Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘alcohol’

Holiday Spirits: Adventures in Gluten-free Drinking Part 2 – Liquor

I was going to make this a three-part series, with an entire post dedicated to wine, but really, wine is a glorious blessing to celiacs, in that virtually no wine exists that contains gluten.  If you do have an adverse reaction to wine, it could be the sulfites.

So on to the big mother of them all: liquor, liquor liquor.

Finding truly gluten-free liquor is trickier than just avoiding whiskey.  In fact, some whiskeys, like my dad’s all-time favorite, Jack Daniels and my brother’s arch-rival, Crown Royal, have all the nasty distilled out of them and are safe to drink.  The danger lies in the lower-quality stuff and flavored liquors.  I’ve never felt worse than the day after a friend bought me a Stoli Blueberry and Sprite, and it wasn’t from a hangover.

The enemy.

Part of the problem is that alcoholic beverages are not required to list allergens or ingredients on their labels, unlike foods. Current regulations under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) do not require the disclosure of major food allergens on alcohol beverage labels.  This is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), not the FDA.  There’s even a petition set up to change the requirements so that people with serious food allergies don’t accidentally poison themselves if they don’t choose to avoid liquor altogether.

To help narrow it down, has a list of officially safe gluten-free bevs, but it doesn’t list specific brands.  An even better source is the gluten-free forum, where people list what gave them problems in the past, depending on one’s sensitivity, of course, and what their go-to drinks usually are.  I already mentioned that you might want to stay away from any flavored Stolichnaya, but there are plenty of safe alternatives:



And my guilty, girly pleasure:

Happy holidays from No Grain, No Pain.



Gluten-free Entertaining: Halloween Edition

Even corn of the candy variety is GF

Even corn of the candy variety is GF

Whether you’re GF and throwing a party or throwing a party with GF guests, gluten-free entertaining is kind of a no-brainer.  I’m not going to list every Celiac-friendly candy on the market as of Sept. 2010 because a million other people have done so already, but here are some highlights :

Nestle: Butterfinger (original only), Sno-caps, Raisinets and WONKA products (excluding Oompas and Wonka Bar)

Hershey’s  does not publish a gluten-free candy list because “the ingredients can change at any time.”


Mars: All M&Ms except pretzel (and crispy if you live in Holland), Snickers, and Dove products

In the fruit sector, Skittles and Starbursts are safe.

Oh, and Peeps, for those of you who just can’t wait until normal Peep-season, which is Easter by the way.

If you really want your Halloween party to last, you probably don’t want to stuff your guests full of candy or else the sugar crash is going to kick in before the Oregon vs. USC game is even over.  Supplement the overflowing bowls of October goodness with some tasty, somewhat nutritionally valuable snacks:

Original Chex Mix

What you’ll need:

1 Big-ass baking sheet (maybe 2 if you’re really popular)

1 box of Rice Chex

1 box of Corn Chex

1 and a half cups of mixed nuts

1 package GF pretzels

A stick and a half of butter

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to a tepid 250 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together (Add M&Ms and whatever the heck else you want).

Melt the butter stir in the seasonings.

Pour butter mix over the dry mix.

Pour Chex Mix onto baking sheet and bake for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes.

Your house will smell awesome.

Puppy Chow (not actual Puppy Chow)

Probably shouldn't feed this to your dog.

What you’ll need:

1-2 boxes of Rice Chex (again, this can vary depending on how cool you are)

1-2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer Semi-sweet, as it accurately reflects my personality)

1/2 to 1 cup peanut butter (Moms like yours chose Jif)

1/4 to 1/2 cup butter (let’s shoot for 1/3)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar (You can eyeball this. If your kitchen is covered with powdered sugar, you’ve done your job right)

What you’ll do:

Put cereal in a large bowl.

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour over Chex cereal, put into a large plastic bag with powdered sugar and shake well to coat. If you have little ones, feel free to let them do the shaking.

Spread mixture evenly on wax paper (or newspaper. Go ahead, buy one for old times sake) and allow to cool.

Obviously this doesn’t have to be a Halloween-only snackfood. It’s good for pretty much any occasion, up to andincluding being alone in your house all weekend in your pajamas watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Check back tomorrow for more (dare I say healthier?) goodies.


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