil (or other oil)

Mix this well. Then add, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup water. Add extra water by the tablespoon if too chunky. You want this to be smoother, but not liquidy.
Beat with blender until mixed, scraping the sides.
Using WET hands, scoop out small ball-shaped hunks of dough a…

Noah's Bread

You may have heard of Noah's Bread. Like Tom's Bread, its among the most highly requested gfcf bread recipes. Why? Because it works and is versatile. I'll post the original recipe here, as originally posted on the GFCFRecipes Yahoo group message board by Kwan. She created this recipe for her son, Noah. Later, I'll post some of the variations I've used for things like donuts, rolls and soft pretzels. This is a good recipe to experiment with. Try different things you have in mind.

Original Noah's Bread

from Kwan
This is the original version of Noah's Bread, developed by Kwan for her son Noah when she couldn't find any bread he could eat.

1/2 cup brown rice fl. (I subbed sorghum)
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup corn or potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (or sub)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup CF milk (or water)
1/3 cup sparkling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix all ingredients well, except the sparkling water. Once the batter…

Tom's Rolls recipe

So, I posted the recipe for the famous Tom's Bread. It's only fitting that I follow with the recipe for Tom's Rolls, a variation of Tom Van Deman's original bread recipe. Good for rolls or burger buns. Here it is in Tom's words:

1 1/8 cup Chickpea flour also called Garbanzo bean flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water (uncomfortable to touch but not boiling)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

Turn your oven to 350 degrees. Put your bread machine on the dough cycle
and let your machine make your dough. Your problem with our non-wheat dough
is that it is very sticky. You will need to dump the dough into the middle
of a greased plastic sheet like saran wrap and squeeze out each roll on a
greased cookie sheet. Roll the greased plastic sheet around the dough into a
roll of dough leaving one end open and the other folded it over. S…

My first GFCF pizza

Note: I've improved my pizza recipe since this time. You can find my latest pizza crust recipe by clicking here.

I think trying to make a pizza my kids would eat without the use of dairy or soy kinda scared me away from the idea altogether. But, recently, I've had a few ideas of how to make pizzas my kids might like. I tried one last night. And it worked. My kids had their first slices of pizza. And they liked it.

Now, if you're looking for a miracle recipe here, you won't get it. This is very basic stuff. I'll give you the recipes -- yes, two. And, now I think I'll try some of the other ideas I've had. And, when I do, I'll be sure to post.

These pizzas are using a crust made from the Noah's Bread recipe. Since I haven't posted Noah's Bread yet, I'll include it here (and, as a reminder to myself, I'll post that recipe tomorrow so we can all find it quickly in the future).

3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xantha…

Autism rates in public schools

An eye-opening piece from Rescue Post yesterday on the rate of autism. This is a repost from the Rescue Post item.

October 18, 2007
Why the Department of Education Can’t Count
By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
When journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were pursuing the Watergate scandal which eventually brought down President Nixon they were advised to “follow the money.” Or as my friend the Stanford economist says, “The truth is usually revealed when you find where people spend their money.”
I was considering these ideas when I came across some data from the U. S. Department of Education about the number of autistic children in public schools. The question of whether there’s actually an epidemic of autism is a controversial topic for many medical and educational professionals.
One of the more persistent critics of using data from the U. S. Department of Education has been Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, a professor at the University of Madison-Wisconsin and President of the American Psycholo…

To vaccinate or lie -- an autism dilemma

I signed one -- but in PA, the exemption is just not for religious reasons. Here's a snippet from PA code (note the part in bold):

"Religious exemption. Children need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief."

And here's the Associated Press story as printed in the Boston Herald...

Parents take a shot at lying on vaccine forms
By Associated Press Thursday, October 18, 2007
Records show that a small but growing number of parents are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinating their children, when the real reason is skepticism over their effectiveness or concern the shots may cause other illnesses.
Some say they are forced to lie because of the way the laws are written. Massachusetts and 27 other states allow parents to opt out for medical or religious reasons only.
Sabrina Rahim is not religious, but…

A gluten-free label -- but not mandatory

Maybe you've heard recently that the Food and Drug Administration is proposing the creation of a specific definition for "gluten-free" foods -- you know, putting a real meaning to the "gluten-free" label you find on that box of cereal, hot dog package or ketchup. This definitely is a step in the right direction as we gluten-free citizens well-know that most products have no label indicating the presence of gluten. That's because it's not considered a main allergen that should be disclosed, like soy and wheat. I hope that's the next step. So, for now, when this actually goes into practice, it will be a VOLUNTARY system. That means, companies don't have to label something gluten-free, but if they do, they must adhere to the rules. Also, unless I'm wrong, there's a little quirk in the proposal as products made from oats may be labeled gluten-free. That's because the oats themselves are gluten-free, but in most instances, are not kept ap…

Gluten Syndrome? Uh-oh

The Press (New Zealand)
Thursday, 27 September 2007

The effects of gluten on health
Gluten sensitivity is not restricted to those with coeliac disease, says a food-allergy expert. If you're constantly tired, stressed and anxious or have problematic eczema or headaches on a regular basis, you might be one of the thousands who have what Dr Rodney Ford has coined Gluten Syndrome.

According to Ford, a Christchurch-based paediatrician who is a world-renowned expert in food allergies, people who are sensitive to gluten do not necessarily suffer from coeliac disease, which affects the small intestine, as is the common belief among most experts.

Ford says that up to one-third of all cases of chronic illness and fatigue could be caused through gluten sensitivity, and up to one in 10 people may be suffering from Gluten Syndrome.

"Gluten causes tiredness, anxiety and stress. The medical world accepts it can damage the gut, but it can also damage the brain, skin and nerves. Until now, many of …

What's in a vaccine -- formaldehyde, MSG and mouse serum?

With all this talk about the hidden dangers of vaccines, especially with relation to mercury and autism, I found a recent blog entry at Rescue Post very enlightening. It showed what the ingredients -- approved by the CDC -- are in each vaccine. And, it included a link directly to the CDC's Website that shows this. Here's the direct link to the PDF file - click here. Or, here's the link to the page of files with all types of information about vaccines - click here. Another interesting file on that page is the Thimerosal content of vaccines -- click here. The ingredient list is disturbing and includes MSG, lactose (for those allergic to dairy, mouse serum formadehyde, red dye, thimerosal, yeast, calf skin, mouse brain, soy and human fetal tissue. Don't believe me -- look through the documents. (Oh, the human fetal tissue is "human diploid tissue.")

Autism cluster found in New Jersey school

For our autism education today, this is an interesting article from The Record in New Jersey about a cluster of autism cases found in one school. The article reports the study found of 24 school staffers, 57 percent of their children were diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders and 24 percent were diagnosed with autism. Read more.

The Record
Autism study hints at school cluster
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A research study has found a possible autism cluster among children of teachers who worked at a Northvale school.

"While we cannot yet determine the cause of these findings, we can say for certain today that the prevalence of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders ... is statistically significantly higher," said study leader Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen.

The study's task force will now look at environmental factors at St. Anthony's that could have caused rates of autism and other learning disorders to be higher than state or national levels…

Tom's Bread - a gfcf bread

I hadn't posted this individually on my blog yet and thought it was time I did. If you're looking for an easy and reliable gluten - casein free bread, this is a good one. Tom shared this with the GFCFRecipes Yahoo message group and it is widely requested. People just call this Tom's Bread. It can be made in the bread machine or oven. I've subbed potato starch for the corn starch. And, I've even used a mock yeast recipe instead of real yeast. I also use regular cane sugar instead of the brown sugar. Very good gfcf bread. I'll post it below just as Tom wrote it:

CELIAC LIGHT BREAD by Tom Van Deman August 20, 2003

1 1/8 cup Chickpea flour also called Garbanzo bean flour (Jim's note: I've switched to sorghum here -- same amount -- as my youngest can't deal with the bean flour yet)
1 cup cornstarch (I use Cream corn starch)
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar (Make sure that there are no lumps)
1/4 tsp. creme of…

Free Autism video glossary now online

This could be a big help to anyone looking to decipher the world of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It's a free, online video glossary that explains a lot of the lingo and behaviors involved with these disorders. Now you can see the things that your doctor, teacher or therapist is talking about.

You can access the glossary, called the First Words Project, at

The project is the product of the Florida State University's Dept. of Communication Disorders. Here's a statement from the university's website: "Our major goal is to identify early red flags of developmental language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and other communication delays in children under 24 months of age. Through our research findings, we aim to improve screening tools and early detection of communication disorders by maximizing the role of the family, which will help families obtain intervention services sooner."

Note that the link above takes you to the Autism Speaks …

Garlic broccoli recipe - good luck!

I'm posting this recipe simply because it's good. It's gluten and casein free. It's soy free. It's rice/corn/potato/bean free. And, I'm sure there are some kids out there on special diets that like broccoli. My youngest (PDD) does. My oldest (also PDD) doesn't. And, best of all, the adults (that's us) love it. The recipe has many healthy benefits. First, it's low cal, low carb and fat free. Second, the broccoli, for my money, is the king of fiber in veggie land. It also has Vit C, folate, potassium and the phytochemical called sulforaphane, which has been proven to lessen the risk of cancer.

And, the recipe includes some olive oil, a proven link to decreased risk of heart disease and cancer along with increasing HDL, the good cholesterol.

Then, the garlic, which, according to WholeHealthMD, it "may protect against stomach and colon cancer, slow the build-up of artery-clogging plaque, prevent the formation of blood clots, help lower blood pressur…

Gluten free chicken nuggets recipe -- my versions

I realized over the weekend that I had failed to post one of the most-requested recipes in GFCF land! Chicken nuggets.

So, here, I'll offer a couple different versions for you. However, this is very adjustable, depending on your child's likes and dislikes.

Basic fried nuggets:

- cooking oil (I used Tuscan Sun, non-GMO)
- Chicken (I use breast meat)
- GF flour mix (any will do. I have used different mixes. Some really like frying with chickpea flour mixes. I've also used a sorghum mix with tapioca starch. Use what you like. For today, I will use 1/3 cup sorghum, 1/3 cup tapioca and 1/3 cup potato starch.)
- Spices: add what you like. I add this: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp sea salt. Other possibilities: black pepper, cumin, cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc.
- Optional: ketchup
- Optional: egg substitute (I use Ener-G for this)

So, pour some oil in a frying pan. Heat on medium high to high. Mix the dry ingredients. Add your spices. Make the egg substitute.

Will a new Autism brain center lead to new treatments?

Why is so much 'real' research, funding and general concern about autism among public officials happening everywhere but here?

Oxford Mail
Princess to open autism image centre
The Princess Royal will officially open the world's first brain imaging centre for autism at an Oxford hospital tomorrow.

A special scanner at the £2.3m centre at the university's Department of Psychiatry at the Warneford Hospital, Headington, will help Oxford University researchers study the brains of autistic children and adults, to look at how it functions as they complete tasks.

The technique will highlight how the brains of those with autism disorders differ from other people, and could lead to better treatments.

The Princess Royal will be shown the scanner and other facilities at the Oxford Neurodevelopmental Magnetoencephalography Centre.

While in the city, the Princess will also attend a Citizenship Ceremony at County Hall and join a meeting of the St Helena Diocesan Association at Pusey House.

The battle of school vaccine exemptions

So now we're dealing with the school, where my oldest daughter attends kindergarten, which wants her to get all of her vaccinations. Uh, no. So, we're finding our way through the process of satisfying the school. Our doc is sending the school a letter but it may not be enough, so we're also signing a formal letter citing a section of our state (PA) code that lists vaccine exemptions.

I found some help online with a sample letter at AutismLink. The actual page is at this address:

We'll see how it goes, but this is one battle we'll fight. I expect the school will not push this.

I forget the exact numbers, but the school got smacked with kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders in their incoming kindergarten class this year -- 6 out of 40. So, we're not alone.

Few mercury-free flu shots in Pennsylvania

And, here at home, not a thought given to the mercury lurking in our flu vaccines. I think I'll suffer through the flu this year. I get it anyway, even with the shot.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Mercury-free flu shots in short supply
By Mike Cronin
TRIBUNE-REVIEW Wednesday, October 10, 2007

People who want a flu shot without mercury this year in Pennsylvania will have to ask.

Most flu vaccine doses available in the state have thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury, according to local health care providers. About 54,000 of the 250,000 doses bought by the state Department of Health are thimerosal-free. But 90 percent of shots administered in the state will be done by private providers, said department spokesman Dan Miller.

The Allegheny County Health Department has bought 3,000 doses of flu vaccine, 200 of which do not have mercury.

"Children and pregnant women should not receive flu shots with thimerosal," said county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Eight states h…

Autism, Africa and an 8-year-old boy

This is just a very sad story, but one I couldn't stop reading.

Grieving mother plans autism school By MICHELLE MOLZ
For the Courier-Post

MOUNT LAUREL She traveled thousands of miles from one of Africa's poorest countries to seek help for her autistic son.Now, after her 8-year-old boy died unexpectedly, Sabelle Jelani is preparing for a new journey. The 39-year-old township resident plans to open a school for autistic children in Dakar, capital of Senegal, as a memorial to her son, Hakeem.It would be the first of its kind in Senegal, Jelani's native country. She left her homeland and spent the past five years here caring for her son and educating herself about autism. She hoped to return to Senegal to share her knowledge with families who have no resources to help them cope.Plans for the school were under way when Hakeem suddenly died in his sleep in Dakar on Sept. 8. They had been visiting family for the summer."We laid down, and I rubbed his head, his chest, his hands, …

Strawberry ice cream - gfcf, soy and rice free

This gfcf ice cream is based on the original recipe for ice cream, using coconut milk, which you'll find in the recipes section of this blog. Again, very easy. And, this time I bought lite coconut milk, which has less fat.


2 x 14 oz cans lite coconut milk (I bought organic)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pureed strawberry

I bought a pound of strawberries and pureed them in the blender until smooth. I mixed all of the other ingredients in a bowl, whisked together for a minute, and then poured it into an ice cream machine. I use a Rival machine. I know you can make this without the machine and use a blender. I added 1 cup of the strawberry to the recipe.


Hope you all like the new look of the gfcf recipes blog. It's not entirely complete, but the biggest changes have been made. If you're having any problems with font sizes, colors, etc., feel free to let me know.


How schools handle autistic students

This will be happening everywhere, soon. It is in our suburban Pittsburgh school and I know of it happening in others.
Public schools respond to rise in autismGoldsboro News Argus, NC
10/05/07 By Phyllis MooreThere has been a dramatic increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism over the last decade and with it, the need to provide specialized teachers, Wayne County Public Schools officials say. The once-rare disorder is becoming more prevalent across the country. Some experts believe heightened awareness is prompting parents to have their children tested. Others attribute the rise to the fact that the definition of the autism spectrum has expanded. Autism encompasses a wide range of behaviors and learning abilities -- from nonverbal and non-communicative students to children who are very talkative and adapt comfortably to a regular classroom. Since schools are required to provide an equal education to all students, and fewer parents are opting to place their children in …

Mercury free vaccines have arrived

Coming to a state near you? Let's hope so.

Santa Fe New Mexican
State's flu shots have mercury options
Thimerosal-free versions available to both children and adults
By Diana Del Mauro The New Mexican

Although a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests the flu shot's tiny dose of mercury is harmless to a child's neurologic development, parents who don't want to take the risk don't have to in New Mexico.

The Department of Health ordered about 170,000 doses of flu vaccine this year, of which 97,440 doses are formulated without thimerosal, the preservative that contains mercury. The mercury-free version is available to both adults and children.

All the flu vaccine ordered for children 6 to 35 months of age is mercury-free, said department spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer. In addition, the state purchased 17,450 mercury-free doses for children ages 3 to 18, and 20,000 mercury-free doses for adults 18 and older.

Separate from what the state offers…

Chili -- GFCF and bean free

My kids like this and I tend to make it more in the fall and winter. Well, here's the colder weather. And here's the recipe. Basic chili -- free of gluten, casein, soy and most major allergens. What's nice is that you can tailor this to the things you like to eat. Ours does not have beans because my youngest can't eat them. You could use rice, quinoa, potatoes, etc.


- 1 lb ground beef
- half an onion
- 15-16 oz can tomatoes
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup polenta (optional)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Easy directions:

- cook the burger and diced onion in a pan, then drain grease.
- put burger mix in a crok pot (or large cooking pot)
- add the remaining ingredients. Stir.
- cook crok pot on high for 1 hour, then at least 3 more hours.
- or cook in pot on low for 2 hours, stirring frequently.

An Autism guide -- finally

Yes, finally. I wish they had this when my kids were first diagnosed with PDD. The group TACA has published a guide about dealing with autism, called the Autism Journey Guide, which you can buy in book form, or DVD, or both. I have not read this yet, but TACA shows the table of contents and judging by the topics covered, this is thorough and covers all the important points. It appears to really help people who need help quickly, especially those who have just received an autism diagnosis and are seeking treatment options or want to start the gluten and casein free diet. This could end up being the "How-to" guide for autism.

Gluten-free brown rice bread

Bread is difficult to overcome on the gluten-free diet, much less gluten and casein-free. My youngest still cannot tolerate rice or eggs or yeast. But my oldest can. I like this bread recipe, which I found at the Pratt Family Allergy Free Cookbook online, and modified slightly. That's a helpful website if you're searching for ideas, simple conversions and other helpers. All the credit here goes to Barbara Pratt. It's a good bread. One note, although it's a "brown" rice bread, the bread is more of a white bread.

Brown Rice Bread
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons GF Flour Mixture (1 cup GF brown rice flour, 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup tapioca starch plus 2 tbsp tapioca starch)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons instant (quick) yeast
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup water (100˚-120˚F)

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the eggs, vinegar and oil. Mix. Slowly add the water to the mixtu…