Wednesday

Crispy Minis Now Certified Gluten Free



Quaker Oats sent me a lovely "mini moment" care pack to announce that Crispy Minis are now certified gluten free. This means that they have met the strict criteria set forth by the  Gluten-Free Certification Program, which is endorsed by the Canadian Celiac Association. This is great news for the 30 percent of Canadians living with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity!



I appreciate how clear and noticeable the gluten-free label is on the front of the package. Anyone with special dietary needs knows how time-consuming label checking can be. This seal of approval ensures safety while making shopping easier.




“The demand for safe and reliable gluten free snacks is growing,” says Paul Valder, President of the Allergen Control Group, owners of the GFCP. “By displaying the GFCP endorsed trademark, Crispy Minis rice chips provides consumers with a trusted and easily identifiable source of safe, gluten free products.”





Of the 10 gluten-free flavors to choose from, I sampled BBQ, Cheddar, and Ketchup. I'm not much of a BBQ snack fan, but I did really enjoy the Ketchup and Cheddar minis. Two classic not-to-be-missed flavors if you ask me.



My 1st grader seems to be a huge fan of the Cheddar flavour. These snacks are also perfect for the lunch box as they are packed full of flavour, without the junkiness. 

Overall, I am a fan of the product. It's great for light snacking and perfect for on-the-go munchies.




Which Crispy Minis flavour will you take a mini moment with?



Crispy Minis rice chips are available at grocery retailers across Canada in 10 Gluten Free flavours:


– Quaker Crispy Minis Cheddar rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis BBQ rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Ketchup rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Butter Popcorn rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Dill Pickle rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Salt & Vinegar rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sea Salt & Lime rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sweet Chili rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Caramel Kettle Corn rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sour Cream & Onion rice chips



Saturday

Minute Rice Event and Giveaway!




Minute Rice held an event at the George Brown College Chef School recently. I was able to attend via webcam (how cool is that?) as I could not make it down to the school that evening. Minute Rice sent me a couple of boxes of their 100% Natural Instant Rice to cook with at home. Rice is a staple in my pantry and I love it, so I have been happily exploring new recipes.


The event was hosted by Chef John Higgins. You may recognize that name! Not only is Chef Higgins a Judge on Chopped Canada, he has also cooked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, heads of state in Washington and various celebrities. He's a pretty big deal!


According to  Norma D’Onofrio, Senior Brand Manager, Minute Rice, instant rice is as nutritious as long cook rice. Instant rice is long grain rice that is simply pre-cooked, and then dried, in order to significantly cut down on the cooking time required by consumers. Did you know that both varieties of Minute Rice are GMO-free?! 

“Veggie Rice Lasagna Loaf" was the first recipe demonstrated by Chef Higgins. It's very easy to make and only takes 10 minutes to prepare for the oven. The prep for this dish can be done the day before, leaving you with just the rice to cook the day of. To assemble the dish, you can use either a terrine mold or a loaf pan. I love recipes where you can prep in advance and enjoy a quick meal when needed, minus the hassle of course.



This was followed by "Pear and Cranberry Rice Pudding with Chocolate Crunchies". Watching this recipe being prepared really captivated me. Who knew that you could be so creative with rice?! Chef Higgins mentioned that some people enjoy their Rice Pudding wet, while others prefer it dry. It's really up to you.


Chef Higgins said that food is meant to be enjoyed by family and friends. I couldn't agree more! So hurry and grab yourself a $1.00 off coupon for Minute Rice, while supplies last.

Attending the event via webcam allowed me to really focus on what Chef Higgins was doing, as well as take some helpful notes. Check out some helpful tips for cooking rice below.



Top 10 Rice Cooking Tips from Chef John Higgins, Director, George Brown Chef School
Boil in broth: When boiling rice, substitute water for broth to add flavour to the rice itself and your dish. Chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable stock are excellent choices. Low sodium broths add a punch of flavour without the added salt.
Try coconut: Cook rice in coconut milk for a mildly sweet flavoured rice which pairs well with curry dishes and other spicy recipes. Coconut flavoured rice with fresh slices of mango or your kids’ favourite fruit can make a fun, healthy dessert option.
Think flavour: Add spices to the rice’s cooking liquid for an aromatic and flavourful base to your dish. Star Anise, cilantro and turmeric are good choices, with bold, robust flavours.
Season early on: Don’t leave your seasoning until the end. Introduce the flavours of your dish early on. For maximum flavour, add the herbs or spices your recipe calls for into the rice’s cooking water.
Add veggies: Enhance your rice dish by adding frozen vegetables. Rather than cooking the vegetables separately, though, condense your cooking time by adding them to boiling water before you begin cooking the rice. Using pre-cut, frozen vegetables is more convenient than cutting fresh vegetables (while still being nutritious), especially when you are pressed for time.
Sweeten with fruit: Add dried fruit – such as craisins, raisins, dried blueberries and currents – to your cooking water to draw out the sweet fruit flavours which will infuse your rice with a savoury taste the whole family will enjoy.
Try rice for breakfast: Instant rice in particular is quick and easy, making it a convenient and nutritious family option. Add almond or soy milk, or your kids’ favourite flavoured milk, as well as dried fruits or nuts for a complete, oatmeal-like breakfast dish which can be served hot or cold. Prepare the rice the night before to save time in the morning.
Steep your rice: Infuse the rice with your favourite flavour of tea for a fragrant, subtle gourmet taste. Steep a pot of tea and use the liquid to cook your rice instead of using plain water. For those less adventurous, start with a more simple flavour such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Chamomile tea. For an economical option, use the tea bag left over from your morning cup of tea.
Add zing with zest: For a zesty citrus spin on your rice dish, grate lemon, lime or orange zest into the rice’s cooking water as it’s boiling. Be sure to thoroughly wash your fruit with warm, soapy water before grating the zest into the water. For a more gourmet taste sensation, try a combination of citrus fruits in one rice dish.
Cut cooking time: Risotto is a wonderful meal or side dish option enjoyed by all ages, but it takes time to make.  Using instant rice in a risotto dish can cut in half the time it takes to make traditional risotto.
Visit here to discover amazing recipes on the Minute Rice website.



Enter below for an opportunity to win a case of 12 boxes of Minute Rice® 100% Natural Instant Rice ($60 value)











Wednesday

A Little Awareness Goes A Long Way (pass it on)



WHAT is Celiac Disease?

  • Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder where the villi of the small intestine become damaged by consuming gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye)
  • When a Celiac consumes gluten, the body reacts by attacking itself because it views gluten as the enemy
  • Untreated, Celiac can cause anemia, malnutrition and increase the risk for other autoimmune diseases as well as some Cancers
  • Some people with Celiac also suffer from Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) which is a condition where the skin breaks out in painful rashes and blisters
  • Celiac is genetic, meaning it can be passed down in families
  • There is no known trigger, but those with the Celiac gene can develop the disease at any point in their life
  • Once the disease manifests, there is no "off" button and a strict gluten free diet is important


WHO should be tested

  • 1st-degree relatives of someone with Celiac such as a sibling, child or parent
  • Those with unexplained infertility
  • People with Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, Osteoporosis or Type 1 Diabetes
  • If you have unexplained and chronic GI issues or have iron, B12 or folate deficiencies

WHY accurate testing is important

  • With an accurate Celiac diagnosis, you are able to start a gluten free diet without doubt and you will have a better chance adhering to it
  • If you have a negative blood test and symptoms are still present, further testing needs to be explored as an IgA deficiency can cause a false negative blood test
  • Ruling out Celiac is just as important as confirming it. It enables you and your physician to further explore your symptoms and hopefully pinpoint the cause


HOW to be tested properly

  • Remain on a normal gluten-containing diet (cutting back gluten will sku test results as well)
  • Have your physician run a blood test to measure levels of certain antibodies - anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) anti-endomysium (EMA) and the anti-deamidated gliadin peptides (DGP)
  • While a positive antibody test is able to suspect Celiac Disease, it is not conclusive (false positives can happen for various reasons) and further testing needs to be explored. This is where a biopsy comes into play as it allows Doctor's to check for damage to the lining of the small intestine
  • Feeling better when gluten is avoided does not necessarily mean you have Celiac Disease. Irritable Bowels Syndrome (IBS), Celiac, Chronic Fatigue and various other autoimmune disorders are easily confused for one another
  • If you are already adhering to a gluten free diet, you will need to undergo a gluten challenge to ensure accurate test results. This means you will need to consume 10 grams of gluten (4-5 slices of wheat bread) daily for up to 8 weeks. If this is not an option for you, there is genetic testing available. It won't diagnose you as Celiac, but it can rule it out if you do not carry the gene.





On Instagram

© Gluten Free Doll. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.