Camping is one of my favourite summer pastimes. Canoing, jumping in the lake, frisbee, campfires, seeing the stars, and playing cards. It’s all so relaxing. Ok well it takes a ton of planning and packing to actually get camping, but after you set up your gear, it’s relaxing. Actually, I find camping one of (if not THE best) way for me to relax and wind down. There’s no wifi or cell reception, so don’t even think about working or social media or aimlessly surfing the Internet. Plus, there’s no TV. It’s all relaxation. I find I get much better sleep and am more active while camping too.
Camping gluten free is easy. As long as you plan ahead. Two years ago I wrote down some gluten free camping ideas, but now I’ve compiled a more comprehensive list of my favourite gluten free camping foods, organized by meal.
Too rushed in the morning to eat breakfast? Too busy to prepare a packed lunch for work? Does this sound familiar?
I’d bet that’s a regular occurrence for many people. But for most, they can grab a bagel on the way to work or head to a cafe to pick up lunch. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for me, or for others with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. While it’s becoming easier to eat dinner out, the chances of a gluten free bakery being on your way to work is quite rare, let alone a fast food joint with healthy, gluten free options.
No, for us, we must rely on being prepared. If we don’t bring a filling breakfast or lunch, it might mean being hungry, tired, and cranky for the rest of the day. So what should we do on those days when we’re too busy to eat breakfast before jetting off to work? Be prepared and have a backup! That’s right, have a stash of food already at work.
Here are the eight gluten free snacks that I keep stashed in my desk at work just in case.
I remember celebrating my first birthday after learning of my severe gluten intolerance. It was less than two months after going gluten free and it was still very new for me and my family. My parents actually bought a regular gluten-laden birthday cake for the occasion and I was responsible for buying my own slice of gluten free chocolate cake. Somehow it’s just not quite the same having everyone else slice and eat a nice looking birthday cake, while I’m stuck scraping the icing off of my plastic container — especially on MY birthday.
I’m happy to say that a TON has changed since that birthday. My family is super supportive of me and always ensures that family gatherings have gluten free food to keep me safe. And in their defence, five years ago there weren’t near as many options for gluten free baked goods as there are now.
My birthday cakes have definitely progressed for the better. Going from stale, dry individual slices of gluten free cake bought from the grocery store, to everyone eating slices of Raw Aura‘s amazing raw banana chocolate cake, to this year when I actually made my own ‘cake’! I can’t tell you how proud I am that I made my own gluten free birthday ‘cake’ for everyone in my family to eat together. That’s how a birthday’s supposed to be. I say ‘cake’ loosely since it wasn’t so much of a traditional cake than a Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie!! Oh my. What better way to celebrate a summer birthday than a cold cream pie? I love the banana – peanut butter – chocolate combo, so this was a real winner. My family loved it and fought over the leftovers. That’s how good it is. Nobody even batted an eye about it being gluten free.
To me Easter weekend is a really good excuse to eat a lot of chocolate (like I need an excuse). Ever since I can remember, I have loved searching for chocolate eggs hidden around our house. I’m pretty sure each year my Mom hid the eggs in the same spots in our family room, but somehow later in the year we’d end up finding that one forgotten egg that we missed out on. Now as an adult I find myself searching for chocolate in a different (more desperate) way. I’m on a daily hunt across the city to find gluten free, soy free chocolate. Thankfully within the past six months I have found more varieties of chocolate that I can eat. Here they are, the best gluten free & soy free chocolate that I have found in Toronto…
Is it already January? Time has flown by lately especially since I’ve been so busy with a big project at work. I realized I haven’t posted about my holidays yet. Better late than never right? Toronto got hit by a big ice storm a few days before Christmas and my parent’s neighbourhood got hit hard losing power for over 110 consecutive hours. Needless to say, they couldn’t host and the decision was made to move our celebrations up to Barrie. So we piled into the car, trunk and laps full of presents, stockings, groceries, pots and pans and of course the requisite turkey and ham. We literally brought Christmas to my Grandpa’s – everything but the tree went with us.
This past Sunday Ryan and I went to the Gluten Free Garage at the stunning Artscape Wychwood Barns. I fondly remember the first event last year when I was amazed and thankful to finally have a gluten free event where local, homemade and natural foods were being showcased rather than the typical heavily processed and packaged foods at other events. It was such a great roster last year and that continued at this event too!
I like this event because I know I can find some of my favourite foods from bake shops and vendors I love, plus I get to try new new foods too.
Recently my 15 year old cousin found out she had to eat gluten free. Her doctor recommended she do a food allergy test to see which foods her body was unable to process. Gluten and eggs were at the top of the list. When I asked what she was finding the most difficult as she adjusted to a gluten free lifestyle, she said breakfast and snacks were really hard. I wanted to help her out so I invited her over for a gluten free and egg free buffet. Ahead of time I made a few of my staple snack foods and then I showed her how to make some delicious breakfast dishes.
These are some of my favourite, go-to naturally gluten free breakfast and snack foods…
My family has always been incredibly accommodating of my severe gluten intolerance. They go out of their way to ensure that there is no risk of cross contamination when they prepare meals and always ensure that I have gluten free food and that includes a dessert too! I am so grateful and thankful of family. I One year my aunt actually made me my own small turkey breast with stuffing inside. There was almost a dual personality to that meal. She had to cook two turkeys, two types of stuffing, two gravies. Thanksgiving this year outdid the rest. There’s actually three of us now in my family who eat gluten free. My uncle and cousin both avoid gluten for separate reasons. My cousin had a food allergy test recently which told her to stop eating gluten and wheat because her body wasn’t processing it. On the other hand, since my uncle read Wheat Belly about a year ago, he has avoided wheat and won’t look back. So this year, 3 / 12 of us eat gluten free so this meal was paradise. As an appetizer there was bruschetta with brie. It took me a few minutes to get used to the fact that gluten free bread was used for everyone. My whole family enjoyed it and my aunt had to make a second batch.
This Thanksgiving the turkey wasn’t stuffed so that everyone could eat the same turkey with their own stuffing. The gravy was gluten free for all. The only thing I had to avoid was the gluten stuffing. Of course there were three different types of bread stuffing available. A gluten one, gluten free one and a vegetarian one for my brother. For dessert we all ate an amazing pumpkin cheesecake with a gluten free ginger snap crust. So good! This is by far my favourite cheesecake, especially with a dollop of whip cream on top. It was an amazing evening with my family. Everyone complimented the food and didn’t miss gluten at all.