truly safe gluten-free oats (and helping our farmer friends!)

I need your help, friends.

Well, I need your help to help our farmer friends.

I usually don’t ask for help. I’m not so good at that part. But this, this is important. And I can’t do this one myself, so we need to band together as a gluten-free tribe and do this one together. If there is one thing I pride myself on, it’s being part of THE most amazing gluten-free community and the way we come together when one of our own needs us.

We need to talk about OATS. Don’t freak out. I know there has been a LOT of talk lately about gluten-free oats. You’re probably getting sick of hearing about it. (me too) But until I can be sure that all of those big name packages labeled “gluten free” truly are gluten free and people are no longer getting sick from them, I’ll have to keep talking about it. It’s my job as a safety monitor. 😉

I won’t take up your entire day talking to this point, but will direct you to some recent postings with more in depth information:

  • Tricia from Gluten Free Watch Dog is the go-to person to the most up to date information on all things gluten-free oats.
  • Johnna started us off with this post earlier today and is behind this oat buying extravaganza campaign — her post is FULL of information stated so beautifully, that I won’t reinvent the wheel here — READ IT! (then go buy oats!)
  • Gluten Dude explains the difference between purity protocol (clean, real-deal GF oats) grown oats compared to mechanically sorted (people are getting sick) oats.

So… you’ve heard me talk about GF Harvest’s certified gluten-free oats in the past. They are the only oats I use now. There was a time when I would buy Bob’s Red Mill oats, but a few people in our local group were (sensitive celiacs like me that tolerated gluten-free oats in the past just fine) getting very sick from them, so I stopped eating them and vowed to only buy from a company that not only has celiacs in their own family that runs the business, but cares about us enough to be absolutely sure through a very strict inspection and testing process that their oats are indeed gluten-free.

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I was lucky enough to meet Forrest several years ago — his story impressed me. He started their company as an FFA project in high school. Yes, you read that right. A high school student, who just so happens to be a fellow celiac, started their company out of their home when he was in high school. They have grown as a company offering quite the selection of products, and like I mentioned earlier, are THE only oats I eat.

I recently shared this article on our local Gluten Free in Milwaukee Facebook page that Gluten Free Watch Dog had shared with her readers. It’s about our friends at GF Harvest. Then ones I want us to help — take a moment to read that article so we’re all on the same page.

When I read the article, I wanted to cry. It made me sick to my stomach. The idea that their 2016 crop may be put on hold because they are losing to the big companies who aren’t following purity protocols, the ones using mechanical sorting…that didn’t seem right.

Not fair. Not right. Not sure what I’d do without my GF Harvest oats! (let’s hope I never have to find out!)

My friend Johnna and I text often about all things gluten-free, bourbon, coffee, and donuts, so I wasn’t surprised to get a message from her shortly after. She was thinking the exact same things as me… but in her true Johnna fashion, had already rolled up her sleeves and was working on a plan!

That’s where you guys come in…

Let’s BUY ALL THE OATS! Cash mob style.

Our friends at GF Harvest have set up a starter pack that includes:

Three packages of their most popular products.

  • 20 oz Traditional Gluten Free Oatmeal
  • 20 oz Traditional Gluten Free Quick Oats
  • 40 oz Traditional Steel Cut Oats

BONUS:  Order Now, and they will include YOUR CHOICE of either one of our trendy “I Make Gluten Free Look HOT!” shirts, or a GF Harvest plastic travel cup. (while supplies last)

All of that for just $29.95, shipping included!

I ordered mine this morning and already had an “your order has shipped!” email by this evening.

I shared this story at our Gluten Free Get Together dinner tonight and one of my favorites, the lovely Melissa said, “I don’t do oats really in general, but I will still buy some, you’ll just have to tell me what I can make with them.” (LOVE that she was already on board and ready to CLICK & BUY!)

Ideas for your new GF Harvest oats when they arrive:

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Buy for you. Buy for your gluten-free friends. Buy up these oats so they can get started on their next crop! Then ASK FOR THESE OATS at your local grocery story — just take this form to the store and ask nicely.

(By the time I had finished the story tonight at our event, there were cheers of, “SAVE OUR FARMER FRIENDS!” followed up by, “SAVE FORREST!”)

They need our help, friends. Please help me help them. Help me SAVE FORREST! 😉

 

GF Harvest didn’t ask us to do this — this is the generous work of my girl Johnna reaching out to a company we love and want to support and asking what WE could do for THEM. I’m not getting compensated. There are no affiliate links here. I just want to do the right thing and need your help to do so. THANK YOU in advance! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday To Do List — what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

  • Once upon a time, I got to meet THE Pioneer Woman — I talked a mile a minute telling her what a big fan I was and that I had found out about her wonderfulness through Shauna from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. Although I don’t follow along as closely as I used to, (I’m still sad that Google Reader is no longer!) I’m still a big fan, have a couple of her books, make her baked beans recipe by request, and will probably end up buying a piece from her new collection because it’s so dang pretty. (she is too and she’s hilariously down to earth)

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  • And speaking of Gluten Free Girl… they have a new cookbook coming out this week! Their recipes have never let me down and I’m guessing this one will not disappoint: American Classics Reinvented. It’s already in my cart to buy on Amazon.

(more…)

Gluten Free at the Minnesota State Fair (with photos) 

Looking for gluten-free options at the Minnesota State Fair?

You’re in the right place!

I set out with my girls to enJOY a gluten-free fair experience. We wanted to have more options than corn on the cob — not that there’s anything wrong with corn, we’re all big fans and corn was actually on our list, but we ended up stuffed to the brim after a day of gluten-free goodness, so corn will have to wait until next year.

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Luckily my friend Amy from The Savvy Celiac had already done all the work to find the GF options at the fair — in addition to having a GF awareness booth in the Health Fair 11 building, she also has a list of gluten-free options and their locations waiting for you at the booth. Or you can print out the list and bring it along by clicking HERE.

I had grand plans of getting to ALL of the places on the list, but let’s get serious…there were waaaaaaaaay too many to get to and sample, even with four of us snacking! (this is a very good problem to have) The GF options list is TWO pages of gluten-free goodness, so bring friends or stay for days.

Here it is….gluten free at the Minnesota State Fair!

(more…)

Tuesday To Do List — what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

 

 

  •  I spy a new gluten-free line at Coborn’s grocery stores — celiac sista is especially excited because there is one right down the road from her in MN. Their baking headquarters is in St. Cloud, MN. They even make donuts! (adding those to my request list next time I see the fam!) From celiac sista: “The chocolate chip bars with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips are *just* like the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies!” The husband wasn’t as excited as me about this review… he of course *could* eat a Little Debbie anything right now if he wanted to so we can’t consider his thoughts. 😉

 

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(photo from Coborn’s Instagram) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(photo from celiac sista’s kitchen table)
  • Before you buy the new GF Cheerios… be sure to read the latest from Gluten Watch Dog. I will confess: I spied, bought, and tried both honey nut and regular Cheerios and survived, BUT now I’m a fraidy-cat and probably won’t buy them again until things change. I probably got lucky and it is one of the riskiest moves I’ve made as a celiac, but wanted to be honest with you. The way they are currently testing makes me nervous. My fingers and toes are still crossed that they make changes and improvements for the future. Stay tuned…

 

  • Anyone tried Do-Rite donuts? GFFs (gluten-free friends) from Milwaukee are making the trek down to Chicago for these babies — and it is on my to-do list as well!

 

  • And while we’re talking traveling for good gluten-free food — add Bunky’s in Madison to your list. Headed there soon and will have a hard time deciding between pizza and lasagna. Not to mention the LIST of options from their list of gluten-free pastry and cakes!

 

  • Been wanting to try homemade tortillas for a while — as soon as the temps cool down a bit (I’ve been eating cold, garden fresh veggies like it’s my job!) I’m all over these tortillas from my girl Jules. 

 

  • When I was home in MN, we had a super sub night — I kid you not, one of THE best subs I’ve ever had, gluten free or not. Try one out on Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery hotdog buns like we did…

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(also buy some of this Strongbow with honey, loving it!) 

 

 

  • SAVE the DATE: the Wisconsin GF Expo is coming up! Saturday, September 26th from 10-3 in West Bend.

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Until next week, my friends….

 

 

Tuesday To Do List: what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

 

  • Go check out Elizabeth Barbone’s updated site: glutenfreebaking.com  She has been one of my go-to people since day one of my gluten free adventure and I still use her baking book every year at the holidays. Tip: there are some fun fair foods on her site that you should try before summer slips away!
  • You’re buying Lakefront’s New(er) Grist with Ginger, yes? Add a slice of orange or lemon for a treat.

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  • I’m all about trying new super simple summer drinks to sip — try saying that five times fast after a few of these!

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(Add Tito’s vodka to orange or lemon San Pellegrino)

 

  • Trying my hand at some canning this year — there seem to be two kinds of canning people: those who do it with ease and never break a sweat, and those who are terrified and usually skip it all together. 😉  (I’m somewhere in the middle, but finding my way!)

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(dilly beans from Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving)

 

  • Gluten Free in Sioux Falls, SD: should you find yourself waaaaaaay over to the west… be sure to try Chevy’s in Sioux Falls. I somehow kidnapped celiac sista for a sisters’ night out and we celebrated with margaritas and mucho queso. They have a separate GF menu and will keep the chips and salsa coming!

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  • I’ve been buying Califia Farms coconut-almond milk blend lately — have you tried it? I don’t drink milk by the glass, but I do like putting it into my iced coffee. Have also had it over cereal. I had tried their almond milk in the past and wasn’t a big fan, but something about the blend of both gives it good flavor. Next on my list is to try their Horchata!

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(I call this “liquid sunshine” — cold brewed coffee, slightly sweet chai from Oregon Chai, and milk of choice. Just trust me on this one.)

  • My final hurrah of summer is a trip to the fair — have you been gluten free at the Minnesota State Fair? Do tell. I know the lovely Amy Leger from The Savvy Celiac joins forces with other area organizations to put together a list of treats to try. Let me know if you’ve been and what we should get our hands on first! (and I’ll put up this year’s list as soon as it goes live!)

 

And stay tuned… I had such a good experience being gluten free in Rochester, MN and I’ll tell you all about it soon!

 

Tuesday To Do List — what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

Three cheers for three weeks in a row! Big summertime commitment.

Speaking of commitments — last week we celebrated our FIVE year anniversary of Gluten Free Get Together events in and around Milwaukee. Each month I organize a dinner, event, or field trip and am joined by other gluten-free friends in the area. This group has become like family, I love them so.

And so do the generous companies who helped me fill GF swag bags for our event. The love they sent this year has left me speechless. (and we know that’s rare.)

Today’s to-do list is a shout out to ALL the companies who made our party such a huge success.


Please go spy, try, or buy ANY of these companies’ products! (some may even make you cry — tears of JOY that is)

 

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Red Apple Lipstick — I’ve been singing their praises since I first tried their lip glosses. Now most of my make up bag comes from them. I have converted many friends and family members to their Lash Project Mascara. (read all about it HERE) The ladies were thrilled with the lipsticks and ralleye balms in their bags!


(Isn’t Katiekins just gorgeous!? She’s a Red Apple girl for sure!)
The Gluten Free Bar (the GFB) — Marshall and I have been in touch since he first started his company. Stories like this make me smile. He started with just a couple of bar flavors and has now expanded the business and is making his way across the country into stores. Kudos to him and his team!

Sentry in Delafield — Kerry and her team at the store are all about making our community happy. Their GF aisle and freezer section is impressive and their willingness to order new goods is appreciated. It’s my go-to store in the area!

GF Harvest — Another story that makes me smile every time. Forrest started this company in high school, yes high school, as a school project. I have been ordering their certified gluten-free oats for years and am always on the lookout for their new product lines. (like yummy granola!))

 

 

 

G.H. Cretors popcorn — they sent bags of their “Chicago Mix” and boy am I glad they did. AH.mazing.

Lovely Candy Co. — I’ve had a couple of their licorice products and was just as impressed with their caramels. Melt in your mouth!

Fahlstrom Farms — three cheers for this “Minnesota Nice” company that sent FULL sized bags of cheddar biscuit mix! If I’m going to buy a brownie mix, it will be theirs.

Ciderboys — Thanks to their bottle openers, we’ll be sipping cider all summer!

Cup4Cup — As you know, I’m a long time fan of Cup4Cup. For me, it’s worth the cost to have my family recipes convert over and turn out every single time.

Pamela’s — Game changers in the gluten-free s’mores world! The new mini graham-like crackers are too good. (meaning I could eat the whole box in one sitting!) The crowd gobbled these up for dessert. (my mamasita thinks these  will make excellent dippers for pumpkin dip!)


Jovial — the perfect pasta in gluten-free land! When I can use a pasta in a cold salad, I get excited. And when the husband asks for it, you know it’s good. Someday I hope to take my celiac sista on their GF trip to Italy!

Sweet Ali’s Bakery — we are BIG fans of Sweet Ali’s around here. We even take field trips down to the bakery (it’s not too far) in Illinois to get our fix. The dessert tray was gone in no time!

The Better Chip — my mama found these chips years ago and we have been eating them ever since. Their unique flavors: beets, jalapeno, spinach & kale, corn, and chipotles keep us on our toes. My nephews call the kale ones, “the green chips” and ask for them often. (they’re 3 and already on the kale train!)

Canyon Bakehouse — I just mentioned their deli rye style bread in last week’s post and am still raving about it. LOVE their breads. Period. (and everyone gets to try them now with the coupons they sent!)


Jones Dairy Farm — we love Wisconsin companies! The coupons they sent will be used on our breakfast menu soon.

Freedom Foods — they make a version of GF fruit loop-ish cereal that I eat by the handful. Their coupons will be put to good use!

 

And a special shout out to Marty’s in Delafield!!! (not to be confused with their Brookfield location — this safe, amazing service comes from Delafield only) We had to move the location of the event at the last minute and Duane, Maynard, and our fantastic servers made us feel right at home. (they even went out and got Lakefront New Grist for one of our GF peeps!) The pizzas were perfect, the salads were spot on, and the wings were baked rather than fried, just for us! THAT is the kind of safe service the gluten-free community deserves.

Head over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all their websites — give them some Milwaukee gluten-free love and let them know how you liked their products. (also sign up for email lists to be up to date on their latests news and deals!)

Here’s to another five years of fun — thanks for being part of it all!

 

Tuesday To Do List — what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

 

TWO weeks in a row. *applause*

This week’s to-do list should keep you busy until next week. 😉

 

  • Pretty please try this mustard from Mustard Girl.  I’m putting it on sandwiches, pretzels, and everything in between. Made in Wisconsin for bonus points!

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  • In the very near future you’re going to be able to buy gluten-free Cheerios. And things might get a little confusing — you see, they are using mainstream oats in these Cheerios, (not certified gluten-free oats that we’ve been told are the only ones safe to eat) using a mechanical sorting process. They have spent a great deal of money on this project and my fingers and toes are crossed that they come off the production line indeed testing safe for us to eat.There are many opinions on this matter, if you’re interested in learning more about gluten-free Cheerios, you can click on any of the links below. Take the time to do your research before deciding to buy.  (the picture below is from Instagram — she found them in Ohio)

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  • I spy, with my little eye… RASPBERRIES! They are the “berry of the week” here at the Nielsen household. I would have to stop eating them every morning right off the bush if I actually wanted to make something with them. (I don’t see this happening.)

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  • Think Mr. CITC will read this and buy me a subscription to Bon Appetit? The August issue cover has me drooling and dreaming of all things tomatoes! (just click the link and join me in tomato dreamland)

 

  • Traveling this summer? Be sure you’re following Anna from Gluten-Free Jet Set for all things gluten-free travel. I check her site first after booking flights. She’s in the middle of producing some awesome gluten-free travel guides that you’ll want to buy. (I used many of her recommendations in Paris and London…can’t wait to see her NYC guide!)

 

  • Every try making your own dairy-free coffee creamer? I had leftover canned coconut milk, so I decided it was the perfect time to match them up with some dates in the freezer and go for it.

 

GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE COFFEE CREAMER

Puree 4-5 dates (remove pits) with ¼ cup hot water to form a sweet paste. Add half a can of coconut milk and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Feeling fancy? A few dashes of cinnamon. Blend for several minutes. Done.

I wanted mine super smooth so I poured the creamer from the blender through a very fine strainer into my bottle to store in the fridge. EnJOY!

 

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Somehow summer is slipping away fast… hope you are enJOYing it as much as we are!

xoxo

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As much as I wish I were getting paid big bucks to add these links to my page, I’m not. They are not affiliate links. I’m just sharing to share.