Passover isn’t here until the end of March, 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, and some products contain products Matzo and matzo meal, (also potentially listed as cake meal or farfel). However, many products don’t contain gluten. Or, if you find products labeled “non-gebrok or gebroktz or grebrochts” (or another spelling variation) they’re non-grain containing and therefore have no gluten containing ingredients. 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 2004 FALCPA 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 5th, so mark your calendars, because the word has gotten out in GF circles.
Here’s a link to the GF products from Manishewitz: http://www.manischewitz.com/health_corner/index.php
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 some great recipes and information:
http://recipecircus.com/recipes/Writermom77/ and click on holidays. There are quite a few Jewish holiday recipes, and they are all gluten and dairy free
You can also buy GF oat matzoh made from certified GF oats. The only downside is that it is (in my humble opinion) insanely expensive!. Shmura Oat Matzah http://www.glutenfreeoatmatzos.com/ Lakewood Shmura Matzo http://glutenfreematzoh.com/
Kids with Food Allergies put out a booklet last year on Passover with food restrictions. http://tinyurl.com/3ser4k
GF and Healthy:
March 27th, 11:00-1:00
We’ll talk about:
- Different gluten free whole grains and flours and how to use them
- Many GF ways to get fiber
- Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
- Ways to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need
- and much more!
This class is 2 hours and we will be making a delicious quinoa dish
The cost is $25 per person or two for $40. *
Workshops taught by Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian& Nutritionist. There will be tasty goodies and samples! Classes are engaging and a lot of fun, and feedback from previous classes are here. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! See http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services Groups are kept small to provide a better space for learning and asking questions.
Living and Loving a GF Diet
Saturday, April 24th, 2010
- 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.
Other local events:
First Annual Fundraiser for the Celiac Program at Children’s National Medical Center:
The Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center is the first Celiac disease program for children in the Washington metro area. The goal of the program is to attack this disease comprehensively and aggressively through improved diagnosis, treatment and awareness. We are happy to announce our first fundraiser for the program will be held on May 1, 2010. The purpose of the event is to raise funds to employ a psychiatrist or psychologist for three years. As adults, we know how hard it is to make a lifestyle change. For a child or adolescent, a lifestyle change can be much more difficult because of peer issues, feelings of isolation or fear of being “different”, for example. Our program aims to give children the tools of self-empowerment to address their needs: dietary and socially as well as emotionally. A lifestyle change requires more than just physical adjustments; the mind must be included as well for a successful outcome. Children’s National’s Celiac Disease Program would be the first of its kind in the nation to have a dedicated mental health professional helping young patients adjust to life with Celiac Disease through self-advocacy.
Help us make a difference. For more information, please contact Diana Della Villa at Children’s Hospital Foundation – 301-565-4951.
What: Fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center
When: Saturday, May 1, 2010; 6:30 pm
Where: Children’s Design House in Chevy Chase, MD
Why: Raising funds to employ a psychologist/psychiatrist to help children with the adjustment to living with Celiac Disease
Ticket Price: $250
Celiac Fast Facts:
*1:100 people have Celiac Disease
*Most people do not receive the correct diagnosis of Celiac Disease until their 40s or 50s.
*Americans spend an average of 9-11 years traveling from doctor to doctor seeking help before their diagnosis.
*Celiac Disease is now recognized as one of the most important diseases of the 21st century.
Next Meeting Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 2:00–4:00 pm
Meeting Topic: Maintaining Your Mental Health with Celiac Disease.
Speaker: Marcella M Marcey, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Vendor: GF Great Bakes www.gfgreatbakes.com
Location: Bethesda Central Library
7400 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
Meeting room is to the left just after you enter the library doors, right before the parking kiosk.
Parking is available at the library
240-777-0970, (TTY: 301-657-0840)
Remember to enter your parking space number in the machine in the entryway, to avoid getting a ticket!
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.