I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of friends who live a gluten-free lifestyle. Many are due to Celiac or gluten sensitivity, so keeping this substance out of their diet is important. I am constantly terrified that I will give guests food poisoning, accidentally serve an allergen-containing dish, or somehow slip gluten into a snack. I turned to the brand OMG…It’s Gluten Free to help me make a gluten-free dessert charcuterie board so I could be 100% positive that my sweets would be safe for my friends to eat.
I hosted a brunch a month ago and was so stressed about finding gluten-free items. I popped into our local homemade bread store, Great Harvest, because they had “Gluten-Free bread” sign in the window. I was thrilled- I could serve their delicious desserts to my guests without fear of them getting totally ill! As I palmed my purchase and waited at the register for the owner to ring me up, I had to be absolutely sure. “This bread is totally gluten-free, right?” A look of hesitation crossed his face. “Well, that depends, is the person eating it just avoiding gluten, or are they gluten-intolerant?” I knew a few of my friends were diagnosed with Celiac and told him so. “Nope, it isn’t gluten-free then. It is made in a facility where other gluten products are made, so cross-contamination is possible.” HUH? I had no clue that even a speck of gluten could make someone with Celiac sick. In order for a product to be labeled gluten-free, it must be validated to contain less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten.
After researching this, I found that just 50 milligrams of gluten (the size of a small crouton) is enough to cause issues. This can cause damage to the lining of the small intestine, and for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it can still cause severe symptoms. Here is a little gluten-free etiquette lesson:
Guests, notify your host in advance if you follow a gluten-free diet. A simple “Just wanted to let you know that I am gluten-free, so if you don’t see me eating everything, that is probably why.” If possible, let them know the severity of your sensitivity or allergy, especially if it is serious. You can also offer to bring a GF dish to bring the stress down for them so they can rest assured that there will be something you can eat.
Hosts, if someone tells you they are gluten-free, respect their lifestyle, and don’t pry. You can have a discussion about cross-contamination, but asking someone straight out if they are “just doing it because it seems healthy” is incredibly rude. Get educated- ask your guest what they usually eat, if they have a recipe to share, or if they prefer to bring a dish because you don’t want to accidentally make them super sick. (I am a paranoid host, so maybe this is just me). Also, save all of the wrappers/boxes/ingredient lists for your guests to examine and let them know the are available.
OMG…It’s Gluten Free
Can you imagine being diagnosed with Celiac, and then discovering your four children are gluten intolerant? That is what happened to Julie Scianna. She originally opened a gluten-free cafe and carry-out location, and OMG… It’s Gluten Free has now evolved into a small manufacturing company selling to wholesale buyers across the US, AND direct to consumers. Everything is manufactured in their gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree nut-free facility in Frankfort, Illinois.
- Bread Loafs
- Bread Crumbs
- Mac n Cheese
Gluten-Free Dessert Charcuterie Board
Using OMG…It’s Gluten Free products in my dessert charcuterie board made putting it together incredibly easy. I ordered a Sweet Snack Pack, which includes:
- 1 of each clamshell of Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookes
1 blueberry muffin
1 Banana chocolate chip muffin
I also added fresh fruit since it is naturally gluten-free- strawberries and grapes look particularly pleasing alongside sweet treats. I added dried cherries from Trader Joe’s- they have nothing added, BUT cannot be labeled gluten-free because of processing and possible cross-contamination, as is everything manufactured in a shared facility. Trader Joe’s does have a published list of some gluten-free items that you can download and take to the store with you. They have Roasted Coconut Chips and Fruit Bars (which can be cut into small squares) that would make a delish addition to your gluten-free dessert charcuterie board. I also added nuts to my board, keeping them in a separate container because of nut allergies. If you want to make your own gluten-free Cocoa Roasted Almonds, here is a simple recipe!
Another option that you could add to a gluten-free dessert charcuterie board is…French Toast Sticks! Use the OMG…It’s Gluten Free white bread and follow this recipe. Dust with powdered sugar and add warm maple syrup as a dipping sauce. Perfect for any time of day, not just breakfast!
Cheers to celebrating with friends and family and having the resources to keep people healthy!
Disclosure: I received samples of OMG…It’s Gluten Free products for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own as always.