A New Pure Cider for the Holidays

December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

possmann_pureciderA new gluten free cider jumped off the shelf at me: Possmann Pure Cider from Germany. The name, packaging, and product are in perfect harmony, elegant and simple.

On a white label with silver and gold lettering, Pure Cider’s stylish modern packaging is like a Kubrick futuristic movie or an Apple Macintosh store. Not new, Pure Cider boasts 130 years of heritage. That’s just what I like: old and new, classic with a modern edge.

I feared Pure Cider would be a hard bitter cider that I wouldn’t like, but it turned out to be a nice sweet flavor similar to Martinelli’s non-alcoholic cider. Martinelli’s is what was always given to the kids in my family on holidays, so Pure Cider brings a positive association with its flavor.

Gluten Free Possmann Pure Cider has 5% alcohol.

The bottle reads: “Simply pure enjoyment from the rich flavor of German apples ripened for the full summer, then picked, pressed and fermented to cider according to the traditional Possmann recipe. Cheers from Frankfurt. ”

I am not sure where you can find Pure Cider in the USA. It is probably easier to find in Europe. It immediately sold out at my store. It is a bit expensive at $9.99, as it has a long journey to make to get to California. At $2.50 a bottle, it is still cheaper than buying a drink at the bar.

If you can find it, Possmann Pure Cider is a nice light gluten free alcoholic beverage to have at your holiday and New Year’s Eve parties. Plus, Pure Cider will look nice next to the champagne and confetti.

How to Make a Homemade Ice Tea Float

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

Summer is coming to an end, but it is still hot in some places, and anyway, ice tea is always good.

I love a scoop of vanilla ice cream in my coffee and I also love root beer floats.

If you want something with way less sugar and caffeine, how about an Ice Tea Float? It is a fun treat to spice up your day.

Lacking milk and sugar to sweeten my tea, one day, I used a scoop of Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream and now I must highly recommend it to you!

Making ice tea is easy and it is a pleasant drink to have around the house. It has less caffeine than coffee and is less hard on the stomach.

To make a nice big batch of ice tea… choose your favorite tea. Mine currently is Earl Grey with Bergamot.

Boil a pot of water measured to the amount of the recycled glass jar you will be using.

After the water comes to a boil, shut off the fire or heat. Put in 5 tea bags without the strings or tags. Stir.

Without regard to the ice cream part, if you like sweetened ice tea, I put one spoon of sugar per tea bag, so in this case, 5 spoons of sugar. I use organic brown sugar and sometimes organic white sugar.

[If your ice tea is already cold and you want to sweeten per individual glass, Agave is a good liquid sweetener to use, or if you are diabetic, use a tiny bit of Stevia, which is natural (they say) and has no sugar content.]

Covered, let the hot water and tea bags steep for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until water is dark.

Pour tea into the glass jar. Let cool an hour on the counter. Then put into the refrigerator to chill. This may take several hours.

When glass jar is cold to the touch, you may drink it. Or you can add ice cubes if it is still warm and you really want to get at that tea.

I usually add a touch of milk, but it is also really tasty without it.

If you are going for the Ice Tea Float, add a vanilla ice cream scoop, which tastes great with black and green teas, but maybe not so good with fruit teas.



Beers Booze & Beverages Gluten Free Alcohol

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

When a young adult transitions to eating gluten free, one of the first questions is: What alcohol can I drink? Which alcohols are gluten free?

Here is a comprehensive list of gluten free alcohols.

GLTUEN FREE AT THE BAR: Hard apple ciders and wine are gluten free. Shots of tequila and rum are gluten free.

GLUTEN FREE MIXED DRINKS: The Mojito and Caipirinha are gluten free cocktails. A Screwdriver is orange juice and vodka, but those vodkas are not gluten free at the bar, so ask for orange juice and tequila instead. When looking at a cocktail list of specialty drinks, select the drink that has rum or tequila as the alcohol ingredient, all the rest may be made from grains like wheat, barley, rye that have gluten.

Before I knew about eating gluten free, I had already started drinking hard alcohol instead of beer because regular beer wreaked the worst havoc on my stomach, causing great distress, pain, and gas.


Most stores now carry cider which is made from apples or pears, sometimes other fruits. Cider is a great alternative to beer and all brands taste pretty good. Do beware of its high sugar content.

My favorite casual beverage, refreshing like a soda on a hot day or night, not too sweet, not too strong, are the Fox Barrel pear ciders. They have a few different interesting flavors: blackberry, apricot, ginger and blackcurrant.

The Crispin and Ace apple ciders are much stronger tasting.

If you want gluten free beer, one good simple light tasting beer that I cover in depth is the Budweiser of gluten free beers, Redbridge.

If you like stronger tasting beers, you should try one of each gluten free beer to see what you like. Pictured above is a sample of what gluten free alcohol beverages are carried at WholeFoods, although it is constantly changing, week to week, depending on what customers buy. I have tried other beers, but they are too strong flavored for my delicate taste buds.

Made from grapes, all wine is gluten free, red and white.

**Anything made from wheat, barley, or rye is NOT 100% gluten free. These are most beers and many alcohols.**

In the old days, vodka was made with potatoes, which is ok for Celiac Disease sufferers, but these days, most vodkas are made from grains like wheat, which is bad for gluten intolerant people.

My favorite vodka for price, taste, and being gluten free (made with potatoes) is Monopolowa sold at Trader Joe’s and BevMo. Monopolowa is so far the best gluten free vodka I have found. With it, we make Lemon Drops with fresh picked lemons from my tree, organic sugar, ice, and vodka. For a faster drink, we use fresh squeezed  orange juice, also available at Trader Joe’s. Pretty much any juice tastes great with this vodka, pomegranate, cranberry, or any mixed fruit juice.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and is gluten free. What’s also great about Tequila, I find, is that it is good ToKillA belly ache caused by gluten. If I don’t have Pepto Bismal, Tequila also helps to make my stomach feel better when I have ingested gluten, or at least my head thinks so.

With tequila, it seems the more money you spend, the better tasting the tequila. I prefer gold colored tequila, which I think is aged longer, than the clear tequila. Some good tequila brands are Jose Cuervo Tequila for the any man (or woman) on a budget or Patron Tequila is great and has all kinds of amazing flavors if you have some extra bucks to spend. I am constantly trying new and different tequilas; the tastes differ dramatically. I would guess Mexico (from where tequila comes) probably has some special tequilas, so if you are visiting there, you might want to stock up on that.

I find Tequila tastes best either straight, or with orange juice, or tropical juices like pineapple.

Gosh, this just keeps going on and on. And people say it is hard to go gluten free! Hmmff! No it’s not.

Rum is gluten free and is made from sugar. I don’t buy rum so I don’t have any recommendations on brands.

If I am out celebrating something at a restaurant or bar, rum is the ingredient in my favorite two lime juice cocktails: the Brazilian national drink Caipirinha made from cachaca (the Brazilian equivalent to rum) and the Cuban drink Mojito.  The Caipirinha has lime, sugar, and cachaca. The Mojito has lime, soda water, rum, sugar, and fresh crushed mint leaves!

** Although rice is gluten free, Japanese Rice Beers like are Asahi and Kirin are not gluten free because they are made with Barley which has gluten. Sake, Japanese wine is made from Rice, Water, Yeast, and Koji mold; in general, sake (or saki) should be gluten free, but sometimes it is made with Barley. **

With all that, I think you have a good start to understanding how you can enjoy your gluten free alcohol!

As always, drink in moderation and never drive or ride a bike.  😉

The Beet Dozer Versus Red Bull

July 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

This is my homemade chilled Red Beet Bulldozer Dirty Chai that I call the Beet Dozer, a gluten-free energy drink.

My homemade Beet Dozer beats Red Bull because you will not have a heart attack or go on a hypoglycemic shooting rampage six hours after drinking it.

Red Bull ingredients are: carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, sodium citrate, taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, inositol, niacinamide, calcium-pantothenate, pyridoxine HCl, vitamin B12, artificial flavors, colors. Some brands have aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, or coca leaf.

Beet Dozer ingredients are: tap water, organic beets, Trader Joe’s organic whole milk, organic free trade coffee beans from Costco, Raw Agave Nectar, and Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea [Rooibos African Red Tea, Black Tea (decaf available), Cinnamon, Roasted Chicory, Ginger, Coconut, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Paprika, Black Pepper, and Chinese Star Anise].

Instead of the refined sugars, chemicals, and empty calories of Red Bull, with the Beet Dozer you get energizing cleansing nutrients from red beets, a good caffeine fix from the coffee, some alkaline milk to calm your stomach acid, and delicious natural spices to fulfill your randy taste buds.

Why on Earth Did I Make the Beet Dozer and How?

Like most things I make in the kitchen, it is a combo of scraps that turn into a happy accident of tasty flavors.

As an actor, I had been up since 2:30am for a movie set call time of 4:00am. I was off work and home by 10:30am and was thinking how I needed some sort of pick-me-up to make it through the next 12 hours.

Synthetic substances do not appeal to me.

Cleaning the kitchen, I noticed the great value of what remained scattered on the counters. Before I cleaned the pot from the beets I just boiled, I put two Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea bags in the remaining scalding hot water to steep.

To the 2 cups of the steeped Red Beet Water Chai Tea, I added the last cup of Muddy Coffee from the coffee press that was sitting on the counter from my husband, plus a cup of Organic Whole Milk, and 2 long squirts of Agave Nectar sweetener. In a recycled glass beverage bottle, I shook up the concoction and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

The beets I boiled I used in a salad.

Why Red Beets are Great

  • Flavonoids
  • Anticancerous
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, suppresses Herpes
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Good for blood circulation
  • Folic Acid keeps you younger
  • Red poop is exciting

Red Beet Uses

  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Virus
  • Lethargy
  • Red coloring (make-up, clothes, etc)

You can eat boiled beets, drink beet juice, or use the boiled beet water for tea or coloring.

Don’t drink the Beet Dozer everyday because it could make your stomach too acidic and it might be high in sodium from the beets, but once in a while, for a healthy anxiety-free alternative to mass produced energy drinks, the Beet Dozer Dirty Chai will make you feel alert.



Gluten Free Budweiser Beer?

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Just when I thought I had seen everything, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the company that makes Budweiser Beer, has come out with a gluten free beer called Redbridge.

I came across the new Redbridge gluten free beer at WholeFoods while I was picking up some cider.

The problem with cider is that the sugar content is so high, I can’t really drink more than one without feeling like throwing up.

Also, men don’t feel super manly drinking cider, they want beer. I picked up the beer because my male house guests have had some complaints about the lack of beer around my gluten free home.

When my man came home, he picked up a bottle of Redbridge and checked it out. After inquiring about the price of it and being satisfied with the answer, he immediately and enthusiastically cracked open the gluten free beer and drank it.

Redbridge beer tastes strikingly similar to Budweiser beer, it’s amazing. I haven’t tasted ‘normal’ beer in about five years or so. Redbridge has a light taste, a little sweeter than Budweiser, otherwise very similar, very manly! The kind of shit you sit on the couch and drink while watching sports. It even looks manly in its brown bottle and Old West style red label.

Anheuser-Busch writes:

“Redbridge is made without wheat or barley, so the approximately 3.2 million consumers who are unable to drink beer made with barley due to Celiac Disease or because they follow a wheat-free or gluten-free diet can once again enjoy a great tasting beer. Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste.”

Apparently, in the old days, some people over at Budweiser tried to claim their original beer was gluten-free. Hopefully, this new brand Redbridge is truly gluten-free and made in a factory far away from the other factory or wheat fields.

Anyone who claims normal beer is gluten-free is a crackpot and has not had stomach aches like mine. For me, beer gives me the absolute worst pains of all gluten-full foods and beverages.

A friend of mine makes beer and I have seen the whole process. The process does not get rid of the elements that cause pain to Celiac Disease sufferers, no more than turning wheat into bleached white flour does; all the pain is still there, trust me. The airborne dust elements in the factory that resettle into the food or beverage are enough to cause damage to one with Celiac.

There is a really great discussion about beer and Celiac Disease that is hard for me to explain, but read it at BellaOnline, Ask the Beer Fox: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art34379.asp


…and what the heck are they?

Water is H2O.

Fermented Sorghum (Sorghum and Corn Syrup) Sorghum is a popular African grain. Corn syrup is a liquid made from the starch of maize corn.

Hops is a cone-shaped tree flower bud that gives beer its the bitter tangy taste and originally came from the Bavarian area of Europe, specifically, Germany who started using it in the latter half of the first millennium.

Yeast is a fungal micro-organism, asexual and unicellular, that while fermenting turns carbs into alcohol and carbon-dioxide.

How Do I Find Redbridge Gluten Free Beer in My Area?

Go to their website:
Enter in your adult age birthdate to enter the site.

On bottom left, enter your zip code and check the box for either DINE IN or DINE OUT, and it will give you a list of all your local options as to where you can find RedBridge Beer in both grocery stores and dining establishments. It is a very cool feature.

On the Redbridge website, they even have some general information about Celiac Disease (pasted below), bless their souls. Having suffered all my life and not knowing why, I can’t believe what an overwhelming response the food and beverage community is making all the sudden. It warms my achy breaky gut.

Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease, often hereditary, that causes a chronic reaction to gluten in the small intestine which interferes with the absorption of food and then triggers other seemingly unrelated health conditions. Antibodies eventually attach and destroy the small intestine. Currently, the only known cure is to follow a gluten-free diet.What is gluten?
“Gluten” is the general term for a mixture of many protein fragments (called peptide chains or polypeptides) found in common cereal grains. Wheat is the only grain considered to contain true gluten. Other sources of gluten include rye, barley and oats.
Facts about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects approximately one in one hundred thirty three Americans – most of whom are misdiagnosed due to atypical symptoms.Celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.Celiac – left untreated – could lead to infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoma, depression & neurological disorders. Celiac disease is more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease or anemia
Redbridge and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will partner to increase awareness of the Celiac Disease. Please check back again later for more information about this exciting and important partnership.About the NFCA
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness mission is to raise awareness for celiac disease and funding that will advance research, education and screening, while improving the quality of life of those affected by this autoimmune disease through grant making and direct programming.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Celiac Disease. NFCA is proud to be affiliated with the leading researchers in the US who are working toward this goal. The Foundation actively supports collaboration and partnership among scientists and institutions to optimize research potential. In addition, it has created an expert panel and competitive grant-making process to fund cutting-edge research in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.