Our monthly “Bits and Bites” from the dairy-free world also include news of interest to the food allergic, vegans, GFCF dieters, and all around health-oriented people. If you have any relevant news or announcements to share for our round-up, simply contact us. May is rich with news briefs on book releases, contests, new products, and other great foodie news, so read on! …
Dairy-Free AND Soy-Free “Butter” Has Arrived
It’s here, it’s here! Those wonderful people at Earth Balance have finally addressed a missing link in the dairy-free and vegan world; a butter/margarine that is not only free of dairy (yes, that includes casein) and all natural (no trans fats or hydrogenated anything found here), but it is also soy-free! …
Well, it is about time. I have received emails on this topic for years, and now I finally have a solution to offer. The tubs are already available at Whole Foods, and they will start popping up at other grocers and natural food markets in June 2009. Just look for the package that has a neat and tidy little “soy-free” written in the upper corner. I will be getting some this next week and putting up reviews. We will test it out as a spread, in cooking, and in the ultimate test, baking! So stay tuned.
Lick It! Make Your Own Creamy, Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams
Cathe Olsen, one of my favorite cookbook authors, has just released a new “cookbook,” Lick It, and it is incredible! I got a sneak peak of the recipes within, and you won’t be disappointed. Inside you will find everything, and I mean everything, you will need to make and enjoy dairy-free ice cream. Here is a blurb from the Lick It press release: “Making ice cream at home with a variety of nondairy milks is surprisingly easy, and the results taste so much better than what can be bought in a store. Readers will find all their favorite traditional ice cream flavors in this book, plus a tempting variety of exotic and gourmet flavors made with herbs, spices, and liqueurs. You can adjust the flavors and sweetness to your liking, using the choicest natural ingredients. And there’s recipes to create all your ice cream parlor favorites: scoops, sundaes, sherbets, sorbets, ice cream sandwiches, shakes and floats. Complete with toppings and sauces!”
Join the Food Allergy Twitter Party on May 15th
Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 10-16 this year, and to help celebrate and end the week on a great note (okay I copied that part) Best Allergy Sites and Food Allergy Buzz are hosting a Food Allergy Twitter Party. The party will take place on Friday May 15 at 12pm EST and 10:30pm EST (9am PST and 7:30pm PST), and the hashtag for the party is #foodallergy.This will be your opportunity to ask questions from a top group of food allergy panelists/bloggers and a great opportunity to win prizes (such as Lucy’s Cookies, an E-Certificate to Navan Foods, and Books – yes, a copy of Go Dairy Free will even be up for grabs!). So join in the tweets to discuss all things food allergy related. For more information, visit this post on Best Allergy Sites.
Divvies Answers the Call for Free-From Sugar Cookies
This is a true story. On Saturday I sat down to sum up your list of requests for new flavors of food allergy-friendly cookies, only to discover that many of you are desperately waiting for a bakery soft “safe” sugar cookie. When low and behold, the very next day I receive an email in my inbox from Divvies stating, “Divvies introduces The Sugar Cookie – hot out of the oven from our nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free bakery!” Either they are the fastest bakers ever, or the timing for your pleas was impeccable. Either way, I am happy to announce that the food allergy-friendly sugar cookies have landed and are available to order online from Divvies!
Sweet Freedom, The Ultimate Reward
One of my favorite recipe creators and bloggers (love her writing too) is Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. As not only an extension of her blog, but also a collection from her bakery days, Ricki has released Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy, or Refined Sugar. The book isn’t available just yet, but should be out by the end of the week (a review and release announcement will come from us soon!). In the mean time, Ricki is holding a giveaway in which 5 eBooks and 3 paperback copies will be given out hot off the presses. I should say these are good odds, so head over to Ricki’s blog to enter to win. The drawing and book release are both scheduled for May 15th.
The 2009 Mambolicious Healthy Recipe Contest is On! … and Vegan-Friendly
My interest is peaked everytime I see a recipe contest, but until now, I hadn’t seriously considering entering one. This recipe contest from coupon gurus Mambo Sprouts challenges you to make a healthy original recipe (I’m listening) that incorporates one or more of their sponsors’ products. See, this is usually where I stop, but the sponsors in this contest are natural food companies and most sell dairy-free and vegan products! There are even numerous options for gluten-free home cooks. So get your aprons on, and create a recipe! Submissions are open from now through June 15, 2009. Check the Recipe Contest Page on Mambo Sprouts for details on the sponsors’ products, prizes, etc. Good luck!
The Famous Wheeler, Vegan Frozen Dessert Mogul, Serves Up The Vegan Scoop
I kid you not, there is a second dairy-free “ice cream” book on the market this spring. I am familiar with Cathe’s recipes, and love them, but Wheeler does have quite the ice cream reputation. Here’s what his PR people have to say about The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream That Tastes Better Than the “Real” Thing: “The recipes feature all vegan-certified ingredients, making them suitable for both vegans and those looking for dairy alternatives. After explaining how to master the basics, including recipes for vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip, del Torro provides a mouth-watering tour of surprising and imaginative flavors including Ginger Ginseng, Thai Chile Chocolate, Star Fruit, and Cinnamon Juniper. The author owns Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert Company, a microcreamery based in Boston, and he also opened the city’s first all-vegan ice cream parlor two years ago.”
Food Should Taste Good Offers New Chip Flavors that Do Taste Good
Well, okay, I can’t personally vouch that the new flavors taste good, as I haven’t sampled them yet … but all of the other flavors we trialed from Food Should Taste Good were awesome … and how can you go wrong with Cinnamon. Seriously, why did it take this long for someone to come out with a cinnamon chip! Oh yes, I mentioned flavors, they are also offering new Lime, Potato & Chive, and Yellow Corn Chips. AND, you can print a coupon for $3 off 2 bags. The new flavors are rolling out to Whole Foods this month, but you can already get all of the other flavors there or at natural food stores.
Zoe’s Introduces Healthy Care Packages for Loved Ones
With students in mind, Zoe’s has come out with three levels of care packages that you can ship to any loved one for a healthy alternative to those boxes of cookies. The Zoe’s care packages include an assortment of Zoe’s Granolas and Bars, as well as Bigelow’s Green Tea with Pomegranate and a personal gift message from you. Take note though, the chocolate flavors of Zoe’s bars (2 varieties) do contain lactose (milk sugar) in the ingredient list, so they are not completely dairy-free. However, the granolas and other two bar flavors are. Perhaps they can make a swap?
New Book Features New York’s Healthiest, Tastiest Restaurants
Licensed nutritional consultant Jared Koch and food writer Alex Van Buren have released their new book, Clean Plates. It is a compact guide to 75 restaurants in NYC (Manhattan) that offer healthy options, in multiple price points, for vegans to meat eaters. Many are restaurants that have been recommended by Allergic Girl as food allergy-friendly. Allergic Girl just mentions one important caveat about this new title, “There are a few crucial errors and some general confusion about how food allergies or food intolerances can adversely affect the body. I spoke to Jared about these errors about which he agreed were indeed incorrect and assured me he will correct upon the next printing and on his online community board.” So caution should continue to be exercised by those with severe food allergies even when dining at these recommended restaurants.
FEAST to Sponsor a FREE Children’s Concert in Bowling Green, Kentucky
The Food Education Allergy Support of Ky., Inc. (“FEAST”) is sponsoring a FREE children’s concert by “food allergy musician” Kyle Dine on Saturday, May 16th at 4:00 p.m. CDT at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Kyle will be entertaining and educating about food allergies while performing songs from his CD You Must Be Nuts! There will be a food allergy expo before and after the concert in the lobby. FEAST will be collecting voluntary donations for The Center for Courageous Kids (“CCK”) at the concert. CCK, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is hosting a Family Weekend Retreat for severe food allergies this September 11-13 in Scottsville, Kentucky.
If you live in New England, Dine will be performing at a second Food Allergy & Benefit Concert on June 8, 2009 as a fundraiser for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) in North Reading, MA. This one isn’t free, but it’s at a fancy country club. See the Registration Page for more information on this second concert.
Enjoy Life with 150 Gluten-Free and Food Allergy-Friendly Recipes
Is it just me, or is this cookbook release month? And they all sound so darn good. Next up is Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats That Are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, or Sensitivities by Leslie Hammond and Betsy Laakso. Here is a quick summary, “Developed with the help of the top allergy-free food company in the country, Enjoy Life Foods, this cookbook features 150 allergy-friendly treats that take the guesswork out of determining which recipes are safe and which are off limits. Leslie Hammond and Betsy Laakso avoid every one of the eight major allergens with recipes that are also gluten-free and easy to follow. They also provide options for corn-, sulfite-, and potato-free variations for anyone who has problems with those ingredients. Recipes include cookies, brownies, bars and tartlets.” I didn’t need to read any further than the word cookies, but hopefully the additional information was helpful for you.
New Non-Profit Emerges to Help Fund Vegan Activists
VegFund, a new non-profit, has just arrived on the scene to help vegan activists fund food, literature and tables/booths for events. Their mission “… is to acquaint the general public with the joys of a plant based diet. We do this by helping fund the distribution of vegan food at local events. This is accomplished through a network of activist “partners” who prepare and serve the food in their region.” To read more about what they are up to and how you can get involved, see www.VegFund.org.
Brendan Brazier Can Help You Thrive in 30 Days With His Free Program
Vegan athlete, Brendan Brazier, is offering a free 30-day program via his website, called “Thrive in 30”. The program is based upon his diet book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Live, though you do not have to purchase it in advance to get this 30-day program. When you sign-up, you will receive a dozen emails over the course of a month, with each addressing a different health topic. The focus is how to transition to a healthful plant-based diet (vegan). To learn more about the program, watch an intro video, and if desired, sign-up, visit Brendan’s Thrive in 30 website.
Save 30% at the Allergy Apparel Clearance Sale
I hadn’t taken a look at their online store until this announcement was posted, but they really do have a cute and creative attitude for children’s clothing at Allergy Apparel. Hop on over and take a look, and if you decide to purchase, you will be rewarded with 30% off on all hoodies (while supplies last!) from now until May 31st 2009, when the spring inventory must make room for summer.
Enter the Turn Your Table Green Sweepstakes
The mega-giant of natural foods, Hain Celestial, is offering to “Turn Your Table Green with $10,000 and Sara Snow.” There really wasn’t much detail on this sweepstakes, basically you get $10K to help you shop green and Sara will give you an in-home consultation. 50 second prize winners will receive a gift basket that doesn’t look too shabby. Really, it is a simple entry form, so why not? Just a note: I tried to enter once prior and got a blank screen, hopefull it is working now.
Testing Begins on Multiple Food Allergy Treatments
We have been getting quite a few updates on the progress of food allergy research in the past year, and it seems it is still moving forward nicely. Various treatment options for very young children who are first developing allergies, are now in the testing phase. Thus far, three experimental treatments look promising: Oral immunotherapy, sublingual therapy, and food allergy herbal formula-2 (FAHF-2). For further details, see the full article in USA Today.
Pangea Packs on Indulgence with Vegan “Twinkies” and Melty Pizza “Cheese”
The new products section on Pangea’s Online Store (aka The Vegan Store) this month is brimming with guilty indulgences: New vegan candy bars, just like your old favorites; Twinkie look-a-likes that go by the name of “Canoes” and come in dreamy flavors like cookies and cream and carrot cake; Assorted truffles and chocolates; and some new vegan “cheeses” that seem to be meeting with rave reviews.
Bake Deliciously Good GFCF Recipes
Oh, and you thought I was done with the new book announcements. Not so! Jean Duane, otherwise known as the Alternative Cook, has been churning out baking and cooking videos for the GFCF community for a little while now. But she has at last gone offline, by producing her first cookbook, Bake Deliciously! Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free. According to the press release: “Bake Deliciously! has over 150 mouth-watering easy-to-follow recipes completed in five or less steps. The cookbook with beautiful color photos will be welcomed by those with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, dairy allergies or intolerance, Autism, ADD, ADHD, Crohn’s Disease, IBS or Aspergers. It contains a lot of useful reference information for the newly diagnosed, as well as for diet veterans.”
Milk on the Walls?
I just love the stuff Karen finds. “Milk Paint, made from real cows milk, dates back to ancient Egypt. Used by early settlers and making a small comeback. Modern manufactures tout the earth friendliness of milk paint. You can even find instructions on how to make your own milk paint on the Internet. Their are [also]furniture manufactures who specialize in milk paint or use milk paint in some of their furniture. Using or touching these products especially while wet, can be a problem for people with contact or a severe milk allergy. Casein (milk) can also be found in small amounts in traditional paints. So far it appears only small speciality companies are using milk paint, but beware they can be up to 99% milk protein.” See Karen’s website, Avoiding Milk Protein, for a list of these companies.
Special thanks to Avoiding Milk Protein, Food Allergy Buzz, AllergicGirl, Planet Lactose, No Whey Mama, and Navan Foods for helping to keep the free-from and special diet communities up to date on news!