Nourishing Your Body for Better Health
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Passover: A GF Dream

  • GF class
  • GF foods for Passover
  • Healthy GF Recipe Contest

Living and Loving a GF Diet

Saturday, March 7th 11:00-12:30

  • Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the importance of testing
  • All you ever wanted to know about label reading
  • Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
  • Sorting out the facts from common myths
  • Where to get support-local and online groups, websites, books

The class cost is $20 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $35.  To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

Passover as a source of great GF foods!

Passover isn’t here until the beginning of April, but many of the products are already starting to appear in grocery stores.  Not all Passover foods are gluten free, but many are, and there’s a much wider selection than usual at the grocery store.  This can be a good time to stock up on GF cakes and mixes, cookies, macaroons, “bread” crumbs and supplies like potato starch.  As an added bonus for people with multiple restrictions, most Kosher for Passover products contain no corn or soy products, either.

In a nutshell, the basic rule of foods for Passover is no leavened foods, which eliminates normal breads, cakes etc.  Matzo, (an unleavened bread usually made from wheat) is eaten, but aside from Matzo and matzo meal, (also potentially listed as cake meal or farfel) many products are gluten free.  So anything containing matza, cake meal, matza meal, matza flour, etc. contains gluten. If you find products labeled “non-gebrok or gebroktz or grebrochts” (or another spelling variation) they’re non-grain containing and therefore safe on a GF diet. Often Kosher for Passover products and cakes are made of potato flour or nut meals rather than wheat or glutinous grains.

  • As always in the GF world, read labels carefully.  Kosher and Kosher for Passover are two different things entirely.  Kosher for Passover foods will be labeled “May be used for Passover” or have a symbol that says OUP.  I have often seen “regular” Kosher foods in the Passover section at grocery stores, so please do check the labels for gluten containing ingredients.
  • Keep in mind that some of the foods are imported from other countries, and therefore not under the 2006 US labeling laws.  So a label will still say matzo, but may not say wheat explicitly or have the disclaimer stating that it contains wheat.
  • Most Kosher for Passover products will have to adhere to strict standards for cross contamination from a religious perspective, but again, buyer beware and no guarantees.  “Made in a factory” claims are still not regulated.
  • From a gluten free perspective, possibly the best part of Passover is AFTER Passover, when all of the great GF goodies are on sale!  Passover ends April 16th, so mark your calendars, because the word has gotten out in GF circles.

Back when you really couldn’t get GF prepared foods in the regular grocery store, this was a much bigger deal.  But it’s still nicer to have an expanded selection, and nicest of all is AFTER Passover, when all of the products are on sale!

For people who DO celebrate the actual holiday of Passover, not just the GF food, here are a few great sites:

You can also buy GF oat matzoh made from certified GF oats.  The only downside is that it is insanely expensive!.

Healthy GF Recipe contest:

The entries for the ‘09 contest are up! You can vote for your favorites.  It’s not too late to enter your favorite, and there are great prizes. http://www.harriswholehealth.com/gfrecipe09

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please email cheryl@harriswholehealth.com or call 571-271-8742.