Passover: A Great Gluten-free Selection!
Passover isn’t here until 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, 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 gluten-free 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 imports are often not labeled according to the 2004 FALCPA U.S. 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 gluten-free goodies are on sale! Passover ends April 26th, so mark your calendars, because the word has gotten out in gluten-free circles and the mad rush is on.
Here’s a link to the gluten-free products from Manishewitz:
Back when you really couldn’t get gluten-free 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 gluten-free 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 make matza, but it’s not technically Kosher for Passover–unless, of course, you happen to have a Rabbi on hand to bless it and all that jazz. You can also buy gluten-free oat matzoh made from certified gluten-free oats. The only downside is that it is insanely expensive! (new note–Yehuda matza is now in the stores, and they do have a GF line–only $6 a box. Wow!) Shmura Oat Matzah is distributed by a mom in MD Lakewood Shmura Matzo http://glutenfreematzoh.com/
Shabtai Gourmet products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, they’re and Kosher for Passover AND often they have free shipping deals. And, most importantly, they’re insanely tasty. http://www.shabtai-gourmet.com/
Kids with Food Allergies put out a booklet last year on Passover with food restrictions. http://tinyurl.com/3ser4k
DC Celiacs (free):
Meeting Topic: “Healthy Gluten-Free Eating” (and tasting samples!)
Speaker: Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD
Once people settle into a gluten-free diet, there are four complaints I hear on a regular basis:
*I’m gaining weight
*I’m so bored of rice and baked potatoes!
*I don’t think my diet is healthy anymore.
So we’ll be talking about a wide variety of gluten-free sources of fiber, B vitamins and other nutrients, from teff and millet to quinoa, chia, flax and more and of course, how to use them. You’ll even get a chance to taste some of them, thanks to a few wonderful volunteers. We’ll make a dish at the meeting so you can see how easy it is!
It should be a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Location: Bethesda Central Library (Maryland)
7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814
Chesapeake Bay Area Gluten-Free Vendor Fair–Annapolis, MD
CSG will host our 3rd and largest Gluten-Free Vendor Fair! The Entrance Fee is $5.00 for age 13 and up. Goodie bags will be provided! Vendors may still apply to come – contact firstname.lastname@example.org! Watch this website for a list of Vendors attending!
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