Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gluten-Free Gifts for the Holidays

Gift guides are popping up all over the blogosphere, so let's talk about some gifts ideas for people with food intolerances. I'll share with you my own holiday wishlist, as well as some other ideas for food intolerant people in your life. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means that if you do purchase something by clicking over from my site, you will be helping to maintain and expand this site at no cost to you. I hope these ideas are helpful to someone out there who's looking for a way to support a friend or family member with celiac disease or food allergies during this holiday season.

Here is what I want for Chanukah:

What's missing most from my kitchen is a Factory-Reconditioned KitchenAid RRK150WH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer (preferably in Glacier Blue, but beggars can't be choosers). Because of health issues it is painful for me to stir, knead, etc and my muscles fatigue easily. This would open the door to much more bread-baking and other culinary endeavors that are just too much work right now.

The most highly acclaimed bread machine for gluten-free bakers is the Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine. Every post about bread machines on the gluten-free bulletin boards I read sings its praises. Other models entice buyers with a gluten-free cycle, but this seems to be the one that actually delivers. I'd end up saving quite a bit of money by baking my own bread rather than buying all that overpriced, disappointing packaged gluten-free bread at the store.

Let's be honest, I don't need both a bread machine and a mixer. A mixer would probably do the job just fine. But hey, when I have the kitchen of my dreams there will be room for endless kitchen appliances!

Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix - Pack of 6
Yes, I pride myself on making my own flour mixes from scratch. But there are times when convenience is everything, and this mix really does the job, with no added sugar or other unnecessary ingredients.

Being a total cookbook junkie, there are a number of titles on my wishlist right now:
But enough about me... Let's talk about some other gifts that will make your loved one/s smile!

For someone who has recently discovered that they have to avoid gluten for the rest of their lives, the book Living Gluten-Free For Dummies by Danna Korn is a thorough guide to understanding what you can and can't eat, how to cope, and how to navigate grocery stores and restaurants.

Food shopping is stressful for people with celiac disease. You can take the stress out of it with a subscription to the frequently updated downloadable Gluten-Free Food & Drug Product Lists. They can be downloaded to a Pocket PC, laptop or desktop computer, or Palm Pilot for easy reference while at the grocery store - Some come with subscriptions that allow you to update the list on a regular basis. This is a great way to keep a loved one safe and healthy.

If there's a little one in your life who's too young to advocate for their own dietary needs, how about a child's allergy awareness t-shirt or bib? And for the grown-ups, Karina the Gluten-Free Goddess has a line of very cute and stylish t-shirts at her shop Mucho Gusto that feature colorful graphics and messages.

Last, but not least, tasty treats make a great gift! There are gluten-free cookie gift baskets, and even a special gluten-free gift-basket just for kids.

What's on your wishlist?


~M said...

I have the Breadman TR875 (it has a GF cycle) and it works fabulously for Pamela's GF bread mix. It is also on sale from Amazon and about 1/3 the price of the Zojirushi. I think it is smaller too (it makes up to a 2lb loaf), which is good for people who live in small apartments. I've had the Zojirushi NS-KCC05 Micom Programmable 3-Cup Rice Cooker & Warmer for over 1 year now so I know that their products are awesome too (but way pricier). By the way, this rice cooker would be another great gift for celiac folks, as it makes perfect brown rice.

As far as my wish list, I am waiting for my Henckel's Pro-S granton-edge santoku knife and new Oneida cutting board to arrive. When I return from winter vacation, I also plan on getting a 6-pack of Pamela's baking and pancake mix since it is cheaper than getting it at the store.

Eventually, I'd like to replace my cheapo blender with a Vitamix blender: - which makes smoothies, cooks and then purees soups (so I wouldn't need a wand/hand-held/immersion blender), and even grinds and kneads grains so I can make my own flours in small amounts (I'm thinking lotus rice flour, black rice flour, etc.) A Kitchenaid standing mixer and a normal (not compact/mini) Cuisinart food processor are also on my wish list (for when I move).

burekaboy — said...

chag sameach, by the bay! :-) let's hope your hanukkah wishes come true! nice selection.

my list would be too long to write out! tops are probably one of the allclad sets i've been ogling for a long time, some really good knives to add to the collection, a decent chopping block and a commercial mixer. sigh.

@michelle -- the vitamix rocks! i have one and it's the best investment (unfortunately it's a small fortune). depending on the model you get, it comes with two blades -- one for wet and the other for dry (grains, spices, etc).

Mike Eberhart said...

I definitely recommend the KitchenAid mixer you listed. We have had one for years, and have gotten a LOT of use out of it, and put the thing through all sorts of punishment while baking hundreds of recipes during our desserts-book creation days earlier in the year. It has done a wonderful job, and for anyone that plans to do a lot of their own baking, it is very very nice to have.

Given the price of store-bought gluten-free foods, if you can learn to take a bit of time in the kitchen baking your own foods, you'll save the price of this mixer in no time.

K Allrich said...

Hey! Thanks for the shout out on my Mucho Gusto! designs. Much appreciated.

If I had to choose between a mixer and a bread machine, I'd go with the bread machine. I [finally] have one. It takes all the risk out of making gluten-free bread. I love it.

I had the KitchenAid Epicurean stand mixer for four years, and I loved it. I sold it before we moved, though, and have not replaced it. And you know what? I don't miss it. I'm mixing the old fashioned way - with a wooden spoon. For gluten free, it works great. Go figure!


Pamela said...

Another great gluten free gift is Cecelia's Marketplace Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide. I just bought it for a friend that was recently diagnosed and she absolutely loves it!