So summer is here and I have been feeling the heat. My son and I love to cool off with a nice frozen treat. What would summer be without ice cream, slushies and popsicles? The conundrum comes when trying to find reasonably healthy and allergen friendly options. Individuals that suffer from Fibromyalgia, Lyme and Lupus can often reap health benefits by avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, and gluten. That doesn’t leave many options for the quintessential summer pastime of kicking back with an ice cream cone.
This year it seems that a self-serve frozen yogurt fad is taking over my town. There is an Urban Swirl, Orange Leaf, Pink Walrus, and Red Mango; a tantalizing treat on every corner. Fro-Yo places are springing up all over the place. So many flavors of yogurt — so many toppings to choose from. But is it safe to indulge?
Some of these fro-yo places make it difficult to tell what allergens are contained in each flavor. Most of them are have yogurt that is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors. If you are following a strict gluten free diet, The Red Mango is the only chain that I know of that has every flavor of frozen yogurt certified gluten free. Plus their yogurt has the benefits of having probiotics added for your digestive health which means it is extremely beneficial for Lyme patients and those individuals with Celiac Disease.
At the Red Mango, the yogurt tastes like yogurt. The flavors are tart, not overly sweet. I love to pair my fro-yo with the fresh fruit toppings on the sundae bar. Fruit is always gluten free! If you have severe allergies, you will need to ask about the toppings as they very from store to store. The clerks will also cut your fruit fresh in the back if you are concerned about cross contamination.
We absolutely love the Red Mango. Give it a try and maybe it will become your new obsession!
I remember when my son turned four years old we had his birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. Everyone was happily eating their pizza while I sat and watched. I have gluten sensitivity and with the limited menu items available at Chuck E. Cheese, I would always eat before taking my son there to play. I was so happy to find out this past week that the restaurant is now offering a couple of guaranteed gluten free options. They seem to be taking cross contamination very seriously. The individual sized gluten free cheese pizza is baked in a sealed parchment bag and brought to the table sealed with a disposable pizza cutter. They also now offer a gluten free chocolate cupcake. These new menu options are available at over 500 locations.
New Gluten-Free offerings at select Subways in Texas
Since January, Subway has been testing a bun made of egg whites, corn starch and tapioca starches for customers with gluten sensitivities at 700 outlets in Dallas and East Texas.1 They are even offering a gluten-free brownie for dessert made by French Meadow Bakery. It sounds like Subway has trained their staff well, and has gone to great lengths to insure little chance of cross contamination. The gluten-free blogger at TastyEatsAtHome is lucky enough to live near one of the Subways that is test marketing the gluten-free offerings. Read her review about the new products.
I really hope that Subway will decide to carry these food items. The convenience of being able to get a sandwich at a Subway again would be amazing. Eating gluten-free gets easier everyday as more restaurants begin to offer food specifically for us!
Puccini’s Smiling Teeth is a restaurant that offers gourmet pasta, pizza, and salads. Keep this restaurant in mind when traveling through the midwest as there are locations in several Indiana cities, Indianapolis, Bloomington, West Lafayette to name a few. As well as a couple in Lousiville & Lexington, Kentucky. Of course I have dined at the West Lafayette location, however I believe all locations are now offering a gluten-free pasta and pizza.
The pizza crusts are made by French Meadow Bakery and can be topped with over 40 toppings. See a full list of available toppings on the Puccini’s website, left-hand side of the page. The gfree pasta that is available is made by Ancient Harvest Quinoa, which contains corn and is not a viable option for individuals with both a corn and a wheat intolerance. When ordering your pasta dish, please be aware that you cannot get the spaghetti and meatballs, as the meatballs are made with flour. You also must not order the chicken piccatta, as the sauce is manufactured in a facility where cross contamination might be an issue. Also keep in mind that although there are many varieties of Quinoa pasta available, Puccini’s only offers the gfree spaghetti noodles at this time. So when you order gfree baked ziti, you will get a baked spaghetti. The meat sauce is okay to eat, but do not order anything with meatballs.
When dining at Puccini’s recently, I ordered the chicken alfredo (which came with the spaghetti noodles). I thought the sauce was good, however some of the noodles were stuck together. I know this has happened to me at home when I didn’t stir the gfree pasta regularly while cooking. I think that it also helps to add oil to the water before adding the pasta. The gluten-free pastas cost a dollar extra at Puccini’s. I would like to see them carry the ziti or a spiral shaped pasta along with the spaghetti noodles.
Find a Puccini’s location near you.