Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Menu info from NFCA

Turkey Talk
By Christina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer
As the holiday season quickly approaches, many of us are beginning to plan our special dinners. The menu needs to be thought out carefully to make sure that everyone on the guest list has their dietary needs met. For those with celiac, that means no gluten. Many of us may use traditional recipes for the main course such as a turkey or ham. Preparing and cooking the actual turkey or ham may be no problem. However, the challenge lies in purchasing the right meats.
To add flavor, some manufacturers inject basting solutions into their turkeys during processing and these solutions may contain gluten. As for the ham, many are basted with a glaze that contains wheat starch or use a gluten containing flour "rub" to seal in moisture during packaging. Unfortunately, this means that manufacturers may take something that is naturally gluten-free and turn it into a product that is a source of gluten. Therefore, celiacs must proceed with caution.
The best advice I can offer is to ALWAYS read the ingredient label! Sometimes, the label may have "gluten-free" indicated somewhere on the package. However, it isn't always that plainly presented and you will have to do a little more investigation! For example, if one of the ingredients is "modified food starch" or "malt extract" find out what the specific source is—it may be a modified corn starch or a corn malt extract, which would make the product gluten-free, or it may be a modified wheat starch, which would make it not gluten-free. Furthermore, do not purchase turkeys that come pre-stuffed because the stuffing mixture most likely contains gluten. Also, be careful with the use of gravy packets that accompany turkeys because these may contain gluten as well. If you have looked over the ingredient label but are still unsure, I recommend calling the manufacturer before buying. They are the best source of information regarding the product and they can provide the specifics about the ingredients, how the product is made and if cross-contamination is possible in their facility.
I researched which manufacturers sell gluten-free turkey and ham products, and contacted several companies to get confirmation. The following are companies that carry fresh or frozen turkeys and hams that are gluten free.
Butterball: Butterball Fresh Turkey and Butterball Fresh Breast of Turkey are all-natural and contain no added ingredients. The gravy packets that come with some Butterball Turkey products contain gluten and are indicated on the gravy packet label.
Honeysuckle White: The All Natural Whole Turkey, Fresh Bone-In Turkey Breast, Frozen Whole Turkey, Frozen Bone-In Turkey Breast are gluten free.
Jennie-O: Jennie-O Prime Young Turkey—fresh or frozen (the gravy packet contains gluten), Jennie-O Turkey Oven Ready Turkey Breast (the gravy packet contains gluten).
Empire Kosher Turkey Products: Empire Whole Frozen Turkey, Empire Frozen Turkey Breast are gluten-free along with many other products. To see the complete list, visit:
Perdue: According to Perdue, "All fresh, minimally processed chicken and turkey whole bird and parts, (legs, breasts, wings and giblets) are gluten free" To see the complete list, visit:
Honey Baked Hams: According to their website, "they have reformulated their glaze to be considered free of allergens. This means their hams and turkey breasts do not contain gluten.
Dietz & Watson Meats: Nearly all of their meats are gluten-free. To see the list of their few products that are NOT gluten-free so you can avoid them, visit:

Friday, December 19, 2008

January happenings

January Support Group Meetings
Akron- Second Sunday of January. Akron Children's Hospital 2-4pm
Dr. Gary Minorik has practiced Chiropractic medicine in the West Akron area for over 15 years. He has treated over 100,000 patients and is a popular speaker to groups in the area and also outside of our local area.
His presentation will be about:

The January meeting is also our annual gluten free bread baking contest. Bake your best gluten free bread and bring 2 copies of your recipe.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Support Group Activities

Akron Support Group

December 14 Cookie exchange and holiday craft. We will meet in classroom D at Akron Children's Hospital at 2-4 on Sunday December 14. Please let Therese know if you are coming and how many so we have enough craft materials.

Gluten Free Cookie Exchange
If you would like to participate in the cookie exchange please bring 2 dozen ready to share packets of cookies. Put several cookies each in small baggies or cling wrap. For each 2 dozen you bring you should get 2 dozen back. Please also bring a copy of your recipe for everyone to check ingredients for other allergies.

If you email your recipe to Therese at in advance I will make copies for everyone. (Along with Risa's bread recipe)

The craft for the children will have a holiday theme. Please let me know the number of children attending so we have enough craft materials.

Greater Cleveland Celiac Association CSA Chapter #50 upcoming events:

Next Support Group Meeting

Our Annual Cookie Exchange Meeting
This Sunday

at Parma Community Hospital at 2 PM

Our cookie exchange meeting is one of the most anticipated and talked about meetings of the year-you will not want to miss it!

Sunday-December 7th2:00 PM
Parma Community Hospital - in the Nelson Auditorium 7007 Powers Blvd (off Ridge Rd ) Parma
If you need specific directions--Please go to

This is a wonderful opportunity to bake only one or 2 kinds of cookies, but to go home with a variety of different flavors and shapes.
Why bake dozens of different kinds of cookies for the upcoming Holidays when you could just bake one kind of cookies and enjoy 12 different kinds? How? See below...

How does the Cookie Exchange work you ask?
1. Bring a minimum of 2-4 ­ dozen gluten free cookies that you have baked or candies that you have created.
Bring as many cookies you choose (… the more you bring the more you take home!)

2. Place your cookies in Ziploc or Glad sandwich bags-2-6 cookies/candies per bag (depending on size)

3. Bring about 2-3 dozen copies of the recipe
**Please put your name on the recipe incase people have questions**

4. An extra container will be needed to place your new cookie collection in.
5. The number of people participating determines how many of each cookie you can take home with you.
6. Take cookies home to share, to eat, or to
freeze for later enjoyment!
Please RSVP
Especially if you plan to participate
E-Mail Cindy with any questions: and to RSVP

Don’t miss this chance to share delicious gluten-free treats with your celiac friends.

Please bring some extra cookies to have at the meeting for snack
Enjoy! Happy Holidays!!!

********************** If cookies are not your thing you can still attend the meeting. Please bring your favorite gluten free side dish, salad, or dessert to share along with 2 dozen copies of the recipe if possible. Please include any brand names of ingredients, if available, to help those with multiple sensitivities.

Topic: Getting through the Holidays staying gluten free
and not going crazy!
Bring any questions you may have regarding the gluten free diet.
We will also be discussing any gluten free products you have found to be especially good or bad since our last meeting.
E-Mail Cindy with any questions:
Come ready to share your thoughts, take notes, and enjoy gluten free food & friends!

Future events- mark your calendars if you have not already done so
December 7, 2008 -Sunday
Our annual Cookie Exchange meeting at Parma Community Hospital

January 11, 2009 -Sunday
Our first meeting of the New Year - Bread Baking Event – At the Solon Library

I look forward to seeing you
Sunday, December 7, at Parma Hospital

Everyone is welcome!
We encourage family members - especially of the newly diagnosed to attend.
Please RSVP as soon as possible by e-mail to:
-or- by phone to Cindy at 440-248-6671 Thanks. See you there. ~ Cindy
Please forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested in attending any of our events...
If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to join our email list contact Cindy at