30 April, 2011

Tomorrow kicks off Celiac Awareness Month! Write that down on your calendars.

The month of May puts a spotlight on Celiac Disease, one of the most common genetic conditions in the world. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, 1 in every 100 people is living with Celiac Disease, 97% of whom will go undiagnosed! (YIKES! That's a lot!)

In case you are unfamiliar with Celiac Disease, it is in an autoimmune condition that causes the body to react to proteins in gluten - found in wheat, rye and barley, among other foods - as though they are a danger to the body, damaging the intestines and causing discomfort. Those living with Celiac Disease, or any type of gluten intolerance, must avoid eating foods with gluten as it triggers the disease. (I would die without gluten.)

Because of this wide-spread health concern, French Meadow Bakery (reviews can be found here and here) has continued to develop a delicious and nutritious line-up of baked goods and desserts that are gluten free. This May, they’re hoping to spread the word about Celiac Disease and help those living with gluten intolerances feel confident that living gluten free doesn’t have to mean flavor free.

If you or anyone you know has Celiac disease, or even if you're just living gluten free for health reasons, French Meadow Bakery makes some killer stuff that still tastes good. If you don't believe me, just try them out for yourselves. And hug someone that can't have gluten in May. Here are some recipes that are gluten free, if you'd like to try them out!

Croque Monsieur

2 slices French Meadow Bakery Gluten Free Multigrain Bread
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 slice thick-cut ham
1 slice swiss cheese
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

Combine egg, milk and mustard in shallow baking dish. Add bread and soak for a few minutes, flipping over after a minute. Place slice on hot pan sprayed with cooking spray. Layer on ham, swiss cheese and parmesan cheese. Top with other slice of bread and apply pressure to press sandwich together. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip over sandwich and cook for another minute or two, until golden brown.

Gluten Free Brownie Trifle (mmm... trifle *drool)

1 package French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies; thawed and crumbled
1 package (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 containers (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large bowl, combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth and well blended. Gently fold in 8 ounces of whipped topping. In a separate dish, combine remaining whipped topping and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Take half of crumbled brownies and layer on the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top with half of the pudding mixture and then half of the whipped topping mixture. Repeat layers once. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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