GreenAcres Market truly is one of the only places around that advertises gluten free products, gluten free hot case and deli food and actually delivers. And how we know this is customers with Celiac Disease continually tell us, “This is the only place in town where we feel 100% safe” eating the food we prepare daily.
Celiac Disease for those who suffer with the autoimmune disorder is no laughing matter, and can actually be life threatening. For wheat (including Kamut and spelt), barley, rye, oats, and food additives in the form of stabilizing or thickening agents can be dangerous to people with Celiac, and plenty uncomfortable for those that don’t have the disease, but have Celiac symptoms.
Resolving to eat only a gluten free diet can quickly abate the unpleasant and painful symptoms, but being absolutely certain that food in any form is gluten free takes a PHd in food science. Gluten, it appears, is everywhere!
So what can the gluten intolerant eat? Well, he or she can eat maize (corn), potatoes, rice and tapioca derived from cassava. There’s arrowroot, millet, montina, lupine, quinoa, sorghum, sweet potato, taro and yam. Also, various types of beans, soybean and nut flavorings can be added to gluten free products to add protein and fiber. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten free.
But the gluten intolerant must spend his life reading labels, for there is gluten in almost all prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, cosmetics, lip balms…the list goes on and on. For the sufferer there’s no wiggle room for mistakes. The symptoms lie waiting…waiting for that one morsel of wheat.
Karen Masterson, a clinical nutritionist and immunologist, who has spoken at GreenAcres’ seminars, has made it her life’s work to explore gluten and the dangers that lurk in the wheat kernel. A formulator of AloeLife aloe vera juices and supplements, Karen has written one of the definitive books on the subject, and it behooves all of us to check out her tome, “Beyond Gluten Intolerance” to learn more about what Karen considers a life-threatening source called gluten.
Because GreenAcres has made it one of its goals to serve the people with Celiac and those with Celiac symptoms, customers have come to trust our gluten free food and products and thank us daily for sticking to our gluten free principles. Every day, we post our menu on the deli board and label our soups, entrees and salads gluten free and or dairy free. We prepare foods for vegans and those with many food allergies. There’s always something almost everyone can eat. We’re committed to the health of our customers, and to our own health. And that’s why we have a Gluten-Free Festival each October—to celebrate the wheat-free health in all of us.
What do you use to bake gluten free?
Our stores carry a variety of flours to make your gluten free baking an easier adventure:
- Pamela’s is a brown rice flour that is the most popular among our customers and is the most user friendly price wise. Pamela (she doesn’t publicize her last name) grew up in a health food family that established baking products for those with allergies that she considered somewhat tasteless. When she tried to suggest to her parents to add flavor, she was told “people with allergies think this is just fine.”
So after college, in 1988, Pamela went out on her own to form her own form of gluten free baking products. She has successfully married necessity with taste and continues to lead the industry with award-winning, delicious gluten free foods.
- Bob’s Red Mill is a flour company built on tapioca, garbanzo bean and potato flours—all gluten free. Bob Moore started his business 30 years ago, and then before he retired permanently gave the entire operation over to his employees in an Employee Share Ownership Program. (Kind of shows the measure of the man, doesn’t it?!)
Bob started out in Redding, CA, but retired (for the first time) after several years and moved to Oregon. There, on a walk one day, he serendipitously spied an old mill for sale and fell in love. He’s been stone-grind milling the old fashioned way ever since, and now his employees follow in his footsteps.
- Cup4Cup is a gluten-free flour that has taken the guess work out of measuring. Its website tells this story: “In 2010, at the famous The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville when chef Lena Kwak developed a way to provide the restaurant’s gluten-free guests with a Cornet of Salmon Tartare that tasted just like the original recipe. This development was revolutionary for the restaurant as gluten-free guests could now have the same dining experience as the other guests.
“The innovation originally led to the idea for a ready-to-go packaged potato crisp snack. However, the chefs understood that flour, a basic household necessity, would have a greater impact and opportunities for more applications for those living a gluten-free lifestyle. The outcome was Cup4Cup—the first 1:1 gluten-free flour that eliminated complicated conversions and delivered on taste, texture and performance. Just as its name suggests, Cup4Cup replaces traditional all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in any recipe, cup-for-cup and gram-for-gram, but you’d never know the difference.”
A GreenAcres Market team member breaks down the flour companies like this:
- Brown rice flour is heavier and crumbly in texture
- Namaste is sweet brown rice flour and better tasting (in his opinion)
- Tapioca, garbanzo bean and potato flours are lighter and finer in texture
- Manioc flour is the lightest and finest of all
When converting recipes to gluten free, you may have to adjust some flours for moisture using extra egg white, extra fat and in some cases sugars to replicate the elasticity that gluten affords but is no longer in gluten free flours. But not Cup4Cup which converts perfectly and has made quite a difference in the lives of our gluten-free customers.