Archive for March, 2011

WIN-It-Wednesday: Yumpeez Snacks. Plus a Bonus: Awesome Pulse Flours for Cooking & Baking!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Back by popular demand are Yumpeez! Made from certified-organic yellow split peas and cleverly disguised as crunchy flavorful snacks.

And as a BONUS, we have added two packages of Pulse Flours… a Chickpea Flour and Whole Yellow Bean Flour (35-ounces each package), so you are able to bake-up some of the recipes featured in this week’s Ask Shelley Case column on BeFreeForMe, as well as in the new booklet about Pulses which was put out by Pulse Canada.

If you have never tried Yumpeez before, you MUST give them a try! These crunchy gluten-free, nut-free, lactose-free and soy-free snacks have an astonishing yummy flavor, nutritional label and health benefits. High in fiber, protein and iron, they are also a fantastic source of calcium.  Better yet they are trans-fat free, low in fat, and certified vegan.

I also can count on Yumpeez to “hold me over until dinner time” since they are low on the glycemic index, which means they are a complex carbohydrate that also provides energy that sustains. Yumpeez are a new and exciting snack… so if your snack-times are turning into nap-times due to the same old boring gluten and allergen-free snacks that you eat day-in and day-out you need to try Yumpeez.

My favorite flavor is the Dill, but the Barbeque flavor is a winner too. New to the Yumpeez line-up is the new Naked variety (the only ingredient: organic peas) that comes in a new larger shaker container. At only 120 calories per pack, I feel good about reaching for Yumpeez for snacking, especially when Spring is approaching and a low-cal and healthy snack is welcomed. I also like to toss a handful over my lunchtime salad, to give myself a crunchy salad topping, with an added protein energy boost.

Now I know why Yumpeez tagline is “Yumpeez Takes You Into Overtime!”.

All these healthy and flavorful reasons is why I am so glad that Yumpeez (and the bonus flours!) are this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor on BeFreeForMe.com. Yumpeez will provide six (Yes….6!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members a combo-pack of all three of the Yumpeez flavors, plus the bonus Chickpea and Whole Yellow Pea Flours!

How can you WIN?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us how you take yourself into overtime during the hectic work week (Me? I have a cup of green tea and a healthy snack in the afternoons). Three (3) winners will be randomly chosen from entries received before Tuesday, March 15 at 12:00 midnight EST; and three (3) more winners will be randomly chosen from entries received between Wednesday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 12:00 midnight EST. All winners must be a member of BeFreeForMe.com.

Good Luck, slow down to enjoy the good things in life and, as always…
Be Free!

Ask Shelley Case: Pulses and the Gluten-Free Diet

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Question:
I’ve been told to incorporate more pulses into my diet for added fiber and nutrients.  What are pulses? Do you have any tips and recipes for using them in the gluten-free diet?

Answer:
Pulses (aka legumes) include all types of dried peas & beans, lentils and chickpeas.  Frequently overlooked, pulses are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods. They are high in fiber, protein, B vitamins (especially folate), and a variety of minerals-plus they are low in fat and sodium.

Another benefit of pulses- they are readily available and low cost- a real bonus for those on a gluten-free diet. And the ways to use pulses are endless. They can be included in appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, baked products and, believe it or not, even desserts!

Incorporating pulses in your gluten-free diet is easy. Here are a few suggestions…

-    Do the Salsa! Toss in ½ cup of black beans into gluten-free salsa. Add a splash of fresh chopped cilantro & a squeeze of lime juice for a quick and easy dip for fresh veggies or corn chips.

-    Humor them with Hummus! Hummus and fresh cut veggies sticks are a great snack or lunch option. The extra fiber and protein will boost your energy in the day.

-    Soup & Salad Time: Throw a handful of chickpeas or beans into your favorite family soup recipe or toss into a salad for a different twist.

-    Creative Sandwich: Mix ½ to 1 cup of cooked and mashed white beans into chicken, egg or tuna salad – The creaminess is surprising and a low fat alternative to mayonnaise!

-    Get Saucy: Add 1 cup of cooked whole or pureed chickpeas or lentils to your spaghetti sauce or chili, and reduce the amount of hamburger you use. Results- lower fat and added fiber!

In addition to adding cooked beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas into the diet, pulse flours such as yellow pea, chickpea, white bean or black bean flours can be used in a wide variety of gluten-free baked recipes.  They are healthy options for baking as many gluten-free flours and starches including white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch and corn starch are low in fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins and other nutrients. And gluten-free baked goods made with these refined grains and starches are not enriched with vitamins and minerals like most of the gluten-containing products. That’s why when I bake, I use pulse flours like Best Cooking Pulses yellow pea flour. Some delicious dessert recipes using this pea flour include Best Chocolate Brownies, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Apple Crisp. Note: To purchase this flour, check out this link on Amazon.com – Best Whole Yellow Pea Flour, 35-Ounces Pouches (Pack of 2)

I am also excited to share with you a wonderful new resource- hot off the press- called Pulses and the Gluten-Free Diet that culinary expert Carol Fenster and I developed for Pulse Canada. This FREE downloadable resource contains nutrition information; buying, storing and cooking pulses; creative ideas for using pulses including 26 delicious recipes using dried and canned pulses, as well as pulse flours.  Enjoy!

Ask Shelley Case is a feature of BeFreeForMe.com. It is published the second Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Visit Shelley and get more gluten-free tips & info at: www.glutenfreediet.ca

Gluten-Free & Allergen-Free: IN the NEWS!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Is Gluten-Free the new SEXY? Can you build strong bones while eating dairy-free? Is Tenley gluten-free?

Wheww… who turned up the heat in here? The weather may have been chilly and snowy, but the past several weeks have proven to be hot and steamy ones when it comes to gluten and allergen free being in the news!

Here are a few of my favorite finds – and, as always, please pass along any news stories you find that are fit for print!

Gluten-Free is the new S-E-X-Y? Yes, folks you heard me right… that is the name of this first editorial piece that was found on CNN’s eatocracy.com. The author, who has celiac disease, discusses the positive side of gluten-free going main stream.  Written in a cute Sex-In-The-City-Carrie-Bradshaw type of way, the author proves her point on how, “the super-trendiness” of this “diet” has worked in her favor.

Five Dairy-Free Foods That Build Strong Bones: Bone boosting nutrients just ain’t in milk anymore! Read this article and find out how to include bone-healthy foods into your diet, san the dairy!

Another Celeb Gluten-Free? It looks as if Tenley Molzahn, from The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, is toting the gluten-free diet. According to this article, Molzahn, a former dancer who maintains a healthy and active life, turned to eating a gluten-free diet after years of dealing with health issues. The article continues that Molzahn will be at Kinnikinnick Foods booth at the Expo West trade show next week “fulfilling her passion to create awareness for the gluten-free lifestyle and sharing gluten-free eating tips and advice”. Hmmm… and all this time I thought her passion was to get the final rose and find a man! Cheers to Kinnikinnick – here’s to a successful show!

Gluten-Free Momentum Accelerating: Found on MediaPost.com, this report explains the reason why the boom in gluten-free food products is even higher than predicted by industry professionals. The highlight of this article? One brand marketer is quoted as stating gluten-free products are becoming “just a regular grocery item.”

NY Councilman Calls On FDA To Force “Gluten-Free” Labeling: How a member of the New York City Council is trying to take matters into his own hands… by asking the FDA to make “gluten-free” labeling on foods mandatory. Love the photograph included with this article (Big Gluten Balls? Yup… I guess that would be another name for a dinner roll!)

Friday Favorite: Maria & Ricardo’s Gluten-Free Tortillas

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

For the second week in a row we will stay on the theme of good gluten-free Mexican style foods that can be enjoyed at home, so with that in mind this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe goes to Maria & Ricardo’s Gluten-Free Tortillas.

If you’re craving to make an authentic street vendor style Burrito that is bursting at the seams with grilled chicken, beef, guacamole, beans, rice and chipotle seasoning this gluten-free tortilla is for you!

Being from New England, I grew up on fish & chips from the corner restaurant for a quick and easy meal. I never had a burrito until I visited my older sister in San Francisco while she was attending college.  And this experience was one that I will never forget.

Burritos in San Francisco have a cult-like following. On every street corner in the Mission District, are tiny, family-owned burrito shops, called Taquerias, that make the best burritos in the world. Each burrito made is packed with love and good, fresh food.

These burritos are one of the things I miss the most since going gluten-free.  One of my favorite food-bloggers, Dabney Gough, and also one of my sister’s burrito loving buds from San Francisco, describes the love of burritos the way only a San Franciscan could in this fantastic blog post.

I’ve learned since going gluten-free that you have to take eating Burritos, literally, into your own hands. And this, my fellow burrito loving amigos, is where Maria & Ricardo’s gluten-free tortillas come into play!

The Maria & Ricardo gluten-free tortillas are soft, pliable and the perfect tortilla for making gluten-free burritos, soft tacos, or quesadillas at home. Made with sorghum, potato and tapioca flours, these gluten-free rounds-of-joy are great for stuffing, wrapping and rolling.

Currently available in the frozen department of only a handful of Whole Foods and some smaller supermarkets, the quest for these tortillas are worth the while. I have gone as far to ask my local grocers to carry them – and suggest you do the same.

Good ole’ San Franciscan Taqueria-style burritos made in my own kitchen in the heart of New England is the reason this week’s Friday Favorite honors goes to Maria & Ricardo Gluten-Free Tortillas.

Bueno!


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