Friday, November 19, 2010

Don’t Let Gluten Get Ya During the Holidays

Maintaining healthy eating habits during the holiday season is a challenge to just about everyone and a particular challenge to those following a gluten-free diet. After all, more parties, more baked goods, more recipes and more desserts invariably amount to more exposure to gluten-filled ingredients that are much easier to avoid the rest of the year.

Here, then, are a few tips to help ensure you have a holiday full of cheer but free of gluten:

  • Obvious advice that’s worth mentioning anyway: Bring your own GF dish (and offer to bring extra for anyone else following a GF diet). Throwing a party is difficult enough, so it’s not fair to ask your host to prepare special dishes for you – especially if he or she isn’t familiar with your requirements and could inadvertently add gluten to the equation.

  • Be especially wary of cross-contamination at a holiday party (or, of course, any social gathering). Unless the host is also maintaining a strict GF diet, it’s more than possible that a GF food will be exposed to gluten – especially if the same utensils are being used to prepare several dishes.

  • While it's a bit drastic, you may have a better time and feel more comfortable eating before partying – particularly if it’s a party being hosted by someone you don’t know all that well such as a spouse’s employer or a new neighbor. To avoid any social awkwardness, simply explain your situation to the host in advance or once you arrive so they don’t think you’re dissing their cooking.

  • If you’re going to a restaurant, see if they’ve posted their menu online and then call the manager to ask if the chef can prepare any GF food for you.  Always reinforce the need for gluten free with your server once you are at the restaurant.

  • And then there’s the most secure option of all: host your own party!

At Kinnikinnick, we’re all about making GF foods that are not only safe to eat, but delicious as well. Here, then, are a couple of our favorite holiday recipes we know you’ll enjoy: (and don't forget you can see all of these recipes being made on our free online recipe show Great Food, Gluten Free!)

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs
398ml pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup milk replacement (rice milk, soy milk, potato milk or almond milk)
1 prepared 9 inch deep dish crust (use Kinnikinnick Pastry and Pie Mix)

Beat eggs lightly in bowl. Add pumpkin puree, spices, and brown sugar: mix until well combined. Add milk replacement and blend till combined. Pour into prepared pie shell and bake at 350*F for 30-40 minutes or until pie is done. If you do not require a dairy free pie you can substitute 1 cup whipping cream (unwhipped) for the milk replacement and follow the above directions. 

Sausage Stuffing
24 breakfast sausages (pork, beef, turkey)
1 loaf each of Kinnikinnick White & Brown Sandwich Bread
3 stalks celery
1 med onion
1/4 c fresh rosemary removed from stem
1/4 c fresh sage chopped
1/4 c fresh thyme removed from stem
2 tsp dried poulty seasoning
1tsp dried sage
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Remove sausage casings & mash. Fry in large pan until no longer pink. Add celery, onion and seasoning to meat. Toss and cook for 5 minutes.
Cut bread into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. Save 1 end crust (heel)  Place in large bowl. Add meat & toss.
2. Stuff turkey cavity and neck area (if there is room) with stuffing. Cover cavity with heel of bread. Tie legs with butchers twine.
3. Place any remaining stuffing in a baking dish. Place in refrigerator until 1 hour before serving. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes until golden brown on top. For moister stuffing pour 1/2-3/4 cup water or chicken broth over stuffing in dish before baking.

Cranberry Sauce
2c cranberries fresh
1 med apple peeled/cored and diced
3/4c water
1c orange juice
3/4c granulated sugar
Grated peel of 1 med orange
1 pkg gelatin
1/4c water
Optional: 2-3 tbsp of your favorite citrus flavoured vodka

Bring above 6 ingredients to a boil (add vodka if using), reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl prepare gelatin as per directions of package. Add to cranberry mixture during the last 5 minutes of the simmer. 

Cool and refrigerate to set up. This can be stored in fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate KinniTOOS Cheesecake
For best results, prepare the night before!


1pkg. Kinnikinnick chocolate cookie crumbs or crushed Kinnikinnick Chocolate KinniTOOS
1/4 cup margarine or butter

4-8oz. pkgs. cream cheese                                
1/2 cup Kinnikinnick All Purpose Celiac Flour
1 cups granulated sugar                                     
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream                                                 
1 pkg KinniToos Chocolate Sandwich Creme Cookies   
1 tsp pure vanilla

1. In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter; mix until combined. Press into a 10” spring form pan and place in fridge to set.
2. In a large bowl mix cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Mix in flour slowly. Add 1 egg at a time until fully incorporated. Fold in 1/2 pkg crushed KinniToos and pour into prepared cheesecake pan.
3. Bake at 325° F for 1 1/2 hours, Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes at room temperature. Remove outer ring from pan and cool for an additional 4 hours in the fridge.
4. Top with whipping cream and the remainder of the KinniToos. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seasonal Holiday Products Available November 4th

Just like Grandma used to make.
Fruit and spice make this the perfect holiday bread.
Hard to believe but it's that time again. Every year in November and December we offer our fabulous gluten free Fruit Cake and our Festive Bread.

Starting November 4th, you'll be able to order these from our website or toll free.

Don't forget that our Pumpkin Spice Donuts are still available but only until November 30th!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gluten-Free is Child’s Play

For many parents, the phrase “picky eater” is synonymous with "my child". Almost every child goes through a period (a month, a year, a decade...) where they limit what they eat to a few things. What does this mean for a child who has been diagnosed with Celiac? Or perhaps more specifically, what does this mean for a parent of a child who has been diagnosed with Celiac -and- is a picky eater. Hopefully, these tips will help you navigate those I-don't-want-that "discussions".

Some General Tips
  • Most kids don't like to be seen to be "different" from other kids. Try to find GF foods that look the same as what other kids are eating. We've even known parents who have gone as far as to swap (thoroughly cleaned) non-GF packaging. I'm not sure this is the best idea as it may confuse some of the younger GF'ers but it's an idea nonetheless.
  • Most kids don't like to be seen as different from -you-. If you and the other members of your family aren't eating GF, you may be in for a tough time getting your young GF'er to eat well.
  • If you aren't GF, you should at least try everything that you are giving to your GF child. There's lots of great tasting GF food out there these days but there's still lots that isn't. If you don't like it, there's a pretty good chance your child won't either.
  • You must emphasize how important it is not to swap or share food at school. For kids who have been diagnosed from an early age, this probably won't be a problem as they are often very leery of food they don't know. For kids diagnosed at an older age (I'm looking at you, 13 year olds) the temptation to "cheat" can be pretty strong, especially when you add peer pressure and social acceptance into the mix.
  • GF Pancakes and waffles are a breakfast staple. Buy Toaster Waffles where you can for rushed mornings. You can make pancakes ahead of time and freeze them. Just take them out and warm them in the microwave or toaster. Top them with strawberries and 100% pure maple syrup. If you're really rushed, top them with peanut or nut butter, Nutella, cream cheese or jam, roll them up and they can eat in the car.
  • For a healthier start to the day, scramble some eggs and top them with gluten-free salsa (many organic brands are GF) and pair with a side of white toast. A favourite in our house was Egg-in-the-hole. Cut a 2 inch hole in a slice of buttered (or non- both sides GF bread (a juice glass works well), put in a medium hot frying pan, crack an egg in the hole, flip after 2 minutes or so, cook for another 2 minutes or until the yolk is right for your child. Fry up the little disk cut out of the bread as well. That's the best part for some kids.
  • If you’re running late, a gluten-free donut is a constant child favorite however don't fall into the donut = breakfast trap. A donut is a treat and not a meal.
  • A homemade sandwich is usually a lunchtime staple for many families. To put a gluten-free twist on it, use white bread with meat, lettuce, organic ketchup and mustard. All fresh fruits and vegetables including edamame are gluten-free and make for a healthy side. Dips of yogurt for the fruit and dressing for the veggies can be key to getting a picky eater to eat fruits and veggies. Just about everybody likes to dip! Gelatin desserts make for a good end to a satisfying meal, but always check the label before purchasing.
  • Two slices of gluten-free pizza are always appreciated.
  • If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, take a box of gluten-free breadcrumbs and cook up some homemade chicken nuggets for your child to take to school. These can be deep fried or oven baked as a healthier alternative.
  • For a beverage, stick with milk, non-dairy milk alternatives or 100% juice.
  • French fries are a guaranteed way to child proof dinner. There are various recipes online for homemade sweet potato fries - a terrific side dish that can be oven roasted for a healthy alternative to store bought fries.
  • Roasted chicken is seems to be universally liked by young and old (after all, it tastes like chicken). Whether it’s store bought (check for a gluten-free label or ask at the store) or homemade, this can be a healthy, low fat meal for the entire family. 
  • Think ethnic. While it might not fly with all kids, many ethnic foods are easy to make and are often naturally GF.Some fun examples are Thai Lettuce Wraps, (use GF soy sauce and omit the oyster sauce), Indian Chana Masala with papdums (papadums are made from lentils) and Mexican Taco Casserole (use GF salsa). As always, read labels on spices and other ingredients and don't be afraid to contact the manufacturer. Most have websites with the GF status of their products (and if they don't you probably don't want to use their products)
  • Quinoa flakes with dried fruit (and maybe a few chocolate chips). Watch the dried fruit ingredients as they may be coated with flour or starch to prevent sticking.
  • Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds, nuts  
  • Don't forget good old popcorn. This can go in a lunch bag as a high fibre snack. Avoid the microwave stuff and go for hot air popped. Top with butter or non-dairy margarine. Let your kids get creative with the toppings. Garlic salt, Lemon pepper, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar (why not?) This is one area where you may -not- want to try what they come up with. "Yes Jimmy, if you think nutmeg and paprika tastes good together on popcorn, you go right ahead."
Probably the best advice we can give to help with your GF kids, picky eater or not, is to get them involved. Kids will eat almost anything if they are involved in making it. Cook with them. Have them help choose and prepare meals. Have fun. It's more than food, it's family.

Kinnikinnick Foods has been a proud contributor to gluten-free, kid-friendly meals for almost 20 years. With our extensive selection of baked goods, from bread to donuts, pizza to cookies, our products aim to help those with celiac disease live a tasty and wheat free life!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Win Tickets To a GF Cooking Demo In Scottsdale/Phoenix

The new Fry’s Signature Marketplace in Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ has asked us to help celebrate the opening of this store on Tuesday, October 5th.

They have 20 spaces available to see Jay & Lynne of Kinnikinnick do a Gluten Free cooking demo with 15 of the $35 tickets sold as of this afternoon. We're traveling all the way from Alberta so we want to make sure there's a full house.

To that end, we bought the final 5 tickets and we are giving them away!

But it's not just a demo, you get to eat too! We'll be making a wide range of gluten free dishes and you 'll get to try them all. PLUS, you'll get a gift bag of Kinnikinnick products valued at over $20 & a DVD of our cooking show Great Food, Gluten Free.

The rules.
  • You must be in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and must be able to attend on Tuesday, October 5 from 7-9 pm
  • The prize is admission only.
  • There are 5 separate prizes of one ticket. (ie: you can't win 2)
  • Let us know what your favourite Kinnikinnick product is and why you want to attend. We will randomly draw the winners from 5 posters in the comments section who can attend
  • No cash value on the prize.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • You must be at least 21.
  • Winners will be drawn Monday at 1 pm Phoenix time.
  • IMPORTANT: Winners will be notified in the comments section of the blog so you must return and check to see if you have won. We will provide you with an email address to contact so we can send you details on how to pick up your ticket. To make sure these tickets are used, if you have not contacted us by Monday, Oct 4 at 8pm Phoenix time, we will award the ticket to the next poster in the comments section. 
UPDATE: Since we didn't have any entries prior to contest rules deadline and the Demo is tomorrow, I'm giving them away to the first 5 posters.

     Phoenix/Scottsdale residents get posting!

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Pumpkin Spice Donuts - Get them before they're gone!

    Since today is the first day of fall, we decided to come up with a special treat to mark the day. We're pleased to introduce Pumpkin Spice Donuts

    Fall & pumpkins go together like donuts & coffee. Made with real pumpkin & spice, they're a perfect way to celebrate the season

    These are only available until November 30 so get yours today from our Website or order toll free 1-877-503-4466

    Oh, by the way these donuts are specially priced at 20% off until October 8th so now you have even more reason to order some ;)

    Edit: And yes they are available in our Edmonton Retail Store too :)

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Meet Barry - Save 20% on Donuts!

    Meet our new mascot, Barry Bearberry*

    Barry and Follow Me To Gluten Free (tm) are going to be popping up from time to time on the web, on T-shirts and a few other things that we're keeping quiet about right now.

    He's here today to announce a special offer for back to school.

    20% Off All Varieties of Kinnikinnick Donuts.

    That's right.

    20% off.


    We knew you'd like Barry.

    Valid for direct retail purchases from the Kinnikinnick Website or by calling toll free 1-877-503-4466  or in our Edmonton Retail store.
    Orders must be placed by October 8, 2010.

    *Why Bearberry? Read here

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Decadent Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake made with Kinnikinnick KinniTOOS

    Lori and Kim prepare a decadent gluten free Chocolate KinniTOOS Cheesecake! And yes, it's as good as it looks. :)

    Hosts Chef Lori and Kim will cover issues that often come up in Gluten Free baking & cooking and they'll show you just how easy it is to make "Great Food, Gluten Free"

    Great Food, Gluten Free is produced by Kinnikinnick Foods as a free service to consumers interested in gluten free cooking and baking.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Getting ‘Grilled’ on Gluten-Free Summer Cooking

    Welcome to the second installment of our new GF101 series!

    This time, our goal is to make all of you seasoned (in every sense) summer grillers. Obviously, we hope you’ll enjoy our very own Tapioca Rice hamburger and hot dog buns next time you fire up the grill, but our focus here isn’t on GF BBQ-themed foods per se, but on how those foods are prepared.

    First and foremost, if your BBQ grill is also used to grill gluten buns and meats that are marinated with gluten products, you should seriously consider buying a new BBQ wholly dedicated to GF foods. Sure, this is a rather expensive proposition and may not be in the cards just now, but considering the health ramifications involved, you might decide you can’t afford not to make this important investment. There are also less expensive options such as a smaller round grill or an in-home electric grill such as the George Foreman.

    However, if you do opt to use your existing BBQ, be sure to thoroughly clean the grill before each and every use and to heat up your GF foods first – before the gluten-packed foods take center stage. In addition, always be certain your utensils, pans, work surfaces and other tools are free of gluten. To really play it safe, simply use separate sets of utensils for gluten-free food preparation.

    Now a few suggestions if you’re a guest at a BBQ rather than a host:

    • If you don’t have the option of having your GF food grilled on a clean grill first (or are worried the host’s grill isn’t clean enough), use aluminum foil as a buffer between your food and the grill
    • Bring a dish or two you know is safe (a fruit salad, perhaps). Your host will understand, plus you can bring something everyone can enjoy
    • Go over the planned menu with your host in advance so you can anticipate what’s safe for you to eat and what isn’t; again, they’ll completely understand (and if they don’t, find another party to go to!)
    • Ask that the meat be grilled first and the buns after, so you can get a hold of your burgers or hot dogs before they’ve been contaminated by gluten (also, offer to bring your own buns)
    • Consider bringing GF alcoholic beverages if you’re planning to have a drink or two and aren’t sure what’s on tap at the party
    • Do your label-reading homework and be completely certain any sauces or marinades being served are fully GF

    Now for the really easy part – have a great time!!!


    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    You're Celiac or have Food Allergies. Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

    People seeking shelter in the Superdome before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. credit:

    With hurricane season upon us, floods and tornadoes in the news, and a 5.0 earthquake rattling southeastern Canada just yesterday, it seems the perfect time to offer a few pointers to the gluten-free and food allergy community on how best to prepare for a natural disaster.

    A few basic facts: research shows that 72 hours is the average time it takes for grocery store shelves to be cleared in the wake of a disaster, and 14 days is typically how long it takes to restore regular food shipments. It is also important to remember that emergency aid groups like the Red Cross or government run shelters or evacuation centers will be unlikely able to accommodate any type of specialty diet. You and your GF or food allergic family members may have very little to eat if you are unprepared and find yourself in the midst of a disaster area. Yet all it takes is a few minutes of planning to ensure your family – whether following a GF diet or not – will have enough to eat and drink should the emergency last days or even weeks.

    Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit: (adapted from
    • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle, unbreakable mirror to signal for help
    • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
    • Moist towelettes,  hand sanitizer, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Can opener & utensils for food (if kit contains canned food)
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone and chargers
    • Water proof matches or lighter
    • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

    Needless to say, if an emergency strikes and you have someone in the house with Celiac Disease or food allergies, it’s essential you have appropriate foods in storage to consume on-site or take with you to a shelter.

    As someone with special dietary needs, we need to do a bit more planning than for a normal supply kit. However, packing for an emergency is not all that different than packing for camping or backpacking. In fact, keeping your emergency supplies in a backpack or duffel is a good idea because it is easy to grab and its portability can be very important if you have to walk any distance to safety or a shelter.

    The Basics
    • Dehydrated or freeze dried food is best because it is light and easy to pack however finding dehydrated food that is gluten free can be challenging. Dehydrating your own food is not difficult and can be much cheaper. Most home dehydrators come with recipe books on how to dehydrate just about anything.
    • Where dehydrated foods are not available, canned meats, fish & beans are a good option. Avoid prepared, canned meals as they are often mostly water and less nutrient-dense. You must be aware that all canned foods are heavy and bulky and you might have to carry them for some distance.
    • Boil in bag meals and meal replacement beverages can also be an option if they are available. Again you’ll want to watch the weight.
    • Dried meats and fruit (jerky, fruit leather etc) are an essential for any kit. They are lightweight, last a long time and have excellent nutritional value. Get low sodium meats if possible. Make your own beef jerky and fruit leathers to save money and ensure they are gluten free.Jerky Tips & Recipes
    • Gluten free energy/protein bars are quite widely available and make a great addition to your kit.
    • GF dry soup or bouillon cubes can be a good way to add flavor to your emergency meals.
    • Rice is often suggested as a good staple for a gluten free emergency kit. I prefer Quinoa as it is far better for you from a nutrient standpoint, it cooks quickly (saving your limited fuel) and can be used for all meals (cinnamon & sugar quinoa for breakfast, cayenne, garlic & beef jerky quinoa for supper). If you want to use rice, get the quick cooking kind. Boil in bag rice is available which is very convenient. Brown rice is better nutritionally, but takes a lot of time and fuel to cook.
    • suggests packing a small 3 cup rice cooker but you may be without power so I would suggest a small single burner camp stove or sterno stove with extra fuel. You can even make your own sterno stove. Always make sure you have adequate ventilation when cooking with any kind of combustible fuel.
    • Pepper, salt, sugar, other spices such as garlic, cayenne, chili, cinnamon. While you don’t need these, they can help make your rations taste a whole lot better. When backpacking, I store these in empty 35mm film canisters. They’re light, durable and water tight. They aren’t easy to find these days but you might be able to still get them. Ask at your local photography store.
    • Coffee, tea, chocolate mix, powdered milk. Again not, essential (and some may argue that coffee is) but can make your time waiting in a shelter pass a bit more pleasantly.

    Keep all of your supplies in heavy duty, re-sealable plastic bags to keep them dry. Store your entire kit several feet off the floor so it won’t be damaged by flooding but not so high that it is difficult to get to. Check your kit every 3-4 months, check expiry dates and replenish with fresh supplies where needed.

    Obviously, what emergency items you’re most likely to need should be based on what type of emergency you’re most likely to face (flooding, quakes, and so on). But there’s one item none of us can do without – preparation – so do your homework, know your options, involve your family, conduct practice drills and, most of all, stay safe!

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Kinnikinnick Chocolate Dipped Donuts Reviewed by Phil Lempert "The Supermarket Guru"

    We were really pleased to see our Chocolate Dipped Donuts Reviewed by Phil Lempert "The Supermarket Guru" this week.

    In the review New Food Product Hits & Misses 23 June 2010, Phil gives us an 80

    Taste-27 90.00%

    An 80 is pretty good but he really hammered us for our ingredients. He says: concern that I have is just reading these ingredients things like fructooligosaccharide and sodium acid pyrophosphate are sure to make moms concerned about ingredients; even if you do have a gluten allergy! While you certainly have to give up certain ingredients to follow a gluten-free diet I think that this product asks a bit too much.

    We sent Phil a note basically saying that while we absolutely agree that just because a consumer is avoiding gluten doesn’t mean they should eat packaged foods with unhealthy or unnecessary additions, these “scary” ingredients in Kinnikinnick’s donuts (and all our products that use them) are actually intended to make the product healthier.

    The ingredients he's referenced are fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP ). We want to clarify for our customers what these ingredients are and why we use them.

    Sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP) is used in baking powders to react with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to provide leavening in baked goods. Many commercial baking powders contain sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS). Some studies have shown a link between aluminum and organ toxicity and even Alzheimer's Disease. We make our own corn & aluminum free baking powder called KinnActive Baking Powder, which we sell and also use in many of our baked products. SAPP is used in KinnActive, making it a healthier and functional addition.

    Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) & Inulin are most commonly made from chicory, and are soluble fibers. Both are naturally occurring in many common fruits and vegetable including Asparagus, Banana, Chicory, Garlic, Leek, Jerusalem Artichoke and Onions. They have been clinically shown to have many health benefits:

    1. Studies have shown that FOS & Inulin help Calcium absorption. * Calcium deficiency is a major problem for those with Celiac Disease.*
    2. They are prebiotic and help maintain intestinal health.*
    3. They help regulate Triglycerides, Glucose and Insulin response in Diabetics (and Celiac Diabetics).*
    4. They help reduce the amount of sugar required in a product, keeping calories lower.*

    Phil's reply was:

    As you know we base the reviews solely on what a shopper sees on pack - without explanation on the package its too confusing to make the purchase decision.Our policy is not to do follow up or clarification unless there was an error

    We do understand the reasoning behind basing a review of ingredients solely upon what a person can read on the package but we also can't list what every ingredient does and why we use on the packaging either. Fortunately, we have the web and this blog and I hope this clears up a few things.

    As always, we are more than happy to answer most any questions you have about our ingredients or procedures either publicly on this blog or by email to

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie with Graham Style Crust

    Hosts Chef Lori and Kim will cover issues that often come up in Gluten Free baking & cooking and they'll show you just how easy it is to make "Great Food, Gluten Free" To launch the new Kinnikinnick Graham Style Crumbs, Lori and Kim prepare: Lemon Meringue Pie. Great Food, Gluten Free is produced by Kinnikinnick Foods as a free service to consumers interested in gluten free cooking and baking.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Helping Find The Hidden Gluten That’s All Around Us

    Editor's note: This is the first in a series we're calling GF101. Over the coming months we'll be posting some short articles with basic tips on being gluten free and living in a gluten filled world. I hope they are useful, especially to newly diagnosed celiacs.

    Transitioning to a gluten-free diet certainly can be a challenge, which is why all of us at Kinnikinnick have made it our mission to make that transition as easy – and tasty – as possible. But although you can rest assured all of our products are completely gluten-free, there are many food and non-food products out there which you might think are safe, but which actually have gluten "hidden" within them. Here is a quick rundown of what to look out for:

    • Reduced-fat products: meats and dairy often use starches to make products gel better. Be certain the starch is from a safe source like potato, corn or tapioca.
    • Ready-made meals and fast foods: these also contain gluten because of the starches used.
    • Ice cream: wheat is often added to prevent ice crystals from forming.
    • Soy Sauce: often 40% to 60% wheat!
    • Salad Dressings: gluten often is used as a thickener.
    • Gravies, Sauces and Marinades
    • Processed Foods: rice or corn cereals, soups, yogurt, snack foods, ground beef, cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages and shortening (which may contain vitamin E processed from wheat germ).
    In short, always read labels. And read them every time. Manufacturers may change ingredients without notice and what was ok last week might not be this week. We also recommend you get one of the various gluten free product & ingredient guides that are available from the major support groups. These are extensive listings of what is safe and what to avoid.

    If you are unsure, especially since labels can be so confusing, always call a product’s manufacturer and get the gluten-related low-down. And that means asking not only what’s in the product itself, but what standards the manufacturing facility follows to prevent cross-contamination. Here at Kinnikinnick, we make all our own products and operate the largest dedicated gluten-free bakery in North America and possibly the world.

    Remember that most non food items are not required to list ingredients. 
    • Watch out for lickable envelops & stamps Most if not all postage stamp & letter glue in North America is made from corn but fun stickers and other lickable labels made elsewhere may not be.
    • Use caution with paints, clay, play dough and glue
    • Mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, lipstick, lip balm, sunscreen, cosmetics, lotions and cleaning solutions

    Living the gluten-free life isn’t always easy, but thanks to heightened consumer demand, improved manufacturing and labeling standards and the wide array of surprisingly delicious foods (including, if we can be immodest for a moment, ours), it’s getting easier every day. So warm up a few Kinnikinnick donuts, take a few long, slow bites, sit back and indulge yourself!

    Further Reading

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Kinnikinnick's Position on Oats in Gluten Free Food

    Update 2: on June 17, 2012, Health Canada released the final draft of regulations regarding the labelling of Gluten Free in Canada which come into effect August 4, 2012. These regulation continue the status quo on oats and they WILL NOT be allowed in products labelled gluten free. Read our response here.

    Update: On May 18, 2010, Health Canada announced it was seeking input from industry and consumers on proposed revisions its gluten free labelling regulations. Health Canada The main focus of these changes are to allow products with oats to be labelled gluten free. The following post was written before this call for input was made public but our position remains the same. Allowing oats into the gluten free category is a mistake and could be confusing and potentially harmful, especially to the newly diagnosed.  We will be making a submission (essentially this blog post and the comments we have received on it) to Health Canada in the next week or so.

    As is often the case, a question on Twitter this morning has prompted a post. The question was:
    Do you think Kinnikinnick will ever manufacture their own oats for baking & cooking?”
    The short answer is No. We won't make, use or sell oats. And that certainly could have been a “tweet” but we get asked this question a lot and it really deserves an in-depth explanation.
    In order to explain our position, it’s probably worth a look at the history of oats, gluten and Celiac Disease.
    Let’s get right to the basics. What exactly is gluten? The seeds of most flowering plants especially grains have evolved to store proteins which provide nourishment during germination. This protein is often called gluten, an unfortunately generic term which in itself causes confusion. The reason for the confusion is that rice and corn contain proteins which are often referred to as rice gluten or corn gluten. These “glutens” are not a concern for people with Celiac as they do not contain the harmful proteins that cause the immune response which is the root of Celiac Disease.
    So which “Glutens” are the ones people with Celiac need to avoid? For most of the last 50+ years , the grains to avoid have been recognized as Wheat, Barley, Rye And Oats. (WBRO) These grains contain the proteins Gliadin, Horedein, Secalin and Avenin respectively and these are the proteins that we really should refer to when we use the word “gluten” in relation to Celiac. However, starting in 1995, some research began to show that some Celiacs we able to tolerate pure, uncontaminated oats. These tests were repeated with varying results over the next 10 years. By around 2005, the consensus began to say that consumption of oats is probably safe for most Celiacs, if intake is limited to around 50-70 g of pure uncontaminated oats, based on 5 year long clinical study. [*]
    Being a family of Celiacs running a company who has been making Gluten Free foods for almost 20 years, we have some issues, both philosophical and practical, with that premise.
    Let’s look at the philosophical issues first.
    It’s probably safe for most Celiacs. The problem is that it is certainly not safe for all.
    “Oats are not recommended within a year of diagnosis because of the [risk of avenin]-sensitive enteropathy” [*]
    "There are case reports of individuals with celiac disease relapsing from the consumption of pure uncontaminated oats." [*]
    “The patients drafted for this [2004] study were those who had symptoms of celiac disease when on an 'pure-oat' challenge…This study found that 4 patients had symptoms after oat ingestion, 3 had … avenin-sensitive enteropathy(ASE). All three patients [had the] DQ2.5/DQ2 [gene]. While [this] represents only 25% of celiac patients, it accounts for all of the ASE celiacs”
    "Some coeliacs respond adversely to oats. Estimates range from 0.5 to 20% of the GSE population. With coeliac disease non-compliance to achieve normal intestinal morphology is a risk factor for refractory disease and cancer." [*]
    It’s probably safe for most Celiacs based on a 5 year study.
    For us, a 5 year study just isn’t long enough when we’ve seen so many other things (especially chemicals & pharmaceuticals) show problems on a much longer time line (10-20+ years). Perhaps more concerning is that "the studies looking at safety of oats in celiac disease have involved a small number of subjects". [*] Let’s talk in 2025 when we've had 20+ years and thousands of people studied. We’ll see then if there are no issues like increased rates of cancer and other Celiac related diseases.
    It’s probably safe for most Celiacs if intake is limited to around 50-70 g
    So you have your 1/2 – 3/4 cup oatmeal every morning. Is that enough to get you going, perhaps you need a bit more. Oh, and those oatmeal cookies are awesome so a couple at lunch or coffee are great. Maybe some haggis for dinner? (well, it's possible) Oops, you’re now up to twice the recommended amount. What does that mean, long term? I don’t think we really know, especially if you are getting trace amounts of other gluten proteins from cross contamination.
    It’s probably safe for most Celiacs if the oats are pure and uncontaminated.
    A [2008] study made by a team of doctors in Spain used [four different state of the art testing] techniques to evaluate 134 varieties of “pure,” “uncontaminated” oats from Europe, the United States, and Canada.
    Results showed that just 25 of the samples were actually pure, and contained no detectable levels of contamination. The other 109 samples [of “pure” oats] all showed wheat, barley and/or rye contamination. The results also showed that contamination levels vary among oats from the same source." [*]

    Now to the practical reasons.
    Supply of pure, uncontaminated oats.
    As noted above, finding truly pure oats on a consistent basis is no small problem. Let’s assume that suppliers of pure oats have a 100% success rate and we could use them. There is still a limited, but admittedly growing supply of "pure" oats. These oats are grown by a relatively small number of farmers, often in the same area. Any problems with the crop year could cause disruptions in supply due to this small supply base. These oats are also a premium ingredient (ie: expensive) due to the labour intensive steps taken to ensure that cross contamination doesn't occur.
    Oats aren't appropriate for every Celiac.
    Also as noted above, there is some portion of the Celiac population, perhaps as much as 20%, who can't tolerate oats. The research also shows that no one should have oats until their gut has completely healed (ie: at least a year after diagnosis and being completely GF). Adding oats and the resulting oat cross contamination would prevent these people from using a product. What is more concerning is the fact that these people might eat an oat containing product, get sick and not realize why. How can you tell a customer that oat containing products are OK for most Celiacs, but not them? In keeping with our Mission Statement of providing our customer with "a risk free source of food products", we’re just not going to “go there”
    Limiting Oat consumption to 50-70 g per day
    How do we, as a manufacturer, manage that problem? We make our products as tasty as we possibly can. Do we add a disclaimer to our packages "We know these are tasty, but please don't eat more than 3 of these a day because you might get sick, if not immediately, then perhaps over the long term, if you do"? I don't think so.
    A little matter of the Law
    Lastly but definitely not least-ly, there is the little problem of the law. Currently in Canada, it is illegal to use oats in a product that is labelled gluten free. Under Section 9.9.4 Gluten-Free Foods [B.24.018, B.24.019] of the Food Labelling & Advertising Act [*]
    "A food is not permitted to be labelled, packaged, sold or advertised in a manner likely to create an impression that it is "gluten-free" unless it does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye, triticale or any part thereof."
    That’s pretty much the show stopper right there. Even if we had no misgivings about using oats and we had solved all the practical issues, we couldn’t do it the way the law is currently written. Given the speed of governments on issues like this, we can probably look forward to a change in, oh, 2025. Which might be a good thing. We might finally know by then whether oats are safe.
    It’s important to note that these are concerns based on our reading of the literature and many will say that they are unfounded and that’s fine. Am I saying oats aren't safe for Celiacs? No. I'm saying that I'm not convinced there is enough long term evidence to say one way or the other. We aren’t going to make any kind of change regarding oats until these questions of long term safety are answered to our satisfaction. Oh, and the law changes.
    As I always say, don't believe me. I'm just a guy posting on a blog. Do your own research! Probably the definitive resource for starting your investigation is this page at
    Note: I've cited Wikipedia here several times and it's not always the best source of accurate information but in this case the pages cited are properly annotated with various papers and studies.
    Let's hear what everyone thinks in the comments. I'm sure it will be interesting.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Kinnikinnick Now In Publix

    We've just had it confirmed that 6-7 Kinnikinnick products have been "planogrammed" in 325 Publix stores in Florida and Georgia. What does it mean to be "planogrammed"? When a chain launches a new line of products, it will often create a planogram which is basically just a diagram of the stores shelves and how products will look & fit on the shelves. For the store this helps it maintain a consistent look. For the general consumer, this means that the dish soap is in the same place in the same way on the store shelves no matter what store you visit.

    For the Kinnikinnick consumer what this means is something even more exciting. It means that each of these 325 stores has a map that says "put these 6-7 Kinnikinnick products on -that- shelf." Finding shelf space is the most difficult thing facing a manufacturer so being planogrammed is a -big deal-.

    The general break down of the stores is as follows:

    Orlando/Tampa area - 121 stores
    Miami area - 44 stores
    Jacksonville area - 84 stores
    Atlanta area - 76 stores

    We don't have exact locations or what 6-7 products are plannogrammed yet but I'll update this and our store finder when we get more information.

    But wait, it gets even better.

    All Publix stores have access to 17 of our products and can get them in if you ask for them. I'll post a list of the 17 shortly. Many Publix stores including some of the 325 stores in the planogram program are already carrying quite a few of these products.

    As always, if you don't see Kinnikinnick in your local Publix store, or any store for that matter, ask the store manager. We've even created an introduction to Kinnikinnick letter you can take to them found here

    Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon.

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    More New Kinnikinnick Product Packaging

    Our new packaging for the boxed cookies has arrived and it looks great. All our new designs feature Gluten Free much more prominently and clearly identify Nut Free. All these new packages have an updated allergen statement and in some cases have the "blanket" allergen statement removed. You'll start to see them in stores soon. More of our "new look" packaging is in the works so stay tuned.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Great Food , Gluten Free now available on iTunes

    Our new recipe show, Great Food, Gluten Free is now available as an iTunes Video Podcast. You can now subscribe to the show in the iTunes store and whenever a new episode is added, it will automatically download to your computer. You can also play it on your iPod or iPhone. Search for Gluten Free in the iTunes Store or click here.

    You can still watch it on our YouTube channel Of course the best place to watch it is on Kinnikinnick.TV because you have instant access to all the recipes to print out as well as access to all the links mentioned in the videos.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Restaurants Serving Kinnikinnick Finder Now Live

    I've just added a new feature to our website. You can now search for restaurants which serve Kinnikinnick gluten free products. Results will display what the location serves (when we know) and is integrated with Google Maps so you can see where it is on a map.

    Right now there's only a couple of entries, but we will be expanding as we confirm more locations and expand our food service offerings.

    If you know of a restaurant that is serving Kinnikinnick products, let me know in the comments and I'll get them listed.