Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Aldi good news for Southsiders

If you live on or anywhere near the Southside, you should be happy that Aldi is opening its store today at 9041 Southside Blvd.

That's because you're going to love Aldi's brand of gluten-free foods, called liveGfree.

The liveGfree products I've tried are great, and they generally cost less than competing brands. Aldi is a no-frills grocer (you're going to have to bring your own bags when you shop there).

Aldi opened its first area store in St. Augustine last year and opened a second store in Middleburg. Those aren't very convenient locations for me, so I haven't shopped there often. The Southside store is also not the most convenient for me, but at least it's better than the other locations, so I'm sure I'm going to be making frequent trips there.

Hopefully, Aldi will continue opening stores in Northeast Florida and give everyone in the area a chance to explore their gluten-free products.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Marlins to rename the 'Fit Cart'

I had an interesting talk yesterday with Miami Marlins executive chef Vince Navarrete.

If you recall, I wrote about my visit to Marlins Park a couple of months ago and was pleased to find a dedicated gluten-free cart in the ballpark, but a little irritated that the cart is called the "Fit Cart."

So, I asked Navarrete about that. He explained that the Marlins started the Fit Cart when the ballpark opened three years ago and it included not only gluten-free items but other food as well.

Eventually, they realized the importance of having a dedicated gluten-free cart and this season, they decided to offer only gluten-free food at the Fit Cart, ensuring there will be no cross-contamination issues.

They didn't get around to changing the name but he said they will have a new name for the cart next year that will stamp it as a gluten-free cart.

I came away from the interview feeling pretty good about Navarrete's understanding of gluten-free issues and that the team sees the importance of maintaining a gluten-free section for fans who need it.

I was talking to Navarrete for an upcoming Times-Union column that will see if the Jaguars are going to do a better job with their gluten-free offerings this year. I will be talking to the Jaguars next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back-to-school gluten-free toolkit

Just as my Times-Union column today talks about gluten-free options in school cafeterias, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, along with Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery, is offering a back-to-school toolkit with information to help parents of celiacs deal with school issues. You can check it out here:


And while you're at it, here's another interesting post from the NFCA this week that deals with issues of medication, including the new pill under development in Canada that would supposedly let us eat anything we want. I think most of us should be skeptical about this, as this post points out:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

One person's gluten-free cruise experience

I thought I should share this message from the daughter of a friend who is gluten intolerant, following their cruise on Royal Caribbean:

They had many options at the buffet for breakfast and many options for dinner and they brought me gluten free bread every meal! Lunch and late night snacks were more limited. Fruit and salad for lunch and my own snacks I brought for late night.

I have no first-hand experience with a cruise myself.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Time Out spotlights gluten-free flatbreads

Time Out Sports Grill on the Southside has been my go-to sports bar for two basic reasons: beer and wings.

They not only have Redbridge beer available but also have a dedicated gluten-free fryer for chicken wings. It's actually quite rare to find any establishment with a gluten-free fryer (and you can also get gluten-free french fries in that fryer).

Now there is another option at Time Out, in a strip mall on Beach Boulevard just east of Hodges: gluten-free flatbreads.

Actually, they've had flatbreads on the menu for quite a while but when they recently revamped their menu, they decided to only offer gluten-free flatbreads because they seemed to be better than than the regular ones.

So, I tried one over the weekend and it was pretty good. The crust seemed basically the same as a gluten-free pizza.

So yes, I'll be spending a lot of Sundays this fall at Time Out for football with beer and wings. And an occasional flatbread.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

NFCA says test could determine if we've eaten gluten

Here's an interesting bit of news from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Researchers have come up with a urine test that could determine if we've ingested gluten.

This test is apparently still preliminary, but this could be a big help for us. How many times have you started feeling ill and wondered if it's because your were glutened, or if something else was to blame. It would be nice to have a test that could give us the answer.

I don't know if the researchers are thinking about a take-home urine test. It seems the only practical use of this is if there is a home test, because we're not going to run out to the doctor every time we're worried that we've been glutened.

Anyway, you can read the full story from the NFCA here:

http://www.celiaccentral.org/research-news/Celiac-Disease-Research/134/vobid--16898/

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Food Should Taste Good offers new gluten-free bars

I received a couple of samples of a new product from Food Should Taste Good called "Real Good Bars."

You may be familiar with Food Should Taste Good from its gluten-free chips and crackers, which are pretty good.

The Real Good Bars are described as "wholesome snack" bars. They come in two varieties: Hazelnut Sea Salt, made with whole hazelnuts and almonds, Madagascar vanilla and Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

The other is Macadamia Chai made with whole almonds, chopped macadamia nuts, slivers of coconut, Fair Trade Certified cocoa and a dash of Chai.

They were both good, although I preferred the taste of the Hazelnut bar. If you like these kind of snack bars, you'll probably like these.

You can check out more information here:

http://www.foodshouldtastegood.com/products/real-good-bar