Moving to a New Place on a Gluten-Free Diet
I have to say, I love being back in New York. I grew up on Long Island and it just feels "right" to be back here again. I think the whole family is happy with the move.
But moving for a celiac and someone with food sensitivities brings a few challenges. Our family doesn't use many processed foods, but there are a few we do still use. Brands that we found to be safe in Florida sometimes aren't available here, so we've had to make some changes. Unfortunately though, with trying new brands comes quite a few days of being sick until we're able to find those that cause no reaction.
But Do I Really Have to Worry About Spices on a Gluten-Free Diet?
We've been having issues with spices. Some spice companies, even those with certified gluten-free labels, were causing issues for our family. Why? You have to remember even certified gf products contain small amounts of gluten. For some that might not be an issue, but for those sensitive souls like our family, even trace amounts are starting to cause a reaction.
But My Spice Company Says All Their Products are Gluten-Free
This may be hard for newbies to hear, but manufacturers will often say anything to sell a product. Many products are labeled gluten-free and they're not. Anyone can say their product is gluten free.
I'm revising many of my recipes now to use spices and herbs straight from the plant. For instance, only using cloves of garlic, minced, instead of garlic powder or garlic salt. I generally keep some chopped parsley, cilantro and dill in resealable bags in the freezer.
Litehouse Spices and Freeze-Dried Herbs
If I can't use the spice or herb straight from the plant, I turn to Litehouse spices. We have had no reaction to their spices or herbs, and I recently discovered that several others who are very sensitive to gluten were also using Litehouse spices without incident.
Litehouse make several spices, herbs and blends:
- Freeze-Dried Basil
- Freeze-Dried Chives
- Freeze-Dried Cilantro
- Freeze-Dried Dill
- Instantly Fresh Garlic
- Instantly Fresh Ginger
- Freeze-Dried Italian Herbs
- Instantly Fresh Jalapenos
- Instantly Fresh Lemon Grass
- Instantly Fresh Mushrooms
- Freeze-Dried Oregano
- Freeze-Dried Parsley
- Freeze-Dried Poultry Seasoning
- Freeze-Dried Red Onion
- Instantly Fresh Salad Herbs
- Instantly Fresh Spring Onions
Oh, No! Running Low on My Litehouse Spices!
I had almost full bottles of most of my spices when we left Florida. We were usually able to find the spices in the Target Supercenter stores (they keep them in the coolers in the produce section) as well as some of the grocery stores chains in Florida.
But now, all the bottles are almost empty. Last night I made a very, very quick chicken baked chicken. I took chicken breasts, poured a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and then had to think what spices I had left to season them. I sprinkled a lot of oregano (that jar was half full still), parsley and sea salt. Then I squeezed a bit of fresh lemon juice over them and baked them at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Surprisingly, my daughter loved it.
Finding Litehouse Products in a Store Near You
On the Litehouse site, they list where you can find their products. I just called their customer service number and they're going to call me back with additional stores in my area that might carry the spices. So far, I've only been able to find the Poultry Seasoning available at the Hannaford stores here. Unfortuantely, I don't use that seasoning too often.
You can also order any of the spices from the Litehouse site directly. It's priced slightly higher than you'd pay in the supermarket, though.
My Favorite Litehouse Spice Blend
I think my favorite Litehouse spice blend would have to be the Salad Herb Blend. It has red onion, chives and dill (which I never would have thought to put in there and it's a delicious addition!) and I just add a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, and there's my salad dressing.
I promptly heard back from the customer service department at Litehouse. Fortunately there are several grocery stores in the area that carry Litehouse herbs and spices including ShopRite, Stop and Shop and Price Chopper. Let the seasoning begin!!