Jump to content

Menu

People eating gluten-free...question


msjones
 Share

Recommended Posts

If you are on a gluten-free diet, what do you eat for breakfast? What baked goods do you eat? Do you do any gluten-free baking in your home?

 

I help cook and serve about 900 meals (breakfast and lunch) on Sundays at our church. The meals are a big part of our church fellowship and we prepare very good food. Lately, there are quite a few requests for gluten-free baked goods.

 

We have 2 recipes that produce good-ish results, but they are both quite time-consuming and fussy and therefore we only prepare them occasionally. We don't have the staff to bake special items each week. Also, the gluten-free flour is not cheap.

 

I hate to say it, but many of the gluten-free requests are, hmm...abrupt... and verging on rude . We'd like to have something quick and appealing available for these folks, but money and time are tight.

 

Would oatmeal with a variety of toppings appeal? We serve fresh fruit weekly and sometimes a meat item, but our hot and homemade baked goods are the main event.

 

Other ideas?

 

(btw, the meals are offered for a donation...most folks give a dollar or two per person)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't do any substitutes so baking has almost gone out the door here. Sorry I can't be of any help with that.

 

With the oatmeal, you need to be careful because some of it is made on machines that process gluten. I think your idea though would be a great option.

 

How about egg-bakes? You can be pretty creative here. Add sausage, bacon, veggies, cheese.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oatmeal can be gluten free but it has to have been kept free of gluten contamination between harvest and sale. There are gluten free oatmeals available but they are probably not as cheap as regular oatmeal. I will be lurking on this thread for ideas for dd8. Quinoa and millet might be suitable.

 

With regard to the abrupt requests, I am sorry that they are not nicer about but it can be very stressful to be on a restrictive diet. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our house is completely gluten-free and we eat lots of great breakfasts: muffins, banana or zucchini bread, pancakes, waffles, toast with jam, vegan french toast, scones -- all home-made. However, I would say that pretty much all our baking recipes are somewhat fussy and time-consuming and would be difficult to scale to a large batch.

 

I think your best bet is to announce at church that you are looking for volunteers familiar with gluten-free cooking/baking to help with prep. They may have recipes they regularly use that they could help prepare. Many hands make for lighter work, plus they should be able to tell you what types of things your congregation would enjoy as alternatives to the current meal. Gluten-free baked goods freeze well too, so things could be made ahead and thawed/heated just before serving.

 

I would not serve oatmeal and consider it a gluten-free option as any oatmeal that is not GF certified is likely contaminated. We eat hot millet for breakfast as a replacement and it is yummy with fresh fruit and a drizzle of syrup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oatmeal contains the highest level of gluten, and the GF oats are really processed- my GF kids and I react to the GF oats as well. Egg casseroles are an easy buffet breakfast. As for breads, I bake using almond flour and it can be pricey, so for that many people I would recommend not even offering a GF bread option, but instead just make sure there are several other sides to choose from (fruit salad, Caesar salad, apple slices, etc).

 

When our GF family attends events like that we just skip the bread products and go for the eggs/veggies/fruits :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an angel food cake that only require potato starch that I have posted before that is really good. I am pretty sure I have it on the GF social group, but I have put it in regular posts as well. I haven't found the social groups since the forum change or I would post it. Let me look around and see if I can find it again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found it.

 

From the box of Swan's potato starch...this is great.

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups of sifted sugar

1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rinds

3 tbs lemon juice

1 1/4 cups Swan Potato Starch Flour

1/4 cup boiling water

 

 

Instructions:

 

1. Separate eggs, place egg yolks in mixer, (biggest bowl) beat until light, beat in sugar gradually.

 

2. Add the lemon rind and lemon juice to boiling water, add to mixture and mix until thoroughly blended.

 

3. Fold in Swan Potato Starch Flour.

 

4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed, fold gently into mixture.

 

5. Place in ungreased 10in bunt pan, bake at 300 degrees for 30 mins, increase heat to 350 degrees and bake 35-40 mins longer.

 

6. Invert pan and allow to cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The meals are a big part of our church fellowship and we prepare very good food. Lately, there are quite a few requests for gluten-free baked goods.

 

I hate to say it, but many of the gluten-free requests are, hmm...abrupt... and verging on rude . We'd like to have something quick and appealing available for these folks, but money and time are tight.

 

 

 

My family doesn't participate in fellowship activities at church because they usually involve food. There are few that don't, but since we can't participate in food activities our ability to participate at all is limited, thus we are outsiders. Is this how you want fellow parishioners to feel?

 

You don't want to accommodate because of cost? Guess what weekly grocery shopping is like for your fellow parishioners.

 

Unless you want to encourage people to leave, because they don't feel welcomed in an inclusive environment, please rethink your attitude and response.

 

As one pp suggested, put out a call for cooks who can do special needs diets. Can you have some people bring baked goods from home? People could take turns bringing in rolls or muffins. Make sure you prepare foods that are naturally gf in an area where they won't have cross contamination. uncooked items are easy. Things prepared on a grill or under a broiler can be gf.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a Winco nearby they carry Bobs Red Mill gluten free oats in the bulk bins with the levers for about $2lb which is dirt cheap for GF oatmeal. Just make sure not to mix it up with the regular oats. I also agree with looking for someone GF to prepare it or you risk making people really sick when the cook doesn't realize you can't share utensils between GF and non GF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, cornbread made with only cornmeal, rice cakes with peanut butter or Nutella, a mix made with g/f cereals like Rice Chex. I'm g/f and usually I eat supper leftovers for breakfast. I wouldn't bother with g/f baked goods. They are a hassle to make and expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with much of the info in the previous posts so I won't restate anything. I would like to say that if you do decide to offer a GF alternative and prepare it on site, please be mindful of cross contamination. This means making sure the pans and all utensils have been thoroughly washed and dried. It is preferable to have a set of GF kitchenware but that might be cost prohibitive for your group.

 

I am sure you are aware of some of the hazards associated with cross contamination but many others are not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have celiac and I would never put in a request for gf foods. I am the only one to prepare my food and I do it in my kitchen. I've gotten sick too many times from cross contamination.

 

So I'm on the other side. If someone tries to prepare something for me, I decline. People think I'm rude but my health is more important than someone's feelings.

 

Are the requests coming from people who have to be really careful about contamination? I just can't imagine they do. I live in fear of eating anything not made by myself in my own home.

 

Don't bake. Just provide fruit, eggs, veggies, buckwheat, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are mainly GF at home, though myself and DD1 do not need to eat that way. I agree with many others that an egg casserole of sorts is a good way to make a hearty GF option. I would openly say that the kitchen is not a dedicated GF kitchen, and I would imagine most of the GF people would understand. Some people are not sensitive enough to notice if there is cross contamination, so you'd be making some steps forward while there is a learning curve. Maybe having a frank discussion that GF foods are much more expensive, so you will do your best, but the budget is limited. At events like what you've described, GF people sometimes will bring stuff in to share, potluck style. That could be a suggestion also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My family doesn't participate in fellowship activities at church because they usually involve food. There are few that don't, but since we can't participate in food activities our ability to participate at all is limited, thus we are outsiders. Is this how you want fellow parishioners to feel?

You don't want to accommodate because of cost? Guess what weekly grocery shopping is like for your fellow parishioners.

Unless you want to encourage people to leave, because they don't feel welcomed in an inclusive environment, please rethink your attitude and response.

 

 

 

 

Umm, have YOU considered making the gluten-free meals for your church? Or whatever your particular aversion is? I would never feel like an outsider or not welcome someplace because of mainstream items that I can't eat. Why in the world should everyone else cater to, and pay extra for, my issues?

 

My family avoids carbs (not just gluten), and we attend our fellowship coffee/food hour every Sunday. There is usually some fruit or cheese along with all the yummy baked goods. The fellowship time isn't about feeding us; it's about fellowship. We eat lunch when we get home. Once a month I bring a platter to share of things we can eat, like eggs/cheese/meats/veggies/fruit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My family doesn't participate in fellowship activities at church because they usually involve food. There are few that don't, but since we can't participate in food activities our ability to participate at all is limited, thus we are outsiders. Is this how you want fellow parishioners to feel?

 

You don't want to accommodate because of cost? Guess what weekly grocery shopping is like for your fellow parishioners.

 

Unless you want to encourage people to leave, because they don't feel welcomed in an inclusive environment, please rethink your attitude and response.

 

 

 

My goodness, Betty. The flames are rolling off my computer screen! My response to these folks is nothing but kind. And we do always offer fruit (at breakfast and lunch), coffee, tea, and a salad (at lunch). What did I say that led you to believe I'd like to "exclude" gluten-free folks? Yikes.

 

No one is deliberately excluded. The reason I posted here is because I hoped to find some new ideas to accommodate their needs. There has been a huge increase in gluten-free requests the last month or so and I'm trying to respond to this need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, cornbread made with only cornmeal, rice cakes with peanut butter or Nutella, a mix made with g/f cereals like Rice Chex. I'm g/f and usually I eat supper leftovers for breakfast. I wouldn't bother with g/f baked goods. They are a hassle to make and expensive.

 

 

This is a great list of ideas. We do serve hash browns, eggs, yogurt, and sausage fairly often. The problem seems to be that people see and smell the baked item and want a gluten-free version. We have tried quite a few and they just aren't good. Combine their poor taste with the cost and time involved... it's just not worth it.

 

We've got a great gf pizza crust, passable cinnamon rolls, and really good (but $$$ and hard to work with) pancakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with much of the info in the previous posts so I won't restate anything. I would like to say that if you do decide to offer a GF alternative and prepare it on site, please be mindful of cross contamination. This means making sure the pans and all utensils have been thoroughly washed and dried. It is preferable to have a set of GF kitchenware but that might be cost prohibitive for your group.

 

I am sure you are aware of some of the hazards associated with cross contamination but many others are not.

 

 

Yup, we're careful about cross-contamination. We don't have separate kitchenware but serve carefully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Y'know, if I had issues like "cross contamination" I just wouldn't expect to be able to eat anything I myself have not prepared. I'm not talking through my hat, either. I've *never* eaten cookies or cakes prepared by anyone but myself because I have more issues than just "gluten allergy." Eg., the substitutes for flour are often nut flours. Gluten makes me sick; nuts kill me. The other common binder substitute is egg; eggs are not much better than nuts.

 

Now, I don't even know how to make breads and so on that I can eat safely, so why would I expect that at a brunch? I bring my own and have a great time talking to the people I love at church. Another guy in our parish can't eat onions or garlic. Excuse me? I don't even know how to make a good soup without onions and garlic--but his wife or he always bring something HE can eat. Another gal can't eat soy. She brings her own margarine as most of the ones we use have soy. And we all have a good time together.

 

The church fellowship is not about the food. It's about the fellowship. Food is an assist, but it's not the reason. In the Orthodox Church we fast before receiving communion, so people are really HUNGRY (they haven't eaten from dinner Saturday to noon on Sunday) but even so, simple fare is enough for us to be able to stay and talk and enjoy one another's company.

 

To the OP: I think it is really sweet that you want to accommodate. And I know what a hard job it is to do so. I've been in charge of coffee hour. No one has ever demanded accommodation, but as it has been offered in love, when it can be, there has been love built among us. Adding the rice and the un-dressed green (vegetables only) salad offerings made it so those with gluten, dairy, egg, nut, onion, garlic and soy allergies, and those who are vegans or vegetarians can join in the meal and do not have to stay hungry or go away to be fed. And for that addition, I have been grateful. :0)

 

 

Thank you for this. We really are trying to welcome and accommodate people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a great list of ideas. We do serve hash browns, eggs, yogurt, and sausage fairly often. The problem seems to be that people see and smell the baked item and want a gluten-free version. We have tried quite a few and they just aren't good. Combine their poor taste with the cost and time involved... it's just not worth it.

 

We've got a great gf pizza crust, passable cinnamon rolls, and really good (but $$$ and hard to work with) pancakes.

 

G/f people are seeing and smelling baked goods and wanting specifically g/f baked goods to the point of rudely asking for them, not just asking for g/f options? Ick. I've been g/f for almost 20 years because I have to be or I have serious consequences. I'd never dream of demanding baked goods at a church dinner if other g/f options are available. I'd just eat what I could from what was served. If it really bothered me to see other people eating cinnamon rolls, then I'd figure out how to make some g/f ones at home and bring them for myself. Sounds to me like you are being accommodating already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are on a gluten-free diet, what do you eat for breakfast? Eggs, sausage, bacon, gluten free cereal, homemade gluten free waffles/pancakes, gluten free steel cut oats with maple syrup and apples, fruit, dairy free yogurt smoothies, muffins.

 

What baked goods do you eat? Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, pumpkin pie, apple pie,etc.

 

Do you do any gluten-free baking in your home?Tons!

 

I help cook and serve about 900 meals (breakfast and lunch) on Sundays at our church. The meals are a big part of our church fellowship and we prepare very good food. Lately, there are quite a few requests for gluten-free baked goods.

 

We have 2 recipes that produce good-ish results, but they are both quite time-consuming and fussy and therefore we only prepare them occasionally. We don't have the staff to bake special items each week. Also, the gluten-free flour is not cheap. (All purpose flour: 1 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch, 1/2 cup potato starch & 1 tsp xantham gum (spellings wrong) Bob Redmill is pretty cheap in bulk online or at walmart.

 

I hate to say it, but many of the gluten-free requests are, hmm...abrupt... and verging on rude . We'd like to have something quick and appealing available for these folks, but money and time are tight.

 

Would oatmeal with a variety of toppings appeal? We serve fresh fruit weekly and sometimes a meat item, but our hot and homemade baked goods are the main event.Oat meal HAS to be labeled gluten free.

 

Other ideas? A large batch of muffins /waffles that you can freeze until that day?

 

(btw, the meals are offered for a donation...most folks give a dollar or two per person)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

G/f people are seeing and smelling baked goods and wanting specifically g/f baked goods to the point of rudely asking for them, not just asking for g/f options? Ick. I've been g/f for almost 20 years because I have to be or I have serious consequences. I'd never dream of demanding baked goods at a church dinner if other g/f options are available. I'd just eat what I could from what was served. If it really bothered me to see other people eating cinnamon rolls, then I'd figure out how to make some g/f ones at home and bring them for myself. Sounds to me like you are being accommodating already.

 

Well, thank you! We are trying to accommodate. The number of requests has really increased the last few weeks. Not sure why. I wouldn't say people "demand," but several regularly make very aggravated remarks about the lack of gf baked goods. I think they may believe that since we can do it with some recipes (like the cinnamon rolls) we'll be doing it with all of them? I'm not sure.

 

I really hope we can come up with a tasty, easy-to-make hot baked item to offer weekly. That's why I posted tonight! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob's Red Mill cornbread mix Is not bad. It's a bit dry for my taste but a fair sub for gluten cornbread. You can get gf donuts which are kept frozen and bring them out for the gf folks. They are pretty tasty. I am completely blanking on the brand, but the cinnamon sugar ones are really good. Someone will come along and recall the brand...The most important thing for me in helping me feel comfortable with my gf kids eating at a potluck type situation is cross contamination. We just don't do church potlucks much because of it. I think it is very kind of you to make the effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm, have YOU considered making the gluten-free meals for your church? Or whatever your particular aversion is? I would never feel like an outsider or not welcome someplace because of mainstream items that I can't eat. Why in the world should everyone else cater to, and pay extra for, my issues?

My family avoids carbs (not just gluten), and we attend our fellowship coffee/food hour every Sunday. There is usually some fruit or cheese along with all the yummy baked goods. The fellowship time isn't about feeding us; it's about fellowship. We eat lunch when we get home. Once a month I bring a platter to share of things we can eat, like eggs/cheese/meats/veggies/fruit.

 

I am on the meal delivery list (helping hands). I do any special needs meal requested because I know how hard it is and I know what to do.

 

My dd cannot even take communion at our church. I've even purchased wafers for the church. I know other churches in our denomination do accommodate gf communion. It is communion every one should be able to participate. Every activity for kids through teens including Sunday school has food. Bringing food every time is wearing. It emphasizs being different and not part of. A couple of years ago I would have gladly rotated with others and helped ith prep. I've given up asking and now I've given up going. I will still make meals if called as I have always done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My goodness, Betty. The flames are rolling off my computer screen! My response to these folks is nothing but kind. And we do always offer fruit (at breakfast and lunch), coffee, tea, and a salad (at lunch). What did I say that led you to believe I'd like to "exclude" gluten-free folks? Yikes.

 

No one is deliberately excluded. The reason I posted here is because I hoped to find some new ideas to accommodate their needs. There has been a huge increase in gluten-free requests the last month or so and I'm trying to respond to this need.

 

I'm sorry you called people in your congregation who cannot participate in a church wide activity that occurs weekly rude. Imagine being excluded weekly from an activity that is part of a group that is a large part of your life.

 

Are they rude. Are you cooking so much that you are tired and any request feels rude. I think you need to recruit volunteers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

refried beans, black bean and rice can both be prepared gf easily and guarding for cross contamination on these dishes should not be hard and they are cheap. They can be served with a bag of tortillas (corn, salt, oil). Salad and fruit should not be hard to prepare without cross contamination.

 

I do not think you need gf matches for every coffee cake and pastry. Having a couple of choices to eat is nice. It is not pleasant to drink tea and watch other down a full meal on a regular basis.

 

If people want more choices then I think you really need a group to volunteer and rotate overseeing the offerings.

 

If the issue breads and pastries, one choice is really enough. Boring, but enough. Every week a different person in the group who already bakes gf can prepare something at home and bring it.

 

No one needs ten choices of pastries and donuts. I see that at coffee hour. I see people going back for multiple pastries. It's very inexpensive to offer that for persons who are not gf, but it's not nourishing to the body.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going with an egg-based dish is probably your cheapest option. If you have a separate toaster, you could purchase some gluten free bread and make toast to go with the egg dish? Or serve it with bacon or sausage? The banquet links are gluten free - that's what we use - and they're fairly cheap too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for trying to accommodate their needs. If you would like to go for a baked good that isn't horribly expensive, Amazon sells Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix for a reasonable price. The box contains 3 large bags, and those bags go a long way. There are easy recipes on the bag for coffee cake, muffins, pumpkin bread and more. I have tried them all, and even Non-GF folks don't realize it is GF.

 

Gluten free cereal, fruit, etc. are good options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, we're careful about cross-contamination. We don't have separate kitchenware but serve carefully.

 

See, this would not be enough for me. That's why I just don't eat anywhere or anything not made by me in my own kitchen. I got sick from using a cook spoon that had been washed. Still had gluten on it. I got sick from using spices at my mil's house. The spices were technically gf, but considering she leaves the lids open when cooking/baking and flour dust flies everywhere apparently her spices are not safe for me.

 

My Dr. has said that my food cannot even be prepared in the same kitchen where there is any wheat flour. That stuff gets everywhere!

 

This is why I find it odd that people are requesting gf items. Even with the fruit, eggs, sausages and so forth you already offer I wouldn't be able to eat them.

 

 

G/f people are seeing and smelling baked goods and wanting specifically g/f baked goods to the point of rudely asking for them, not just asking for g/f options? Ick. I've been g/f for almost 20 years because I have to be or I have serious consequences. I'd never dream of demanding baked goods at a church dinner if other g/f options are available. I'd just eat what I could from what was served. If it really bothered me to see other people eating cinnamon rolls, then I'd figure out how to make some g/f ones at home and bring them for myself. Sounds to me like you are being accommodating already.

 

:iagree: I can't believe people are requesting more gf items than you are already providing.

 

 

 

Okay, how about gluten-free cornbread? It would be hot and could be served with various jams or honey for something yummy. I found the Bob's Red Mill mix. Does anyone know if it's any good?

 

Yes, the Bob's cornbread mix is good. I actually just made it and added sweet potato to it. Yummy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you called people in your congregation who cannot participate in a church wide activity that occurs weekly rude. Imagine being excluded weekly from an activity that is part of a group that is a large part of your life.

 

Are they rude. Are you cooking so much that you are tired and any request feels rude. I think you need to recruit volunteers.

 

 

Hmmm...I did not call anyone rude. I said that the manner of their requests is verging on rude, which it is. And, again, no one is excluded. I'm not sure where you're getting that...

 

We are gladly offering free, delicious food, much of which IS accessible to those who cannot eat gluten. They want gluten-free baked goods and make sure to tell us every week. And so, here I am, seeking out a good baked option for them.

 

We have many, many volunteers, so no worries about that. I'm working to accommodate everyone the best we can.

 

E-gads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for trying to accommodate their needs. If you would like to go for a baked good that isn't horribly expensive, Amazon sells Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix for a reasonable price. The box contains 3 large bags, and those bags go a long way. There are easy recipes on the bag for coffee cake, muffins, pumpkin bread and more. I have tried them all, and even Non-GF folks don't realize it is GF.

 

Gluten free cereal, fruit, etc. are good options.

 

 

This sounds great! I'll look into it today. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not eat any gluten free baked goods except one chocolate cake that my mom has perfected and truly tastes divine. All of the other prouducts and recipes I've tried, have funny textures, bad after-tastes, or are very expensive to make due to a plethora of unusual ingredients and requiring more than one kind of replacement flour, these replacements again, being expensive most of the time. After several months, I didn't miss the baked goods anymore.

 

My advice is to not make gluten free baked goods. For one thing, most of them are going to be prepared in kitchens that aren't gluten free. While this is not an issue for those, like me, who are gluten intolerant but not allergic and so can tolerate a tiny bit of cross-contamination, this is an problem for those full-blown allergies. Plus, if you or the other cooks are making wheat flour based recipes at the same time as prepping the gluten free, the cross contamination issue is worse.

 

Instead, I'd offer lots of veggie and fruit options, salads with gluten-free dressings that did not require much preparation time on surfaces that have not had a lot of contact with flour and gluten products, etc. Generally speaking, cutting boards that are regularly washed, tend to be more safe because cutting boards are not a typical item used in preparing baked goods. Put the dressings out so that people can dress their own and read the label first. Most people do not understand that gluten can be hiding under 10 or 11 chemical names. Simple vinegar/oil/lemon juice could also be placed on the tables.

 

The best change you can make is to make sure the meats aren't cooked in gravies or have sauces on them. The vast majority of premade sauce pkts., gravy pkts., homemade gravies, herbed pkts. etc. have msg which is monosodium glutamate - a preservative made from wheat gluten protein.

 

To be honest, I no longer attend ANY church functions that include food. There is nothing there that I can eat that I know won't make my digestive track give me fits later in the day except what I bring myself. Of course, food lines being what they are when things are served buffet style, often there isn't any left when I get to it. If I prepare a meal for myself and take it with me, thereby avoiding everyone else's food, every nosy nelly in the church has to know why I need special food, will not leave me alone about it, wants to make a big scene about how I can't eat her secret receipe X, or tells me that it's "all in your head sweetheart because everyone can eat wheat...you know....they ate a lot of bread in the Bible", so on and so forth. Eating with other people is basically a nightmare.

 

Faith - sick on Thanksgiving Day because MIL insisted that she made the gravy with rice flour (she makes a heavily herbed, very yummy gravy and it's impossible to tell by taste if it is made with wheat or not) only to discover after I got sick, that she'd mixed up her bags of wheat flour and rice flour. She felt awful and I felt doubly awful because I was sick which made her unhappy and it was just an unintentional mix up. Thus, this will be the last time any sauce or gravy not made by my own hands is consumed by MOI! I spent the whole afternoon very uncomfortable since I'd eaten about half my mashed potatoes with gravy on them before realizing something might be wrong. I really can't recommend that non-dieticians or volunteers untrained in food allergy issues, prepare "gluten-free" or "nut-free" foods and label them as such for others. It's not a simple process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Faith, your reply is very helpful.

 

We always prepare any gluten-free foods in the same kitchen at the same time as the regular baked goods. And, yes, there is flour in the air -- naturally. And we always use the same prep area. No one has mentioned this as a problem, so I had no idea.

 

And we use many, many volunteers who are not trained at all, let alone in gf food prep.

 

We make all of our salad dressing from scratch, so maybe those are okay?

 

Your post makes me wonder if it's realistic to do this at all. Do gluten-free eaters ever get to enjoy a restaurant meal? How could one ensure the kitchen was safe for them? A lot goes on in a kitchen.

 

Perhaps the only truly safe option is for someone to prepare food in their gf kitchen at home and bring it in to be served. There is one gentleman who may be willing to do that. I'll have to speak with him next week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you actually have items that are gf and people are demanding more, larger variety and not offering to help, then that is rude.

 

I was not understanding in your first post that you were offering something. My dd gets very excited when anything is available (The salad has no croutons or dressing. Fruit. Cheese presented separately from crackers or bread.) I guess I interpreted your first post that there wasn't anything to eat and some people wanted to participate. Not that people were able to participate, but found your efforts not good enough. That's different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We always prepare any gluten-free foods in the same kitchen at the same time as the regular baked goods. And, yes, there is flour in the air -- naturally. And we always use the same prep area. No one has mentioned this as a problem, so I had no idea.

 

And we use many, many volunteers who are not trained at all, let alone in gf food prep.

 

We make all of our salad dressing from scratch, so maybe those are okay?

 

Your post makes me wonder if it's realistic to do this at all. Do gluten-free eaters ever get to enjoy a restaurant meal? How could one ensure the kitchen was safe for them? A lot goes on in a kitchen.

 

Perhaps the only truly safe option is for someone to prepare food in their gf kitchen at home and bring it in to be served. There is one gentleman who may be willing to do that. I'll have to speak with him next week.

 

Your description of the kitchen and untrained food preparers making gf and gluten items side by side makes me very nervous. I think you will be much safer for your gf folks if you purchase ready made items and serve them from a package. Katz is an online bakery which sells a variety of pastries which can remain frozen and then served from the box after being thawed in the box. They are really very tasty, and they offer sales and such on their products. I would not trust a non gf person to prepare gf foods at home or at church. There is just too much margin for error out of genuine ignorance. But the boxed pastries are a great, safe option.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't eat gluten and I can't imagine asking volunteers to provide expensive and time consuming gluten free baked goods. I think that as long as there are a few gluten free foods to eat (fruit, homefries, eggs, sausage, etc.) they don't have anything to complain about. If people who can't tolerate gluten have special baked goods made for them each week the whole thing could turn into every other person asking for baked goods that are egg free, dairy free, nut free, sugar free, etc. which would end up being so stressful on the volunteers that the whole thing shuts down.

 

In your shoes I would put up a sign that says due to cost and time restraints gluten free baked goods will only be available the first Sunday of every month (or whenever) and on other Sundays those who cannot consume gluten are welcome to enjoy gluten free foods such as fruit, yogurt, sausage, hash browns, and so on. Maybe add that those who would like gluten free baked goods could maybe get together and take turns bringing in commercially produced baked goods to share. Brands like udi make really yummy blueberry muffins and other sweet baked goods but are difficult to find and expensive. A pack of four muffins costs $5+. Hopefully that will help them understand that the time and money aren't available but that everyone still wants them to attend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do gluten-free eaters ever get to enjoy a restaurant meal?

 

My doctors have said, "I strongly, I repeat strongly, advise you to not eat at restaurants." :sad:

 

It stinks.

 

There is a completely gf restuarant where my sister lives. When I visit her next time I'm going there and eating everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Faith, your reply is very helpful.

 

We always prepare any gluten-free foods in the same kitchen at the same time as the regular baked goods. And, yes, there is flour in the air -- naturally. And we always use the same prep area. No one has mentioned this as a problem, so I had no idea.

 

And we use many, many volunteers who are not trained at all, let alone in gf food prep.

 

We make all of our salad dressing from scratch, so maybe those are okay?

 

Your post makes me wonder if it's realistic to do this at all. Do gluten-free eaters ever get to enjoy a restaurant meal? How could one ensure the kitchen was safe for them? A lot goes on in a kitchen.

 

Perhaps the only truly safe option is for someone to prepare food in their gf kitchen at home and bring it in to be served. There is one gentleman who may be willing to do that. I'll have to speak with him next week.

 

The single biggest issue is that there is a wide variety of reasons that people may be GF. Some have very serious health problems due to gluten. Their immune systems react with a vengeance, just like seafood, nut, or egg allergies. While many people with gluten allergies are not anaphylactic, they are horridly ill from contact. Those with anaphylaxis may need a minimum benadryl and at worse epi-pen plus IV drips started by medics enroute to the ER. It's not pretty.

 

I'm gluten intolerant. I won't have a HUGE health crisis, but I'll be tied to the restroom for several hours once it starts to digest. It's miserable enough to not be worth the headache. However, I can tolerate a little cross contamination without too much angst. If I have to eat out, I'll grab a baked potato from Wendy's. The reason for this is that Wendy's doesn't bake anything. Their hamburger buns and salad croutons come pre-packed. I generally handle my potato coming into contact with a surface that has had a hamburger bun on it and frankly, if you watch the way they prepare their potatoes, that isn't very likely. If I mention I'm gluten free at my favorite Wendy's stop, as soon as I say it the manager gives me a big thumbs up, washes her hands, puts on a new set of gloves, makes another employ wash the counter, and she personally preps my potato. She's a lovely girl and since I'm not badly allergic, this is good enough for me. Upscale restaurants with actual cooks and chefs are the absolute worst of the no-no's because they do make everything from scratch in house and that means the kitchen has been involved in a gluten festival all.day.long.

 

And then there are people who do not have a diagnosed issue. They are trying gluten free to see if it makes a positive impact for them. Maybe they feel less bloated, clearer headed, maybe it helps them lose weight...excetera and cross contamination is not an issue. Many of them, since they do not have very disturbing digestive or immune reactions, are willing to risk a cinnamon roll baked in the same oven and prepared on the same surface as the gluten laden rolls.

 

There are a lot of people trying gluten free. There is huge concern about the molecular/genetic tampering with the protein that comes from Monsanto's seed and which comprises at least 85% of the wheat produced on non-organic farms. Additionally, since the "Wheat Belly" book came out, more and more people are trying GF to see if it helps with non-obviously related to gluten health issues such as heart disease. Some will have good results, some will not. The whole thing is not quite as simple as the good doctor in that book would have the public believe though he is definitely right about some aspects and in particular, the genetically modified seed...frankly, GM food was approved without any proof that it would not cause health problems in humans and it's up to the world to actually produce the proof one way or another. Franky, I think we are seeing that. I have a GF intolerant friend - worse than I am but not in need of benadryl or epi-pen yet - who went to Europe, accidentally ate something that turned out to have wheat in it, and DID NOT GET SICK! Turns out, this country has banned the Monsanto seed and grows an old, heirloom species of wheat. She ate wheat everything for three weeks while she was there. Bread, you name it...no issue. Believing that maybe she could now handle wheat on the home front, came home, ate a dinner roll at a restaurant, and became horridly sick. So, her perspective is that her body is reacting to the genetically modified protein, but not to the old fashioned, mother nature produced protein.

 

So, the issue you probably have is you have people who may be trying gluten free for a variety of issues. True celiac sufferers, people with the digestive reactions that I have, and those with full blown allergies are VERY unlikely to be the ones asking for GF products baked by volunteers or prepped in the same kitchen with wheat products. They get too sick and they know it. I've known 8 celiac sufferers in my life and NOT ONE wanted to eat a baked product that they themselves had not prepared. Those with anaphylaxis are even more vigilant because it can literally kill them. Those with nut allergies generally do not want ANY baked product from anyone else because so many flours, baking powders, etc. are processed in factories that process nuts, prepped in kitchens that have peanut butter, peanut oil, you name it hovering around and frankly, regular washing and cleaning doesn't take care of the kind of minute quantities that set their immune systems into motion. Therefore, the above is my assumption - people who not allergic to wheat, but trying GF to see if abates certain symptoms. Some may indeed end up being identified as having major gluten issues and those people will become MUCH more vigilant. You'll know them because they'll start avoiding foods others have prepared or asking a LOT of questions about the preparation. Others may either feel better in a general way and choose to adopt the diet but not worry about cross-contamination, and others really won't see a change.

 

No matter what, without proper training, your volunteer cooks are not prepared to provide truly non-gluten contaminated foods and shouldn't label them as such. It's okay to say, "This doesn't contain any flour or MSG, but it's been made in the church kitchen and we can't make any guarantees" and let people eat what they may. But, that's about it. Unfortunately, for those with big issues there is a real learning curve. Some people go through several months of figuring it out before they decide what, where, and with whom they can eat. So, my concern would also be labeling an item GF and then have a mom of a recently diagnosed celiac child come up and think, "Oh good...something Tommy can eat." Tommy is going to be a very sick little boy later.

 

Sigh....it is very, very hard to accomodate food allergies in a large group environment. Jennifer in Gross Pointe watched her son go through a horrible reaction after a group function. He has nut allergies. Someone stirred his food with a spoon that had been dipped into another main entre which had nut exposure. It was very scary.

 

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do eat out infrequently at a select group of restaurants, always knowing that we risk cross contamination. No one in our family becomes violently ill if they consume a trace amount of gluten, though.

 

I think if you want to serve the gf boxed pastries, you might consider having them available behind the counter with a sign inviting people to ask for them specifically for several reasons. One, non gf people will likely want to try out the gf items to see how they taste and you want to avoid this. Also, this elimintates cross contamination issues/fears.

 

I can't tell you the anxiety that can come with needing to eat gf. The children's pastor (without consulting me) gave my two youngest kids gf communion wafers. I was really anxious that she had inadvertently, out of good intent, glutened them. I expressed great enthusiasm for the gf wafers and asked to see the box so I could know the brand to recommend to others. They were, indeed, gf...but it was awkward and brought some anxiety until I could determine for myself that the wafers were gf. Therefore, it would be great if the gf folks see the box and brand that the pastries come in and are able to know this and relax and enjoy. I don't ever take a non gf person's word on something being gf, not because I suspect malice but because the ins and outs of gluten are so complex.

 

I can see that you are really trying to be accommodating, so I will give that feedback

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We eat out. We have eaten out many places. We've been at this 11 years. My dd has had her blood tested a few times over the years and never sh own any presence of gluten in her system. Prior to diagnosis she was tiny, had multiple siezures a day, and iron deficiency. IOW, not in good shape.

 

I wouldn't encourage dd to eat anything baked in the kitchen at your church as you've described. I do think it is possible to accomodate gf diets at church functions, but those needing the diet should be willing to participate in planning or prep and others involved need to accept that it's a real need. People who don't understand do not take seriously the need to place things in a separate area and think nothing of moving serving utensils from one pot to another. Like I said, I volunteered at my church and got hit with stonewalling about changing the approach.

 

When we go to restaurants we ask questions. If I think we want to try a small ethnic place, I will scout ahead during off hours (10 am, 3 pm). I've been given tours of kitchens (I don't ask for that). The gf diet protocol is much common now, so many chefs know and understand it. There are some restaurants who suggest they accomodate, but do not know what they are doing. I will not purchase a gf Dominos pizza (new this fall), but we do go to Chipotle (we don't go often, but the manager knows us and walks our food through the line). You can live with this and still go out to eat, I think my dd's blood tests have shown that.

 

The place I think dd is the most unsafe is my mom's. After 11 years I'm still working on accepting that grandma has a hard time getting it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm gluten intolerant as far as I can tell.

I would never, never trust anything made in a kitchen filled with regular, homemade baked goods.

 

If I had to eat in such a place I'd be the person with my own cup of yogurt or banana that I was peeling for myself.

 

I don't understand those wanting GF baked goods wanting someone else to make them. I wouldn't even go there. It's just too much to expect of anyone else, and I couldn't be there to watch out.

 

My advice-don't go for gluten-free baked goods. Honestly, in a kitchen where flour might be floating around I'd be wary of fresh fruit.

 

I can't tell you the anxiety that can come with needing to eat gf.

Yes.

It's just if you've had really good results with GF eating, as I have, that the prospect of ever, ever going there again is deeply upsetting. I actually had a nightmare that I ate a piece of cake at my mothers that was made with wheat flour. I woke up in a cold sweat. I think deep down there is a fear that if it starts again it will never stop. Irrational, but I can't help it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am gf as well as nut, dairy, soy, egg, grain, and night-shade free. So, pretty much I can't eat anything at a church social unless I bring my own. Sometimes it just isn't worth the trouble, but I would never expect others to deal with my issues. Most don't understand anyway, so I wouldn't trust their kind efforts at feeding me. I recently did prepare some dishes I could eat for a pot luck style social, and by the time I got through the line most of my dishes were gone. Then I got odd looks because I ate only things that I had prepared. But, while several insisted that I could eat their dishes, after questioning about the preparation I was able to explain to them that while their veggie or meat was okay, the seasonings or sauces they had used were not. Some think I can eat a soup, but just not eat the noodles or rice that are in it. People care, they just don't understand. My inlaws are very sensitive to my needs and make sure to check everything when preparing a food for me, but I still make sure to arrive early and help MIL with the preparations so that I am certain. Luckily, she loves having me in the kitchen with her.

 

As for restaraunts, there are a few that I will eat at: Subway, Chik-fil-A, Outback, Ghanis Grill, etc. I check the web-sites then make sure to mention to the server that I am gf. Despite those efforts and the assurances that my food is safe, Red Lobster makes me sick everytime. So, I stick with the ones that have proven safe, which limits our choices greatly.

 

I would ask those that are gf to rotate providing prepackaged gf baked goods since I would not personally feel comfortable eating those that others prepared unless they were thoroughly trained in the process. And, yes, then you are opening yourself up to requests for egg-free, dairy-free, etc. requests. Obviously, you can't meet the needs of everyone. If you have SOMETHING they can eat, then I think you are doing well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday I didn't think I had anything helpful to add, but today it's possible that I do.

My dd has to eat gluten free, and despite owning several GF cookbooks I just don't do much GF baking from scratch. Lately she's been talking about how she misses apple pie so today I thought I'd make apple crisp. The recipes I have all call for crumb toppings made with GF flour blends but I improvised instead and it turned out really good. Maybe this could even work for the GF folks at your church breakfast...I know that no one would have to twist my arm to eat something like this at breakfast.

 

I cut up some golden delicious and granny smith apples into bite sized chunks and mixed them with white sugar and cinnamon. For the topping, I ground up some Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal (not too finely), mixed the ground up cereal with some brown sugar, and put this mixture on top of the apples. Then I dotted all over the top with some Earth Balance butter substitute and baked it for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

It was easy, the cereal was less fuss, it smelled wonderful and tasted great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually had a nightmare that I ate a piece of cake at my mothers that was made with wheat flour. I woke up in a cold sweat. I think deep down there is a fear that if it starts again it will never stop. Irrational, but I can't help it.

 

I thought I was the only one that had those nightmares! I've been GF for 21 years (and am insanely careful), but I still have nightmares that I screw up and eat the wrong thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, we're careful about cross-contamination. We don't have separate kitchenware but serve carefully.

 

It's been mentioned, but for some people on GF diets, that may not be careful enough unless the GF people are avoiding out of preference and not due to a serious intolerance. That and the other food prep going on in the same kitchen -- if I were seriously intolerant, I would not eat anything GF. (I'm not GF, but have other foods I have to strictly avoid.)

 

I'm sorry people have been demanding. I cringe when I hear stories like this, though I realize sometimes it comes out of people who are still processing their new restrictions and haven't come to terms with them yet. Still, it just reinforces why I bring my own food and keep quiet about my food restrictions and decline offers of baked goods (or take them and give them to dh.) Sure, I'd love to kick back and eat food at a gathering but the reality is I can't. It's hard (I really went through an odd grieving process since these things developed after years of not knowing) but certainly not the end of the world.

 

Saw this article on NPR about gluten free baking. The comments are worth noting since one recipe lists beer and AFAIK most are not gluten-free. And the article didn't really talk about the difference between wheat allergy and celiac.

 

King Arthur Flour has some good resources, too, if you do still want to learn more. Personally I would not bake for someone who would react to trace amounts (my kitchen is just too ripe for cross-contamination) but we had a mild wheat allergy for awhile and I had a friend avoiding it just as an experiment, so I learned a bit about GF diets back then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...