Gluten-Free Recipe: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Gluten-Free Cheese Pandesal)

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tokadopaodequeijo.com.br

Brazilian cheese bread, or pao de queijo, is naturally gluten-free as it uses an ingredient commonly found in Philippine supermarkets–cassava flour! Think of them as cheesy gluten-free pandesal!

It uses a few ingredients, although there is some effort involved in beating the dough, the smell of cheese bread baking in your oven makes the effort worthwhile. They are crunchy on the outside, and soft and airy on the inside.

If you can wait long enough to let them cool, these are best served freshly baked and piping hot. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and heated in the oven toaster, and they are as good as new. Serve them as snacks, appetizers, or even as sandwich bread.

Recipe adapted from Eat Retreat

18 oz/ 500 grams cassava flour
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons salt * (use 1/2 tsp if using queso de bola)
8 whole eggs
4 cups finely grated cheese (preferably a hard cheese like parmesan, but any cheese will do)

Put milk, water, extra virgin olive oil and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in the cassava flour and mix it best you can with a wooden spoon. Remove mixture from the heat. At this point, the dough will not look incorporated.

You can use a stand mixer or beat by hand by this point (do not use a hand mixer!). Once the dough has cooled for 10 minutes or so mix in the eight eggs one by one, with the mixer, or by hand. Mix in the grated cheese. Add the salt, preferably partially so you can adjust by tasting the dough.

Use a 2-inch cookie dough scoop, or roll by hand into 2-inch balls onto a greased or non-stick baking sheet.

Bake them in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.

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Gluten-Free Special Meal on Philippine Airlines

I ordered a special meal on Philippine Airlines, and I chose the gluten-free meal on my flight from Los Angeles to Manila. For a long-haul flight on Philippine Airlines, this consists of 2 full meals and a snack. Here’s what I got for my gluten-free meal.

For dinner, I had beef cooked in tomato sauce with squash and rice. I also had an asparagus and tomato salad, and fresh fruit for dessert. The regular meals were a choice of fish or chicken, and blueberry cheesecake from Goldilocks for dessert. My gluten-free dessert was fresh watermelon and pineapple.

Gluten-free dinner meal on Philippine Airlines

For my snacks, I was given more fresh fruit. A LOT of fresh fruit, like grapes the size of ping pong balls, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple. The rest of the passengers got Goldilocks cake slices.

For breakfast, I got bacon, an omelet, more squash, and garlic rice. The others got a choice of chicken tocino with rice or veal sausage and bacon. I was happy that my gluten-free meal had a light amount of meat, compared to the regular meal…I can’t eat too much meat in the morning. And then they gave me even more fresh fruit, including this giant banana.

Gluten-free breakfast meal on Philippine Airlines

I was happy with my gluten-free meal on Philippine Airlines. Not only was it gluten-free, but in fact, it seemed that the selection was healthier over all. It helped that the pre-made cakes were replaced by fresh fruit. Special meals are also served first, before the service for the rest of the passengers, so there’s also an advantage in ordering a gluten-free meal on a flight.

If you want to order a gluten-free meal on Philippine Airlines, contact them no less than 24 hours before your flight.

A Gluten-Free Valentine’s Celebration!

Visit GERALD.ph to get your Cocolatto Ice Cream and make it a special Gluten-Free Valentine’s celebration!

Get to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “I Love You” in personalized Cocolatto ice cream cups when you order 3 cups!

Get your orders in by February 12 on GERALD.ph, to have it delivered this February 14!

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You can also visit http://shop.gerald.ph/gluten-free for more gluten-free treats!

How do you travel Gluten-Free?

travel

Ah… the joy of travel. But only until your cravings kick in and your stomach rumbles.

If you are visiting a place for vacation, things commonly enjoyed are the sights, the fun activities,  and of course, the F-O-O-D. If you’re on business, eating the local food would be one of the ways you can enjoy a place, even if only incidentally.

But being celiac or gluten-intolerant, or just having food allergies of any kind, you already know how it is to try to relax when you don’t know where your next safe food will be coming from.

So, what to do?

Preparation is key. Take the attitude that with just a bit of time and effort, maximizing your vacation is in  your hands, and it will be well worth it.

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1 – Visit online forums especially for gluten-free dining in advance and find out which locally serves food that fit the gluten-free diet. Luckily, you’re not alone in your quest for a hassle free vacation. You’ll be surprised how many are willing to make suggestions and give you useful information on where to eat and what to avoid in your destination. Post your questions in forums at least 2 weeks in advance so that you have time get substantial replies from fellow planners like yourself.

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2 –  However, if you would like to give the planning to someone else, there are resources that organize vacations and travel around the world that are especially gluten free. They reduce the worrying and the nitty gritties to a minimum. Since they specialize in gluten-free travel, they will have more options for you to choose from, and can make travel a treat, and especially if you’re travelling with your friends or family. One such company is:

https://glutenfreetravelsite.com/glutenfreegetaways.php

3 – Have a list of things you that you know are absolutely gluten-free including food items and brands. If you are unsure of fast food places, restaurants or even your food available at your hotel, visiting your nearest grocery store will be the next best thing. Especially, where the language barrier poses additional challenge, googling which familiar gluten-free brands are available locally will save you a lot of worry and headache of trying to find the safest items on the shelves.

 

lists

 

4 – Be armed from the moment you walk out your door. Pack your own airport food.  It would make things so much easier if every bit of food is labeled, but especially in the Philippines, this not the case. Airport dining is limited to only a few restaurants and gluten-free dining is not a priority. No frills flights like Cebu Pacific, only have snacks that typically contain gluten

So, it is best to come prepared.

airport

However, some flights, like international flights of Philippine Airlines do offer some comfort to you if you’re gluten-free. PAL provides gluten-free meals in all classes, and gluten-free snacks may also be available. However, all special meals on airplanes must be ordered no less than 24 hours in advance. Take time to call.  

lunch

5- When you can, pack some food items that will last a few days. Order gluten-free in advance from your go-to gluten-free shops. Online shops like Gerald.ph at http://shop.gerald.ph/gluten-free will deliver to your home so you don’t have to go out to buy these things especially.

As you make these things a habit, bit by bit you’ll find each trip less focused on where and what you can eat and more on enjoying the experience.

 

Did you know MSG is Actually Gluten-Free?

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The impact of MSG on health has been debated in more than a couple medical journals and health related publications. There may be sound evidence supporting the adverse effects of MSG that may be enough reason for you to stay away from it, but having gluten is not one of them.

Why is this fact important for the gluten-free intolerant?

Recognize that especially in the Philippines, MSG is everywhere. The fact that flavor enhancers like Maggi Savor and Ajinomoto are pantry staples is just one of the signs. Typical restaurants that put flavor first will use some form of flavor enhancer that contains MSG. We really have to ask if we’re putting ourselves at risk if we need to stay away from gluten, but find MSG stealthily appearing in most food items we buy.

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Photo credit: Ajimoto.com.ph

If the absence of umami is driving you crazy (well, not crazy, just that it’s not exactly convenient to be paranoid about all food items), know this: MSG is actually gluten-free.

msg structure

Aside from sounding similar, glutamate and gluten are actually two different substances. First, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid that is present in all protein containing food like cheese, and meat. It occurs naturally in some food, and is commonly used as a flavor enhancer, and responsible for the umami that can more descriptively termed as a savory, brothy or meaty taste.  Gluten, on the other hand, is a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye.

MSG is  made primarily through fermentation using various sugars and starches, such as sugar cane, beet sugar, corn starch and tapioca starch as starting materials (http://www.glutamate.org), wheat and rye actually not being on the list.

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Sinigang, a Filipino dish typically MSG flavored. Photo credit: Knorr.com.ph

Why the talk first and foremost of MSG (monosodium glutamate) being linked to gluten?

A source of controversy is that glutamic acid was first isolated in the year 1866 from wheat promain gliadin, and in 1909 MSG was isolated from wheat flour. This was the primary source of MSG until the 1960s when other methods of deriving gluten were developed, including chemical synthesis and fermentation process.

Other sources since then have been used, which no longer use wheat.

So, if you are staying away from gluten, it can be a big burden off your chest to know that MSG is one less thing you have to worry when you have gluten sensitivity. 

Looking for gluten-free food? Visit: http://shop.gerald.ph/gluten-free

Sources:

Celiac.org https://celiac.org/blog/faq/what-is-gluten/

Sano, Chiaki. History of Glutamate Production. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90:728S-732S. Available at: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/3/728S.full

Thompson, Tricia, MS, RD. Monosodium Glutamate! . Gluten Free Dietitian. 2011. Available at http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/monosodium-glutamate/

 

Gluten-Free Jams now available on GERALD.ph!

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These All-Natural and Gluten-Free fruit jams are made the traditional French way, cooked slowly and evenly in copper jam pans caramelizing the natural fruit sugars to bring out all the flavors.

Try luscious whole strawberries of our Strawberry Preserves.

Refreshing tangy sweetness of juicy oranges of our Orange Marmalades.

Our lovely Mirabelle Jams,  like the specialty of the French region, Lorraine.

And also enjoy the bright taste of the best Philippine Mangoes in chunks in our Mango Preserves, Mango Cinnamon Preserves.

For a 100% gluten-free breakfast or snacks try GERALD.ph jams with our gluten-free breads.

Visit GERALD.ph now to order some for yourself. 🙂

What’s up with Grains?

glutenfree grains

A common assumption (and paranoia) for the gluten intolerant is that any food that is made with grains is laced with our enemy gluten. But let’s clarify. Not all grains contain gluten, but these are the culprits: wheat, barley, and rye, also triticale which is a hybrid of wheat and rye.

Another interesting fact is that pure wheatgrass and barley grass are actually gluten-free. What we’re concerned about is the gluten in the seeds. However, most find it less risky to simply stay away from byproduct of these grains altogether, as they may be contaminated during harvest and manufacturing.

There are actually plenty of other grains that are gluten-free. It’s the reason why there are still breads, desserts and even pizza and pasta out there as alternatives for those staying away from gluten.

 

corn

Corn for example is gluten-free, and it is one which is very readily available here in the Philippines in different forms and varieties: sweet corn, white corn, yellow corn. You can buy them fresh on the cob, frozen or canned in kernels, the white bloated addictive version binatog, served with coconut shavings (also gluten-free–getting the craving, yet?) and of course, popcorn.

filipino food

Rice  and potato that a typical Pinoy consumes in pounds per day thankfully, is also gluten-free (so worry not as your pure potato fries, and unli-rice food tripping is safe. 😉 ) If you’re not on the prowl for extra ordinary food adventure, the typical meal of rice plus viand, won’t actually be such a hassle. 

tahoSoy is also gluten-free and soy made product if in pure form (without extenders) are safe such as tofu (you can enjoy your tokwa’t baboy guilt-free) and warm and sweet dessert-breakfast taho.  Though, since gluten might be a cross-contaminant in the harvest, transport and storage of soy as most is grown in wheat farms, it is best to still be cautious with this item. 

Here are some more samples of gluten-free grains to help when faced with such a dilemma.

– tapioca

– quinoa

– beans

– flax

– chia

– nut flours

– gluten-free oats

– sorghum

– millet

– buckwheat groats (aka kasha)

– arrowroot

– amaranth

– teff

– yucca

You may also visit the complete list from Celiac.org here.

Have some of your own tips you would like to share to help with the gluten-free diet?

Leave some in the comments! 🙂